I recently brought in a new feature where I’d go all Wrestle Crap and look at a show that is widely considered to be a real stinker, with the ultimate goal of deciding whether it deserves its stinky reputation or not.
We started off with TNA Victory Road 2009 and I left it open to readers to make suggestions in the comments for future shows. This request came from The Ghost of Faffner Hall, who described this particular show as the “Citizen Kane of terrible wrestling shows”
Well, with a build-up like that, how could I NOT review it?!?!
I have actually heard of this one before but have never subjected myself to it, so I hope you all enjoy my anguish. If, for some incomprehensible reason, you actually want to watch this one then you can do you by clicking HERE to view it on YouTube. You do so purely at your own risk though and I will not be held responsible for any misery it may cause you.
The show itself was an attempt by a promoter called Billy Stone to put together a legends show featuring the grapplers of yesteryear, but he had no real idea how to run a wrestling show and it led to an almost inevitable mess as a result.
Let’s all brace ourselves and watch some chuffing wrestling!
The event is emanating from a place called Casino Magic in Mississippi on the 10th of October 1999
Calling the action are Randy Rosenbloom and Dutch Mantel. Apparently Gordon Solie was supposed to be involved but had health issues and had to cancel. Probably for the best to be honest, he didn’t need to be associated with this.
The commentary team run down the card for us.
Fatu and “Samu” w/ Paul Adams Vs Marty Jannetty and Tommy Rogers
“Fatu” is actually Tama, as the real Fatu wasn’t too far away from showing up in the WWF as Rikishi. Was it of such importance that they specifically advertised Fatu was showing up? Isn’t “big scary Samoan team who will batter you” enough of a selling point without having to resort to false advertising? I have no idea who Paul Adams is, but he’s a pretty generic heel manager who kills time in the early going by cutting a pretty bland promo, because that’s just what this show needed apparently. The faces are a combo of The Rockers and Fantastics, and The Samoans better watch it or Marty might go on a bizarre Facebook tangent about them in the future, in between the ones where he talks about murdering people and having amorous designs on members of his own family.
The faces get to shine on The Samoans to start, with The Samoans giving off the impression that they are simply here to meet their contractual obligations before collecting their pay and buggering off home in as quick a manner as possible. Jannetty hasn’t even bothered wearing tights here, instead going for the Justin Credible approach of wearing knee pads and wrestling boots with a pair of jean shorts. To his credit though he’s in decent enough shape here and is actually willing to bump around when The Samoans isolate him for the heat.
Tama finally decides to do something beyond just minimal exertion by missing a move from the top and that leads to Rogers getting the hot tag. The Samoans of course pop right back up from his double DDT, because Samoans all have hard heads unless a particular spot in the match calls for them not to, but Marty is there to help and actually does a dive outside of the ring onto Tama. However, that leaves Samu and Rogers left in the ring, which leads to Samu putting the latter away with a TKO.
WINNERS: SAMU & “FATU”
The faces were game but The Samoans weren’t so much out to lunch as they were out for a banquet. Dutch seems to think this win will look mighty impressive on The Samoans’ CV’s. Oh yeah, you might be on to something there Dutch. Beating a makeshift thrown together team in the middle of nowhere on a pay per view hardly anyone ordered is going to lead to their telephones ringing off the hook!
The commentators hype that you can buy Heroes of Wrestling shirts…and I kind of want one.
George Steele and Sensational Sherri arrive earlier, and it looks like they might be a romantic item. Well, I’ve seen stranger romantic pairings, look at Otis and Mandy.
Greg Valentine Vs George Steele w/ Sherri
Neither man gets entrance music here, which is either an artistic decision or the sound system isn’t working properly. I’ll leave it up to you to decide on which one. It’s like a write-your-own-review adventure! Valentine grabs a mic to establish, firstly, that he is a heel and, secondly, that his goal is to quite literally “kill” George with the Figure Four (How would that even work exactly, break the leg and hope he dies from gangrene?) and then take Sherri for himself. Dare I say that Sherri looks quite foxy in her pink outfit? Because she kind of does. Hammer is going with a blue and white colour scheme here, although it doesn’t crumble apart on the most minimal of exertion, so we can rule out Castore as the ones who made it.
If you’ve seen one of Steele’s babyface matches from the 80’s then you’ve probably seen this one too, as the “shine” consists of George biting his opponent and just generally acting weird. Sherri decides that she likes the idea of uniting with Valentine and starts cheating on his behalf, but she does so when Steele either isn’t looking or his blinded by having his shirt over his head, so the poor sod doesn’t notice. The work is not good, with all of Steele’s stuff looking hokey and Valentine’s offence mostly just consisting of punches and stomps. The crowd does kind of get into it a little though and roots for George, so I guess the story they are telling is actually working. Eventually Sherri stops being subtle with her betrayal and just wellies poor George with a chair, which is enough for Valentine to get the pin.
WINNER: GREG VALENTINE
This was a lousy match from a work rate perspective, but the story it told actually wasn’t that bad and the crowd seemed to get invested in it, so it wasn’t a complete write off and I can’t give it a DUD in good conscience as a result.
Steele does his turnbuckle eating routine and chases the heels away to get his heat back post-match.
Michael St John is with Julio Fantastico, who cuts a generic heel promo.
Julio Fantastico Vs Too Cold Scorpio
Julio would change his surname to Dinero and eventually jump over to ECW, where he would team with Chris Hamrick and EZ Money. We seem to have entrance music again for this one. Julio is spotty but Scorp is good, so hopefully he can rein Julio in and we can get a good match finally. Captain Lou Albano takes a break from fixing sinks with his younger brother to show up and do some colour commentary. He injects some energy into things, I’ll give him that, although he does blab on a bit too much, which you ideally wouldn’t want a commentator to do.
The wrestling isn’t bad here, but there is the odd moment of sloppiness, with most of it coming from Julio as he botches a couple of things. It’s interesting to see that Julio arrived in ECW pretty much fully formed based off this, as he has the strut and cocky persona he’d use there. I’ve just never really cared for his work to be honest, even when he was more experienced and working in TNA as a lackey for Raven. Scorp looks decent here and I think he was working All Japan at the time before eventually jumping over to NOAH in the 00’s, so he was making sure his ring skills stayed sharp.
We actually get some crowd brawling in this one, with the camera guy’s completely losing track of it at one stage. Maybe they were using some lads from a nearby community college who were working for a couple of beers and share sized bag of Doritos (Other brands of crisps are available)? Following the brawl we get some near falls back inside the ring, with the crowd at least chanting for Scorp. The people in this crowd who are making the effort to actually generate some atmosphere for this lousy show almost deserve a medal. The chants do end up helping Scorpio and he puts Julio away with The Tumbleweed.
WINNER: TOO COLD SCORPIO
Not much to this one. Julio looked rough but Scorpio gave a decent account of himself
Following the match Captain Lou gets informed that he will now be the commissioner and he responds by shedding tears of what we’re told is happiness, but it wouldn’t shock me if they were really tears of misery.
Michael St John is backstage with King Kong Bundy, who refers to Yokozuna as “Porkozuna”
Ho Ho, is funny because Yokozuna is morbidly obese, but so also is Bundy, but he is acting like it is only Yokozuna who is really overweight, oh ho hooo!
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff w/ Nikita Bresnahov Vs The Bushwhackers
They could have at least donated some money to Slick’s church as a way to entice him back to manage the heels rather than slumming it with this Bresnahov dude. Volkoff must exist in the Capcom Universe, because the CCCP is apparently still a place you can be announced from in 1999 according to him. Maybe the Russian President will drop in via helicopter should the heels win and then Cossack Dance with them? Sheik doesn’t look like he’d survive such an endeavour to be honest. They seem to know this one will bite because they spend about 10 minutes with the entrances and pre-match chicanery like the Persian Clubs before the bell even rings.
I’ve never seen The Whackers from the period where it was widely accepted that they were good, and when I watch them in matches like this I honestly can’t even fathom a time where they weren’t absolutely awful in the ring. At least I’ve seen footage of Volkoff having something bordering on a wrestling match with Bruno. The heels tease us with an early end to our misery by walking out, but alas they return and the “wrestling” must continue. This is just sad to watch more than anything else, with Sheik in particular having the mobility of a cement truck with only one working wheel. The crowd chants “USA”, which I’m sure will invigorate the New Zealander babyfaces to win the bout! Oh well, at least they’re trying to get invested in this I guess. The promoters don’t deserve them.
Everything looks awful here. The offence, the selling, the bumping, you name it. Both teams just sort of meander around having a thoroughly wretched match until they finally deign to take it home. Some heel miscommunication sees Volkoff hit his own partner by accident with an international object and The Whackers pounce to put us all out of our collective miseries.
WINNERS: THE BUSHWHACKERS
Amazingly the crowd didn’t completely hate this, but they’ve probably had some of that fine Mississippi crack I’ve heard so much about so they can’t really be held as a reliable barometer. Nothing redeemable here so it gets a DUD and chuffing likes it!
The heels tease splitting up, but eventually agree to continue fighting for evil alongside one another.
Tully Blanchard arrives and apparently he’s going to be working babyface tonight, as Stan Lane jumps him, causing him to cut a fired up babyface promo in response. That was a great promo actually and far too good for this absolute ship show. He even gets a good burn in by saying the only reason Lane was ever a World Tag Champ was thanks to Bobby Eaton and Jim Cornette.
Stan Land Vs Tully Blanchard
The MX and Horsemen notably never got to finish their WCW feud due to Tully and Arn jumping to the WWF, so this could potentially be the spiritual blow off. Lane does his own introduction like Mr. Kennedy and shows some good charisma. Tully doesn’t get any entrance music but he does get pyro. Maybe they can’t afford both at the same time? I wonder if the reason Tully is a face here is because he’d found religion in real life and didn’t want to be a heel anymore? If that’s the case then he’s gotten over it now clearly if his AEW work is anything to go off. I actually think Tully can work babyface, but you have to have him in there with the right opponent and anyone who decides to put him in a TEW 2020 roster pack 100% needs to give him the “Better As A Heel” attribute.
This one isn’t bad from a purely wrestling perspective, with Tully selling well and Lane having a decent stab at being an arrogant heel, but the crowd just isn’t really that into it. The camera crew makes that abundantly clear too by showing us constant crowd shots in the hope that they’ll find women who are drooling over Lane, only to show us copious shots of people looking bored instead. Here’s an idea guys, if you want to get some shots of swooning chicks like the WWF used to do for Rick Rude, then do what they usually did and hire some PLANTS who will react exactly how you want them to rather than scanning the face of every woman you can find in the vague hope that one of them will give you the shot you’re looking for!
It’s amazing to me that this crowd actually seemed to be dangerously close to enjoying the previous match, but now they’ve got two experienced pros who can still wrestle actually giving them a competent match and they’re all sitting on their hands. Maybe the Mississippi crack finally wore off? The finish doesn’t help in fairness, as they do the old “both men are pinned but one guy gets his shoulder up at two in order to win” routine in order to give Tully a last gasp win. Hang on, they couldn’t get career tag team wrestler Stan Lane to lay down clean for a Slingshot Suplex?! Really?!?! Rosenbloom doesn’t even seem to understand what the finish was and Dutch has to cover for him. You’d think you might clue the clearly inexperienced announcer in on a more complicated finish like that, but I guess not.
WINNER: TULLY BLANCHARD
The work wasn’t bad but the match itself was so flat that AJ Styles might have mistaken it for the Planet Earth
They don’t even have a good camera angle for the replay of the finish. What an absolute clown show this is!
Michael St John is with Bundy and Jim Neidhart, who both agree that they hate snakes.
One Man Gang Vs Abdullah The Butcher w/ Honest John Cheetum
If this one is anything other than a stand-up brawl with copious amounts of blood then I’ll start supporting Liverpool. And as I even write that, Gang attacks Abby with his chain from the opening bell and opens him up right away. Oh well, I guess I remain a Toffee then. As far as two big lads who can do little more than punching, weapon shots and bleeding, this one is about as good as you could expect it to be. I mean, there’s absolutely sod all chance that we’re getting any sort of a finish here like, but we have in every other match thus far so I’ll allow the designated wild brawl of the evening to have a non-finish if needs be.
They seem to be going for the idea of Gang beating down Abby for a long time so that they can pop the crowd when Abby finally starts fighting back, and blow me timbers if that isn’t what happens when Abby dishes out some vengeance with a fork! Say what you want about Abby as a worker, but he knew how to work his style of match. Shame that style of match led to him turning his forehead into cracked meringue, but hey-ho I guess. A “lucky” fan in the crowd gets to take Abby’s fork as a gory souvenir. I hope he drenched that in bleach when he got home. We of course get the inevitable double DQ/Count Out/No Contest as both men brawl on the floor and the match ends the only way it probably could.
Let’s face it, we got as good a match in this sort of style as we were going to get when you take into account both men’s ages. The crowd got the bloody brawl that was advertised too, so it’s kind of hard to mark this one down for the non-finish because they delivered with the gore and then had a wild finish that made sense. Of course these two massive crazy men would batter one another until the ref gave up and just waived it off. Just look at them for goodness sake!
Security and refs try to break up the fight whilst the crowd enjoys the madness.
We get footage from earlier where Captain Lou and Jimmy Snuka accuse Orton of cheating at cards.
The Bodyguard Ace Cowboy Bob Orton Jr Vs Jimmy Snuka w/ Captain Lou
Will we see a superplex in this one I wonder? I’d hate to see one of them break a hip or something, but I can’t deny the visual of seeing two veterans hit a big move like that wouldn’t be cool. I used to like that Robbie Ellis bloke from CHIKARA actually as he did a gimmick like that. Ace isn’t bad here actually and can still work a bit, but Snuka is so washed up that you might find him on the coastline getting pecked at by seagulls. Amazingly he kept going after this and even got another WrestleMania payday in 2009!
Ace works an arm bar for a while and it kind of grinds the match to halt. He’s barely even working it either, they’re just sitting in it. At one stage the fans decide to start suggesting that Ace enjoys receiving it up his Ace-hole, which finally leads to the hold getting broken so that he can go and yell at them. Snuka makes a slow-motion comeback, which Ace does his best to sell, and the ref botches a near fall by forgetting to count. No, I don’t know how that happened either. Ace actually does tease the superplex, but Captain Lou puts a stop to that and Snuka gets a cross body for the three count.
WINNER: JIMMY SNUKA
Snuka looked terrible and the match itself was pretty boring. The crowd having to amuse themselves by making crude comments about one of the combatants’ sexuality should suggest how engrossing the actual wrestling was.
Jake Roberts is with Michael St John and gives a famously zoned out promo where he talks about how you shouldn’t play him at Blackjack because if you have 21 then he’s got 22. I mean, you’d lose with a hand of 22 like, but I’m not sure Jake was in the right mental state to truly comprehend the rules of card based games at this exact moment in time. Goodness knows how he would have tackled a game of Solitaire whilst in this condition.
Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy Vs Jake Roberts and Yokozuna
From reading Scott’s review, they announced this as singles matches between Neidhart/Roberts and Bundy/Yoko, but they didn’t think Yoko would be up to doing a singles Main Event match so they decided to combine the two matches into a tag match. However, there were then issues over what the finish would be as no one wanted to do a job (Yes, people were actually arguing over who got pinned on a rotten show like this that barely anyone bought) with Jake finally agreeing to eat a pin in exchange for a losing bonus. These days I think the loss of reputation that came from having a terrible match would hurt more than looking at the lights, but I guess that’s just how the business has changed over the years.
So the match starts out with Jim and Jake working a singles match, with the idea being that the big lads will come out after a certain point to turn it into the tag match. However, if Jake was anymore blitzed here then the Luftwaffe would consider dropping a V2 right on top of him, so Bundy comes down early before Jake can do any more damage. At one stage Jake even gets Damien out of his bag and starts pretending that he’s his meat and two veg. It’s an absolute miracle that DDP managed to rescue this man, because if you watched this without any prior knowledge you’d probably bet your house on Jake being dead by now.
Yoko finally joins us, looking kind of like a really bad CAW version of himself that someone tried whipping up on WWF Warzone in a couple of minutes, and we also seem to have been joined by a Bundy lookalike at ringside also. Mini-Bundy looks a bit like Al Murray in his pub landlord get up actually. Jake can’t really do anything other than lie on his back like a capsized tortoise, but eventually he manages to tag in Yoko. Yoko hammers away on Neidhart with punches, but Bundy decides he’s seen enough and takes this disaster home by splashing the illegal Jake and picking up the three count.
WINNERS: BUNDY & NEIDHART
LOSERS: THE REST OF HUMANITY
We didn’t even really get to see Bundy and Yoko go at it either, which would have at least had that Giant Haystacks/Big Daddy appeal of two freakishly big men running into one another
We’re not done however, as the crowd wants to see a DDT and Yoko even tees Mini-Bundy up for one. Jake doesn’t even have his wits about him to do that though and instead shoves Damien down his pants whilst the director cuts away. A suitable ending to an awful show I think.
Is It Really A Stinker?
Oh goodness me YES, a thousand times YES!!
This was not only a mostly rotten show from an in-ring perspective but it also looked like absolute arse and the production was unashamedly atrocious. This one deserves all the negative comments it gets. It was genuinely one of the more depressing shows I’d seen recently as well, with the only bright spot being the knowledge that Jake finally managed to get clean.
Well, that’s another Stinker in the bag, let me know what you’d like to torture me with next!