TNA Wrestling presented their annual all steel cage pay per view, TNA Lockdown, from the Family Arena in St. Louis on 4-18-01! Is AJ Styles still the TNA World Heavyweight Champion or did the Pope pimp his way out of his home town with more gold? Did Kurt Angle get his revenge on Mr. Anderson or did Anderson prevail? Who walked out of the event with the power? Was it Ric Flair and the rest of Team Flair or Hulk Hogan and the rest of Team Hogan? Let’s get to the review and find out!
Lethal Lockdown Advantage: Rob Van Dam Defeated “Cowboy” James Storm
To open up the show we witnessed “Mr. PPV” RVD taking on Beer Money’s James Storm to determine which team, either Team Flair or Team Hogan, would go into the Lethal Lockdown main event with the man advantage. The two men fought outside of the cage before the bell officially rang where RVD was busted open early. RVD soon ended up hitting his patented leg drop from the apron (in this case he was scaling the cage) onto Storm who was gut first of the steel guardrail. The two soon after entered the cage and had a very nice ten minute bout which was even better than their match on IMPACT several weeks ago. Several nice near falls featuring Storm kicking out of the Van Daminator, a split legged moonsault, and Rolling Thunder. After plenty of back and forth action, RVD picked up the victory for Team Hogan with a beautiful Five Star Frog Splash from the top rope. Again, very solid match here to start off the show!
Match Rating: ***
X-Division Escape To Determine Third Man In X-Division Championship Match: Homicide defeated Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin, And Brian Kendrick
[adinserter block=”2″]It was announced that Doug Williams had been stripped of the TNA X-Division Championship because he was unable to make it to Lockdown due to the Volcano in Iceland. Even though I’m not the biggest Doug Williams fan in the world, this was very unfair and an unrealistic decision. Anyway, this X-Division Escape was a bit different than in year’s past. Rather than elimination rules in effect until the final two men tried to escape the cage, the winner of this match was merely the first man to escape the cage. For most of the match it was pretty much a tornado tag with the Guns working together and Homicide and Kendrick working together as well. Kendrick was actually busted open early on. Nice fast paced action from all four men. This match only went about five minutes. Far too short in my book being that this match was very intriguing to me. There should have been a lot more spots utilizing the cage here. Nice Gringo Killer from Homicide on Sabin though toward the end which is always a treat to see! In the end after Homicide and Kendrick were working together and in control of the match, Homicide quickly ran up and escaped the cage before Kendrick could react. Glad to see Homicide win and get a place in the three way X-Division Championship match. He has a lot of talent and truly deserved this spot. Kendrick was furious as Homicide celebrated down the ramp. Looks like we could potentially see Homicide turn face and feud with Kendrick. I would love to see that!
Match Rating: **1/2
“Big Sexy” Kevin Nash Defeated Eric Young
Now it came time for the huge grudge match between Eric Young and The Band’s Kevin Nash. Decent action for the first few minutes highlighted by Eric Young hitting a picture perfect missile dropkick from the top rope, but the match went down hill after that with nash basically toying with Young and pinning him five minutes later with a Jackknife Powerbomb. Very disappointing matchup here. Not only was it dull, but Nash went over with little to know fight on the part of Eric Young. It almost appeared as if Nash squashed him. Unbelievable and very unexpected to be honest! What’s the point of this Nash/Young feud if Young’s going to get squashed on national PPV? If this feud is over now, Young got nothing out of it. I though TNA was legitimately giving him a well deserved push. Guess not. What a wasteful feud.
Match Rating: **
Knockout Tag Team/Singles Championship: Velvet Sky And Madison Rayne (The Beautiful People) Defeated Angelina Love And Tara
To be honest up front with you, I wasn’t really expecting too much from this match. The storyline going into it was good but this match wasn’t. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it just seemed too similar to a WWE Divas match to me. The TNA Knockout division has been going down hill lately. Hopefully this changes soon, although I’m doubting it, because that’s one of the things that has separated TNA from WWE. I feel that TNA is making a mistake here, but it’s never to late to fix this. With other Knockouts on the roster such a Hamada, Taylor Wilde, and Sarita, there is no excuse not to deliver. This is a case of having the talent but not utilizing them. Anyway, this match was a very formulaic five minute match. Toward the end, Tara hit Widow’s Peak on Rayne but the pin fall attempt was broken up at two. The conclusion of the match saw Lacey Von Erich come in the cage and clip Tara in the back of the head with the Knockout Championship. I though the purpose of a age was to keep outside interference out… Madison Rayne pinned her for the three. The Beautiful People now obtain all the gold. Not the happiest day for the TNA Knockout division. After the match, Tara ended up attacking Angelina Love and throwing her face first into the cage. Nice heel turn I will readily admit. Tara was very intense and played her part well. Looks like her and Angelina may feud which would be alright, so hopefully Knockouts like Hamada, Wilde, and Sarita get their chance at the tag and singles championships.
Match Rating: **
X-Division Championship: Kaz Defeated Shannon Moore And Homicide
As I said earlier, Doug Williams was stripped of the X-Division Championship because he couldn’t make it to Lockdown as a result of the Volcano in Iceland. Homicide won the X-Division Escape earlier so therefore replaced him. A very solid match here to say the least. Plenty of time was also provided (ended up going about ten minutes). Nice psychology early on as Kaz and Shannon worked together on Homicide but then had it out themselves exemplifying the every man for himself tag. I feel there could have been more high spots utilizing the cage, however there were still a fair amount of spots including Kaz hitting a nice missile dropkick from the top rope, Homicide hitting a sick double cutter from the top rope, Shannon hurling Kaz off the top rope causing him to land hard on his shoulder, Shannon hitting a moonsault press from the top rope, and Kaz getting Homicide up for a powerbomb and taking him face first into the steel and then released him back first into the steel on the opposite side! In the end, Kaz pinned Homicide with a sick, and I mean sick, patented inverted piledriver for the three count! Kaz is the new X-Division Champion! Yes! In the future I’d love, and I mean love, to see an X-Division Championship feud between Samoa Joe and Kaz! Wouldn’t you?
Match Rating: ***1/2
St. Louis Street Fight: Brother Ray And Brother Devon (Team 3D) Defeated Kevin Nash And Scott Hall (The Band)
It was previously announced that Syxx Pac didn’t show up for the show. As Taz said several times, it’s just Syxx Pac being Syxx Pac. Kevin Nash was his replacement, wrestling his second match of the night. Whether you love Nash or you hate him, you’ve got to give him some props for showing up and wrestling two matches in one night. The cage door was opened for this one hence the St. Louis Street Fight/Falls Count Anywhere rules. Nice little brawl throughout the Family Arena and through the stands. Not much plunder utilized, however that was warranted being that the Lethal Lockdown main event would feature more than enough of that. After about ten minutes of brawling, Team 3D picked up the victory after giving Scott Hall a nice 3D through a table. Decent stuff. As I said, this match could have and was made into a watchable match because of the stipulations.
Match Rating: **3/4
Escape The Cage: “The Olympic Gold Medalist” Kurt Angle Defeated Mr. Anderson
All I can say is wow! This was without a single doubt the match of the night, and in my mind match of the year! This match legitimately give HBK vs. Undertaker from Wrestlemania this year a run for its money! The two started out with back and forth action until Anderson gain the advantage and beat Angle down for a while after busting Kurt Angle wide open! One thing to make note of is that Anderson left the key he won on IMPACT in the padlock. So much for winning that… After taking a five minute beating, Angle fought back and rammed Anderson’s head into the cage several times, busting him open as well. Anderson picked up the advantage once again after using his athletic tape that was previously around his wrist to choke Angle out. Angle broke free after a while and the two exchanged blows from their knees. Angle then hit a belly to belly suplex followed by an attempted Angle slam which Anderson countered and went for the Mic check but Angle countered that into a belly to back German suplex and held his grip! Angle ended up hitting seven, yes I said seven, of these German suplexes maintaining his grip onto the waste of Anderson the entire time! Awesome stuff! speaking of awesome, this provoked a huge “This is awesome” chant which filled the family Arena and rightfully so! After this, Anderson countered the ankle lock into a sick Mic Check! Then Anderson went to escape but Angle hit the Angle slam! Angle went to escape but instead he slammed the cage door closed and threw the key over the top! Awesome, and I mean awesome psychology here!
Soon after, Angle ended up hitting a super German suplex from the top rope sending Anderson crashing face first to the canvas below! By this point the arena was truly electric! After that insane spot, what was to follow was and still is truly shocking to me. Angle went all the way to the top of the cage and hit a freaking moonsault (yes from the top of the cage) right onto Anderson’s skull! Holy you know what moment! After, Angle got another key some how and went to escape, but was brought back into the ring after Anderson gave him the double bird! Shades of McMahon vs. Austin from Saint Valentines Massacre! Anderson then hit a low blow. Anderson climbed to the cage door but was caught by the ankle lock! Anderson tapped out like a mad man but the way to win was to escape the cage! He was royally screwed! Then Angle grabbed his medal and choked the freaking life out of Anderson! As they say, pay back’s a bitch! As Anderson passed out Angle left the cage door to win the match and gave Anderson a stiff kick to the balls for good measure! Awesome! After the match, Angle cut a passionate promo saying he will be leaving wrestling for a while and will return to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion once again!
Match rating: ****1/2
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles Defeated “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero
[adinserter block=”1″]It was now world title match time! Crowd was electric coming off of the heals of the classic Angle/Anderson matchup. Crowd was pretty much split half and half for either AJ or Pope with dueling chants going throughout virtually the entire match! Nice feeling out process early on showcasing both wrestler’s ring psychology, which quickly turned into several standoffs. AJ soon took control of the match after hitting a picture perfect dropkick. He then began to work on Pope’s knee, but may have incidentally injured Pope’s shoulder instead. He picked apart both body parts. Pope soon came back with a huge flurry of offense culminating after throwing AJ skull into the steel cage and hitting a sick DDT! Close two count here. After hitting some of his patented offense, Pope hit a flying head but from the top for another close two count. Pope then lifted AJ up for a fireman’s carry but AJ slid down his back and hit the Pele for yet another false finish! The AJ hit a 450 splash for yet another false finish! Things were really picking up at this point and the crowd was hot! AJ then went all the way to the top of the cage and went for a super, super, super crossbody but Pope moved out of harms way! He had to have broken every rib in his freaking body but he miraculously seemed alright! Pope went for the schoolboy but another near fall! Pope hit his version of the Code Breaker for another false finish! Finally Pope went for the DDE and missed. AJ snatched a pen from the camera man and stabbed Pope in the face with it, hit the Styles Clash, and got the pin! Great match, but a questionable finish, although it could have been worse.
Match Rating: ***3/4
TNA Lethal Lockdown Cage Match: Team Hogan (Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, RVD, Jeff Hardy) Defeated Team Flair (Sting, Desmond Wolfe, Beer Money)
It was finally time for the main event, Lethal Lockdown! Abyss was out first for Team Hogan taking on Team Flair’s Robert Rude. A decent five minutes of wrestling between these two. About what you’d expect. Nice to see two TNA originals start things off. RVD came out next and cleaned house! Nice action featuring he and Abyss teaming up on Rude. Desmond Wolfe came out next. RVD and Abyss are waiting for him, which allowed Roode to get a low blow on Abyss. The heels beat down the faces until the next entrant who was Jarrett. Jarrett came in on immediately threw Wolfe and Rude into the steel. Rude then gave Jarrett a catapult into the cage. Out next was James Storm who succeeded in reopening RVD’s wound which was pretty sick. All men battle until Hardy’s music hits, but he doesn’t come out. We then cut to the back to find that Hardy was unconscious with Sting standing over him with the bat. Storm then grated RVD’s face into the chain-link. Very disturbing picture here. I loved it! Sting then came out and the roof began to lower! Lethal Lockdown had officially begun! Nice plunder action early on with the likes of trash cans, trash can lids, as well a baking sheets. Plenty of nice shots here. Storm then ran into Jarrett and sent him through the cage door. As Abyss went for a chokeslam, James Storm crashed him over the head with a beer bottle! All of a sudden Hardy’s music plays and he ran down to the ring and cleaned house on the outside with a kendo stick! predictable but very dramatic! RVD soon after hit a nice Five Star Frog Splash inside the ring! Sting tries to knock down Abyss, but was Chokeslammed into the tacks! Hard and Beer Money then climbed to the top of the cage. What happened next was insane! Hardy put Rude onto a table (on top of the cage mind you), went to the top of a ladder and hit a splash off of it taking himself and Rude through the table! TNA TNA TNA! Next Ric Flair’s music hit and he came into the ring. Oh, boy! But then Hogan came out to stop him. This in turn caused Bischoff to come out. Bischoff didn’t want Hogan to hit Flair. Bischoff then took out some brass knucks! He shows them to Flair but tosses them to Hogan instead! Hogan nails Flair several times with the knux, busting him open bad Flair then walks aimlessly around the ring and fainted backward into the tacs! Funny yet hardcore moment! Abyss then hit Wolfe with the Black Hole Slam for the win. Hogan, Bischoff, and Team Hogan celebrated! Looks like there may be less focus on Hogan and Bischoff now, but who knows about Flair. Anyway, great lethal Lockdown here! Tons of awesome spots and holy shit moments throughout! Just great, and dramatic stuff!
Match Rating: ****
Overall, I was very pleased with this event! The undercard was just kind of “there”, but the three main events were truly awe inspiring. I am very pleased to be a TNA fan right about now. Hopefully they will keep it up.
Overall Rating: 8/10
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Todd Frizzell is from Columbus Ohio, and has been a huge professional wrestling fanatic for the last ten years. Todd is very interested in all aspects of pro wrestling, including what goes on when the cameras aren’t rolling. Todd is very excited to write about his passion, and will try his best to entertain and provoke the wrestling fans.