TNA: Lockdown review

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An epic Lockdown event marked the start of a new era for TNA, as MVP took control of wrestling operations away from company president Dixie Carter.

The four man quartet of MVP, the Wolves and Willow defeated Carter’s team of Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and the Bro Mans in a stunning Lethal Lockdown match, which saw Bully Ray return as the special guest referee.

Meanwhile Magnus, the ‘poster-boy’ of Dixie’s reign as company president, retained his World Heavyweight Championship against number one contender, and heavy favourite, Samoa Joe.
Joe looked to be on top in the match, before a hand plunged up through the canvas and dragged the Samoan beneath the ring. The assailant revealed himself as Abyss, after Joe had initially managed to return to the ring. Following a brief confrontation, the Monster lashed out, knocking Joe out cold, and allowing Magnus to defend his title yet again.
Full Lockdown Results:

Note: All matches took place inside a steel cage
Team MVP (MVP, Richards, Edwards, Willow) def. Team Dixie (Roode, Aries, Jesse, Robbie) – Lethal Lockdown Match for control of TNA wrestling operations

MVP completed his transformation from mystery investor to TNA’s commander in chief, as his team emerged victorious in the Lethal Lockdown match.

It was a match shrouded in mystery until the last possible moment. Carter, accompanied by chief of staff Rockstar Spud, announced to the Miami crowd at the start of the evening that Jeff Hardy would not be allowed to compete, despite MVP’s claims at Wembley that the Charismatic Enigma had joined his team. Dixie explained that Hardy’s contract had been breached when he walked out on her, following his World Title defeat to Magnus in December, and that additional security would be in place around the building to ensure he was not allowed anywhere near the match.

She also revealed that, during her time in New York, she had secured an ‘insurance policy’ for her team, which would guarantee their victory. Backstage, Carter promised her perplexed team captain, Bobby Roode that she had ensured him a huge advantage, and that he should simply concentrate on winning the handicap match against MVP and the Wolves.

The contest began with MVP facing Austin Aries, the man who had turned down a place on his team in favour of siding with Roode and Carter. Of course, a Lethal Lockdown match cannot be won (via pin-fall or submission) until all eight participants are inside the steel cage. Until that point, it is simply a matter of wearing down your opponents – something that, unfortunately for MVP, he was very much on the receiving end of in front of his home crowd, with Aries dominating the early stages.

At Wembley, Team Dixie won a three-on-three tag match that determined which side would add wrestlers into the cage before the other: allowing them a two-on-one, three-on-two and four-on-three advantage. Robbie E was the third man to come to the ring, and it was his presence that proved distraction enough to allow Aries to land a drop kick to the back of MVP’s head.

Eddie Edwards led the fight-back for Team MVP, slamming Robbie against the cage and taking out the ringside Zema Ion, before helping his captain take down Aries. However, each time Team Dixie welcomed their next wrestler to the ring, so the advantage swung back in their favour.

Jesse Godderz entered next, and immediately teamed up with his tag partner Robbie to take down Edwards. Davey Richards made it three-on-three – his shoulder heavily taped after Aries’ steel chair attack at Wembley – but Roode was quick to target his injury, following his introduction as the final member of Team Dixie. He removed the majority of the support from Richards’ arm and attacked him viciously in the corner of the ring.

Thus far a competitor had been added to the match every two minutes. As is customary, the count-down clock began to tick down to when the eighth wrestler was due to join the match. As the clock hit zero, the lights went out.

A single spotlight returned, locating one figure looming over the rest, standing atop the cage, preparing to dive into the action. The wrestler, and the final member of Team MVP, was Willow – who has had cryptic messages broadcast on IMPACT in several episodes leading up to Lockdown. While an eccentric black and white mask covered his face, few were under any illusion as to the true identity of TNA’s newest hero, whose iconic tattoos lined his arms.

Unperturbed, a ringside Carter played her ‘ace card’, her ‘insurance policy from New York’ – special guest referee, Bully Ray. The former World Champion dragged out a table from under the ring before stepping inside the cage, just as the roof, complete with its various hanging weapons, lowered down to box in the competitors.

Mini-battles were now going on all over the ring: Roode applied a cross-face submission hold on Richards, which needed an MVP elbow to be broken, Willow crashed Aries into the cage wall, and Edwards did battle with the Bro Mans.

After being freed by his captain, Richards joined his fellow Wold and turned on the Bro Mans – the pair combining to throw a trash can over Jesse’s head and using him to pin Robbie in the corner. Both Wolves then leapt from the ring ropes, crashing into the can and knocking both men out cold.

Aries intervened, preventing the Wolves following up their attack with a pin, launching his brain-buster move to send Richards crashing head first through a chair. Willow broke the pin, and followed it up with Hardy’s iconic ‘Twist of Fate’ move. Roode came to Aries rescue, downing Willow before turning his attentions to MVP, lifting him above his head and marching through the carnage towards the table Bully Ray had brought in earlier.

But Ray, who had seemingly entered the cage on the side of Team Dixie, stepped in front of Roode to block his path. A stunned Roode let MVP slip from his shoulders as he stared, in shock, at the man in front of him. He yelled out: “what are you doing?” Ray did not respond, and instead slammed Roode to the floor. He briefly met the eyes of the It Factor’s opposing team captain, and stepped aside.

MVP did not need a second invitation, landing the drop kick on Roode and pinning him for three, with Ray making the count. Carter raced down from her seat at the top of the ramp, screaming at the man she had believed would secure her victory. Her screams were ignored, with Ray lifting the hands of the victors before turning his attentions to Roode, crashing him directly through the table.

Ray had not been seen in TNA since he was beaten in a casket match by Mr. Anderson in Manchester, a defeat that had seemingly completed the demise of the former President of the Aces & Eights. But he turned face at Lockdown, even attracting cheers from the Miami crowd as he celebrated his success.

After the match, when asked by TNA presenter and announcer Jeremy Borash as to why he did what he did, Ray simply responded: “Because I can.”

Magnus def. Samoa Joe – Submission Match for the World Heavyweight Title

Magnus added Samoa Joe to his list of defeated challengers, after Abyss shocked everyone by emerging from underneath the ring during the World Title match.

After MVP decreed that the match would be under ‘Joe Rules’ – with victory only possible by knockout or tap out – it was the Samoan who came in to the contest as heavy favourite.
The 27-year-old Brit, without his usual army of minions in the ring to help him – as in his matches with AJ Styles, Sting and Gunner – was forced to fend for himself, and dust off his lesser used wrestling skills.

Joe dominated the early stages, locking Magnus into the first submission attempt of the match before backing him into the corner and striking him repeatedly on the top of the head. Dragging a dazed Magnus across the ring, the Samoan followed up his initial attack by hurling his former tag team partner into the cage wall, splitting a cut open on the champion’s forehead.

Magnus responded with a running knee and a figure four leg lock. Joe, now bleeding freely as well, was able to reverse the move, and force his opponent to change tack. With both men back on their feet, the champion went for a choke hold – only for that too to be broken.

Joe turned the match’s momentum back in his favour with a series of fine combinations, and only Magnus’ clever ring awareness saved him from an arm-breaker submission hold, with the Brit swinging a leg onto the ropes to force the Samoan to release him.

The champion followed up his narrow escape with an elbow drop, but Joe responded with his ‘muscle buster’ move and his ‘rear naked choke’. Magnus seemed to be on the verge of tapping out, until a hand shot upwards through the floor, dragging Joe under the ring. Magnus backed away, clearly surprised, staring at the gaping hole in the ring floor.

Moments later Joe re-emerged, a murderous look in his eyes as he grabbed Magnus by the throat and held him against the cage. But Joe’s mysterious attacker was far from done. Abyss, who has not been seen since his true identity was revealed by Eric Young in Glasgow, hauled himself through the hole, with his iconic weapon Janice in hand.

He struck Joe across the stomach with the club, just as the Samoan turned to look at what a frightened Magnus had been staring at over his shoulder. The Monster followed up with his ‘Black Hole Slam’ move and Joe was out cold.

Magnus approached Abyss cautiously and, when he received no protest, broke into a knowing smile of realisation… he had a new ally. The Brit turned on Joe, applying the ‘rear naked choke’ that the Samoan is famous for. In truth, the type of hold made little difference, Joe was done – a fact demonstrated as the referee lifted the Samoan’s limp arm, only for it to fall back to the floor. The match was over.

Gunner def. James Storm – Last Man Standing Match

Gunner got one over on his former tag team partner James Storm, after he emerged victorious in a last man standing match at Lockdown.

The feud between the pair has been brewing for several months, dating back to when Gunner through in the towel in the Cowboy’s match with Bobby Roode. Gunner climbed over Storm to win a Feast or Fired briefcase several weeks later, but lost his title shot after Storm’s intervention in Manchester.

It was a match that began in dramatic fashion, with Gunner slamming Storm against the cage door, having begun the fight on the ramp leading to the ring. The Cowboy responded by throwing a drink into his former friend’s eyes, and taking advantage of the distraction it caused to hit with a low blow and throw his opponent into the steel steps.

The pair eventually clambered into the ring and the match officially began – Storm grabbing the ropes out of the corner turnbuckles and attempting to choke out Gunner, laughing in a deranged fashion at the damage he was doing.

Gunner responded, taking the section of the steel steps that had been ripped away and slapping it across the face of Storm, leading to an official’s count of seven. Storm stumbled to his feet and fought back. Although his ‘Last Call Super Kick’ was blocked, he was still able to slam Gunner into the chair cushioned between two ropes in the corner of the ring, leading to a count of eight against the Modern Day Viking.

Attacks were traded in this fashion for some time, with both men down again. The crucial moment came with Gunner attempting to go high risk from the top rope. At the last possible moment, Storm rolled away, lifting up a discarded chair as he did so and causing his opponent to fly at full force into the steel object. The Cowboy followed up with another chair blow across the back of Gunner, but his former tag partner hauled himself back to his feet at eight yet again.

While Gunner had been down, Storm had set up two chairs, parallel from each other, ready to finish off his opponent. He proceeded to drag Gunner up the ropes, but Gunner fought back slamming Storm against the cage and landing a head-butt. Gunner used his momentum to flip Storm off the ropes, back first through the two chairs.

Both men lay motionless, but as the count neared its conclusion, Gunner hauled himself to his feet – using one of the discarded chairs as leverage, and while he slumped back to the floor almost immediately, he had done enough to win the match.

Ethan Carter III vs. Bobby Lashley – Open Challenge

With Kurt Angle out with a torn mcl that will require surgery, Ethan Carter III was left without an opponent at Lockdown. The self-proclaimed ‘American Icon’ instead decided to offer an open challenge to anyone on the TNA roster.

That challenge was met by Bobby Lashley. The 37-year-old from Colorado was last seen in TNA in 2010. He was released in order to concentrate on his MMA career – a sport in which he won a variety of accolades before this, his apparent return.

EC3 refused the match, insisting that Lashley did not have a contract and was therefore not eligible to meet his open challenge. Lashley power slammed Carter before launching an explosive spear move that sent the young pretender hurtling out of the ring and back up the ramp, after he had sprung back to his feet.

Madison Rayne def. Gail Kim – Knockouts Title Match

Madison Rayne retained her Knockouts Title as the division’s two most successful competitors went head to head once again.

The pair, who have held the title eight times between them for a period of almost 800 days, fought fearlessly – spending much of the match hanging, grappling from the cage wall.
Kim came close to victory on several occasions as she looked to escape the cage: twice Rayne hauling her back down to the floor from the top of the cage. Lei’d Tapa, watching on from ringside, also tried to come to Kim’s assistance by forcing open the cage door, but Rayne dragged her opponent back inside when she went for the easy exit.

Rayne eventually claimed victory when she hit with a spear dive out of the corner, the full force attack sending Kim sprawling backwards and allowing Madison to get the pin.

Samuel Shaw def. Mr. Anderson – Escape the Cage Match

Samuel Shaw controversially defeated Mr. Anderson in an escape the cage match, despite the latter actually touching the floor first.

Before the match started, Shaw clambered to the top of the cage – threatening to throw himself off in protest of Christy Hemme not being at ringside. Anderson convinced Shaw to come down and fight and the match proceeded as planned.

Shaw attempted to escape the cage on several occasions and, as he turned towards the door, a kick from Anderson sent him slamming against the cage exit. Referee Earl Hebner, who had been unlocking the door at the time, flew backwards and was knocked out cold. With Anderson on top, Hemme emerged from backstage to cheer on her friend. Anderson pulled off his ‘mic check’ move to send Shaw crashing into the ropes, and with his opponent seemingly beaten he began climbing the cage.

Anderson reached the top of the cage and dropped quickly down the other side, but with Hebner still out cold, he could not be awarded the win. A revived Shaw sensed his opportunity, reaching through a hole in the cage intended for television cameras, and dragging Hemme inside. Anderson raced back around the cage to the door, bursting in as Shaw moved in on Hemme.

Hemme freed herself from the corner of the ring with a slap to the face of Shaw, and Anderson quickly helped her out of the ring. But Shaw responded with a low blow on Anderson, whose back was turned, and applied the sleeper hold he has been seen using on several occasions since his arrival in TNA. With Anderson unconscious, Shaw was able to walk out of the cage, with an awakened Hebner having no choice but to award him the victory.

Team Japan (Sanada, Yasu, The Great Muta) def. Team TNA (Daniels, Kazarian, Sabin) – Exhibition Match

The Japanese trio of Sanada, Yasu and the legendary Great Muta defeated Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin in a three-on-three tag match, with Sanada pinning Daniels for the victory.

Sanada, who won the X Division title from Austin Aries in a non-televised TNA event in Tokyo ahead of Lockdown, was greatly impressive – dominating Sabin at the start of the match.
But it was Muta who was the undoubted star of the show, the eight time World Champion and founder of the Wrestle 1 promotion launching his shocking ‘green mist’ attack on both Daniels and Kazarian, with a spray of acid being shot from his mouth into the face of his rival competitors.

The TNA team had their moments, with Yasu – the youngest and most inexperienced of the wrestlers – being forced to survive multiple pin attempts, but the combination of Sanada and Muta was enough to win the match for the Japanese.

Tigre Uno def. Manik – Exhibition Match

Mexican superstar Tigre Uno made his TNA debut at Lockdown, impressing in an entertaining match with the returning Manik – who has not been seen since he lost his X Division title at Bound for Glory.

Uno, who previously fought under the name Extreme Tiger, was a two time AAA Cruiserweight champion, and a two time AAA World Tag Team champion during his time in his home country, and looked an exciting addition for his new franchise as he secured the win with the ‘sabertooth splash’.

TNA fans won’t have to wait long for the next major pay-per-view event, with Sacrifice coming up on the 27th April. Until then, all of the full out from Lockdown will be taking place every week on IMPACT.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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