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   Mon, April 11, 2011



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Countdown to TNA Victory Road
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling




If you listen to all the Internet buzz, Victory Road might not be an appropriate title for this month's pay-per-view from TNA.

The word making its way around the IWC is that the promotion is in dire straits and is looking to make one more (and perhaps final) change in focus and personnel to right the sinking ship -- that change being Paul Heyman.

From the speculators, TNA's higher ups want Heyman to debut tonight; and if so, it would seem logical that he would be at the helm of the burgeoning ECW faction.

How that motley crew, regardless of Heyman, comes in to play among the angles that are actually well established tonight remains to be seen, but there are several entry points that they could use. Let's take a closer look at tonight's card.


TNA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (Fatal Four Way)

RVD vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Abyss

Apparently WWE's gimmick last month was so successful that TNA decided to copy it; and that means they'll also copy the result -- a title change. Hardy and Anderson at this point have a decent feud brewing and bringing in the belt doesn't do anything to enhance the angle in truth. That means Abyss is getting the gold, which inevitably means it'll go to Hogan if the booking team stays intact. Paul E., for the love of God, stop the madness!
X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH (Ultimate X)

Douglas Williams vs. Brian Kendrick

I'm still not buying Kendrick as a face, but any chance to see Williams is okay by me. The obvious angle that TNA will do here is that Williams won't win with the submission stip, but instead embrace his x-iness and climb to win. There's no question here, Williams keeps the gold.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH (Title vs. Career)

Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne

The build to this match has been pretty well done but a third consecutive title vs. career match is wearing the angle thin. With the Beautiful People not being allowed to interfere, you get the feeling that von Erich will still make her way in and "absent mindedly" cost Rayne the belt, only for it to be discovered later that she did it on purpose to fully turn babyface.
  GRUDGE MATCH

Ric Flair vs. Jay Lethal
 

If Flair was younger I'd be looking forward to this bout; as is, I'm just hoping he wears a tee-shirt in the ring. Lethal's been spot on in his impressions and you know he'll put it all out tonight; I fear, however, that this will end in a DQ. Before the bout tonight though, check out Greg Oliver's interview with Jay.
  CONTENDERS MATCH

Kurt Angle vs. D'Angelo Dinero
 

This is Pope's return match, which makes the timing of it being Kurt's next ascension match unfortunate. We'll get a really strong bout but there's no way Kurt's losing.
  GRUDGE MATCH (Steel Cage)

Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
 

If only last month's match hadn't happened. I'm really not caring about this bout at all. Look for Hernandez to take the bout.
  TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns
 

Unquestionably, these are TNA's two best tag teams; and even though these two have crossed paths before, the bout still feels fresh because of the strong mix of other tandems that have come and gone. The likely scenario is that Beer Money takes the gold, but it really could go either way.
  GRUDGE MATCH

Brother Ray vs. Jesse Neal vs. Brother Devon
 

I'm still liking the build and TNA has been executing this angle perfectly; but I fear that Devon will "double cross" Neal and this will just be a slaughter.
  GRUDGE MATCH

Kazarian/AJ Styles vs. ???
 

If this was even five years ago I'd say the opponents are original Horsemen members -- a one-off for Dean Malenko and another alumnus wouldn't be out of the question. Now though, the only conceivable participants would be Sting and Lex Luger and neither were exactly buddies with Flair long enough to be memorable men who held up the four fingers. I suspect that it's going to be the former Team Angle tandem of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, who will be revealed to be the real members of Fortune.
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VICTORY ROAD HISTORY