Introduction - And now we complete the series of events I attended live with TNA Lockdown 2010. Dragged a friend that had never seen professional wrestling before, but the catch was we had to leave after Angle/Anderson because we had to go pick up his parents from the airport. Good times. Good times. I had a great time at this show, but will this review just reinforce that even the crappiest wrestling is just better live, or will this hold up with the sands of time?
Opening video package - Cheesy They basically ape all of the talking points WWE does for Hell in a Cell or Elimination Chamber but it's the most overplayed stipulation in wrestling history (no thanks to TNA ironically)
Time with the commentators - Typical TNA in that the wheels are falling off the wagon immediately. Douglas Williams isn't here because of a volcano in Iceland. Waltman isn't here because Missouri wrestling licenses are a b-i-t-c-h., but it's played off as Waltman being too cool for school and just no-showing. Also, Williams is stripped of the X Title, which Taz visibly thinks is bullshit. There's also some played up distension between Hogan and Bischoff that no one cared about.
Steel Cage Match, Winner gets the man advantage for his team in Lethal Lockdown
Rob Van Dam vs James Storm - 4/10
Cowboy stalls so RVD kicks the cage door into his face, and we get OUTSIDE THE RING ACTION, FIRST THING, ON A CAGE PPV. THIS is why no one believes your stupid cage hype up package TNA!
RVD lays in with forearms, all to set up a cool off the cage guard rail leg drop. James gets momentum long enough to slam Rob into the steps, which necessitates juice as the match officially starts but Rob immediately comes back.. RVD does this to such a degree that Taz has to completely no-sell blood on commentary. James finally comes back on a missed monkey flip, and James is working light because he has to wrestle again tonight. They waste a cage bump on RVD's wacky comeback. Beer to the eyes and a big DDT is a false finish. James misses his superkick, gets RVD's rolling kick and a Five Star Frog Splash for the pinfall duke for Team Hogan
This felt like the entire formula was flipped on its ass, and normally I'm not the kind of guy who thinks the heels should always have the man advantage in war games, because probability is a thing, but James was on offense 80 percent of the time, and when he wasn't, he looked like an ineffective heel. But the guys did put on a decent opener in terms of moves, so that saves it from anything worse.
Hulk Hogan interview with Christy Hemme - Awful. Hogan comes across like Grandpa Abe from the Simpsons, whining about the absurd lengths the heels have gone to (fireball to Jeff Hardy, hitting Abyss with a car) and how it just isn't "wrestling" when you do those things. He hypes up his team but the opening part was so bad it took me out of it. Also, would it be TNA without a completely random retirement stip for Hogan? Also Hogan bitches about Eric and dodges Christy's question about him
X-Division X-Cape Match (Winner will be the third man in the X-Division Championship match later tonight)
Homicide vs Brian Kendrick vs Alex Shelly vs Chris Sabin - 6.75/10
Motor City Machine Guns come out as a team, and they're about the only team that that makes sense for. The heels immediately try to escape because they are cowards. Hooray! The Guns do their video game sequences but then the heels work over The Guns. The Guns come back and do more moves. The heels come back, and Homicide teases Kendrick into working together but escapes when his back is turned to win.
Everything about the very basic story beats made sense, but I feel like the guys were just motoring through spots, but I was VERY pleased live that Homicide won.
Kevin Nash vs Eric Young video package - Bad. Nash inevitably betrays Eric Young for his band mates (who are all wearing Bubba the Love Sponge merch disgustingly enough). Nash tries to get EY to join the crew but EY refuses.
Steel Cage Match
Eric Young vs Kevin Nash - 2/10
EY looks like a jobber with his olive tights and generic grid tron. Both commentators bury EY for trusting Nash against The Band. EY starts out like a house of fire but just lets up arbitrarily allowing Nash to get the upper hand. EY comes back and gets some good spots in on Nash like a missile dropkick and some "I'm stuck between the ropes and the cage" spots with Nash. EY throws the ref away for some reason and gets low blowed . They're trying to build up EY as a guy that wants to and can take punishment but it just makes him look like an idiot. Nash eventually comes back and wins.
While we'll get a plausible explanation as to why this match was so trimmed down in the next segment, it really was just nothing. And while you can't hate on TNA for weaving substitutions into matches instead of just outright canceling matches. the match suffered greatly as a result, and the idiotic booking of Young certainly didn't help.
Post match - Nash wheezes his way through a babyface promo to announce he's Hall's partner. Again, props to TNA for giving us everything that's been advertised so far despite some substitutions, but why have this match? Could this not have been just a segment.
Knockouts Tag video package - Horrible. This all stems from the idiotic Gooker Award nominee the Lockbox Challenge, which involves Angelina getting Tara's title without pinning her, and also allows Velvet to have Angelina handcuffed in a match, at which point Tara has to make the save from The Beautiful People.
Title for Title Steel Cage Match (whoever makes the winning pinfall is Knockouts Champion
Angelina Love (Knockouts Champion) and Tara vs The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne) (Knockouts Tag Team Champions) (w/Lacey Von Erich) - 1/10
Tara comes out in a Cardinals hat, which seems weird for the pissed off loner babyface to do. Velvet Sky stinks up the joint on offense but at least she can bump. The heels take control via cheating, and they do a solid double team on Tara. Tara missing a moonsault somehow leads to the big hot tag spot. Lacey just opens the cage door while the ref is distracted and wacks Tara with the belt, allowing Madison to both become and retain the championship via pinfall.
This was a below average match, but just taking a nice big dump on the idea of a steel cage in the process knocks it way way down as a result.
Post match - TERRIBLE. The announcers chortle on about how the common thread between the babyfaces is that they've both lost the title without being pinned or submitted, which did WONDERS for the WCW Championship circa 2000. Now Tara is the one who wants friendship out of Angelina, Angelina heels her up and does the badass walkout, but ISSA SWERVE BRO, Tara attacks Angelina from behind! This would've worked if Tara had just snapped on Angelina, but the whole tease really took this from an "Enough is Enough" kind of heel turn to another Russo swerve bro.
Team Flair and AJ Styles promo - GREAT! Ric as always cuts a great heel promo talking up the babyfaces but talking up his guys more. James almost corpses during Ric's "STING! STING! STINGSTINGSTING" bit. AJ cuts a good dorky grandiose heel promo capped off by possibly the worst catchphrase of all time "There are two things you can do about it. Nothing, and like it!"
Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the vacant X-Division Champion
Homicide vs Kazarian vs "The Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore - 7/10
Taz finally gets to bitch about Williams being stripped. Mike calls Shannon "representing Glam Rock" which is not what Shannon Moore is.
Because Vince Russo wrote this, the babyfaces double team the heel and then do the collapse of the alliance spot with no tension or selling of it, they just start going to town on each other. They choose the camera angle of the corner Homicide is in so there's no drama when Homicide comes back into the match. Homicide is the star of this match, bumping like a boss and injecting personality into it. Double Superplex is countered into a double stunner, and I'm surprised Homicide is still active today, let alone not suffering from any long term tailbone damage from that move. Cool double pin for Kaz straight out of an ROH scramble. The story of this match is moves, but Kaz takes some gnarly bumps, so he's the babyface fighting from behind. Kazarian eventually hits the Fade to Black for the somewhat dull win. Also Doug still has the X belt, so despite the fact we crowned a new champion, there's no belt to award, so why do it?
Panicked booking aside, these guys did a great job doing moves and telling something of a story while operating with a fractured gameplan, and while I've been critical of MOVESZ matches in the past, I'd rather watch those all day than watch Vince Russo attempt to direct guys to tell a story.
"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero interview with Christy Hemme - GREAT. Pope is like a mix of Junkyard Dog and The Rock, and TNA really missed the boat not strapping a rocket to him.
Meanwhile, Team 3D come out with a table and declare the next match a...
Saint Louis Street Fight (in a Steel Cage)
Team 3-D vs. The Band (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) - 5.75/10
Live, I remember being super disappointed that TNA didn't spring for the lyrical version of the Wolfpack theme. This is your generic hardcore brawl. Ever since the big promo from Ray, the crowd has been 100 percent here for Team 3D. We get a crowd brawl, and they brawled right below our section which was cool for someone who had been to scant few live events. The heels cut off Ray and throw D-Von in the ring. Hall has to physically obstruct Ray because these people have never heard of locks, but it's a good use of Scott in 2010. When the babyfaces reunite and take control it's clear that Team 3D are among the best at playing crowd-pleasing babyfaces. Signature moves are hit, tables are broken and Team 3D wins.
This match is better than it had any right to be, and despite this being nothing extraordinary, it shows that if you transparently give the people what they want you can get the biggest pop of the night.
Mr.Anderson vs Kurt Angle video package - GREAT promos from both guys, even if Mr.Anderson's "Thank God I'm an asshole" catchphrase reads like something a 13 year old would write....but we already had a lumberjack match in which Anderson got beat up by soldiers which seems like a reasonable feud ender.
Steel Cage Match (the only way to win is to walk out the door, and Mr.Anderson has the key
Mr.Anderson vs Kurt Angle - 8.75/10
The "who has the key?" stip is nullified immediately by it just staying in the padlock, and at the midpoint in which Angle just throws it out, which makes it a normal escape rules match I guess? Even so, this was AWESOME. The babyface gets lots of color, they call back to a lot of story beats that happened earlier in the feud (being hit with a chain, being choked with an object) Angle puts some extra hate filled stank onto some of his signature moves (more Germans than usual, a top rope German, a moonsault off the cage, which caused my friend to pop). We get a tease of the Magnum TA "just stroll out of the cage finish" despite the key being down but Anderson flips him off, leading to Angle going back, getting the low blow and the Mic Check, which leads to one of two teased escape teases, both of which lead to super impactful submission teases, Angle chokes Anderson out with the medal, spits in his face, stomps his balls and walks out.
This was a GREAT match with a wacky stipulation. Had this just been a normal escape rules match, this would've been close to 9 or maybe even a 10.
Post-match - Angle says he loves us in "Saint Louis" but he's taking time off, but when he comes back he's headed for the championship
Pope vs AJ video package - GREAT! This felt like a UFC video, with narration interwoven with interviews. Plus nothing too wacky. Babyface is number one contender, runs up against opposition from his heel champion and his manager.
Steel Cage Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero - 8/10
Ric tries to come out with AJ but is sent to the back which prompts a "WE WANT FLAIR" chant. The crowd is split 50/50. This is an exemplary wrestling match. Babyface and heel are even, babyface gets momentum,. heel cuts him off. The comeback is most interesting as it's about Pope avoiding AJ's big moves at first, and then he gets the momentum, and then Pope gets the chance to kick out of a bunch of stuff. Also the crowd swings mostly in Pope's favor at this point. If you can turn a smarky crowd you've done right. This gets a little wacky when AJ misses a crossbody off the top of the cage and kicks out at two off a roll-up. AJ stabs Pope with a cameraman's pen and hits the Styles Clash to win.
This was on par with the Anderson/Angle match with a few wacky bits in it ...until the finish, which ruined an opportunity for the heel to win clean against a credible threat. That aside though, these two wrestled their hearts out
In typical TNA fashion we cut away from AJ's celebration to
Eric Bischoff walks through the building and ignores JB - Pointless
Team Flair (Sting, Robert Roode, James Storm, Desmond Wolfe vs Team Hogan (Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Jarrett, and Abyss) - 6.75/10
I'll never forget when my friend who'd never seen wrestling in his life saw the match-up graphic he elbowed me and asked, "Team Old People vs Team Old People eh?" When my friend can see the problem with TNA despite never having seen wrestling and can point that out, you're in trouble. Why doesn't this have a video package? The faces had all these horrible things happen to them, and this would've been great to show the faces as vulnerable despite having the advantage. Also, oh God, I forgot Abyss came out to "American Made" during this time.
First two guys are Abyss and Roode. Abyss has momentum until Robert gets it, but not by working Abyss' injured hip. RVD is next. and he works over Roode while Abyss sells in the corner. Wolfe is next, and Abyss gets low blowed while he's watching Wolfe make his entrance. Wolfe squares off with RVD while Roode remembers to work Abyss' hip. Jarrett is next, he runs wild old school style until Roode cuts him off. Desmond tries to take Abyss' HOF ring because Chelsea wants it. Storm is next. He runs wild on the babyfaces, Jeff Hardy is supposed to be next, but Sting attacks him backstage, so Sting is next. He runs wild with the bat and demands the roof be lowered, and it is. The heels destroy the faces with weapons. The faces fire up but are cut down by the numbers game. Jeff gets thrown out of the cage, which allows Storm to get his beer bottle and save Sting from a chokeslam into tacks. Jeff Hardy makes his comeback and beats up all of Team Flair with a Kendo Stick. The babyfaces all hit their moves. Hardy and Beer Money scale the cage. The heels double team him but Hardy fights back. Hardy gets a splash off the ladder through the table on top of the cage on Storm to avenge the fireball. Then Ric Flair comes out to help his team. He targets Abyss and tries to get the ring off. Then Hogan shows up, Bischoff plays peacemaker and then throws the brass knuckles to Hogan who bloodies Flair. Flair bumps on tacks. Abyss gets the pin on Wolfe.
This was a hum-drum WarGames match that picked up in the end, then slowed way way down when the old timers came out.
This was a great show with great talent hampered by bad booking and missing talent, which to their credit, TNA did good on, which made the show feel whole live. However, . Angle vs Anderson is the only thing on the show really worth watching, as is to a lesser extent Pope vs Styles, but other than Pope, I think everyone involved has had better matches, so skip this show unless you're an Angle superfan.