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Strong wrestling highlights exciting Victory Road
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Rob Van Dam reminds Mr. Anderson who he is. Photos courtesy TNAwrestling.com


On paper, TNA Victory Road 2010 looked to be one of the strongest TNA pay-per-views in some time. When the shows three-hours were up, the fans truly did see Total Nonstop Action. From the fourth match on, the show delivered behind great wrestling that saw the Motor City Machine Guns win the vacant TNA Tag Team Titles and Rob Van Dam retain the TNA World Title.

Eminating LIVE! from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla., was a nine-match show that was one of the most wrestling-intense shows in recent memory. It also was one that significantly picked up as the show went on.

The main event saw Rob Van Dam defend his TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a four-way match against Abyss, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson.

Van Dam, Hardy and Anderson all worked to eliminate Abyss in the early going. Hardy hits a cannonball onto Abyss on the outside and in the glow, Anderson tries to roll-up Van Dam. RVD kicks Anderson and goes for Rolling Thunder but is caught by Abyss, who drags him outside and throws him into the railing.

Abyss, Hardy and Van Dam all end up on the floor. Anderson hits a double sledge on Abyss. Everyone ends up back in the ring. Hardy and Anderson go to double suplex RVD from the top but before they do that, Abyss comes in and throws them all to the canvas. Van Dam recovers and runs wild. He kicks Anderson and Abyss and clotheslines Hardy. He goes to the top but is pushed off and into the edge of the stage by Anderson. Hardy hits the Whisper in the Wind on Abyss but Anderson breaks up the pin. He hits the Mic Drop on Abyss but Hardy breaks up the pin. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate on Abyss but gets pushed off and comes right back into the Black Hole Slam. Abyss with the cover but Anderson pulls the referee out of the ring. Hardy knocks Abyss out of the ring and now it's Anderson and Hardy in the ring and they start brawling. Lots of counters here between both men. Hardy with a shot to the head and he hits the Twist of Fate. He goes to the top and hits the Swanton but Abyss is right there to choke slam him right onto Anderson. He goes for the pin and then RVD comes out of nowhere and hits the Frog Splash on the pile and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Rob Van Dam

Match Rating: 7/10

As Van Dam is celebrating, Abyss attacks him from behind and grabs the nailed board. He lines RVD up but he moves and Abyss rips up the canvas with it.

The next TNA pay-per-view is Hard Justice on Aug. 8.

Following a video package, Mike Tenay and Taz welcome us to the Impact Zone for tonight's show.

Match #1 - Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship - (c) Douglas Williams (The United Kingdom) vs. Brian Kendrick (Venice, Calif.)

Although this match can be won by grabbing the belt off the cables, it also can be won by submission.


Douglas Williams and Brian Kendrick battle on the Ultimate X.
Hot start to tonight's show. Williams tries to climb when Kendrick is taking his jacket off but he is cut off. Kendrick mounts Williams on the turnbuckle and delivers an old-school 10 punches but Williams immediately rebounds and locks in a bridging chinlock. Kendrick, though, gets out. He tries to lock in the cobra clutch but can't do it. He keeps going back to it with no avail. Williams gets out of one by ramming Kendrick into the corner. Williams goes to the top but Kendrick hangs him in a tree of woe. He looks to lock in the clutch but the angle is too odd. Kendrick starts to climb but Williams pulls himself up, grabs Kendick and lands back suplex off the top. On the mat, Kendrick tries to lock it in again but Williams gets out of it by rolling to the floor.

Kendrick delivers a kick and goes to climb. Williams follows him up and kicks him to the floor. Kendrick is down but instead of climbing, Williams relents to his fear of heights and goes back down. On the floor, Williams pulls a pair of gloves out of his trunks and slaps Kendrick with them. He goes into the ring and puts them on and starts climbing. He's moving down the ropes. Kendrick now in pursuit. He catches up. Kendrick wraps his legs around Williams and they both go crashing down. Williams is less worse for the wear and locks in Kendrick's own move, the cobra clutch, on the hurt Kendrick and the referee raises the arm three times and that's it.

Winner via submission and STILL TNA X-Division Champion: Douglas Williams

Match Rating: 7/10

The referee has to revive Kendrick with smelling salts following the match.

Brother Ray is backstage with Christy. Ray runs down both Christy and Jesse Neal, calling both of them failures.

Match #2 - Brother Ray (New York City) vs. Jesse Neal (Orlando, Fla.) vs. Brother Devon (New York City)

Brother Ray comes out first and hides behind the stage as Neal comes out. He attacks Neal from behind. Brother Devon's music plays and he doesn't come out. They cut to the back where the Team 3D locker room is barred shut with Devon yelling for someone to let him out.

Ray goes to work on Neal in a big, big way as the crowd repeatedly tries to rally behind him. As Ray remains in complete control, Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Raven and Stevie Richards make their way through the crowd and into the stands. Ray yells at them and turns right around into a spear for two. Neal goes to work now on Ray but it doesn't last long. Ray cuts him off and grabs a steel chair. Shannon Moore comes out but referee Slick Johnson stops him, allowing Ray to wallop Neal with the chair. In a TNA moment, Johnson kicks the now-bent chair out of the way.

As Ray is gloating, Devon makes his way to the ring and he is not happy. He stares down his brother. They might kiss. Instead, they both turn their attention to Neal and Ray tries to clock Devon. He sees it coming and they get into a brawl. Neal recovers and goes for the spear, but he hits Devon instead. Ray grabs the distraught Neal and gives him the Bubba Bomb for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Brother Ray

Match Rating: 6/10


The mysterious motorcycle rider.
Match #3 - Title vs. Career Match for the TNA Knockouts Championship - (c) Madison Rayne (Columbus, Ohio) vs. Angelina Love (Toronto, Ontario)

Rayne also will lose the title if a Beautiful People member causes a disqualification.

The aggressive Love is on fire to start. She forces Rayne to flee outside of the ring. Rayne tries a sneaky back-elbow but Love ducks it and clotheslines her. But in the ring, Rayne rakes Love's eyes and takes back control. Rayne with a scissors facebuster but Love rallies with a spinning heel kick. Frustrated, Rayne goes to the outside for a chair. She brings it into the ring but Love kicks it into her face. Then, a woman comes riding into the Impact Zone on a motorcycle. She has a helmet on. Rayne knocks Love out of the ring where the stranger rams her into the post. Referee Andrew Thomas tries to de-helmet the person but she shoves him. He calls for the bell.

He goes over to Jeremy Borash, who announces that because of outside interference by The Beautiful People…

Winner via disqualification and NEW TNA Knockouts Champion: Angelina Love

Match Rating: 6/10

Instead of protesting the decision, Rayne just gets on the back of the motorcycle and rides off.

Match #4 - AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.) & Kazarian (Anaheim, Calif.) vs. Rob Terry (Cardiff, Wales) & Samoa Joe (Isle of Samoa)

Kazarian freaks out when Terry comes out and Styles freaks out when Joe comes out to the level that Taz claims Styles might have tinkled in his pants a little bit.

Styles to start against Terry but he just slaps Kazarian in the chest to tag him in before any fisticuffs. Joe in now. He stomps a mudhole in Kazarian. Kazarian goes for a springboard crossbody but Joe just walks away as the crowd chants "Joe's gonna kill you." Both Styles and Kazarian end up on the outside and Joe hits a suicide dive onto them.

But Styles and Kazarian get their act together. Styles spits in the direction of Terry, which brings him into the ring. The referee takes him which allows them to double team Joe and take control. Joe gets Styles in a bearhug and goes to tag Terry, but Kazarian comes flying in and knocks Terry off the apron. He spins Styles allowing him to hit a tornado DDT. Pele kick connects for Styles. He goes rushing at Joe in the corner but he grabs him and chucks him.

He gets to Terry. Both Styles and Kazarian in the ring. Gorilla press slam for Styles. Fallaway slam for Kazarian. Power slam for Styles and Kazarian breaks up the pin. All four men in the ring now. Joe takes Kazarian and goes for the Muscle Buster on Kazarian but Desmond Wolfe comes running to the ring and holds Joe's leg behind the referee's back. Terry takes care of Wolfe in the ring with a clothesline. Joe is outside with Wolfe. Both Kazarian and Styles are on the apron. Styles comes in with a springboard forearm. Terry staggers. Kazarian knocks him down with a springboard clothesline. Styles back to the apron and he hits the 450 Splash and that does it.

Winners via pinfall: AJ Styles & Kazarian

Match Rating: 9/10

I loved this match.

Wolfe gets in the ring to celebrate. Styles and Kazarian take off. Wolfe stays behind a few seconds when Joe comes in and attacks him and gives him the Muscle Buster. Styles and Kazarian don't care because they got their win.

Match #5 - Steel Cage Match - Matt Morgan (Fairfield, Conn.) vs. Hernandez (Houston, Texas)

Hernandez squashes Morgan against the cage twice with splashes. He goes for a shoulderblock but Morgan moves. Morgan in control. He hits the rapid fire elbows. Hernandez pulls himself off from the apron to sitting on the top turnbuckle when Morgan pastes him with the Carbon Footprint. Morgan about to escape. He puts on foot on the outside and can go out, but he doesn't. He comes back in and stomps him and rakes his head on the cage. Morgan wipes his hand across Hernandez's bloody face shows it off to the crowd and wipes it on his own chest.

Morgan with an Irish whip but Hernandez comes back with two clotheslines. Shoulderblock sends Morgan flying. Hernandez tries for the Border Toss but Morgan is just way too big for it. Hernandez gets out of the way of a charging Morgan and tries it again, this time he thankfully powerbombs him and doesn't hurt him. Hernandez starts climbing out. But he stops at the top of the cage with Morgan not moving. He goes for a splash but Morgan rolls out of the way. Morgan up first and he has handcuffs. He locks Hernandez to the top rope and headbutts him. He taunts him a little bit and starts climbing, pointing to his head. But then Hernandez just breaks the cuffs in half and goes off the ropes and busts through the cage door.

Winner via escape: Hernandez

Match Rating: 6/10


Ric Flair chops Jay Lethal.
Match #6 - Jay Lethal (Elizabeth, NJ) vs. Ric Flair (Charlotte, NC)

Lethal with a backdrop and a clothesline that sends Flair to the outside. Lethal brings him back in the ring with a vertical suplex. But Flair takes control with a thumb to the eye and he proceeds to light Lethal up with some chops, but Lethal turns the tables and chops Flair leading to a Flair Flop. Another thumb to the eye buys Flair some time as he goes to the top rope. Lethal cuts him off, naturally and hits a superplex. Lethal to the top now for a moonsault but Flair rolls out of the way.

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of TNA Victory Road?
It was great - 26%
It was okay - 13%
It sucked - 8%
Didn't see it - 53%
Flair now goes to work on Lethal's right knee as the crowd fires up dueling chants. Chop block now and Flair is strutting. More stomps and he picks up the leg and he's locked in the Figure Four Leg Lock in the middle of the ring. Flair grabs the ropes for leverage. Referee Earl Hebner finally catches him on about the fourth try and breaks the hold. Flair doesn't like this and gets in a shoving match with Hebner. Lethal from behind with a roll-up for two but he is still hurting from the extended Figure Four. Flair drags Lethal to the corner and lights him up again with more chops. Lethal comes back with punches. They exchanged a punch for a chop. Lethal off the ropes with a flying forearm. Springboard back elbow for Lethal. Flair whips him into the corner but Lethal takes the turnbuckle bump to the apron and is fine. Lethal goes for a sunset flip but he just ends up pulling Flair's trunks down.

Now Lethal goes to work on Flair's right knee. Vader Bomb right onto it. Chop block now. Now Lethal locks in the Figure Four himself. Flair fights for a few moments but has to tap.

Winner via submission: Jay Lethal

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Lethal has the mic, goes over the guardrail with his back to the crowd and says, "Hey Mom, I did it!"


The Motor City Machine Guns are the new TNA tag team champions.
Match #7 - TNA World Tag Team Championship - James Storm (Leiper's Fork, Tenn.) & Robert Roode (Wall Street) vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley (Detroit, Mich.)

Guns work the arm of Roode early but he gets the tag and one distraction later, Storm and Beer Money are in control. The referee is distracted by Sabin and that allows Roode to crotch Shelley on the post. Double vertical suplex for Beer Money. Roode whips Shelley across the ring twice and hits a gutbuster. Storm in now. Shelley with a kick but he's in the wrong corner. Roode grabs him and pulls him back but Shelley is elusive and is able to get over and bring in Sabin. He hits a tornado DDT on Roode and goes for the cover but moves when Storm goes to land an elbow, so he hits his partner.

Guns rolling now. They go for a double team but Storm pulls Sabin off the apron. Storm hits Eye of the Storm on Sabin and then it's a catapult into the double knees for Shelley but he kicks out. Beer Money goes for DWI but Sabin knocks Storm out of the way and knocks down Roode. But Storm comes back with a double clothesline. Tons of action here. Springboard crossbody for Storm from Sabin.

Roode and Shelley in the ring but Roode slingshots himself onto Sabin, but turns right around into a suicide dive from Shelley. Roode back in the ring in the corner and the Guns double kick him. Storm creeping and he crotches Shelley and spits beer into the referee's face by accident. Neckbreaker into a crossbody lands for the Guns but Earl Hebner is too late running from the back and Roode kicks out at two.

Sabin takes Storm out with a suicide dive as Shelley goes to the top rope. Crossbody but Roode rolls through just like Thursday but this time he kicks out. Trading punches now. Storm and Sabin back in the ring. Storm rolls up Sabin while Shelley covers Roode. Both Brian and Earl Henber count the different pins and we've got a disputed decision. Earl Hebner says since the finish wasn't decisive, it must be restarted.

Beer Money immediately on the attack. But the Guns turn it around. Storm crotches himself on the second rope and the Guns hit the combination neckbreaker/crossbody for the pin!

Winners via pinfall and NEW TNA World Tag Team Champions: Motor City Machine Guns

Match Rating: 8.5/10

Match #8 - "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero (Harlem, NY) vs. Kurt Angle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Tough act to follow for these two. Pope locks in a sleeper hold but Angle gets a switch and locks in one of his own that Pope counters with a back suplex.

Belly-to-belly suplex connects for Angle. Angle ducks his head and Pope grabs him with a vertical suplex and a belly-to-belly. Back-heel trip clothesline for Pope for two. Angle reeling. Pope misses the DDE and Angle locks the hands and hits the three Germans.

Nobody can maintain control in this match. Pope gains it back and goes to the top, only to have Angle rise and fire to the top rope for a belly-to-belly. Angle looks for the ankle but Pope kicks him off before it gets to close. Angle lines Pope up in the corner but Pope moves and Angle goes flying into the post. Angle comes out and walks into a Codebreaker for a near-fall. Angle with a floater and he hits the Angle Slam but Pope kicks out. Straps are down now and here's the ankle lock. Pope crawls for the ropes but Angle pulls him back to the middle of the ring. Pope gets out and rolls Angle though for a near fall. Angle gets out for a sunset flip but Pope sits down for another two. But Angle doesn't let him up, grabbing the ankle and locking in the ankle lock. This time, he grapevines the ankle and Pope has to tape.

Winner via submission: Kurt Angle

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Match #9 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.) vs. Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.) vs. Abyss (Parts Unknown) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Rob Van Dam

Match Rating: 7/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.