Lockdown 2013 is in the book and TNA Wrestling has a new world heavyweight champion. Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy in a predictable, yet exciting finish which saw Ray win the title and reveal himself as the leader of Aces & 8’s.
TNA Lockdown was a mixed show which will be remembered most for the final match of the night than anything else on the card. Bully Ray pinned Jeff Hardy to win the title in a Steel Cage Match. The final minutes of the match saw the last six months of Bully Ray’s TNA career come full circle after admitting to screwing the Hogans and being the President of Aces & 8’s.
The finish of the match saw Bully powerbomb Hardy off of the top rope after Hardy tried to escape the cage. Hardy kicked out of a pin attempt. Hulk and Brooke Hogan were at ringside together by this time. Aces & 8’s surrounded the cage. Ray gave Hardy a chain and the two stood back to back ready to fight the group. Devon gave Bully a hammer which he used to nail Hardy with and wound up pinning him to win the title.
Bully told Brooke she meant nothing to him and threatened Hulk. Hogan told Ray he was a “dead man.” Ray then took the microphone and cut a promo saying he used Brooke and screwed Hulk. A few fans that appeared planted started throwing trash after which more fans followed giving it an “n.W.o. moment.” Bully then told the crowd that he was the President of the group.
I have mixed feelings on the angle. It was a tremendous moment and one of the most exciting in TNA history. But in the end Hulk Hogan looked like an idiot as did everyone else in TNA. Anyone who watched Impact with a clue knew that Bully was going to eventually turn. Hogan never appeared to question it and always endorsed Bully to skeptical wrestlers. Unless it is revealed at some point that Hulk was in on it all along (wouldn’t be surprised), he really looks like a fool. Dixie in Hulk’s spot would have been better because she should be more naïve than a veteran like Hulk.
I also don’t know where you go from here with Bully. The money match would appear to be Bully vs. Kurt Angle or Sting. I am not sure how Hulk plays into this, other than an eventual turn if that is the way this thing turns out. I have to think that most fans left the event wanting to see Hulk vs. Bully, well those that aren’t aware of Hulk’s physical limitations. I highly doubt the match is coming so I really don’t get Hogan’s involvement at this point unless he’s wrestling or winds up in the faction.
You could argue both sides of Bully being champion. On the one hand he is a fresh face to the title and he has been one of the best characters on the show in a long time. On the other he is 41-years old and has never been perceived as a major singles star or threat. This goes back to the old argument of youth vs. veterans in TNA. Normally I’d be on the youth side but TNA hasn’t developed any young fresh faces to be world champions in a long, long time. I really have no problem with him as champ but I am sure some will.
Other notes from Lockdown…Jeff Hardy suffered a bad concussion on that final powerbomb off the top rope and was in bad shape after the show. TNA announced the Lockdown crowd as the biggest in company history. The last reported number was 6,700, although Dave Meltzer was skeptical on his F4Wonline.com. What amazes me about that number is that this company has never drawn more than 10,000 people to an event in 11 years! This is a company that at one time had Hogan, Ric Flair, the Hardys, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam on its roster at the same time and they couldn’t break 10,000? I have no idea how this company makes any money if that’s the case. AJ Styles is also scheduled to return on Thursday. He can’t receive a world title shot for a year according to the storylines so maybe they try a year-long build with Bully? Bobby Roode has also reportedly worked out any contractual issues with the company.
Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy (c) in a Steel Cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, James Storm and Eric Young) defeated Aces & Eights (Devon, Mr. Anderson, Knox, DOC and Garett Bischoff) in a Lethal Lockdown match
Wes Brisco defeated Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage match
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (c) defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez in a Three-Way Tag Team match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
Robbie T defeated Robbie E
Velvet Sky (c) defeated Gail Kim in a match for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Joseph Park defeated Joey Ryan
Kenny King (c) defeated Christian York and Zema Ion in a Three-Way match for the TNA X Division Championship