Wednesday, September 14, 2022

TNA Victory Road 2004

We're going to be sampling some TNA shows for the next few weeks and what better way to kick this run off than by going back to their very first monthly PPV?

TNA's new Impact television show had just debuted on FOX Sports channel as a weekly late-night television show; not exactly prime time but a step in the right direction for the promotion. And with that in place, TNA stepped away from the weekly PPV experiment that had been a money loser for the most part to transition to the traditional monthly PPV formula, beginning with this Victory Road show.

I'm going into this blind, as I am largely unfamiliar with this period in TNA history. I'm assuming Jeff Jarrett is the champion here because he almost always was... anyway, I'll try to keep an open mind and watch the show as it happens.

Hector Garza wins the opening match; a 20-man Gauntlet match, which adopts Royal Rumble rules until it's down to two guys and then it becomes a regular match. Coincidentally, the main event of the first-ever TNA match was also a Gauntlet match to crown a new NWA World Champion. This has decidedly lesser stakes and was probably booked to get as many X-Division guys on there to do their high spots and get a PPV payday. I'll recognize some names in there - Kazarian, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, and the almighty SHARK BOY - while drawing a total blank on others. This was a thing that happened and that's all I could really say about that.

Ron "The Truth" Killings (a.k.a. R-Truth), Erik Watts (son of Cowboy Bill Watts, not the guy who was on Tough Enough ten years ago), Pat Kenney (the former Simon Diamond of ECW fame), and JOHNNY B. BADD defeated Dallas (a.k.a. Lance Archer), Kid Kash, and the Naturals (one blond dude and a brunette dude) in an eight-man match that lasted less than five minutes. Not even crossing the hour mark and we've already seen THIRTY GUYS on this show. I don't even know what the point of this was; it was so damned short and not much happened.

We have a "minis" match... I take a piss break and come back to see Scott Hall cut some kind of promo. The Bad Guy had seen better days and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Konnan and Road Dogg BG James defeated TNA Tag-Team Champions Robert Roode and Eric Young to win the titles. Perfectly acceptable little tag match. Not much to say here.

There's a Piper's Pit segment with Roddy Piper trying to goad Jimmy Snuka into hitting him with a coconut before some younguns show up to do some brawling. This would've been sad to watch in 2004 and even more so in 2022. Stick with the original WWF version; that's a classic bit. This is not.

Trinity issues an open challenge, which is accepted by Jacqueline, who then loses the match despite her guys interfering... next.

Monty Brown beats Raven and Abyss in what has been dubbed a Monster's Ball match; a hardcore match with a bit of a backstory involving all three men having been locked away for 24 hours without food, water, light, or whatever... I think they eventually ditched that bit in favor of just making it a hardcore match. Anyway, it's your usual garbage hardcore wrestling match where people hit each other with shit and eventually gets put through tables. Nothing special, but I forgot how much of a beast Monty Brown was and how much of a big deal he could've been. Wonder what happened to that guy...

X-Division Champion Petey Williams defeated AJ Styles with outside interference from Scott D'Amore to retain the title. Fun while it lasted, but the ending took me out of it.

America's Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) defeated XXX (Elix Skipper & Christopher Daniels) in a last man standing match that featured Elix Skipper getting knocked silly at some point - possibly suffering a concussion - and ended up eating chair at the end. Poor guy was so out of it that he tried to beat the ref's count, but was pushed down so that they could end the match and be done with it. Fortunately, it wasn't a career-killer and Skipper would still be around for a while, but that just put a damper on what was a largely boring match.

NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett defeated Jeff Hardy with outside interference from Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (who apparently turned on Hardy to join Hall and Jarrett to become the Kings Of Wrestling) to retain the title. Then a bunch of other guys ran in before MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE emerges to scare away Jarrett and crew... and that's how the show ends. I had forgotten that Savage made an appearance in TNA... so did a lot of people, actually. But yeah, this was a bad match. Just god awful.

Yeah, now I know why I avoided TNA during this time. This was a bad show with a lot of bad or dull stuff. Yeah, Petey/AJ was alright, but that's about it. And you could probably get that match anywhere else, anyway. But the following month is supposed to feature Macho Man in the main event. So guess what we're watching next week.

Hey, I said I'd keep an open mind. That doesn't mean I'm going to pretend this shit make sense.

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