“On the Road to Victory.” At least you are if you’re part of the Main Event Mafia.

To the ring! No, it isn’t a match, you silly goose! Mick Foley walks to the ring and talks about feeling naked without the World title belt on his shoulder. He intends to win it back at the ppv on Sunday, not just for himself, but because as the champion goes, so goes the company. He calls out Kurt Angle. Angle, his suit, Randy Couture’s hair, and Val Venis’s entrance video oblige Foley, and join him in the ring. Foley runs down the things that the Main Event Mafia has done to him since he lost the title at “Slammiversary.” He questions his ability to beat Angle. He points out Eric Young’s calling for the bell last week on “Impact,” even though Foley did not tap out. He remembers his “I Quit” match in Japan against the Funks, eighteen years ago. Tapping out and saying “I quit” made him sick to his stomach, and if Angle thinks he’s tappin’, it just won’t happen. Foley then asks Angle to leave the MEM out of their match, and just let the two of them decide who the real champion is. Angle says that Foley and the MEM believe in the same things. That’s why the MEM gets so mad at these kids today who are spoon-fed and spoiled. Angle rants on the young punks who get paid more than they deserve, and can’t work tonight because they got a blister last night. Angle, the MEM, and Foley have all worked injured. They’re real men. The MEM is trying to preserve the right way of doing things, and isn’t all about money. They’re trying to help Foley and Jeff Jarrett and the established stars.

Sting’s music kicks in, and the Icon walks down the ramp. Sting calls bull on Angle’s claim about the motivations of the MEM. He tells Foley that he has his own agenda for Sunday, but tonight, he has unfinished business. One last time, Sting wants Angle. Foley starts to answer, but Angle cuts him off and accepts. Further, Angle makes it a Six Sides of Steel cage match.               

Drowgoddess Thoughts (DGT): A solid enough opening promo segment, but it went a bit long, and Foley’s emotional level was turned up too high at points. Honestly, how much ass-kissing does Kurt Angle need on tv? Doesn’t he get enough from TNA’s powers-that-be in real life? Foley’s praise bordered on the obsessive. I can’t wait to have somebody step up to Angle and challenge all those accolades. “Can we please not have any interference from your people during our World Heavyweight title match that main events a pay-per-view, Mr. Angle, sir?” Pathetic. Angle’s tirade against the younger talent would be funny if it weren’t so sad. If he were being roundly booed for his blatant hypocrisy, that would be fine, but what challenge is he getting from the “young punks” in question? None, and he never has. Oh, to see Alex Shelley in an unscripted promo war against Angle!    

To the back! Samoa Joe is beating Amazing Red into an amazingly red mass on the floor. He drags him toward the ring.

Match #1: Amazing Red defeats Samoa Joe: Only technically. This match didn’t really get started. Joe got disqualified after pounding Red unmercifully and striking referee Rudy Charles. Charles disqualifies Joe, but Joe plants Red with a Muscle Buster and a series of punches to the face. Old guy Mike Davis and the new TNA security shows up. They have night sticks. They square off against Joe. Joe leaves the ring.

DGT: Yaay, really real security guys! Who is Mike Davis? Should I know him?

To the back! Lauren interviews Sarita. She speaks briefly in English, then gives a Spanish shout-out to people in Mexico. Even though she’s Canadian.

To the video package! We are treated to the history of the Sharmell/Jenna Morasca “feud.”

To the Don West-moderated forum! Sharmell and Sojourner Bolt sit on one side of Don West. Jenna Morasca, Awesome Kong, and Raisha Saeed sit on the other. To make a long story short, blaming and shouting ensue. It’s my review, you can’t make me write any more. 

DGT: How well-done this segment may have been does not matter. Does anyone with functional brain cells and the social skills of a five-year-old care in the slightest about this “feud” and the accompanying match? No one is going to buy or attend this ppv because of this match. No one. Appalling. 

To the back! Jeremy Borash interviews Kurt Angle in his locker room. Why would Angle agree to a cage match against Sting just three days before a World title ppv match against Mick Foley? Angle wants to prove to the world that he is the true Icon, and not Sting, so he had to get him in a cage and destroy him. In order for the MEM to dominate and take over TNA, they have to win all the titles at “Victory Road.” The World title, the Legends title, and the Tag Team titles. Angle has every confidence that they will succeed, and by this time next week, even JB will be calling Angle “Boss.”    

DGT: Wait. As long as Jeff Jarrett has his Founder powers and Foley is still Executive Shareholder, how can Angle actually run the company? This is getting really stupid. It’s one thing to use your championship power, but booking matches, hiring and firing people, and that sort of thing isn’t part of the package deal. Why does no one mention this? As a wise man called G-Bag once said, Angle talks about the MEM winning all the titles in TNA, but fails to acknowledge either the Knockouts title or the X-Division title. While not mentioning the Knockouts title is understandable, as neither Jenna Morasca nor Sharmell is going after it, deliberately ignoring the existance of the X-Division title is insulting and downright disgusting. Where’s the renewed focus on the X-Division that you promised us, Dixie? Why must you lie to me?

Match #2: Suicide defeats Chris Sabin (w/ Alex Shelley): This was a non-title match, so Suicide’s X-Division title (the one that doesn’t really exist) was not in danger. Though the match itself was far too short at around four minutes, the action was some of the best seen on “Impact” in some time. Alex Shelley interfered several times from the outside, and got a “Suicide” slingshot crossbody into the rail for his effort. Sabin choked Suicide on the ring ropes, and gestured that he was going to pull off the mask. Some of the crowd started chanting, “Take it off! Take it off!” at Sabin. See, I’m not the only one who does that! Really cool ending sequence where Sabin put Suicide in the Tree of Woe and set up for the Hesitation Dropkick, but Suicide  pulled himself up and hooked Sabin’s neck, then hit him with the Suicide Solution for the win. Post-match, Alex Shelley grabs Suicide from behind, spins him around, and spits water in his face. Shelley beats down Suicide and puts him in a surfboard while Sabin gets a chair from ringside and places it under Suicide’s head. The future Mr. Drowgoddess hits a top rope leg drop onto Suicide, smashing the champion’s head into the chair. There may have been more planned, but Homicide and his “Feast or Fired” briefcase rush the ring. Homicide smashes the briefcase into Sabin’s head, followed by Shelley’s, and the Guns bail. Homicide looks down at the prone Suicide, and picks up the X-Division title belt. The crowd chants, “Cash it in! Cash it in!” Homicide shoves the briefcase at the referee and complies with their request. It’s on!   

DGT: A match against a current champion, even a non-title match, should at least get a backstage promo. Pathetic. I guess we needed more time for Jenna Morasca/Sharmell, or another Angle promo. Chris Sabin didn’t even get his own name on the screen during his entrance, it said “Motor City Machine Guns.” For a singles match. That’s just lazy. Suicide’s super powers seem to have vanished. If the Guns still want to unmask Suicide, we should know about it by something other than the announcers saying so during the match. That whole story suddenly died, and if it’s supposed to matter, let the wrestlers tell their own story. A clean loss to Suicide in four minutes doesn’t help the MCMG at all, if they’re supposed to be heels. What good is a heel who cleanly loses every match? If Sabin had won, he could claim a title shot at Homicide on the basis that he had beaten the champion in a non-title match, and the Homicide/Sabin feud over the X-Division title could build into the MCMG/LAX tag team title feud that we’ve never gotten. Ah, well.     

Match #3: Homicide defeats Suicide: I just love typing that. 🙂 Homicide hits the Gringo Killer for the win in no time, while the annoucers point out that, while this may have been unfair to Suicide, it was completely within the rules. 

DGT: It seems like the whole world is whining about how TNA ripped off WWE’s “Money in the Bank” for this, and that the whole thing is therefore completely stupid. Not so. If something works, it doesn’t matter from whence it came. Granted, the “Feast or Fired” title shots haven’t been handled nearly as well as the MITB ones in general, but this could be a turning point for that. This could be a first step towards the return of brutal, nasty, gangsta thug heel Homicide. LAX honestly works better as a heel tag team if you want the street gang violence aspect to click. Most people didn’t seem to really want to boo the MCMG in the first place, so a few turns could work out for the best for everyone.   

To the back! The Beautiful People walk to ward the ring. Angelina Love sports a white beekeeper’s suit with hearts all over it. Seriously.

To the back! Lauren interviews the new X-Division champion, Homicide. He says that he didn’t make the rules, he just followed them to win the X-Division title, and that’s how it is. He invites Lauren to go drink tequila and party with him. She politely declines. He questions that she doesn’t date Latinos, but that’s ok, and after a shout-out to Brooklyn, he grabs her hand and pulls her off with him.

To the ring! The Beautiful People hit the ring. Madison Rayne carries a broom, Velvet Sky carries a spray bottle labeled “Spider Killer,” and Angelina Love’s nuclear waste handler/beekeeper suit has Hello Kitty on it. Angelina Love makes her usual ring entrance, pointing at and shaking her rear. In the beekeeper suit. Gold! Love announces that she has filed a formal complaint with “Peter, whoever he is,” concerning Tara’s use of the spider in the ring. She further announces that The Beautiful People do not recognize Tara’s title win over her last week. It was not an officially sanctioned match, no contract had been signed, and Tara is not really the Knockouts champion. Love will, however, make it an official match at “Victory Road.” Tara’s music plays, and she comes out and stands on the ramp. The title belt she’s wearing says that she’s officially the Knockouts champion, but she’ll prove it in a rematch at “Victory Road.” Tara says that Poison likes warm, dark places. She got here early, saw Love’s cute little beekeeper suit, and thought it would be a great place for poison to take a nap. In fact, she thinks he’s still in there. Love freaks out and rolls around on the mat, screaming and ripping off the beekeeper suit. Tara runs to the ring and plants Love with the Widow’s Peak.           

DGT: How can so many viewers claim that Maryse is the most charismatic female heel in the business when you have The Beautiful People? They bury her in all ways. Great promo segment, lots of fun, and a reasonable set-up for the title rematch at the ppv. What more could you possibly want? Tara always did crazy better than anyone. If Tara and Daffney ever team up or feud….

To the video package! Sarita’s video plays again.

Match #4: Sarita defeats Alissa Flash: Flash enters to the Goldylocks song that was the theme from “Slammiversary.” She chews her gum and looks visibly bored. She makes the ring announcer refer to her as “The Future Legend” Alissa Flash. She spits said gum at Sarita when the match starts. Nice clash of power and strength against agility and high flying. Sarita hits a lovely suicide dive to the outside on Flash. Flash outpowers Sarita on the outside, and even Curb Stomps her in the ring at one point. After some very impressive back-and-forth action, Sarita scores the win with a victory roll. Post match, they go to shake hands, but Flash plants Sarita with a Michinoku Driver.      

DGT: Most reviewers are calling this the show stealer and the match of the night. The people who insist that the in-ring quality of the Knockouts matches is no better than that of the WWE Divas matches are smoking some serious crack, and this match proves it. I’ve really been looking forward to Sarita, but having her take a major beating for most of her first televised TNA match and then get the win with a roll-up didn’t seem nearly as impressive of a debut as I had hoped to see. Raisha Saeed / Cheerleader Melissa / Alissa Flash is pretty brutal, and would do well against Tara at some point.  

To the back! Lauren interviews AJ Styles. Lauren runs down all the things AJ has had to deal with recently. AJ rips into Kevin Nash, saying “we were better off without you,” and that he would wrestle for free, for love of the game. At ‘Victory Road,” Nash has cashed his last paycheck.

DGT: Really good promo from AJ. Everyone who’s calling him out on the “wrestle for free” bit needs to stop taking everything so literally.     

Match #5: Kevin Nash (w/ Jenna Morasca), Booker T (w/ Sharmell), and Scott Steiner defeat AJ Styles and Beer Money: This was a six-man elimination tag team match. Nash eliminated AJ with a powerbomb. Steiner eliminated James Storm shortly afterward, when Booker crotched Storm on the top rope. Now it’s Robert Roode against the MEM. Roode eliminates Nash after Nash attempts to power bomb Roode, and Roode low blows Nash. Nash grabs Roode’s leg from the outside. Storm runs down with a chair, but Matt Morgan comes out after him, takes the chair, and throws Storm into the railing, smacking hands with Nash as he does so. Roode continues to clean house, but when he pins Booker T, Sharmell jumps up on the ring apron and distracts the referee. This allows Steiner and Booker to double-team Roode for the win. Post-match, Sharmell and Jenna Morasca have the weakest catfight in history. Francine and Dawn Marie would be ashamed.  

DGT: Two minutes in? AJ gets eliminated by Nash at two minutes in? He looked like he kicked out, anyway. I hope AJ isn’t injured, but that’s the only reason for something like that to happen. Beer Money, Robert Roode in particular, looked strong against the MEM. Beer Money seem to be complete faces now. They’ve come off as tweeners since the Team 3D feud ended. Personally, I’m hoping it’s just an act, and Beer Money turns on Team 3D for all the comments Team 3D keeps making about taking them to school, beating respect into them, and so on. Turning face makes you forget your evil ways entirely, as every bit of treachery committed by the MEM had been done before by Beer Money. They shouldn’t have fallen for it.

To the back! JB pimps Twitter and interviews Team 3D. More about respect and class, and how the British Invasion lacks those things. Team 3D has those things, and beat those things into Beer Money. Blah. The British Invasion turns up. They’re happy, and looking forward to the ppv match. In fact, they’ve just come from Mick Foley’s office, and the IWGP Tag Team titles are now on the line in the match.

DGT: Way to tell us who wins! Once again, New Japan’s titles are not going to change hands in TNA and on American soil. Rob Terry is finally awesome. “What do you think about that, big man?” He flexes his arms. Gold!

To the back! Lauren interviews Abyss. He shoves tacks into his arms, yells a lot, and slings saliva all over the place.

Match #6: Sting vs. Kurt Angle: This was a Six Sides of Steel cage match that ended in a no-contest. Jeff Jarrett came down to the announce table for commentary. Pretty even back-and-forth action. Sting gets Angle in the Scorpion Deathlock. Samoa Joe rushes Jarrett at the announce table and beats him down. Joe then attacks referee Rudy Charles (bye, Rudy!) and takes the keys to the cage door. Joe opens the door, enters the cage, and locks the padlock back in place. Referee Earl Hebner does nothing. Sting notices as Joe finishes with the lock, and moves behind him. As Joe turns around, Sting lays into him and gets him in the Scorpion Deathlock. Suddenly, the lights go out. Strange music plays, and an entrance video featuring “FTW,” “13,” and the color ornage plays for several seconds. It stops, and the lights come back up. Referee Earl Hebner is laid out. Samoa Joe has Sting in a choke hold that evolves into the Kokina Clutch. Sting bleeds from the mouth. Jarrett and Foley try to climb the cage and make the save, but Angle hits them with a retractable nightstick and they can’t get in the cage. The rest of the MEM runs down and beats up Jarrett and Foley. The end.         

DGT: FTW! 13! Orange! YES! Jarrett was pretty funny with, “Shut up, West! I’m sick of your smart ass!” Getting Jarrett’s thoughts on the ppv card DURING a cage match may not have been the best idea. This was your typical TNA main event, with the usual main event guys. Not dreadful, certainly not when compared to RAW main events, but nothing terribly special either. Certainly not for a main event cage match just prior to a ppv. Why are Tenay and Jarrett talking about the “new generation” of wrestlers and the MEM as though there actually were a functional Frontline group? It’s dead and gone. There is no organized group of “young guys” to go against the MEM. You’ve already ensured that. There should be one, and if you have a good way of restarting the whole thing, I’m all for it. I just don’t see how you can.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, “Victory Road” has been set up well, and looks good on paper for the most part. The World title picture and the Knockouts title picture have been handled very well. The attempts of the Main Event Mafia to grab all the titles and take over the company have been set up well also. However, it’s the stuff in the middle, the meat of the sandwich, as it were, that is sorely lacking. The repeated omission of the Knockouts and X-Division titles by all parties when referencing the MEM’s plan to take “all the titles” tells fans that those titles don’t matter, and shouldn’t be cared about by anyone. A ppv with no X-Division action, despite crowning a new X-Division champion on this “Impact,” a champion whose method of winning said title may not sit well with the rest of the division? I know that it’s beating the proverbial dead horse, but seriously. Jenna Morasca and Sharmell have a ppv match. Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Daffney, Homicide, Eric Young, Kiyoshi, and Sheik Abdul Bashir do not. Sure, the last two will likely get involved in the Team 3D/British Invasion match, but that’s not the point. Except for Beer Money, how is any of this building new stars? Samoa Joe and AJ Styles really shouldn’t count as new stars, as AJ has carried the company since its inception, and Joe was doing beautifully until Angle came on board. This comes off as a do-over of the MEM/Frontline feud that fell apart, or wasn’t allowed to do what it should, either way. We all know how the last one played out, and this one shows no signs of being different. That’s what I fear. 


Predictions for “Victory Road”

Kurt Angle vs. Mick Foley (World Heavyweight Title match):
Angle wins. Duh.

Samoa Joe vs. Sting
Joe NEEDS to be dominant here. He either wins or gets disqualified for excessive violence. Who else wants to see Joe lock in the Kokina Clutch on Sting at the same time that Taz locks in the katahajime on whoever runs in to try and help Sting?

AJ Styles vs. Kevin Nash (Legends Title match):
Nash wins. I hate it, but it’s probably happening. Particularly with his “Nash’s Valet Search,” TNA probably planned to put gold on him anyway. “Be the valet to Legends champion Kevin Nash!” 

Beer Money vs. Booker T and Scott Steiner (Tag Team titles match):
As badly as it hurts my soul to even think about it, Booker and Steiner win. Of the three titles that the MEM are going after, this is the one that they really shouldn’t be allowed to win.

Team 3D vs. The British Invasion (New Japan Tag Team titles on the line):
Oh, please. We’ve seen this before. Team 3D wins. Why not just announce it by putting another company’s title belts up for grabs? No way does TNA have the authority to book a title change of New Japan’s titles, especially outside of Japan. Instead of being built up as a credible threat, the British Invasion will probably be completely pussed out by Team 3D.  

Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca
Who gives a flying flip? The only winners are the people not watching this match.

Tara vs. Angelina Love (Knockouts title):
This match hasn’t been posted anywhere, but they specifically announced it during “Impact.” Tara retains. She may have won the title too soon, but now that she has it, she shouldn’t lose it right away. Chasing the title gives more fuel to the tension between The Beautiful People anyway.

Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie
This has gone on long enough. Abyss needs a decisive win if he’s going to have any shred of credibility as “The Monster.” He certainly could, it isn’t too late, but a loss here, even through skullduggery, could be the proverbial last nail in the coffin. He’s not a monster if he loses to Dr. Stevie all the time. Lauren and Daffney could get involved. Wouldn’t it be great if Raven came back here?

Matt Morgan vs. Daniels
Matt Morgan wins. This is shaping up to be a Main Event Mafia-dominated ppv, and a Morgan win would give him more ammunition to use in pestering the MEM to let him join. If he loses, that whole story is pretty much done. This match really hasn’t been built up much when compared to other MEM-related matches.

That’s it for me until Sunday. A review of “Victory Road” will be posted here sometime on Monday. Check back here soon for a review of “Smackdown,” ThinkSoJoe’s Thoughts,” and the super mega ultra popular “JT’s Random Randomness.” You know you read it.

Peace out,

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