Re: Official TNA DVD Help/Discussion/Review Thread
I just got done watching Victory Road 2004, TNA's first ever 3 Hour PPV. In November 2004, TNA fans saw a full legnth PPV from TNA Wrestling, and it ended up being quite a unique show.
First of all, let me say that TNA has changed alot since 2004. It was really weird going back and watching some of the stars back then. Some of them are still with the company today, but are completely different from what they were back then, while the focus of the promotion was on guys who aren't even with the company anymore (Monty Brown, Jeff Hardy, Raven, AMW, XXX, 3LK, just to name a few) And the way the promo vids were set up back then were pretty weak, or at least way beneath what they are able to do now. But it was really cool to go back and watch TNA in the very early stages of transitioning from the weekly PPV format, to TV once a week and a PPV once a month.
- The PPV opened up with an amazing opening video, which would become somewhat of a trademark for TNA PPVs. They highlighted some of the key wrestlers like AJ, Monty, Hardy, and Jarrett, and basically said that TNA was entering a new era, which it certainly was.
- To get the crap out of the way, they had this running angle through the show where the fans would elect either Dusty Rhodes & Vince Russo to the Director of Authority position. Didn't give a damn about this at all.
- The opening match was a doozy. A 20 Man X Division Gauntlet. This was a really fun match with TNA X Division favorites like Kazarian (Kaz), Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Matt Bentley, & Amazing Red clashing with international talents like LA Park (La Parka), Hector Garza, Psichosis, and a few others. It was a very fun and spot filled match pretty much from start to finish, with a really cool Tower of Doom spot. Even guys I don't care much for like Jason Cross managed to work in something that got my attention. Kazarian was the most impressive as he went from start to finish, eventually losing to Hector Garza at the end. I also remember this match as the one where Alex Shelley finally showed some personality as he faked an injury to take himself out of the match and get back in when he was rested.
- The next match was a filler match. An 8 Man Tag: The Naturals, Kid Kash, & Dallas (Lance Hoyt) vs. Erik Watts, Pat Kenney (Simon Diamond), Ron Killings, & Johnny B. Badd. It was a decent action packed match up, much to my surprise. There wasn't much rhyme or reason to this match other than wanting to cram 8 more guys onto the card & kill time, but it was definately not a bad way to do it as the match was good. Killings' team won the match after it boiled down into a gangwar in and out of the ring.
- The Minis were action next as Mascarita Sagrada took on Pirata Morgan. Maybe I'm just insane, but I found this mildly entertaining. There were some funny antics with the referee, and it was kept short, so once again it was entertaining filler. Sagrada got the win.
- We were then greeted by Scott Hall who came into the Impact Zone. He told the crowd that he would be watching the main event of Jarrett vs. Hardy in a Ladder Match and that his Outsiders partner Kevin Nash would not be at Victory Road to be in Hardy's corner as promised. He finishes off with "May the best Jeff win" This was actually a really cool segment.
- Next was the first title match of the night as 3LK challenged Team Canada for the tag gold. Much to my surprise, this was actually a good match. For some reason, it never quite boiled down into the same 3LK match that they would do on Impact every week and the Canadians did a great job of working with them. Robert Roode & Eric Young have come a long way since this, but they showed great signs of potential even back then, especially Roode. 3LK won the tag straps in one of the better matches I've ever seen them in. It wasn't great by any means, but by 3LK standards, it was about as good as you could get (especially with the BG/Konnan pairing)
I know I asked about the 3LK DVD a while back and what was on it. This match HAS to be on there. They didn't have too many that were better.
- We then got "In the Pit with Piper" (I guess WWE owns the name Piper's Pit or something) Roddy Piper brought out his special guest, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, and asked him to even the score and hit him with a coconut! I guess Piper felt bad about it and wanted to even things up. Snuka refused to do it, and Kid Kash came out to disrespect the legends. Kaz & Bentley then helped Kash beat down on Snuka as Piper tried to help, but it would be Sonjay Dutt that would finally even things out. Just when it looked like the heels were done, Kash took the coconut and smashed it over Sonjay Dutt's head. This segment came off pretty well. It referenced an amazing moment from the past, and shined the light on some younger stars. This set up a six man X Division tag match at Turning Point.
- We got another quick match next as Trinity (remember her?) took on her mystery opponent Jacqueline. At first, Trinity celebrated citing that nobody showed, and began to party with the New York Connection (Glen Gilberti & Johnny Swinger) before Jackie jumped her. Jackie seemed to have Trinity outmatched, but it was inteference from Gilberti & Swinger that turned the tide, giving Trinity the win. Not much else ot say besides that. It wasn't bad, but very short and I question why this was even included. I mean the midgit match was at least funny.
- Now onto one of the more memorable matches from this show: The First Ever Monster's Ball. This match included Monty Brown, Abyss, & Raven, and with those three, it was guaranteed fun for the viewer. During the PPV, they showed clips of the three men locked in a room without food or water for 24 hours, (which used to be part of the Monster's Ball Match) and it was actually pretty cool that they took the gimmick that far (and Raven & Monty cut great promos)
Now if you look at a lot of Hardcore matches before this, and alot of the ones TNA has done since then, this is nothing overly special. However, TNA fans had rarely seen hardcore violence quite like this, especially not since Impact debuted in Orlando, so this was the start of something that was somewhat new to TNA. These three meshed incredibly well, with all three of them basically doing their normal routine, and some really cool hardcore spots, including Abyss' first plunge into the dreaded thumbtacks. Monty got the win after Pouncing Raven through a table. An entertaining end to an entertaining match, and probably my pick for MOTN.
- From hardcore to pure wrestling, the X Title was on the line as Petey Williams defended the gold against "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles. Now to me, this was the match that solidified Petey Williams as champion as very few people expected him to win this match, so when he did, it was actually a bit of a surprise. The crowd was really into this match too, and that helped alot. Many complained that the match was too short (about 10 minutes) but IMO, it was about as good a 10 minute match as you'll ever see, as it was very good. There have been much better X Title matches, but this one will always be fondly remembered since it was the first on a 3 Hour PPV.
- Ok, this next match was a complete trainwreck, and I can't believe I'm saying this. AMW vs. XXX in a "Last Team Standing Match" was a bomb. First of all, the gimmick of a Last Man Standing Match is overkill for a tag team, meaning that both memebers of the team would have to be pinned, and then the referee would count to 10. Not only that, but it was under regular tag rules. Now I don't care too much about how long a match is usually, but for that kind of match to work, you need to give the teams at least 20-25 minutes just to get a proper flow and allow enough time inbetween eliminations. Another major problem was Elix Skipper getting a concussion during the match and completely fucking everything up. Nobody can really fault him for it, but the match just tanked because of it. He even kicked out of the finish. This match was just a mess, and definately the worst of the AMW/XXX feud by far. They would have been better off just doing a regular match. Fortunately, the atroicity is somewhat saved as XXX beat down AMW after AMW got the win, meaning that both teams would get a chance to redeem themselves and the feud (which they did exceptionally well)
- Dusty Rhodes won the DOA election and gives a speech while also setting up AMW vs. XXX in Six Sides of Steel for the Next PPV.
- And the main event was Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett in a Ladder Match for Jarrett's World Title. The match itself was one of Hardy's better one on one showings in TNA. They did some cool things with the ladder and the interferance from Hall added alot. There were some minor botches, but overall, they were able to do well with the match. The finish saw Kevin Nash make his appearance and turn on Hardy to allign with Jarrett. I don't know, but the visual of The Outsiders & Jarrett swatting at Hardy with Guitars was pretty funny. Jarrett retained the gold.
After the match, we got what was definately the best part of the whole PPV. The heels, soon to be named The Kings of Wrestling, laid out an open challenge to anybody willing to stop them. The first one out was AJ Styles who immediately took down Hall & Jarrett, and had a staredown with Nash (which got a great response) Despite the courage, AJ got taken down by the 3 on 1 advantage. 3LK then gave it a try and got beat down. All of a sudden the lights went out and "Oh yeeeeeah!" was heard and MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE came out. Security held Savage back as The Kings of Wrestling made a run for it, thus ending the PPV.
Now I can see people going back and watching this and giving it bad reviews. There are no grand mat classics, and nothing that I would call a truly great match. However, the show had a very high energy and gave us some pretty memorable moments. I would group this along with PPVs like Wrestlemania 1 & ECW: One Night Stand (2005) I'm not saying Victory Road is as good as those legendary shows, but there are similarities in that there were no great matches, but the sum was greater than the parts.
That's not to say this PPV doesn't provide good matches. Most of them were, and there were some really cool moments to compliment them like Savage's debut & Piper's Pit. Overall, I'd say this PPV is definately worth picking up. It's not one of TNA's best, but one of the more memorable ones, probably because it was the first.
1) Monster's Ball
2) AJ vs. Petey
3) X Gauntlet
4) Hardy vs. Jarrett
5) 3LK vs. Team Canada
6) Nats/Kash/Dallas vs. Truth/Watts/Kenney/Badd
7) Sagrada vs. Morgan
8) Trinity vs. Jackie
9) AMW vs. XXX