Reality From Ringside #73
July 12, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of

TNA Victory Road 2010: The Hangover

I really enjoy putting together these pay-per-view hangover columns for both WWE and TNA.

While many reviews or critiques of professional wrestling pay-per-view events merely rank matches and give grades or marks, I have always preferred asking questions that we are left with. I have always had a knack for looking at the past and present, trying to piece together the logic of the two companies, and thoroughly dissecting and analyzing what actually took place.

In regards to TNA pay-per-views, I always seem to be left with questions regarding the future of the company. What separates last night’s ‘Victory Road’ pay-per-view from many other TNA events is that many of the questions that I have been asking for the past 6 months have actually been answered.

Getting to the questions we are left with after TNA’s sixth Victory Road pay-per-view requires us to take a step into the wayback machine and look back at questions previously pondered…

When should TNA have their next Ultimate-X match? (From “Destination X”, March 21)

Less than 4 months later. Douglas Williams successfully defended his X-Division title against Brian Kendrick in a very peculiar hybrid of the gimmick match with the addition of the option of grabbing the win via submission.

Apparently TNA just cannot contain itself when it comes to keeping one of their signature match formats in its back pocket and only breaking it out when absolutely necessary. Did this rivalry really warrant an Ultimate X match so quickly? Couldn’t this title match have had the same impact if it were just a ladder match with a submission-win option?

While I understand the angle involving Williams and Kendrick, I don’t understand why it needed to be done so quickly…

Since its debut in 1997, WWE has had 19 Hell in a Cell matches. That is a frequency of one or two Hell in a Cell matches a year (will be even more thanks to the PPV named for the match).

After last night, TNA has now had 20 Ultimate-X matches. The first Ultimate-X match took place in 2003. That is a frequency of two or three every year. The Ultimate X match has never had a mystique or an aura. It has now become a compulsory requirement for every three TNA pay-per-views.

With Kurt Angle trying to ascend the “Top 10” the hard way, will every match be just like last night’s against Kazarian? (From “Slammiversary”, June 13)

Last night’s match between Angle and D’Angelo Dinero was another 12-minute journey into the vortex known as ‘The Angle Vacuum”.

Last month’s ‘Angle Vacuum’ sucked Kazarian, the Impact Zone, and the viewing audience into a whirlpool of nonsense for over 14 minutes.

I have read four different reviews of both of these matches, all of them glorifying the performance with ratings of at least 3 out of 4 stars. What constitutes these critiques? Are there certain requirements that need to be met to get to two stars? Three?

Beyond the obnoxious reviews I have read regarding these soulless matches, there is just no way to get around it. Kurt Angle is doing what he has always wanted to do: Coordinate wrestling matches that involve needless bumps, unnecessary holds and counter-holds with total disregard to the opponent he is facing or his own placement on a professional wrestling card.

Kurt Angle now has seven more performers to go through in his ‘quest for redemption’, what about the performers he has defeated?

Kazarian is currently in a sibling rivalry of sorts with AJ Styles for the affection of their father, Ric Flair.

After facing Angle on Impact, Desmond Wolfe was fed to a Sgt. Slaughter-obsessed Brian Kendrick (Cobra Clutch NAO~!) and fell off the face of the planet. He did make a cameo appearance last night to help Kazarian and Styles defeat two other members of TNA’s Purgatory, Rob Terry (absent from TNA TV since early June) and Samoa Joe (I thought he had a 234-star performance against Rob Van Dam?).

What is going to happen to D’Angelo Dinero?

He has been gone for nearly three months due to injury and he was immediately placed in a microwaveable dinner for Angle to heat for 12 minutes and devour. He has no angles or storylines to fall back on. He was part of the ‘imaginary top 10’ and now will inevitably be cast out of it.

Eric Young (last seen 6/24 hugging Kevin Nash in a hallway), Daffney (fed to Angelina Love last week to build hype for last night’s Knockouts Title match), and Orlando Jordan (last seen 6/3 in a program against Rob Terry for a Global Title that has not been defended in well over 30 days) are fluffing the pillows on the TNA Purgatory couch for Dinero’s arrival.

Is it still too early to judge the Hogan-Bischoff era of TNA? (From “Lockdown”, April 18)

I do not ask this question to rehash the horrible experiment of TNA Impact attempting to stake a claim on Monday nights and competing with WWE. Instead, I bring this question up for a far more important reason…

If this era is truly supposed to be considered a success and one truly historic step forward in TNA’s quest for legitimacy, why are they seeking the guidance of Paul Heyman? More important to the fact, why is TNA pressing the panic button only six months into the introduction of the Hogan/Bischoff era? Who is hurting the most from TNA’s courting of Heyman: TNA or Hogan and Bischoff?

It seems that TNA’s unsuccessful foray into Mondays was a litmus test in the eyes of Hogan and Bischoff. While trying to understand the kind of wrestling promotion they were affiliating themselves with, they decided to wager TNA’s relevancy and legitimate future in the process.

Realizing TNA was not exactly “WWE Lite” we have been seeing and hearing a lot less of Hogan and Bischoff; more noticeable last night with the two of them absent from behind the curtain in Orlando. So much can be read into their absences that it would be absolutely pointless to even predict what their plans are for the future.

Within three months, TNA will have eliminated 25% of their roster: Over/Under? (From “Sacrifice”, May 16)

It has now been close to two months since this question was asked and the obvious answer is ‘Under’. What is even more telling is that TNA’s roster, according to their own website, has remained the same (substituting former ring announcer Dave Penzer and Knockout Tara with new talent Rosie Lottalove, Tommy Dreamer has yet to be added to the page).

I will not dwell on this topic for too long seeing as how I talk about this on a weekly basis Tuesday’s on ‘3R’, but think about it… over 65 talents on a wrestling promotion’s website that only produces a weekly two-hour television program and monthly pay-per-views.

WWE’s Raw roster page displays 46 talents that include announcers just as TNA’s does. This is a roster that produces just as much programming as TNA’s (minus maybe 3 matches per pay-per-view since they are sharing the spotlight with Smackdown).

Granted, 4 of the performers on TNA’s roster page are no longer with the company… but why are they still there?! Why does TNA insist on promoting talent they no longer have under their employ?

The questions I need answers to are the ones that I am left with after witnessing the answers to previous questions… yes… my mind just collapsed too.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts… adore me with your adulation’s and acknowledgments:

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