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KELLER'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV BLOG: Ongoing reaction throughout the live PPV

Apr 17, 2011 - 7:04:22 PM

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-It's always nice to see TNA outside of the Impact Zone. It is amazing, though, how much they replicate the look and feel of WCW in the early 1990s with the way they light and shoot the crowd. I have expect to hear Bob Caudle's voice instead of Tenay's. The crowd looks respectable with the camera angles they've strategically chosen.

(1) Max Buck vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Suicide vs. Robbie E. vs. Jay Lethal vs. Chris Sabin vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Amazing Red

-Tenay noted that five of the eight wrestlers in the opening X Division cage match have held the X Division Title before.

-I do love how Taz and Mike Tenay group "yoga" into the description of what makes Brian Kendrick so whacky and wild and crazy, as if yoga is some exotic strange thing he's heard people do who are on the fringes of society.

-Come on everyone, let's cheer for Suicide! Yea, Suicide! Suicide is the greatest!

-They tagged in and out of the match to create one-on-one matches, although anyone could tag anyone else.

-Tenay said Alex Shelley was scheduled for the match, but couldn't get medical clearance due to shoulder issues.

-Red pinned Jay Lethal for the first elimination. Lethal has dropped off the map this year.

-Sabin pinned Red after a nasty clothesline.

-Jeremy Buck finished Sabin with a top rope Diamond Cutter.

-Taz called Kendrick's karate gi a "yoga outfit." Tenay pointed out you don't wear a robe for yoga. Taz proudly said he doesn't do yoga. He's sounding really old and out of touch. I get it's his character to be Mr. Tough Guy from Jersey who doesn't get that yoga stuff, but he should at least know the very basic essentials since there are yoga classes in every major health club chain in America the last 10-15 years.

-In the end, Kendrick pinned Robbie after a flurry of aggressive offense, leaving Max Buck vs. Kendrick. At this point it was escaping the cage that would win the match.

-Kendrick and Max fought on the top rope. Kendrick knocked Max to the floor. Max shoved the ref into the cage, which caused Kendrick to fly off the cage like he had just been electrocuted. Max then climbed over the cage to win.

-Tenay and Taz talked about the all-cage format. "If we did this all the time, all our wrestlers would be on I.R. and we'd have to wrestle each other."

-Eric Bischoff walked to the ring. Taz complimented Bischoff for getting into better shape by working out and eating better. Bischoff was wearing jeans and a t-shirt rather than the "slimming black leather jacket" that became is 2010 trademark.

-Bischoff did that "I love you people" bit. Then he said it's a very special night and one of his happiest nights ever. He said people come to him after nearly 25 years in the business and they say, "Eric, what matters most to you and your career? Is it the success? The money? The women? Well, that was years ago, but... And I try to explain to them that when you're a position like I'm in and you've achieved so much, and you've literally rewritten the book on pro wrestling history and set the bar so high, it's difficult to determine what matters most, but I'll try to sum it up for you as best I can." He said tonight is special because Immortal is going to take care of the "distraction that Fortune has become." He said he is "so frickin' happy" because he and Hulk Hogan are going to see the World Title end up back in their control.

-Christy Hemme interviewed Crimson about what it's been like having Scott Steiner as his mentor. Crimson said it's not easy, but he's honored to be teaming with him. Christy asked Steiner if he's evaluated the competition tonight. Steiner said evaluating is for punk-asses. He said his opponents need to evaluate how his fist is going to knock their teeth down his throat. Taz said there's nothing better than Scott Steiner's opinion.

(2) Ink Inc. (Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal) vs. Orlando Jordan & Eric Young vs. Scott Steiner & Crimson vs. Brutus Magnus & Douglas Williams.

-Listening to Taz and Tenay giggle like 10 years olds at their "clever" comments about Jordan's "alternative lifestyle" is funny, but maybe for the wrong reasons. They're just so uncomfortable and nervous about saying the wrong thing, while not being able to resist saying something, like when Taz said you definitely don't want Jordan to do the "go behind" on you.

-Young wrestled in his leopard print underwear so show team unity with JKordan.

-Ink Inc. won when Moore finished Williams with the Mooregasm. Anticlimactic finish to a match that came off as a comedy time filler.

-Christy interviewed Madison Rayne and Tara backstage. When Christy asked if she was worried this was her last night with the TNA Knockouts Title, Rayne shot back, "What Internet site did you read that on?" Rayne said she didn't trust Tara and didn't want her at ringside for her.

(3) Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James - TNA Knockouts Title match

-Mickie won this in a minute. Her shoulder was still hurting and her neck was bothering her as a result. So they kept this short as a result. Mickie aggressively threw Rayne into the fence, but grabbed her shoulder in pain. Then she hit a DDT for a sudden pin. That was obviously to get around her shoulder injury, but coming right after the TNA World Title changed with a single move last month, having another major title change in similar fashion (albeit for a different reason) carries risk.

-Morgan said The Blueprint is back on track going after the World Hvt. Title, but first he has to go through his former friend "Shawn Hernandez." He said if America is so bad and Mexico is so great, "how about I Carbon Footprint that big beach ball kick ball head of yours right back to Mexico?"

-The arena's scoreboard and screen aren't lit up. On the entrance stage, the crowd isn't seeing what the PPV audience sees between matches. Word from a correspondent in the arena is the down time between matches is bringing the crowd down. They're just staring at the Lockdown logo on the entrance stage. The arena is empty on all opposite sides of the stage and behind the hard camera, but the lower and mid bowl seats that are available are filled. The crowd estimates we're getting is in the five to six thousand range.

-Also of note from another correspondent in the building, the energy in the crowd was great before the show began. Not nearly as many kids as at WWE shows in the same market. There was a group of people outside the arena with Bluetooth headsets wearing polo shirts that said "The Network." Don West was also hustling merchandise before the show.

(4) Samoa Joe vs. The Pope

-Hernandez dominated during the body of the match.

-TNA definitely figured out where to start panning the camera and where to end in a way that showed off the side of the lower deck that was full. They're still 15-20 years behind WWE at this point, so it's risky to even go to wide angle shots to try to invite comparisons, but since they're usually at the tiny Impact Zone, they do want to show off the big arena environment when they can.

-Morgan made a comeback and tossed Hernandez into the sides of the cage.

-FINISH: Morgan finished Hernandez - despite an attempted distraction by Anarquia - with a Carbon Footprint as Hernandez leaped off the top rope toward him. Decent match. (**)

-Afterward the Mexican American women, Sarita and Rosita, bragged about plowing through every Knockout on the roster and now they'll do whatever they want. Sarita vowed she wasn't going anywhere. Velvet Sky walked out. Tenay asked, "How is this for a bonus appearance at Lockdown." Velvet pounded Sarita's head into the mat repeatedly and then threw her out of the cage.

-Christy interviewed Karen backstage who bragged up Jeff Jarrett as the ultra-male. Then a video package aired during which she talked about the decline of Kurt Angle as a husband.

(5) Jeff Jarrett (w/Karen) vs. Kurt Angle

-Tenay said this is the most personal feud in the history of the business.

-Ref Brian Hebner ordered Karen to the back even before the match began. She and Jeff threw a fit. Taz didn't agree with the decision. He felt the wife should be able to watch her husband wrestle.

-Angle applied a headlock early. Jarrett came back with a sleeper. They traded submission attempts on the mat including the anklelock. Angle got a tapout win in the first fall. There was a bad moment where the ref counted Jeff's shoulders down during a figure-four even though only submissions counted.

-At 11:00 Jarrett evened the falls at 1-1 with a schoolboy.

-That began the final phase of the match where the way to win was to escape the cage. Angle went into a series of three unreleased German suplexes at 13:00.

-Jarrett bled from the forehead.

-In one of the truly scariest moves in the history of my viewing of pro wrestling where I thought I just watched a death, Jarrett attempted a powerbomb off the top rope and Angle looked like he was going to land with his neck snapping on the landing. Taz and Tenay reacted like they just watched someone get run over by a train. Angle had the timing and wherewithal to lift his head at the right angle right before landing. The ref checked on him right away as the crowd began a "Holy sh--!" chant. It's moves like that which show why no one should be allowed to wrestle under the influence of any alcohol or other drugs as Angle needed every reflex he had to avoid being killed. They replayed it in slo-mo from two new angles, but it was in regular speed from the original angle that was just scary.

-Angle suplexed Jarrett off the top rope as Jarrett was trying to escape. Angle then tried to escape, but Gunner ran out with a chair in hand and he swung it at Angle to prevent him from climbing over the top of the cage. Angle instead opted to hit a moonsault off the top of the cage. He overshot Jarrett on the landing.

-Steiner then came out and chased Gunner up the ramp. He threw a chair at him and the chair almost hit a security guy standing on the side of the ramp.

-As Angle was about to escape through the cage door, Karen ran to ringside and sprayed Angle in the eyes. A blinded Angle then swung and hit the ref with a clothesline. Karen tried to help Jarrett leave the cage door, but Angle applied the anklelock. Karen then gave Jarrett a guitar, which he used to KO Angle. The ref was still down. Karen shouted for Jeff to get up. A bloodied Jarrett celebrated even before leaving, which gave Angle another opening to apply another anklelock. Karen yanked on Jeff to try to get him to the floor. Jarrett swung the cage door into Angle's head, causing Angle to release his grip. Jarrett fell to the floor.

-RESULT: Jarrett in 23:00. Good drama. As is Jarrett's signature, it arguably went into the "overbooked finish" category. The near-death of Angle still has me shaken. Watching that live was unpleasant. They just have to be more careful out there. (***)

-As soon as the match ended, several TNA staff members ran backstage, presumably to check on Angle.

(6) Sting vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam - TNA World Hvt. Title match

-Sting put RVD and Anderson in a Scorpion Death Lock at the same time at 3:00.

-At 8:00, with all three wrestlers down, Hogan walked out with his vacuum cleaner extender pipe in hand. He slipped it through the cage to RVD. RVD grabbed it and listened to Hogan tell him to knock Sting out with it. Instead, though, RVD threw it at the cage aimed at Hogan. Anderson then got up and bashed RVD from behind the pipe. Anderson yelled at Hogan, "It wasn't for you, it was for me!" Sting then surprised Anderson with a Scorpion Death Drop for the win.

-RESULT: Sting in 9:00 to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title. Really, eight whole minutes is all they deliver of Sting after last month's debacle. Does Sting at least understand that if he's going to make a difference in PPV buys, he has to put in something stronger than that? I mean, it was six minutes into the match when Hogan walked out, and the rest was just posturing with the pipe. Seriously, the World Champ - after last month's mess - delivered a whole six minutes of action in a three-way semi-main event. (*1/4)

-Sting called Hogan to the ring, continuing the tease of a Bound for Glory PPV match, the latest Hogan carrot.

-Taz put his credibility on the line by calling it a hard-hidding hell of a World Title match.

(7) Immortal (Abyss & Matt Hardy & Brother Ray & Ric Flair) vs. Fortune (Beer Money & Daniels & Kazarian)

-It opened with Kaz vs. Abyss for five minutes.

-Matt Hardy entered next to give Immortal a two-on-one advantage. Hardy applied the Ice Pick submission on Kaz. Then a Side Effect a minute later.

-Daniels entered next to even the match.

-The downside of this format is that it can't end until every wrestler is in the match. That wasn't a problem in the WCW War Games era in the 1980s because cage matches were rare and certainly there hadn't been six in a row before War Games began. Now the novelty of the cage is worn out by the time this starts, so it does hurt the spectacle aspect of the format.

-Ric Flair entered next. The crowd popped and "whoo'd" his chops.

-James Storm entered next to even the match at three-to-three. Storm broke a beer bottle over the head of Flair. Flair bled. Storm yanked on Flair's pants, exposed his ass, and then beat on him.

-Bully Ray entered to give Immortal the four-on-three advantage.

-Once everyone was inside, the roof lowered over the top of the cage and there were weapons hanging down for the wrestlers to use. Trash cans, canes, and more.

-Within seconds Abyss was knocked through the cage door, pretty much turning the whole "no one can enter, no one can leave" aspect of the roof closing off the top of the cage into a farce. Hardy climbed the outside of the cage to the roof. Daniels followed him to the top. Taz said Daniels looks right at home. Hardy backdropped Daniels nearly over the side of the cage. Daniels slipped a little off the side on purpose and held on, then Hardy gave him a quick Twist of Fate on the roof.

-Meanwhile in the cage Beer Money and Kaz beat up Flair with a kendo stick. Abyss lay at ringside KO'd. Flair was drenched and covered in blood. Ray scored a near fall on Roode. Storm caught Ray with a turning DDT off the ropes for a near fall. Flair got his hands on a kendo stick and bashed Flair. Roode gave a Spinebuster to Flair. Daniels leaped off the top of the cage onto both Hardy and Abyss on the floor. He hit his targets. The crowd gasped and then cheered. Roode applied a figure-four on Flair. Ray bashed Roode with the trash can, then met Daniels with a trash can lid to the face as Daniels re-entered the cage. Ray hit Roode with a stick. Daniels bled from the forehead. Ray complained that Daniels got blood on him.

-As Ray was about to hit Daniels with another kendo stick shot, he said it was for his buddy A.J. Styles. Styles's music then played and he charged to the ring. He threw Ray into the cage multiple times. Taz exclaimed, "A.J. is on fire!" Styles then Pele kicked Ray and postured to the crowd.

-Roode applied a Fujiwara armbar on Flair. Flair tapped out.

-RESULT: Fortune wins thanks to Roode forcing a Flair tapout in 24:00. (**)

-This is one of those matches that just feels out of step with the times and a little desperate. So much chaos and activity, but so undisciplined that nothing stuck other than the sense that wrestlers took a lot of chances. The brawl on the roof seems like a new tradition for Lockdown, but it defeats the purpose of the name of the PPV itself - "Lockdown."

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VIP - 10/10 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With PWTorch columnist Todd Martin, discussing and analyzing the latest episodes of WWE Smackdown, NXT Takeover: Respect, and TNA Impact Wrestling (60 min.)
VIP - 10/09 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: James Storm's NXT debut and potential upside in WWE, ROH and Impact viewership up, Jericho and Henry on WM32 roles, Batista news, WWE stock surge, more (24 min.)
VIP - 10/09 PWTorch Livecast: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant talk w/live callers on this week's hot topics, plus is there a quick fix for WWE?, Storm's future, more! (66 min.)
VIP - 10/09 Audio Flashback - WWE No Mercy PPV Roundtable with Keller, McNeill, Caldwell: Did Batista earn his PPV main event status against Eddie Guerrero, plus Randy & Bob Orton vs. Undertaker, JBL vs. Rey (34 min.)
VIP - 10/08 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: More thoughts on Bob Backlund autobiography, might Ziggler benefit from a heel turn, should winner paydays be stressed more in WWE’s narrative (25 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1426 (PDF & TEXT): TNA BFG results & roundtable reviews, Keller Raw & MSG Reports, Parks on diminished MITB concept, 25 Yrs. of Mitchell (12 pgs)
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