This is it! The show before the go-home show for the “Victory Road” pay-per-view. Will what we see tonight persuade us to spend our hard-earned money and/or three hours of our time on TNA’s offering on July 11th? Find the nearest line and cross it, and you tell me!

[Joker voice/] And here we…go!

We open with a video recap of the Red and Yellow Lantern, Abyss, and the Ring of Infinite Power. Your Empress of “Impact” is not amused.

To the ring. Homeless Man Abyss has returned, and he’s throwing chairs into the ring. He stalks SoCal Val, and she backs away. He scares some fans out of the way and grabs their chairs. Abyss returns to stalking Val. Hey look, it’s Hulk Hogan! The Geriatric Savior strides (as much as a near-cripple can stride) to the aid of the sultry redhead. Except he doesn’t, really. He just enters the ring to huge chants of his name, completely ignoring Val. Eric Bischoff rushes the ring, and Hogan and Bischoff argue over who should be doing what in order to deal with this. Please, dear gods, ignore the chants of “Let them fight!” Two security guys separate Abyss and Hogan as Bischoff plays peacemaker. At first. Bischoff gets in Abyss’s face and calls him an “ungrateful son of a bitch” before slapping him. Abyss attacks Bischoff, who lands some chair shots. Abyss does a patented Hogan No-Sell. Hogan gets caught in a chokeslam position, but elbows his way out of it. Nice to know that can happen, as almost no one else has ever done it. Jeff Hardy runs down and makes the save for Hogan. Abyss shouts that Hardy is his tonight. Nothing like a little creepy homoeroticism to open the show, eh? Abyss gets laid out and left in the ring as everyone else leaves. As Mike Tenay and Taz run down the evening’s card, however, Abyss gets up and makes his way to the announce table. He plays the intimidation card and beats up security guys, but Taz refuses to back off. Taz squares off with the Abyss drooly-face as we go to commercial.

To the recap of what just happened!

To the back! Bischoff and Hogan argue about how to cut Abyss out tonight. Hogan says that Abyss is a cancer in TNA, and that he has to be got rid of tonight.

Ink, Inc. vs. the Motor City Machine Guns: Yes!!! Oh, sweet mother of god, yes! Alex Shelley and Shannon Moore start. Chants of “Motor City!” are huge! You aren’t getting much commentary out of me onthis one, I’m sitting back and enjoying it. Neal and Moore double-team Shelley, but he kicks out at two. Neal is legal. Neal tags Moore. Shelley is thrown to the floor. Sabin runs in, but gets thrown to the floor also. Land on me, Sabin! Huh? Oh. Sorry. MCMG double-team Moore back in the ring. Brother Devon joins the announce team. He says that Brother Ray has made a fool of him enough, by telling him that he’ll leave Jesse Neal alone and then not doing it. Ray has no reason at all to have problems with Neal, as Neal is only doing and behaving like Team 3D trained him. He’s just like they were when they were coming up in the business. Fair enough. The action in the ring is good, but it isn’t important. Brother Ray walks down to the ring, yelling at Neal. Devon springs from the table to challenge Ray. The MCMG double-team Neal during the distraction, and Shelley gets the win. Huzzah!

Winners: Motor City Machine Guns

Bischoff enters and announces the official main event of Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy. Bischoff adds a special referee. It’s Rob Van Dam.

To the back! Dixie Carter enters, talking on a cell phone and carrying a bag. She just got here, it seems. Of course.

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe: AJ enters in his Nature Toddler robe. Ric Flair and Kazarian come out and lecture AJ. Samoa Joe needs no one. Tenay and Taz talk up the fact that Flair says that he’s looking at all members of the TNA roster to be a part of his “Fortune” faction, not just the ones who have been with him thus far. Massive chants for Joe, “Joe’s gonna kill you!” I love when Joe no-sells his opponent’s chops, then slaps him in the face! Joe and AJ can’t have a bad match, so I’m sitting back and enjoying this one as well. Flair and Kazarian exchange words with Joe from the floor throughout. Joe totally dominates AJ until AJ thumbs the eyes and lands a drop kick. Nice spot where AJ struggles to get Joe up for a slam, and yells at KAzarian after he finally succeeds in doing so. Joe fights out of a suplex attempt and slams AJ down face-first. AJ takes out Joe’s knee. AJ grounds Joe with a rear choke. Oh, this is a good match! AJ fights out of a Muscle Buster, but Joe locks in the Kokina Clutch, and AJ taps. AJ is bleeding from the mouth. Post-match, Flair and Kazarian corner AJ and rip into AJ. Flair and Kazarian leave AJ in the ring. The dissention continues! AJ grabs a mic and asks Kazarian if he thinks that this is funny. He would beat Kazarian in the ring like a crying little girl. AJ challenges Kazarian for a match next week on “Impact,” asking Flair’s blessing. It is given, as all this is being done to impress Flair and raise his ego to even more biblically epic proportions.

Winner: Samoa Joe

To the back! Hogan, Bischoff, and Dixie argue about Sting being out of control. Hogan calls Sting “cancer,” and says that he has to be gotten rid of. Hogan and Bischoff proceed to make Dixie look like a new employee being politely chewed out by Burger King management. Seriously. It’s appalling. Don’t tell me that it’s because she’s a woman, either. Kevin Nash enters, and is asked to wait outside. Kevin Nash has had more tv time than Hamada, whose contract is almost up, and (from what I’ve heard) is most likely not being renewed. FAIL!

Desmond Wolfe vs. Brian Kendrick: This is a “submissions” match. Which could be awesomely awesome. Chelsea wants nothing to do with Desmond Wolfe, and refuses to take his glasses and jacket. What’s with all the really good matches tonight? Douglas Williams comes out for commentary, and has a great line about Kendrick “watching ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and thinking that he’s a submissions specialist.” Chelsea walks out on Wolfe, distracting Wolfe just enough for Kendrick to lock in a version of the Cobra Clutch. Wolfe taps. Read that line again. Desmond Wolfe tapped out to Brian Kendrick. I don’t have a problem with that, but whose cereal did Desmond Wolfe pee in to get this absurd demotion?

Winner: Brian Kendrick

Coming up next: “The Pope” returns!!! Huzzah!

To the video package on “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero! This one is really good! I’m an altar girl in the Pope’s congregation, so I’m biased. Wheee!!!

To the ring! It’s “The Pope!” He’s quite sedate by his usual standards. He has a mic, though, so it’s all good. Huge chants of “Welcome back!” “Hallelujah!” “Pope is pimpin’!” The man is almost in tears as he says that moments like these make it worth every minute of busting his butt in the ring. Touching. Now he launches into “The Pope” persona, and all is good! You’re just going to have to watch this promo for yourself. Pope calls out Mr. Anderson for injuring him before, and says that while Anderson may have pulled the wool over the eyes of others, he isn’t buying it. Pope wants to earn his way in the rankings system, not constantly defend the fact that he’s still in the rankings despite being out injured for so long. Hey look! It’s Kurt Angle! Music and pyro precede a snappily-dressed Angle, who walks to the ring and gets a mic. Angle welcomes Pope back, and calls him the future of TNA wrestling. Pope and Angle meet in a match at “Victory Road,” as Angle is now fighting the #8 Contender. Angle shakes Pope’s hand and says, “May the best man win.” He points out that his first loss could be his last match on this title quest, and that he “MUST be victorious.”

To the ring! A clean-shaven Jay Lethal comes to the ring in his wrestling gear, and calls out AJ Styles and Ric Flair for beating up Lethal’s brother last week. Neither man responds, but Matt Morgan does. Morgan has been asked by Flair to be the first member of the Fortune stable. Morgan says that he hasn’t decided yet, but that he and Flair do agree on one thing. Kicking Lethal’s butt. Morgan proceeds to destory Lethal as the bell rings.

Jay Lethal vs. Matt Morgan: Was this a scheduled match? If so, why was Lethal surprised to see Morgan? If not, why was the match allowed? Meh. Much is made of the Morgan/Hernandez cage match at the ppv, but not a single word about Homicide getting his skull kicked into the ring post by Morgan. Shameful. Absolutely shameful. Meanwhile, back in Story A, Morgan continues to annihilate Lethal. Lethal dodges a Carbon Footprint, and Morgan crotches himself on the ropes. Lethal fights back with a flurry of chops, kicks to Morgan’s knees, an enziguri, and a drop kick. Morgan catches Lethal in a chokeslam, and throws him to the floor. While the referee is checking on Lethal, Hernandez runs down and low-blows Morgan. You know, because no smaller guy can ever beat a big guy in HoganBischoffLand without interference or help from another big guy. Lethal covers Morgan for the win.

Winner: Jay Lethal

To the back! Abyss fashions a new toy out of wood and metal, much like a Special Ed section of shop class.

Taylor Wilde vs. Madison Rayne: This is a non-title match. Rayne looks frighteningly like Angelina Love did when she led The Beautiful People. Coincidence? Wilde has shorter hair now. Yes, it’s been that long since we saw Wilde on tv. A big deal is made by Tenay over Sarita’s absence at ringside, and “friction” between the former Knockouts Tag Team Champions on Xplosion. Hah! Taz tells Tenay to “watch the product,” and he’ll know what’s going on. Not that this match matters at all, because the Original ECW Faction shows up and walks through the crowd. Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Stevie Richards, and Rhino. I loved these guys as much as anyone, and was a huge fan of the original ECW, but there’s a reason that even Paul Heyman wouldn’t touch this invasion reboot with a ten-foot pole. Post-match, Angelina Love rushes the ring and tries to DDT Rayne onto a chair. Rayne escapes. I seriously hate how Knockouts matches, X-Division matches, and matches involving guys who aren’t WWE rejects get kicked into the background for other storylines. It’s insulting.

Winner: Madison Rayne

To the back! Dixie Carter climbs the stairs in search of Sting. Honestly, I’ve been a stronger and more aggressive leader in my classrooms and during my plays than Dixie has EVER been, on tv or in real life. I’m just sayin’.

To the back! Sarita, dressed in black, beats the everloving hell out of Taylor Wilde. Hooray for random heel turns! (credit to ThinkSoJoE)

To the back again! Dixie finds Sting. She tells him that he’s suspended for 30 days without pay. Sting laughs it off, and tells her that she’s been conned. Bischoff enters and has Sting removed by security, referring to him repeatedly as “cancer.” Bischoff tells Dixie to get some 24-hour security, as Sting is out of control. Oh, sweet mother of god….

Special referee Rob Van Dam enters, and he looks rather happy as he walks through the smoke. Hmmm….

Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy: “Weighing in excess of 350 pounds.” Now that’s funny! Abyss still loooks like a homeless man. He carries a 2×4 covered in shards of glass and nails. Jeff Hardy enters very slowly and catiously. Hardy orders Abyss to drop the stick, and while RVD tries to get the stick away from Abyss, Hardy attacks Abyss. Hardy knocks Abyss to the floor. HArdy gets knocked to the floor. The pacing of this match is slow, but the match itself is just dull. Abyss gets a chair. RVD takes it away. Hardy rolls up Abyss, but only scores a two-count. Hardy scores another two-count after a Whisper in the Wind. Abyss gets a two-count on Hardy. The Shock Treatment is countered into the Twist of Fate. Hardy attempts a Swanton Bomb, but Abyss knocks him down. Abyss climbs the second rope and goes for a chokeslam. Hardy knocks him down with elbows to the head, and hits a Swanton Bomb for the win. Post-match, Abyss beats down Hardy. RVD gets involved, and Abyss plants him with a Black Hole Slam. Abyss retrieves the stick, and gets back in the ring. Mr. Anderson runs down with a chair, and uses it to knock the weapon out of Abyss’s hand. He goes for another chair shot on Abyss, who dodges, and Anderson hits Hardy instead. Anderson himself gets a Shock Treatment from Abyss, and The Monster is left standing tall in a ring of carnage.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

One more show before the ppv. Join me for more real-time goodness, plus a BWF Round Table for “Victory Road.” In the meantime, be sure to check out our BWF comrade Gee’s most excellently entertaining coverage of tonight’s TNA “Impact” right here:

Peace out,


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