The 2010 Lethal Lockdown Pay Per View is in the books! Say what you will about TNA, but they're always out to surprise, even if some reveals come off as being a little less than intended.
With Douglas Williams apparently stuck overseas, the X Division title was vacated. Meanwhile, Sean "Syxx Pac" Waltman appears to have no-showed the event.
RVD pins James Storm after the 5 Star Frog Splash, gaining Team Hogan the man advantage for Lethal Lockdown
This match began with plenty of tomfoolery outside the cage before the match even started. RVD hit a nice leg drop after climbing half way up the cage and nailing Storm, who's body was keeled over the guard rail.
There was one strange moment in the match where it looked like RVD was supposed to bleed but didn't, only to start gushing after what appeared to be a standard, ordinary shot into the cage.
Honestly, James Storm impresses me more and more every time I see him wrestle. A lot of fans seem to believe that Robert Roode has the bigger future of the two, but to me, Storm has the look, the gimmick a very strong wrestling acumen that I certainly hope takes him far in this business.
RVD's matches always have a sustained quickness to them and this one was no exception. I was surprised to see how quickly the time had gone by when the bell sounded.
SCORE: 7.1 out of 10
Homicide steals the win by climbing out of the cage first before the Motor City Machineguns or Brian Kendrick
Well, this match was a welcome surprise. I was under the impression that this was some sort of slapped together tag team match, but clearly this match and its result were important for the pay per view as a whole.
I'm still a bit uncertain as to what TNA is trying to do with Kendrick. His ring attire and his music are a bit lacking creatively, which is a shame considering this kid's talent.
The Guns were their usual quick selves, though their double-team spots didn't seem to be nearly as numerous as one might find in other MCMG matches.
In the end, Homicide feigned helping Kendrick with a double team, only to jump the top of the cage and climb out, shocking Kendrick, but gaining the victory nonetheless.
A decent match, but nothing Earth-shattering here beyond the knowledge that Homicide might finally start earning a much-deserved push after being absent from TV for so long.
Oh, and the reward for this match? A trip into the X Division title match as the third entrant, facing off against Kazarian and Shannon Moore.
SCORE: 6.2 out of 10
Madison Rayne pinned Tara to win Angelina Love's Knockouts Title
Say what you will about the dwindling number of wrestlers in the Knockouts Division, these ladies still know how to put on a good show. Tara and Angelina can both wrestle a solid match, while Madison seems to be the primary bump taker in the Beautiful People.
This dynamic continued tonight, and while Tara and Angelina worked well at first, Tara tagged herself in when Angelina had things well in hand, taking the loss in the process.
The surprise here came after the match when The Beautiful People had left. Instead of Angelina being angry at Tara, she helped her partner up, only to have her face slammed head first in to the cage by Tara.
A heel turn for Tara? It sure looks like it!
One of the few surprises of the night, and the beginning of what could turn into a fantastic feud between the two best female wrestlers in TNA bar none.
On a side note: If those two are fighting, then who finally steps up to challenge The Beautiful People for any of the THREE belts they now have? Hamada? ODB? Sarita and Taylor? Daffney? There's not a whole lot of legit competition for them, sadly.
SCORE: 7.3 out of 10
Kevin Nash defeated Eric Young with the Jack Knife Power Bomb
Another surprise match. Not because Nash won, but because it never really appeared to me that Young had much of a chance.
It seems like TNA has been doing their level best to get Young over, but I'm of the opinion that Nash simply isn't the one to do that for him.
I also think that it makes the Band seem a bit small or underused when you're talking about what they've done so far. I'm hoping TNA will tighten up their actual purpose for being around now that this feud is (hopefully) over.
There wasn't a whole lot of memorable moments in this match. Nash used his typical offense of holding his opponent in the corner and using a lot of shoulder strikes. There was also a side slam.
As much as I once enjoyed Nash back in his WCW and WWF days, I'm almost amazed at how small his move set has become over the years.
With Syxx not showing up, Nash announces that he will be Scott Hall's partner in his matchup later versus Team 3D.
SCORE: 4.8 out of 10
Kazarian wins the X Division title by pinning Homicide after a reverse pile driver (Shannon Moore was also in the match)
First and foremost, I have to say that I LOVED the reverse piledriver performed by Kazarian. I've always enjoyed his innovative style, and it was nice to see the match end on such a cool looking move.
No, it's not flashy like a flip piledriver, but it was just something that made me sit up and think "wow, that's something you don't see every day."
I also have to say that while I know that TNA was backed in to a corner with the Williams situation (if that's indeed what happened and he was stuck back home), this is now the third title that's changed hands in the last few weeks without the champion getting pinned.
Angelina won the title in the Lockbox show down, then lost it when her partner got pinned.
Stuff like that is okay to pull out every once in a while, but when it comes to championship matches, it's just not something I like to see all that often.
Regardless, all three participants put on a good show. Moore still tends to abuse the same moves (cork screws and spinning heel kicks aplenty), but he did a decent job.
It's also hard to remember the last time I saw Homicide wrestle so well, but he was really on his game in both matches. The Gringo Killer looks so bad every time he does it. Well, bad in a good way, of course.
SCORE: 7.5 out of 10
Team 3D defeats The Outsiders by slamming Scott Hall through a table
I'll just come right out and say it: This match angered me. Team 3D versus the frickin' OUTSIDERS and it's basically a throw in midcard match? Look, I know what you're thinking. Neither of these teams are exactly in their prime.
But while the match itself was decent, you don't put two of the most decorated and celebrated tag teams of all time in match because Syxx Pac no-showed, I don't care if that was a work (most likely) or a shoot.
I'm not sure what TNA should do with these teams, but I'd honestly rather have them gunning for the gold than watch Matt Morgan walk around with two belts.
I like him, but with the sheer number of good, or at least big name tag teams, it makes little sense to waste both Morgan and all of these teams in such a manner.
Commentary aside, I thought that they put on a decent match. Hall taking a table shot was a little surprising, but 3D carried most of the match and Brother Ray's mouth generated most of the heat heading toward what was essentially a 15-minute build up for what may have been a dream match back in the late 90's.
As it stands, both sides put in a decent effort, but it still looked a bit old school compared to what the younger guys in TNA are capable of. I probably would've liked it more if there had been more wrestling and more heat built up between the two teams.
SCORE: 5.5 out of 10
Kurt Angle walked out of the cage after choking Mr. Anderson out and spitting on him
Probably the least surprising match of the night both in terms of outcome as well as quality.
This match had a definite "feud ending" feel to it and given Angle's announcement after the match, that would appear to be what we have on our hands now.
In terms of match quality, no one in wrestling lays his body on the line like Kurt Angle. Read that sentence again. No one.
The guy was a walking pool of blood after the match, he moonsaulted off of the top of the cage, and while he nearly missed Anderson, he still landed enough for it to look incredible.
There were ankle locks, mic checks, five german suplexes in a row, the entire match definitely gave off the feel that both of these guys were trying to put their exclamation point on the end of this rivalry.
Anderson did a solid job, and I really think that this feud with Angle raised his stock considerably in TNA.
Say what you will about his past issues, but Ken Anderson is rounding into a solid TNA fixture and while AJ's the champ, Anderson easily has the potential to be the top heel in the company.
After the match, Angle announced to the crowd that he's going to take some time off, but come back recharged and ready to contend for the world title.
SCORE: 9.1 out of 10 (MATCH OF THE NIGHT)
AJ Styles retains the title after pinning The Pope (after penning him?)
One thing I still love about AJ Styles is the fact that in spite of his turn to the dark side and his gimmick as a Flair impersonator, he still has his trademark high-flying style.
Too often you see a star go bad and turn in to a walking rest hold over night. Not the champ!
This was a solid, back and forth match, with both stars hitting their patented moves. It was nice to see the crowd firmly split between the two and very vocal about this fact as well.
Of particular note were AJ's somersault splash off of the middle of the top rope, which somehow seemed to have more oomph behind it given the limited space inside the cage.
Unlike most title matches however, I never really got the impression that the Pope was going to pull this match out.
The fact that Flair was sent to the back before the match even started almost seemed to guarantee that somehow. I was hoping for a legit victory by either competitor here, what we got was a little... Different?
In one of the stranger finishes to a match that I've seen recently, Styles grabbed a pen from the pocket of a nearby cameraman, stabbed the Pope in the eye with it and somehow used that to come out victorious.
The announcers described it as "AJ taking a page out of Flair's book," but to end a world title match that had been built up for so long that way? Weak.
SCORE: 7.9 out of 10
Lethal Lockdown: Team Hogan defeated Team Flair when Abyss pinned Desmond Wolfe following a black hole slam
Another one that wasn't particularly surprising. After Team Hogan had been decimated for weeks by team Flair, you know that the wrestling principle of opposite momentum was in full effect.
The individual/team that loses week in and week out always wins at the pay per view.
It's like an unwritten law of wrestling, for whatever reason. Oh, there was also the fact that Hogan had said earlier in the night that if Team Flair won, he'd quit TNA. So again, you knew the outcome before the match even happened.
The predictable back and forth occurred as the staggered entrants came in and double teamed the one guy, then another fresh participant would come in and turn the tide.
When it came to Jeff Hardy, Team Hogan's last entrant, he was shown in the back, laid out by Sting.
With the advantage going to Team Flair, the match basically turned in to a beatdown for several minutes. The four participants even raised their hands in victory before having actually pinned any of Jarrett, Abyss or RVD.
Then Hardy's music hit and he came out and smacked both members of Beer Money with a kendo stick before climbing up to the top of the sealed cage.
After more kendo shots to Beer Money, Hardy stole the "spot of the night" from Kurt Angle and his moonsault by hitting a splash from atop a ladder that was atop the cage onto Storm, smashing him through a table.
It's not that he got more height than Angle, but the fact that Hardy's looked much cleaner (again, Angle barely touched Anderson on his landing) and also the fact that he was even able to accomplish this move while on top of a cage as the ladder seemed to teeter at the edge.
Meanwhile, Hogan, Flair and Bischoff (who was supposedly on the outs with Hogan) all made an appearance in this match, putting on a little "Who Will I Swerve" theater.
As the bodies laid all around them, Flair went in for some cheap shots and Hogan followed. Bischoff came out and pulled Sting's bat out of Hogan's hands before pulling out a pair of brass knuckles.
At this point, we're meant to think that Bischoff was screwing Hogan over, but instead of handing the knucks to Flair, he handed them to Hogan.
This sort of begged the question: Why would Hogan trade in a baseball bat for a pair of brass knuckles? Just to show Bischoff that they're on the same team?
That troubling bit of creative constipation aside, the match sort of just ended abruptly after this when Abyss came back to life and slammed Desmond Wolfe for the 1-2-3.
A strange way to end the match, but given what had happened above the cage, I was still content, all theater aside.
SCORE: 7.3 out of 10
Overall Review: Readers won't be shocked to know that this pay per view featured a LOT of blood. Some people have been complaining about the gratuitous use of the red stuff lately and it was definitely in full effect during Lockdown.
Still, if you're going to have a pay per view devoted entirely to steel cages, isn't it pretty logical to have a lot of blood? Going the opposite way, in my mind at least, would've been a lot worse.
The beginning was a bit stale, with Jeremy Borash sounding a bit awkward at times and stepping over Christy Hemme's words.
I'll give Hemme plenty of credit though. Her mic skills have improved by leaps and bounds since transitioning to her new(ish) role as a "behind the scenes" personality.
Taz was on his game, as always, while Mike Tenay seemed to be a bit more loose in his sense of humor. I wish they'd let his on-air persona lighten up a little and stop having him be so wide-eyed for the good guys.
He almost seems more suited toward working in the early 90's version of wrestling where it was okay for the announcer to seem so bumfuzzled every time a heel won or a face got screwed over.
Regardless, they did a solid job. I should also give a shout out to the camera crew for doing a much better job than I would've otherwise expected. It can't be easy shooting each and every match inside of a steel cage.
Sure, they got a few more views of top and sides of the hole that was cut out for them to shoot through, but for the most part, they did a solid job.
The matches themselves were brutal at times (in a good way), it was still nice to see the women having good, quality matches and not simply having hair pulling contests, not that I'd expect anything less from these particular participants.
The overusage of the Band pretty much ended the way I thought it would. I'll admit that Hall and Nash were my two favorite wrestlers back in the old nWo days (and even before that in the Razor Ramon / Diesel days), so I'm a bit of an apologist for them.
But is it too late to teach some old dogs new tricks? Both of these guys seem to have fewer than five moves in their entire repertoire.
Scott Hall used to be one of the best tacticians in the ring. His ladder match with Shawn Michaels at In Your House is a thing of legend now.
But while I don't expect him to be able to hoist Brother Ray up for a fallaway slam, a bit more variety from both of these guys would be nice.
The championship matches were all solid. It was nice to see Tara's psycho heel turn, and while the finish to the world title match was pretty bad, the stuff that came before it was quality. It wasn't quite on the level of Angle / Anderson, but it was good none the less.
FINAL SCORE: 7.6 out of 10
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