TNA Lockdown 2013: Aces & Eights President Bully Ray Wins the World Title

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TNA Lockdown 2013: Aces & Eights President Bully Ray Wins the World Title
photo from impactwrestling.com

TNA Wrestling presented its second of four pay-per-views this year here with Lockdown. With eight matches booked, four titles on the line and the traditional Lethal Lockdown, TNA looked to deliver quite the show. The night certainly started out strong with the first title match.

 

Kenny King vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York: TNA X-Division Championship

Kenny King would successfully retain his X-Division Championship here after hitting the Royal Flush on Christian York.

TNA kicked off the event in a big way with this exciting match. There was a pretty bad botch in the beginning when King tried to moonsault off of Zema Ion to the outside onto York, which resulted in him landing on barricade on the back of his head, but he was thankfully fine. King recouped from the maneuver and helped deliver an extremely fun match.

Fans saw an awesome corkscrew by Ion, a hurricanrana into a moonsault, a Tower of Doom and many other exciting moves. This match had me having flashbacks of the X-Division of old. I remember when the X-Division featured guys flying around the ring, but also had a good match at the same time. King, York and Ion did just that.

This gives me hope for the future of the X-Division. The three wrestlers involved here are not only the future of the division, but they are the present. If TNA can bring in some new faces, and maybe even some old, the X-Division can get back on track and back to its former glory.

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Joey Ryan vs. Joseph Park

Joseph Park picked up his first TNA PPV victory here when he just sat on Joey Ryan. This match came out of nowhere. Park hasn’t been seen since an eight-man tag match in England a few weeks ago, while Ryan has been missing since January’s Genesis event. Despite being missing and having zero build or storyline, this wasn’t a terrible match.

It was actually kind of fun. There was some decent action, so it wasn’t really the greatest. At the same time, it was great to see Ryan actually have a match and to see the Joe Park storyline progress a little further.

Ryan has a great gimmick. He has the ability to get under a crowd’s skin, so he makes a good heel. He can get the job done in the ring, but TNA just doesn’t use him. After building him up after his rejection from Gut Check, it just dropped his momentum. I hope to see him get a storyline sooner rather than later.

I like the Joe Park character, though as I have said many times in the past, I do miss Abyss. In the long run, I think that this is going to lead to the return of the Monster. When that happens is a mystery, but it will happen at some point.

 

Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim: TNA Knockouts Championship

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Velvet Sky retained her title here after referee Taryn Terrell attacked Gail Kim and Velvet hit the In Yo Face. This was some solid Knockouts action as Velvet and Gail showed some good chemistry.

This was much better than their match last year at Lockdown, and better than most of their other one-on-one matches. It seems like they have learned from whatever mistakes and faults they had in their previous matches and really improved upon them.

I was really glad to see Velvet retain the belt. After a very short reign in 2011, she definitely deserves more of a chance to shine. While she’s not the best in the division, she has improved quite a bit since her debut. Gail continues to be one of the best in the division, though.

I liked Taryn’s attack on Gail. She has been verbally abused by Gail quite a bit over the past month, and during this match, Gail finally got physical by slapping her. Taryn has obviously had enough, and that will set up her in-ring debut with TNA. I just hope she has improved since her WWE days.

 

Robbie E vs. Rob Terry

Rob Terry defeated his former bro here with a big spinebuster. This match really wasn’t the greatest. It was slow and a bit boring at times. If it wasn’t for some offense from Robbie, this would have been a total squash.

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When I think about it, though, it makes sense for Terry to destroy him. He has been all but a slave to Robbie for two years, and being the size that he is, it’s pretty degrading. I was actually expecting this match to last no more than a minute with Terry just destroying Robbie. That didn’t happen, so a slow and boring match came out as a result.

This match would turn out to be the only real downside of the entire event. I am glad they’re finally separated, though. Their partnership was leading nowhere. Both wrestlers are better off as singles competitors. 

 

Austin Aries and Bobby Roode vs. Bad Influence vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez: TNA World Tag Team Championship

Austin Aries and Bobby Roode retained the tag titles after Roode tagged himself in just before Chavo Guerrero hit the Frog Splash onto Christopher Daniels. This was a great match between three great teams. The action was nonstop as all three teams gave it their all.

I thought the ending was incredibly well done. Seeing Roode tag himself in by hitting Guerrero’s foot midair was quite cool.

Aries and Roode continue to show phenomenal chemistry with one another, and I’m glad their storyline is still going strong. I’m curious to see what title they’ll go after next.

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Bad Influence are truly one of the best teams TNA has ever had. Daniels and Kazarian’s gimmicks make for solid heels, they are great in the ring and they are just pure entertainment. I hope to see them go up against just Aries and Roode at Slammiversary. To me, that has Match of the Year written all over it.

Hernandez was on fire in this match. He was all over the place and really impressed me. I think if given the chance, Hernandez could make it as a singles star. With TNA’s shortage of tag teams, though, it would be best that he stick with Guerrero for a bit longer.

This match really picked things back up after the lackluster Robbie E/Rob Terry match, which was a good thing with three steel cage matches coming up next. 

 

Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco: Steel Cage Match

Despite having the match won twice, both by submission and by escaping the cage, Kurt Angle would lose the match due to the referee being down. With Brian Hebner down and out, D’Lo Brown was able to run out, attack Angle and drag Brisco out of the cage after throwing Angle back in.

The match itself was solid. There was some nice action throughout, including five German suplexes and one from the top rope, but that ending just left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m glad that the Aces & Eights got a victory since they really needed one, but the ending was just kind of lame.

photo from pic.twitter.com/R03svAPrza

I give major props to Brisco for hanging in there with the Olympic gold medalist, and Angle is still a machine in the ring. The ending just did nothing for me.

Despite being a solid matchup, this wasn’t as good as previous Kurt Angle steel cage matches at Lockdown. He usually steals the show every year, but this year was different. Hopefully, he’ll be stealing the show next year. 

 

Lethal Lockdown

The order wrestlers came in are as follows: Mr. Anderson, Magnus, Knox, Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, Eric Young, Devon, James Storm, D.O.C. and Sting. The Icon brought with him two trash cans filled with various weapons and his signature bat. There was no roof this year, so that would explain why Sting brought the weapons himself. 

Overall, this year’s Lethal Lockdown was a fun match. The action was quite good with fewer people in the ring, especially with Magnus and Samoa Joe teaming up. As the ring filled up, things slowed down and became a bit cluttered, but as soon as the weapons arrived, chaos ensued.

They took turns beating each other with the weapons inside the cage, which was intense. Two major highlights of the match was a massive six-man Tower of Doom and Eric Young’s elbow drop from the top of the cage. EY’s massive elbow is what gave Team TNA the victory.

photo from pic.twitter.com/CKfjSvhqmC

I always love Lethal Lockdown, and this year was no different. Everyone performed quite well in the ring, and I was very happy to see a serious Eric Young. He may have taken his pants off before entering the cage, but he was all business in the ring.

The Aces & Eights suffered a major loss in this match, but the night was not over yet.

 

Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray: Steel Cage Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

After the Aces & Eights surrounded the ring and entered the cage, Devon threw Bully Ray the hammer. He would Hardy in the back with it and pinned him to win his first-ever World Heavyweight Championship.

With Hulk and Brooke Hogan at ringside, Bully screamed “I used you” before announcing that he was the president of the Aces & Eights.

The match itself was quite good, and was really going when the ending happened. The action was solid throughout as it featured a huge sitout powerbomb from the top rope from Bully to Hardy. They even fought off Bischoff and Brisco earlier in the match, which is what made the ending a bit shocking.

I wished it went a little longer before it all went down, but that ending was just so well done.

photo from pic.twitter.com/6lMTMSnkh0

I figured that Bully was a member of the Aces & Eights and that he was using Brooke to get to Hulk. I was half right since I didn’t peg him as the president of the group. I always thought it was Jeff Jarrett, but it all makes sense.

Bully Ray has been vying for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship ever since he went solo and became the Bully. He never got a proper opportunity, so he changed gears and decided to get on the good side of general manager Hulk Hogan by fighting the Aces & Eights.

Marrying Brooke was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, for everything. Now a member of the Hogan family, Bully got exactly what he wanted and that whole time he was really just being his old bully self.

While I would have liked to see Jarrett be the leader, this situation just makes perfect sense. I am once again interested in the Aces & Eights storyline. Like I said, Bully Ray turning heel is something I saw coming, but him as the president and how TNA went about it was just executed very well.

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought the 2013 edition of TNA Lockdown was a great show with a great crowd. Seeing the fans throw trash into the ring after the main event was great, too. They were really into it! Been a long time since I've seen a crowd so into a result that they'd throw trash at the bad guys.

The only real dud of the night was the Robbie E/Rob Terry match; though I’m sure some may put Joey Ryan/Joseph Park there as well.

Everything else delivered on this show. The Triple Threat Tag Team Championship match was definitely the Match of the Night of the eight contests presented. TNA Wrestling really delivered with this event. This was a major step up from their previous PPV Genesis in January.

They are going into the first live Impact Wrestling on the road in Chicago with some major momentum. Assuming they can keep it going strong, TNA will definitely be having a great spring leading into Slammiversary in June from Boston.

 

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows! If your bio doesn’t say you’re a wrestling fan, please tweet me so I know.

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