On Sunday, April 15th, 2012, TNA/Impact/Indecisive Branding Wrestling held it’s annual Lockdown pay-per-view, which I watched entirely because a friend of mine invited me over for a party to watch it. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that TNA had a PPV until the day before when I was asked if I wanted to come watch it. Needless to say, I had no idea what was going on in TNA going into the show, other than the snippets I had gathered from the poor saps on Twitter who subject themselves to Impact on Thursdays.
The show starts with Garret Bischoff in the back with members of his team, and they decide that he will start the Lethal Lockdown match, then we get straight to the entrances. Garret comes out first with a cool over-the-shoulder camera angle, then Gunner is introduced using the exact same angle as the starter for Team Eric.
Lethal Lockdown Match – Team Eric Bischoff (Eric Bischoff, Gunner, Bully Ray, Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels) vs. Team Garret (Garret Bischoff, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson, and Rob Van Dam)
It’s at this point that I realize I have forgotten how Lethal Lockdown works, as I thought it was just a normal ten man tag in a cage. Nope, it’s War Games with the weapon roof thing at the end. I cannot begin to fathom the logic of starting Garret Bischoff and Gunner, as the traditional thinking in Lockdown/War Games is to start the best workers since they’ll be carrying the early part of the match and getting the crowd into it. As has happened in every other Lockdown/War Games, the heels win the coin toss to send a new participant in first. Up until the roof comes down the proceedings are solid but unspectacular, aside from Kazarian’s shaved head which is just… what? I had no idea who he was until somebody heard the commentators say his name. Now instead of looking like Antonia Banderas he looks like a generic indy wrestler who wishes SO HARD that he was Randy Orton.
Anderson does his mic-calling spot to bring the cage roof down. It’s a good thing he was there to do that, or this thing would still be going. AJ Styles grabs a hockey goalie stick, leading to obligatory references to the Nashville Predators’ success in the NHL playoffs. The awkwardness with which Mike Tenay delivered that bit leads me to believe he is entirely unaware of hockey on a conceptual level. Daniels gets stuff inside a trashcan and battered with the blade of the goalie stick, which the camera totally misses live. AJ Styles and Kazarian climb up to the top of the cage to fulfill AJ Styles’ contractual obligation to do some big high-flying spot in all of these Lockdown matches. AJ hit a cool swinging elbow drop, but what bugged me was that there were weapons on top of the cage WHICH WERE NEVER USED. As much as the spots on top of the steel cage that have been done in previous years have been insane and unnecessarily dangerous, putting weapons up there and then not using them is a Chekhov’s Gun situation and those annoy the piss out of me.
Oh and somewhere in the clusterfuck of bodies (5 on 5 is waaaay too many for a cage match) Eric Bischoff caned the bejesus out of Garret, who promptly got up and KOed poppa Bisch with a guitar. Bischoff is now out of TNA! Except that he was totally on Impact the next week, they just bleeped his last name. Fucking TNA.
Winner: Team Garret via guitar shot. This one was solid but unspectacular. According to the internet it was only 26 minutes long, but it felt like it was over 30.
Tag Team Championship Match: Samoa Joe & Magnus (c) vs. Motor City Machine Guns
I think I expected too much out of this match. I was expecting MCMG vs. Beer Money quality, but what actually happened was MCMG suffering from not working together for year and Joe and Magnus having trouble keeping up when the pace picked up. There were some neat spots, but overall it was mediocre at best. Hopefully they’ll have more matches to build some chemistry, since they’re basically the only two tag teams.
Winner: Joe and Magnus via their snapmare/top rope elbow thing.
Television Championship Match: D-Von (c) vs. Robbie E w/ Robbie T
The Robbies have a promo before the match, which is basically a Zack Ryder promo without Ryder’s goofy accent and charm. And by god, his hair. TNA’s budget must be crippled by the extensive team of hair stylists required to keep that ‘do up. I’m talking about Robbie E’s hair because this match was short and boring. D-Von won with a Ron Simmons spinebuster.
Winner: D-Von via spinebuster.
Knockouts Championship Match: Gail Kim (c) w/ Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky
Velvet Sky was apparently a dick when she was brought in for indy dates in Alberta. That has no effect on this match, just sayin’. Gail Kim carried her to a pretty decent match here, although they proved our opening theory that it wasn’t WWE and therefore wouldn’t end in a roll-up wrong. Gail Kim tried to exit via the door – wait, they can do that? At no point on the show have I heard it mentioned that cage escapes are a way to win, and at no point has anyone in the previous matches made even the slightest attempt to utilize that rule. Gail started to walk out of the door, then countered an O’Connor roll into an O’Connor roll with the tights held… sort of. Gail grabbed as much as she could, but Velvet was wearing so little that it was more like watching somebody try to pick up a playing card that would have none of it.
Winner: Gail Kim via O’Connor roll.
Crimson vs. Matt Morgan
At some point earlier in the show, Matt Morgan cut a promo I didn’t care about. This match sucked. Crimson and Morgan don’t work well together because they’re basically the same guy, and that guy sucks to begin with. Matt Morgan doesn’t bother to just walk right out of the cage when he has the chance, and ends up losing when Crimson takes his sweet-ass time to climb out over the top. Morgan got his leg tangled up in the ropes, at which point Crimson stared at him for a while like he had no idea what to do next, then leisurely exited the ring.
Winner: Crimson via nobody cares. He’s STILL undefeated. I need a drink.
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle
The last time I saw a Jeff Hardy match it was the debacle at Victory Road against Sting, but apparently he has regained the ability to move under his own power, although I still think TNA’s continued employment of him is disgusting. Kurt Angle looks like a human again nowadays, as opposed to his “I’m training for the Olympics. And also Gollum” look.
I expected this to be garbage, but it was actually the best match on the show. The finish with Jeff Hardy hitting Swanton Bombs off of opposite corners, then the top of the cage, was really impressive, and capped a fast-paced, exciting bout.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via three Swanton Bombs
Knockouts Tag Team Championship: ODB & Eric Young (c) vs. Sarita & Rosita
I don’t know which one is which on the Sarita/Rosita team. Doesn’t matter. ODB beats the shit out of them while Eric Young spends the match being hilarious on the apron. I ends in under five minutes and Eric Young gets a PPV payoff – which I assume is roughly eleven dollars in TNA – for doing absolutely nothing aside from putting on his gear and being goofy.
Winner: ODB & Eric Young via I can’t remember but nobody cares because Eric Young was funny.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Cowboy James Storm
James Storm entered in a shitty pick-up truck, which was both hilarious and entirely unnecessary, since he managed to drive about three feet before he got out. He and Roode beat the crap out of each other on the floor for what felt like about 10 minutes before getting into the ring and going another 20 or so. This was a good match, and the slow pace made sense for how long they went, but I would have much rather seen the match go ten minutes less with an according increase in the pace. The finish was good, and the story told was interesting, but it seemed like they were trying to pull of Taker/HHH Hell in a Cell without any of the factors that made that match a five star classic. The part where Roode got beer from Hebner instead of just leaving the cage was dumb, though.
Winner: Bobby Roode via cage escape.
So overall, this show sucked. The X Division was non-existent, and some of the top guys were buried in the Lockdown match where they were unnecessary. All you really need for a match like that to be good are three or four great workers to carry the early part, because once the cage fills up everyone is just punching each other in the corners while one or two interesting things happen in the middle. Meanwhile, Matt Morgan and Crimson get a singles match despite neither being the slightest bit interesting. Hardy vs. Angle was very entertaining, and if you want to see anything from this show, watch that. Otherwise, watch the whole thing if you want to remember why you stopped watching TNA/Impact/Why do the PPVs have different branding than the TV show Wrestling.