TNA offers its first pay per view event of 2014 this weekend with the Lockdown event. Every match on this show will be contested inside a steel cage, whether it needs to be or not. The card tonight breaks down as follows:
Manik vs. Tigre Uno
Ethan Carter III vs. TBA (Kurt Angle was his scheduled opponent but has withdrawn from this match...)
Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw
The Great Muta, Nakanoue, and Sanada vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Chris Sabin; Interpromotional six-man tag
Gunner vs. James Storm
Madison Rayne (c) vs. Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa); TNA Knockouts Championship
Team Dixie - Bobby Roode, The Bro Mans (Robbie E. and Jesse) and Austin Aries vs. Team MVP - MVP, The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) and Jeff Hardy; Lethal Lockdown. The winning team captain (MVP or Dixie) gets full control of wrestling operations. If Team Dixie wins, Bobby Roode also gets 10% ownership stake in TNA.
Magnus (c) vs. Samoa Joe; TNA World Heavyweight Championship contested under "Joe's Rules", winner must win by submission or knockout
Show Open, Live from the Bank United Center on the University of Miami Campus, Miami, FL
We get to see TNA Champion Magnus arriving at the building earlier, as well as Samoa Joe. They roll into the opening Lockdown video, and Tenay and Taz check in on commentary.
Match #1 - Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Chris Sabin vs. The Great Muta, Sanada and Nakanoue; six-man interpromotional tag cage match
Bad Influence came out with Japanese masks and gis on. Sanada was introduced as the X-Division Champion, given his win over Austin Aries last week. That's the first time they've acknowledged that fact. Muta got a really good reaction when he came out.
Sanada and Sabin work first with some quick offense. Kaz and Nakanoue get the tags and go on a run next. Great Muta tags in and the crowd pops for that one. He didn't stay in long, tagging back out to Nakakoue. The heels get the better of him. They work quickly, hitting Nakanoue with a triple drop kick at one point along the way. Nakanoue avoids a leg drop and gets the tag to Sanada.
Sanada gets the better of the TNA threesome, but Bad Influence catches him with a high-low move for two in a nice spot. Muta checks in, throwing a couple drop kicks at Kaz's knee, then hits a leg screw whip on all three men. Muta puts Daniels in a single leg lock that Sabin breaks up.
Sabin grabs Muta from behind, and Kaz does some trash talking. He runs the ropes and runs straight into a dose of green mist from Muta. Sanada hits a wicked moonsault a bit later on Daniels and covers for the win. Tenay points out the respectful TNA fans as the camera pans the audience.
Winner - The Great Muta, Nakanoue and Sanada
Gotta admit, Muta is looking pretty slow these days. None the less, great to see him work in the US and a very rare treat. I enjoyed that. The match was fun and the TNA guys seemed motivated. They worked better than the Japanese guys it seemed. Also, the presentation of Sanada as X-champion was really weak. Definitely did not get him over as a champion in any way.
The announcers talk at ringside and here comes Rockstar Spud. He offers a big buildup and introduces Dixie Carter. She comes to the stage and says how she has become a queen. She says that some still doubt her and she insults Miami fans, saying some look like they've been hit by a hurricane.
She tells the fans to buckle up because she's going to turn the arena on its side. She says MVP forced her to do something he won't anticipate. She says no one will take any part of her company from her and brags about having built TNA to the international success it is. She says she went to New York and got an insurance card that she has in her back pocket to ensure her team's victory.
She says Jeff Hardy walked out on TNA and on her. She says he is in breach of contract, and every part of the arena is covered by security to not allow him to enter the building tonight.
That was really bad. And the fans weren't giving her heel heat, but to me it sounded like "go away" heat. Also, cue "Willow the Wisp" as MVP's fourth man.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash talks to Velvet Sky and Eric Young, who are interacting with fans on Twitter.
We get a recap of the story between Samuel Shaw, Christy Hemme, and Mr. Anderson.
Shaw comes out, and he's upset because he can't find Christy. Shaw gets in the cage, climbs to the top of it and perches himself there only to call for Christy on the mic. He says that someone isn't keeping things professional. He says if Hemme doesn't come out, "I am going to professionally end it all." Shaw starts to stand up on top of the cage, but Anderson's music hits.
Anderson asks for the music to be stopped and says he has something important. He does his pre-match intro bit then tells Shaw he doesn't want him to jump because it's not high enough. The fans chant for him to jump though. Anderson tells him that he'd only break or twist an ankle and "you'd need at least four or five stories." He tells Shaw to come down and let him beat him up, and he'll give him a ride wherever he wants to go. Anderson calls him a creepy bastard, which gets a fan chant going again.
Match #2 - Samuel Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson; Escape the Cage rules
Shaw waits on top of the cage when the bell sounds. He eventually climbs down to start the match. Christy Hemme emerges from the back to watch and cheer on Anderson. Shaw gets control and tries to escape but he got himself stuck. Anderson grabs him to help a reset. They fight in the corner while fans chant for CM Punk and Christy sells concern at ringside. Anderson hits a back suplex and both men sell.
Shaw spots Christy and heads to the cage door but Hebner can't find the key. Anderson bumps Shaw into the cage, and that sends Hebner flying to the floor on the opposite side of the cage. Back in the ring, Anderson sends Shaw into the bottom turnbuckle, which Hemme cheers. Anderson talks trash.
Christy is excited as Anderson goes for the escape. Shaw grabs Christy through the camera opening in the cage. Shaw manages to pull her in the cage, and Anderson hits the floor so the match should be over, but Hebner's out. Shaw is in the cage with Christy, so Anderson grabs the key and gets Hemme out before Shaw can make a move. Since Anderson's back inside, he helps Christy out. Shaw hits a low blow from behind and locks on his submission. Anderson is left laying as Shaw exits, and Hebner sees him so Shaw wins. Christy runs out to the back.
Winner - Samuel Shaw
That was an overbooked disaster of a cage match. I think it's things like this that ruin the cage match gimmick for me as a viewer.
Backstage, Bobby Roode is conferring with BroMans. Aries walks in, and he's worried about Dixie's "insurance policy" for the Lethal Lockdown match. Roode says they'll figure that out, but they don't need to worry about it with this team. Aries says he wants to make sure he gets his percentage of shares if they win. Roode cuts that discussion off before he can go too much further.
This whole "percentage of ownership" nonsense is killing me. Probably the stupidest thing TNA has ever come up with, and there's been a lot of those.
They run a video package highlighting Ethan Carter III injuring Kurt Angle last week on iMPACT.
Carter comes to the ring and there's not a lot of reaction for him. He says he grew up with a dream to be the best, and talks about Kurt Angle winning Olympic gold. He labels him one of the greatest of all time, then says he is also one of the greats adding "I am wrestling." The fans chant "you can't wrestle." back at him. He countered with "I'm very good" and "I disagree" when they chanted.
EC3 brags about how he took out Angle's knee twice with a wrestling move. He says the timing of Angle's injury is suspicious and issues an open challenge to anyone on the TNA roster. Bobby Lashley's music hits and he comes out to a pretty big pop. EC3 repeatedly says that Lashley is not on the roster and demands he leave. Lashley doesn't comply, of course, so EC3 swings at him. Lashley ducks and hits him with a big power slam, then spears EC3 and he rolls out. Lashley plays to the fans as EC3 scoots himself on his ass up the ramp.
Personally, I've never been big on Bobby Lashley, but the live crowd ate it up. Short, sweet, and to the point segment here. There was no reason to make this an official match because EC3 doesn't need to take the loss.
They run a Kenny King video package where he's out in Vegas hanging out with some ladies.
A pre-taped Magnus promo is up next. He says he's the champion fighting under Samoa Joe's rules inside a cage. He says he is fighting a lone crusade. He says everyone is talking about what Joe will do to him, but no one is talking about what he will do to Joe, or what Joe will do to himself. He says Joe has things figured out.
Match #3 - Tigre Uno vs. Manik
Tenay raves about the newest addition in Uno, saying he was trained by Rey Mysterio Jr.'s uncle. Pretty fast paced start to this one, with Uno getting the better of it. He charges Manik, but Manik moves and Uno crashes and burns into the cage. Uno comes back with a really impressive series of rope bounce moves, working into a huracanrana. In the end, Uno hits his Sabertooth Splash and picks up the victory.
Winner - Tigre Uno
The live crowd didn't have a reason to care about either guy, so they were pretty quiet except for some of the impressive high spots. Manik had a couple of good moments but this was all about introducing Uno. This was a good debut. Presentation is big though, so hopefully they will fix his God-awful entrance music. They had weeks to know he was joining the roster...is that the best they could do?
They recap the James Storm vs. Gunner feud in video
Match #4 - James Storm vs. Gunner; Last Man Standing Rules
Storm comes out first, complete with a heel theme and a new facial hair/hairdo look. He sneers as he gets in the cage. Gunner comes out next, and Storm tries to attack him on the ramp but Gunner is up to the task. Things spill into the ring where Storm bounces a steel bottle off of Gunner's head. Weapons get added to the ring as the fight continues on.
The bell sounds and it's official now. Storm dominates the early going, grabbing the tag rope off the corner to choke Gunner. Storm keeps the choke going, tying the rope around Gunner's throat and hitting a low blow. The fans seem to disengage a bit here.
The fans wake up when Gunner starts a comeback. He no-sells some corner smashes and hits a high knee, then throws a series of right hand strikes. Storm blocks a shot and throws Gunner into a chair propped between the ropes in the corner. Gunner gets up on the eight count, and Storm pops him with a chair and yells "Stay down!"
Gunner hits a spear and drops Storm on the mat near the chair. The referee starts his count as some in the crowd chant "this is awesome." Not really, but okay. Storm gets up, but Gunner comes off the rope at him. Storm throws the chair at him as Gunner comes to the mat. Storm follows up with more chair shots, then sets up two more. He tries for a powerbomb between them, but Gunner counters. Gunner takes Storm up and superplexes him down through the chairs. Gunner gets up on eight, but Storm is down for the full ten count.
Winner - Gunner
Gunner's charisma is impressing me and he's developed a lot in that department. But because the fans were never really given a turn by Storm, they were quiet early. Gunner woke them up though and won them over, which was impressive. The finish was fine, but not satisfying like the "end of a program" finish should be. They're just not there in the storyline. The two worked hard and kept the crowd engaged, so credit to them for that.
We get a recap of Dixie Carter threatening to have Jeff Hardy banned from the building earlier.
Backstage, MVP talks to the Wolves about keeping their cool. Richards is hot about what Bobby Roode and Austin Aries did to his arm, and Eddie Edwards isn't happy about how Dixie is playing games. MVP coaches them up, telling them to stay focused.
We get a video package to set up the Knockouts title match. Tenay calls it "special" when the ladies battle in a cage. Eh, not really. He runs down his bullet points tale of the tape.
Match #5 - Madison Rayne (c) vs. Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa); TNA Knockouts Championship
Kim appears to tell Tapa to stand down and let her handle things tonight. The fans are pretty quiet for this in the early going. Cool spot early when Kim is up on the top rope with Rayne in an electric chair position. Rather than take the move, Madison rams Gail's face in to the cage repeatedly.
Madison tries a cross body off the ropes, but Kim moves. Now it looks like rather than "stand down" Tapa is to prevent Rayne from getting out of the cage to the floor. That makes a bit more sense. Kim arches Rayne over her knee, and Rayne breaks it by kneeing Kim in the head. Kim comes back with a kick to the head.
Kim charges, and Rayne moves. Gail crashes into the cage which draws a gasp from the live crowd. Later, the women are both in the middle of the ropes on the top rope. Kim slams Rayne into the cage and hits a neckbreaker off the ropes to the mat and gets a near fall. Kim tries to leave and Tapa opens the door, but Madison catches her.
A bit later, Rayne kicks Kim off the ropes and kicks Tapa off the cage. Rayne walks to the corner and hits Kim with a spear from the top rope to get the win.
Winner - Madison Rayne to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship
Good effort from the ladies here. They worked hard. The crowd is engaged and enjoying the action, but they aren't favoring faces over heels. Here, it's because the Knockouts have become so interchangeable and we've not been given a reason to care that much.
Samoa Joe cuts a promo backstage. He talks about his history of tagging with Magnus, and bringing Magnus to the Mafia. He says Magnus threw all of that away, and he will beat Magnus over the head repeatedly until he's unconscious and realizes what he has done. He tells Magnus he is coming for his title belt and tells Magnus to be ready.
A video package sets up the title match.
Match #6 - Magnus (c) vs. Samoa Joe; TNA World Heavyweight Championship under Joe's Rules (submission or knockout only)
We get entrances for this match, and JB handles the old-school in-ring introductions for the title match.
Wait, what? Title match before Lethal Lockdown? I guess this means we see Magnus hold on to the title and Team MVP sends the fans home happy?
Joe starts out in a t-shirt - cue the Sting critics. He listens to some "Joe's gonna kill you" chants as things get going. Joe catches Magnus with kicks early on and Magnus yells at the fans to shut up. Joe rakes his foot across Magnus' face then charges, slamming a knee into his head while Magnus is sitting against the ropes. He tries a backsplash, but Magnus moves.
Magnus takes control and throws some punches and slams Joe into the turnbuckle. Joe throws some shots of his own, but misses a corner charge when Magnus moves out of the way. Tenay sells that as Magnus being familiar with Joe from the time they tagged together.
Joe comes back by running Magnus into the cage. Joe gets Magnus between the ropes and the cage and slams him face first into the cage ten times, then gets a running start and does it one more time. Joe gets one more head slam and Magnus falls to the ground. Blade job time. Joe throws punches and bites him when he stands up.
Magnus slams Joe into the cage. Blade job #2 time. Magnus locks on the Figure Four and we get a lot of "wooooo!' from the live crowd. A few "let's go Joe" chants get started as he sells the hold. Joe turns it over and releases it. Magnus locks on the Camel Clutch.
Joe blocks attempts at sleeper holds, and slams Magnus on his head. After some more back and forth, Joe drops Magnus then hits the back splash. Joe hits a big snap slam and works an arm breaker submission. Magnus is able to get his foot to the bottom rope to break the hold. Joe takes Magnus up top and hits some chops. Magnus kicks Joe off and stands up. Joe comes back and cuts him off to be fought back with kicks.
Joe falls to the mat and Magnus hits his top rope elbow. Magnus throws some strikes but Joe no-sells it. Joe slaps Magnus back and takes him back up top. Joe throws some chops and Magnus tries to climb out of the cage but Joe crotches him. Joe calls for the muscle buster and hits it mid-ring. He locks on the rear naked choke.
Out of nowhere an arm comes up from under the ring. After some time to find Joe, it pulls him under the ring. Fans chant "bullshit" at this. Joe comes back up out of the hole with a crazed look on his face. Joe stomps at the ring and stands up. Joe corners Magnus and lifts him up with a choke. Joe lets go and turns around, and it's Abyss, and he has Janice (the spiked board).
Abyss hits him with the Black Hole Slam and fans boo. Magnus looks confused, but smiles. Magnus locks on Joe's own rear naked choke to get the win as Abyss watches.
Winner - Magnus to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
It really doesn't matter who is in charge of TNA Creative, they just keep doing the same stupid shit. This was just a dumb ass finish that apparently the only one who thought was good was the people who booked it. The fans weren't booing the finish in heat, it was that "we just saw another shitty finish" boo. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, so I think we can declare TNA Creative officially "insane"...
The announcers try to sell what just happened to Joe with anger. At least they didn't just roll their eyes at it.
Backstage, Eric Young tries to go after Abyss and Magnus, but agents hold him back. Simon Diamond and Al Snow tell him to move along and get out of here.
Elsewhere backstage, Dixie is on the phone checking up with someone to make sure they knew when she needed them. Spud talks to her briefly, then Bobby Roode walks in. Dixie asks if he's ready. Dixie tells him to g out there and do his job, and she will do hers. He brings up the ten percent cut and she tells him to trust her.
Roode says he won't with her history. Dixie says she made this a handicap match for him and brings up the insurance policy. Roode tells her she doesn't want him as an enemy. She says the same is true for him, and adds that she has her part covered.
We get a video package for the Lethal Lockdown match.
Match #7 - MVP, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards (The Wolves) and Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Robbie E and Jesse (The BroMans); Lethal Lockdown
JB explains the rules of the match and calls out the first entrants, which will be Aries and MVP to start the match for their teams. The live crowd pops for the hometown MVP for a moment. Aries throws some punches to get an advantage, then lays on the top rope. He stumbles a little when he stands up. MVP comes back, but Aries gets the advantage as the countdown clock reaches zero.
Next entrant is Robbie E of the BroMans, with DJ Zema. Zema cheers on from ringside. The fans are sort of quiet as the heels work on MVP. Taz chimes in that one of the Wolves would be next, but he wasn't sure which one it would be.
A couple minutes later, it's Eddie Edwards. He throws chops and elbow strikes at the heels, then backs Robbie to the corner and chops away on him. Aries cuts him off, but Eddie comes back with a nice suplex. Z climbs the cage to get involved, but Edwards throws Robbie E to the cage and knocks him off.
Jesse is out next, and he throws a nice drop kick on MVP. No one really cared though. BroMans focus their offense on Edwards, throwing a soft double knee to the head facing the hard camera. The heels control the action until Davey Richards comes out. Richards is taped up to sell his shoulder injury. You can hear the fans chanting "f*** 'em up Davey, f*** 'em up" and Taz acknowledges it. He says some fans like Davey. The fans also chanted for the Wolves as a team, as they lock both of the BroMans in single leg crabs at the same time. Aries breaks it up.
Bobby Roode is the last entrant for his team. Roode focuses on Richards' shoulder and yanks the tape off. The clock counts to zero and we get the "Willow the Wisp" music with a laugh. The lights go out, and Tenay and Taz point out that they have seen Willow on iMPACT over the last few weeks.
When the lights come back up, Willow (Jeff Hardy) is on top of the cage. He dives onto the heel team and they all manage to miss him. He crashes, but he gets up unscathed and mugs for the camera through the opening in the cage. The roof comes down, and there's chairs, a cane, trash can lids, and other stuff hanging on it.
Dixie Carter appears and she says she has a special referee and insurance policy. Bully Ray walks out and stands next to her, and heads to the ring. He gets a table from under the ring and throws it in as the heels beat down the faces with weapons. Spud's still styling in that loud suit, and he comes out with a chair for Dixie to sit down on. Roode works on MVP, and Aries nails Richards with a trash can lid. Team Dixie has the full control here.
Roode locks a crossface on Richards. Bully yells at Richards, asking if he wants to give it up. Team MVP starts to battle back at this point, breaking Richards out of the crossface. MVP hits Roode with a facebreaker then the Ballin' elbow drop. The fans even chant along with that one. Willow beats Aries down and rams him face first into the cage.
Taz slips and acknowledges that Willow and Hardy are the same guy. There's this crazy spot where Hardy gets Aries up like a powerbomb, only to release him so he would crash into the cage. It was a good spot but a bit dangerous, because Aries landed with his legs between the cage and ring. He seems okay though so onward we go.
A bit later, we get another wild spot when the BroMans are in the corner together and Jesse ends up wearing a trash can. The Wolves leap from opposite corners and drop kick the trash can. That draws a big pop and a "this is awesome" chant from the fans. Aries picks up Richards a bit later, and drops him in a similar move to his Brainbuster onto an opened up chair. Ouch.
Willow breaks up the pin and roughs up Aries, hitting him with the Twist of Fate with a trash can covering his stomach. Hardy covers and has the pin but Roode breaks it up. Roode grabs MVP and sets up the Roode Bomb, but Bully stands in front of Roode. Roode gets pissed and drops MVP.
Roode shoves Ray and takes a shot at him. Ray ducks it and hits Roode with a urinage. MVP follows it up with the Yakuza Kick to get the win. Dixie throws a fit with Spud, and Ray glares at MVP as he approaches him. Ray raises his hand and the rest of the team's hand in victory. Taz calls this the ultimate double cross.
Winner - Team MVP
Afterward. MVP and company walk to the stage. Dixie rants at them and Spud stands between her and the team. She works her way to ringside and yells at Ray also, and Spud pulls her back and up the ramp. Ray waits for Roode to get up and hits him with a powerbomb through the table.
The show closes with a hype package for Sacrifice, coming up on April 27.
That was a cluster, but a decent cluster when measured against past Lethal Lockdown matches. The finish pleased the live crowd, and the match had its share of crowd pleasing spots along the way too.
Overall though, this was a bad pay per view. There's no sugar coating this one. I think Sacrifice can be a better show because you'll have guys that were tied up in this match able to be in other singles matches which should instantly help the card. Booking, however, is always the debate with TNA and I don't trust that.
I didn't see Ray turning tonight, and sadly it lacked any impact unless you are really into the storyline of who is controlling TNA. Dixie losing support is something I can rally behind if she's not going to be on television constantly. If anyone can cut a promo to make this work, it's Bully Ray so I'll be waiting to hear what gets said on Thursday's iMPACT show to see where it goes from here.
I am still shaking my head at the title match finish. That was horrible, and surely someone in creative could put a stop to such jibberish.
We'll bring you all the fallout of tonight's pay per view this Thursday in our iMPACT coverage, and I'm sure we'll touch on this in RingRap Audio as well later this week. If you have comments or questions for that show, be sure to hit me on Twitter (@Bill_SoonerFan) or hit the site (@RingRap) and use the #AskRingRap tag to flag those out for us. Thanks for following along this evening.