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KELLER'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT 3/10: Hardy vs. Bully Ray for World Title, Aces & Eights vs. Team TNA at Alamodome

Mar 11, 2013 - 2:04:00 AM

MARCH 10, 2013

-Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz introduced the show. Keneley announced it was the largest crowd in TNA history in the AlamoDome. They showed one side of the lower deck with a panning crowd. The crowd looked good as everything they showed was packed, but of course the dome was curtained off substantially.

(1) Kenny King beat Zema Ion and Christian York when King pinned York to retain the TNA X Division Title in 12:00.

(WK Reax: It demeans the X Title that TNA didn't announce the contenders ahead of time. TNA is pushing for a second TV show, as Dixie Carter told me on last Wednesday's special 85 minute live PWTorch Livecast interview with her. I assume a second show would give them the time they feel they need to develop the X Division fully. In the mean time, though, it wouldn't take much time or effort to create an explanation on TV for who was getting the PPV title shot and why. Kenny King and Zema Ion are two good wrestlers to build the division around.)

King spring boarded off of Zema's shoulders and aimed for York, but he missed York and the back of his head hit the railing. Lame fans tried to chant "Holy sh--!" and "TNA!" like it's 1998 instead of 2013. Taz said he hoped "that young man" was okay because that was nasty.

(WK Reax: King is 31 years old. The term "young man" should be reserved for pre-teen kids dressed up for church, not veteran professional athletes who hold a singles title. It's condescending sounding, at least to me.)

King was able to get up. Zema corkscrew dove off the top rope onto York and Zema. More stupid "TNA! TNA!" chants. It looked bad because York clearly spotted Zema setting up the move and just stood there two seconds until he got hurt. Back in the ring King flipped off the top rope with a neckbreaker. York covered Zema and got a two count. Angle went for a clothesline at 10:00, but Wes ducked and Angle knocked out Brian Hebner. Angle then applied the Ankle lock again and Wes tapped out. The ref, though, didn't see or hear the tap out.

With Zema out at ringside, York chopped King at 4:00. King battled back and set up a second rope move, but Zema returned with a huracanrana sending King to the mat while landing right onto York. Nice spot leading to a two count. Zema moonsaulted York off the second rope onto York for another near fall.

(WK Reax: I'm all for freedom of expression at wrestling events, but the fans holding the signs with arrowing pointing down at themselves that says "Julian" and "Roger" should be sent to some special off-camera seats. Give 'em free t-shirts and popcorn, but get them off the hard camera.)

At 9:00 King set up Zema for a fallaway slam off the second rope, but York ran up and turned it into a power bomb variation. York covered King for a two count as some fans chanted "TNA! TNA!" as opposed to cheering for a wrestler to win.

In the end King hit an atomic drop/360 roundhouse kick combo, then set up York for his finisher, but York countered into a roll-up. King then hit the Royal Flush right afterward for the win. (**)

(WK Reax: A spottiest that seemed to largely please the crowd. This is TNA's X Division going back to what it was in the early days - a high-energy show-opening spot-fest without a lot of backstory with the crowd being left to cheer for spots and the promotion itself rather than wrestlers they've invested in winning or losing.)

-Jeremy Borash interviewed Joseph Park regarding facing Joey Ryan. Park said, "Some are calling it the match of Sleaze vs. Legalese." Kaz and Christopher Daniels interrupted and told the gullible Park that Dixie Carter was looking for him at catering. Kaz and Daniels then talked about becoming tag champions again later tonight. Daniels said they may tell jokes, but they are getting serious tonight because they're serious about winning the tag titles to prove they are the best.

[Get pics live from the AlamoDome via PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell on Twitter @pwtorch who is in attendance at the event covering the show live with another report on our website and app. While you're at it, follow me at @thewadekeller. Thanks.]

(2) Joseph Park pinned Joey Ryan in 6:00. Ryan offered his used lollypop to Christy Hemme after he entered the ring. She rebuffed his offer. Rayn them rubbed his inner thighs and privates with oil before the match which tripped up Taz mid-sentence. Park looked like he just watched someone drink a gallon of vomit.

(Quotebook - Joey Ryan: "They say everything is bigger in Texas. Judging by your guts and all the fat people in the audience tonight, I'm gonna go ahead and say that's true.")

Ryan called Park a "big mark." He said he's been learning insider terms, but he still belongs in the audience. He said he, Joey Ryan, has the size advantage where it counts. He shoved the mic into Park's gut. Park said, "San Antonio rocks!" He got a cheap pop as the camera panned the crowd. He said he went to the River Walk and sang karaoke. Ryan hit Park from behind. Park rubbed his chest and then rubbed his hands all over Park's face. Park got mad, so Ryan bailed out to the floor.

At 4:00 Park saw Ryan rubbing his chest, so he grabbed his chest hair and tore off a wad. Keneley called it a "free Brazilian waxing." He followed up with a wedge and an eye-rake and a spanking. Keneley said Ryan might like that particular move. Park climbed to the second rope and got bug-eyed. Tenay called it a medium risk move. Park went for a splash, but Ryan moved out of his path. Keneley said Park "tried to formulate a closing argument, but Ryan filed an objection." Taz said he didn't know what to say about that. Park went for a sunset flip, but Ryan wouldn't roll through, so Park just sat on him and got the pin.

(WK Reax: Fine for what it was, with both characters playing up their personas well. A designated comedy match after the designated spotfest opener.)

-Keneley invited fans to vote on Facebook for who will win the World Title match. Then they showed Hardy arriving earlier at the arena with the custom title belt on his suitcase roller.

-Brooke Hogan told Bully Ray backstage that she loves him and she's sure he will walk out as World Champion. He said he appreciates she loves him and believes in him, but he wants to make her and her dad proud. He said for the first time tonight he wants to be proud of himself. Hulk Hogan walked in and Bully called him Dad. Hulk asked for a private minute with Brooke. Brooke left. Hulk said tonight is a pivotal point because "this good little company" has a chance to propel itself into greatness tonight. He said there's something about Bully that he can't put his finger on that's really, really special. He said it's a certain energy he can't put words to, but he thinks he is the key to taking them to greatness. He said as the World Champion, this company will never be stopped again. He said he wants the son-in-law to be champion, but there's more going on.

He said he put light back in Brooke's eyes and her spirit is alive again. He said after the crap he put her through including his divorce, to see her happy again and knowing Bully is responsible for it, he can't thank him enough. He said he loves him like a son. He asked him to win the World Title. He said he wished it could be him, but he can live through Bully again. "The belt's coming home to the family again, brother," he said. He then told Bully that Andre the Giant once told him that no matter what happens, make sure they remember you as long as you live. Hulk said this is Bully's chance, win or lose, to make sure that they remember as long as they live. Bully listened intently and told him that's an awesome story. Bully helped Hulk back to his feet, then promised him he would make them remember him. They exchanged "I love you'd."

(WK Reax: I don't think it's smart business at all for Hulk to keep talking about "this good little company." Fans want to invest in their favorite wrestlers winning matches against heel wrestlers they want to see get shown up and shut up. The idea that fans in 2013 are into seeing TNA "grow as a company" is a profound mistake in terms of what drives TNA's fanbase to spend money and invest in the matches. It comes across like this is a "Truman Show" for Dixie Carter more than a simulation of a pro wrestling show where top athletes fight for titles and settle feuds.)

(3) Velvet Sky pinned Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts Title in 8:00. They went for some early inside cradles and leverage pins on one another. Taz voted for Kim to win the title. When ref Taryn Terrell scolded Kim for not breaking in the corner, Taz said the ref shouldn't interfere with the competitor while they're cheating. He said maybe it's that time of month. Keneley said, "You're the best color analyst in the business." Taz said, "You're damn right, and you're welcome for the rub."

Late in the match Kim executed Eat DaFeet, but while holding onto Terrell's arm to prevent Sky from yanking her to the ropes. Terrell counted two. Kim protested that it was a slow count. They argued for a while and eventually Kim slapped Terrell. The crowd oohhh'd. Taz said that might have been a little too far. Kim dared her to disqualify her. "Go ahead, do it!" she said. Instead, Terrell spered Kim, bashed her head against the mat repeatedly, and yelled and screamed in a rage. Taz said she's nuts. Keneley said she's losing her mind. Sky then surprised Kim with In Your Face for the win.

(WK Reax: Solid enough match, although it was all a set-up for Kim and Terrell to finally get into it and start presumably an in-ring feud.)

-Borash interviewed Robbie E. backstage. He said tonight is the night he finally proves he that he's got him on the list and got him girls, yet he held him down for two years. He called him an oversized hamster. He did a mock Texas accent and said he's going to make his former bro his ho.

-A video package aired on the Robbie E.-Rob Terry saga.

(4) Robbie T. (Rob Terry) pinned Robbie E. in 6:00. Robbie E. called for a timeout immediately. Taz said it was a little early for a timeout. Then he tried to hug him and make nice. Terry wanted none of it. Some fans chanted "Hug it out!" Then he did some squats and stretches to warm up properly. Taz said Robbie E. is done giving Robbie T. training advice. Tenay talked about Robbie T. holding the Global Championship which was renamed the TV Title later. More comedy throughout and eventually Terry executed a spinebuster out of a fireman's carry for the win.

-Borash interviewed Austin Aries. Borash asked him where his partner is. He said everyone is asking what he'll do if Roode isn't there at the PPV. He said he has proven he doesn't need Roode to get the job done and keep the tag team titles. He said luckily for him, though, that won't be necessary because Roode is present. Roode walked into the picture and put his arm around Aries and asked if he missed him. They shared a laugh. Weird.

(5) Austin Aries & Robert Roode beat Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez and Kaz & Christopher Daniels in 16:00. During ring intros, Taz said he couldn't wait to get on a plane and get out of Texas. At 4:00, after back and forth action and rapid tags, Chavo hit There Amigos on Kaz. When went kept going, Roode interfered. Chavo just grabbed Roode and began the series on him, but Aries broke it up. Chavo began giving Aries the Three Amigos next. Roode broke that up. Daniels tagged in and got sustained offense against Chavo. Roode tagged himself in and took over against a battered Chavo. Roode catapulted Chavo into Aries on the ring apron, then Aries springboarded onto Chavo for a two count at 8:00.

Chavo finally made a comeback at 10:00, but Roode cut it off. Both were slow to get up, but both tagged in their partners as Daniels and Kaz watched. Chaos broke out at 12:00. Daniels and Roode worked together to attack Hernandez, but Hernandez dropped them. Chavo lifted Kaz onto Hernandez's left shoulder after Hernandez already had Aries on his right shoulder. Hernandez then dropped to his knees for a double backbreaker. Ref Earl Hebner was distracted by Roode. When he finally made the count, Aries was able to kick out.

After more chaos, it settled into Roode vs. Kaz at 14:00. A minute later Daniels knocked Aries off the top rope and tagged himself in against Roode. Hernandez springboarded into the ring and knocked both Roode and Daniels down, popping the crowd. A "TNA! TNA!" chant broke out. Hernandez caught Daniels mid-air and gave him a sitout power bomb. He tagged Chavo in, but Kaz met him at the top. Aries then shoved Kanz down and set up a superplex on Chavo. Hernandez interfered and set up a powerbnom of Aries, but Aries headscissored Hernandez to the floor. Daniels then went for a superplex on Chavo, but Chavo knocked him down. Chavo then landed a top rope splash, which Keneley called a frog splash, but there was no "frog" element. Roode had tagged himself in before Chavo dove, so the ref wouldn't make the count. Aries ran in and threw Cahvo out of the ring, then Roode covered Daniels for the win. Taz congratulated all teams for a great match. (***1/2)

(WK Reax: Good tag match. Best of the night so far, and it was designed to be a showcase for the three teams.)

-Borash interviewed Terrell backstage, who said Kim has been pushing her for months and months and she couldn't take it anymore, she had to stand up for herself. Kim then jumped her from behind. Several officials pulled them apart, including Al Snow and Pat Kenney.

(Lie of the Night - Todd Keneley: "Back inside a jam-packed AlamoDome here for Lockdown.")

-They showed the cage being constructed. Then Keneley threw to a video announcing that Slammiversary on June 2 would take place in Boston, Mass. at Boston University.

-Backstage Aces & Eights warmed up for their cage match. D-Lo told Devon that he's the one who gave them access to TNA. He said it was a plan nine months in the making. D-Lo threw compliments toward the other members.

(6) Wes Brisco beat Kurt Angle in a cage match in 12:00. Taz defended and praised Wes throughout the early minutes of the match. Some mat wrestling on offense by Wes early. Tenay called the crowd "massive" as the camera panned the fans. At 7:00 Angle missed a frog splash. Taz laughed. Angle kicked out at two. Angle surprised Wes with an Angle Slam. Wes countered with a low blow seconds later, then crawled toward the door to exit and try to win. "That'll scramble your pecans around on a Sunday night!" Taz said. Angle caught Wes and dragged him back into the ring in the Ankle Lock. Wes catapulted Angle into the cage match to break it up. Angle decided to just walk out of the cage to win. He was immediately attacked by D-Lo Brown, who threw Angle back into the ring and yanked Wes out of it. The ref came to and awarded the win to Wes as Taz cackled in celebration. (*1/2)

(7) Team TNA (Sting & Eric Young & Samoa Joe & James Storm & Magnus) beat Aces & Eights (Devon & Mr. Anderson & Garett Bischoff & DOC & Knox) in a Lethal Lockdown Cage Match in 25:00.

They opened with Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson. At 2:00 Knox made it two-on-one. Samoa Joe charged out at 4:00 and evened the odds. They beat up Anderson and Knox. At 6:00 Garett Bischoff joined in, giving Aces & Eights the advantage again. Eric Young was out at 8:00. He dropkicked Garett right away. Devon came out next at 10:00. Next out was James Storm to even it out four-on-four. DOC then gave Aces their final advantage. The content of the match at this point was mostly stand-up brawling and stomps in the corner waiting for the next wrestler to enter. At 14:00 Aces & Eights stood together in mid-ring with their arms raised as they had beaten down the four babyfaces. Tenay said it gets all even with the final entrance. Then out came Sting with two trash cans full of apparatus. Team TNA bashed the five heels with the weapons. Taz said, "Somebody stop this!"

The beating with the weapons went on and on. The way the match played out, it made Aces & Eights look totally hapless unless they had an advantage. Sting put a trash can over Anderson's head and then gave him a Stinger Splash. Young almost hit Sting with a baseball bat when Anderson ducked. Taz said they let the guy with the smallest brain do the thinking. Anderson gave Sting a low-blow. The heels collectively, suddenly began to take over control with weapons. Young broke up a chairshot attempt by Knox on Sting. Sting then gave Knox a Stinger Death Drop. Young then climbed to the top rope. Sting signaled that he should climb to the top of the cage instead. As Young climbed to the top of the cage, Sting slammed Knox again (to create a reason for why he didn't recover enough to get up during this whole delay). Then Young hit the flying elbowdrop for the pin.

(WK Reax: It's not my style of match and I don't think there was much sophisticated or novel about how the format was booked. That said, I think it's the type of match you don't see often, and the use of weapons is relatively rare these days, so in that sense it probably worked for it's slot on the card as a crowd-pleaser.)

-They went to Taz, Tenay, and Keneley at ringside afterward. Tenay called it a momentum-changer. Taz was ornery and grumpier than usual, disagreeing with Tenay. Tenay revealed that fans picked Hardy to win by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin. They should have asked how many believe Bully will turn heel.

(8) Bully Ray pinned Jeff Hardy to capture the TNA World Title in 15:00.

(WK Reax: They missed an opportunity during Hardy's ring entrance to make him look like a huge star by going to a wide shot of the crowd. They zoomed so close on him that he could have been coming out at Impact Zone. Not sure of rationale for that directing choice.)

The match began 30 minutes into the third hour. They opened with a staredown and a test of strength. Bully had a serious game face on. Taz said Bully getting a title shot reeks of nepotism. At 3:00 Hardy began to climb the cade. Bully yanked him down, but Hardy kicked him to the mat. Hardy then swing splashed Bully. At 4:00 Bully stood on the top rope and kicked Hardy, who crotched the top rope. A minute later Hardy tried to dive out of the cage. Bully pounded him across the back and grabbed his waistband to stop him. Bully settled into a bear hug. Hardy fought free. The announcers talked about how split the crowd was. Taz suggested it should be Bully or Hardy against a top member of Aces & Eights in the main event instead.

At 9:00 Bully set up a BubbaBomb, but Hardy countered with a Twist of Fate. Wes and Garett then climbed into the cage and went after Hardy. Tenay wondered what this was all about. Bully charged and clotheslined both Wes and Garett. He pushed them into the corner bent down. Hardy leaped off of Bully's back and splashed them. Bully told Hardy to open the door. Bully threw Garett out. Bully and Hardy then threw Wes out. Wes's bump was comically bad. The cage door closed, and that was designed to erase most of the suspicion that Bully was with Aces & Eights and would cheat to win the World Title. He easily could have leaped out of the cage door at that point. Instead, he turned back to Hardy and they began punching each other again.

At 14:00 Hardy climbed to the top of the cage. Bully grabbed him while standing on the top rope. He then gave him a BubbaBomb off the top of the cage. That was a big looking spot. The crowd chanted "Holy sh--!" They replayed it. Both were slow to get up. Hulk and Brooke then walked to the cage. Hogan gave Bully a pep talk and told him to keep going and not stop. Knox, D-Lo, Anderson, and Devon then climbed all four sides of the cage. Devon and Bully faced off. Devon yanked out a hammer and tossed it to Bully. Bully shot Hardy a dirty look, but then turned to Anderson and pointed the hammer at him. Bully then hit Hardy from behind with the hammer. Taz laughed. Hulk yelled, "No! No!" Devon leaped to the floor and high-rived Bully. Brooke looked on in shock. Bully then covered and pinned Hardy to win the title. Taz said everyone just witnessed history and said, "Welcome home, brother." Bully insisted the ref raise his hand. He celebrated with his Aces & Eights partners as Brooke threw a fit at ringside. Bully said, "You are nothing to me!" He called Hogan an "old bastard." Hogan said he's a dead man. Bully asked what he planned to do. (**3/4)

(WK Reax: TNA worked too hard to throw people off the scent of the obvious because Bully could have lost fair and square multiple times needlessly if his plan was to turn. If this was all a plot to win the World Title, why not leap out of the cage earlier when he had the chance? Why would he risk everything just to delay the surprise? That's the downside of this. That blew the logic of the whole thing and wasn't necessary, from a storyline standpoint from Bully's perspective, once that cage door closed and he had Hardy where he wanted him.)

-Afterward Bully bragged about using Brooke and Hulk. He said he fooled each and every one of the fans. The fans began pelting the ring with trash. He said, "I'm Bully Ray. I am the President of the Aces & Eights. And I am the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Taz said, "It's a good night to be a bad son of a bitch.

[TONIGHT'S LIVECAST NOTE: Join me 30 minutes after TNA Lockdown for a special post-PPV PWTorch Livecast. Listen live at at 11:30 ET or call 646-721-9828.]

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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