Pruett's Pause: TNA Lockdown - Bully Ray wins the TNA World Championship and joins Aces and Eights, TNA draws a record crowd, Team TNA wins Lethal Lockdown, Kurt Angle wrestles less than a broomstick
By Will Pruett
- This show looked absolutely fantastic. TNA's production crew should be very proud of themselves after making this fourth of a stadium look like a major arena. This was TNA's best looking show to date.
- I enjoy the idea of moving Mike Tenay, Taz, and Todd Kenely down to ringside. It's just about the only think I enjoyed about the commentary team on this show. Taz was obnoxious in a bad way. Kenely was constantly showi g his lack of experience. Tenay was uninspired at best and was at his worst when arguing with Taz.
- TNA regressed a few years when they decided to open up the show with an X Division spot-fest. Sadly, this one featuring Zema Ion, Kenny King, and Christian York went from looking overly choreographed to poorly choreographed, back to being overly choreographed. It never looked natural.
- Why was Kenny King allowed to try a spot jumping off of another person? The spot isn't cool enough to justify the risk.
- Joey Ryan showed his value to TNA by transforming a silent crowd into a rather hot crowd. Ryan can draw heat really well.
- Joseph Park continues to be fun in his in-ring appearances. I'm continuously stunned by the acting job done by this performer. He plays a completely believable "green hornet" about 95% of the time.
- Am I supposed to believe Hulk Hogan doesn't like Jeff Hardy? His backstage promo with Bully Ray was odd. Shouldn't it have set Hardy up as an equal to Ray in some way?
- Velvet Sky had her best match since her comeback against Gail Kim. I'm afraid of what the angle in the match means for Sly though. TNA doesn't often tell multiple stories with their Knockouts, so it could be easy for Velvet to slip through the cracks.
- I was surprised at how much the live crowd enjoyed Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell getting into it. If the crowd heat continues for this program, it could be a very fun one to watch.
- Fans in the Impact Zone seemed to like Robbie T., but these fans did not. I don't see this act getting over as more than a bodyguard. Perhaps Robbie E.'s pairing with him had run its course, but it was vastly superior to him just being a singles wrestler lacking in skill.
- I liked the reveal of Bobby Roode's actual presence on the pay-per-view. It worked on the meta level for fans reading websites and it also worked on the overall level with Roode having been missing for two weeks.
- Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) was the absolute best match of the night. They were able to work a three-way formula perfectly and highlight everyone at least once. This was a great match.
- As much as every wrestler had highlights, the star of this match was Hernandez who looked at home with four men to bump around for him. Hernandez is great in this situation. I'd love for TNA to put him in it more often without rehashing the same Latino-based tag team gimmick.
- The tag team match was very good. Now, imagine what it could have been if there had been a story told around it worth investing in.
- Kurt Angle may have been able to make a broomstick look better than he made Wes Brisco look. I'm sure Angle saw this match as a challenge, but Brisco seemed incapable of delivering. It's sad to see such a weak character given this kind of prominence.
- TNA still has the worst referees in wrestling. How does the official keep his back turned for so long? This was poorly timed and poorly executed.
- One of the long-term builds TNA seems to be embarking on is Kurt Angle vs. D'Lo Brown. What a match! It could have main evented any episode of Sunday Night Heat between 1999 and 2001!
- I usually like Lethal Lockdown, but something was missing from this year's contest. For one, it seemed to exist outside the narrative of the night. Thematically, it didn't fit with the story TNA was telling with this show.
- The fans actually seemed to be flat for many of the entrances. This goes against my theory stating fans will always be excited of counting down is involved.
- As much a s I appreciate the continuity, I still don't get why the Aces and Eights wrestle in biker gear. It's one thing to be in a gang, but it's another to restrict movement of wrestlers.
- I would have rather seen this become a spotlight match for Magnus instead of Eric Young. I like Young, but Magnus is ready for something big.
- In the end, the babyfaces won in Lethal Lockdown. It was a victory that meant nothing. It was a victory that excited the crowd, while providing an opposite to what the night was supposed to bring. It was an odd choice.
- I don't know if I have ever seen a match or angle I disliked the execution of less, but enjoyed the result of more than the Bully Ray turn.
- Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray was paced well for the first half. It seemed to be building to something suitably epic. I seemed to be building to something more than we saw.
- The first Aces and Eights run in was a nice distraction, but also a slightly puzzling one. It's use as a decoy was really nice.
- The hammer shot from Bully, followed by the pin (and a trademark Earl Hebner dramatic slow count) spelled certain doom for Hardy and marred the first time since Bound for Glory I have felt the Aces and Eights storyline had any sense of direction.
- What was done on this show that could not have been done at Bound for Glory (as far as the main event picture goes)?
- If the blowoff to Bully's title win is a match with Hulk Hogan, I might become the saddest person on the planet.
This was a good show, with the cage portion actually not delivering. This surprised me. I figured Hardy vs. Bully would be good until the very end. I figured Lethal Lockdown would excite me. Neither of those things happened. Despite this, it is hard not to be optimistic about TNA's current stories. They have a major heel, a faction around him, a long list of babyfaces to challenge him, and a nice slew of hopefully hot crowds in new towns.
This show was a new beginning for TNA. They had to exercise a lot of the old demons, but they can be great after this.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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