Welcome to PWInsider.com's live coverage of the 2008 TNA Victory Road PPV, live from Houston, Texas. The PPV opened with a video feature focusing on Samoa Joe vs. Booker T, Awesome Kong vs. Taylor Wilde and Team 3D & Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles & Christian Cage & Rhino.
Fireworks went off as Mike Tenay and Don West welcomes everyone. We went outside to Jeremy Borash where fans were still filing into the Reliant Arena, pushing the fan voting for the six man tag team bout's stipulation for later tonight. We then went to Lauren and BG James inside the crowd. Lauren said tonight, "was all about you. It's all about the fans." James put over the Fan's Revenge match for the TNA Tag Team belts later tonight. James then discussed the TNA title match. Fans booed and James pointed out there were mixed emotions in the Arena. James had a lot of energy on the mic.
World X Cup standings see Team Mexico and Team TNA tied for first with 3 points each, with Team Japan and Team International each tied for 2
World X Cup 12 Man Elimination Match
Team Japan's Milano Collection AT & Puma & Masato Yoshino vs. Team Mexico's Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero & Averno vs. Team International's Tyson Dux & Alex Kozlov & Doug Williams vs. Team TNA's Motor City Machineguns & Curry Man
The Machineguns came out with masks and outfits obviously inspired by the pageantry of Japan and Mexico. There's a ton of awesome talent here, but with so many, it's either going to be awesome or a complete cluster. They could do an entire PPV with all the names involved in this match!
Curry and Yoshino started fast with Yoshino hitting a dropkick. Curry challenged him to a sprint, but tripped him. The Guns tag in and nail a double hiptoss. Dux blindtagged himself in and worked over Sabin. Team International worked over Sabin, climaxing with Williams hitting a running kneelift for a two count. Alex Shelley distracted Team International, allowing Sabin to tag in Team Mexico. All three worked over Williams. They then pressed and swung Dux. Ultimo Guerrero hit a dive to Williams on the floor. Bucanero caught Dux with a package bomb and pinned him. Dux is eliminated.
Bucanero and Puma went at it. Puma faked out a dive, which allowed Milano Collection AT to interfere and hit a senton splash. Puma hit a slingshot senton into the ring on Bucanero. Puma went for a rana but was caught and hit with a facebuster. Averno tagged in and worked over Puma. Collection AT tried to help but was nailed by his own partner. Averno scored the pin on Puma.
Milano and Averno go back and forth. Averno went up the ropes but was nailed with a enziguiri and then a superkick. Bucanero broke up the pin. Sabin tagged in but was caught with the Dragon Screw Legwhip. Shelley tried to interfere but was stunned. Milano rolled through with a stereo half crab on both of the Guns. Curry interfered to save them.
Sabin went for a pin on Milano, who Matrix-ed out. The Guns doubleteamed Milano with a kneedrop off the top while he was in a Fireman's Carry (which barely glanced him) followed by the Cradleshock for the pin. Collection AT was eliminated, leaving Masato Yoshino the lone member of Team Japan. The Guns continued to work him over. This led to a fun, fast paced back and forth between Yoshino and Shelley. Shelley tried for several pin attempts but Yoshino kept kicking out. Yoshino caught Shelley in an Octopus submission but he was able to roll through and nail Yoshino in the face with a kick.
Shelley went for Sliced Bread #2 but was shoved off. Averno tagged in. He and Yoshino went back and forth with some fun Lucha spots. Averno hit a TKO variation, but Yoshino came through with a series of moves that led to a Mexican roll. It wasn't pretty but it was the pin, so Averno was eliminated.
Curry Man and Kozlov tagged in. Kozlov did the Russian stance into the kick but Curry went for a kick of his own. Williams tagged in and hit the Chaos Theory rolling suplex, but Curry kicked out. He and Williams fought back and forth. Team Mexico dove into the ring on both with bodyblocks off the ropes. Ultimo Guerrero did his handstand into corner splash on Curry. Curry went for a top rope frankensteiner but was caught and superbombed into the ring. Curry is eliminated.
Team Mexico turned their attention to Williams. Bucanero hit a spinning senton off the top while he was draped over Guerrero's knees, scoring the pin and eliminating Williams. Team Mexico went after Yoshino and the Guns on the floor.
Back in the ring, Kozlov hit a bodyblock on Guerrero and tried to rally the crowd, who instead chanted for Mexico. They battled in the corner. Kozlov went for a superplex but was overpowered and nailed with a face first suplex off the ropes into the ring for a two count. Kozlov came back with his crossface submission and Guerrerp submitted.
Bucanero dove off the ropes on Kozlov. Sabin tagged in but was slammed by Bucanero. Bucanero kicked Yoshino off the apron and went to the top, only to be cut off by Sabin. Sabin nailed a top rope hurancanrana. The Guns hit their stereo superkicks and pinned Bucanero. The Guns hit the Dream Sequence on Yoshino. The Guns then did a really cool stacked STO where Kozlov was on Yoshino's shoulders and Sabin hit a missile dropkick to give Shelley the assist on the move.
Sabin catches Kozlov with an Ace Cutter, then an awesome lariat that saw Kozlov take a 360 bump. Sabin charged Kozlov but the referee was pulled in front of him. Kozlov covered Sabon and put his feet on the ropes for the pin. There are two referees and Kozlov still cheated to win? Kozlov hit an awesome dive on Shelley on the floor.
Yoshino and Kozlov went back and forth in the ring,. Kozlov caught Yoshino in mid-air with a big kick. Shelley returned to the ring but was tossed back out. Yoshino hit a series of chops and strikes on Kozlov then slammed him down. Yoshino captured him in an armbar submission and Kozlov tapped out. Team Mexico picked up 1 point for being the second runner-up.
Yoshino vs. Shelley for the victory is left. Yoshino went to the top and hit an awesome missile dropkick for a two count. Seriously, that was the most beautiful dropkick ever and TNA's cameras had it in the perfect shot, looking up at it from afar. Beautiful. Shelley went for Sliced Bread #2 but Yoshino kicked up,. Shelley went to the top for a frog splash but Yoshino got his knees up. Yoshino went for the cover but Shelley kicked up and was frustrated.
Shelley caught Yoshino with a Tiger Suplex into a bridge for a two count. They battled on the ropes. Yoshino nailed Shelley and hit a springboard into a neck-tie on Shelley for a two count. Yoshino places Shelley on top rope but Shelley comes off the ropes and hits an inverted atomic drop. Shelley clotheslined Yoshino and rolled him up for the pin.
Your winners, Team TNA!
TNA gets 3 points, Japan gets 2 and International gets 1.
So, going into the Ultimate X TNA has 5 points total, Team Japan 3, Team International 3 and Team Mexico 3.
This was one hell of an opener with lots of great wrestling. My fear going in was this was going to be a four minute match but this went far beyond 20 plus minutes. Kudos to TNA for letting the guys go and do their thing.
Mike Tenay and Don West ran down the main events for tonight's card. Tenay said that throughout the entire PPV, we'll be seeing clips of Booker T's Homecoming. We went to footage of Booker T showing us around his home and his achievements, including different title belts, trophies and Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards. Booker showed off his key to the city and asked if Samoa Joe had one of those and said, "No." Booker then showed off his car collection and said he was going to take everyone to where he trains, the Booker T Wrestling Academy.
They showed footage of Houston before going to a video feature on Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love.
Angelina Love (with Velvet Sky) vs. Gail Kim
They just pushed this big grudge between the two but Kim came out beaming and smiling. That didn't make much sense to me. Love attacked Kim from behind as soon as she hit the ring. Love throws a punch but Kim blocks and cleans house with a series of rights. Love charged her but was hit with a boot to the mush. Kim chopped her in the corner, then hit a running clothesline in another. Kim went for a springboard move but Sky tripped her.
Kim is rolled in and nearly pinned by Love. Love began choking her and slamming Kim's head into the mat. Love began kicking away at Kim, who caught her leg. Love rolled through and turned it into a sunset flip attempt but Kim got her shoulder up. Love continued to attempt pins but Kim would escape at the last second. They went to the corner and Kim went for a outside figure four on the ringpost. Gee, I wonder where she learned that!
Kim went to the top but Sky tripped her and Kim crotched herself on the top. Love hit a superplex into the ring for another two count. Love went for a Yakuza kick but missed. Kim clotheslined her down. She scooped up Love, who escaped and caught Kim with a two count. Kim speared Love. Sky distracted Kim, allowing Love to kick her in the gut. Kim came back and scored the pin.
Your winner, Gail Kim!
Velvet attacked Kim as her hand was raised. She began working over Kim with punches on the mat. They try to set up Kim to paper bag her but Kim ducks a double clothesline and scrambles out of the ring.
Match was decent.
Backstage, Lauren and BG James were with the 12 fans who won the chance to lash Robert Roode and BG James. James riled them up into lashing mannequins dressed to look like Beer Money and then said the fans were going to make sure someone took a beating tonight.
A video feature on Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal aired.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal (with So Cal Val)
Dutt tried to give Val a note and flowers before the match. Lethal nailed him off the apron, then dove out of the ring on Dutt. Lethal tore up the flower and rose. Lethal tossed Dutt into the corner and began working him over with punches and a clothesline. He went to the top and hit a double sledgehammer off the top. Lethal hit a hiptoss into a dropkick on Dutt, then worked him over with chops in the corner.
Dutt avoided a charge in the corner and snapped his neck over the ropes. Dutt then hit a springboard into a Thesz Press. Dutt had these great dementedly happy facials. Dutt nailed a backbreaker and stalked over Lethal as Val looked concerned. Dutt locked on a side headlock as Val tried to rally the crowd. Dutt hit a rolling senton across Lethal's back, then hit a standing backflip into a two count.
Lethal finally came back with a series of quick rights but Lethal caught a kick to the head. Dutt went for a move but Lethal caught him and used the turnbuckles as a base to suplex Dutt overhead. Lethal came back with a series of clotheslines on Dutt, then chops. Dutt caught him with a charge, but failed with a tornado DDT as Lethal shrugged him off. Lethal hit a glancing dropkick for a two count.
Lethal attempted the Lethal Combination but Dutt escaped and placed him on the top rope. They jockeyed for position with Dutt finally hitting a rana off the ropes. Dutt is caught with a flip into a facebuster for a two count. Dutt and Lethal brawled out of the ring. Dutt was tossed into the guard rail. Lethal kept beating Dutt, who started screaming for Val to help him. Lethal slammed his head into the table. Lethal tosses Dutt back into the ring and locked on a Texas Cloverleaf. They showed a worried Val watching.
Val started to get up onto the apron but Lethal let the move go and told her to get down. Dutt used that moment to take Lethal down. Dutt grabbed Val and told her that he loved her. Lethal grabbed Dutt and hit the Lethal Combination. Val got on the apron and Lethal turned to her. Dutt rolled up Lethal and put his feet on the ropes to score the pin. Dutt kissed her hand and ran out of the ring.
Your winner, Sonjay Dutt!
Solid match with some good athletic wrestling. I think there might have been a little too much of the focus on the love triangle, especially when you would think this match should have had these two really tearing each other's throats out in anger and didn't.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Beer Money. Borash said they were going to face the fury of the fans. Roode said there was no fury within a 95 pound mark holding a strap compared to them. He said that Borash should ask what they are going to do to the fans and LAX tonight. Roode kept calling the fans marks and said they wouldn't be held accountable for whatever happened out there. Storm said the best thing about Houston was getting the hell out like the Tennessee Titans did. Storm begged the fans to get in their faces with the straps and promised they would get their asses kicked like never before. Storm promised they would be the new Tag Team champions. Jacqueline refused to go to ringside because of the fans with lashes.