2/23 TNA Impact Report – “Lockdown” special edition with Hardy vs. ECIII for TNA Hvt. Title


TNA Impact Wrestling
Aired February 23, 2016 on Pop TV
Taped in London, U.K. (Wembley Arena)
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch correspondent

Impact opened with a video hyping what was to come tonight on a special “Lockdown” edition of Impact Wrestling.

In-arena: Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show and says that everything will be settled tonight inside six sides of steel from the Wembley Arena in London.

Beer Money is introduced first for tonight’s opening contest, following by Bram and Eric Young.

1 — BEER MONEY (James Storm & Bobby Roode) vs. ERIC YOUNG & BRAM — cage match

Beer Money attacks Bram and Eric Young on the ramp as the bell rings. Mathews says that they need to get the match in the ring. E.Y. tries for a piledriver on Roode on the ramp, but Roode flips him with a back body drop.

The brawl continues at ringside as the crowd chants, “TNA!” Storm hits Bram with a chair in the mid-section. Roode rolls E.Y. into the ring and E.Y. rakes Roode’s eyes. On the outside, Storm and Bram are continuing to brawl. Bram hits a DDT on Storm on the outside of the ring. Bram then gets into the ring and then shuts the door, locking Storm out of the match.

Bram and E.Y. double-team Roode, hitting a double clothesline after shooting him off the ropes. Roode fights back with punches from his knees, but Bram cuts him off and begins to rake his face on the cage.

Storm tries to climb the cage from the outside, in order to get into the ring, but E.Y. knocks him off by smashing the cage on the inside. Bram holds Roode as E.Y. lands a right hand on his ribs and Roode collapses in a heap. Bram holds Roode again and E.Y. goes for a slap, but Roode ducks it. Roode follows that with a bulldog on E.Y..

With E.Y. down and Bram pre-occupied trying to get to Roode, Storm is able to climb the cage and he’s back in the match. Bram climbs up and meets Storm at the top of the cage, and Storm sends Bram crashing to the mat. Storm hits a neckbreaker on Bram and then a double neckbreaker on Bram and E.Y. Roode and Storm try for a double suplex on E.Y., but Bram cuts it off.

E.Y. goes to the turnbuckle and hits an elbow off the top on Roode, but he kicks out at two. Storm hits a huracanrana on Young. Roode climbs to the top and splashes Bram for a two count. All four members trade punches – Bram on Roode and E.Y. on Storm. Roode tosses E.Y. into the cage. Storm tosses Bram into the cage.

Roode and Storm hit a double suplex on E.Y. Beer Money then play to the crowd with their Beer Money pose. Bram comes in but Storm and Roode but a DWI for the win.

WINNER: Beer Money via pinfall at 8:31.

[Reax: Fun opening match, that set the stage for what this show is all about. Both teams did a nice job keeping the action up, but also not running through every cage spot in the first match. There are certain things that need to be saved for later in the show, such as a big bump near the top of the cage. Beer Money gets a big win and at least appears to be well on their way to a TNA Tag Title shot. The question is when that match happens, because a babyface program between Beer Money and The Wolves should be excellent.]

After the match, the camera pans to some crowd shots as Mathews wonders what’s next for the former tag team champions.

Still to come: The Dollhouse vs. Velvet Sky, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne in Lethal Lockdown, as well as Matt Hardy vs. ECIII for the TNA World Title.

Backstage: Matt Hardy was shown arriving earlier today, with Tyrus and Reby Sky right behind him. ECIII is also shown arriving at the building, alone.

[Commercial Break at 9:13]

[Q2] Backstage: Referees run up to Madison Rayne, who is clutching her left knee.

In-arena: Ethan Carter III makes his entrance for a promo. ECIII says that tonight is all right for fighting, and there’s no better place to fight than London. ECIII, who is sitting on the ring steps, says that behind him is six sides of steel, and that separates the men from the boys.

“I’ve been waiting for this re-match ever since Matt Hardy defeated me, ever since you had Tyrus drop me.” ECIII said that tonight, Hardy will be alone with his wrath, fury, and vengeance. “The facts are the facts, and alone, you can’t beat me.”

ECIII climbs into the ring. “Speaking of being alone, last week I had the help of an old colleague of mine, and I’d like to have Rockstar Spud come to the ring.” Spud makes his entrance to a good ovation from his countrymen.

“There’s no secret we have a lot of history,” ECIII said. “A year ago we were in this ring, in this building and we tore the house down. And before I shaved your head — I’m sorry — I said something to you. I said that you have more heart than any person I’ve ever met. Lion, tiger gazelle, you’re the most passionate person I’ve ever met. Sometimes you have more guts than brains, and last week you had my back. I’m humble enough to admit, thank you.”

ECIII then extended his hand and Spud thought about it, before shaking it. ECIII sort of snatched his hand and laughed as Spud looked nervous. “Handshakes aside, I did what I did last week because it was the right thing to do. And you’re right, sometimes I do have a lot more heart than brains, but I’ll always do what’s right.

“Matt Hardy, Ethan, right now he is rotten to the core. And he has the nerve to tell me what to do. No one tells me what to do. You know it, these people know it. And Matt Hardy, I ain’t scared of you, that big dinosaur Tyrus, no one tells me what to do because I’m Rockstar Spud.

“This cage, this cage Ethan, that’s where revenge happens. This is where payback gets made. So tonight, I promise that I’m going to come …” Spud gets cut off by Matt Hardy’s music.

Hardy walks out to the stage with Reby and Tyrus. “Do you two know where you’re standing?” Hardy asks. “Dixie Carter loves to give the impression that this is your company, but it’s not. I am the master of this universe. That ring is mine, those seats are mine, this arena is mine.

“The Matt Hardy brand has absorbed the Impact Wrestling brand. Rockstar Spud, you have defied me twice, and you won’t defy me again. Tonight if you come near that cage, I swear to God your life will never be the same.

“And ECIII, I don’t want to hear from you. No one embarrasses me. Tonight will be the most embarrassing night of your career.”

ECIII says that tonight Hardy is fighting him, and this cage will become hell on earth for Hardy. ECIII’s music hits as the segment ends. Mathews says ECIII is bringing all of his vengeance inside six sides of steel tonight.

Next: Tigre Uno vs. Trevor Lee for the X Division Title.

[Commercial Break at 9:26]

Backstage: The person who approached Rosemary backstage last week, Jimmy Havoc, says that Rosemary is the type of girl you don’t forget. He said that Rosemary was his before she was Decay’s. He says that Rosemary is dangerous, and he brings out that side of her.

2 — TNA X Division champion TREVOR LEE (w/Shane Helms) vs. TIGRE UNO – cage match for the X Division Title

The match starts fast, as Tigre charges Lee, who tosses him into the cage. Tigre misses a spinning heel kick, but gets a two count on an inside cradle. Tigre goes to the top rope, but Lee drags him back down. Lee hits a huge clothesline on Tigre, turning him inside out. Lee tosses Tigre with a suplex.

Lee is shouting that Tigre doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with him, as Josh tells the television audience to call friends and tell them that Lockdown is on right now. Tigre mounts a comeback, catapulting Lee into the cage. Pope says as the pace picks up, it plays into Tigre’s favor.

Tigre splashes Lee off the top but Lee kicks out at two. Lee charges and Tigre hits a crucifix pin attempt, but Lee kicks out. Tigre again climbs the turnbuckle and again Lee cuts him off. Tigre knocks Lee tot he canvas, though. Tigre leaps off the top of the cage and hits a cross-body on Lee, who somehow kicks out at two.

Pope says that move took a lot out of both men. Lee throws Tigre head first into the cage and then lands a knee to the jaw before finishing the match with a Fisherman’s Buster.

WINNER: Trevor Lee retains the title at 6:13.

After the match, Helms gets the cage door open and he brings the title in for Lee. He raises Lee’s hand.

Backstage: Maria approaches Gail Kim and says that she was just who she was looking for. Maria says its a shame about Madison and Velvet before that. Maria says the division needs a leader. Gail tells Maria to put her money where her mouth his, and take Madison’s spot in their match tonight.

[Commercial Break at 9:41]

Backstage: Rosemary is acting very strange, humming “Pop goes the weasel.” Jimmy Havoc comes into the room and says that she knows what they had together. He says that Rosemary makes him a better man, and he wants that feeling back and walks off. Then in walks Crazzy Steve, and he and Rosemary just smile at each other.

3 — THE DOLLHOUSE (Marti Bell & Jade & Rebel) vs. Knockouts champion GAIL KIM & VELVET SKY & MARIA

[Q3] Jade is the first member of the match for Lethal Lockdown. Gail Kim is the first member out for her team. Jade charges Gail near the ropes but she gets her foot up for a kick. Pope says he’s still wondering what happened to Madison Rayne, wondering if she fell down the stairs or was attacked.

Jade mounts offense on Gail with a kick to the chest. Gail however starts to fire back quickly. Gail and Jade each begin to climb the cage, looking for a weapon, and both take each other down at the same time, putting both on the mat. Gail and Jade crash into a double clothesline heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 9:50]

Back from the break, Gail and Jade are still going 1-on-1 with Mathews pointing out that the next entrant is almost ready. Marti Bell out next for the Dollhouse at 6:49. Gail immediately tries for a weapon knowing we’ll need an equalizer, but Marti cuts her off. Marti splashes Gail in the corner three times.

Velvet Sky enters the match at 8:15 for her team. Velvet immediately ducks a clothesline by The Dollhouse and then hits a double clothesline on Marti and Jade. Velvet hits single clotheslines on each and then a bulldog on Marti as well as tossing Jade into the cage. Velvet with a facebuster on Marti as Gail begins to go to work on Jade in the opposite corner.

Rebel joins the match for the Dollhouse at 9:23. Rebel hits a pair of head kicks on Gail and Velvet and then backbreakers on each. Rebel grabs the first weapon of the match, smashing a cookie sheet over Gail’s head. Rebel whips Jade and Marti into Velvet in the corner, then Jade misses a kendo stick on Gail in the corner.

Maria joins the match at 11:03, running down the aisle. However, Maria gets to the steps and then says that she doesn’t think so. She gets out of the ring and then locks the door. Jade chokes out Gail Kim on the rope as Maria yells something at her. The Dollhouse then takes a kendo stick and chokes both Gail and Velvet at the same time on the mat.

[Q5 — second hour] Jade throws Gail Kim HARD into the cage. Jade throws herself into the cage as Velvet ducks out of the way of a splash. Velvet hits a neckbreaker on Marti and then slams Rebel on top of her. Jade is trying to escape the cage, but Velvet and Gail combine for a double flapjack off the top. That move puts all five women on the mat.

Gail gets to her feet first. Velvet up as well and they trade forearms on Rebel. Gail and Velvet then trade kendo shots on Rebel before Marti Bell comes in from behind with the baking sheet.

Marti grabs a steel chair and throws it to the middle of the ring. Gail counters and puts Marti down and then hits Eat The Feet on Rebel but Jade breaks up the pin with a kendo stick at the last second. Jade then hits Gail with a cradle piledriver for the win.

WINNER: The Dollhouse via pin at 14:53.

After the match, Josh says the war is far from over. Pope says we’re all winners, because this was one hell of a Lethal Lockdown.

[Reax: TNA did a good job towing the line well here. Too much violence within the context of a Knockouts match can get uncomfortable, but this was more about the skills in the ring than it was the weapons hanging on the cage. The Dollhouse still seems like a group just blowing in the wind without a real leader like Taryn Terrell there. Even with Gail and Velvet down a team member, it felt surprising to see the Dollhouse grab the win here.]

Backstage: ECIII approaches Kurt Angle. Kurt says his time is short, but ECIII is the guy, he’s going to be the face. Angle says that ECIII has a lot of responsibility, but he’s proud of him. ECIII thanks Angle, and said that he’s the only reason he wanted to be a wrestler. ECIII said one lesson he learned from Angle is how to take care of business.

Still to come: ECIII vs. Matt Hardy.

TNA airs a music/hype video on Decay as the show goes to a break.

[Commercial Break at 10:05]

Back from the break, Kurt Angle is coming to the ring. Next week, Mathews says that it will be Roode vs. Angle and in two weeks, it will be Angle vs. Lashley.

Angle said that this is his farewell tour. “The great thing about it is that I can’t be any happier having it here in the U.K.,” he said. “Some of my fondest memories in pro wrestling are right here in Wembley Arena, and one is my match where I won the World Title last year against Bobby Lashley.”

Lashley’s music hits and he walks to the ring. “Kurt Angle!” Lashley screamed. “Yo Kurt, I can’t believe you’re out here bragging about beating me last year. Yes, that was a great match. Yes, you beat me. And yes, you got in my head for an entire year.

“But like I told you, I’m going to get revenge. Yeah? You know the interaction when I told you I was going to get revenge. I thought that interaction would light a fire under your ass. I thought it would turn you back into the Olympic champion. I thought you were going to go back into the locker room and destroy everybody. Then I thought you and I would have one more match and we’d tear the roof off the house.”

Lashley says that everyone wants Angle to be the Olympic champion he should be. “They want you to be Kurt Angle,” Lashley said. “But I look in your eyes, and you’re not. Kurt I can beat you on your best day.”

“Whoa, hold on a second,” Angle said. “I came out here to talk to these fans, but now you’ve pissed me off. You want to go? Let’s do it right now. We don’t have to wait!” Lashley just laughs and pretends to take off his jacket before leaving the ring. Lashley walks up the ramp as Mathews wonders what has gotten into him.

[Reax: So, Lashley is a heel again, apparently. That was quick and unannounced. And so, Lashley still can’t get a very good promo. Some of this was tough to watch. Even Angle seemed a bit over the top and a little cheesy, saying things like, “I came our here to talk to these fans!” At least this match has something more to it now. It’s not that Angle’s last TNA match wasn’t a big deal, but taking the clouded line out of the equation and making Lashley a heel, should make the presentation of this match much better.]

[Q6] [Commercial Break at 10:16]

Back from the break Eli Drake has a microphone and he’s in the ring with Jessie Godderz on the outside.

Drake reminds us that Grado got fired after Feast or Fired. Drake said Grado never belonged in TNA to begin with. Drake said that tonight, he’ll take the mask off Grado’s face and that was just a fact of life.

Mathews says he’s done some homework, and Odarg is Grado backwards. Wow.

4 — ELI DRAKE vs. ODARG THE GREAT — cage match

Prior to the match, Pope says before Grado can be fired again, it needs to be proven he’s really Grado. The match begins with Grado running around the ring in circles before Drake drops him. Drake hits a pair of right hands and a right elbow shot.

Odarg tries to climb the cage and he gets stuck on the top rope, jumping while trying to reach the top as Drake just watches him. Odarg then falls down off the top rope. Drake tries to snatch Odarg but Odarg hits some jabs with rolling fists before Drake drops Odarg with an elbow.

Drake tosses Odarg’s head into the cage and then mocks him. Drake takes Odarg over to the corner and chokes him on the bottom rope.Odarg then tries to fix his mask again but Drake puts the boots to Odarg in the corner.

Powerslam by Drake, and then a standing elbow drop. Drake pulls Odarg up and suplexes him into the cage before covering for two. Josh says this rivalry reminds him of Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Drake climbs to the top of the cage, but Odarg gets there, dropping Drake back to the mat.

With the door open, both Odarg and Drake trade trying to escape the cage. Godderz tries to help Drake but Mahabali Shera runs down to break up Godderz’s interference. Drake has his trunks pulled down, as he battled with Odarg to get out of the cage. Odarg tosses Drake into the cage multiple times before firing up and landing a cannonball on Drake in the corner.

Odarg is woozy as he tries to climb the cage again. He gets to the second rope and shakes the cage before climbing to the top rope and then he jumps up grabbing the top of the cage. Mathews and Pope point out that the cage door was right there.

Odarg gets two legs over the top of the cage. Drake tries to hold on and not let Odarg drop down. Odarg drops down but Drake was holding Odarg’s mask and he rips it off. After the match, Jeremy Borash looks surprised for some reason.

WINNER: Odarg the Great via cage escape at 6:46.

[Reax: Some of the “humor” in this match, again just wasn’t humorous. Everyone knows that this is Grado, and yet they continue to allow him to compete? From a storyline perspective, why would anyone pay to see another Feast or Fired match again? If you’re going book with stipulations, you need to follow through on those stipulations.]

Backstage, Decay is speaking to Jimmy Havoc. Abyss yells that he doesn’t know who he’s messing with. He says Rosemary is part of Decay. Havoc says Rosemary was his partner and he was hardcore and crazy, but Rosemary made him great. He called Decay children. Abyss then laid out Havoc with a punch and Steve gets in some shots as well.

Backstage: ECIII and Matt Hardy are shown warming up.

[Commercial Break at 10:33]

Backstage: Drake runs up to Billy Corgan and says Grado needs to be fired. Corgan says it’s the right thing to do. Grado yells that this wasn’t fair as security takes him outside of the building. Grado yells that Drake is a snake. Drake says Grado doesn’t belong here.

[Reax: So, Billy Corgan just figured out this was Grado after he was unmasked? This is all supposed to be funny, but it just makes TNA’s authority figures look like a bunch of know-nothings.]

Mathews hypes that next week Mike Bennett will wrestle Drew Galloway.

Video: Mike Bennett is cutting a promo over his music, asking Drew Galloway if he remembers when Bennett attacked him backstage. Bennett says that Galloway will need a miracle next week.

Backstage: ECIII is walking out to the ring through the halls backstage. The camera follows him all the way to the Gorilla position as his music begins. The camera then cuts to the main hard camera as ECIII makes his ring entrance. The backstage camera again follows Hardy on his ring walk through the backstage hallway area. Hardy yells that after tonight he’s done with ECIII.

5 — TNA World Hvt. champion MATT HARDY (w/Tyrus) vs. ETHAN CARTER III — cage match for the TNA World Hvt. Title

Mathews says that the show has taken its final commercial and they will stick with this match in its entirety. Hardy and ECIII begin with punches before Hardy chops ECIII in the corner. Mathews wonders to Pope if this match favors ECIII, with the cage keeping Tyrus on the outside.

ECIII with a chop of his own sends Hardy to the mat. ECIII whips Hardy into the corner but misses a huge splash, throwing himself into the cage. Hardy yells something at Tyrus, and Tyrus throws a chair into the ring. Hardy smashes the chair over ECIII’s back. Tyrus throws in a second chair that Hardy uses over ECIII’s back.

Hardy jams the chair into the corner as Tyrus trash talks ECIII. Hardy softens ECIII up with forearm shots and then tries to whip hardy into the chair but ECIII holds on, reversing Hardy into the chair set up in the corner.

ECIII fires back with elbows and a splash in the corner. Flapjack by ECIII. Pope says ECIII has Hardy right where he wants him. Hardy sidesteps a One-Percenter and hits a side effect for a two count. Hardy goes back for the chair and sets it up on hits legs. Hardy hits a side effect through the chair, but ECIII again kicks out at two.

Hardy tries to escape, but ECIII pulls him back down. Hardy grabs a chair from Tyrus on the outside but ECIII puts Hardy on his shoulders and lands a samoan drop. ECIII tries to exit the cage but Tyrus climbs into the doorway, standing in ECIII’s way.

ECIII says “f—- you” to Tyrus. (Pop bleeped it out and also clouded out the two-finger salute ECIII gave Tyrus.) He invites Tyrus into the ring and takes Tyrus down with a shoulder tackle. Tyrus is back up, though, and counters a move into a powerslam. Tyrus goes to the corner and grabs the chain with the lock on it. Tyrus tries to lock ECIII to the top rope with the chain and lock, but ECIII reverses and locks Tyrus to the turnbuckle. ECIII then grabs one of the chairs Tyrus threw in the ring early and tees off on Tyrus.

Hardy comes out of nowhere for a Twist of Fate but ECIII kicks out at two. Hardy is flipping out. Hardy begins to climb the cage. Hardy gets near the top but ECIII cuts him off and hits what looked like a Russian legsweep from the top rope. Both men are down in the ring as the referee begins a 10 count.

Hardy lands a right hand once both are standing again. ECIII with a right hand. They’re trading shots before Hardy kicks ECIII with a low blow. Hardy grabs the other chair and locks it around ECIII’s head. Hardy then swings ECIII into a Twist of Fate with the chair around ECIII’s neck, but ECIII somehow kicks out at two. Hardy looks amazed. Great facial expression by Hardy.

Hardy again grabs the chair. He goes to wrap it around ECIII’s skull, but ECIII kicks Hardy with a low blow. ECIII is bleeding out of his mouth. ECIII and Hardy are brawling on the mat as they made their way to the door.

Reby walks down the aisle with a hammer, but Spud stops her. He’s holding the door open for ECIII, but Spud slams it on ECIII’s head as ECIII was about to escape. Hardy climbs over a knocked-out ECIII, then Spud opens the door for him. Spud helps Hardy out the door and then shakes ECIII’s hand.

WINNER: Matt Hardy retains via cage escape at 11:43.

After the match, Spud hands Hardy a chair, but Hardy says that Spud deserves to do this as the crowd chants “you sold out!” ECIII’s head is resting on the ringside steps. Spud stands over ECIII and smashes the chair over ECIII’s head as Hardy yells “kill the cancer!”

“I always do the right thing,” Spud says into ECIII’s ear before spitting in his face. Hardy, Reby, and Spud walk back up the aisle as the referees check on an injured ECIII. Hardy raises the belt at the top of the ramp as the show goes off the air.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was the best match in the series between ECIII and Hardy. They utilized the cage well and this match actually had a purpose for being inside a cage, with Tyrus interfering in previous matches.

Spud turning heel and costing ECIII the match is a nice way to pull ECIII out of the title picture for the time being. TNA can always go back to Hardy vs. ECIII later, but for now it would appear that ECIII is going to turn his attention to Spud while Hardy is likely challenged by Drew Galloway or even a soon-to-be-returning Jeff Hardy.

On the whole, this was another solid episode of Impact despite the limitations of every match being a cage match, even if the feuds didn’t really call for it. There is now a pattern developing for TNA, with the company delivering quality Impact episodes since debuting on Pop TV last month. There are still some creative missteps here and there, but the pace of the program, and its storylines has been excellent, including the feuds building to a very good crescendo for this special edition of the show.

***

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