– The opening video showcased Kurt Angle’s almost-too-melodramatic attempt to win the Battle Royale for the World Heavyweight Championship number one contender match go all for naught. The video made the match and moment look better than it actually was. Angle was definitely the focus here.
– The first segment with Angle, Bobby Lashley and the Beat Down Clan was good in that it continued the established tension between Angle and Lashley, with neither vowing to save each other and BDC had a bone to pick with both guys. Samoa Joe had a memorable night on the mic and it was interesting to hear him lead off the BDC side of the segment, albeit strange that MVP wouldn’t get the mic right away, but it all hyped the main event decently. You have to wonder how Joe will be written off with the now common knowledge of his TNA departure. Nights like this let us see just what intensity he brings (or brought) to the BDC.
– The Ethan Carter III/Tyrus-Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud match was good while it lasted, as Anderson hit a low blow on Tyrus and the mic check. This carried their program, but why did they need to cheat to beat the dirty heels? It maybe fits Anderson’s “rebel” character per se, but Spud doesn’t seem like someone who would side with winning in that fashion.
– It was smart to see the little highlight moments chronicling the history between MVP and Lashley throughout the night. Attention to detail can do wonders for hyping a match.
– EC3 screamed backstage and he promised to shave Spud’s hair. Still on this hair thing. Why?
– The segment with Taryn Terrell, Gail Kim and Awesome Kong was probably set up to give Kong a reason to lay out Terrell, who looked tough in her own way, but maybe deserved what she asked for. Kim looked good as the voice of reason and was a credible witness to Kong’s destruction in the past. Getting to the real picture: everybody wants Kim-Kong. It doesn’t matter how we get there, TNA. Just get there. Josh Matthews also made a great point of Terrell still having yet to get Kong off her feet.
– The MVP backstage segment talking to his BDC counterparts was the usual until they acknowledged the cameras bring there and threw them out. Something you wouldn’t see in WWE, who seemingly don’t realize cameras are backstage. It’s the little things.
– The Austin Aries backstage promo was interesting in providing intrigue for the main event.
– The Robbie E/Angelina Love (w/Jesse, DJZ)-Brooke/Chris Melendez was okay, nothing special, though the highlight was the finish where Robbie E pinned Brooke after flipping her off the top rope. The broadcast team also first explaining the rules with much knowledge and then being confused by them was pathetic. How can the viewer trust a broadcast team that’s unsure of what they’re talking about?
– The segment where Anderson made the save on EC3 trying to scalp Spud before Tyrus took EC3 continued their program more, though it changed little. Did we need this?
– The Gunner-Angle backstage segment had Gunner be the motivator, providing an ounce of irony with it.
– The Aries-Joe interaction was good, as Joe continued to be a good mouthpiece. Aries suicide diving on Joe was also good. The match that followed was also very good as Aries outsmarted King at the end and pinned Joe clean. The BDC did their thing after on Aries which gave them heat into the main event and the briefcase to prevent a cash-in.
– The Lashley backstage promo had him sound confident about MVP and Angle, as per his character.
– The MVP-Eric Young backstage interaction had MVP brainwash Young into wanting to take out Lashley. Intriguing.
– The Noam Dar-Rampage Brown match couldn’t have occurred at a more random time. What about some video hype explanation? Bram came out of nowhere and took out the younglings. Him calling out Magnus was good, but out came Grado and he got beat down as well. Bram looked good at least, but poor British Bootcamp peeps didn’t.
– The announcement of The Wolves vs James Storm/Abyss for the Tag Team Championships was made. That should be a decent match at best.
– The World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley and MVP (w/Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Kenny King) was entertaining and had a little of everything. Young attacking Lashley and Bobby Roode making the save was all good. Gunner also saved at one point too, followed by Drew Galloway and helped Lashley retain. The only problem here though is that Lashley is a Champion that claims he needs no help beating the BDC, yet when he has three guys coming out to help him, he has no problem with it. WTF-ness?
– Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud def. Ethan Carter III/Tyrus via pinfall
– Robbie E/Angelina Love (w/Jesse Godderz, DJZ) def. Brooke/Chris Melendez via pinfall
– Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe via pinfall
– Noam Dar and Rampage Brown to a No-Contest
– World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Lashley def. MVP (w/Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Kenny King) via pinfall to retain
The BDC Gets Revenge
– The opening video was decent as it highlighted the Lethal Lockdown match where Bobby Lashley joined Team Angle after several turndowns.
– This was more or less a solid night for The Beat Down Clan, as MVP looked like a mastermind manipulator here, giving his group a motivational talk before the show, which set the tone for the rest of the show.
– The first in-ring segment with Kurt Angle, Lashley and the BDC was good in establishing the main event for later. The Scotland crowd was hot for Angle and his proposal for a Title match against Lashley gives us something to look forward to. Note that the BDC finally have their own attire and ring gear, so they look like more of a unit.
– The backstage interaction between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode set across their long history and Roode put over the importance of the World Title and looked to just put on a good match. As good as you can do with this.
– Ethan Carter III’s backstage promo put over his desire to scalp Spud, and at the same time expressing his anger towards Jeremy Borash and proposed the handicap match later with him and Tyrus against Spud/Borash/Mandrews. Good stuff.
– The concept of next week’s gauntlet match is finally a smart use of the ranking system that actually made the Roode/Aries match matter a little bit more. This needed some logic and that’s what we finally got.
– The Aries-Roode match was okay and didn’t last too long. Certainly not the “five star classic” Josh Matthews called it, but good. Roode winning by submission was the right move being that he’s on a World Title push and Aries already has a shot for it. The attacks that followed by Eric Young were very good and got Young over as a deranged maniac. This likely “took out” Roode, leaving next week in doubt for him.
– Al Snow played a great heel as he called out Grado. This was obviously to play to the home crowd. Grado’s an interesting character, though he doesn’t have the “look” of a star wrestler, but Snow’s someone that can definitely make him look good. The hook for next week was decent too.
– The Bram-Crazy Steve match obviously was made to put Bram over as he is in a storyline with Magnus. His obsession with wanting Magnus to come out was also good.
– The Spud/JB/Mandrews backstage segment had Spud look like a great motivator, urging JB to wrestle and said he had backup, which was revealed later on obviously.
– The Gunner/Angle backstage segment showed Gunner’s doubt in teaming with Lashley and Angle put his plans over. Kept the story going.
– The EC3/Tyrus-Spud/Mandrews/Borash handicap match was good for what it was. Borash was tough here and even surprisingly got good air from the top rope but the fun ended there as Carter pinned Spud. The return of Mr. Anderson was nicely done here as we can assume he is now thrown into the mix.
– The backstage promo of Gunner had him focused on next week’s gauntlet and that set up the assault by Low-Ki and Kenny King done mugging style.
– The Madison Rayne in-ring promo had her gloating with Awesome Kong’s “stomping” music coming on and off, which nicely set up Kong’s entrance. That aside, this was pretty much a squash. Would’ve been nice to hear from Gail Kim or even a followup with Havok, but what we got was good enough.
– The Aries/Angle backstage segment had Aries put over the World Title and how being Champion puts a target on your back. There’s been good hype in making the World Heavyweight Championship Belt important.
– The in-ring segment with Matt Hardy and James Storm/The Revolution was good in looking in the rear view mirror (Jeff Hardy’s “injury”) and setting eyes towards the future, with The Wolves making the save. Storm was good on the mic bragging about doing what no one else did in taking Jeff out. We can expect something will go down next week with everyone involved.
– The backstage assault on Aries by the BDC was solidly done, but why on earth would Aries want to reveal his briefcase plans either way? Also, did we need a replay of the segment that just happened?
– The Angle/Lashley-MVP/Samoa Joe (w/Kenny King and Low-Ki) match was good for what it was, but nothing special. MVP pinned Lashley with the tights taking advantage of miscommunications between Lashley and Angle. Lashley and Angle argued to end the show, which set up next week pretty well.
– Bobby Roode def. Austin Aries via submission
– Bram def. Crazy Steve via pinfall
– Handicap Match – Ethan Carter III/Tyrus def. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash via pinfall
– Awesome Kong def. Madison Rayne via pinfall
– MVP/Samoa Joe def. Kurt Angle/Bobby Lashley via pinfall
– The opening video hyped up TNA’s most dramatic steel cage-themed event of the year – and only steel cage-themed event of the year thankfully. Having a show with every match in a steel cage is a cool gimmick idea, but it really stretches out the concept and specialty a steel cage match could provide. The WWE Elimination Chamber PPV felt special because it had one or two matches in the Chamber. Could you imagine the burnout on the crowd if every match was a Chamber match? Repetition can create boredom. This is where TNA tends to lose it at times.
– The Tag Team Championships match between The Hardys and Abyss/James Storm was okay, but the interference by the 67 Revolution members was a bit much and predictable. The way The Revolution went over was at least decent. That bump Jeff Hardy took was absolutely brutal. With the dangerous power of the internet, we learned several weeks ago this was purely storyline as a way to write him off TV as TNA heads to the United Kingdom, but things like that still make you cringe looking back at it. The Revolution soaked up the heat, but the crowd was obviously concerned at the time for Hardy.
– The backstage Beat Down Clan meeting had MVP want to offer Angle “something he couldn’t refuse.” Do they have to use that expression so often? Also, how did word of what just happened to Jeff Hardy seconds prior travel backstage so quickly?
– Is Eric Young now a part of the BDC? It seemed to be the case when the announcers no longer mentioned that he wasn’t, but then again, he wasn’t involved in Lethal Lockdown. Who knows? The promo given by MVP with Kenny King and Young were okay in that they put the BDC over and the cage’s dangers. MVP’s “proposal” had him bring up logical points, but this just set up Angle not giving in. How melodramatic. On another note, it’s kind of creepy that MVP would talk to Angle’s doctor behind Angle’s back. This just erupted into a brawl which was kind of pointless since it’d all happen again later on. The angle here though was that the BDC possibly took out Gunner from the match, making Angle down another man, all the more making him seek out Bobby Lashley.
– The hype video for the Awesome Kong-Havok match was well done. Set up the match perfectly as it was two beasts colliding to see who’d dominate the Knockouts division.
– The backstage segment had Gunner in pain, but wanting to still compete and volunteer to start off Lethal Lockdown, which made him look a little tough. Angle wanting to pitch to Lashley again was also something to hold on to for the viewer.
– The Kong-Havok match was a “Clash of the Titans” affair from start to finish as the action went all over the place from outside to inside. Kong going over was the right move. Definitely some hard hits in there, though the action came off a little clunky in spots, but there was never a dull moment.
– The hype video for Young-Bobby Roode was okay, as it tried to heighten the ho-hum backstory behind it. Not all that dramatic.
– The backstage segment with Velvet Sky and Angelina Love from two weeks back was interesting in some way mainly in how Love smirked behind Sky’s back. Bitch alert?
– Bobby Lashley’s monotone reaction to finding out Angle was looking for him was expected and didn’t add much.
– The Young-Roode match was pretty good, not too long. The blood was there, but only from Young and it appeared one-sided in Roode’s favor once the chair came into play as he put Young away. This all kind of put a stop to Young’s growing momentum. A win by Young could’ve kept this going a bit longer.
– The Angle-Lashley backstage segment was just more of Lashley turning Angle down and Angle trying to “wake” him up. We could predict from here that Lashley would definitely be involved with the main event finish. Someone should also tell TNA not to show future highlights of the show we’re currently watching to hype the next week’s show. There were clear shots of Lashley taking part in Lethal Lockdown. So frustratingly dumb on TNA’s part.
– The 2-on-1 Handicap match between Mandrews/Rockstar Spud and Tyrus (w/EC3) was good while it lasted and continued the Spud/EC3 feud. The story told was a good one as it was a beast taking on two young high-flyers. EC3 getting involved actually added to the match. Spud’s flying lariat off the cage was also a great moment the crowd loved. It was also good to see Jeremy Borash as the one to cut the cord on the clippers, continuing the program. How this will all culminate remains to be seen, but it’s entertaining at least and Mandrews is getting a push out of it. Not sure if the “Spandrews” name coined by Josh Matthews will catch on.
– Roode’s postmatch promo indicated that he was done with Young and had his sights set on the World Heavyweight Championship. Makes sense, but eh. The crowd won’t respond to a Roode-Lashley program as much with both guys as faces.
– It was smart to have them show highlights of the “critically attacked” Robbie E-Brooke “cage obstacle course” segment that just looked terrible. Who thought of that? The cover-up of it being filmed “earlier tonight” was also sort of bad as most people knew it took place before the main event.
– The Lethal Lockdown match between The BDC-Team Angle was a decent main event. The impact of Lashley joining Team Angle would’ve been somewhat entertaining if it already wasn’t given away earlier in the show. The finish was okay, but could’ve been better. Lashley got the pinfall over MVP, but it’s going to take a lot more work to make fans truly care about yet another “battle lines drawn” angle between two stables.
(All Matches Contested In Steel Cage)
– Tag Team Championships – Abyss/James Storm (w/The Revolution) (Champions) def. The Hardys via pinfall to retain
– Awesome Kong def. Havok via pinfall
– Bobby Roode def. Eric Young via pinfall
– 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Tyrus (w/Ethan Carter III) def. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews via pinfall
– Lethal Lockdown – Team Angle def. The Beat Down Clan via pinfall