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CALDWELL'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT 4/13: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Joe vs. Angle PPV

Apr 13, 2008 - 9:57:11 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

TNA Lockdown PPV Report
April 13, 2008
Lowell, Mass.
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist


Pre-show Thoughts: On the 30-minute all-video-packages PPV pre-show, I was really impressed with Kip and B.G. James's next installment of the Rough Cut series. The last month has been step one of rebuilding Kip James for a potential singles run in TNA main events. Yes, it's Kip James we're talking about, but I still think he has something tangible to offer to TNA as a main event player.

Sean Radican just checked in live from the building that Dixie Carter announced they have the largest crowd in TNA history. No dark match, but Dixie and Russo were hugging ringside prior to the start of the show. I'll be posting some of Radican's live thoughts as he checks in periodically throughout the PPV.

Live PPV

Opening: They opened with Mike Tenay inside the cage with the building dark. Tenay said tonight is about Samoa Joe's career being on the line against Kurt Angle. He said they answer the question of whether this is Samoa Joe's final stand. "Welcome to Lockdown," he said.

Opening video package: They did an intro video on Steel. It's been here since the dawn of time and it stands tall and erect to rip flesh and scar souls. The usual TNA video intro.

Announcers: Tenay welcomed everyone to the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. Live in the expensive seats was Don West, sporting a ridiculously bright red dress shirt and tie. He interviewed some fans about who's winning tonight. Jeremy Borash was further up in the building unable to hear himself. He asked some more people who is winning Joe vs. Angle tonight.

In-ring: The show starts with Ultimate Xscape for the X Division Title. Curry Man came out first to hump the cage. Johnny Devine out next with the tripod. Consequences Creed came out third, followed by Sonjay Dutt, Shark Boy, and the X Division champion Jay Lethal.

1 -- X Division champion JAY LETHAL vs. SHARK BOY vs. SONJAY DUTT vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED vs. JOHNNY DEVINE vs. CURRY MAN -- X Division Title match -- Ultimate Xscape

Apparently it's a Texas Tornado match, although the action started with two legal men in the ring. Then again, there are no rules in TNA, so we'll see how this plays out. The story early on was Lethal and Dutt working together on their double team moves on the other four competitors, much to Val's approval. Suddenly, Devine scored a roll up on Dutt out of nowhere at 3:00, meaning Dutt is gone. Creed with the DDT on Shark Boy for a pin, drawing boos from the audience for Shark Boy being eliminated at 5:00.

Curry Man tried to go high-risk by climbing to the very top of the cage, but Devine shook the cage and Curry fell on his gut on the cage. After the fellows on the floor battled, Curry recovered and hit a cannonball dive onto Devine and Creed that popped the crowd. Curry followed with the Spicy Rack slam on Creed for a pin at 7:00. Curry vs. Devine vs. Lethal now. Keep in mind that Dutt is still ringside, now cheering on Lethal with Val. Devine then nailed Curry with the Devine Intervention double underhook piledriver for the pin at 9:00. That didn't look right. (Radican checks in that Curry was helped to the back afterward favoring his leg.)

So, now it's just escape between Lethal and Devine. Devine took off his wrist tape and tried to cuff Lethal to the top rope. Lethal couldn't escape, but Dutt hopped on the apron and kept the cage door closed. Devine then started to climb over the top of the cage, but Dutt had handed Lethal some scissors to cut himself free. Lethal then bolted across the ring and dove through the open cage door before Devine could climb over the cage. Lethal retains the belt. And everyone hug.

WINNER: Lethal in 11:00 to retain the X Division Title. Fine opener with good energy to start the show. Just one of those matches with too many falls for too short of a period of time. (**)

Backstage: Jeremy Borash brought in Frank Trigg to discuss Joe vs. Angle. Trigg said he's usually throwing up trying to warm-up at this point because it's nerve-wracking. Trigg said he doesn't think it will go well for Joe. He says he doesn't think there's anything Joe can do to win the match. Trigg said they can have a nice going-away champagne party for Joe after losing. Stack the Deck.

2 -- CHRISTY HEMME vs. SALINAS vs. JACQUELINE vs. TRACI BROOKS vs. ANGELINA LOVE vs. VELVET SKY vs. RHAKA KHAN vs. ROXXI LEVEAUX -- QUEEN OF THE CAGE

This looks like a G.L.O.W. match gone really bad. The deal here is that the first two women to enter the cage will have a singles match to determine the Queen of the Cage. Angelina Love was the first one to climb inside the cage, so she's in the singles match. Velvet tried to climb in, but Roxxi knocked her off the cage wall and jumped into the cage. So, it's Roxxi vs. Angelina after two minutes. They flew in six other women for practically nothing.

2a -- ROXXI LEVEAUX vs. ANGELINA LOVE -- #1 Contender match to Knockouts Title

Roxxi and Angelina had a stare down to start this portion of the match. Angelina bashed Roxxi's head into the apron, then became frustrated when she couldn't score a three count. The fans got more and more behind Roxxi with every kick out, then Roxxi made her comeback at 3:00 by catapulting Roxxi into the cage wall. Roxxi then hit her Voodoo Drop for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Roxxi in 4:00, 6:00 overall. Good victory for Roxxi. Angelina played a fine heel. If they would have actually taken the time on TV to build-up Roxxi vs. Angelina in a singles match, this could have meant a lot more than just throwing out a random gimmick match. (*1/4)

Backstage: Samoa Joe was interviewed by the newest backstage interviewer, Lauren. Another blonde female announcer. She...slowly...set up...her...question...then Joe said he knows what he promised tonight. He said he bled and sacrificed to get to this point, and his mission tonight is to take the TNA World Title. Joe said he didn't lay his hands on Angle on Impact so Angle would be at his best tonight so that when Angle is looking up at the ceiling, he'll know he was beat by the best.

Video package: They showed the Kip and B.G. video that aired on the pre-show.

3 -- KIP JAMES vs. B.G. JAMES

B.G. entered the ring and Kip decked him with a right hand blow before the bell even sounded. Kip then went on the offensive, smashing B.G. into the cage wall. Crowd booed Kip pretty resoundingly. B.G. tried a comeback, but Kip dropped him with the Rocker Dropper. West did the "this one's over" commentary about B.G.'s career being over after this, but B.G. kicked out at two after Kip took his time making the cover. Kip tried to follow with a guillotine from the second rope, but B.G. moved and low blowed Kip right in front of the ref. Again, this is TNA where there are no rules, so it's apparently legal. B.G. made his comeback by smashing Kip into the cage wall, then he did the shake, rattle, and roll knee drop for a nearfall. B.G. then avoided a side kick and scored a roll up for the pin and the win. Yes, a roll up solved the issues between them.

Afterward, Kip seemed to have a similar perplexing thought sitting in the corner. B.G. then extended his hand to help Kip to his feet. They did the big double hand-raise for the crowd, then Kip spun B.G. around and decked B.G. in center ring. He then stood over B.G. and did a crotch chop in his face.

WINNER: B.G. James in 6:00. Disappointing match after the month-long build-up. Only giving them six minutes was a sign they're running long or they don't trust Kip and B.G. to have a ten-minute match. Fine post-match from Kip to reinforce him as a heel after losing. (*)

Backstage: Borash brought in Kurt Angle for an interview. Angle was staring straight ahead with no emotional response. Borash asked Angle why he's so focused on this match with Joe tonight. Angle didn't move his eyes from the spot on the wall and cut a promo about running through the competition in WWE before coming to TNA for one man, and one man only: Samoa Joe. Angle said Joe took him to the limit their previous four matches. He said he needed to do something drastic for tonight to prove that he is the very best. Angle said he needs to make Joe tap out. "I need to end your career!" Angle said. He said it's not only about winning or losing, but about survival. He then turned his eyes to the camera and stared deep into the lens.

In-ring: Rock 'n Rave came to the ring first for the Handcuff deal. Eric Young was supposed to come out next with Kaz, but no sign of him. They cut backstage where the Monsters were attacking Young next to some traveling cases. Refs eventually pulled them off Young when Kaz tried to make the save for his partner. Kaz was ordered to the ring. The Monsters - Rellik and Black Reign - came out next, followed by Sabin & Shelley. LAX came out, then Steiner and Petey. Petey is sporting the headdress and shades and he looks completely ridiculous, like a bad cartoon character.

4 -- JIMMY RAVE & LANCE HOYT vs. KAZ & ERIC YOUNG vs. RELLIK & BLACK REIGN vs. CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY vs. LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ) vs. SCOTT STEINER & PETEY WILLIAMS

Basically the deal is that there is one fewer set of handcuffs attached to the cage than there are men in the ring. So, winner is the last one not cuffed. Everyone went after Steiner to start the match, and they cuffed Steiner to make him the first one cuffed. Suddenly, Eric Young walked to ringside holding his head in pain. Young tried to climb inside the cage, but the Monsters scared him away. Meanwhile, both Guns were cuffed next to each other. The crowd is being taken out of this because it's a very poor man's battle royale. LAX brought the crowd back to life when Hernandez gave Rave a cracker jack into the steel. Kaz then gave Rave the Flux Capacitor off the top turnbuckle at 7:00. Nice spot. Meanwhile, Hernandez and Homicide were cuffed. Kaz tried another Flux Cap., this time on Hoyt, but Hoyt blocked and chokeslammed Kaz halfway across the ring. The Monsters then cuffed Kaz.

With it down to Monsters vs. Rock n' Rave, Super Eric's music hit and Young stormed the ring. Young climbed to the top of the cage and nailed a top-of-the-cage dive onto all four remaining wrestlers. Big spot of the night thus far. Young then cuffed Rave and Hoyt. He turned around, though, and took a huge boot from Rellik. The Monsters tried to cuff him, but Young turned the tables and cuffed Rellik. Reign was shocked, then he took a Death Valley Driver from Young. Young then cuffed Reign to win the match.

WINNER: Super Eric in 12:00. Pretty bad first half of the match, then LAX and Kaz saved the match to bridge to Super Eric. You can take or leave Young as the superhero, but the gimmick is quite popular. (*1/2)

Backstage: Lauren brought in members of Samoa Joe's family to discuss Joe's chances tonight. Joe's father said Joe is not falling short tonight. And even if he does, they will still love him.

Video package: They focused on the issues between Kong & Raisha against Gail & ODB.

5 -- Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED vs. GAIL KIM & ODB

Raisha was sporting a full veil covering her face, with only a small cut for her eyes. Crowd was definitely into ODB. Radican checked in that ODB had a bigger pop than Gail during intros. The match started with Kong and ODB, then Gail tagged in and demanded to fight Raisha. Raisha showed off her wrestling skills by dominating Gail for a few minutes. Gail then nailed a dropkick, followed by a head scissors for a nearfall. Kong gave Raisha control again by smashing Gail into the cage wall behind the ref's back. Raisha took Gail up top, then climbed up the cage and kicked Gail's head into the wall repeatedly. That was sweet. ODB eventually got a hot tag at 6:00 and attacked Raisha. The action broke down, then Raisha took Gail up top. She went for a powerbomb, but Gail blocked and nailed a huracanrana from the top of the cage. Great spot, but the action picked up again. Kong accidentally took out Raisha with the spinning back fist, then Gail drop kicked Kong across the ring. ODB then came off the top rope with a splash on Raisha for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Gail & ODB in 8:00. Excellent women's match, which we shouldn't be surprised by anymore. They've been carrying the undercard for months. This came across better on TV, as Radican checks in that the crowd was pretty quiet for this one, as it seemed like a "break match". (**1/2)

Backstage, Borash brought in Karen Angle. Borash said no one expected to see her tonight. Apparently TNA doesn't read its own Mobile texts. Borash asked why she's here tonight. Karen said that no matter what, Kurt is the father of their children. Karen said she's concerned about what would happen to Kurt if he doesn't live up to his own expectations tonight. That's all she can say right now.

Video package: They focused on the Booker vs. Roode feud.

6 -- ROBERT ROODE & PEYTON BANKS vs. BOOKER T & SHARMELL

This was all Roode and Booker to start off with. Booker went for the Book End at 7:00, but Roode blocked and slammed Booker into the cage wall. Since Booker wouldn't tag Sharmell into the match, Sharmell tagged herself in. Roode got a kick out of that and grabbed Sharmell around the neck. Peyton tagged herself in to get a piece of Sharmell, but Sharmell mule kicked Roode and Peyton smashed Roode on accident. Sharmell then rolled up a stunned Peyton for the pin and the win. Afterward, Booker was shocked to see his woman win the match. Roode was pissed off about Peyton costing her the match. He feigned a punch to the face, but put his fist down and left.

WINNERS: Booker & Sharmell in 8:00. Well, that didn't accomplish much of anything. Apparently we're in store for another month of Booker vs. Roode, as this certainly didn't seem like a blow-off match. (*1/2)

Backstage: Lauren brought in UFC fighter Marcus Davis to talk about his training with Samoa Joe. Davis talked about giving Joe his own UFC training to make him ready for the fight. Davis said Joe needs to stick to the game plan that they went through for the training, and if he sticks to the tools they gave him, he should be successful tonight.

Radican checks in that this seems like a boxing PPV with the undercard matches feeling like filler before the final two mega-matches.

Video package: They focused on Lethal Lockdown. ... In-ring: Christian Cage came to the ring as the first participant in Lethal Lockdown. A.J. Styles's music hit and Tomko came out instead. Weird. Tomko doesn't have his own music? Ah, it was a swerve! A.J. Styles was in the cage and he came off the top with a splash onto Christian, who was looking at Tomko.

7 -- LETHAL LOCKDOWN -- TEAM CAGE vs. TEAM TOMKO

Tenay said Team Tomko was victorious in the pre-match coin toss, so they will have the advantage in this one. First, though, Christian vs. Styles for five minutes, then two-minute intervals on the rest of the entrants. They traded control until Styles nailed the Pele soccer kick just before Ray came out at 5:00. Ray was sporting a N.Y. Yankees Derek Jeter jersey to get the instant heat. The crowd responded with a "Yankees suck" chant. Ray and Styles double-teamed Christian until Rhino came out fourth. Rhino measured Ray for a Gore, but Styles smashed Rhino with a kick to the face. At 9:00, James Storm came out with Jacqueline and handed his beer over to her for safe-keeping. Storm came right in and gave Christian the Eye of the Storm.

Styles and Christian battled on top of the cage, then Ray knocked Christian off the cage to the floor and Kevin Nash entered for Team Cage. Not sure what that means for Christian. Well, apparently he can re-enter the match, as he climbed back up the cage wall and came off the top of the cage with a big splash on Ray and Storm. The crowd popped huge for that. Brother Devon then came out as the fourth member of Team Tomko, and Team 3D took over the match. Matt Morgan came out at 15:00 for Team Cage and the crowd went quiet in awe of him. Morgan cleaned house until Ray took out the knees.

Tomko came out at 17:00 as the final member of Team Tomko, and he came wielding one of the tag belts and a steel chair in hand. Ref Hebner took the weapons from him, though, so Tomko went after Team Christian with fists. We got a glimpse of Devon bleeding profusely from the forehead for our first blood of the night. And at 19:00, Sting came out as the final participant in the match. Sting came in hot and cleaned house on the heels. Storm accidentally clotheslined Styles, then Sting low blowed Storm. After cleaning house, Sting called for the top of the cage to be lowered to begin Lethal Lockdown.

Both teams grabbed weapons hanging from the top of the cage, then both sides squared off and had a giant weapons brawl. Storm made his way out of the cage and onto the roof of the cage. Christian followed up and took a trashcan lid shot to the head. Storm then had his leg caught in a hole in the roof, so Christian smashed him with trashcan shots to the head. Back in the ring, Styles grabbed a Kendo stick and absolutely smashed Sting before smashing other members of Team Cage. Styles then climbed to the roof of the cage and smashed Christian with a trashcan shot to the head. The crowd went nuts as Styles set up a ladder on top of the roof and started climbing. Christian then climbed the ladder and met Styles on top of the ladder. This is scary. Storm then tipped the ladder over and Styles and Christian crashed through the table in the center of the roof. Huge pop for that.

After that spot, Storm climbed down into the ring. He took a bottle from Jacqueline and smashed it over Morgan's head for a big explosion. Rhino then dropped Storm with a Gore in center ring and pinned him for the win. All that build-up for Rhino of all people pinning Storm? Afterward, Team Cage got their hands raised.

WINNERS: Team Cage in 26:00. Well, it was a one-spot match, followed by a deal where TNA didn't want to bruise any egos, so they went for Rhino pinning Storm for a compromise finish. It's worth noting that there were far too many weapon shots to the head in this match, and it wouldn't be fair to WWE to always call them on the carpet without mentioning blatant blows to the head from TNA. Hopefully everyone was protected here, but TNA needs to be careful on booking matches where guys get caught up in the moment and might not protect a fellow wrestler with a weapon blow to the head. Otherwise, a fine brawl match in the semi-main event, but no issues were solved here. Apparently they don't want any of the matches to have issues solved until the main event. Yes, that was sarcasm built out of frustration of nothing being solved so far tonight. (***)

Video package: They focused on Joe vs. Angle. ... Ringside: They showed Karen Angle sitting in the front row looking very concerned. Frank Trigg joined Tenay and West ringside to talk about Angle vs. Joe. Gotta love Don West's facial reactions when he doesn't seem to know he's on camera. Tenay then broke down the Tale of the Tape on Joe vs. Angle.

Backstage: They did the Goldberg entrance for Joe, except for the knock on the door and the explosion out of the locker room. Joe was shown walking down the hallway until reaching the curtain. They went to a video package on Samoa Joe's path of destruction, starting in 2005. Back live, Joe's family members came out on stage for the traditional Samoan fire dance ritual intro. Joe came out to a great pop, as Radican called it, then Joe hugged Marcus Davis, who was already in the ring.

They went backstage again to show Kurt Angle walking down the hallway in MMA gear. A video package focused on Angle as the greatest wrestler in the world. Back live, Angle came out to an equally strong reaction. Radican said Joe had a bigger pop by a little. Angle is barefoot with extra tape on his wrists and ankles to go with MMA fighting shorts. Joe is dressed as he normally is. Borash handled the formal intros. Before the match could get started, Kurt spotted Karen ringside and asked for her to leave. Karen screamed that she came here for him. Kurt demanded that security escort her from the building. Karen put up a stink about it, but finally left.

8 -- TNA World Hvt. champion KURT ANGLE vs. SAMOA JOE -- TNA World Title match -- Joe will quit wrestling if he loses

The bell sounded at 10:32 p.m. EST., giving them about 20 minutes plus any post-match. They traded submission attempts early in the match, with Joe taking Angle down with a knee bar. They're definitely trying to do a mix of MMA and pro wrestling here. Lots of rope breaks early to give the wrestlers an "out" from worked submission holds that are supposed to look real. Angle started landing right hand blows, but Joe covered up to block the blows. Angle dominated this early, drawing blood from Joe's forehead. Angle then slapped on a figure four at 7:00, which drew Whoos from the crowd. Joe sold the hold forever, then he turned Angle over, forcing Angle to get a rope break. Joe suddenly came up with a burst of energy at 10:00 with a big smash clothesline that dropped Angle on the back of his neck.

Joe's comeback was quickly cut off when Angle slapped on the ankle lock at 11:00 to block the Muscle Buster. Joe slipped out, then both men exchanged nice submission holds. Angle had the anklelock again, but Joe countered into a Crossface. They had a beautiful exchange at 16:00 with Joe kicking out of the Olympic Slam after a series of submission counters. Joe then rammed Angle into the cage wall. He then nailed the Muscle Buster at 17:00 and made the cover. Joe leaned in close to Angle to whisper something in his ear, so you knew this was the finish. Joe with the one, two, three for the pin and the win to capture the belt.

Afterward, Marcus handed him the TNA Title belt and they embraced. West and Trigg narrated the post-match video package on how Joe managed to win the match by surviving Angle's submission attacks. They went back live to Joe celebrating in the ring. Angle recovered to his knees as Joe stared down at him to close the PPV. Radican checks in: "Incredible".

WINNER: Joe in 17:00 to capture the TNA World Heavyweight Title. I have this weird feeling at the conclusion of the match. I expected a great match, we got a great match, yet it feels like there could have been more. Maybe they needed an extra five minutes, but yet the match was so great at 17:00. It was believable as it was presented, - a legit fight - they had traditional nearfalls and submission teases like a standard main event-style wrestling match, and both men delivered an outstanding performance. Trigg added a tremendous amount of knowledge to the action, as he called the match as it was presented - a legit MMA fight. Him playing a devil's advocate based on his anti-Joe commentary early added a nice touch to the overall presentation. This was TNA at its best with no b.s. to get in the way, and a display of two of the best in the world. (****1/2)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "TNA PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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