Victory Road (2011)
|Victory Road (2011)|
Promotional Poster featuring Kurt Angle (who neither competed on the card nor appeared at the event).
|Tagline(s)||Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay the price.|
|"All I Want" by A Day to Remember
"Temple of Time" by Koji Kondo
|Promotion||Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)|
|Date||March 13, 2011|
|Victory Road chronology|
Victory Road (2011) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion, which took place on March 13, 2011 at the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. It was the seventh event under the Victory Road chronology and the third event of the 2011 TNA PPV schedule.
Victory Road featured eight professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The primary storyline which was featured at Victory Road was between defending champion Sting and challenger Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On the March 3 edition of TNA Impact!, a show slated to shed light on a cryptic "3.3.11" promo shown a week prior, Sting, brought back by "The Network", made a surprise return coming off months of absence after failing to persuade Dixie Carter about the Immortal takeover, to challenge and win the title from Hardy, who was one of the frontrunners of the group. The following week, Hardy claimed he was robbed because he was deprived of time to prepare for his title defense. Moments after, "TNA owner" and Immortal members Hulk Hogan and his partner Eric Bischoff announced that it would be Sting against Hardy at Victory Road with the championship on the line.
Another storyline that entered into Victory Road was between Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam over contention to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. At Against All Odds, Jeff Hardy defeated Anderson in a Ladder match. On the February 17 edition of TNA Impact!, Anderson protested Van Dam receiving a title shot that night over his rematch clause entitlement, but Bischoff told him that "The Network" wants ratings, and don't favor him due to his lack of family friendly nature, but made Anderson Special Referee of the match on terms of calling it impartially. In compliance with the deal, after the match which Hardy won, Anderson laid out Hardy and Van Dam with a Mic Check. The next week, Anderson, hellbent on obtaining his rematch, was confronted by Van Dam after the attack in the past week leading to retribution on his part and Bischoff making a contender's match between Kurt Angle, Van Dam and Anderson which Anderson won. On the March 3 edition of TNA Impact!, Anderson sought to cash in on his contention that night, but Sting returned and was selected to face Hardy for the title, which he won. The following week, Hardy, upset for being unprepared to face the returning likes of Sting in a world title defense, told Anderson that he had to wait in line. Van Dam also inserted that he was stripped of the title months ago, and felt screwed when Anderson officiated his match with Hardy for the championship. It was eventually announced that Anderson would take on Van Dam at Victory Road for a shot at the title.
A feud that went into Victory Road was between A.J. Styles, Matt Hardy and Ric Flair. On the February 17 edition of TNA Impact!, Flair betrayed Styles during his one on one contest with Hardy. Later in the night, Styles, angry, challenged Flair the next week to a match. The following week, before their match only amounted to a brawl, Flair, now with Immortal, dropped his Fortune leadership to Styles, disrespecting him vocally and physically in the process, igniting full-on retaliation. On the March 10 edition of ‘’TNA Impact!’’, Flair, Hardy and Styles faced off in a three-way Street Fight, which conspicuously turned into a Handicap match, where after a low blow and Twist of Hate, Hardy allowed Flair to gain the pinfall victory over Styles. Later, it was announced that Hardy, with Flair in his corner, would wrestle Styles at Victory Road.
A feud in the X-Division carried into Victory Road was between defending champion Kazarian, Robbie E, Jeremy Buck, and Max Buck over the TNA X Division Championship. On the February 17 edition of TNA Impact!, former champion Robbie E declared his intentions to reclaim the title, but Kazarian assured that he would resurge the X-Division that TNA was built upon. That night, Kazarian fought Robbie E for the title and picked up a disqualification win due to Cookie's interference, prompting Traci Brooks to make the save. On the March 10 edition of TNA Impact!, Generation Me lost their match to Ink Inc, putting a wedge in their partnership. They were later added to the X Division Title match at Victory Road.
On the February 24 edition of TNA Impact!, Matt Morgan and Hernandez continued their feud once Morgan quickly jumped on the assault of Immortal member Hernandez during his assistance to Ric Flair in a physical confrontation with AJ Styles, attacking him all over the arena. On the show the week following, Morgan, much bloodied after the encounter, prevailed over Hernandez in a one on one match. It was later announced that Hernandez and Morgan were scheduled to compete in a First Blood match at Victory Road.
On the March 10 edition of TNA Impact!, it was announced that Ink Inc. would battle Beer Money, Inc. at Victory Road for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On the night, they defeated Generation Me and told Beer Money, who were on commentary, that the Book of DILLIGAF said they were going to become the champions. James Storm said on behalf of Beer Money that they’re sorry about their damn luck.
Controversy and aftermath
According to reports, the main event was cut short over backstage concern over Jeff Hardy's condition. Referee Brian Hebner threw an "X" sign during Sting's entrance to the ring. Following an audible from Eric Bischoff, Sting forcefully pinned Hardy and upon exiting responded to fans outcry at the result, including chants of "Bullshit," saying "I agree ". TNA later apologized to its fans for the pay-per-view "falling short of a standard" and offered six months of free access to the TNAondemand.com library to anyone who bought the event. As a result of everything that unfolded at Victory Road, Jeff Hardy was subsequently sent home from the Impact! tapings the following week, and written out of the next month of TNA programming. It was later reported that Hardy was considered "fine" throughout the day, but moments before his match, he was deemed as unable to compete. Hardy was abusing drugs and alcohol, and completed a 120-day rehab during his time away from TNA.
On the September 8 edition of Impact Wrestling, Hardy made his return to TNA, and acknowledged that he had "hit rock bottom at Victory Road", and was on the road to recovery, before asking the fans for "one more shot". Jeff Hardy made his return to TNA full-time by the end of September 2011.
The event was heavily criticized. Canadian Online Explorer writer Bob Kapur scored the show 5 out of 10. He scored the Matt Hardy versus AJ Styles match 8 out of 10 and the Ultimate X Championship match 7 out of 10. Kapur was overall critical when stating, “TNA ended the night off on two really low notes, in the form of a number one contender's match that had no winner, followed by a main event world championship match that ended in a minute”. The Sun writer Phil Allely, in his review of the event, stated that the Knockouts Tag Team Championship match was “a decent Knockouts outing”. Praise was also given to the match between AJ Styles and Matt Hardy stating “Styles was as impressive as ever and Hardy showed signs of his old self”. Ultimately Allely felt that the only thing Victory Road will be remembered for is “the low point of a Sting v Jeff Hardy main event that lasted just 88 seconds”. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter listed Victory Road as the worst major wrestling show of 2011. Colleagues Bryan Alvarez and Vince Verhei were particularly critical of the finish to the Knockouts Tag Team Championship match, with Alvarez having given the overall match minus three stars. Their two main points of criticism were the delay in Velvet Sky getting to the ring to intercept Rosita and the unbelievability that Rosita could keep the much larger Winter pinned for as long as she did. They also criticized the finish of the Hernandez/Morgan match, which Hernandez won by spraying red liquid on Morgan despite bleeding first (and being caught blading by the cameraman), and the RVD/Anderson match due to Anderson's inability to perform two basic moves as well as his choosing to perform a Mic Check on the entrance ramp to get himself counted out along with RVD. Finally, Alvarez gave the Hardy/Sting match a minus five star rating to close the show.
|1||Tommy Dreamer defeated Bully Ray||Falls Count Anywhere match||10:45|
|2||Rosita and Sarita defeated Angelina Love and Winter (c)||Tag team match for the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship||04:58|
|3||Hernandez defeated Matt Morgan||First Blood match||08:35|
|4||Kazarian (c) defeated Jeremy Buck, Max Buck and Robbie E (with Cookie)||Ultimate X match for the TNA X Division Championship||14:22|
|5||Beer Money, Inc. (c) (James Storm and Robert Roode) defeated Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore)||Tag team match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship||12:30|
|6||A.J. Styles defeated Matt Hardy (with Ric Flair)||Singles match||17:38|
|7||Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson ended in a double countout||Singles match to determine the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship||12:54|
|8||Sting (c) defeated Jeff Hardy||No Disqualification match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship||01:28|
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