Welcome, cats and kittens, to the wrestling review that, despite all it’s rage, continues to still be just rats in cages, Cewsh Reviews. We have a special treat for you tonight, and we begin part one of our two part April = Gimmick matches run here, first with tonight’s TNA Lockdown 2010 review, and next week with WWE’s Extreme Rules 2010 show, because according to Hobo Jim, who hoards bread crust in a bucket behind the grocery store, if anyone bleeds in a month other than April, they will be given a evil ham by the Devil. So, I guess that’s to be avoided then.
Anyway, this is TNA’s unofficial second biggest show of the year, and is generally the night when they shine the brightest. Every match on this show will be contested inside of a steel cage, in various ways, and, as such, this is TNA’s most violent, and most barbaric show every year, as Lockdown is where the biggest feuds get settled amidst the steel. D’Angelo Dinero gets his chance to ascend to the main event as he faces the World Champion, AJ Styles. Ken Anderson and Kurt Angle blow off the feud that has been setting TNA on fire for months now. Team Flair and Team Hogan get Lethally Locked Down to settle their grudges once and for all. This is a night of excitement and potential. Can TNA back it up? Only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: We start things off with a video showing how scared the wrestlers are of the cage, as the TNA production people attempt to convince us that cages are really super badass and dangerous. They actually accomplish this incredibly well right up until they start having the cage talk to people in the hokiest “Here’s a guy talking through a voice encoder” voice that I have ever heard, as it yells “FEAR ME”. Then the voice morphs into Ken Anderson saying it to Kurt Angle and we’re right back to drama and excitement, but man, whoever bought that voice box at the dollar store should get their money back.
Then we’re greeted to a huge crowd (for TNA) and a rad set, as TNA is out of the Impact Zone and live in St. Louis, Missouri. And just as I start to think this show is starting off amazing, the camera pans to Tenay and Tazz who relate to us two things.
1. Sean Waltman no showed, but it’s cool because it’s just Waltman being Waltman.
2. Doug Williams was trapped in Britain due to the volcanic ash grounding all flights, so they’re STRIPPING HIM OF THE X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP.
Now look. The fact that a champion scheduled to defend his title on a PPV that people have paid to see can’t make the show sucks, and puts TNA in a hard place, I certainly understand that. So continuing on in the show by allowing there to still be a title match is, I guess, a decent solution. But for Doug Williams, a guy who is in no way to blame for his inability to appear at the show to be stripped of the X Division title that he’s been absolutely amazing with recently, is really, really not good times. And to totally excuse Waltman for no showing for NO reason, even if they punish him in private, makes it look like Doug Williams is a fucking nobody by comparison.
The show has been on for 5 minutes, and I’m already pissed off. I hope to god something changes for the better.
Vice: Doug Williams gets stripped of his X-Division title because of the volcano crap going on in Iceland, and can’t make it to the show. While I can understand people having a fit over this, I surprisingly don’t. Sure it might look like Williams is being punished because he was too close to a natural disaster, but TNA is also a business. They don’t get many PPV buys, but that also means that they have to make sure that they please those select few, and deliver enough to make them purchase another one. So in this case, an X-division title match was promised, and even though I’m sure not a single person bought the PPV just to see it, TNA made sure to give them an X-division title match. What else were they going to do? They’re a business and the title is a prop.
Really, it all depends on how they stripped him of it, which is something we might not know for years if ever. If they said “sorry Dougman, we’re taking the title off you”, then it might be a bit crappy on TNA’s part (but again, they are a business). On the other hand, it’s very possible that they phoned up Skeeter’s best friend and discussed the situation with him, and Sir Williams was more than happy to relinquish his belt like the professional he is. So who knows.
Another thing is how they play this off. If Doug comes back and acts as if nothing happened, then this was all a bit silly. Now if Doug comes back and bitches about how he should get his title back because he shouldn’t be stripped of it due to the volcano, even going so far as to throw in the “you wouldn’t pull this crap with an American” power play, then it could make for a really good storyline. So, we’ll see how it plays out.
This could easily be TNA being dickheads, but it could also be a perfectly fine situation that turns into something great. So until more happens with this, proclaiming that TNA is the devil over this situation is premature hating.
Cewsh: Alright then, this is a much better way to kick things off.
Now these men are both in the Lethal Lockdown match later on tonight, and they’re wrestling here to decide who gets the Man Advantage in that match. The Man Advantage is, naturally, where two men start the match, and then whichever team has said Advantage gets to have their guy come out first, so that it’ll be a handicap match until things even out a few minutes later, and so on until everyone is in the ring. Yes, it’s complicated, I know. Just bear with me, I’ll try to explain it better when we get to the main event. For now, all you need to know is that these two are competing to get their team an advantage in the Lethal Lockdown Match, with RVD representing Team Hogan (faces) and James Storm representing Team Flair (heels).
Anyway, on to the match, which is blessedly simple. The match basically revolves around RVD kicking the shit out of James Storm, while James Storm gets up to various nefarious activities in an attempt to secure the win. RVD gets busted open before the match even begins, and totally no sells it.
He starts beating James Storm into a pulp for a good long while, before Storm turns the tables on Van Dam, by spitting the trademark beer into RVD’s eyes and spiking him with a DDT. Unfortunately for Storm, and Team Flair for that matter, RVD rolls a 20 and bounces right back up, knocking Storm down and flying through the air to crash down on Storm with the Five Star Frog Splash. Easily said, and easily done.
As opening matches go, this one was perfectly adequate. The guys were clearly saving something for the main event (though Van Damn got busted open and it didn’t look like a blade job), and that makes perfect sense. They did their job and got out of there, and while this match won’t leave any sort of lasting impression, it moved things along, which is good enough for now.
73 out of 100.
Vice: This was a surprisingly fun match and a great way to kick off the show. I’ve always liked Storm as a character, and he can have great matches with the right people, but for some reason I really didn’t see him and RVD clicking the way they did. This was by no means a spectacular match or anything, but it was just a good, fundamentally sound wrasslin’ match in a cage.
RVD gets busted open fairly early, which was a bit surprising. Like, 3 minutes into the first match and you’ve got someone who looks like they just got shot in the face with a PSG1 at point blank range. This made sense to a degree, though, because the cage has been hyped up to be a barbaric structure made by Satan himself, so you really need to show exactly how deadly the cage really is. And believe me, this actually is a merciless cage. With the support bars where they are, and how many of them there are, the fencing has almost zero give to it. See, most cages have a ton of give, which means that you can get thrown into it fairly hard and you’ll pretty much just bounce off it with very little harm done. This one, not so much. You hit the cage and it’s going to fucking hurt. Maybe it really was made by Satan. Or a masochistic idiot.
These two worked well together and I enjoyed it quite a bit. In a very surprising moment, RVD picks up the win here, which gives Team Hogan (the faces), the man advantage in the main event. War Games style matches are pretty much made to give the heels a massive advantage, so the faces having the advantage is very unique. To say the least, I’m intrigued here.
Cewsh: Hulk Hogan is in the back conversing with Christy Hemme, and she asks him how his Team is doing, to which he essentially says, “Shitty.” They’ve been beaten up for weeks, and Jeff Hardy even got a fireball thrown at him that was so intense that it even messed up the footage of the show (wink wink). They’ve been getting their asses kicked, and Flair is off bragging to everyone about it, so Hogan declares that if his team gets beaten tonight, then he is done with TNA. Which is a great thing to say to inspire your team, and is just the sort of statement and stipulation that might SELL A FEW MORE PPVS IF HE HAD SAID THAT ON IMPACT.
But I digress. Christy then asks him if he knows what is up with the vanishing Eric Bichoff, and he has no idea. He seems verrrrrry suspicious, though. Verrrrry suspicious.
Vice: With Doug being stripped of the title, the winner here gets a shot at the belt tonight, joining Kazarian and Moore in their match for the vacant title. To me, this is a nice little bonus, and it gives these guys more incentive to win and keeps the wheels turning in the X division.
It’s kind of an odd cast of characters here, because Kendrick and Homicide both stand out as oddballs. Kendrick is small and wrestles an energetic style, but he’s not exactly an X-division kind of guy. He’s too smart, too grounded, and his style is too.. WWE, which isn’t a bad thing, but he does stand out a bit here. And Homicide just isn’t X-division at all. He wrestles like he’s 5 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier. Not once has he ever looked like he belongs in the X division. He was great with Hernandez, but on his own he just feels lost. And yeah, I’m going to say it, Homicide is and has always been an incredibly overrated wrestler. He’s good when working with the best, but against anyone who isn’t elite in a match that doesn’t involve chairs or forks, he’s really not that great. And just because to this day I am still pissed off at him for taking the ROH title off Danielson does NOT mean I am being biased here. Maybe a TINY bit, but I still think he’s more overrated than Half Baked.
Not long into this match, Kendrick gets cut wide open and starts bleeding quite a bit. I’m not actually positive if this was a blade job or the cage going into beast mode here. Kendrick takes a dropkick to the back and his head gets completely fucked into the edge of the cage door, face first. He continues wrestling for a minute or so, bleeding from very high up on the forehead, almost near the hairline. Then he realizes he’s bleeding, and I’m not sure if it’s just great “you screwed up my beautiful face, you jackass” character work or if he legitimately didn’t know he was split open until just then, but he had a great look on his face as he wiped his forehead and stared at the blood on his hand.
No, He Looks Like A Happy Camper. Really.
The match itself wasn’t great, but wasn’t horrible. In short, it was the stereotypical multi-man X division match you either love or hate. You have your typical X division spots, some tag team spots, and an unusual alliance between Kendrick and Homicide. An unusual alliance that ends when Homicide dicks Kendrick over, escapes the cage, and celebrates like a happy son of a bitch as Kendrick looks ready to kill. I loved it. I’d much prefer Kendrick getting the win here, but this worked out very well. Heels dicking over other heels is always fun.
Cewsh: Okay, now originally this was only scheduled to be a meaningless little X Division spotfest dealy for the fun of it. However with them stripping the belt off of Doug Williams and having had a triple threat X Division title match advertised, they decided that it would be for the best to have the winner of THIS match join Shannon Moore and Kaz in the title match, to keep it a triple threat. Which would be a pretty good idea if any of these guys was more than a jobber in TNA at this point, but hey. They’re tap dancing on quicksand here, and it’s as good of a fix as we’re going to get.
The match gets going, and as these sorts of matches always do, it quickly turns into The Motor City Machine Guns against everyone else. It would seem really unfair and mean of TNA to keep letting them have that advantage in these matches if they ever actually used it win anything. The match quickly turns into your usual X Division 100 mph movefest, with all of the guys trying to get in some fun spots, including a great one where Homicide puts Alex Shelley in the Camel Clutch and yells “Blllllllllat!” over and over as Brian Kendrick runs the ropes again and again to get up momentum…so that he can stop and slap Shelley in the face while he and Homicide burst out laughing. Great stuff there. Later on, Kendrick manages to get himself busted open, and does not look happy about it AT ALL. Almost as unhappy as he looks when Homicide double crosses him and scampers out of the cage, taking the time to mock Kendrick before falling to the floor and winning the match, gaining himself a title shot.
The match was fine for what it was, and historically I’ve been down on meaningless X Division matches I know, and this won’t be any different. It’s more fun to watch than a normal match that has no heat behind it and no story to tell, but only just.
67 out of 100.
Cewsh: Eric Young does not belong here.
He’s like an elephant in a Port A Potty. Not only does he not fit in, but he just looks all wrong with the place he’s been put. Eric has had a long and complicated history with TNA, starting with Team Canada back in the day. He started as a solid tag team wrestler, working with Robert Roode to put on some great matches with America’s Most Wanted. That was good. Then he turned face and went into the whole “Don’t Fire Eric” phase, which was endearing and fantastic. But then something changed after that, and little by little, TNA started letting him pretend to be some kind of ultra serious badass. This was just fingernails on a chalk board as Super Eric and his various face work went on, until he turned heel and joined the World Elite, which was a glorious breath of fresh air…for 5 minutes.
Now he’s back as a face, and he’s in the ring with some of the biggest names in wrestling history, and every single ounce of my being knows that he doesn’t belong. His look isn’t good enough, his wrestling isn’t good enough, his mic work isn’t good enough, and he’s never proved himself capable of portraying a serious character. And yet here he is, having a blood feud with Kevin Nash, and we’re supposed to believe in him. It’s not working. Stop trying it.
The match is, blessedly, an incredibly one sided affair, with Kevin Nash beating Eric Young into a miserable pulp, before beating him clean with the Jackknife Powerbomb, much to the relief of me. The match was really kind of a formality, and was treated as such, with neither guy really doing much of note, and we find out why, as Nash grabs the mic and says that since Waltman no showed, he’ll be replacing him to be Scott Hall’s partner in the match against Team 3D later in the night. So instead of Team 3D against Hall and Waltman, we’re getting Team 3D against The Outsiders.
Fuck, that almost seems like a match people might pay to see. Shame they can’t.
60 out of 100.
Vice: Fire Eric Young already, for fuck sake. He was fun 6 years ago. He was entertaining 4 years ago. They’ve tried pretty much everything with him to keep his career going, and he just looks so out of his league these days. It’s a goddamned joke. I understand that he’s buddies with the right people and he’s a dedicated, passionate person, but come on. Give him a backstage job or something. Maybe use him in the Val Venis role, working dark matches/Explosion/whatever and making talent look as good as possible before they make it to the main roster. He’s half the worker that Val is/was, but it could still be good for the company.
I was happy to see Nash make very short work of Eric. Hopefully he fucks off for a while now.
Cewsh: Alright, so listen. I’m doing all I can to not simply write “It sucked” and leave it at that, because the performers involved here deserve more credit and explanation than that. But I want you to know that, going in, that is exactly how I feel about this match, these feuds, and the state of the entire TNA Knockout Division. We clear? Let’s proceed.
The story here is that these ladies were involved in a match on Impact recently where they had to grab briefcases from the four poles around the ring (yes, Vince Russo made a pole match). When all was said and done, Velvet, Angelina, Tara, and Daffney had boxes. Velvet got the ability to face any opponent she wanted whenever she wanted to however she wanted to. Tara got her spider, Poison, back. Angelina got the TNA Knockouts Championship, and Daffney had to give a striptease (she didn’t, much to Vice’s immortal sorrow). Losing her belt obviously upset Tara, so she and Angelina argued over that for awhile before Velvet decided she wanted to have a tag match with all the titles on the line here at Lockdown. Well actually she booked her and Angelina in a match where Angelina’s hands were chained behind her back so that Velvet could spank her. But then she apparently got a do over and chose this instead.
So now we have a tag match where all the titles are on the line. How does that work exactly? Well, let’s go to the board.
Madison especially impressed me considerably with her effort here, which made me feel odd, because despite my respect for her abilities (which grows every day), I’ve still never been able to shake the feeling that she well and truly doesn’t belong as one of the Beautiful People.
Not because her looks are lacking, persay, but just because she doesn’t look right. She looks more like a pageant queen, where Angelina and Velvet look more like Hollywood bimbos (a compliment in this context). But regardless of that, she does a great job here, and Velvet provides the character work to keep things going, continuing to be just about the only woman in the company who has any idea of what a character is.
Anyway, they do their thing for awhile, before Lacey find her way into the ring to clobber Tara with her club, to allow Madison to pick up the win for her team and…
Wait. What did I just say? Let’s check those rules again.
Son of a bitch, of all the people in this match, Madison Rayne becomes the new TNA Knockouts Champion? You show me someone who predicted that, and I’ll show you the bridge I built in my pants to keep traffic steady during rush hour. To say that that is a surprise is an understatement, but the more I think about it, the more that I like it.
There hasn’t been a champion with both a character AND wrestling talent since Kong held the damn thing, and this could go a lot of different ways. She could feud with Velvet, Angelina, Tara…
Oh wait, about that. After the match ends, Angelina gets in Tara’s face about losing the match, and Tara proceeds to turn heel by fucking Angelina’s shit all up. So now Tara is a heel, and that leaves Angelina Love as the one and only high level face in the entire Division. I hope she’s up to it, because that’s a lot of pressure. Good luck with that.
(Cewsh Note: Since the airing of this show, Angelina has suffered a bicep injury that will have her out for months. Say hello to lots of ODB matches! Yippie!)
63 out of 100.
Vice: This match was bad. I expected it to be bad, so in a way it didn’t disappoint at all. Funny how that works. I don’t know how I feel about whatshername winning the belt, but she’s actually proving to be a fairly competent wrestler. Certainly more competent than Velvet.
I really liked the finish here though, with Tara taking the pin and losing Love’s title. Post-match, Tara snaps and beats the crap out of Angelina in a very odd moment. It could be interesting though, with Tara possibly going back to her crazy roots, being a loose cannon of a tweener. She can always say that she crapped on Angelina out of “defense”, claiming she was just beating her to the punch. Something like that. As much as I don’t actually care or have any real desire to see it, I’m mildly curious about where this is all going.
Cewsh: Flair is backstage with his entire assembled team, and boy is he fired up. He talks about how AJ will beat Dinero, how Team Flair will beat Team Hogan, and about how, when it comes right down to it, Friends really stopped being funny after the first season. He also counters Hogan’s statement that if Team Hogan loses then he’ll leave TNA, with a promise of his own to do the same if his team loses.
STAKES ARE HIGH FOLKS. Somebody’s grandpa will be unemployed tonight. Who can’t feel that?
Cewsh: Look, Dilligaf (The Artist Formerly Known As Shannon Moore) has gotten a ton of shit over his entire career, and nobody has been more quick to be on that particular bandwagon than yours truly. When he was just Shannon Moore from Carolina, he looked like a little girl, and had zero charisma, so he decided to change his persona to give himself a better chance, and rather than doing something meaningful or relevant, the motherfucker swathed himself in everything he could get his hands on in Hot Topic and became “The Prince of Punk”. Unfortunately for him, he comes off (true or not) like the most enormous poser in the entire world, and the words “I’M TRYING TOO HARD” really ought to be the next tattoo he gets on his face.
BUT, I’m actually going to say positive things about the man right now. He is, by no stretch, what is wrong with this wrestling match. Watching it, all I could think about was how he is absolutely fine as an in ring performer, and even if he isn’t very good, he still has what it takes to deserve a spot. If he hadn’t gone insane with this “punk” nonsense, I may have even managed to like him one day. But right now, this is the highest praise he is likely to get from me or anyone else.
When it comes to the match, there’s really nothing to tell you. The guys do some spots that are nice, as Kaz and Moore team up against Homicide just like they’d planned to do to Williams, and Homicide fought back with some good stuff, including a top rope Double Ace Crusher. But ultimately this match didn’t have what it took to shake the fact that the real champion wasn’t in it. Homicide didn’t belong, and if you didn’t see a Kaz win coming at the end, then I’m not sure you’ve ever watched wrestling before. Kaz did his normal stuff, before winning with the Air Raid Siren, which looked downright nasty as he spiked Homicide right down on his bald dome to end this cursed match once and for all.
69 out of 100.
Vice: You know how I said the other X division match was a typical X division match? Yeah. Same deal here. Kazarian picks up the vacant title. A few years ago, Kazarian was hot shit and I’d have loved this match a lot more and he’d be a lovely champion. Now I’m actually sad because he’s such a downgrade from Doug Williams. And yes, you read that right.
Cewsh: He says that AJ Styles is a guy who, if he were at a restaurant, someone would say to him “Boy, bring me drink”, at which point some mysterious individual handed the Pope a bottle of water from off screen.
I have no idea what to make of this, but I tried it at home, and nobody handed me anything, so I’m going to have to write it off as a fluke.
Vice: So, Sean Waltman didn’t show up to this event, so clearly it’s not going to be Hall and Waltman taking on Team 3D. Instead of Waltman, we get Kevin Nash. Yes, by Waltman not being here, we have a much bigger match on our hands. And not just because Kevin Nash is large and Waltman is small. While Nash and Hall are way beyond their prime, and I’m not sure if the Dudleys even had a prime, this is a pretty huge match when you think about it. This is, as far as I know, the first time the Outsiders have gone up against the Dudleys. Two of the biggest tag teams in American wrestling are now going head to head in what is going to be an ugly match, but hell, who still doesn’t want to see Austin vs. Hogan, if only for the spectacle? Austin vs. Goldberg? Sting vs. Undertaker?
It must be said that Team 3D is ridiculously over, and the crowd makes this match really fun. If it was a crappy Orlando crowd, this match would have been garbage, but these fans were just going NUT. It was great. If only TNA could have a crowd like this every show. The match was well structured and kept at a relatively short 7 minutes due to the physical limitations of, well, everyone. Plus they turned it into a street fight which, again, helped everybody here.
Was it a great match? No. Was it entertaining and fun? Yes. Very much so.
1. Team 3D are WILDLY over in St. Louis.
2. Bubba Ray is a great promo.
3. Scott Hall is in bizarrely good shape.
4. This match was ok.
68 out of 100.
(Cewsh Note: WARNING – LONG REVIEW AHEAD.)
Vice: I’m not going to write a few hundred words before saying this: this is my match of the year so far. Hands down. The only match that has come anywhere close to this one is Undertaker/Shawn II at Wrestlemania, and yeah, I’m going to say it—this match craps on that one in terms of story, workrate, awesomeness, all of that. Sure Undertaker/Shawn was the bigger match with two bona fide wrestling legends on the grandest stage of them all, leading to Michaels’ career ending, but if you read what I wrote about it in my review, I thought it was more or less a finisher-fest that started in 4th gear. This, though, this was something else.
It’s not flawless, but it was absolutely spectacular and one of the very best matches I’ve seen in years. If I had to hand out stars, I’d be extremely tempted to give it all five of them. If not five, then 4.999999. Seriously, it was that good. And coming from a person that absolutely despised Mr. Kenndy in WWE, to nearly vomiting when TNA signed his dumb ass and brought him in as a “huge name that will forever change the company”, it shows how brilliantly far he’s come into his own in TNA working with Kurt Angle. A hell of a lot of the credit goes to Angle, obviously, but Anderson has stepped up his game and has become one of the best heels in all of wrestling right now.
This was one of those matches that actually did seem a bit unnecessary leading up to it. I mean, the feud was practically blown off already when the US military dog piled Kennedy and tore him a new one, and the feud kinda just kept going. They had the “blow off” match that Angle won, and the feud still continued. I made the claim that it was good character work for Kennedy because it was realistic—if you hate someone and want to prove a point, the best way to do it is to keep at it no matter how badly you get destroyed. Kennedy just wouldn’t let go of it. But as it kept going, you have to wonder just how it could possible end after what’s already gone on. Make no mistake about it, it climaxed like no feud has in quite some time.
The culmination was amazing. These two fucks completely went balls to the wall in one of the most intense battles in ages. I generally hate most cage matches because of that fucking door. Why in god’s name would you EVER even attempt to CLIMB OUT OF THE CAGE when you can just casually walk out the door? It just makes no sense to me, and it always ruins the match for me. See, someone will punch the other person and then make a bolt for the door and come within inches of winning. But when they nail them with their finisher and have a good two minutes to stroll out the door, they decide to spend 3 minutes climbing the cage. Why? Do they just forget about the door? Yeah, it’s lead to some cool finishes like Austin Aries suicide diving out to the floor for a clutch win, but the match as a whole suffers, logic-wise, because of it. Thankfully in this match, the ONLY way to win the match was by escaping through the door, which was locked, and Anderson had won the key to it in a ladder match on Impact, which gave him a fairly big advantage.
I’d say that these two both brought their A games, but even then that’s kind of underrating their performances. If you play video games, you know that if you get ranked at the end of a stage or the game itself, there’s a rating of S that is even greater than A. You only get that S ranking by being almost perfect in every way. These guys both brought their S games.
Angle has always been a great performer, even if his psychology and “work rate” has been called into question numerous times over the years. Sometimes with good reason, a lot of the time.. not so much. This might have been his very best performance when it came to telling a story, putting on an amazing performance and wrestling match, and solidifying Anderson’s stardom in TNA. He was a crazy fuck at times, sure, but he had a reason for doing everything. And I think I say this every time, but this was Anderson’s best match to date. That is not my opinion. That is a fact, and I dare you to try and convince me otherwise.
These two came out swinging, beating the crap out of each other, spiking the other to the canvas as hard as possible, and both men simply refused to die. What’s great about this match is that while Kurt Angle had opportunities to win, that was not his number one goal. His number one goal was to obliterate Anderson. And boy did he stick to that game plan. I’ve said it a number of times over the years—I loathe it when you have two people in the ring who hate each other, and one person tries to win it with a fucking roll-up. To me, that is utter bullshit. If two people hate each other, they should want to kill the other one before going for the pinfall. Kurt could have won the match very early on, but instead of leaving the cage when he had the opportunity, he said screw it. He shut the door and locked it back up. To throw Anderson’s mental game off, Kurt pretended to throw the key outside of the cage (later we find out that Angle had actually palmed it and hid it in his tights). Anderson went crazy, realizing exactly what he had gotten himself into. In a great moment, he actually ran to the door and tried ripping the lock off with his hands.
Obviously it was destined to fail, but it showed his desperation. What IF Kurt had fumbled the ball and didn’t lock it back up properly? What IF the chain was somehow damaged? What IF he had super human powers!?
Kurt took a nasty hit into the cage early on and started bleeding quite a bit. And Angle, like Daniels, always has really great blood. Maybe it’s because they’re baldies. I dunno, but he looks amazing covered in blood. Anderson heels it up and makes fun of the bleeding Angle, followed up by smearing his blood all over his chest and belly. When you think about it, it’s kind of gross, but it’s so awesome at the same time. Anderson started bleeding later on in the match, and it actually looked like he was opened up the hard way, because he was bleeding from the top of his head. The blood added a lot to this match. Other matches had unnecessary blood, but here it was absolutely essential. I just couldn’t imagine this match being so emotional if it didn’t have two bloody fuckers beating each other to a pulp.
Both men pulled out all the stops, though it was Angle who was dishing out most of the high impact moves. Kurt hits his trademark three German suplexes, but hangs on and decides to go for another three. At one point, Anderson is standing on the ropes, and Angle meets him up there, and grabs him from behind. It’s the famous spot where Kurt tries to suplex the person, but they hang on and it just looks like Kurt is trying to reenact Heidenreich raping Michael Cole. Not this time though, because Kurt just flings Kennedy across the length of the ring with so much force that Kennedy actually ends up flipping around and taking a horribly nasty bump. It was scary to watch, because Kennedy proved to be fairly injury prone in his stay in WWE, so I was thinking that he might have gotten hurt from that, but thankfully he didn’t. Wanting to put the nail in the coffin, Angle does a moonsault OFF THE CAGE and crashes right into Anderson’s HEAD. I’m fairly sure this was a boo-boo, but if Michaels hitting Undertaker’s legs with a moonsault (which I still think was inadvertent) is considered amazing psychology, then Angle crashing down on Anderson’s skull and killing him was also amazing psychology.
Kurt stumbles to the cage door, and just as he’s about to leave, Anderson gets to his knees and screams at him with both of his middle fingers up.
It was a fantastic visual, and I am going to say this right now: it was Anderson’s Austin moment. When Austin was in the sharpshooter at Wrestlemania 13, in agony with blood dripping down his face, you immediately think “this guy is a star”. While Anderson was obviously in a very different situation than Austin, that visual cemented him as a top guy in the company. If he keeps this momentum going and keeps putting on amazing matches, I think people will look back at the middle fingers as one of the defining moments of his career. There have been hundreds of middle fingers thrown about over the decades by numerous people, but these middle fingers were intense and full of hatred. It was so believable.
When Kurt sees this act of utter defiance after the hell and brutality he’s put the son of a bitch through, he immediately gets right back in the cage. This isn’t a case of “ooga booga me Kurt Angle face! me stupid because a brain I have none!” like most face actions. This was Kurt realizing that if Anderson is still breathing, he hasn’t finished what he set out to do.
To me, that is fucking awesome. Kurt storms back in and Anderson immediately heels it up by giving Kurt one of the stiffest uppercuts I’ve ever seen to the balls and then mic checks him into oblivion. Anderson tries to escape, but Kurt is now the Terminator. He pulls Anderson back into the ring by the ankle and proceeds to try and turn it into a souvenir to take home with him. Anderson flips out of it and sends Kurt flying into the cage like a 100mph fastball, causing Kurt to more or less break his face on the cage. Now this is when it gets even more amazing.
If you’ve seen their feud at all, you’d know about Kurt Angle’s warrior medal. Anderson spit on it and sliced Kurt open with it multiple times. Kurt cut a phenomenal heartfelt promo about it, saying how he fucked up his marriage, lost his kids, was in a horrible stage in his life, and the US military gave it to him for being an incredible person. It was a promo that I watched a number of times. In a way, this feud is based around this medal. Anderson used it to choke Kurt out in the ladder match, leading to his victory. Earlier in this match he used a different chain to try and choke Kurt out, but he fought through it. As Anderson is slowly sliding out of the cage, Kurt pulls the medal out of his trunks, and proceeds to choke Anderson out. The fans give off an amazing “CHOKE HIM OUT!” chant as Anderson starts fading. After struggling to get out of it, Anderson finally passes out, just inches to victory. Kurt spits in his face, walks over top him through the ropes, and gives him a forceful kick right to his balls before stepping onto the floor and winning the match. Kurt had finally gotten his vengeance in an incredible moment.
With Anderson still dead and laying in the ropes, Kurt grabs a mic and cuts another very heartfelt promo, thanking all of his fans and his supporters, and announcing that he is going to take time off to recoup. The feud is definitely over for now and in a great moment. For a feud that seemed to end before it really began, leaving many people scratching their heads at what the hell TNA was doing, this blow off was not only incredible, but it was perfect. They put on an awe inspiring match that is not only one of TNA’s best matches, and very likely THE best match in company’s history, but one of the absolute best, most complete matches in all of wrestling in recent years.
As I said earlier, this is my match of the year so far without a doubt. It’s still fairly early into the year, but this one will be incredibly hard to top. It was that. fucking. good.
Cewsh: How in the fuck could we have been so wrong about Ken Anderson?
When Ken Anderson was Ken Kennedy in the WWE, Vice and I delighted in mocking him. We mocked him for repeating his name, we mocked him for his boring wrestling, we mocked him for how he was always getting injured, and for how everyone on the internet seemed to think he was this great future star, when he seemed like a total scrub to us. When he got released from WWE, we mocked him for having fucked up and finally got fired, and for being such a crybaby about it, and when TNA signed him, we mocked them for wasting their time and money.
Now, 4 months later, with the smoke definitively cleared on the Kurt Angle/Ken Anderson feud, I must entirely, and unabashedly admit that I, WE, were wrong. Completely and utterly wrong.
In the short time he’s been in TNA, Anderson has proved himself to be no less than the best heel working in wrestling to my knowledge right now. He is hateful, spiteful, arrogant, and self absorbed. He is cowardly, brazen, vicious and opportunistic. He has combined everything that has made a great heel throughout all of wrestling history into an utterly dynamic package that he has unleashed on all of us, and this match, the climax to his feud with the best wrestler in the world, is nothing short of a virtuoso performance from the man. He begs off, he fights dirty, he cheats, he takes shortcuts, he hurts Angle in every way he can think of, and finally, when he’s exhausted every other option and has nothing left, he sits back on his heels and gives the double middle fingers to Kurt in the ultimate act of defiance, just like Vince McMahon did to Steve Austin so many years ago. And then when Kurt comes back he gets a low blow for his trouble.
If Anderson was the perfect heel here, then Kurt Angle was an exceptional face to match him. Angle showed more fire than I’ve seen from him in years, and honestly made me believe with his face and his body language, that he wanted Anderson dead, and wouldn’t be happy until he got it. He pulled a top quality babyface from somewhere I didn’t even know he had, and played the perfect foil to Ken Anderson, and the resulting clash is an intense, emotional fight with one of the most satisfying endings to a match and a feud that I have ever seen. If this match happened in any other year, this would be the match of the year without question. Aside from some very, very small qualms I had, this match was as close to perfect as most anybody ever gets, and it is the very best match in TNA history by a wide margin.
After the match Kurt Angle told the fans he was leaving for a little while to catch a breather and refresh his batteries, and that when he comes back he’s coming after the champion. Rest up, Kurt. Because whatever black magic sorcery you’ve been working over the past year is the best thing in wrestling today, and tonight, you helped to make Ken Anderson the biggest star in TNA.
Tonight was supposed to be the night D’Angelo Dinero rose to the main event. But Ken Anderson stole it from him.
This will be remembered as the night Ken Anderson arrived.
97 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: This is the match that I’ve been waiting for ever since they made a star out of D’Angelo Dinero back in February.
Originally, you might recall that Dinero earned this title shot by winning the Eight Card Stud tournament that culminated in his victory over Ken Anderson at Against All Odds. After that he and AJ had some bickering back and forth, while AJ moved on to deal with Abyss, and Dinero spent his time fighting with Desmond Wolfe, and the whole time, all anyone could think about was how THIS was the match that we wanted. The young up and comer, Dinero, who is riding a wave of momentum and charisma to the heights of TNA, and the trueborn heart of TNA, AJ Styles, who has been reborn as the Nature Boy of the New Millennium. These two were going to clash, and it was only a matter of time before we got them here in the cage, to see who is the better man.
We get all the pomp and circumstance involved in a major title match, with Borash doing the intros and the presentation of the title belt, all of which is a little more meaningful after Earl Hebner refuses to allow Ric Flair at ringside, granting us a match that may actually contain no interference (my god). We start the match, and immediately AJ takes control, outwrestling Dinero while making it clear that he has no respect for his challenger, mocking Dinero at every turn. Dinero doesn’t stand for this for very long, however, as he springs back up and takes the fight straight to AJ, and knocking him all over the ring, building the momentum he needs to become a World Champion tonight. AJ has been learning from the best, however, so things aren’t going to be nearly that easy, and he takes a running Dinero and bounces him right off the cage, hurting Dinero’s shoulder.
From that point on, Dinero has a target painted on him, and Styles stays on him, trying to wear down his passionate and exciting challenger, keeping him on the ground, and working over the shoulder he damaged, and the legs of his agile foe. The Pope simply will not give up, though, as he snaps back again and again from AJ’s attempts to put him down for good, flying around with shoulders blocks and flying headbutts, forcing AJ to resort to more dramatic offense to try to put him out. Top rope elbow smashes, springboard 450 splashes, and Pele kicks can’t get it done, and as Dinero proves himself unwilling to give in, Styles visibly starts to get flustered, trying to figure out what he needs to do to finish Dinero once and for all. Finally Styles can’t take any more and decided to go for the home run, a goddamn crossbody off of the goddamn top of the cage.
It doesn’t work out.
Dinero rolls him up right off of the miss, and the crowd blows up, ready to crown a new champion, but NO, Styles finds it somewhere within himself to kick out of it, leaving both men lying on the ground in a stupor. When Styles finally reaches his feet he says “Fuck this FAIR bullshit” and walks over to one of the camera men filming the match through a mesh hole in the corner, and steals a pen out the guy’s pocket, which he immediately stabs Dinero right in the motherfucking eye with. Then BOOM, Styles Clash. 1…2…3. AJ Styles retains his title, and steals D’Angelo Dinero’s moment.
This match was good, not great. It suffered very, very heavily from having to follow the best match in TNA history, and it was long into the match before anybody really seemed to get into it. Styles did a fine job here as a heel, and Dinero did his best firey babyface, but ultimately the anti climactic finish, and the way both men were completely schooled in every way by Angle and Anderson left this match feeling a bit flat.
You should still see it, because it’s a fun watch. But it might actually benefit from being seen out of context, where it doesn’t have so much to live up to.
82 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: The only problem with having such a phenomenal match like Anderson/Angle, is that it’s pretty much impossible to follow. Many will make a valiant effort, but it’s like trying to climb a mountain while wearing a straight jacket. Shit, I don’t even think a naked Daffers could properly follow a match like that.
However, these two went out there and put on the second best match of the night, which was to be expected. It was actually a very good match, but it took me about 10 minutes to shake off Angle/Anderson and actually really get into this one. Pope is not ready for the title, so I’m glad he didn’t take it from AJ here. He’s one of those rising stars and if you push him too quickly, it might backfire or expose him or whatever. He’s a guy that needs to come close to the title for a year or two, but never quiiiiiite get there. When he finally gets it, it can be a big moment. Personally I’d be really happy to see him go back to feuding with Desmond Wolfe, because those two always put on good matches, and they can elevate each other by working together, similar to Rock and Triple H back in the attitude era. Speaking of Wolfe, and this is random.. I really love his name. At first it was a bit silly and a lot of people ridiculed it, but he’s totally grown into it. Desmond Wolfe is a great name. When I think back to when he was wandering around as Nigel McGuinness, I kind of giggle at how silly of a name that is. At least his last name. Nigel is still a pretty fitting name for him.
Anyway, this match was really fun. Pope looked great and AJ turned in a typical good performance. I like how he hasn’t completely toned down his high flying offense, and he still has that aura of credibility despite being a cheating son of a bitch now. I’ve never liked it when high flying folk turn heel and suddenly have 7 tons of gravity stored in their boots for fear of them getting some cheers. Or have to completely rely on silly antics and interference. With Styles, he can still bring it like he always has, but instead of turning it up 130% and digging deep to pull out a win, he cheats because it is easier and more efficient. Shit, I should cheer him for being smart.
The highlight of this match was Styles not being able to pin Dinero, so he looks to the turnbuckle. Then he raises an eyebrow and looks to the top of the cage, and while he is subtle about all of this, you can clearly tell that a light bulb just lit up in his head. He gets to the top of the cage as Dinero is slowly standing up, and goes for a gigantic cross-body that he has actually hit a few times off a cage before. But this time his opponent steps out of the way, and Styles takes a 15 foot plunge straight into the canvas. AJ is Super Man and all, but damn that looked painful.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the ending. Styles is looking for an easy way out and you see him lunge halfway out of one of the square cut outs in the cage so that the cameras can get clear shots, and he actually swipes a pen from the camera man’s pocket. He palms it and waits for Dinero to come over, and Styles immediately bonks him right in the eyeball with it. He follows it up with a stiff discus lariat and a Styles Clash for the victory. Part of me absolutely loved this because it shows just how crafty Styles can be. I mean seriously, who thinks to steal a pen from an unsuspecting CAMERA MAN and use it to get a win? A PEN. From a CAMERA MAN. While in a CAGE. It’s just so awesome and clever. On the other hand, it seemed very out of character for Styles. Yes he’s a cheater and he’s no stranger to using weapons to hurt people, but there’s just something about stabbing someone in the eye that crosses the line a bit. So I definitely have mixed feelings about the finish. Obviously I’d have preferred a clean finish with Dinero still looking strong. But hey, Styles cheats, and this was a very clever way of cheating.
Overall it was a very good, fun match that most likely would have excelled more if it didn’t have to follow Anderson/Angle. I plan on watching it again in a few days/weeks on its own to see how it holds up as a match, but as part of a show it got a bit lost in the shuffle.
Cewsh: Alright, here we are in the main event with the Lethal Lockdown match, pitting Team Flair again Team Hogan to see which team is superior. What is a Lethal Lockdown match, you ask? Well let’s let them explain it.
So essentially it’s like the classic Wargames match from WCW, only there’s just one ring, and there are going to be weapons once everyone has entered. Make sense? Sort of? Maybe? Let’s proceed anyway.
Abyss and Roode start us off.
Jeff Jarrett Has Entered The Match.
James Storm has Entered The Match.
Jeff Hardy Has Entered The Match.
You may have noticed that I just listed all the entrances into the match without saying anything about it. That is because I could find nothing to say but hate filled ranting. I am not kidding you when I say that this is the worst main event to a pay per view that I have seen in a number of years. What made me hate it so much? Let’s make a list.
1. Lethal Lockdown matches are enormous clusterfucks. You can never tell what is going on, and once everyone gets into the match it becomes a mess of bodies and weapons. Just impossible to follow, and all semblance of actually being a wrestling match disappears.
2. Some motherfucker always thinks it’s a fantastic idea to do some ridiculous spot on top of the cage. Usually it’s AJ, who tries his best to make it safe. This year it is Jeff Hardy, who damn near kills himself on live PPV jumping off of a ladder on top of the cage. Fucking stupid, stupid dangerous bullshit.
3. This match didn’t matter. It spent 20 minutes going on, only to have Hogan, Bischoff and Flair spend the last 5 minutes taking the spotlight and putting on some melodramatic opera about Bichoff’s FAKE BETRAYAL of Hulk Hogan, before he gives Hogan a set of brass knuckles and helps Hogan beat up Flair. Somewhere in there Abyss wins the match, but nobody notices.
4. This was the main event. Overtop of two matches that actually meant something and were heated, THIS is what got main event play. The show went off the air with the crowd sitting on their hands, not knowing what to make of the mess in the ring.
5. They expected people to pay to see this.
6. They expect people to pay to see more.
I can’t stress enough how much of a fucking disaster this match was. It nearly single handedly erased for me all the positive steps that the Hogan/Bichoff regime have wrought. This was a 2000 WCW main event. I can’t be more clear than that. This match was fucking terrible.
45 out of 100.
Vice: Oh baby, it’s main event time. With the faces having the man advantage (manvantage?), the match is going to play out very differently from most matches of this nature. The first man out is Abyss, and naturally the announcer says that Abyss is on Team Flair, which is all sorts of fail on his behalf. Oh well. People make mistakes.
Blahblahblah, people wrestle, people come out, people brawl, blahblahblah, you all know how this works. I’m going to be blunt here and say that this was just a very messy, messy match. And to think that they used to have this same type of match on the previous Lockdowns with it being 5 on 5 and in the smaller, six-sided ring. How they pulled that off is baffling, because this match was like sardines trying to squeeze their way out of a can. There have been a lot of War Games style cage matches over the years that have been really good, but this one was completely average up until the end. And when I say that, I don’t mean that towards the end it got really good. That’s just when insanity reared its ugly (or possibly beautiful…) head.
Flair and Hogan end up coming out and their feud ends up overshadowing not only the entire match, but pretty much the entire show, and it’s apparent that no matter what goes on and who is fighting who, the company is basically just about Hogan and Flair’s feud. And you know what? I can’t even remember why these guys are feuding at this point. Old age contest? Who is crazier? Who is more washed up? Who’s boobs are more saggy? Who has more of an unnatural skin color? I get that Hogan is important to TNA. I get that Flair in TNA is a big thing, and he’s been great as crazy old man Flair. But they’re just overshadowing the actual wrestlers here. Just like last month where a 15 minute match became completely irrelevant because of shenanigans. Ridiculously entertaining shenanigans, but still shenanigans.
This time around, a 30 minute match was made irrelevant. The Hogan/Flair/Bischoff stuff was really fun, and it was great seeing Old Man Flair getting knocked around like an idiot and Flair-flopping himself onto the tacks and stuff, so the wrestling fan in me was actually have a blast. Just like last month. If you can get caught up in the fun, there’s a good time to be had because it’s just complete madness. Business-wise, it’s completely retarded and is shades of WCW at its worst, but it’s just so ridiculously entertaining, even if it’s inadvertent.
Cewsh: Make no mistake about it, this is a two match show.
On one hand you have the single best thing that TNA has ever put in the ring. A match that would do WWE or any other company proud, that showed the absolute heights that TNA is capable of reaching. Then you have a World Championship match between two exciting and beloved young talents who were allowed to go for it without any interference. On the other hand, everything else on this show was either a mess of emergency booking, or was simply painfully mediocre. If TNA can’t find a balance to this at any point, then I don’t know how many more chances they’re going to get.
TNA has still not learned how to put on a PPV worthy of the purchase price. When they do, I’ll be the first to give them my money. IF they do.
Vice: Overall this show was hit or miss. There were a lot of average matches, a match that was worth the cost of the PPV (and then some, possible) by itself, an entertaining title match, and a clusterfuck main event. So overall I’d say this was a bit of a letdown in the end, but any PPV that has a match like Angle vs. Anderson on it is getting a respectable score.
Alright, that’ll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed being trapped inside a cage with us for the night, and we promise next time we’ll bathe beforehand. Next week we’re keep the hardcore theme going with WWE’s Extreme Rules 2010, and Ms. Cewsh is going to be in the house rocking faces apart like only she can. What will WWE’s last PPV before the Draft reveal about the future? We’re as excited as you are, and oh yes, you’re excited. Until then, be sure to keep reading and be good to one another.