A2Z Analysiz: TNA Victory Road 2011 (Sting, Jeff Hardy)

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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – March 13, 2011

MATCH #1: No Disqualification Match – Bully Ray vs. Tommy Dreamer

Bully Ray kicks SoCal Val out of the ring and cuts a quick promo putting over Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, and then calls Dreamer out for their already scheduled match. Ray then continues the trash talk to Dreamer’s face. He announces that tonight’s match is now a no disqualification, falls-count-anywhere match. Dreamer hammers away to start and hits a not very high cross body block and more punches. Ray cuts him off but misses the elbow drop. Dreamer throws Ray to the floor and follows him out. He continues the advantage and uses a plush minion from “Despicable Me” as a weapon. Mike Tenay thinks this is the funniest thing he’s ever seen, and neither he nor Taz have any idea what it is. The fight spills further into the crowd and Dreamer is using everything that’s not nailed down as a weapon. Back at ringside Ray cuts Dreamer off and drops him nuts-first o the guardrail. No really, Dreamer did that spot, can you believe it? Weapons are found and brought into the ring. Dreamer hits Ray with a kendo stick. He then finds an inflatable doll and hits Ray with a trash can lid. Of course Ray winds up in a 69 position with the doll. Dreamer then puts the doll on top of Ray and hits a splash for two. This is pretty stupid. Ray comes back and hits a superplex. He goes for the Bubba Bomb but Dreamer reverses it to a DDT for two. Dreamer goes to the floor and brings in a table. He tries a piledriver but Ray backdrops his way out of it. Ray plasters Dreamer with a trash can. Poor Dreamer, the crowd is actually chanting “We Want Devon.” Ray hits a big boot to the face for two. He should’ve dropped the leg. Ray continues the abuse, hitting Dreamer repeatedly with a kendo stick and even getting on the microphone to taunt him. He says the next move is for Devon, and that brings out Devon’s kids (with their dad’s music, helpfully). That allows Devon to sneak in from behind and help Dreamer hit the 3D and Dreamer gets the pin at 10:43. I don’t mind the finish because it’s a no-DQ match so why not, but I do mind the general awfulness of the match.
Rating: *½

MATCH #2: TNA Knockouts Tag Team Title Match – Angelina Love & Winter vs. Sarita & Rosita

Love and Winter have been the champions since 12.23.10, and this is their second defense. Sarita cuts a promo before the match, promising to win the titles and stuff. Viva Mexico! Love and Rosita start the match. The former Knockouts Champion dominates so Sarita tags in, but Love and Winter continue to control both challengers in the opening minutes. Winter hits Rosita with a backbreaker for two and Sarita tags back in. She hits Sarita with a bridging Northern Lights Suplex and Rosita breaks up the pin. Love gets the tag and continues on the advantage, despite Sarita and Rosita’s efforts. This match has been completely one-sided. Finally Sarita gets one of the belts in the ring but before Rosita can use it Velvet Sky comes out and takes it from her. Winter traps Rosita in an O’Connor Roll but the referee isn’t there to count, so Sarita simply rolls Winter over and somehow Rosita is able to hold Winter down to get the pin and win the titles at 4:58. The heels got no offense in and the finish looked absurd, as Winter looks completely lost out there.
Rating: *

MATCH #3: First Blood Match – Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez

Doesn’t TNA have anything else for these two guys to do besides team with or fight against each other? Morgan charges the ring and takes the first control. They spill to the floor but nothing much happens out there. Back in the ring Hernandez hits a Spear. Hernandez ten get a wooden stick and chokes Morgan with it, and then tries to jab him in the face. Morgan fights back and hits a side slam. Hernandez cuts him off with a shoulderblock. Zzzzzzzz. Morgan hits a clothesline. He follows with a series of offense, including a fallaway slam. Morgan tries to use the same stick Hernandez tried to use earlier but it gets blocked. Hernandez goes up top and Morgan slams him down. Morgan slams him down and signals for the Carbon Footprint but a fan rushes into the ring and gets his ass kicked by security. Hernandez tries to use a chain but Morgan takes it from him and smashes him in the face with it. Referee Brian Hebner is knocked out at ringside while Morgan yells at him to get back in the ring. Hernandez squirts Morgan’s chest with some fake blood, and referee Jackson James comes out actually declares Hernandez the winner at 8:34. That was painfully dull and the finish was powerfully stupid.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #4: Ultimate X X-Division Title Match – Kazarian vs. Max Buck vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Robbie E with Cookie

Kazarian has been the Champion since 1.9.11, and this is his fourth defense. This is Kazarian’s sixth Ultimate X match, this is the second time for both Max and Jeremy, and the first time for Robbie E. That gives the champion a decided advantage. Cookie grabs Kazarian’s leg right away while Generation Me double-teams Robbie and throws him to the floor. The brothers Buck now turn their attention to the champion, who successfully fights them off. Robbie comes back and throws Kazarian to the floor, and then pulls Max off the cables. He goes up but Kazarian pulls him down and then climbs up for a guillotine legdrop from the cable. The offense continues to come from everywhere. Of the four competitors Kazarian dishes out the most offense and seems the most at home in this environment. The Bucks do show off some tremendous double-team moves, and it’s amazing that TNA couldn’t find anything for these guys to do besides lose to the Motor City Machine Guns. Jeremy tries to run interference for Max on the cables, but Kazarian knocks him down and then pulls Max down into an Ace Crusher. Moments later Max goes to the top rope backwards and Kazarian shoves him right into the corner truss! That was awesome; not sure if I’ve seen that in an Ultimate X match before or not. They work in a three-man Tower of Doom spot, which is meager by TNA standards. Kazarian hits Robbie with the Fade to Black, and then Jeremy takes Kazarian out with an elbow strike and a kick to the head. They fight up top and Kazarian hits the Flux Capacitor. Finally the Bucks get into an argument about who is going to win the match, which they supposedly decided was going to be Max. Jeremy says “f that” and climbs out after the title. The brothers get into a slugfest up by the belt, allowing Kazarian to hit Jeremy with a ladder and knock him down. Kazarian goes up above the cables, and Robbie hits Max with the ladder to knock him down. Robbie tries to use the ladder to climb to the belt, but Kazarian walks the high wire and is able to procure the belt and fall to the canvas at 14:21. They did some cool spots and the action pretty much never stopped. Ultimate X matches have been overdone, but this one was fun.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: TNA Tag Team Title Match – Beer Money, Inc. vs. Ink Inc.

James Storm and Robert Roode have been the Champions since 1.9.11, and this is their third defense. Jesse Neal starts the match with Storm and they do some Even Stevens chain wrestling. Things get heated and Storm hits a neckbreaker for two. Neal hits a turnaround cross body block off the second rope for two, and then tags are made. Moore and Roode go back and forth a bit as both teams struggle to establish an advantage. The challengers are able to use double-teams to isolate Storm, and they work him over in their half of the ring. After a little bit of that Roode gets the tag and he slugs it out with Neal. Roode hits the Spinebuster and the champs take control. Beer Money double-teams Neal so Moore comes in to the rescue and he’s quite effective. Moore hits Roode with a bulldog for a two-count. Ya know, I’m not sure Moore ever made the tag. The referee loses control as all four men are in the ring fighting it out. Beer Money takes control and wakes the crowd up with their little “Beer / Money” chant. They go for the DWI but Neal catches Storm with a Spear to break it up. Moore hits Roode with a bulldog but it only gets two. He tries to hit Roode with the Book of Dilligaf but Storm hits Neal with the Last Call and then catches Moore with the Lungblower. The champs then catch Moore with the DWI to get the pin and retain the titles at 12:32. Beer Money has the formula down pat and they’re crazy over, but no one for a second bought Ink Inc. as legitimate threats so the crowd felt listless.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: AJ Styles vs. Matt Hardy with Ric Flair

Matt looks like he’s as high as a kite during his pre-match interview. He beat AJ on Impact back on February 17 to set up this rematch. They start with some fast-paced chain wrestling, with both men trying to establish dominance. The crowd is split in support of both men. AJ hits The Dropkick to send Matt to the floor. He looks for a dive but Flair grabs his leg for distraction, and Matt levels AJ with a clothesline. Matt charges and AJ drops the ropes, ending Hardy crashing to the floor. This time AJ is able to hit the dive. Matt comes back by pulling AJ face-first into the ring apron. He then slams AJ shoulder first into the steel ring post. Matt then tries to throw AJ into the guardrail, but AJ slides underneath it and hits a springboard flying forearm. That always looks cool. Back in the ring Matt fights right back, rendering everything on the floor meaningless. Flair interferes from the floor, actually executing the Crotch Claw. After several minutes AJ is able to land an enziguiri and both men are down. Back on their feet AJ fires away and hits a Death Valley Neckbreaker for two. AJ follows up with the vertical suplex neckbreaker for a two-count. Matt is able to duck a clothesline and grab AJ with the Side Effect, which gets two. He goes for the Twist of Hate but AJ counters with a backslide for two, and then hits the discuss clothesline. AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Matt blocks it and hits the Carolina Slam for two. Flair gets up on the apron to distract the referee as AJ sort of hits the back flip inverted DDT. AJ takes Flair off the apron with the Pele, but then Matt is able to catch him with a hard DDT. Matt goes up top and hits a moonsault but AJ kicks out. He goes up to the second rope this time and AJ knocks him down with an awesome Pele. AJ goes up top and hits Spiral Tap to get the win at 17:36. That was solid back and forth and aside from Matt Hardy’s lapses in psychology it was fun.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: Number One Contender’s Match – Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam

They go back and forth to start and trade holds, putting over their differing styles. This continues on after a standoff, and they manage to blow a leapfrog. That looks like it would hurt a lot. Either way it allows Anderson to take control, and he slows down the pace. RVD fights back with a collection of kicks and the Rolling Thunder. Anderson rolls to the floor and RVD tries to hit the spin kick off the apron but Anderson moves and RVD’s leg crashes into the guardrail. Back in the ring Anderson wisely goes to work on the leg. RVD tries to fight back but then just stupidly turns around and waits for Anderson to attack him again. I don’t get what goes through his head during his matches. Finally he comes back and they knock each other down. Next they tumble to the floor and are both down again. They fight up on the entrance ramp and Anderson hits the Mic Check. Both men get counted out at 12:52, and they let it stay that way. Some in the crowd chant “restart the match” and others respond with “No!” I’m with them – that match was terribly boring before the asinine finish.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #8: TNA World Title Match – Sting vs. Jeff Hardy

Sting has been the Champion since 3.3.11, and this is his first defense. He still has Jeff’s stupid looking purple belt design. Jeff pretty obviously appears to be in no condition to perform. Before the match can start, Eric Bischoff makes his way out to the ring. Bischoff announces that this is now a No Disqualification match, so Sting knocks him out. They stall to start, as Jeff tries to figure out where to throw his t-shirt and the monkeys in the audience go nuts. Jeff drops the shirt and they finally lock up. Sting hits a couple of punches and then the Scorpion Death Drop to get the pin at 1:28. No seriously, with all of the options TNA must have had to give the fans something worthwhile and apologize for Jeff Hardy screwing them over again, they thought THIS was the way to go. I can’t imagine being in that meeting and listening to the justifications for doing this and having any sane person agree. This was a new low for TNA.
Rating: DUD

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