Oh what could have been.

There were high hopes for TNA’s Victory Road, it was necessary for the company to pull off a great show in order to secure their future. Sadly, there weren’t a great deal of positives stemming from TNA’s first stab at a three hour Sunday night pay per view aside from the crowd was red hot and on their feet most of the night.

In between lengthy talking segments, many of the matches that were expected to be good were, while others disappointed. Unfortunately what the lasting image in fans minds will not be the exciting contest between AJ Styles and Petey Williams, but instead the horrible screwjob finish to a sloppy ladder match, the debuts of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and the cliffhanger ending.

The headlining ladder match featured NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett defending against Jeff Hardy and started off well with some creative spots such as Hardy wedging Jarrett in the ladder and standing on the braces to squeeze him. However things degenerated into a sloppy mess as the match progressed. Scott Hall showed up at ringside and hit Hardy with “The Edge” off the ladder. However that seemed to be all Hall could do, as he seemingly has forgotten to bump. Every time Hardy hit a move on him, he stumbled around and then slightly fell, including selling the twist of fate like a stunner.

Hardy used the ladders as a catapult to slam into Jarrett’s chin, which received a huge pop, as did both men scaling a giant ladder and falling to the rampway, crushing Hall under the ladder. However two attempts by Hardy for a sunset-flip bomb (once off the ladder, the other on the apron) failed miserably. Things came to a merciful end when Kevin Nash, who fans were told all night would not be there, strutted to the ring, handed Hall a guitar and took turns hitting Hardy on the ladder before Jarrett smashed a guitar over his head and grabbed the belt.

Nash made fun of Hardy’s green body paint, stating “Hardy is green with envy because he stood next to me at the urinal earlier today.” He said they were taking over, and taking the money and laid down a challenge to anyone in the locker room. Styles came out and made a brief offensive flurry and was joined by Three Live Kru. Killing was hit with “The Edge” and James was powerbombed before the camera cut to a Limo that had been parked outside the building all night. A pair of boots and a trenchcoat was seen, making fans think it was Sting. Instead, Pomp and Circumstance played as Randy Savage headed to ringside and the show faded to black.

The other high profile bout between Cruiserweight champion Petey Williams and challenger AJ Styles fulfilled expectations as a fast-paced, exciting contest but was far too short. Had they been given another ten minutes it would have been a show saving bout but it didn’t have enough time to truly become a classic. The crowd was torn with dueling chants of “Let’s go AJ” and “Let’s Go Petey.” A crisp, opening sequence saw both men outside and Styles attempting a moonsault off the apron, Williams ducking, Styles connecting with a kick and then hitting a dive over the top. The two men repeatedly tried to hit their finishers but it was constantly blocked. Williams tried to hit Styles with the hockey stick, but the official took it away, allowing Petey to hit Styles with the belt for a two count. Styles rammed Petey into the the corner and tried a superplex but was shoved off. Petey leapt off the second rope and right into a Canadian Destroyer to retain his belt.

The next TNA Pay Per View is “Turning Point” December 5

Victory Road 2004 Results

Match 1: 20 Man X-Division Gauntlet.

The way Gauntlet matches work is that two men start, every 60 seconds a new man enters, and elimination is over the top rope. The last two men remaining go for a pinfall. There will be debate between whether this match or Styles/Williams was the match of the night. There weren’t graphics with the names of each competitor, so fans had to rely on Mike Tenay to tell us who guys like Puma, Jason Cross and Matt Sydal were. Former WWE star Brian “Spanky” Kendrick received a loud ovation as did L.A. Park (formerly known as La Parka) and Hector Garza. The match did have some fun spots including a corkscrew 630 from Jerelle Clark, a twisting asai moonsault by Matt Sydal and the “Tower of Doom” holy crap powerbombsuperplex. Things boiled down to Garza and first entrant Frankie Kazarian. Garza missed a twisting moonsault but blocked a crucifix attempt to win a X-Division Title Match.

Order of Entry

1. Frankie Kazarian. 2. Sonjay Dutt. 3. Puma. 4. L.A. Park. 5. Jerelle Clark. 6. Kazushi Miyamoto. 7 Michael Shane. 8. Hector Garza. 9. Nosawa. 10. Mikey Batts. 1.Alex Shelley. 12. Matt Sydal. 13. Sonny Siaki. 14. Jason Cross. 15. Shark Boy. 16. Psicosis. 17.D-Ray 3000. 18. Amazing Red. 19. Spanky. 20. Chris Sabin

Order of Elimination

1. Puma. 2. Jerelle Clark. 3. Kazushi Miyamoto. 4. Sonjay Dutt. 5. L.A. Park. 6. Nosawa. 7. Mikey Batts. 8. Matt Sydal. 9. D-Ray 3000. 10. Shark Boy. 11. Alex Shelly. 12. Sonny Siaki. 13. Michael Shane. 14. Jason Cross. 15. Psicosis. 16. Amazing Red. 17. Spanky. 18. Chris Sabin

Winner: Hector Garza at 26:38

Rating: 9/10

Garza was interviewed after the match and then Scott Hudson talked about the vote for Director of Authority between Dusty Rhodes and Vince Russo. Rhodes had won Texas, Russo, New York and there was a computer breakdown in Stamford. We paid how much for this? The Naturals, Kid Kash and Dallas were interviewed.

Match 2: Johnny B. Badd, Pat Kenny, Erik Watts and Ron Killings vs. Kid Kash, Dallas, Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas.

Killings really did not belong in this match, and Badd doesn’t have the moustache anymore. We need the moustache, especially for the Little Richard gimmick. Pointless filler and a quick match that saw Dallas miss a moonsault. Stevens was hit with a top rope hurricanrana by Badd and then pinned by Killings.

Winners: Johnny B. Badd, Ron Killings, Erik Watts and Pat Kenny at 4:45

Rating: 2/10

Shane Douglas tried to approach a limo parked outside and was not happy that the driver refused to give him access. Douglas assumed it was Kevin Nash. Know what happens when you ass-u-me Shane?

Match 3: Mascarita Sagrada vs. Pirita Morgan

Sagrada was Max Mini in WWE. A quick filler match that didn’t live up to his old WWF matches.

Winner: Mascarita Sagrada

Hype for the Monsters Ball match began with an interview with Abyss using a “night vision camera.” The three men were locked in dark rooms with no food or water for 24 hours to prepare for the match. Scott Hall hit the ring, sporting a dye-job and promised “Jeff” would win the bout and that Nash wasn’t there.

Match 4: NWA Tag Team Championship – Team Canada’s Bobby Roode & Eric Young (Champions) vs. Three Live Kru’s Konnan and BG James (Challengers.)

Another short match that saw 3LK maintain control for most of it. When Coach D’Amore tried to interfere Ron Killings got involved, allowing Konnan to hit Bobby Roode for the win.

Winners:… and new NWA Tag Team Champions… Three Live Kru at 6:32. Rating: 3/10

More talky-talk as Raven cut a wicked promo inside the dark room, waiting to be released to hurt someone. A Vince Russo political ad also aired.

In the “Again, why did I pay for this department” “In The Pit With Piper” ran. Roddy Piper’s special guest was Jimmy Snuka. The segment was insanely pointless and rambling, as Piper tried to get Snuka to hit him with a coconut like Piper did to “end his career” but Snuka refused. Kid Kash interrupted and tried to attack Snuka who blocked it. Kazarian and Shane attacked Snuka, Sonjay Dutt made the save, and I left confused. What the hell?

Abyss cut a promo in his dark room of DOOOOM!!!

Match 5: Trinity vs. Mystery Person.

Trinity came out with Glenn Gilberti and Johnny Swinger. She cut a promo that the person was a no show, and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Miss Jackie attacked Trinity. In a matter of minutes she did more than she was permitted to do in WWE, including a dive onto all three and a release German suplex. Jaqueline peppered Trinity with punches in the corner but Swinger snapped her neck over the top rope. This allowed Trinity to hit the moonsault for the pin.

Winner: Trinity at 1:51

Rating: 1/10

More election BS followed by an interview with Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper.

Match 6: Monsters Ball Match – Abyss vs. Raven vs. Monty Brown.

Another match that was far too short, and not as violent as people were expecting. All three staggered to the ring blinded by the bright lights after being in the dark for 24 hours. They brawled around ringside and hit each other with garbage cans as a hooded mystery man watched from the balcony. Brown hit a impressive powerslam on the 6’8″, 300+ pound Abyss. The masked man rebounded and pulled out a bag, dumping thumbtacks on the mat as the crowd chanted “Foley.” Abyss tried to superplex Brown but Raven snuck in and powerbombed Abyss onto the tacks, eliciting a shocked and excited reaction from the fans. Raven set up a table in the ring, then sent Abyss crashing off the apron through a table at ringside, before being pounced through the table by Brown.

Winner: Monty Brown at 8:27

Rating: 7/10

Douglas and Don Harris got into a shouting match over the fact that Douglas couldn’t talk to Nash. Scott Hudson interviewed Petey Williams and Coach D’Amore. D’Amore swore that if Petey didn’t retain, he was marching back to Windsor, Ontario (Cheap Pop!) and would never be seen again. The thought of losing his coach shocked Williams.

Match 7: X-Division Championship – Petey Williams (Champion) vs. AJ Styles (Challenger)

Winner:… and still X-Division Champion: Petey Williams

Rating: 8/10

Match 8: Last Man Standing Match: Triple-X vs. America’s Most Wanted.

Words I never, ever thought I would utter about a match featuring Christopher Daniels: This match was horrible. A total sloppy mess that left the fans confused as to the rules. After a pinfall the wrestler had ten seconds to get to their feet or they were eliminated. James Storm was eliminated in 2:00 with a chair shot. Daniels was eliminated after a second rope legdrop. How, I don’t know. Harris hit the Catatonic to pin Skipper and keep him down for the ten count. Considering the absolute classic matches these two teams had in 2003, including an amazing cage match, this was a complete dissapointment. Daniels and Skipper handcuffed AMW together and assaulted them with chairs after the match.

Winners: America’s Most Wanted at 11:15

Rating: 0/10

Hudson interviewed Jarrett, whose only goal was to climb the ladder and get his belt. In the ring Tenay announced Dusty Rhodes won the vote 55.6 to 44.4 percent. He rambled for a bit and announced a six sides of steel match between XXX and AMW on the December 5 PPV. A fan in the front row had a sign that said “Sign everyone but A-Train.”

Match 9: Ladder Match for the NWA Title – Jeff Jarrett (Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy (Challenger.)

Winner:… and still NWA Champion… Jeff Jarrett at 18:34

Rating: 5/10.

Overall Event Rating: 5/10