UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

New Stars and a New Champ at TNA Lockdown 2009

Mick Foley Lockdown 2009It is never a good thing in wrestling to promise a big surprise if you aren’t delivering. It is even riskier when you promise two big surprises in one night. TNA wrestling promised to deliver two former champions at Lockdown. Former champions Bobby Lashley and Stevie Richards officially debuted at TNA Lockdown. Good signings, but not quite up to the expectations of fans.

TNA love to promise “surprises” at pay-per-views. First of all, I never really understood that concept. Wouldn’t you drop the big surprise on television for millions of viewers rather than 30 plus thousand viewers? I think the paradox here is that you are revealing a big angle on your pay-per-view in hopes of getting viewers to watch a free TV show. Not too mention, I’d assume that if someone was a big enough fan of TNA to order their event than they are probably watching the television show anyway.

The other huge gamble here is that when you hype up two big surprises, speculation gets out of control, and you can rarely live up to expectations. This isn’t just a TNA mistake, as I have seen WWE get caught in this dilemma many times over the years. The big buzz on the Internet was that the surprises would be anyone from Taz to Goldberg. Unless one of those guys was being delivered, TNA was setting fans up for a lot of disappointment.

I think Stevie Richards and Bobby Lashley are better investments for TNA than any of the others speculated. I am a huge Taz fan personally and professionally. However, Taz has said he is done wrestling and TNA already has a color man. What would he do in TNA? I’d love to see it as a fan, but it is also not my money. The same can be said about any number of the other names speculated about by fans. These two signings actually make sense for TNA.

Both of these guys are still young and can go in the ring. I think Stevie Richards is a hell of a talent. Stevie knows how to get a character over and has a world of experience with all kinds of opponents. Stevie is someone you can actually build around, yet use him as a teacher at the same time. I think it is a tremendous move and I am happy that he will get another chance on a big stage.

While I am not a huge Bobby Lashley fan, I think he is another great investment for TNA. Remember, Lashley was on every billboard poster around the country a few years ago. Lashley’s match at WWE WrestleMania 23 received more media attention than almost any other match in the past several years. Lashley is still young and has a lot to give. Lashley has immediate star presence and offers some fresh matchups in TNA.

Lashley also has the MMA connection. Lashley is 2-0 as a professional MMA fighter. Lashley has had negotiations with UFC and has talked about trying out for the Ultimate Fighter television show. Lashley is bound to get a crack on a big MMA show because of his background. The partnership with TNA can only offer TNA more exposure to a different audience. The investment is a bit of a gamble, but I think a gamble worth taking if you are TNA.

The big news inside of the ring at TNA Lockdown was the crowning of a new TNA world champion. Mick Foley defeated Sting in the main-event of a Steel Cage Match to win the TNA title. This is the sixth title change since TNA broke away from the National Wrestling Alliance. I love Foley on TNA Impact, but TNA really needs to start building their company around younger talent. That isn’t to say that this won’t do exactly that in the end, but right now you have yet another veteran on top. Congratulations to Mick Foley, but let’s start preparing for the future already.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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