A2Z Analysiz: TNA Victory Road 2009 (Kurt Angle, Mick Foley)

Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – July 19, 2009

MATCH #1: TNA Knockouts Championship – Tara vs. Angelina Love w/ Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne

Tara has been the champion since 7.9.09, and this is her first defense. This is Love’s official rematch after losing the title a few weeks ago. Love tries attacking the champion right away, but Tara weathers the storm and completely dominates the opening minutes. Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky distract the champion, allowing Love to take her first advantage. Love goes to work on the back outside the ring, and then rolls Tara back in for a dropkick to the face for two. The challenger works the champion over for several minutes, even hitting a clothesline off the second rope for two. Tara comes back and they clothesline each other, so both women are down. The champion gets to her feet first and puts on her angry face before lighting up Love with strikes. She hits the standing moonsault for a near-fall. Sky accidentally sprays Love in the eyes with hairspray, but the referee gets distracted and doesn’t see Tara covering Love until it’s too late, and Love kicks out at two. The referee has booted Sky and Rayne from ringside; meanwhile Tara misses a big moonsault. Love goes over to make the cover, and the referee doesn’t notice Tara’s foot on the ropes as he counts three, giving Love the victory and her second title reign at 7:02. Love played a good heel here but I just have no interest in Tara or her spider. Why does her entrance music say “broken” so many times?
Rating: **

MATCH #2: “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan vs. Daniels

Morgan quickly throws Daniels to the floor and follows him out. He throws Daniels around ringside and looks to be in total control. Back in the ring Daniels recovers and hits a missile dropkick and a running forearm in the corner. He tries to build some momentum off the ropes, but Morgan drops him with a shoulderblock. Daniels comes back and sends Morgan to the floor with a leg lariat, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. He hits the Arabian Press, which I can’t figure out why Tenay insists on calling the “spilt-legged moonsault” month after month. Daniels tries a slingshot dive but Morgan avoids it and resumes control. Morgan goes to work on the leg, using the ring post and the ropes to wear down the body part. Don West referring to the 38-year-old Daniels as a “kid” is pretty funny. Daniels recovers and hits a cross body block off the top rope for two, and then gets a schoolboy rollup for two. He also gets a crucifix for two, then avoids a big boot, and hits a springboard bulldog for two. Morgan comes back with a fallaway slam. He goes for another kind of slam, and Daniels reverses it to a DDT for two. Daniels then goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but thankfully (for the match psychology) can’t hit it due to the injured leg, and Morgan levels him with the Carbon Footprint. Morgan then flattens Daniels with the Hellevator to get the pin at 10:36. That was a solid match, and Daniels is certainly in the right position to put Morgan over at this point.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: “The Monster” Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie

They’re saying that Stevie has been Abyss’s doctor for 10 years. Good thing WWE let him have a side job. This is a no-disqualification match. Stevie has what looks like a police baton, and he starts choking Abyss out with it. That’s not really the start to this match I would have picked. Abyss quickly comes back and takes the fight to the floor. Back in the ring Stevie tries some chops but Abyss won’t budge. They take it right back to the floor as Stevie does what he calls selling. Stevie tries to escape through the crowd but Abyss catches up to him and continues the beating. Eventually they make their way back to ringside, and Stevie is busted open. It looks like he just spread blood across his forehead; it’s not really flowing, which is weird. Abyss throws Stevie back in the ring and continues destroying his doctor. After a few minutes he hits the Shock Treatment but pulls Stevie up before the three-count. Daffney comes out with a taser, which brings out Lauren, who has no business participating in any storylines whatsoever. She pulls Daffney off the apron and shoves her into the steps. Stevie hits a low blow and gets a hold of the taser. It makes no difference, as Stevie charges right into a Black Hole Slam. At the behest of the crowd, Abyss uses the taser and Stevie’s skin actually smokes. That’s enough for Abyss to get the win at 9:52. Amazingly this didn’t end the feud, no matter how definitive that seemed. The match was pretty dull and the storyline does nothing for me.
Rating: *½

MATCH #4: IWGP Tag Team Championship Match – Team 3D vs. The British Invasion

Team 3D have been the champions since 1.4.09. Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams are accompanied by big Rob Terry. Williams and Brother Devon start the match for their respective teams. They chain wrestle to start, and when Williams gets the better of it, Devon starts slugging. Williams tags Magnus, and Devon unleashes a series of bodyslams and a legdrop for two. Brother Ray gets tagged in and does his usual stuff. Team 3D is dominant early on here. The British Invasion takes a powder to regroup, and when they get back in the ring they use some double-teaming to take Ray down. I hate how referees in TNA tag matches never enforce the tag rules. Ray gets a brief comeback and Devon goes up for the What’s Up, but Terry throws Devon off the top and hits Ray with a headbutt. The challengers continue the beatdown on Ray, which I realize is pretty rare; it’s usually Devon that takes the heat. Magnus charges in and Ray hits a Spear. Both men make tags and Devon is all over Williams and Magnus. He hits a side slam on Williams for a two-count. Magnus gets thrown to the outside and Ray gets tagged in and hits a Rock Bottom for two. Team 3D hits the double-team neckbreaker for another two-count. Everyone is brawling in the ring now, just like every other TNA tag team match. Terry once again distracts the referee so Team 3D can hit the What’s Up and go for tables, just like they’ve done in every match for the last decade. They get a table in the ring and the referee gets distracted trying to get rid of it. Terry interferes and accidentally clotheslines Williams and then gets tossed out to the floor. Ray and Devon then hit Williams with the 3D for the pin at 10:18. Wow, Team 3D gets a table out, overcomes outside interference, wins with the 3D, and then puts someone through a table after the match? You don’t say?
Rating: *

MATCH #5: Jenna Morasca w/ Awesome Kong vs. Sharmell w/ Sojo Bolt

I still can’t believe how much time and effort they put into this ridiculous feud. What exactly did TNA think they were gaining from this feud? Morasca shows off her ass getting in the ring, and I come to the realization that she is not at all attractive. That just made me uncomfortable. Why is Sharmell wrestling in an evening gown? What the hell is going on? I refuse to dignify this match with play-by-play. Eventually Kong interferes with a punch to knock Sharmell out, and Morasca gets a disgusting pin to end this atrocity at 5:49. I’m not really offended by the lack of quality of the match, because they’re not wrestlers so I’m always more offended by actual trained talent having a shitty match, but this whole angle, and the way Morasca paraded around in this match showing off her “stuff” was just so desperate and embarrassing and demeaning. I’ve watched a lot of wrestling in my lifetime, but I don’t think I’ve ever had someone make me feel as uncomfortable as Jenna Morasca just did.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #6: TNA Legends Championship – “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash

Styles has been the champion since 3.15.09, and this is his third defense. In a pre-match promo, Nash promises to retire if he doesn’t succeed in winning the Legends Title tonight. Tenay and West don’t mention this at all, making me wonder why Nash would even say it in the first place. Styles quickly goes after Nash’s leg with kicks and then takes him down with a single leg takedown. Nash rolls to the apron and Styles knocks him down to the floor and fakes a springboard dive. Back in the ring Nash takes control and hits a series of kneelifts in the corner. It’s all Nash now, as he continues to work Styles over, hitting a side suplex for two. Styles goes up to the top rope but Nash hits a big boot to send him to the floor. Nash quickly brings the battle back inside, and the straps come down. He tries the Jackknife but Styles punches his way out of it and falls on top for a two-count. Styles takes over on offense and the crowd doesn’t seem to really care. He hits the springboard flying forearm for two. Seriously commentators, just mention how Nash said he would retire if he didn’t win the title. Styles hits a Pele kick for another close near-fall. He goes for another springboard something and has to jump over the referee for some reason, and he jumps right into a Nash chokeslam, which gets the pin at 10:47. Really, we’re using transition moves for finishers now? And I know the chokeslam can be a finisher, but Nash has never used it before and it had no history of beating anyone, so why would anyone pop for that finish? TNA makes no sense, almost ever. That match was decent.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: TNA World Tag Team Championship – Beer Money, Inc. vs. Booker T & “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner

Beer Money, Inc. has been the champions since 6.21.09, and this is their first defense. Booker and Storm start the match, both with some trepidation. Storm takes the first advantage and gains the first near-fall, and then tags Roode in for some double-team work. Booker gets an eye poke and then tags Steiner. The champs execute some more double team moves and send both opponents to the floor. They take the fight outside briefly, and then Storm throws Steiner back in the ring. Booker sweeps Storm’s leg from the floor, and then drops him throat-first on the guardrail. The Main Event Mafia duo takes over now. Steiner hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. They continue to work Storm over in their half of the ring for a while. Storm comes back with a tornado DDT out of the corner on Steiner and makes the hot tag to Roode, who is a houseafire. Roode hits Steiner with a blockbuster for two, and we reach the point in the match where everyone comes in the ring and the referee doesn’t care. Booker throws Storm to the floor and Steiner hits Roode with the Novocain for a near-fall. Roode comes back with a schoolboy rollup for two. Storm spits beer in Steiner’s eyes, and then the referee gets knocked down. He was supposed to get beer in his eyes too, but he didn’t. Good job guys. Beer Money hits the DWI but Hebner can’t see to count right away, and moreover Booker pulls him to the floor. Booker blames it on Storm, so Hebner yells at him. Meanwhile Booker hits Roode with an Axe Kick and Steiner gets a rollup while Storm, who is not at all injured, slowly tries to crawl in and break up the pin but can’t, and thus Booker T and Scott Steiner are the new champions at 12:38. Beer Money is usually entertaining to watch, but this felt like Booker and Steiner were inadvertently dragging them down to their level. It was still solid but too bad they couldn’t properly pull off the finish.
Rating: **½

MATCH #8: “The Icon” Sting vs. “Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe

Joe attacks Sting right away and tosses him to the floor. He goes one step further and takes it into the crowd, throwing Sting into the wall. Sting ducks a punch and then throws Joe into the wall. They take the fight over to the entrance ramp and Joe suplexes Sting on it. Back towards ringside Sting reverses a whip into the steel steps. Back in the ring Sting kicks away. Joe recovers and sends Sting back to the floor, and follows him out with a suicide elbow. He brings Sting right back to the ring for a cover but it only gets two. It’s all Samoa Joe now, as he wears his opponent down with various strikes and kicks. Joe hits a powerslam for two as the beating continues. Sting eventually just stops selling and hits a back suplex. They get back to their feet and Sting hits a clothesline for two. Tenay says Sting went from the clothesline to the cover in one fluid motion, but that is just a blatant lie. Sting hits an enziguiri for two. He hits the Stinger Splash and then locks on the Scorpion Deathlock. Then to the surprise of absolutely no one, Taz comes out to reveal himself as Joe’s “advisor” or whatever. Sting pretty much just lets go of the hold and they stand there staring at each other. Then they start fighting again and Sting hits a back elbow for a one-count. Sting goes up top and hits a clothesline for another one-count. He goes up top once again and Joe knocks him down and Sting sandbags him on the Muscle Buster. Joe locks on the Choke instead and Sting taps out at 11:37. The match was the usual Sting tomfoolery, and the Taz thing brought the match to a screeching halt. The whole angle with Taz wound up doing absolutely nothing for Joe’s career, and neither did cleanly defeating Sting.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Kurt Angle vs. Mick Foley

Angle has been the champion since 6.21.09, and this is his second defense. They start slowly with some mat and chain wrestling, and Foley actually keeps up with the Olympic Gold Medalist, who takes an early powder. Back in the ring Foley stays in control, hitting a series of punches. They take the fight to the floor and Foley continues his surprising dominance. Back around the ring Foley continues working over Angle’s previously broken neck. Angle comes back by raking the eyes, and now Angle is in control. Foley comes back with a catapult, sending Angle to the floor. The challenger follows the champion out to the floor and goes for a piledriver, but he gets back dropped right onto the ring steps instead. Angle then slams Foley’s head into the ring steps multiple times. He rolls Foley back in the ring and goes to work on the leg. Angle controls the action for a while, and a series of reversals leads to Angle putting on the Ankle Lock in the center of the ring. Foley rolls out of the Ankle Lock, but Angle knocks him right back down with a clothesline for two. Angle goes up and misses a moonsault. Foley takes advantage with a Double-Arm DDT for a two-count, and then he puts on Mr. Socko. Angle avoids it and shoves Foley into the referee. The champion hits a low blow and the Angle Slam, but it only gets two. That barely got a pop from the crowd, and it’s Angle’s finish. A frustrated Angle drops an elbow on the referee, and then brings a chair in the ring. Foley avoids getting hit by locking Angle in the Mandible Claw, and he throws Angle to the floor. He hits the elbow off the apron. Back in the ring Foley gets a cover and Angle kicks out. Foley locks on the Mandible Claw with a body scissors. Angle punches his way out of the hold and locks on the Ankle Lock. Foley reaches the ropes but Angle pulls Foley back out and locks on the Ankle Lock once again. This time Foley can’t escape and he has to tap out at 14:05. Foley just has no business being in main event matches at this point, and that makes me sad. The match was solid enough in some spots, but the crowd hardly seemed invested at all, and after all the other Main Event Mafia members won their matches it was severely anti-climactic.
Rating: **½

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