“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The opening video hyped the 10-man Hardcore War gauntlet match between Team Kurt Angle and Team Eric Young, promising elevated violence, or something like that. This sort of felt randomly strung together, huh?
Live From Orlando, It’s Friday Night
– Much to TNA’s credit, they managed to stir some buzz concerning the show’s opening five minutes and for the most part, delivered on that front. Eight months isn’t exactly a quick vacation and is close to a year, so it made sense to hype the return of Bully Ray as something big. Better yet to have it happen at the demand of Eric Young, who was great with his “everybody owes me everything” schtick. Bully’s short promo was delivered with good timing and established his role as Special Guest Referee for the main event. Of course, this left us to wonder if he was back for the long run or a one-off appearance, but given his high status in the company, if he was going to appear, some sort of deal was likely struck.
– The Hardys/Davey Richards-Abyss/Khoya/Manik Tag Team Hardcore match was a decent opener for the weapons-friendly two-hour Hardcore Justice show, but if you’ve seen one of these matches, then you’ve seen them all. Despite the entertainment, there was nothing innovative here, as the Hardys got their 67,900th revenge on The Revolution. Read the rest of this entry
Night Of Knockouts
– The opening video highlighted the advertised “TKO – Night of Knockouts” themed show, with a 4-way #1 Contender’s Match between Brooke, Angelina Love, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne, Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell defending against Awesome Kong and Eric Young facing Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship.
– This sounded like a loaded show from the get-go with Eric Young-Bobby Roode in a Submission match, Magnus-Bram in Falls Count Anywhere, Gail Kim-Angelina Love and Kurt Angle-Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The show – for this reason – was solidly paced and moved quickly. Some Impact shows have the tendency to feel like they will never end. Not the case here.
– The Young-Roode match was preceded by a good Young promo where he was determined to write “the final chapter” of Roode’s sad story. This book must have about 37,000 chapters. Roode’s comeback statement was all well and good, as we know to be, but this feud felt like it had ended already, but we’re not going to complain seeing these guys go at it again. Also, come on Josh Matthews, we wouldn’t quite call it Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao-esque now. Also, why announce it as a submission match in the opening video before the segment takes place that makes it sound impromptu? Yet another week of TNA spoiling its own surprises again. The match itself was pretty good – though a notch below some of their past efforts. The faulty finish with the referee was questionable logic, but at least Young came out with the win and looks good from here on out. He needed it more than Roode.
– The Wolves segment was all about an update on Eddie Edwards’ fractured heel injury at a “One Night Stand” taping and this was a good way to get them on TV and announce that Edwards would be out indefinitely. Davey Richards set a good tone defending his partner and wanting to be fighting champions, the reason for relinquishing the belts. A tough time for The Wolves, who were assumedly set on topping the Tag division for a while. The “farewell” message was also solid and set the table for a return angle whenever they choose to pick it up.
– The Lashley backstage promo had him talk about being motivated to get what he once had and it was actually a good, short promo. This didn’t come off rehearsed a bit.
– The Kim-Love match started with a good promo from Love, where she complained about being overlooked. Taz taking responsibility for crediting Kim all the time as Love pointed out was strange at best. Are they trying to make Taz in love with Kim or something? The arguments between Matthews and Taz were stupid. Worst yet, the split screen took away from the action in the ring. The match was good though after that point. Kim winning probably sets her in line for a future Knockouts Title shot.
– Nothing like some Network cross-promotion, with The Revolution and James Storm speaking how there’s always room for more to the ghost show dudes. We don’t know nor care about them and the acting was Pacman Jones bad.
– The Magnus-Bram falls count anywhere match had some good action and went all over the ringside area, as both guys took it to each other. Mickie James’ involvement in the match was expected, but set up the incredibly random appearance of James Storm, who stopped Bram from attacking her with a chair (face turn?) and disappeared. The finish was okay and Magnus got his feel-good moment of victory. Will Storm and Bram feud next? Maybe they turned Storm to give some time to a Beat Down Clan-Revolution feud? Note: the BDC were not on the show or even mentioned. No mention of The Rising either. Good, necessary break from some of the nonsense was a pleasant change of pace.
– Kurt Angle’s backstage promo put Lashley over as a good competitor and the sharpness in their first match, thus setting up this next match well.
– The backstage interaction between Magnus and James Storm had Storm say he was “looking out for an old friend” as Magnus looked confused at that statement. Will he try to seek her out for The Revolution? James has been in a non-wrestling role, so it wouldn’t make much sense. Perhaps it’s a slow face turn for Storm. Either way, it’s a little intriguing.
– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Angle and Lashley was much like their first match – formulaic yet entertaining. We could actually say it was better than the first match by just a little bit. The closing minutes of the match were really good – having Angle tease tapping out and Lashley coming close to winning, both guys almost trying to finish each other off in desperation. Lashley’s look of shock sold the controversial finish and the replays seemed to back Lashley’s claims. Where will this lead? Probably a third match, but the only bad thing about it is that Lashley needs a pick-me-up victory and facing Angle won’t let that happen, because Angle is the new Champion and needs to look strong. That aside, their rivalry has been fun to watch and made for some great TV matches.
– Submission Match – Eric Young def. Bobby Roode
– Gail Kim def. Angelina Love via pinfall
– Falls Count Anywhere – Magnus def. Bram via pinfall
– TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Kurt Angle (Champion) def. Bobby Lashley via pinfall to retain
Back To The Danger Zone
– The opening video did a good job of reminding us how Jeff Hardy got “taken out” by James Storm and The Revolution. On a side note, the revamped Impact Zone set came off good on TV, but the praises stop there. Read further on.
– For a show called “Hardy’s Revenge,” it was hard to really believe the obstacles The Revolution stacked on Hardy, although Storm did a decent job with his promo work, having Revolution members ambush Hardy from behind. Hardy’s return promo was far from his best – that “Hardy’s Revenge” chant attempt was cringe-worthy. It set up their match later on in the show in an okay way – even though it looked as if it’d happen right then and there.
– The Beat Down Clan backstage segment had them talk about losing Samoa Joe (no storyline explanation offered), Low-Ki losing his belt and MVP and Kenny King eager to make a statement. That was good because they needed to pick up momentum. Also, good to see Rockstar Spud’s successful cash-in moment highlighted, as it was treated like a “blink and you missed it” moment last week.
– The Storm-Khoya segment had Storm demand Khoya to take out Hardy; basically do his dirty work for him. We have faith in Khoya, of course and Lethal Lockdown will obviously be canceled. They’re totally not building to that at all.
– The X-Division Championship match between Low-Ki and Spud had a decent story headed in. Low-Ki continues to show an impressive amount of intensity as a BDC member and it translates well to his ring work too. The match result was influenced by Drew Galloway stopping BDC stablemates to help Low Ki, and that was expected, though not as memorable as you’d think.
– The in-ring segment that followed with a pissed-off BDC, Drew Galloway and “The Rising” was just another way for two more generically named stables to go at it… Just another rehashed storyline of Front Line-Main Event Mafia, Fortune-Immortal, Aces and Eights-TNA and now The Rising-BDC. Still don’t think Galloway is the guy to lead this “Stand Up For Pro Wrestling Movement” and it all kind of feels more ridiculous in the Impact Zone – where all past TNA faction warfare has occurred. Also, the random introduction of Galloway’s Rising stablemates in helping him clear the ring from the BDC was a horrible way to introduce them. It was kind of like, “Oh okay, these guys are helping him, we guess. What’s going on again?” Beyond cheesy.
– The Awesome Kong hype video with her voiceover was actually unique and well-done.
– Oh, The BDC is angry again backstage because they don’t know the people with Galloway. Neither do we. MVP teased making a call and saying “He’s ready.” Thank goodness, a new member perhaps?
– The Brooke-Awesome Kong match was the pick-me-up win that Kong needed and while Brooke tried to pull off some offense, it just wasn’t anything convincing to get behind. Kong delivering two Implant Busters was a nice touch, setting up Taryn Terrell to make the save, the first time showing Terrell in a way that progressed her character. She put up a good fight, but having her go through the table was the right result. She sold it very well and Kong looked like a beast. Can’t help but mention that Gail Kim never came out and that seemed to be what everyone was waiting for. Perhaps they draw on this for next week.
– The Austin Aries backstage promo put over the Championship match and Angle winning the belt – as well as teasing a cash-in.
– Hardy’s promo was over-the-top, as usual. “TNA will never be the same again!” Really? This only set up Khoya’s attempted assault, which didn’t work out too well and telling by the commercial for this week’s show, the match would happen anyway. Gosh – this was bad. Khoya continuing to get back up, Hardy telling him to stay down and hitting him with glass bottles was supposed to look cool but came across more like a horrendous action movie scene. What’s going on? This show is so lackluster.
– The segment with Kurt Angle, Ethan Carter III, Tyrus, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Aries and Bobby Lashley had everybody talking about getting their chance at the World Title, with most of them being past Champions. Now, it did feel like everyone who was out there deserved a shot at the Title. Aries and Young shined in this segment. Who knew Young would end up being one of TNA’s top highlights as a heel in 2015? The segment looked to end without a whimper – no declaration of any match, but just the idea that Angle would fight anyone and everyone – which drew out Lashley. These two guys were seemingly on good terms last week. Why is it this week they are nearly coming to blows? Of course, all those guys in the ring couldn’t just stand, so we obviously needed a brawl with Mr. Anderson added in too. Sigh. TNA hurts our brain sometimes.
– The subsequent Anderson/Aries/Roode-EC3/Young/Tyrus match had some decent action while it lasted and the finish wasn’t overbooked, as Young won with the Figure Four lock. Young has been booked really great lately.
– Really, Young and Roode “finally face off”? They had a match three weeks ago. Not going to complain since they work well together, but their feud literally never ends. Ugh.
– The segment with Bram, Magnus and Mickie James hyped next week’s match well with a tease of physical action, but we’ve technically seen it all before. All of it.
– Angle’s promo concerning the Lashley rematch was straight-forward and what we’d usually expect.
– The “Lethal Lockdown-esque” main event match with Hardy-Storm was what you’d expect, with Hardy getting his revenge. Hardy har har. Your usual crowd-pleasing hardcore match; a two-man Lethal Lockdown. Does the match get any more credibility when the announce team doesn’t even know what to call it? The Frankensteiner spot off the cage was a cool spot – better than the finish, but it was what it was. You got the feeling The Revolution wasn’t done here.
– X-Division Championship – Rockstar Spud def. Low-Ki to retain
– Awesome Kong def. Brooke via pinfall
– Ethan Carter III/Tyrus/Eric Young def. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries/Bobby Roode via pinfall
– Lethal Lockdown-Esque Match – Jeff Hardy def. James Storm via pinfall
Lashley Vs. Angle
– You can fault TNA for all their past wrongdoings and chalk their Creative lack of logic to carelessness or just plain stupidity, but there are times that when they get it right, they get it right. The hype for the first-ever meeting between Kurt Angle and Bobby Lashley (for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, no less) was nothing short of brilliant. They made this truly feel like a match worth seeing, from the hype video clips for each man, to the camera shots of them in preparation and from input from the commentary team and other wrestling talent. You had the feeling that all eyes were on this match, as this had implications for the future and the very foundation of TNA as a company. Granted, last week’s Rockstar Spud-Ethan Carter III Hair Vs. Match was a tough act to follow and while this match didn’t match that magic, it excelled in its own little way.
– Despite the annoying Bro-Mans backstage promo that had Robbie E “depressed” over losing to Brooke (Shake it off Robbie, barely anyone watched), TNA did a decent job of toning down said annoyance by keeping the duo to DJ Z and Jesse Godderz, who actually had better chemistry than the Godderz-Robbie E team. Who knew? Angelina Love remains with them, but doesn’t really gain much from this situation either. Shouldn’t she be vying for the Knockouts Championship?
– The Ultimate X Tag Team Championship match between The Wolves, Jesse Godderz/DJ Z and The Great Sanada/Manik was the expected glorified spot fest that it sounded like on paper. While everyone had their moments to shine, The Wolves were the only team that looked like they had a real chance of winning and won the match before the action became stale.
– Austin Aries has always given a good promo and he had purpose being that he had his briefcase in the hands of the Beat Down Clan. Him calling them out was good for this reason. Low-Ki and Samoa Joe representing the BDC also worked here. That said, why on earth would Aries put up his earned World Title briefcase shot to get a shot at a lower Championship that he’d be due a rematch for anyway? The match between him and Joe had some time to turn into something decent, but had “BDC antics” written all over it, with Low-Ki attacking Aries to cause the DQ. Kudos to Taz for the technical hold pointers, which upped the ante in the action’s importance. Aries ended back up with the briefcase, but the moment was quickly and rightfully overshadowed by Spud’s surprise cash-in of his X-Division Title briefcase. That was great, because it gave Spud new direction and a new feud with the BDC. You can even throw Aries into things too.
– Magnus’ brawl-styled clobbering of Bram was a great follow up of last week’s segment. Even Mickie James looked good while beating on him. This raised their personal feud up a notch and felt necessary at this point in their blood rivalry. Only complaint possibly here was that this directly followed the Spud cash-in and we had no time to really digest anything, though this helped helped give the show an “unpredictable” feel, despite being taped a while back.
– The three-way Knockouts Championship match between Awesome Kong, Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell was okay, nothing too special. Why Terrell continues to get the nod over Kim/Kong is beyond us, because she still feels like a vague paper champion. She says she seeks to “validate her reign,” but we still don’t know much about her besides she always ends up winning. She is becoming the Knockouts John Cena. We hope TNA sees this and tries to fix it soon, because the longer she stays Champion, the more damage her character hurts from it this way.
– The James Storm promo put over the no DQ match and his “coin toss” talk was interesting in his own James Storm way. Who can deny the creepy whistle?
– Angle’s comments towards the upcoming match had him put over Lashley as a monster and that he was eager to show he was still one of the best in the business. Good promo.
– The Storm (w/The Revolution)-Matt Hardy No DQ match was a decent weapon fest, as the story was Hardy fighting off all of The Revolution, eventually falling victim to the match rules. Storm’s postmatch promo put over his desire to have Matt join Jeff in the hospital, as we assume happened, with all those brutal shots and camera cutaway. Being that Jeff “returns” next week, it was a good way to set that up.
– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley-Angle was a great match given lots of time for both guys to wear each other down, with Angle’s German suplexes and Lashley’s sudden bursts of energy. That said, it took four Angle Locks to finish Lashley off and the win was a pleasant surprise, as it seemed Lashley had the momentum going with the belt again, but Angle on top of the mountain in TNA opens up some new possibilities.
– Tag Team Championships Destination X Match – The Wolves (Champion) def. Jesse Godderz/DJ Z (w/Angelina Love) and The Great Sanada/Manik to retain
– Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe (w/Low-Ki) via DQ
– X-Division Championship Match – Rockstar Spud def. Low-Ki Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion; Briefcase Cash-In
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell def. Gail Kim, Awesome Kong via pinfall to retain
– No Disqualification Match – James Storm (w/The Revolution) def. Matt Hardy via pinfall
– World Heavyweight Championship Match – Kurt Angle def. Bobby Lashley (Champion) via submission to become new Champion
– The opening video did a good job of hyping the three “bitter feud” matches – all comprising out of former friendships with Eric Young-Bobby Roode, Bram-Magnus and Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III. This was more or less the theme of the show and gave us something to look forward to already with decent payoff match son paper.
– The Young-Roode Last Man Standing match was a great way to start the show off, a bit surprising considering you think that’d be main event material out of the three matches hyped. The match itself was lengthy enough to tell its own story and it had that “bitter feud” feeling to it with all the action on the outside and the chair in play as the visual aid of how they became enemies in the first place. The finish with the table spot was well done, even though Roode basically won with an Attitude Adjustment, but that table was smashed with authority and Young sold it extremely well with his body shaking. A good payoff to one of the better recent feuds – or was it?
– The Jeremy Borash-Spud backstage segment was another example of Spud standing up for himself with a lot of passion, carrying on his momentum from last week.
– Drew Galloway’s theme music strays too close to Roman Reigns’ music as does his gimmick, loosely. His promo was once again a repeat of his debut promo against the Beat Down Clan, standing amongst the crowd. More shots at WWE was necessary for his character gimmick we suppose, but how about staying away from that from here on out and accenting his in-ring abilities because he can actually wrestle and not lead a “movement” to do it? Even the use of the word “movement’ copies WWE. MVP’s promo was good stuff, and the crowd reaction definitely brought more out of him. Have to love the London faithful.
– The MVP-Galloway match wasn’t anything special until the expected BDC run-in, which got better as it continued, doing exactly what it needed to; as they got their moment over Galloway, laying him out. As for the “Stand Up For Wrestling” gimmick, still not sure Galloway is the true voice for this movement. He doesn’t come off as a leader a tiny bit.
– The Mickie James-Magnus backstage segment set up the brutality of his upcoming match with him wanting James backstage, which of course, we had to know that meant that she couldn’t possibly do so.
– The hype video for the Spud-EC3 feud was necessary given the match later on, but was more relied upon Spud’s recent big promo. EC3’s backstage promo put over his streak and how Spud wanted it all to happen. Good stuff.
– The hype video for Bram-Magnus was also well done, albeit short, as the story was simple here and put over Bram’s recent dark side, which was a big focus during the match and evidently after.
– The Bram-Magnus match was on a good route especially with James coming to ringside to support Magnus, making the match feel bigger, until the blatant DQ by Bram on a low blow stunted that momentum. Bram’s postmatch actions at least had him come across as sadistic, making us feel sympathetic for Magnus, being humiliated to save his wife. Good angle.
– The BDC’s backstage promo was more of them bragging and sounding tough, with everyone saying a little something. That’s the second promo using “synonymous” on this show. Word of the night, we guess?
– The Robbie E-Brooke match of course had to derail what was almost a perfect episode for Impact standards. This was lame all around with the boxing theme as corny as you could get. Ironic they brought up the “Stand Up for Wrestling” movement in a segment like this. Brooke won, but no one gained anything from this, except maybe a few minutes of precious nap time.
– The hype for next week’s Bobby Lashley-Kurt Angle World Heavyweight Championship match was solidly done as the video package and attention paid by the broadcast team made it feel like the big match it needed to be. Heck, we know this match would happen since before it was official, so why not go all out on it?
– The EC3-Spud Hair vs. Hair match was insanely good, especially as it went on towards the end. This was probably Spud’s biggest moment in TNA, with the blood pouring down his face as he was in the middle of his comeback, evidently pushing the envelope on Destination America, but really good stuff. The inclusion of Tyrus, Mr. Anderson and JB in the match was slight overbooking, but made sense in terms of the payoff concept surrounding the whole match. The last five minutes of the match was the best of TNA’s stint on Destination America so far and it was huge that Carter got the win, as the crowd would’ve went nuts for Spud had he won. Carter’s postmatch promo teasing a face turn was also well-crafted and genuine until he tossed Spud back into the ring and shaved his head. EC3 comes out of this looking like a beast, but how will Spud move away from this? He got his big TNA moment, but didn’t get the payoff win and lost his hair in the process. Either way, this was the best close to a TNA show in a long time.
– Last Man Standing – Bobby Roode def. Eric Young
– Drew Galloway def. MVP via DQ
– Magnus def. Bram via DQ
– Brooke def. Robbie E (w/Jesse Godderz, Angelina Love, DJ Z) via pinfall
– Hair Vs. Hair Match – Ethan Carter III def. Rockstar Spud via pinfall
Give It Away
– The opening video highlighted Gunner and Drew Galloway outsmarting the Beat Down Clan to help Bobby Lashley regain the World Heavyweight Championship against MVP, which carried on his momentum as we’d see on the show with a lot of early focus on Galloway “at home.”
– The first segment with the BDC angry with Galloway was decent. Kenny King was pretty good on the mic, but he sounded too much like he was rapping. His old character had a confidence swagger on the mic that was kind of gone here. MVP sold his anger perfectly, even in the way he walked slower than the rest of his mates to the ring. Low-Ki was quite angry all episode long, which worked. Someone should check his blood pressure. Galloway coming out of the crowd was unique, but this likely wouldn’t have worked in America the way it did over there. The “Stand Up” bit was an interesting take on things, but does Galloway have the charisma to pull it all off? He has decent mic skills, but this gimmick perhaps called for someone bigger. Either way, Galloway is running with the spotlight on him and making the most of it. This set up the match with him and King pretty well also.
– The Galloway-King match was decent in the way that it had that impromptu street fight feel with both men in street clothes, but some of the work was sloppy, which maybe added to the “roughness” of the fight, but there were times this looked like a badly choreographed action movie scene. Galloway did need to win here and that happened. You had to expect the BDC to try to ambush Galloway after the win, but he smartly high-tailed it back to the crowd. Low-Ki was like a little hound dog out there. Perfect booking there.
– The in-ring segment with Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle and Eric Young was a short preview of their match later on. Given the three sides of the match, it was good to see the guys not eager to wait. This match was well-hyped all night and could’ve gone all the way entertainment-wise if not for their own network advertisements (see below).
– The hype video for the Taryn Terrell-Awesome Kong match pretty much summed up things so far, but we couldn’t really believe Terrell had a chance and it’s good the broadcast team said the same.
– It was only about time before James Storm tried to recruit Bram in The Revolution, which is good because it gives Bram a direction for his character all while he feuds with Magnus.
– Gee thanks, Destination America for giving away the result of the three-way match as now we pretty much know Angle wins. Would it kill you guys to wait until after the episode is over to play commercials that give away results of ongoing episodes? What point would there be to watch the three-way match now?
– The Angle hype video was decent, but the spoilers undid all of the questions asked in the video.
– The Bram-Matt Hardy match had good action while it lasted. Bram has been looking strong and Hardy was someone who could also make him look good. Bram’s brutal side was also emphasized here. Magnus finally coming back for revenge was good. His comeback promo was also pretty good as it sucked up to the home crowd and passionately described his anger towards getting full revenge. Next week’s match should be good.
– The Rockstar Spud-Mr. Anderson segment on Spud determined to “end it tonight” had to be good news. This feud has dragged out a bit too long, always a problem with TNA.
– Galloway’s backstage promo was pretty good in following up the match with King. He didn’t add anything new, but it’ll be interesting to see if Galloway takes on the BDC member-by-member to get to MVP, being that he is the brainchild of the BDC, which apparently highly offends Galloway as a wresting fan.
– The Spud-Ethan Carter III segment was preceded by the hair-obsessed hype video that just explains why this feud needs to end. Spud had one of his best nights ever on the mic and stood his ground against Carter in a more than memorable way. The “hair vs hair” match stipulation was predictable, but hopefully this will end everything.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Terrell and Kong was going good and seemed to lead to a Kong victory and Terrell’s fight was good here, but the DQ was lame. The postmatch attack by Kong on Terrell almost called for Gail Kim to come out, which happened and the brawl between the two was well-done and only a matter of time.
– The Tag Team Championships match between James Storm/Abyss and The Wolves was good down the stretch. The Wolves looked really good here with about six suicide dives in the whole match, even clipping Matt Hardy at one point. The Wolves getting the belts back was a good call in probably their best outing in TNA this year. Hardy being happy for The Wolves as Champions was about right and it’ll be good to see the program of Wolves-Hardys once again. You have to imagine The Revolution wants their rematch sooner than later, which also adds to things.
– The triple-threat main event of Roode, Young and Angle was entertaining as everyone gave it their all and the chair coming into play was cool. Again, the big problem was that we already knew Angle would win because of the stupid ads halfway through the show. The standoff between Lashley and Angle was a cool moment though Roode looked awkwardly in the background.
– Drew Galloway def. Kenny King via pinfall
– Bram def. Matt Hardy via pinfall
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell def. Awesome Kong via DQ to retain
– Tag Team Championships – The Wolves def. James Storm/Abyss (w/The Great Sanada, Khoya, Manik) to become new Champions
– Triple-Threat World Heavyweight Championship Number One Contender’s Match – Kurt Angle def. Bobby Roode, Eric Young
– The opening video highlighted the Beat Down Clan’s dominance over Bobby Lashley and the cold (literally) standoff between Roode and Lashley outside the Manhattan Center, as Roode held Lashley’s Belt. This was only a prelude of what was to come.
– The opening segment with Roode, Lashley, MVP and Austin Aries got the show off to a decent start. Roode coming out with the Championship had to confuse people. Lashley – who was established as a beast all summer long – looks incredibly weak that he can’t even hold on to his own Belt. The interaction between the two was good as Roode put over the Belt’s importance to him and Lashley was eager to fight. Aries thrust himself back to the Title picture with the briefcase and his involvement (and cash-in tease) made sense and of course, MVP had to be in there too to represent the BDC peeps. The idea of Lashley defending against all three guys later made him appear somewhat tough, but the announcers lacked any follow-up as to whether the match was made official and we had to just assume it was.
– Kurt Angle’s promo put himself over and announced Team Angle-BDC at Lockdown and he’d have his team assembled by the end of the night – or so we thought. This foreshadowed things later pretty well.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Taryn Terrell (Champion), Gail Kim and Madison Rayne had some good action with some inventive spots like the three-way submission hold and even putting the steel steps into play. Terrell came out with the pin over Rayne with Kim coming close to stopping it. Terrell won with a Diamond Cutter pretty much. Actually one of the show’s brighter spots.
– Magnus – the family man, was hoping to settle differences with Bram at a bar, because approaching a drunken man in a serious manner will always pan out well. We had to know this would end with violence.
– Rockstar Spud showing off 34th Street landmarks to Mandrews misguidedly was kind of funny but nothing memorable. This just made them both look like confused tourists. Maybe that’s what they were going for.
– The in-ring segment with Tommy Dreamer, Eric Young and Roode was good in furthering Young as a tough heel. Dreamer was the perfect candidate with the credibility to talk sense into Young and sympathetic enough for the fans to emotionally invest when Young attacked him and hit a piledriver. Roode coming to make the save when Young started assaulting ringside personnel and checking on Dreamer was also good, as the feud continued. Will Dreamer play into things later on? He can still go at it. Young was also much better on the mic here.
– The Hardys promo that hyped their Lockdown bout with Abyss/James Storm of The Revolution and the later Monster’s Ball match was decent, upbeat stuff. Jeff introducing weapons as his friends was cheesy though.
– The backstage segment with Angle and Gunner was okay, as Gunner was supposed to transform into some kind of warrior with a slap to the face. Gunner still needs something more to his gimmick. He still comes off as Bram with a different name.
– Did anybody not expect Magnus to be attacked by Bram by the end of the bar segment? They couldn’t have set that up more predictably. Magnus magically couldn’t find a way out of the bar? It was almost like we’d be disappointed if Bram didn’t attack. Not bad, but maybe this would’ve had more impact done in the ring in front of fans.
– If you’ve seen past Jeff Hardy-Abyss matches, you know they can put on an entertaining hardcore match like no one else. This was more of the same – as the match started in the crowd and didn’t slow down. Some memorable spots in there like Hardy crashing through a ringside table and the sunset flip onto the thumbtacks was cool. At one point, the match was an all-out brawl with the rest of The Revolution, Matt and The Wolves thrown in. For that reason, it was good the match actually had a decisive finish and wasn’t sidetracked after the brawl.
– Matt and Jeff’s promo about the match was directed towards the performance and hyped the match for next week. Again.
– Aries’ turned his promo about his free World Title shot without a briefcase cash-in to putting Lashley over as a fighting champion and something he could take advantage of. Aries has become Seth Rollins all of a sudden.
– The billed Mandrews/Spud-Ethan Carter III/Tyrus match became a bait-and-switch for the Bro-Mans to take Carter/Tyrus’ place. The match was good as Mandrews/Spud looked good with the finish and the fans were hot for it too. The post match attack on Spud/Mandrews by Tyrus was expected and Carter announcing Spud/Mandrews against Tyrus next week in a steel cage was decent. We know one day Spud will get his hands on Carter. For all the attention Jeremy Borash got in this storyline alliance with Spud, it was odd to not see him involved this week at all.
– Backstage, Spud being outraged, yelling at Mandrews was pretty good stuff.
– Kong vs Havok, Hardys vs Revolution, Spud/Mandrews vs Tyrus, Team Angle vs BDC was hyped for Lockdown before the main event. Kong/Havok was the only match to not receive any kind of hype, which was odd.
– The “Top 5” ranking concept makes no sense at all. The number needs to be bigger than five and the way it is right now lacks any structure and TNA should just do away with it.
– The World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley, Roode, MVP and Aries was given enough time to tell a decent story with the four competitors. Young expectedly attacked Roode at one point and the spear finish with Lashley on Aries was great. We knew Gunner and Angle would make the save once the BDC tried to beat Lashley again.
– Roode officially challenged Young to a steel cage match next week, which may or may not have blood in it. Cool. Angle’s reveal of his team saw him recruit Aries who asked to join. Lashley turning down Angle’s request was interesting on its own. Lashley as a full-fledged face doesn’t work with his lackluster mic skills, though the fans popped for some of his moves in the ring. It seems TNA wants Lashley to be in the middle as a tweener or “lone wolf,” even though the BDC has owned him. Why wouldn’t he want to join their opposing team, from a storyline standpoint? Maybe this sets up Lashley coming down to eventually join and this was just a hook for next week.
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell (Champion) def. Gail Kim, Madison Rayne to retain
– Monster’s Ball – Jeff Hardy def. Abyss
– Rockstar Spud/Mandrews def. The Bro-Mans (w/DJ Z, Angelina Love) via pinfall
– World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal 4-Way – Bobby Lashley (Champion) def. Bobby Roode, MVP, Austin Aries to retain