Loved the opening promo by Bully Ray. He's a top 5 heel in the business today, just look at the reaction he gets from the crowd. Basically, he's doing his job well.
A solid response from James Storm, helped to put him over as the gutsy, tough, don't-give-a-damn babyface I'm okay with the quick finish because Storm is coming off having off of surgery and Ray can regain his heat with one promo.
My only issue with the match was the commentary at the finish. Tenay and Taz did a poor job of putting over the moment. Both should have acted more excited, impressed and stunned by the quick finish. Instead, Tenay and Taz both seemed like they were reciting scripted lines and didn't show near enough emotion. Tenay especially does a horrible job of portraying genuine emotions.
Still, the pre-match promos were entertaining and effective, while the match itself only added to that purpose. Overall, good stuff.
Grade: B -
Backstage interview – Austin Aries Interesting that Bischoff berated Borash here. Hard to say if the twitter incident was a work or not, certainly TNA is taking an opportunity to try and turn it into some type of angle, but I'm still not sure if the initial incident was scripted. I just can't imagine a real reason to have Bischoff and Borash involved in an angle together. X-Division Championship Austin Aries vs Zema Ion
Great stuff as expected from Austin Aries and his X-Division. Aries is getting over as the “cool heel good guy” and I'm going to have to buy a cape soon. The more the match went on the more the crowd got behind Aries. Ion deserves a lot of credit as well. He seems to keep getting better every week and shows a ton of potential.
The match got a bit sloppy at times, but the finish was creative and effective in furthering Aries' face push. Also, loved how they teased and highlighted the Pendulum Elbow. Who's wants to see it?! ME! ME! ME!
Grade: B +
Tag Team Championship Samoa Joe & Magnus vs Matt Morgan & Crimson
Everyone knew what was coming, but that didn't steal the heat from the moment. Great job from TNA gong all the way with the Morgan and Even though the in-ring work wasn't anything too special, it was effective in putting over Morgan as a monster babyface and hotshots Crimson down his future heel path. Also, Tenay and Taz continued to do a solid job putting over Joe & Magnus as a dominant tag team.
And the pre-match Motor City Machine Guns promo video was completely awesome. Honestly, one of the coolest promo videos TNA has ever done.
Backstage Interview – Bobby Roode
More excellent mic work from TNA's Champion. Liked how they hyped the showdown between Storm at Lockdown, but it also makes the outcome of tonight's main event even more obvious and Still, probably a good choice to take the opportunity to build the more important main event now.
Open TV Title Challenge Robbie E. vs Devon
Could a sudden and shocking win from Devon help put some interest in the TV Title? Only if TNA actually books the TV Title on Impact every week probably not. I just hope they don't have Bully Ray feud with Devon, for some reason I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
A quick match, but the crowd was behind Devon as usual. However, its likely that the longer the match went on, the less enthusiastic the nostalgia pop for Devon becomes, so strike while the iron is hot. And it's hard for the match to get boring when it's so short. Plus, Devon always gets support from the crowd, he just seems like too nice of a guy to boo I guess?
Backstage Interview – Dixie Carter
Good to see TNA hit the road, I'm guessing by the end of 2012 they'll be totally out of the Impact Zone, or let's hope so. More surprises in the coming weeks? John Morrison perhaps?
Knockout's Championship Gail Kim vs Madison Rayne
I have to admit that I took a bathroom break during the beginning of the match. This feud just doesn't interest me at all and it feels like there are better ways to put over Kim as a face. Just not very inspired booking in my opinion. Hopefully, TNA can move onto more interesting feuds with Velvet and Mickie James. Honestly, I just feel like the knockouts division needs some fresh blood, Kim doesn't offer anything TNA fans haven't already seen. The knockout's division needs to get its edge back.
Grade: C -
Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs AJ Styles & Mr. Anderson
Solid outing from these four. Anderson showed some ring rust and didn't look quite as in-shape with his gut exposed, but a passable performance overall. A few nice spots from Styles, Kaz, and Daniels.
This angle is really beginning to feel like a jumbled mess and it's pretty obvious the booking team has changed directions a few times. Still, it's managing to keep my interest a bit, and all that really matters is if they can find a strong pay-off. Looks like things will continue to Lockdown with Anderson involved now.
We might be seeing Anderson vs Daniels at Lockdown or maybe a 4-way dance between these guys? The announcers referenced the “hatred” between Daniels and Anderson a couple times, and also Anderson took out Daniels in the finish to highlight his involvement in the feud.
Backstage Promo – Angle & Jeff Hardy
Blah Blah Blah.....filler promos.....
Kurt Angle vs Jeff Hardy
The only member of TNA's active roster that rivals Hardy's reaction is James Storm in recent months.
All things considered, a pretty damn good match from these two in-ring veterans. They definitely deserved the “this is awesome” chants for their impressive effort. A couple impressive spots, a little blood, a few near falls, and I really liked that Angle went over at the end. Keeps things interesting and actually adds some interest to their feud. And that Swanton at the end was truly sick.
Grade: A -
Backstage interview – Tweeting with Sting
It's tweet mania at TNA! Loved that Sting mocked the “tweeting and facebooking”, it echoes the intelligence of the booking from TNA in recent months. They have self-awareness...always a strong sign of high IQ. Let's get ready to wrestle!
TNA Heavyweight Championship – No Holds Barred Match Bobby Roode vs Sting
A small gripe – why not have the Champion come out last? Call me a traditionalist...or worse. I just don't really see the point. I feel like if the match is booked well, then the crowd will retain their heat throughout the match, so it just feels like a cheap, lazy, and desperate attempt to get some affection. Oh yeah, I forgot, it's TNA.
Obligatory TNA insult...CHECK!
A decent match. Would have liked to see them go another 4-5 minutes with a couple more close falls before the finish, which felt a bit rushed. Still, can't fault the effort too much from a 52-year old wrestler. And that last spot was pretty nasty.
The post match stuff wasn't for everyone and I have no idea why Storm didn't make the save Grade: B +
TNA Victory Road 2012
Best match: Kurt Angle vs Jeff Hardy
Worst match: Gail Kim vs Madison Rayne
Overall: TNA came through with a solid show. Aries/Ion, Angle/Hardy, and Roode/Sting were all standout matches, and nothing else on the card was horrible or unbearable to watch, which is a big accomplishment for TNA. They progressed feuds and continued their improved booking since Bruce Pritchard has taken over as head-booker from Vince Russo.
Bottomline, I was entertained and I'm actually looking forward to watching Impact this week
I did not mind the show, but the Twitter thing was really annoying and took the show down several notches in my book. But at least they gave some babyfaces some wins as opposed to the last PPV.
The end to the Sting/Roode match was beyond stupid. They made Sting look like a fucking idiot with the chair spot where Sting doesn't know it was there. Not only that, but it was the finish, so it didn't do Bobby Roode any favors either. They make James Storm look awesome with his quick pin on Bully Ray, and then make his Lockdown opponent Bobby Roode (the CHAMPION) look like the luckiest man in TNA. Horrible.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (facebook.com)
Sounds like a mixed bag show. Them trying to top WWE's annoying Twitter infatuation (do people watching a wrestling show really give a shit about who's trending?), them doing another Bischoff/Borash storyline (because the last one was so productive), Crimson finally turning on Morgan to set up their likely awful rematch I doubt many want to see, Devon returning and winning a belt (at least it wasn't Garett), Brooke Hogan getting involved in anything, Roode winning because Sting knocked himself out, and a Dixie-related angle closing the show sound like bad ideas. The match featuring one of the guys in next month's main event going a minute seemingly because said guy was injured isn't great either. I hope they figure out a good way to not have Storm wrestle until Lockdown to be safe. At least Aries retained, AJ wasn't made to look like a fool again, Angle & Hardy apparently had a really, really good match and the Machine Guns are finally returning soon. It's too bad they did so little with Shelley the 10 or so months while Sabin was out and the Guns are coming back to an incredibly weak division, but at least it looks like they're going to hype up their return and may make it seem like a bigger deal. It's also too bad that once again, it appears Aries doesn't have a credible challenger waiting in the wings. Here's hoping Lockdown will be a stronger overall show than this one sounded like it was.
Heard Meltzer on the Law radio show and he said all the twitter references were probably Lagana's doing as he's obsessed with twitter. Meltzer did say he would need to have it cleared with Bischoff or Dixie though. The twitter talk made a bad broadcast team even worse than usual. Storm not running out to save Sting and Dixie made no sense because in the middle of the show he cut a promo saying he wanted to fight not wrestle Roode last night. Devon being the TV champ while Doug Williams sits a home does suck. If Storm couldn't wrestle a full match why not just have a confrontation with Bully and take him out with the last call super kick instead of beating him in a minute? Sucks that they might be turning Aries face Aries is a awesome heel keep him a heel and build up some baby faces for him. Glad The MCMG are coming back soon hopefully at Lockdown as the tag team division is dead. Anderson and Styles Vs Daniels and Kaz was really good, but again the storyline is all over the place. Hardy Vs Angle was fantastic with the right finish. Roode Vs Sting was much better than expected, but I didn't like the finish. The finish just make Roode look lucky have him at least place the chair in that spot before the scorpion deathdrop so he at least looks smart. The post match stuff was eyerolling, but at least it got Roode heat as the fans started up a fire Bobby chant. All in all, not a bad PPV with some pretty good action. I just wish Roode would have been booked stronger going into Lockdown.
When I was reading the Victory Road reports, and read that Dixie was ringside, I figured Bully Ray would interfere and go after Dixie, and distract Sting leading to Roode hitting Sting with the spear, and get the win even that would be better than the real finish.
As far as the MCMG I hope they'll be back in time for Lockdown, unless it meant Sabin was coming back too early and risking further injury, but the last report I saw gave me the impression that Sabin would be out slightly longer than that. If they do return in time for Lockdown, I'd kind of like to see them have a non-title match on that show. TNA has never really had the Guns chase the belts for more than 3-4 weeks at a time and I think it'd be smart to finally do a longer chase when they return. Them being out for a year and having to spend a month or two (somewhat) working their way back up instead of getting shots right away could add heat to such a storyline. That'd also give Joe & Magnus a chance to build themselves up more before TNA does the closest thing the tag division currently has to a big match and prevent them from doing said match with only a week or two of build since I figure the Guns will just be in promo videos the next few weeks. If done right, you can get something out of the Guns' 1st match as a team in over a year and their 1st tag title match in over a year as two PPV matches instead of one. The big problem with that, however, is that the division is super weak so there really isn't an obvious team other than the champs to have the Guns wrestle and making them jump through hoops to get a title shot may be hard to sell when you have things like Tony Nese, Kid Kash, Sarita & Rosita and some random team getting random title shots on this week's Impact despite doing nothing recently to warrant said shots. There's seemingly no other team for Joe & Magnus to feud with either.
Putting the TV title on Devon was the right move, if they are going to keep him around for another year. Giving him a singles title before Bully Ray gets one makes Devon seem less overshadowed. Devon is not on the same level as Bully, but you still don't want him to seem like a complete afterthought.
Anyway, my preference is for TV title reigns to be fairly short, so I will be rooting for The Pope to win it next.
To me the TV title is as useless as Garrett Bischoff is. Devon had his time and really adds nothing as a singles wrestler. He would be fine as a backstage agent, but he's got nothing left to offer anymore as a wrestler imo. I much rather see a guy like Williams get TV time or a younger guy like The Pope. I would drop the TV and Knockout tag titles.
A middle of the road show...nothing horrible, nothing great.
-Angle Vs Jeff was boring. Basically both guys running through their signature moves. If I wanted to watch early 00's WWE, I'd shit in my DVD player.
-The Roode stuff at the end was stupid as hell. Nobody runs out? At least come up with an excuse like Storm already left or Bully Ray locked the faces in the dressing room. How is he not going to get kayfabe fired? And why is he THAT pissed at Sting? I was kind of hoping he scream, "You love him so much, HERE!" And then make her kiss him.
-Aries is great and it looks like I may have called the face turn. Crowd was way into him.
-I don't remember Madison Rayne looking this good a few years ago.
-Joe and Magnus need a team name, but I'm stumped.
Originally posted by DionysusPutting the TV title on Devon was the right move, if they are going to keep him around for another year. Giving him a singles title before Bully Ray gets one makes Devon seem less overshadowed. Devon is not on the same level as Bully, but you still don't want him to seem like a complete afterthought.
He should probably be scuffling around in some kind of tag team that doesn't involve a Dudley. He's like Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo, he'll always be a more useful tag team wrestler.
Best Raw in months, I'd say, at least angle-wise. Wrestling-wise, it was a schmozzfest, but at least they were entertaining schmozzes. And I'm actually curious about where they're going with some of these angles, particularly the Austin/Jericho feud.