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KELLER'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT 4/13: Joe vs. Angle, Queen of the Cage, Xscape Match, All-Cage Format

Apr 13, 2008 - 7:57:38 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER'S TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT
APRIL 13, 2008
LIVE FROM LOWELL, MASS.


-A video aired with Mike Tenay standing in front of a cage describing the stakes in the main event between Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle - career vs. title. Then Don West stood with fans and asked for their predictions. Tenay then introduced the show from ringside.

1 -- "BLACK MACHISMO" JAY LETHAL (w/So Cal Val) vs. SONJAY DUTT vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED vs. JOHNNY DEVINE vs. CURRY MAN vs. SHARK BOY

During his ring intro, Tenay talked up Creed's win on Impact as his "TNA debut," ignoring his previous PPV appearance months back. The bell rang to start the match 12 minutes into the PPV. West touted Dutt as "the fastest man in the X Division." Dutt and Lethal worked together early against Devine. Val applauded at ringside. Curry and Shark gave Creed and Lethal a double powerbomb off the top rope. Devine schoolboyed Dutt for the first elimination. Shark pounded away at Devine with punches and stomps. Creed gave Shark a twisting corkscrew fisherman suplex, then missed a dive into the corner on Curry. Curry strutted and splashed Creed with a dive into the corner. Creed came back with a hammerlock DDT on Shark. Creed did a flip onto his head and popped up with a clothesline on Curry. Curry came back quickly, walked on the back of Creed, and clotheslined him. He pointed up to the top of the cage and then climbed to the top. The crowd cheered. Devine shook the side of the cage, knocking Curry off balance. Devine then headbutted Curry. Lethal met them on the top rope. Devine knocked Lethal down then went for a shooting star. Lethal moved. Creed jumped Lethal and worked with Devine briefly, then battled Devine. Curry, meanwhile, repositioned himself and flipped onto Creed and Devine on the floor. Curry gave Creed the Space Rack for the pin. That left Devine, Lethal, and and Curry. ;Curry ducked Lethal and gave him the Spice Rack, but Devine broke up the pin attempt. Devine then gave Curry the Devine Intervention piledriver for the pin. Dutt stayed at ringside to watch the rest of the match with Val. The crowd chanted Curry's catch phrase. Devine took the tape off of his wrist and taped Lethal's wrist to the top rope. He beat on Lethal, then tried to escape. Dutt wouldn't let him open the door. He told him he'd have to climb out. Devine reluctantly did so. The referees seemed okay with Dutt's disruption of the rules of the match. As Devine climbed to the top, Machismo broke free and dove out of the ring to win. Dutt, Lethal, and Val celebrated their way to the back like one happy family.

WINNERS: Lethal in 10:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- A decent amount of athleticism, but it was the start of a night of so many different rules, with various levels of being applied with any logic, that it took away a bit from the match. It was the typical spotfest opener to warm up the crowd, and it did that. There were enough characters with distinct personalities that fans were into to keep them involved.

-Jeremy Borash interviewed Frank Trigg. Trigg said Angle is much like him. He said Angle has more experience than Joe in the limelight. He said he thinks Joe will be able to hang for a while, but Angle will win out as the match progresses. Trigg apparently doesn't know the difference between "possible" and "probable," because after picking Angle to win, he said "it's probable Joe will win." To back that up he said it's "probable" he could be President of the United States. He said when Joe has to quit, hopefully they'll have nice champaign as his going away party.

2 -- SALINAS vs. CHRISTY HEMME vs. ANGELINA LOVE vs. VELVET SKY vs. MISS JACKIE vs. RHAKA KHAN vs. ROXXI LAVEAUX vs. TRACI BROOKS - Queen of the Cage

All of the "Knockouts" began at ringside. Angelina Love climbed into the cage first. Roxxi was the second to make it inside. As the rest of the women brawled at ringside, Roxxi and Love began their match. The crowd chanted "Roxxi" when she kicked out of a near fall. Roxxi came right back with Voodoo Drop for the win. Tenay said the good news is she gets a title shot; the bad news is Awesome Kong is the champion.

WINNER: Roxxi Laveaux in 7:00.

STAR RATING: 3/4*

-Lauren, a new blond interview lady, asked Joe about his match. Joe said there is only one possible outcome tonight. He said he's left Angle alone leading up to Lockdown so that when he beats him tonight, he'll know he's the best

-A video played of Kip James saying inside of the cage, he will become a tiger. A vignette aired of B.G. James admitting to be scared going into the match. He said he'll meet the cage side of B.G. James because he his dad. He said he has to deal with the caged "D-to-the-O-to-the-Double." He said he brought it on himself.

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

Tenay touted the series of "Rough Cut" videos on Impact in recent weeks as taking viewers behind the scenes on the issues and relationship between Kip and B.G. Kip jumped B.G. as he entered the cage. Kip didn't leave his feet in the early minutes of offense until he settled on the mat into a chinlock. West and Tenay talked about Kip being the muscle of the team over the years and B.G. being the brains. B.G. made his first comeback at 6:00. Kip moved out of B.G.'s path as he dove at him and B.G. (sorta) crotched the middle rope. Kip did the HBK stomp, but B.G. sidestepped his charge into the corner, then rolled him up for the win. Afterward, B.G. offered Kip a handshake. Kip accepted the handshake, then raised his arm. Then Kip gave B.G. a clothesline. West is apparently new to pro wrestling, as he reacted with utter shock and couldn't believe Kip sucked them into believing him. He said he was enamored with Kip's sportsmanship and fell for it.

WINNER: B.G. James in 8:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Whatever it is that wrestler who draw have, Kip still doesn't have it. It's just not a match you want to watch unless the wrestlers are really, really charismatic and over to make up for how conventional the action is.

-Borash interviewed Angle. As he asked Angle about his focus, Angle stared ahead like he was in a trance. He talked about how he beat whoever WWE threw in his path. He stared off into space as he said he began watching "the competition" (TNA). He said he saw Samoa Joe who "wasn't just a wrestler, he was an animal." He said there was an intensity in him that he only saw in one other place - the mirror. He said on the four occasions he has wrestled Joe, he took him to the limit. He told Joe that tonight it's not only about business, it's very personal. He said he has to prove that he is the very best by making him tap out. "I need to end your career, so Joe it's not only about winning and losing, it's about survival." He then looked into the camera. Good promo. If he hit a switch and went into that mode 100 percent of the time and left the silly entertainment TV-filler to others on the roster, he'd be a strong centerpiece draw.

-Backstage, Black Reign and Rellik jumped Eric Young. Kaz made the save.

4 -- KAZ & ERIC YOUNG vs. SCOTT STEINER & PETEY WILLIAMS vs. BLACK REIGN & RELLIK vs. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS

Kaz came out to the match alone. Lots of chaos early like a battle royal. Young came down to ringside a couple minutes into the match. Young got scared when he saw Rellik and Reign and turned around and returned to the back. Scott Steiner, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin were handcuffed to the cage early. Hernandez and Homicide ended up cuffed, too. Super Eric's music played and he made his way to the ring. Not even West could pretend to be surprised by that turn of events. He climbed to the top of the cage and dove onto five wrestlers with a bodyblock below. The crowd popped as Young cuffed Rave to the fence. He cuffed Hoyt next. Reign jumped Young from behind. Rellik gave him a big boot. Young tricked Reign into cuffing Rellik to the cage. Young then gave Reign a Super Eric Driver and cuffed him to win. Then he broke Kaz's cuffs so he could join him celebration mid-ring.

WINNER: Young in 10:00.

STAR RATING: *

-Backstage Lauren interviewed three members of Samoa Joe's family - his father and two older brothers. She asked his father if he's concerned with Joe "falling short" and his career being over. He said they are there to support Joe fight one of the top icons of TNA wrestling. "Win or lose, I still love my son," he said. "He's accomplished so much for TNA wrestling." Lauren then smiled really, really hard like her face was frozen in position and threw to a video on Awesome Kong.

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

ODB and Kong began the match. Saeed and Kim tagged in next. Saeed got early control. She wrestled, by the way, with the formal garb and hood. It can't be safe to not see clearly at all times, as part of her hood often covered her eyes at times when she was moving. West said he was impressed with Saeed early in the match. Kong and Saeed isolated Kim and worked her over and made several tags. ODB got a hot tag at 6:00 and gave a fallaway slam to Saeed. Kong broke up the pin attempt. Kim climbed to the top of the cage. Tenay asked, "What is she doing?" Saeed met her up there and set her up for a powerbomb. Kim flipped over and too Saeed to the mat with a huracanrana. Kong gave a spinning backfist to Saeed, but she was aiming for ODB. ODB climbed to the top of the cage with a splash onto Saeed for the win

WINNERS: ODB & Kim in 8:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Good match. Best of the night. Nice mix of characters and in-ring styles Saeed made a nice debut.

-Borash interviewed Karen Angle backstage. Tenay acted surprised Karen was at the event. Borash said nobody expected to see her there. He asked her why she was there. Karen said no matter her relationship is with Kurt is, he will always be the father of her children. She said she's there to show support for him. She said she's concerned with what will happen to Kurt if he doesn't live up to his expectations. She rubbed her forehead and whimpered to be super-convincing of her worry.

-A video feature aired on the Booker T vs. Robert Roode feud.

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

Booker beat up Roode early. Roode got in sustained offense. Booker made a comeback at 5:00 and went for an axe kick. Roode avoided it and took over again. Roode invited Sharmell to tag in. She did tag in and slapped him. Roode held her down by the hair. Banks tagged herself in. Roode held Sharmell as Banks mouthed of to Booker. Banks turned and slapped Roode by mistake. Sharmell then rolled up Banks for the win. Afterward, Roode yelled at Banks and even cocked back a closed fist. West predicted a riot if he went any further. Roode left as Banks cried.

WINNERS: Sharmell & Booker in 7:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Booker and Roode had some decent, but forgettable action. Then it ended pretty suddenly. This feud just hasn't lived up to the promos and hype so far. They just need to be given 15 minutes to have a full-fledged one-on-one match before the feud totally overstays its welcome.

-Lauren interviewed Marcus Davis, the UFC fighter who has been training Samoa Joe. He said it was an unbelievable training camp. He said he put Joe through what he puts himself through before he has one of his UFC fights. He said they did ground grappling, stand-up, ground and pound, everything to make Joe a well-rounded fighter. Lauren asked what Joe must do to defeat Angle. Davis said Angle is an incredible athlete, but Joe needs to stick to the plan and implement the tools and training they went through to prepare for the fight and he'll win.

-A video aired on the Lethal Lockdown cage match.

7 -- TEAM CAGE (Christian Cage & Kevin Nash & Rhino & Sting & Matt Morgan) vs. TEAM TOMKO (Tomko & Team 3D & A.J. Styles & James Storm)

Christian came out first, then Tomko. West and Tenay talked about how Christian and Tomko were setting examples for their respective teams by starting the match. However, after Christian entered the ring, Tomko never made it in. As Christian waited for Tomko to enter, Styles appeared on the top rope out of nowhere and leaped onto Cage to start the five minute opening period. Tenay said Team Tomko won the coin toss so they'll have the edge in numbers every two minutes during the match. Back and forth fast pace in the opening minutes. Christian blocked a Styles Clash and then gave Styles an inverted DDT. Styles gave Christian a jawbreaker out of nowhere in return. Christian followed up with a mid-air powerbomb. Next in was Brother Ray, wearing a "Jeter" jersey. Ray slammed the cage door on Christian's face as he entered the ring.

After two minutes of a two-on-one beatdown, Rhino entered to even the odds. He went for a Gore on Ray, but Styles cut him off with a dropkick. Christian eventually made a comeback and put Ray in a sleeper. Ray fell backwards to break it up. Out next was Storm (w/Jackie). Styles and Christian met on the top of the cage and exchanged unsteady punches. Nash was the next to enter. He went right after Ray. Styles dove into Nash's arms, Nash caught him and gave him Snake Eyes. Ray went after Nash's legs and dropped him to the mat. Christian climbed to the top of the cage and leaped onto Ray and Storm on the mat, replicating Super Eric's earlier move. West declared it "Un-freakin'-believable!" The crowd popped. There were bodies lying everywhere on the mat as Devon entered. Ray and Devon worked together against Christian. Nash came back with punches against Devon, but Ray intervened and took Nash down again. Tenay talked about Nash's knees being his "one weak point" dating back to his college basketball career. He said Team 3D were really exploiting it.

Matt Morgan entered next. Morgan cleaned house with clotheslines and big boots. Nash recovered and tossed Styles into the side of the cage. Morgan gave a double clothesline to both Ray and Devon. He then went for a chokeslam on Styles, but Styles flipped out of it. Morgan, though, outpowered Styles seconds later and slammed him to the mat. Next out was Tomko, giving the heels their final two minute stretch with a man advantage. He and Christian rolled on the mat and punched each other. Sting then joined the match as the final entrant. Sting went to work and used some low blows to fend off attacks by Styles and Storm. A roof lowered from the rafters with weapons hanging from it. Wrestlers went for weapons right away. Tenay said all hell was about to break loose. Trash cans, lids, chairs, kendo sticks, and a cookie sheet all came into play. The roof actually has two levels and wrestlers could climb through openings and battle on the roof. Storm and Christian were the first to climb up there where a table and ladder rested. Christian blocked a Storm suplex. Storm almost fell through the roof, which tore open during their fight. Christian began hitting Storm over the head over and over with a trash can lid. The rest of the wrestlers knew they weren't the focus and just had a stand-up brawl at half speed. Team 3D eventually gave Rhino a double-suplex. Nash and Morgan came back to give stereo chokeslams to Ray and Devon. Sting put the Scorpion Deathlock onto Tomko. Styles broke it up with a kendo stick. Christian, meanwhile, set up a table. Styles noticed and joined Christian and Storm on the roof. He hit Christian with a lid, then set him onto the table. Styles then set up a ladder. Tenay begged Styles not to do it. Christian got up and climbed the opposite side of the ladder. Christian tried to knock Styles to the floor. Instead, Storm tossed Christian and Styles off the ladder and through a table on the roof. The fans went berserk chanting "TNA, TNA" and "That was awesome!" Back in the ring, Storm climbed down and broke a beer bottle over the head of Morgan. Rhino, though, blindsided Storm with a Gore for the pin.

WINNERS: Team Cage in 26:00.

STAR RATING: ***1/2 --

-A video feature aired on the Joe-Angle feud. They showed Karen sitting in the front row. Trigg joined Tenay and West on commentary.

8 -- KURT ANGLE vs. SAMOA JOE

In a Tale of the Tape, Joe was billed at 6-2 and Angle at 6-1. Years pro: Joe at 7, Angle at 9. Weight: 280 for Joe, 235 for Angle. A video feature aired on Joe, then his family did a Samoan fire dance on the stage as Joe came out. A video aired on Angle with biographical narration, then Angle came out. They showed both Angle and Joe backstage heading toward the entrance ramp before they actually walked through the curtain, which was a nice touch, taken directly from UFC to give it more of an MMA feel. Jeremy Borash handled ring intros, giving it the type of "big match" feel that Dave Penzer's ring introductions from the floor don't. Angle wore boxing trunks rather than a singlet and no boots, just taped ankles. Joe wore his usual ring outfit. Angle noticed Karen in the front row and yelled, "Get her out of here." Security walked over to her and said if Kurt wants her gone, she should leave. Karen yelled back, "I came here for you." Trigg said he doesn't allow his wife to be in the arena until after his fight is over. He said it can affect his concentration. Karen threw a fit and then walked away.

At 10:32 p.m. ET the bell rang to start the main event. Just like every MMA fight, they went to a test of strength a minute in. Angle kicked Joe just as they clasped hands. Angle smiledJoe fired back with some hard roundhouse kicks. Angle went into an anklelock attempt, but Joe reversed it. Angle reached the ropes to force a break. At 2:00 Angle took Joe down and tried to pound on him from a full mount. Joe reached the ropes to force another break. Joe front kicked Angle as he shot in on him. Joe then mounted Angle, who went into the guard. Angle pulled Joe in tight to avoid punches, then grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Joe gave Angle a judo toss to the mat. They ended up back on their feet seconds later. Angle blocked another hip toss and then gave Joe an explosion suplex. He got a full mount and scored a one count. Angle applied a choke. Joe struggled toward the ropes and draped his leg over the bottom rope to force another break. Angle piunched away at Joe, then gave him a belly-to-belly released suplex. Trigg compared this to Pancrase in Japan where ropes can be used to the advantage of a fighter on defense to force a break. Angle went for an armbar, but Joe blocked it and leveraged Angle's shoulders onto the mat. Angle reached the bottom rope to force a break. Joe favored his arm afterward and caught his breath on one knee. Angle moved in with punches, but Joe fired back with punches of his own. Angle then applied a figure-four leglock. The crowd "whoo'd!" Joe rolled onto his side and teased a tapout, then rolled back. The ref counted one twice. Joe tried to roll Angle over again, but Angle wouldn't budge. Trigg did a lot of analysis during the match, and it really added to it. It's so refreshing to see a match fought in a way where there's enough logic to the moves that you can focus on analyzing the action and strategies involved in a compelling, believable way. Joe eventually reversed the figure-four and reached the bottom rope. Angle kept on Joe's leg. Joe chopped his chest. Angle moved into a side headlock.

At 10:00 Angle went for a belly-to-belly, but Joe blocked it and clotheslined Angle. Angle took a dangerous looking bump onto the back of his shoulders and neck area. Both were slow to get up and the ref began to count to ten. Joe gave Angle a running knee into the corner, then whipped him into the opposite corner. He went for a Muscle Buster, but Angle slipped out and applied a full anklelock at 12:00. Joe caught a charging Angle seconds later with a one-armed chokeslam. Joe powerbombed Angle and held his shoulders down for a near fall. Joe then applied a Boston Crab. He torqued him and twisted him as Angle teased a tap. Angle reached the bottom rope, but before he could grab it, Joe yanked him away and applied an STF. Angle couldn't reach the ropes, but he did shift into an anklelock. He dragged Joe to mid-ring. Trigg said. "I am so much more impressed with Samoa Joe than I was before this match." Joe escpaed and applied a crossface from behind. A brief chant of "Joe's gonna kill you!" began. Angle escaped and went for a clothesline, but Joe sidestepped him and applied a crossface. Angle powered up and gave Joe an Olympic Slam for a near fall at 15:00. West yelled, "Unbelievable!" Angle again applied an anklelock mid-ring. Joe teased a tapout. Tenay yelled, "This is your career! This is your livelihood!" Joe escaped and yanked Angle by the back of the trunks into a rear naked choke. Angle grabbed the ref's shirt. The ref pulled away, but in the process "dragged Angle and Joe" to the ropes. Angle grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Trigg called it a great strategy. Tenay didn't agree. Joe threw Angle into the side of the cage, then sidekicked him in the jaw, and gave him a Muscle Buster for the pin. Joe celebrated with the belt as his music played. He hugged his trainer Davis.

WINNER: Joe in 20:00 to capture the TNA World Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: ****1/2 -- Really good main event. It felt fresh with the MMA-style, and meshed just enough pro wrestling moves in a largely believable fashion with typical (and some not-so-typical) MMA submissions throughout in dramatic fashion. It's really a stellar example of how the two styles could mesh to create a more modern, believable approach for the current era. The challenge, though, is to find a roster full of wrestlers who can adapt to this style. There are few who can pull this off without considerable re-training and re-thinking their approach to every match. This could have been a bust or a joke, but it turned out cool. It really would have been difficult if not impossible to pull off a match in 2008 with that many submission holds and so few flashy highspots (although there were several) without UFC setting the example. This is a style of match that could extend Angle's career for years if he could stick with it in the future.

If you saw this event, send your 0-10 score, picks for best and worst matches, and a brief paragraph of well-edited thoughts to: pwtorch@gmail.com


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