Hollow Victory for Roode
By Phil Allely
TNA’s Victory Road PPV was primarily a one match card. That match was World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode versus Sting in a non-title ‘No Holds Barred’ revenge encounter. With Sting back on top form and Roode building his reputation as top company bad guy this was built up as a good old fashioned ‘heel/face’ war.
As a main event this was a fine effort from both men. Veteran Sting especially deserves credit for once again turning back the clock, the ‘you’ve still got it’ chants were well deserved here. Battling in and out of the ring and trading near falls, this was a pretty even scrap, until the finish that is.
Recently we have seen Roode take any route he can to retain his gold, here it was Sting himself who gave him the assist. The Stinger misjudged a ‘scorpion death drop’ and struck his own head on a discarded steel chair, leaving Bobby the opportunity to make the cover.
Post-match Roode gave TNA President Dixie Carter loads of verbal abuse and beat down Sting.
Victory Road kicked off with a short match that went down well, but wasted the talent involved. James Storm superkicked Bully Ray to net himself the No 1 contender spot for the World Title. Ray’s speech lasted longer than the swift match.
The X Division picked things up next, champ Austin Aries tackled Zema Ion in a nicely paced battle. Aries retained with a ‘brainbuster’/submission move combo.
Matt Morgan and Crimson’s attempt to wrestle the Tag Team belts from Samoa Joe and Magnus failed as the duo once again let their ego’s take control. A frustrated Crimson dropped his partner to allow the champs the chance to take the win.
The only title change of the night saw Devon overcome Robbie E (and big Robbie T) with an assist from Brooke Hogan of all people.
Knockouts Title holder Gail Kim successfully defended her championship next, opponent Madison Rayne worked hard in this one, both ladies gelled well to create a nice in-ring story too.
Combos Mr Anderson/Jeff Hardy and Daniels/Kazarian then put forth a decent, but slightly pedestrian match-up. There were plenty of near falls, high risk moves and double teams, but they lacked something in delivery, Styles nailed a ‘Styles Clash’ on Kaz for the win.
Jeff Hardy continued his career rejuvenation with an impressive fight with Olympic Hero Kurt Angle. With Hardy and Angle in the (Impact!) zone there was no stopping them from pulling out all of the stops. The finish came after a hard looking Hardy ‘swanton’ left Jeff prone to a rope-assisted pin by Kurt.
Victory Road was an OK event for TNA, but lacked balance, storyline progression and yet again featured too many cheap shot finishes for our liking.
Roode’s berating of Carter certainly incited the reaction intended and will surely set him up for a fall at the hands of the company President. Here’s hoping Lockdown (with its steel cage Storm/Roode Title match) can bring things back to an even kilter for TNA and offer less muddled or confusing finishes as well.