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Although there are a slew of matches on the card tonight, only two seem to stand out as being truly meaningful, The Ten Man Ultimate X Gauntlet, (TNA?s signature match, featuring some of the best talent on the roster), and the Match of Champions, which guarantees as a title change. Though the other matches on the card have been built up over the past few weeks, none of them have an air of importance about them. As the show takes to the air, we will see if the participants can elevate their matches to the level of the big two.
The show begins with a video package hyping the upcoming Match of Champions, and Angle?s quest to add another belt to his collection. Tenay and West then welcome us to the broadcast, as Daniels and Lethal make their way to the ring.
Match 1: Christopher Daniels, vs. Jay Lethal vs. Puma vs. Homicide vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs Elix Skipper vs. Senshi vs. Shark Boy vs. Kaz
TNA has an excellent track record of staring their PPVs off with amazing matches, and tonight was no different. The match featured a plethora of high spots, including several that made use of the new, higher Ultimate X structure, including a jaw dropping diamond cutter off of the Ultimate X rigging. Although the performers were on their game, sadly the camera crew as not, and a few spots were missed during the match, (a pattern that would be repeated throughout the night). The end of the match came with the reformation of XXX and Daniels winning the match. This was a great match, and a great start to the show.
Backstage interviews with Team 3D, Joe and a VKM video package proceed the next match.
Match 2: VKM vs. Basham & Damaja
Before the match starts, VKM brings out a new member of their team: Queen Roxxi Laveaux, who has been brought in to counteract the presence of Christy Hemme. The crowd was not impressed with the gypsy/voodoo look of Roxxi, and that attitude was carried over when the match began. It was a typical VKM affair, and the interest of the crowd waned from time to time and boring chants could be heard. Nothing unique happened here, and VKM secured the win with a chair shot, and Roxxi gave Hemme an inverted slam after the match. This was a free TV effort, and a very forgettable match.
An interview with Angle and Rhino video package were played next.
Mach 3: James Storm vs. Rhino
This was a typical Rhino match. The two brawled though the crowd before the match began, and once underway, they let loose with an arsenal of power moves, kicks and punches. This was a solid match, but one I?ve seen 1000 times before. However the crowd was entertained, and remained vocal throughout the contest. Storm won the match with a beer bottle shot to Rhino, and after the match, tied Rhino up, poured beer into his mouth, and delivered a couple of chair shots. Looks like we will see this match again next month.
A brief recap of the Sabin/Shelley vs. Backlund feud, and we go back to the ring.
Match 4: Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Jerry Lynn & Mr. Backlund
This was a fast paced, well thought out match, with Sabin and Shelley using some well-choreographed tag moves to keep things moving. All four performed well, and kept the crowd lively and excited. With a little help from Nash, Sabin and Shelley get the win.
Backstage, Angle is looking for someone to ?watch his back?, during his match tonight. Upon refusing the offer, Lethal gets beaten down in the shower.
Match 4: Eric Young & Gail Kim vs. Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks
I was quite surprised at how good this match was. The four blended together very well, and the frequent man vs. women spots throughout the match kept things lively. All four performed well, though none did any atypical moves. Young took an expected beating, but managed a come-back, and Kim?s out quicking Roode gave the two the win. After the match, Young sneaks back into the ring and pulls down the tights of Roode, who was busy putting the bad mouth on Ms. Brooks. This was another entertaining match, which met with the crowd?s approval.
Angle again looks for help backstage, and this time it is Sonjay who refuses and takes a beating.
Match 5: Christian Cage vs. Chris Harris
The crowd was much more pleased with this match than I was. It was your standard Christian match, with a number of false finishes thrown in. The crowd was satisfied with this match, but I was bored. Even the appearance of Dustin Rhodes during the match did little to spark my interest. The two worked a medium pace, but the match felt like free TV fair to me. Cage was able to get the win, after Rhodes knocks out Harris with a blow to the back of the head. The crowd is happy, however I?m getting sleepy.
A video package showing the recent trials and tribulations of Abyss is played prior to the next match.
Match 6: Abyss & Sting vs. Tomko & AJ Styles
As I expected, we got typical performances from all four men, with the exception of AJ who didn?t have the time, or freedom to do all of his high flying work. Despite what seemed to me, to be a fairly plodding match reminiscent of every ?big man? type of match, the crowd was still rather lively. It was at this point that I began to suspect that TNA may have been ?sweetened? the sound to improve the presentation of the show. The four basically punched and kicked their way through the match, and in a rare occurrence, caused me to ?tap out? in the middle of the match and go to bed. When I woke the next day and resumed the show, I found that Abyss secured the win with a Black Hole Slam, and that James Mitchell came out after the match, to warn Abyss about his new monster that will be appearing in TNA soon. This match sent me to bed, what more can I say?
Backstage, Angle manages to beat up both Havoc and Martyr simultaneously before taking to the ring for his match.
Match 7: Samoa Joe & Kurt Angle vs. Team 3D
Team 3D played some nice mind games during the beginning of this match, making everyone think they were working against each other, and lulling Joe and Angle into a false sense of security. Of course it wasn?t long before the two began working as a team, each trying to secure a win over both Angle and Joe. As it turns out, Angle didn?t need anyone to help him tonight, as he and Joe worked very well together as a team. Team 3D dominated a large portion of the match, and even survived a run in attack from both Steiner brothers. However, quick thinking on the part of Joe allowed him to take out both Angle and Bubba and get the win, and the tag team titles.
Victory Road 2007. The two matches I expected to be good were, and one of the other matches proved to be entertaining as well. As for the rest of the show, well I probably could have gone to bed earlier.
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