TNA’s annual all still cage PPV is in the books and like every one before it, it shall remain very memorable in TNA’s history books. There were a variety of changes done to the card before hand but in the end, it turned out better than advertised.
One thing I wanted to mention was my opinion of the setup. I always believed that PPVs should look different than tapings and while tonight’s crowd separated them, I felt TNA could have done more with the stage, and ropes.
CAGE MATCH: LETHAL LOCKDOWN ADVANTAGE
Rob Van Dam defeated James Storm to earn his team the advantage.
Going in, I really questioned what chance James Storm had against the “Whole F’N Show” since RVD is so much higher on TNA’s pecking order. RVD kicked things off strong by knocking the cage door into the face of Storm then moments later jumping from the cage wall to the outside. RVD was bloodied (a common theme in tonight’s show) moments later. A very solid outing in spite of both men having to compete twice in tonight’s show. RVD picked up the win with a Five Star Frog Splash.
3 out of 5
CAGE MATCH: XSCAPE RULES
Homicide defeated Brian Kendrick, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin to advance to the X Title Match later tonight
This was originally a tag team match but was changed as a result of the X Division Championship Match being changed. (More on that later) I felt like this match benefited from the change as beforehand there was no reason for these four to go at it. This should have been better than it was but wasn’t given enough time to develop. Kendrick got busted open then screwed over by Homicide, who escaped the cage to win and advance to the X Division Championship Match.
2 out of 5
Kevin Nash defeated Eric Young
I wasn’t expecting much out of this grudge match and we didn’t get much. Because of Sean Waltman being absent for the show, changes were made and this match was shortened. I believe Eric Young should have looked stronger as the pitbull going against the big dog. Unfortunately Nash dominated and finished off his former ally.
2 out of 5
CAGE MATCH: ALL TITLES ON THE LINE
The Beautiful People defeated Angelina Love and Tara. Madison Rayne is Knockouts Champion
The Knockouts Division needed to rebound after the Lockbox Showdown and tonight they didn’t exactly do that. It was okay for what it was but nothing stood out. Tara tagged herself in and then got laid out by an interfering Lacey Von Erich. The Steel Cage is to prevent interference and it didn’t do that. Madison Rayne (someone who I believe hasn’t picked up a singles victory yet) won the Knockouts Title.
After the match, Angelina Love teased turning on Tara by looking pissed but eventually helped her up. However, Tara then turned on Angelina Love and beat her down. The Knockouts Division is extremely heel-heavy especially since the same 6 to 8 girls are used for everything. Its time to insert Taylor Wilde, Hamada and Sarita somewhere in the storylines.
2 out of 5
STEEL CAGE: X CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kazarian defeated Homicide and Shannon Moore to win the X Division Title
The news story was that due to volcanic ash, Douglas Williams would not be able to defend his title at the show. TNA in there infinite wisdom decided to strip him of the belt even though it was out of his hands. I felt this was unfair to the champ and would have preferred an Interim Champion like what UFC has done. That way you can still have the match and build to a bigger match down the line.
Homicide qualified for this match and I think he helped. While this was a solid match, I never felt the energy that matches from the X Division sometimes have. For what we got, there were some very cool spots and all three guys got some nearfalls. Kazarian won the match by beating Homicide with an Air Raid Crash. (A move he used quite often before his absence).
3 out of 5
CAGE MATCH: ST. LOUIS STREET FIGHT
Team 3D defeated Scott Hall & Kevin Nash
While I think Nash being in here is better than Waltman, I have determined that in no way do I want the Band on my TV screen. Fire the Band and take Bubba with them. I like Nash, Scott Hall is mediocre at best and I despise Sean Waltman.
Before the match, Team 3D predictably changed this match to a Street Fight, like they always do. For what its worth, the match was actually a pretty solid brawl. What a better way to write off the Band. One last note is that I thought Eric Young needed a win much more than Team 3D
3 out of 5
Kurt Angle defeated Mr. Anderson
This is where things got good! I wasn’t expecting a lot because of these two’s underwhelming matches in the past but this thing blew it away. This had a great mix of drama and action and stand up there with Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker from Wrestlemania. The visual of Anderson giving Kurt Angle the bird only for Angle to come back to deliver more of a beating, only for Anderson to hit a quick Mic Check was awesome. That top rope moonsault was a beauty but was in fact dangerous. Great match and great props go out to both guys!
After the match, Kurt Angle announced he would be taking some much needed time off from TNA.
5 out of 5
STEEL CAGE: TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
AJ Styles defeated “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero to retain the World Title
This had that big match feel despite the build to the match being underwhelming. I knew whatever happened tonight, Pope was destined to be a star as he has all the factors. Earl Hebner booted Ric Flair from ringside before the match which changed AJ Styles strategy. Pope looked extremely good in this one and got a few near falls. AJ Styles brought it as well.
With that said, the finish could have used more. Pope could have come closer because I don’t know if everyone believed Pope would do it near the end. First of all this match didn’t close the show which implied it. I would have Pope get three or four near falls then set up the Dinero Express VERY SLOWLY only for AJ to roll out of the way. I didn’t necessarily like the finish with the pen because I believe AJ should be able to win with his talent and not because he is Ric Flair Jr.
4 out of 5
STEEL CAGE: LETHAL LOCKDOWN
Team Hogan: Abyss (captain), Jeff Jarrett, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam defeated Team Flair: Sting (captain), Desmond Wolfe, Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode)
I always like the match inside the Harbinger of Hell and this one was no different. While Team Hogan had the Man-vantage, his team was hurting from the attacks the past few weeks. This made me question why Abyss would start when he was ran down by a car. I think having him entering last, after being laid out by Sting only to save his team would have really made him look credible. I also want to point out that had Hogan worn different colors previously, it would have been more symbolic to be wearing the red and yellow tonight.
The actual beginning and middle were fun. It was your main event match with the heels and faces exchanging the advantage all the way through. Jeff Hardy was the final man after being knocked out by Sting backstage and he made the save. Minutes later he gave the ultra dangerous highlight of the match when he jumped off a Ladder onto James Storm through a table ON TOP of the Lethal Lockdown structure.
That is when things got convoluted! Ric Flair came out and attacked Abyss but got saved by Hulk Hogan. Eric Bischoff then came out (he was late arriving to the show) and faked a heel turn only to ally with Ric Flair. Flair then got beat down by Hogan and ended up stomach first in the tacks. Abyss then ended the match by Black Hole Slamming Desmond Wolfe.
To me, this match could have been great if they changed the finish around. Instead of this being a war, it became the Bischoff-Flair-Hogan story where they were the focus. I would have had the guys in the ring do a chain of finishes to each other concluding with Abyss Black Hole Slamming Desmond Wolfe for the win. After the match they could have done the Flair stuff. I think the thing was fun but ended up really overbooked.
4 out of 5
This is the best TNA PPV of 2010 which I don’t know is saying a lot. The first three PPVs of 2010 haven’t been bad by any means but they never stood out as great. This show had good matches from Lethal Lockdown to the World Title Match tipped off with the GREAT Anderson vs Angle Match. I think that the Band brought this PPV down. Lockdown turned out better than what I think it would have done with its original lineup.
4 out of 5 for the PPV