WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Lockdown: Where Hogan Wins Matches He’s Not Even In

Hulk Hogan at TNA Lockdown-So it turns out that my PPV rants are not”exclusive” to one promotion. Yes, I’ve decided to not only do TNA Wrestling’s 2nd or 3rd biggest show of the year, but I’ve also decided to do EVERY WWE and TNA PPV from here on out. So long as interest holds up, anyway.

-So here we are, the sixth annual TNA Lockdown, the all cage match cluster-Russo, and it’s live from the Family Arena outside St. Louis, MO. Fun fact: the last ECW Wrestlepalooza took place in this very arena just a bit over 10 years ago. Well, it’s only fun if you’re me, I suppose.

-Your hosts are Mike “Tries Hard” Tenay, and Taz, who’ll put forth his best effort in the big matches to not only put himself over, but to laugh at highly important and tense moments. There’s the folly of not having Vince McMahon on head set right there.

-To kick things off, Rob Van Dam takes on James Storm to determine which team gets the one man advantage in Lethal Lockdown. Doesn’t TNA know anything about tradition? You’re supposed to have a coin toss to determine the advantage that the heels inexplicably always win. Geez, maybe that crazy Jim Cornette was right about this company.

-RVD and Storm brawl outside the cage, because, you know, in cage matches, you can fight outside the cage. You never see Anderson Silva fight outside the cage in UFC, do you? Unless Dana White’s going after him with a bayonet or something.

-Van Dam is busted open. In the opening match. Looks like we’re taking a detour, kids! TO OVERKILL CITY WE GO!

-James Storm does the RVD thumb point, because he’s a heel. They need to split Beer Money up and just let James Storm go nuts as a single. The man oozes personality, and he works hard to boot. Am I missing the reasoning behind his lack of such push?

-RVD lands the Five Star to win the advantage for his team. Wow, the faces get the advantage? There’s a Russo Swerve I didn’t see coming. Solid opener with two guys I like, so the show hasn’t had a chance to suck yet.

-Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan comments on his team’s chances of winning Lethal Lockdown. You’d expect a rah rah speech of some kind, but instead Hogan says there’s little ray of hope, and that he may just leave wrestling if things don’t go his way. Is there going to be a raffle for a chance to pack his bags? If so, I’ll fill out a slip.

-Ooh, apparently, Eric Bischoff has no showed the event as well. But how else are they going to fill his standard 14 backstage segments?

-Next up is a bonus four way Xscape match, where the winner fills in Doug Williams’ spot in the X Division Title match tonight. Geez, poor Doug. Guy loses his belt because of a volcano, which is a new one. TNA Films first feature had BETTER be”Doug vs. The Volcano”.

-Anywho, the participants are Brian Kendrick (sans The), Homicide, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin. I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of the Motor City Machine Guns. Shelley’s alright (albeit overrated), but Sabin just never has done it for me. His in ring work is solid, but has anyone ever been worse at cutting a promo than Chris Sabin? He looks like he’s suppressing a constipated smirk every time he talks, and it’s hard to take him seriously. I dunno, he just reminds me of people in their twenties who have to be told twice not to skateboard in front of the laundromat.

-So RVD, Storm, the winner of this match, and one other guy (to be revealed soon) are pulling double duty on this show. Meanwhile, talents like Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry don’t have matches. Actually, that works just fine with me.

-Brian Kendrick’s busted open, thus costing Dixie Carter that Senate seat. Speaking of Kendrick, he hits this bush league-looking running slap on a Machine Gun while Homicide has him in a camel clutch. Maybe weed DOES kill the logical sectors of one’s brain.

-The Guns hit a combo DDT/STO/Enzuigiri on the ‘Latin Pot Exchange’, which is cool looking, I’ll admit. Chris Sabin’s every bit as talented a wrestler as he is worthless a talker.

-Homicide escapes the cage after double crossing Kendrick, and thus waltzes into Doug Williams’ spot tonight. Thank God, because if Sabin won, between he, Kazarian, and Shannon Moore, there haven’t been three people with less personality since Larry, Darryl, and his other brother Darryl.

-Next is Kevin Nash and Eric Young, where you can expect it to be as one sided as a single mastectomy. Eric Young can’t even get a hometown, as he’s billed as being from”Canada”. Way to represent the Northwest Territories, yo. Also, did Dave Penzer ever stop to learn how much everyone weighs? You’d think after 15 years or so, he’d take some notes.

-Taz works in”NOT FUH NUTTIN”. Was waiting for that.

-If Eric Young were to win, it’d have to come off of a fluke pin, since Nash isn’t equipped to take any special bumps. So if the goal here is to elevate EY, they’re going about it the wrong way.

-Nash hits a low blow, followed by his corner barrage, and he’s winded. Some things never change. Also, Eric Young keeps waving him in before each attack, which is never paid off. Maybe he was openly giving Nash his cues? Discretion gives way to Nash’s hearing loss? Well, he IS 50.

-Taz informs us that Nash has some issues with his knees. That’s like saying Whitney’s had an occasional flare-up with Bobby. Nash wins it with a powerbomb, and his Whitneys surprisingly held up. Nash announces that he’s filling in for the vacant Sean Waltman tonight, which means that Kevin Nash is working twice. Hang on, my jaw dislocated itself and hurtled into my carpet. What did I just hear?

-The Beautiful People defend their TNA Women’s Tag Team Titles against Women’s Champion Angelina Love and Tara, who is sadly looking more and more like Ivory every day. If WWE allowed her to retire because she refused botox, then I’m gonna have to side with Vinnie Mac on this one. Anywho, all the gold is on the line.

-Apparently, Angelina left TNA briefly over an issue with Velvet Sky wanting to lead BP. How Velvet wanting to be a leader led to Angelina forgetting to renew her work visa is beyond me.

-Taz uses the word”biotch” on commentary. My repulsion is quelled by Madison Rayne doing a scissor stomp, in which she wraps her legs around her opponent’s head and humps her into the mat. I just experienced two extremes there.

-Tara and Angelina experience some tension, not unlike Judas and Jesus before the betrayal. Well, I didn’t say it was EXACTLY alike. Work with me here.

-So with the ref distracted, Lacey Von Erich whacks Tara with a belt (because there’s a chance that someone may get DQ’d in a cage match), and Madison scores the pin to pick up two belts. Oh, and Tara attacks Angelina for fun. Maybe she’s railing against Botoxed women. She can totally be the CM Punk of the women’s division. But whatever.

-By the way, when Tara straightens her hair, she looks 34, but when she lets it curl, she looks 47. What’s up with that?

-I hate Ric Flair nowadays, since he’s become a complete joke, but if he’d knocked out Bug Eye Borash during that backstage interview, I’d have paid his taxes for him. Flair informs us that his future is right there, and that includes Beer Money. Flair’s future is ‘beer money’? Ric, you don’t have to write my jokes for me, but thanks anyway.

-Also, thank God that AJ Styles did something with his hair. With his vacant eyes and childlike face, I was referring to him as an athletic version of the Angry Video Game Nerd. Though, sadly, I think James Rolfe has more viewers.

-Taz remarks on Doug Williams unfairly being stripped of the X Division title. He is immediately electroshocked by Dixie Carter.

-So it’s Kazarian, Shannon Moore, and Homicide for the X Division gold. I wonder Homicide would do in the real world when confronted with a made up slender person named”Shannon”. Especially when he found out that Shannon was (maybe) male.

-See, now I’m sad that Kendrick lost earlier. This match could have taken place on any episode of Velocity in 2005 if he were here.

-The back of Homicide’s head hits the cage enough times for Chris Nowinski to seethe.”This is what the X Division is all about” says Tenay. So to recap, the X Division is about concussions and drag queens. Sounds like my junior prom.

-Homicide lands a super double cutter on both men. Man, Homicide is CARRYING this match. If this was the Phillies World Champion pitching staff, Homicide’s Cole Hamels, Kazarian’s Jamie Moyer, and Moore’s Adam Eaton.

-We’re told that the X Division title is in England with Williams. No belt? For Chrissakes, raid the gift shop! Don’t be bush league, guys!

-How did Moore miss that springboard senton on Homicide? He was standing RIGHT THERE. Man, when you disassociate yourself from the tenets of Mattitude, you fall apart.

-Kazarian ends it with a reverse piledriver on Homicide to win the invisible belt. Kaz should hold up said invisible belt, like Beth Phoenix did after she lost the Women’s title to Mickie James. Match was fun while it lasted.

-Pope D’Angelo Dinero cuts a money promo, which begs the question of why the company isn’t centered around him. How could they miss on such an obvious talent? Oh, right, TNA, gotcha.

-To run through the next match, Team 3D face the Outsiders in the montly”Pretend it’s 1997 like we do” TNA special. Brother Ray wants a street fight, so that he doesn’t have to work. Indeed, he gets locked out of the cage at one point, so he can try to reopen the door futilely. Sadly, he got winded just doing THAT. Finally, he comes in, 3D hits some random moves, and they hit the actual physical 3D on Scott Hall through a table for the win. When Scott Hall’s the best worker in the match, and when Nash outworks you, it may be time to hang it up, certain someone.

-Video package for the Kurt Angle/Ken Anderson feud. I had a feeling going in that this one was going to be epic. I had no idea.

-So the rules here are that in order for you to win, you must exit through the door via a key that Anderson won the right to have weeks ago. That’s actually the least convoluted TNA gimmick match to date. I’m clapping. Really.

-While I’m thinking of how Ken Anderson exudes charisma and poise, he phallically kisses the microphone. Now I have no idea WHAT he’s exuding.

-Taz mentions that he had conversations earlier in the day with Angle, and I wonder: does Taz talk in his commentary voice when engaged in normal chatter with others?”Not fer uh nothing there, Kurt, but uhh, wanna hit up Olive Gah-den, there’s a real hot ta-mata who’s a serv-uh!”. Let’s hope so.

-What’s more disturbing: Angle’s gusher blade-job, or the fact that Anderson appears to be wearing guyliner? I’m torn.

-Anderson mimics Angle’s bloody anguish with an exaggerated scream, and Mr. Ken follows up by smearing Angle’s blood across his chest. Injury setbacks aside, shouldn’t Anderson be dominating WWE as a top heel right now? He’s just too good for his own, um, good.

-Anderson uses his wrist tape to choke out Angle, and Kurt sells it accordingly, with a nice shade of purple coloring his bloody face. As much as I support WWE’s safer stance, I can enjoy these occasional gorefests as long as they’re done sparingly. If you trash TNA for their blood, and you watch UFC, then you need to take your high horse to the glue factory. I think JR said that once.

-Angle comes back with a sick back suplex and contemplates leaving for the win, but opts not to, and chucks the key out of the cage! Pretty bad ass stuff, since Angle cares less about winning and more about hurting Anderson. These are the character subtleties that TNA lacks, but are certainly on display in this match. Great stuff so far.

-Angle just outdid himself by landing a cage moonsault on Anderson’s head. Oh. Em. Gee. Kurt Angle, don’t die just to steal the show. Please, man, please.

-Angle attempts to leave again (ref had a spare key, I believe), but AGAIN changes his mind, and turns around, only to eat the Mic Check. You’d think it would be over, since Angle defeated himself, but guess what? Anderson tries to crawl out, and as Ken crawls down the steps, Angle sinks in an ankle lock. Ken can’t quite reach the floor, and Angle yanks him back in. Crowd is eating this up. Anderson manages to kick him off, however.

-Anderson tries another escape, but Angle wraps the key chain around his neck and chokes him out on the edge of the apron. Then, with Anderson unconscious, Angle gives him a hearty crotch stomp, and exits the cage for the win. Tremendous, fresh stuff, and Anderson’s best match ever. If not for Angle’s match with Samoa Joe at Turning Point 2006, then this is Angle’s best TNA match. I can’t stop praising it enough.

-Angle announces a vacation after the match, which is good. Body and soul come first.

-Styles/Pope video. Just think, if Hogan and Flair and Bischoff all leave, Dinero doesn’t have to gasp for airtime so much.

-So it’s The Pope vs. AJ Styles for the TNA World Title, and Ric Flair is tossed before the match. Fine by me. Just make sure he has a designated driver.

-So the match kicks off with a good see-saw feeling out, and the fans start up with dueling chants. Then Styles goes into his astro-boy offense, hitting his typical superman leaps and dives. Note to AJ: as the heel, maybe you should eliminate your aerial offense. It’s only going to make the fans cheer for you, and you don’t want that. Hate HHH all you want, especially from 2002-2003 when he was boring in the ring, but at least the crowd hated his guts and wanted him dead. I didn’t see him doing crotch chops and fast paced wrestling then, did you?

-Styles takes a hard bump into the cage door, but comes back long enough to land his super elbow shiver off the top of the cage. Taz, of course, adds no seriousness to the match, giggling like Horatio Sanz’s Jasper Hahn character. What’s Jesse Ventura’s asking price?

-AJ with the Pele! Let’s cheer the heel for being a great athlete!

-AJ misses a cross body off the top, but Pope misses the ensuing Dinero Express. Styles, finally realizing”Wow, I’m supposed to do EVIL stuff” takes an ink pen from the cameraman at ringside and stabs Pope in the face. That’s enough to set up the Styles Clash for AJ to retain. Decent match, albeit short, and the booking was a waste of Pope winning the tournament. Hopefully, they figure out how to better use him, because he can definitely contribute.

-Bischoff finally arrives and blows off Borash. MY HERO!

-Lethal Lockdown time, and the faces have the one man advantage. Abyss and Robert Roode start off. This is like a WWE PPV starting off with Eugene vs. Romeo of the Heart Throbs. Oy.

-Roode hits the Blockbuster, which means he’s like Buff Bagwell with 1/10 the charisma. Not a good sign. Hey, note to Dave Penzer: leading the audience in a countdown is bush league. Does Finkel do that during the Royal Rumble? No.

-RVD’s in next for the faces, and 2 minutes later Desmond Wolfe comes in for the heels to no reaction. Gabe Sapolsky just wretched in his mouth. It occurred to me that if Wolfe had a leather jacket and Alex Wright’s hair, he’s some bad dance moves away from winning my heart forever.”Des-Wunderkind”, anyone?

-Jeff Jarrett’s in next (taking time to pose during his entrance) and he dominates for some reason, until James Storm hits the ring for the heels. Storm, of course, drinks on the way to the ring. Split. Beer. Money. Up. Now.

-After more random brawling, Sting lays out Jeff Hardy backstage so that he can’t enter, and Sting comes in last. The heels dominate, and Sting helps with the beat down while still wearing his trench coat, which is fascinating for some reason. Beer Money doing their pose so the fans can chant along is also fascinating, in an ass-backward way. Learn from AJ’s mistakes, guys.

-Sting gets choke slammed onto the tacks, and Hardy finally makes his way out, and he goads Beer Money to the top of the cage, where a chair and ladder conveniently lay. If you can’t figure out where this is going, welcome to your first wrestling show.

-So Hogan, Flair, and Bischoff all arrive to upstage everyone, and everyone plays dead for some reason. Flair lands on the tacks (insert tacks/tax joke here) and Hogan and Bischoff are now friends again. I think. Anywho, Abyss and Wolfe arbitrarily come to life and Abyss drops Wolfe with the Black Hole Slam for the win. Some spots were fun and wild, but the match was just a backdrop for Hogan’s ego, and that’s not fair to some true talents that were in this match (5 of which have a decent future). Call it down the middle and say it was”decent”

-CYNIC SAYS: Despite my booking criticisms, it was actually a fun show. No match was bad, save for maybe Nash/Young. In fact, Angle/Anderson is a MOTY, the X Title and World Title matches were good, and Lethal Lockdown had its moments. With a decent Impact the following night and RVD winning the title from AJ, maybe TNA finally has the right idea.

I won’t hold my breath, but I can still hope.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.

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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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