TNA Lockdown 2014 (3/9/2014)- Miami, FL
****ALL MATCHES CONTESTED INSIDE A STEEL CAGE****
BAD INFLUENCE & CHRIS SABIN vs. THE GREAT MUTA, SANADA, & YASU- 6.5/10
Sanada comes out with the X-Division Title and Tenay informs us that he won it one week ago. Oh really? Then why was Austin Aries wearing the title just three days ago on Impact? Would it really have been so difficult to admit that last week’s show was taped? Or else just ask Sanada to not come out with the belt, then claim Aries lost it to him at a show in Japan over the weekend? That’s all you needed to do, and it would have erased this major inconsistency. Instead we have a glaring inconsistency that makes it impossible to BOlieve anything the announcers tell us.
Good, athletic, fun match. Good triple team moves from the heels, and Yasu was a great babyface in peril. The crowd was extremely hot for all of Muta’s signature stuff. One nice thing about having this in the cage was that there are technically no DQ’s so Muta could just spray the mist whenever he wanted, which the crowd loved.
DIXIE CARTER PROMO- bad.
First she wasted way too much time trying to get cheap heat on a f*cking PPV. Then she reminded everyone about her mysterious "insurance" from New York that would help her team win tonight. Finally she announced that by walking out on TNA a few months ago, Jeff Hardy was in breach of contract and thus suspended, so if he tried to show up tonight, she would have him thrown out of the building. This whole Jeff Hardy suspension thing is really annoying me. If Jeff is suspended, how did MVP book him on his team, and why have promos for Willow the Wisp (who is so CLEARLY Jeff Hardy- that it is impossible to ignore, even in kayfabe) been airing? And if Jeff isn’t suspended, why does Dixie think he is?
JB & PEOPLE BACKSTAGE- they actually wasted time plugging a live Twitter Q & A that will be going on DURING THE PPV! Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t you encourage people to ACTUALLY WATCH THE PPV DURING THE PPV?!
ESCAPE THE CAGE MATCH: Sam Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson- 3/10
For no reason, they have randomly decided that this match can only be won by escaping from the cage. And if the object of the match is to escape from the cage, and you are allowed to do so by going through the door, why do they even bother locking the door in the first place?
To start the match off, Shaw cut a promo saying that if Christy didn’t come out to watch the match, he would jump off the top of the cage and kill himself. Anderson then comes out and tries to help Shaw commit suicide by pointing out that the cage is not high enough to kill yourself by jumping off of. You probably could kill yourself by jumping off of the cage if you made an effort to land on your head. I thought they were going to use this to set up Shaw diving onto Anderson on the outside to start the match, so that they could brawl on the outside a bit before getting into the cage, but no… Anderson got into the cage and Shaw just climbed right down.
So they start the match, and now that the dangerous lunatic who is obsessed with her has shown that he won’t actually kill himself if she doesn’t come out, Christy Hemme decides to come out to ringside. Shaw spent the beginning of the match being a cowardly heel, which was painfully out of character.
Like you would expect, Shaw kept trying to escape and Anderson kept trying to pull him back. To foil one of these escape attempts, Anderson gave him a super back suplex, and I don’t know if something went wrong or what, but they landed REALLY hard.
Anderson pretty much beat the crap out of Shaw all match, making this new dangerous character look like a chump. After a ref bump set up by the aforementioned locked door, Anderson escapes from the cage, but while that was happening, Christy went over to the cage to laugh at the beaten Shaw like a jackass heel, even though she is supposed to be a babyface. The result of this was that I actually popped Shaw pulled her into the cage through the camera hole. It's always nice to see someone getting their comeuppance for being a jerk, but it's not supposed to be the babyface!
Shaw menaces Christy while Anderson gets the key from the fallen referee, then saves Christy by beating Shaw up some more. Anderson gets Christy out of the cage, but Shaw hits him from behind with a low blow. Mike Tenay was outraged at this, even though it really isn’t illegal because there are no DQs and despite the fact that he was popping for Muta using the equally illegal mist in the last match. Mike needn’t have worried, though, because for some reason Anderson decided to no-sell the low blow and turned around swinging at Shaw with big punches. Shaw ducked them all and choked Ken out with his finisher and then won the match.
I really didn’t like this match because the execution made Shaw look like such a chump. Shaw needs to look dangerous, and being a cowardly heel, having Anderson get a the visual victory, and getting his ass kicked by Anderson severely detracted from that.
TEAM DIXIE BACKSTAGE- they put over the "insurance policy." None of them know what it is. Aries is unsure about it.
EC III comes out and makes an open challenge because TNA are jerks who were advertising an EC III vs. Kurt Angle match that they knew would not be able to happen months in advance. The open challenge is answered by the returning Bobby Lashley.
EC III vs. BOBBY LASHLEY- DUD!
So EC III keeps shouting that Lashley needs to leave the ring because he isn’t on the TNA roster. Bobby says nothing to correct this. Didn't Dixie say that she brought in tons of extra security for this event to stop Jeff from getting into the building? Then why didn't that security stop Lashley if he isn't on the roster?
Anyway, Lashley Goldbergs EC III, which just served to remind everyone that he is a poor man's Goldberg. There was a referee right there, but the bell never rang the ref didn't try to make the count, so this wasn’t even a match. A stupid squash riddled with logic holes.
RANDOM KENNY KING VIDEO PACKAGE- they do know that this is a PPV, right?
VELVET TYPES ON A COMPUTER- you could just have the announcers plug the f*cking Q & A. You don’t need to waste actual time showing us Velvet Sky typing on a computer.
MAGNUS PROMO- okay
MANIK vs. TIGRE UNO- 6.25/10
At one point Manik gave Tigre a dropkick into the door and the door flung wide open. So for matches where you are not supposed to leave the cage, they leave the door unlocked, but for matches where you are supposed to leave the cage, they lock it? WTF?!
I really wish they had given these guys more time. Tigre Uno is awesome!
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH: James Storm vs. Gunner- 7.25/10
A great match that built well to the finish. I loved Gunner's fiery comeback, too. Maybe I was wrong about him being a little light in terms of charisma.
MVP & THE WOLVES BACKSTAGE- okay
The Wolves were good. We still got no answer about whether or not Jeff is actually suspended.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Madison Rayne(c) vs. Gail Kim (Lei'D Tapa)- 4.5/10
Okay… apparently in this match you can win by pinfall, submission, or escape. The inconsistency between the matches is really bugging me, as they were all advertised as being the same.
SAMOA JOE PROMO- great
KNOCKOUTS AND SUBMISSIONS ONLY MATCH FOR THE TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Magnus(c) vs. Samoa Joe- 4/10
They do some stuff, then Joe hits the Muscle Buster and locks in the Coquina Clutch and is about to get the win... and then a hand emerges from the ring and my eyes immediately roll. The mysterious hand pulls Joe under, but Joe eventually pulls himself back up, goozles Magnus and chokes the life out of him. Abyss comes out from under the ring and hits Joe with Janice, then hits him with a Black Hole Slam. Then Magnus chokes Joe out with his own hold. WHAT A HORRIBLE FINISH! This is the sort of finish that completely turns fans off to a show.
BACKSTAGE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN EY, MAGNUS, & ABYSS- apparently when Abyss went to find someone who "understood" him, he decided to find someone with whom he has no history and nothing in common at all. EY is upset about this. You know what, EY? What did you think would happen when you let the crazy guy out? If your first guess wasn't "he might do something crazy," then you're a f*cking idiot.
DIXIE, SPUD, & ROODE BACKSTAGE- more hype for Dixie's secret plan. Roode wants to know who her secret insurance policy is. Dixie won't tell him, so they argue.
LETHAL LOCKDOWN MATCH FOR CONTROL OF WRESTLING OPERATIONS: Team MVP (MVP, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, & Jeff Hardy) vs. Team Dixie (Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Jessie Godderz, & Robbie E.) (w/Zema Ion)- 7/10
Mike Tenay helpfully reminds us that "the match itself in terms of winning cannot be started until all the competitors are inside the steel cage." OH MY G-D, MIKE! Repeat after me "the match cannot be won until." You got that? Tenay must have the worst syntax of any announcer ever. I should not be constantly wasting time and brainpower trying to figure out what word soup like this means.
So they do your standard War Games set-up with the babyfaces winning when things are fair and the heels winning when they have the numbers advantage, and it is all good. Hell... the Bro-Mans even looked like they almost belonged in this match! Then it is time for Jeff Hardy to enter. Instead of Jeff's music, though, the Willow the Wisp music and video starts playing, and then the lights go out. The fans, as they usually do in response to periods of total darkness, start pulling out their phones, creating some little dots of light, which actually works perfectly as an entrance for Willow the Wisp if you know anything about the actual Will-o-the-Wisp legend. The lights go back on, and Willow is standing on the top of the cage. Taken on its own, the entrance was cool, but it has some hilariously bad storyline implications/ They spent time establishing that Dixie Carter has brought in legions of extra security specifically for the purpose of keeping Jeff Hardy out of this match. So how did Jeff get past Dixie's legions of security? BY DEVELOPING MAGICAL POWERS AND TELEPORTING PAST THEM.
Taz and Tenay point out that Willow has some tattoos that are similar to Jeff Hardy's tattoos, but rather than just come right out and say it, they decide to beat around the bush in a painfully annoying way.
Once the cage lowers, Dixie comes out and introduces the special guest referee for tonight's match: Bully Ray (and they didn't even bother finding a referee's shirt for him). This causes a distraction (Bully being the ref, I mean, not the fact that he didn't have a referee's shirt on), allowing the heels to take over. For some reason Bully is counting pins normally for both teams, but Tenay keeps trying to play it off as if he was being biased. You'd think Mike would have learned from Starrcade 97, but apparently not.
Roode goes for the Roode Bomb through a table, but Bully stops him... so now the BABYFACES are the ones with a crooked referee on their side. WHAT THE F*CK?!
Roode yells at Bully and shoves him, then takes a swing at him, but Bully ducks and gives him a uranage slam, the MVP hits Roode with a Drive-by Kick and pins him.
I was really enjoying this match until the idiotic overbooking with Bully Ray. Without it, the babyfaces win a hard-fought, clean victory, overcoming both Aries' attempts to injure Davey's shoulder on Impact and Dixie's attempt to keep Jeff Hardy out of the building, finally allowing MVP to run the show and bring some justice to repair the damage that Dixie's reign of tyranny has done. Instead, a man who was the top heel in the company for most of last year and was seen attempting to set men on fire and threatening to murder newborn babies JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO has apparently turned babyface OFF CAMERA, in order to help the babyfaces win a match unfairly, which completely morally neuters anything that MVP might try to do in the interests of fairness.
Oh. And to cap this crappiness off, Bully totally unnecessarily powerbombs Roode through a table after the match.
Overall, an okay PPV from TNA. There was some great stuff on here, but the two top matches had crappy finishes and the world title match didn't deliver at all. When you are doing so few PPVs a year, you absolutely cannot afford for any of them to be just okay.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Taz says that Muta wearing a mask instead of face paint is “a bit of a different look for him.”
He’s been wearing this “different look” for at least ten years now, which shows you just how much of an effort Taz has done to learn something about these Wrestle-1 guys.
2. Taz “straight up illegal low blow.”
IT’S A F*CKING CAGE MATCH!