TNA: Lockdown PPV Review
Sunday, April 20th, 2008
Total Non-Stop Action returned to New England for the first time in ten months with it's Lockdown PPV and fanfest last weekend. Last June, TNA promoted four tremendous house shows in MA, RI and NH and were so happy with the response they planned one of their biggest PPV's of the year to come from "Boston." Yes, I realize Lowell is a half hour from Boston with a great wrestling tradition in it's own right. It was, however, the absolute perfect spot to distribute promotional materials for our two June events featuring the superstars of TNA (thanks!). . .
Before they went live, CEO Dixie Carter made a nice in ring speech, thanking the fans for being part of the largest crowd in TNA history. She walked up the stairs and thanked fans individually. Commissioner Von Johnson's eyes were filled with lust. . .a shocker. . .
TNA does a tremendous job keeping the crowd pumped and hot all night, with promises of backstage passes, etc. WWE should go that route when they tape Smackdown and ECW together on a bad night, because they can make for some long, long tapings. . .
The main story of this event was Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe for the TNA World Title. Surprise, surprise, TNA used Murphy's (or Mirade's) law, built up the championship main event match as serious and something important, and, abracadabra, it got over and they drew a strong buy rate compared to what some of their recent sports entertainment/"ha ha" themed PPV's have drawn in recent months. This coming two weeks after WrestleMania did gigantic business in what may be the biggest money event in wrestling history. Serious matches and angles = fans willing to spend money. Sports entertainment / comedy wrestling = fans might watch for free on TV but won't buy PPV's. All you have to do is look at some of the absolutely dreadful PPV numbers TNA pulled in last year to validify that statement. . .
The good. The last two matches were really strong. The bad. Everything else on the card. Overbooked. Over gimmicked (on a gimmick PPV). Way too many women. Lets take a look. . .
The all steel cage match Lockdown PPV opened with a six person X-Division Title Match. Our good friend Black Machismo vs Curry Man vs Sonjay Dutt vs Johnny Devine vs Consequences Creed vs Shark Boy. I think this match would have been better off as a singles so Machismo and whoever could have worked, instead of fitting in five pointless eliminations in about ten minutes worth of a match. The tease of Machismo and Sonjay Dutt turning on each other over So Cal Val wasn't played up much here, which contradicted the Machismo/Val/Dutt "date" vignettes. (Off topic, do you think that match will do the business that Savage and Hogan did when they battled over Elizabeth? So Cal Val has about as much personality as a turtle, she looks like Larry Bird in drag. Those "date" segments on Impact are among the worst I've seen in a long, long time) It came down to Machismo and Devine, and once everyone else was eliminated, it turned into an "escape the cage" match or some pointless gimmick. Devine taped Machismo to the cage. . .he was trying to get out the door but Dutt blocked him. Then he started to climb the cage. . .Dutt somehow got his hands on a pair of scissors, tossed them to Machismo, who ran through the door and did a tope onto the floor to beat Devine to the punch. Again, too much going on, not much of it making sense. . .
Next was the Queens of the Cage match. The reverse battle royal gimmick that was a waste of time and no one really wanted to see. All of the knockouts not involved in the other two matches involving women on the show fought around ringside for what seemed to be thirty seconds. There was Jackie Moore, Traci Brooks, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, the big black guy that they claim is a woman, the vampire from ECW that takes down LAX's heat fifteen notches, and Roxxi Laveaux (I don't think I'll ever spell that name right). Roxxi and Love made it into the ring, Roxxi went over. . .nothing against the hard working girls, but there was really no need for or interest in this match. . .
A new, bland, blonde interviewer debuted. Yeah, I know, it's 2008. Every brand has to have a bland female interviewer. Why have an effective male that understands what he's doing in 2008 when we can have some more t&a (no pun intended)??
Next up was BG James and Kip James. As usual, Kip doesn't have a lot in the tank when he's not involved in a tag match. BG can stay over forever with his mouth. Match wasn't very good, but it wasn't very long either. Post match, they "teased" a reunion and then Kip clotheslined BG ala Hogan and Orndorff from 1986 in a spot that everyone in the world saw coming except for BG, Mike Tenay and Don West. . .
Following that was a clusterfuck of a tag team handcuff battle royal type match. Again, wayyyyyyyyyy overbooked, giving a dozen guys ten minutes to work. Please! Eric Young was attacked backstage by the monsters, so Kaz had to come out alone. It was Kaz vs Rock & Rave Infection (please) vs LAX vs Motor City Machine Guns vs Rellik & Goldust vs Scott Steiner & Petey Williams. You have Steiner headlining next months PPV and he's involved in this nonsense. How about just LAX vs MCMG in a tag team match that would have tore the house down?? Kaz vs Jimmy Rave?? In another "shocking" moment, Eric Young came out dressed as super hero "Super Eric" to save the day and win the match. I guess that would appeal to a five year old. . .you know, the demographic that decides to pay $30 to order a PPV. That would be a good gimmick for Tito Ortiz if he was to return to UFC. Maybe that's why UFC has been does several hundreds of thousands of PPV buys and TNA is lucky to hit the 20,000 mark most months, I don't know.
Another womens match. . .Gail Kim & ODB vs Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed. Not a bad match, but it was another multi person match on a show with way too many. Good match with the babyfaces going over. . .
Booker T & Sharmell vs Bobby Roode & Peyton Banks. Another complete waste of time due to the women that didn't belong in there. I'm not much of a Roode fan to begin with, as he's been pointing his finger at whoever his valet is with a Terry Taylor robe on for the better part of two years and just doesn't do it for me. Still would have been better as a singles. Quick, pointless and not very good. . .Booker lost whatever steam he had coming in from WWE real quick. . .
The War Games style Lethal Lockdown was a great brawl. Christian & Rhino & Sting & Kevin Nash & Matt Morgan vs AJ Styles & Team 3D & Tomko & James Storm. Nice way to elevate Storm and Morgan into a match with the bigger names. Guys came in every two mintues, if memory serves me correct. Christian and AJ did a sick spot on the top of the cage where Storm pushed them off of the ladder onto the roof. That's Balls with a capital B. . .I liked this match a lot
Samoa Joe defeated Kurt Angle to win the TNA Heavyweight Championship. I thought they missed the boat and he should have deveated Christian last March in Orlando at Destination X. All of the bad booking and angles over the last year didn't mean anything here. Half worked wrestling match, half worked MMA match, it was different and effective. The fans were ready and they got their monies worth as they saw what may go down as the biggest match in TNA history. Nice way to end the show. . .
Next month, TNA will be running house shows in VT and CT. If you do not like the sports entertainment type feel of the TV shows, I cannot stress to you how much you would really enjoy going to one of their non-televised events. Six or seven matches, hot crowds with a crew of guys (and girls) working their asses off. Far more fan friendly than WWE, they're good events for kids, too. . .