So a few weeks ago I made a list counting down the 10 Worse Victory Road Matches in TNA/IMPACT History which include some forgotten stinkers and of course a few matches that have become notorious for how bad they truly were.
Well now it’s time to look at the other side of that coin, Because for every Jeff Hardy vs. Sting or Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca, there are these matches that have gone on to be some of the all-time best in the shows long and controversial legacy and with all that said, here is my list on the Top 10 Greatest Victory Matches in TNA/Impact Wrestling History.
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10. D’Angelo Dinero vs. Kurt Angle (Victory Road 2010)
You’ve got to feel real sorry for Victory Road 2010 not only was the show a sleeper hit when it comes to pay per views during the Hogan Era, but it’s also sandwiched between two of the worse pay per views in company history: Victory Road 2009 and 2011. Still the show did have a few spectular matches on the card like this forgotten gem which sees the Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle taking on ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero.
The story going into this was that TNA at the time had a ranking system with several wrestlers being ranked into a top 10 in regards to who’d be next in line for a world title shot and Angle decided to work his way up by beating all the names on that list individually to get that shot. This led to Angle battling the number seventh entry on that list: ‘The Pope’ with Kurt even adding a self in-placed stipulation that if he got pinned or submitted on his journey to getting that title shot that he would retire.
With stakes this high, it comes as no surprise that Angle on numerous occassions attempted to outmaneuver his opponent for the win, however that wasn’t going to be an easy tasked as D’Angelo Dinero was able to exchange holds and suplexes with the gold medalist much to the surprise of the commentary team.
Sure, the action does start off slow in the first few minutes but it doesn’t take long for the match to pick up the pace with the crowd being divided on who they supported in this match.
Angle managed to secure the victory and move up in the rankings, but that certainly doesn’t take away from ‘The Pope’ who put a great showing against Kurt during a year in which Dinero was also having career defining matches with the likes of Mr. Anderson and AJ Styles.
9. The Gauntlet Ultimate X Match (Victory Road 2007)
You know a TNA/IMPACT PPV is going to start off great when the X Division is kicking things off such was the case for Victory Road 2007 when a number of X Division stars including Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Low-Ki, Jay Lethal, Petey Williams, Homcide and Elix Skipper competed in the first and only Gauntlet Ultimate X match where the first half of the match is contested under Gauntlet/battle royal rules until all the particpants have entered and the remaining wrestlers then have to climb the metal structure above to grab the red X and become the winner.
The gauntlet portion of the match is alright, but when it comes time for the Ultimate X part that’s when things get good with all the remaining wrestlers trying to grab the X all while fighting off their competitors to do; Undoubtably the biggest spot in the match saw Daniels literally hanging upside off the structure before being hit with a massive Diamond Cutter much to the shock and amazement of the audience.
In the end it was Daniels who emerged as the victor thanks to the assistance of Skipper and Low-Ki, which signaled the return of Triple X one of the most popular stables in company history…Spoiler alert the reunion didn’t last long.
8. Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe vs. Team 3D (Victory Road 2007)
Angle’s back, so you know were gonna have a great match…We go from the opening bout of Victory Road ’07 to it’s main event which sees all the gold up for grabs.
Team 3D who were the TNA World Tag Team Champions defended their titles against X Division Champion, Samoa Joe and his tag team partner and TNA World Champion, Kurt Angle who also had their belts at stake in what was built up as a ‘Match of Champions’ with the stipulation being that whoever scored the pinfall would win the titles of the person they just beat meaning if either Brother Ray or Devon pin either Joe or Kurt then they either become the new X Division champion or World Champion but if either Kurt or Joe pin one of the members of Team 3D then that person would win the tag team titles for themselves…Got it?…good.
Considering how the rivarly between Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe hadn’t cooled off since their first interaction, you know the famous headbutt around the world moment during Angle’s debut to the company it isn’t too surprisng that many wondered if Joe and Kurt could co-exist as a team?
Well turns out…yes they could, as both men were able to work like a well oiled machine against the former Dudley Boyz in a soild tag team match with all four men putting in the work in this match; Ultimately it would be Samoa Joe who scored the pinfall retaining his X Division Championship but also winning the tag team titles thanks to some outside interference by the Steiner Brothers.
7. Steve Maclin vs. Sami Callihan vs. Moose (Victory Road 2022)
After making his return from an horrific leg ankle injury, Sami Callihan went to war with Moose who in kayfabe was responsible for the injury that out Sami on the shelves for several months, but things would get interesting when Steve Maclin costed Sami a match with Moose at the Against All Odds event which not only led to an unlikely pairing between Maclin and Moose, but also led to Callihan having to drive a wedge between Moose and Maclin with the animosity between all three men getting so extreme that the only way it could be settled was with a three way Barbed Wire Massacre Match.
Considering this match involves brutalizing your opponent with barbed wire laced weapons both Sami and Maclin were no strangers to fighting in brutal conditions, but far play to Moose who despite being a fish out of water in an invironment was able to take it as much as he could dish it out.
All three men where either covered in blood, barbed wire or both throughout various points in the match and the fans enjoyed every second of it with Steve Maclin scoring the win and ending the show with a sadistic classic for the ages.
6. Team TNA vs. Team Japan vs. Team Mexico vs. Team International (Victory Road 2008)
By far one of the longest matches to start off a Victory Road event clocking in at around 24 minutes, the 2008 edition of the event saw four teams taking parting in an elimination match to win points in the company’s ongoing World X Cup Tournament. Members of these teams consisting of wrestlers like Curry Man, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, Douglas Williams, Tyson Dux, Milano Collection T.A., Averno and a young TJP under his other wrestling persona, Puma.
As you can imagine with a match involving future and former X Division Champions as well as some phenonmenal talent from Mexico and Japan, the action was a high flying, hard hitting spectacle with each team having one or more members putting in an iron man performance in order to really sell the importance of how much this win means to these wrestlers and their respective factions.
Team TNA emerged victorious (obivously) with Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin being the sole survivors for their team and putting on a banger of a match, which would go on to be a hallmark for the Guns when it comes to Victory Road.
5. Mr. Anderson vs. RVD vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss (Victory Road 2010)
Another underrated match from an underrated Victory Road…
The main event of Victory Road 2010 saw Rob Van Dam defending his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against ‘The Monster’ Abyss, Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy in a fatal four way match that is filled to the brim with memorable moments and a whole lot of action.
From Anderson, Hardy and RVD ganging up on the much larger and stronger opponent in this match to Van Dam delivering stiff kicks throughout, the match is also a great example of highlighting some of the wrestler’s strength’s when it comes to their characters with Van Dam being portrayed as the lighting fast veteran, Abyss booked like a geniue horror villian to Anderson being the wily opportunist looking to score the win whenever possible.
Even Jeff Hardy had a few moments of brillance such as dropping Abyss to the matt following a Whipser in the Wind to the back-and-forth struggle Hardy had with Anderson leading to an out of nowhere Twist of Fate by the Charismatic Enigma…also it’s refreshing to talk about some good Victory Road matches involving Jeff Hardy.
The match cultminated in a RVD keeping the title after hitting a big Five Star Frog Splash on all three of his challengers to pick up the three count and the win.
4. Jordynne Grace vs. Max The Impaler (Victory Road 2022)
It probably tells you something about how impressive this match is when it’s the only knockouts match to making onto this list, but when you take into consideration the competitors involved it’s not hard to see why.
In the lead up to her highly anticipated match with Masha Slamovich at that year’s Bound For Glory, then Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace was tasked as well as Masha to chose opponents for each other in a Pick Your Poison match; While Masha would defeat Grace’s hand picked challenger, Allie Katch in a Monster’s Ball match on episode of IMPACT…The Russian Dynamite’s hand picked opponent would be a major challenge for the champion to defeat.
At 2022’s Victory Road event, Jordynne Grace took on Max the Impaler in a non title match and if anyones seen a Jordynne Grace compete in the ring before then they know that Thick Mama Pump is know for her strength and speed, but it came to facing off against the ‘Non-Binary Nightmare’, Grace’s power would be matched in more ways than one.
What follows is a David vs. Goliath match with Grace having to rely more on her speed to down and ground the impaler while Max uses a terrifying presence and immense power to get the better of Grace which is comes off as both surprising and shocking to IMPACT fans who are use to Jordynne being the powerhouse aggressor.
In the end, Grace was able to stunn everyone in the building by lifting Max up for the Grace Driver to secure the win and punch her ticket on her way to the biggest event of the year.
3. Kurt Angle & Team 3D vs. AJ Styles, Christian Cage and Rhino (Victory Road 2008)
I mean do you really need me to tell you why a six man tag team involving an Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the most decorated teams in pro wrestling versus ‘Mr. TNA Wrestling’, ‘The Instant Classic’ and ‘The War Machine’ is so awesome?…Alright here a just a few reasons.
For starters, the fans decided what kind of match type this six man tag bout was going to be and they chose a Full Metal Mayhem which means no disqualification, weapons are legal and anything goes. Second, all of the wrestlers waste no time throwing punches at each other with the action being franetic from start to finish and third the amount of spots in this match are simply unparellel:
From Styles hitting a summersault over the ropes to Brother Ray and Devon making a ladder sandwich out of Rhino, Christian delivering a cross body from the top of one of the Ultimate X structures left behind, a Doomsday Device on Rhino Through a table, 3D hitting well…a 3D on Cage through a table on the outside, AJ dropping Brother Ray with a top rope facebuster through a table, heck we even get a cameo appearance from Team 3D’s running mate, Johnny Devine who ends up getting rocked by AJ for his troubles.
Sure, the involvement and commentary of UFC Legend, Frank Trigg might be the only low point of this match, however it doesn’t take away from how tremendous this match was…If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend you do as well as all of the other matches mentioned on this list.
2. Beer Money vs. MCMG (Victory Road 2010)
Honest to god, it was a really hard time chosing what my number one was going to be as this match and the one entry are easily some of the greatest to take part in the shows history, but I’ll go more into my reasons for the top spot in a little bit.
This match and the bouts these two teams would have later on helped to establish them as the pinnacles of tag team wrestling for TNA in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s as their contrast in styles never failed to excite with Beer Money’s cunning and strength being a perfect component to rival Shelley and Sabin’s speed and resiliency.
An almost sixteen minute classic that sees frequent tags and double team moves being busted throughout as both sides try to find the opening they need to get the better of the opponent and even when that happens it doesn’t last long and the fans are electric even before the bell rings and it doesn’t stop.
The finish saw a member of Beer Money and MCMG going for the cover only to have referees, Earl and Brian Hebner both count three at the same time unaware the pinning predicament happening on the other side of the ring which led to both teams thinking that they had won the match, but after a few minutes of deliberation, the decision is made to restart the match and thus the action goes on.
However, it doesn’t take long for the guns to capitalize and hit their finisher in order to get the pin, the three count and finally the guns have become the new TNA World Tag Team Champions setting the stage for their Best of Five Series with Beer Money in the months to come….So your probably asking what in the world could top a match like this? Well here’s my answer.
1. Josh Alexander vs. Chris Sabin (Victory Road 2021)
If making this list has taught me anything is that when the Motor City Machine Guns are set to have a match at Victory Road either as a team or singles action, it usually will be the best match of the entire card and this is no exception with this 2021 X Division Title pitting Chris Sabin against reigning champion, Josh Alexander.
Following a string of impressive title defenses Chris Sabin emerged to issue an challenge Josh Alexander for a title match at Victory Road to which ‘The Walking Weapon’ more than agreed thus setting the stage for what can best be described a 19 minute test of endurance.
Neither men holds anything back as they batter the crap out of each other with kicks, knee strikes, chain wrestling and numerous attempts by Alexander applying the Ankle Lock on Sabin trying disperately to make him tap only for the former World Champion to have a counter for every one of them until Josh finally nails Sabin with the C4 Spike to secure the win.
While the action itself is enough to get this match on the list, it’s what came next that makes it one for
After successfully retaining his IMPACT World Championship, out came Josh Alexander who informed then champion, Christian Cage that he would be invoking ‘Option C’ which gave the X Division Champion the chance to challenge for the world title at the expense of vacating the X Division Title. This match would take place in the main event of that year’s Bound For Glory with Josh mentioning in the lead up to that match that it was Sabin who informed him to cash in ‘Option C’ following their title bout at Victory Road as his performance was more than enough reason to say that Josh was ready to become a main eventer.
Fast forward a few years since that match with Sabin and The Walking Weapon has become a multiple time world champion and the longest reigning world champion in IMPACT Wrestling History…A feat that probably wouldn’t have happened in kayfabe had Chris Sabin not given Josh the approval to cash in Option C after their tremendous match at Victory Road.
And that’s my list, What is your favorite match to take place at Victory Road? Be sure let us know in the comments section, you can follow me on my Twitter @FullertonHakeem and you can check out the previous article I made on the 10 Worse Victory Road Matches right here.