TNA Lockdown Pay-Per-View
San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome
The show opened with a video that focussed on Aces & 8's vs. Team TNA in a Lethal Lockdown match, and the Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray cage match for the TNA Title. The video closed with Taz saying, "It's a good day to be a bad guy"...
Todd Keneley introduced the show and said they were playing in front of the largest live crowd in TNA history. Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz spoke at ringside and set up the opening match...
Powell's POV: I wish they would say the attendance number, but I guess I understand why they don't. The building looks really good on television and many viewers probably assume the count is bigger than it actually is. There's also no word on how many tickets were paid vs. comped. Even so, the atmosphere is good, the ringside area is well lit, and it beats the holy hell out of the Impact Zone.
1. Kenny King vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York for the X Division Title. Early in the match, Ion performed a suicide dive onto King on the floor. Ion went for a similar move, but York spotted it and kicked him. King tried to springboard off of Ion's back, but Ion leaned down and King crashed and burned into the guardrail. Ouch!
Powell's POV: This was a really nasty spot, as it appeared King was going for a dive onto York and instead crashed face-first into the guardrail.
King got back to his feet and joined York in taking Ion's corkscrew dive off the top rope onto both of them on the floor. Things slowed down for a bit once they got back in the ring, but the action picked up again and the live crowd was into the near falls. York hit the Mood Swing on Ion at 8:50 for a good two count.
York had Ion caught in the ropes and performed a sloppy double stomp before running to the other corner to hit a move on King. Kenny took over the offense and went for the Royal Flush, but York caught him with an inside cradle for a two count. Moments later, King hit the Royal Flush and scored the pin...
Kenny King beat Christian York and Zema Ion in 11:00.
Powell's POV: A solid opener. There was some great action and really fun spots, but there were also some awkward and downright sloppy spots. There were also a couple three-way spots that looked a little too choreographed for my personal taste, but the live crowd seemed to enjoy most of them. It was good to see King bounce back from that early spot. It amazes me that Ion isn't a weekly player on television. I'm not sure if his school schedule prevents him from doing more, but he is the most charismatic wrestler and best all around act in the X Division.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Joseph Park, who said the boys ribbed him by sending him to the Alamo rather than the Alamodome. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels showed up and told him that Dixie Carter was looking for him. The naive Park ran off, and they took the interview time by talking about how they are tried of being disrespected and plan to win the TNA Tag Titles.
2. Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan. Ryan took the mic and said that Park, like everyone in the building, is a big mark. He said Park belongs in the crowd. Ryan said he has the size advantage where it counts (his WIENER just in case you weren't sure). Park said San Antonio rocks for a cheap pop. He said he went to River Walk and sang karaoke. Ryan attacked him from behind to start the match.
A "let's go Joseph" chant started as Ryan got the early offense. Park grabbed Ryan by the chest hair and yanked it. "Free Brazilian waxing!" Keneley yelled. Apparently, Ryan's pubic region starts at his chest. Later, Ryan tried to roll up Park, who sat down on him and got the pin from a seated position...
Joseph Park beat Joey Ryan in 5:50.
Powell's POV: The live crowd wasn't overly hot for the entrance of either wrestler, so Ryan's pre-match mic work was necessary. The cool thing about Ryan is that he could get heat even if he was working in front of a crowd that had never seen him before. There was nothing particularly memorable about the match, but it was was fine undercard fodder.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan spoke with Bully Ray about his match and said she knows he's going to win the TNA Title. Ray cut her off and said he gets it, but he's nervous because he wants to make her, Hulk Hogan, an even himself proud. Hulk entered the room on crutches and Brooke left.
Hulk said this is a big night for TNA. Hogan said the good little company now has a chance to go on to greatness from this moment forward. Hulk said nothing against Jeff Hardy and he's been good for the moment and great for the run, but there's something about Bully. He said there's something special about Ray, but he just can't put his finger on it. Hogan said he's betting on Ray to win the match tonight and take TNA on to greatness.
"I think you're our launch point," Hogan said. Hulk admitted he wants a son-in-law to be champion, but there's more to it than that. He said Ray has made Brooke happy again despite the hell. He reference the hell that he's put her through "on a personal level." Hogan said he has a chance to live through Ray. "The belt is coming home to our family," Hulk said.
Hogan said before he had his title shot, Andre the Giant pulled him aside and told him that win or lose, make sure they remember you for as long as they live. Hogan said win or lose, he wants Ray to make sure he makes them remember him as long as they live. Ray and Hogan shook hands. Ray helped him up and promised Hogan they will remember him...
Powell's POV: My guess remains that Ray makes the fans remember him by being revealed as the Aces & 8's president. The promo seemed to set that up nicely and Hogan did a good job here. Ray came off likable and didn't make the mistake of going overboard with the foreshadowing.
3. Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts Title. Gail bickered with referee Taryn Terrell the moment they were in the ring together. After an offensive run by Kim, Velvet caught her on the ropes and performed a cool facebuster. Velvet was going for a move when Kim grabbed Terrell and held onto her before performing her Eat Defeat finisher. She covered Sky for a two count.
Kim stood up and bickered with Terrell and shoved her a few times and then slapped her across the face. "Disqualify me," Kim challenged. Terrell teased calling for the bell, but thought better of it. Instead, Terrell speared Kim and then slammed her head onto the mat repeatedly for a good pop from the crowd. Kim got back to her feet and pointed at Terrell. Sky spun Kim around, kicked her, and executed her finisher for the win...
Velvet Sky pinned Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts Title in 7:30.
Powell's POV: One of the better Knockouts matches in recent memory. Terrell snapping and attacking Kim really got over. As expected, the match was more about the Kim and Terrell story than the Knockouts Champion. Even so, it worked and Velvet had one of her better matches in the process. I could have lived without Taz saying that Terrell was arguing with Kim because it was that time of the month.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Robbie E, who spoke about proving that Little Robbie was always better than Big Robbie... A video package set up the battle of the Robbie's...
4. Robbie E vs. Robbie T. The first few minutes were mostly comedy with Robbie E losing tests of strength to Robbie T. E applied a sleeper. He followed up with a cross body block, but T caught him and slammed him. T clotheslined E twice and slammed him again. T picked up E for a final big one-handed slam and got the clean pin...
Robbie T beat Robbie E in 5:40.
Powell's POV: The live crowd was pretty flat for this one. Some of the ringside fans were smiling at the early comedy and there were some cheers for the finish, but they didn't get much to cheer about in between.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Austin Aries and started by asking him where his partner is. Aries said people have been asking him the same question for two weeks. Aries said he's proven that he doesn't need Roode to get the job done. "But luckily for me, that's not gonna be necessary," Aries said. Roode walked into the picture, smiled into the camera, turned to Aries and asked, "Did you miss me?"...
Powell's POV: An interview for the internet crowd. Roode's appearance and question got a very small pop from the live crowd because most of the fans in attendance probably had no idea that he had a contract issue.
5. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez in a three-way for the TNA Tag Titles. Chavo received a good reaction and the announcers noted he was playing to his hometown. Keneley pointed out that the first pinfall or submission would decide the match.
Chavo and Hernandez had the early offense and then Bad Influence took turns working over Hernandez. Chavo came back with Three Amigos on Kazarian for a good reaction. He went for the same move on Roode, but Aries cut it off. Aries did the Eddie Guerrero shimmy, but Chavo regained control with a couple of suplexes.
Later, Hernandez showed off his power by breaking through a double clothesline attempt and then performing a double backbreaker on Aires and Kazarian. Hernandez had Aries pinned, but referee Earl Hebner was looking someone in the corner of the ring and was slow to make the count. Cool spot, but Hebner not being there to count the pin was odd.
At 16:00, Aries performed a huracanrana on Hernandez that took both men to ringside. Chavo knocked Daniels off the ropes and then performed a Frogsplah. However, Roode tagged him while he was in the air, so Hebner didn't count Chavo's pin attempt. Aries threw Chavo to ringside, and Roode covered Daniels to get the win...
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, and Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez in a three-way to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 17:00.
Powell's POV: Good action and the live crowd being into Chavo and Hernandez was a big help since they didn't seem to know how to respond when the heel teams were in the ring together.
The announcers narrated footage from the Knockouts match... Backstage, Borash interviewed Taryn Terrell, who was attacked from behind by Gail Kim. They were quickly pulled apart...
The announcers spoke as the crew was shown setting up the cage... A video set to Irish music showed Boston as the location for the Slammiversary pay-per-view on June 2. Tenay said tickets go on sale on March 29...
Somewhere backstage, D-Lo Brown spoke to the Aces & 8s members and said they've waited nine months for this. He sent Wes Brisco off to handle club business in his match against Kurt Angle. He asked the other members who wants to be first in the Lethal Lockdown match. Garett Bischoff and DOC both raised their hands...
Borash interviewed Kurt Angle on the interview set. Angle said there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide for Brisco. He said he hasn't forgotten about what D-Lo Brown did. He said he's going to give Brisco a San Antonio ass whooping... A video recalled the Angle and Brisco story and concluded with footage of D-Lo as the vice president...
6. Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco in a cage match. Brisco controlled the match for a stretch, but Angle came back with five German suplexes around 6:00. He went to the top rope and went for a frogsplash, but Brisco rolled out of the way. Angle came back moments later with the Angle Slam.
A USA chant broke out. "I guess Tampa is not part of the U.S., that's where Brisco is from," Taz said. Angle applied the ankle lock. Brisco rolled out of it and then caught Angle with a low blow. Brisco tried to escape over the cage, but Angle caught him and then German suplexed him off the top rope.
Angle went for the Angle Slam, but Brisco slipped away. Angle charged at Brisco, but he moved and Angle knocked the referee down. Angle applied the ankle lock. Brisco tapped, but the referee was out. Angle performed the Angle Slam on Brisco and then flipped off Brisco. Angle left the cage.
D-Lo Brown came out and slammed Angle into the cage and then threw him back inside the cage while the referee bumbled around on the other side of the ring with his back to everything. Brown pulled Brisco out of the cage and the referee turned around and named Brisco the winner...
Wes Brisco defeated Kurt Angle in a cage match in 11:40.
Powell's POV: For those not watching the show, no, the referee didn't turn (or at least no one played up that possibility). He was just looked like a moron because he got up and kept his back to the action for so long. The match was entertaining and Brisco was a good rag doll for Angle's suplexes. Unfortunately, I assumed D-Lo was going to interfere after the pre-match video focussed on him at the end.
A video set up the Lethal Lockdown match...
7. Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, James Storm, and Eric Young) vs. Aces & 8's (Devon, DOC, Knox, Garett Bischoff, and Mr. Anderson) in a Lethal Lockdown match. Anderson started the match for Aces & 8's, and Magnus started for TNA. After a few minutes of back and forth action, Knox entered the match for Aces & 8's (they won the man advantage on Impact).
Tenay reminded viewers that all ten men must enter the match before a pinfall or submission will count. Anderson and Knox worked over Magnus. At 5:00, Samoa Joe entered the match for Team TNA. Knox was knocked down and then Joe and Magnus worked over Anderson with a good sequence of moves from their tag team days.
At 7:05, Garett Bischoff entered the match for Aces & 8's. One lady in the crowd was really excited to see him. A loud "you can't wrestle" chant started. Poor Joe. Kidding. Magnus and Joe maintained control and performed more tag moves on Bischoff. Anderson recovered and knocked Joe down as he was charging toward Bischoff to give Aces & 8's the advantage again.
At 9:10, Eric Young entered the match. He took off a pair of shorts on the stage to reveal white trunks. He ran to the ring and immediately dropkicked one of his opponents. "He's nuts so that makes him dangerous," Taz said of Young. A brief "EY" chant started but did not gain much momentum.
At 11:15, Devon entered the match for Aces & 8's. Lots of punching and kicking ensued and continued until James Storm entered the match at 13:25. Storm entered the match with a flurry of offense on various opponents. He hit Knox with a superkick that Knox didn't take very well and it kind of killed the crowd momentarily.
At 15:25, DOC entered the match for Aces & 8's to no reaction. Ouch. Aces & 8's took the advantage inside the cage to set things up for Sting. At 17:30, Sting made his entrance to a big pop and brought two trash cans filled with weapons to the ring with him. Taz questioned why Sting had weapons. Tenay reminded him that weapons come into play once all ten entrants were inside the cage.
Sting and his teammates got the better of Aces & 8's and played to the crowd for a good reaction. Taz said he was disappointed in Sting. The heels eventually came back and had a run of offense. Team TNA returned fire and there was a big tower of doom spot with Bischoff at the top of the cage and four men underneath him all being suplexed and Samoa Joe at the bottom.
At 25:00, Young was on the top rope when Sting pointed to the top of the cage. Young went to the top of the cage and dropped an elbow on Knox. Young pinned Knox to win the match for his team. Team TNA posed and celebrated after the match while the Aces & 8's members sold in the ring...
Team TNA defeated Aces & 8's in a Lethal Lockdown match in 25:20.
Powell's POV: The match was laid out nicely with Joe and Magnus in early for Team TNA keeping things fun with their tag moves. It slowed down and looked like a battle royal with a lot of punching and kicking as the ring filled up. The crowd faded a bit, but they came to life for Sting's entrance. The fans also loved the tower of doom spot and the finish with Young performing the top rope elbow off the top of the cage. The announcers played it up as a key moment for TNA in their feud with Aces & 8's while ignoring the fact that Aces & 8's members lose on television constantly. By the way, there was no roof on the cage, which is why Sting brought the weapons out with him.
The announcers noted that Jeff Hardy led their poll just 51 percent to 49 percent regarding who would win the main event. Dot Net voters disagree, as 78 percent expect Bully Ray to win the main event and only 22 percent of the voters predicted that Jeff Hardy will retain the TNA Title... A video set up the main event... The announcers ran through the tale of the tape. Taz said he doesn't like either one of them...
Jeremy Borash replaced Christy Hemme for the in-ring introductions for the main event...
8. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray in a cage match for the TNA Title. Taz complained about Bully Ray getting the title match because he's Hulk Hogan's son-in-law. Hardy went for a couple of covers early, but Bully kicked out quickly both times. They both stood on the ropes and Ray kicked Hardy in the face and Hardy crotched himself on the way down.
Taz continued to talk about how much he dislikes Bully Ray. With Ray on offense, Hardy attempted to escape through the cage door, but Ray caught him at 6:00. Bully teased punching Hardy, but stopped himself and applied a chinlock instead. Ray applied a bear-hug on Hardy and dueling chants for both wrestlers picked up. Tenay said the crowd reaction was as split as their poll. Taz said the match would be much better if D-Lo Brown or another member of Aces & 8's was involved.
At 9:00, Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Ray and went to the ropes. Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco ran out and climbed over the top of the cage. Hardy fought them and then Ray stood up and clotheslined them. Ray got down on all fours and called for Hardy to use him as a springboard, which Hardy did as he crashed into Bischoff and Brisco. Ray and Hardy threw the Aces & 8's members out through the cage door and Brisco landed awkwardly on the way out.
Hardy and Ray squared off again and Hardy got the better of that exchange. He climbed the cage in an attempt to escape, but Ray caught him from behind, spun him around, and then slammed his hand onto Hardy's chest. With both men standing on the top rope, Hardy fired back. Hardy caught Ray with a kick and fell to the mat in the process. A wobbly Bully fell onto Hardy with a splash for a two count at 12:45.
Hardy hit the Twist of Fate at 12:50. Hardy went to the top rope and tried to escape the cage, but Ray caught him from behind. Ray reached up and put Hardy in position and then slammed him down with a top rope powerbomb. Damn! The crowd rightfully chanted Holy Shit. Ray eventually covered Hardy, who kicked out at two at 14:00. Taz said he thought it was cool that both men were hurting.
Hulk Hogan used crutches and headed to ringside along with Brooke Hogan. Hulk stood in front of the opening cut into the cage for the camera and shouted encouragement to him. "Aces & 8's," Hogan said. "You gotta get up." The Aces & 8's members surrounded the cage and eventually climbed inside it.
Ray and Hardy stood back to back fighting. Devon stood on the top rope and looked down at Ray. Devon handed Ray a hammer, which he struck Hardy with. "No!" Hulk said. Brooke looked just as surprised. Bully and Devon had a Team 3D moment and then Bully covered Hardy and the referee made the three count.
Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy in 16:55 to win the TNA Title.
Taz said you witnessed history. "Welcome home, my brother," Taz said. Ray celebrated with the other members of Aces & 8's and had Earl Hebner raise his hand. Brooke Hogan was distraught at ringside. "You meant nothing to me," Ray told her. Hulk stepped up and Ray said, "Get out of my face, old man." Ray challenged Hogan to do something as Brooke cried. "You're a dead man," Hulk said.
Ray took the mic. "Hey, Devon, let that stupid bitch cry," Ray said. "Hey, Hulk, I used you. Brooke, I screwed you." Hulk called Ray a son of a bitch at ringside a few times. The fans threw debris into the cage. "But most of all, I fooled every single one of you," Ray told the crowd. Taz said Aces & 8's are playing with all the cards.
"I am Bully Ray and I am the President of Aces & 8's and I am the TNA Heavyweight Champion," said Ray. Bully Ray and Devon hugged in the ring and celebrated with the other Aces & 8's members. "It is a great night to be a bad son of a bitch," Taz said. Ray taunted the fans while standing on top of the ropes. He pointed at Taz and said, We did it, Taz"...
Powell's POV: It took a long time to get there, but Bully Ray has finally captured the TNA Title and revealed himself as the President of Aces & 8's. There were plenty of hardcore fans who saw this coming months ago (some of us were calling for it to happen at Bound For Glory), but it's possible the casual fans will be surprised. I am looking forward to hearing Ray's first promo because I'm curious to see how they attempt to connect all the dots and explain away some of the inconsistencies.
Overall, the show was solid. I wasn't blown away, but it was better than the average TNA pay-per-view and concluded with a major storyline development. The production gets a big thumbs up as this is the best TNA has looked since Slammiversary last year. The crowd looked big and the lighting of the ringside area was very good. It took a long time to get to Ray turning heel and it feels like the only thing that's really changed since Bound For Glory is that Ray got to turn on Hulk and Brooke. That said, it is great to see Ray positioned as a heel again where he is so effective.
Thanks for watching along with me. I'll be back with Chris Shore for a Dot Net Member exclusive audio review later tonight and with the TNA Lockdown Hitlist on Monday.