TNA Lockdown 2013: Ranking Title Matches on Sunday Night's Card
With TNA only running four pay-per-views a year now, there's an added significance to Lockdown 2013.
It was a very shrewd move when the company announced that it would cut three-fourths of the PPVs from its yearly schedule. Only having four major events will bring an added significance to each match and give feuds plenty of time to breathe before having them end in huge blowout matches.
Whatever the outcome of Lockdown, the future of Aces & Eights will be decided. With the result of one match the group that TNA has spent so much time on could be given either its death knell or the shot of adrenaline to bring some freshness to the angle.
Aside from that, there are four different titles on the line, so there's plenty of reasons for fans to tune in. Here's how each title match ranks in terms of drama and match quality.
4. Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim for Knockouts' Championship
Velvet Sky just won the title back on Feb. 21, so it doesn't make much sense to have her lose it already. She deserves a more sustained title reign. Then again, you could very easily see the company give the title to Gail Kim for whatever reason.
Quite frankly, TNA could do almost anything with the Knockouts and nobody will really care. It's a shame because the company used to have such great matches when compared to the crap that WWE continues to bore fans with. The division is so starved for talent at this point. Having Sky and Kim in the title match should be OK, but nothing fans haven't seen before.
The less said about this match the better.
3. Kenny King (c) vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York for X-Division Championship
TNA did next to nothing to get fans ready for this match. Kenny King has been battling with Rob Van Dam, so it's a bit refreshing to see him going up against somebody else, or in this case two other guys. On paper, it should be a solid match with some exciting spots.
The problem is the fact the company has given fans no reason to feel compelled to see any of the three come out victorious. There isn't a rivalry between any of the guys that would make the match exciting. While King, Zema Ion and Christian York will likely put on a good show, the crowd is going to have no reaction whatsoever, which will kill the spectacle of the match.
Having somebody else other than Van Dam in the X-Division title picture is a long overdue move. Unfortunately, TNA has done nothing to help improve the quality of the X Division. Throwing together a match out of the blue is just symbolic of how far it has fallen in the pecking order of the company.
2. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries (c) vs. Daniels and Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez for World Tag Team Championship
And now to one of the few things that TNA is actually getting right at this point. What the tag-team division lacks in depth it more than makes up for in quality.
This is a division that fans care about and where the wrestlers have clearly established rivalries. Add to that the fact that fans will have a hard time predicting a winner and you have the makings of a very good match.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are absolutely awesome together. The company could have very easily dropped the ball by making them a tag team but instead knocked it out of the park. Roode and Aries are great on the mic and in the ring to make up a great tag team.
Then you throw in Daniels and Kazarian. There aren't enough superlatives to describe what they've been doing over the last few months. Even Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez make up a solid team.
This could very easily be match of the night. You've got plenty of guys who can deliver in the ring and have some comedy spots along the way.
1. Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray for World Heavyweight Championship
Give credit where credit is due. Jeff Hardy isn't the most reliable guy to give your world title to, but he's been very good since winning it from Aries at Bound for Glory. With Hardy having held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship since October, it would make sense to have him drop it now.
Dropping the belt to Bully Ray is the smart move, both because he deserves to have a world title reign and it is the only move left for TNA at this point.
The larger picture is what will happen to Aces & Eights. The group had the makings of becoming the kind of renegade group that will give TNA a massive boost. Instead, the wind has come out of the sails.
Aces & Eights is quickly turning into the New World Order in that there's new members every week, each one as marginal as the last. Boy, weren't Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff major game-changers?
Aces & Eights has largely been marginalized in recent weeks. The only thing that could help it at this stage is to make Bully Ray the leader. He would be great on the mic as the mouthpiece and bring something new to the group.
Should Hardy win and Bully Ray not join Aces & Eights, all of the time TNA has spent in making the group a monster will be even more wasted than it already has.
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