TNA presents its second of four major events on pay-per-view tonight. It's Lockdown, live from San Antonio, Texas. The Alamodome plays home to TNA's first pay-per-view since Genesis in January. The card shapes up as follows:
TNA "Lockdown" Pay Per View, Live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
The opening focuses on Team TNA vs. Aces and Eights in Lethal Lockdown as well as the World Heavyweight Championship match between Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray in a cage. The video package ends with Taz saying "it's a good day to be the bad guy."
Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay and Taz check in on commentary. Keneley hypes up that TNA is playing in front of the largest crowd in company history. They turn to hyping up the opening match.
Gotta comment here that the building looks really good tonight. Well lit by ringside, the atmosphere seems pretty good too. It really beats the studio in Orlando.
Match #1 - Kenny King (c) vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York; TNA X-Division Championship fought under Triple Threat Rules
Early on, Ion hits a suicide dive on King. Ion tries something similar on York. York sees it coming though and kicks him. King tries a springboard move from Ion's back, but Ion leaned down instead and King ends up crashing and burning into the barrier. Ow!
King manages to get to his feet only to eat a corkscrew dive from Ion (along with York), who hits the dive from the top rope. The pace slows as the men make their way back into the ring to continue the match.
Action starts to pick up again. There's several near falls that the live fans eat up. York hits his Mood Swing neckbreaker for a good two-count on Ion.
York catches Ion in the ropes and hits a double stomp that looks a bit sloppy. He runs to the opposite side and hits King with some offense. King takes control and tries to hit the Royal Flush, but York is able to score an inside cradle for two.
Moments later, King hits the Royal Flush to get the win.
Winner - Kenny King to retain the X-Division Championship
A solid opening match with some nice action and fun spots, as well as some pretty sloppy spots. The live crowd really enjoyed it. I wish Ion would be a more regular player on TV with his charisma, but perhaps there's issues preventing that.
JB interviews Joseph Park. Park says he got ribbed by the boys and sent to the Alamo as opposed to the Alamodome. Daniels and Kazarian walk into the frame and tell Park that Dixie is looking for him. Park runs off.
Daniels and Kazarian take over the interview and talk about how they're tired of being disrespected. They say they plan to win the tag team championship tonight.
Match #2 - Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan gets a mic and insults Park, calling him a mark like everyone else in the building. He says Park belongs in the crowd and he has a size advantage where it matters (a lame penis joke). Park comes out and puts over San Antonio and says it rocks, and talks about his experience at the Riverwalk and singing karaoke.
Ryan jumps him from behind to start the match. The fans get behind Park. After Ryan gets some early offense in, Park grabs Ryan's chest hair. Keneley yells "Free Brazilian waxing!"
Late in this, Ryan tries to roll Park up, but Park just sort of sits on him to get the win.
Winner - Joseph Park
The fans weren't hot for these guys coming in, so Ryan working on the mic like he did helped warm things up. Nothing memorable here, but good undercard fodder.
Brooke talks to Ray about his match, and she says she knows he'll win the title tonight. Ray cuts her off and says he gets it, but he's nervous because he wants to make her, Hulk and himself proud. Hulk hobbles in on crutches, and Brooke leaves.
Hulk says this is a big night for TNA and the good little company has a chance to go on for greatness starting tonight. Hulk says he has nothing against Jeff Hardy and calls him a "good for the moment" champion and great for the run. He says there's something about Ray though that he can't put his finger on. Hogan says he's betting on Ray to win tonight and take TNA to greatness.
He calls Ray the launch point and admits he wants his son-in-law to be a champion but there's more to it. Hulk says that Ray has made Brooke happy again despite the hell he's put her through on a personal level. Hogan says he has a chance to live vicariously through Ray. 'The belt is coming home to our family."
Hogan says before his first title shot, Andre the Giant pulled him aside and told him that, win or lose, make sure they remember you for as long as they live. Hogan says win or lose, he wants Ray to make sure he makes them remember him as long as they live. Ray and Hogan shake hands and Ray promises Hogan they will remember him.
My money is on the heel turn and Ray is revealed as a leader in Aces and Eights for that memory moment. A good promo segment where both men did good work; Hogan was strong and Ray came off likeable but didn't go too far in foreshadowing what may happen tonight.
Match #3 - Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim; TNA Knockouts Championship
Gail immediately starts bickering with the official, Taryn Terrell, as she gets to the ring. Kim runs on offense first. Velvet catches Gail on the ropes and hits a facebuster in a neat spot. Velvet sets up another move, but Kim grabs the official and holds her before hitting Eat D'Feet. She gets two.
Kim argues over the call, then shoves Terrell a couple times then slaps her. Gail yells "disqualify me!" but Terrell doesn't. She instead hits a spear and slams Kim's head on the mat a few times. The crowd pops for that.
Kim gets back to her feet and points at Terrell, but Sky spins her around and hits her butterfly facebuster for the win.
Winner - Velvet Sky to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship
Taz didn't need to pull out the menstrual cycle reference. That aside, this was one of the better Knockouts matches of late. The story was more about Gail and Taryn than it was Velvet, but it still worked. Velvet had a good match tonight.
JB interviews Robbie E. He says he's going to prove that Little Robbie was always better than Big Robbie. They feed it to a video package to set up their match.
Match #4 - Robbie E vs. Robbie T
Mostly comedic work early on. E loses some tests of strength, then applies a sleeper. He follows up with a cross body block. T catches him and slams him instead. T hits a couple clotheslines and another slam. He hits a big one-handed slam for the clean win.
Winner - Robbie T
Flat response for this one. You could see people smiling at some of the comedy bits but there wasn't much to cheer about with this one.
JB talks to Austin Aries, and asks him where his partner is. Aries says people have been asking him that for two weeks. He says he's proven he didn't need Roode to get the job done, "but luckily for me that's not gonna be necessary." Roode walks into the picture and asks Aries "did you miss me?"
That was for the Internet crowd. Roode's appearance got a mild pop, but I can imagine many fans didn't know about Roode's contractual issues.
Match #5 - Bobby Roode and Austin Aries (c) vs. Bad Influence vs. Chavo Guererro and Hernandez; TNA Tag Team Championship under Triple Threat Rules
Chavo gets a good pop and the announcers talk about him playing to his hometown. Keneley reminds us that the first pin or submission will decide the winner in this one.
Chavo and Hernandez control the early going. Bad Influence eventually takes control working on Hernandez. Chavo hits the Three Amigos sequence on Kaz for a good reaction. He tries it on Roode but Aries cuts it off. Aries mocks the Eddie Shimmy, but Chavo catches him with a couple suplexes.
Hernandez shows off some power later on, breaking through a double clothesline then hitting a double backbreaker on Aries and Kaz in a neat spot. Hernandez has Aries for a visual pinfall, but Hebner is distracted by looking at someone in the corner of the ring. A little odd there.
Aries hits a huracanrana on Hernandez and both men end up out on the floor. Chavo knocks Daniels from the ropes and hits a frog splash. Roode tags Chavo in mid-air though, so Hebner won't count the fall. Aries throws Chavo out of the ring and Roode covers Daniels to get the win.
Winners - Austin Aries and Bobby Roode to retain the TNA Tag Team Championship
That was fun action to watch. The fans were into Chavo and Hernandez, which helped the live reaction because they didn't really seem to know who to get behind of the two heel teams.
We get recap footage of the Knockouts match earlier. Backstage, JB talks to Taryn Terrell about the situation but Gail Kim attacks her from behind. They're separated.
The announcers talk while the cage is being set up. They run a video set to Irish themed music to reveal that Slammiversary will be held in Boston on June 2. Tenay says tickets are going on sale March 29.
D'Lo Brown talks to the members of Aces and Eights. He says they've waited nine months for this. He sends off Wes Brisco to handle club business in his match with Angle. He polls the group to see who wants to go first in Lethal Lockdown and DOC and Garett Bischoff raise their hands.
JB interviews Kurt Angle. Angle says Wes Brisco will have nowhere to run or hide tonight. He hasn't forgotten about what D'Lo did either. He says he's going to give Wes a San Antonio ass whooping. They send it to a video package to recap the Angle/Brisco story and the reveal of D'Lo as the VP of Aces and Eights.
Match #6 - Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco; Steel Cage Rules
Brisco controls the early going but Angle battles back. He hits a series of five German suplexes then goes up for a frog splash, but Brisco moves. Angle comes back with the Angle Slam.
A "USA" chant gets going. Taz makes fun of it and asks if Tampa is not part of the US. Angle locks on the Ankle Lock but Brisco rolls out. He hits a low blow on Angle. Brisco tries to escape the cage, but Angle catches him and hits a German suplex off the top rope.
Angle tries the Angle Slam, but Brisco slips out. Angle charges but Brisco moves and Angle catches the official. Angle locks on the Ankle Lock and Brisco taps but there's no official. Angle hits the Angle Slam and flips off Brisco. He exits the cage.
D'Lo comes out and throws Angle into the cage then back inside of it. The official is stumbling around and trying to get to his feet. He has his back to the action and doesn't see D'Lo pull Brisco from the cage. The official turns around and sees Brisco on the floor and declares him the winner.
Winner - Wes Brisco
This isn't a "referee turn" so much as it's just clumsy booking. The match wasn't bad though and Brisco played rag-doll well for Angle's moves and suplexes. They gave too much away when they showed D'Lo as they did - foreshadowed him running out and interfering.
They set up the Lethal Lockdown match with a video package.
Match #7 - Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Eric Young, James Storm and Samoa Joe) vs. Aces and Eights (DOC, Mr. Anderson, Knox, Devon and Garett Bischoff)
Anderson starts the match for Aces and Eights, and Magnus starts for TNA. After a few minutes of back-and-forth action, Knox gets in the match next. They team up on Magnus since they have the man advantage from iMPACT last Thursday.
Tenay reminds us of the rules: all 10 men must be in the match before a pinfall or submission matters. Samoa Joe gets to enter the match to even the odds for Team TNA. Knox is taken down. Joe and Magnus work some of their tag team offense on Anderson.
Garett Bischoff enters next for Aces. One fan is really thrilled to see him, but the rest seem to deride him with "you can't wrestle" chants. Magnus and Joe keep control of things and work more of their tag offense on Garett. Anderson knocks down Joe to give Aces the advantage.
Eric Young comes in next. He rips off his shorts on the stage to show white trunks under them. He runs to the ring, then hits a drop kick on one of the opponents. Taz calls him nuts, which makes him dangerous. There's a brief "EY" chant.
Devon is next into the match for Aces. Punching and kicking ensues. James Storm hits the ring next and runs some offense on various Aces members. He hits the Last Call on Knox but Knox doesn't take it very well.
DOC is the last Aces guy in and he gets no reaction. Aces gets control of the match at this point. Sting is the last TNA guy out and he gets a decent reaction. He has trash cans with weapons in them. Taz gets upset but Tenay reminds him that's the rules of the match once all 10 men are in the cage.
Team TNA gets the better of Aces and plays to the fans. Taz says he's disappointed with Sting. Aces mounts a comeback and gets in some offense. They set up a big Tower of Doom spot where Garett Bischoff is at the top and four men under him, with Samoa Joe being the guy who suplexes the bunch. Big spot.
Eric Young is at the top rope when Sting points to the top of the cage. EY goes up and hits an elbow drop from the top of the cage and pins Knox to get the win. Team TNA celebrates while Aces and Eights sells.
Winner - Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Eric Young, James Storm and Samoa Joe)
The match was well laid out and lulled a bit through the middle once most of the men were in the ring. When Sting came out it really popped up the crowd again, as did the big Tower of Doom spot.
The announcers hyped it as a key moment for TNA, but Aces loses all the time on TV anyhow, so it's not like they're a legitimate threat.
Worth pointing out this cage did not have a roof as is past tradition for this match, which is why Sting brought the trash cans with him.
The announcers talk about poll results that show Jeff Hardy leading just 51 to 49 regarding the upcoming cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. They set up the main event with a video package.
The announcers run through a tale of the tape and Taz complains he doesn't like either man. JB handles the ring introductions for this one.
Match #8 - Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray; TNA World Heavyweight Championship fought under Steel Cage Rules
Taz whines about Bully getting a title shot because he's Hulk's son-in-law. Hardy tries some early covers but Ray kicks out quickly. They stand on the ropes and Ray kicks Hardy in the face. Hardy manages to crotch himself on the ropes.
Taz keeps whining about how he doesn't like Ray. Ray runs on offense, and Hardy tries to escape. Ray catches him and teases a punch but locks on a chinlock. Ray then locks on a bear hug as dueling chants get started. Tenay talks about the crowd reaction being split. Taz says this match would be better if D'Lo or another Aces member was involved.
Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and goes for the ropes. Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco run out and climb over the cage. Hardy fights them off and Ray hits them with clotheslines. Ray gets down on all fours and tells Hardy to use him as a springboard. Hardy does, and crashes into the youngsters. Ray and Hardy clear them from the ring, and Wes lands awkwardly on his way out.
Hardy and Ray go at it again and Hardy gets the better. He tries to escape the cage, but Ray catches him, turns him around and slams his hand across Hardy's chest. With both men on the ropes, Hardy battles back. Hardy hits a kick and falls to the mat, and Ray falls onto Hardy with a splash that nets him a two.
Hardy hits Twist of Fate and tries to go up top to escape. Ray catches him from behind. He puts Hardy and puts him in position for a top-rope powerbomb. That draws a "holy shit" chant from the fans in an impressive spot. Ray covers for two. Taz is happy both guys are hurting.
Hulk hobbles down to ringside with his crutches, with Brooke in tow. Hulk yells encouragement in to Bully from the cut-out in the cage. "Aces and Eights - you gotta get up..." he says. The rest of Aces are starting to come out and surround the cage, and eventually get inside.
Ray and Hardy get back to their feet. Devon is on the top rope and looks at Ray. He hands Ray a hammer, and Ray hits Hardy with it. Hulk yells "NO!" and Brooke looks just as shocked. Devon and Ray have a Team 3D moment and Ray covers for the win.
Winner - Bully Ray to become the New TNA World Heavyweight Champion
Afterward, Taz says we witnessed history and he welcomes Ray "home." Ray celebrates with the rest of Aces as Brooke and Hulk look on in shock. Ray has Hebner raise his hand. He yells at Brooke "you meant nothing to me." Hulk steps up and Ray tells him to get out of his face. Ray challenges Hulk to do something and Brooke can only cry. "You're a dead man." Hogan says.
Ray gets a mic and says "hey Devon, let that stupid bitch cry." He goes on: "hey Hulk, I used you; Brooke, I screwed you." Hulk calls him a son of a bitch from cage side a few times while fans throw garbage at the ring. Ray says he fooled everyone in the crowd and Taz says Aces is now playing with all the cards.
Ray says he is the president of Aces and Eights and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He hugs Devon and celebrates with the other members of Aces. Taz says it's a great night to be a bad son of a bitch. Ray taunts the fans from the ropes and points at Taz and says "we did it" as the show ends.
It took forever to get to this point, but we've gotten there. Many were predicting Bully to show himself at Bound for Glory, and many fans were seeing this months ago. I'm sure it shocked some of the casual fans, though.
The big thing I'm waiting for now is to see that first promo from Bully. How will he connect the dots and inconsistencies in this story now that he's been revealed as the president of Aces? And it's been a long time since Ray has been a heel, but he is so much more effective in that position. It might be the only thing that has really changed since Bound for Glory - but it's a big one.
Overall picture: This show was not amazing but it was very solid. Better than average TNA pay-per-view that gave us a major storyline development. TNA really did a great job on the production side of this one, and this looked as good, if not better, than Slammiversary last year. The lighting was good, the crowd seemed big and were into much of what was going on throughout the night.
Join me this Thursday night for all the fallout from tonight's pay per view. It's the first one on the road and will be coming to us from Chicago. Thanks for following along tonight.