PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA LOCKDOWN RESULTS 4/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV - Styles vs. The Pope, Team Hogan vs. Team Flair, Angle vs. Anderson
Apr 18, 2010 - 9:56:54 PM
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TNA LOCKDOWN PPV REPORT
April 18, 2010
St. Louis, Mo. at the Family Arena in St. Charles
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Thirty minutes before the start of the Lockdown PPV, they started with an actual live pre-game show inside the Family Arena in St. Charles with Jeremy Borash hosting. Borash was positioned inside the steel cage to talk up the cage structure and introduce video packages on each of the big matches on the PPV. The camera shots of Borash inside the cage with the audience in the background made the PPV seem major league.
Having attended the Lockdown PPV at the Family Arena in 2007, it's a good-sized venue for TNA to hold a PPV and seem major league without having to pack a ton of folks into the building like they attempted at The Palace in the Detroit area last year for Slammiversary.
Mr. Anderson interview: Mr. Anderson was interviewed backstage by Borash earlier in the day. Anderson vowed to keep his match short with Kurt Angle because all he has to do is walk through the cage door with his key. Anderson said he's not having a "five-star mat classic" and he just plans on winning. Simple, effective. We'll see if this tone carries over to the PPV match.
Ringside: Mike Tenay announced on the pre-show that X Division champion Doug Williams has been grounded in the U.K. and he's unable to attend the PPV tonight. Therefore, TNA has stripped Williams of the X Title and there will be a new champ. Taz said Sean Waltman no-showed. Taz said it's "Syxx-Pac being Syxx-Pac."
Backstage: Brother Ray hit on Christy Hemme, acting like a total pig. Apparently that's...his...character? And he's the babyface? Only in TNA. Ray cut a promo on The Band, saying they can't wait to get rid of Hall, Nash, and Pac. Ray added they have a very special surprise for them tonight. He promised to make someone go through a table.
Ringside: Borash brought in TNA president Dixie Carter to recognize some military members ringside. Carter then hyped the 8:00 p.m. EST timeslot on Monday nights. Borash asked Carter to pick Team Hogan or Team Flair. She deferred to her "Twitter buddy" from the military on Team Hogan. Borash then wrapped things up leading to the PPV.
Live Lockdown PPV Results & Coverage
After the Lockdown PPV intro aired - ya know, the one with a heart monitor flatlining while showing video of Kurt Angle covered in blood on the mat - they went live to Mike Tenay to introduce the big matches on the show. Ringside, Tenay and Taz talked on-camera while a couple of already-drunk fans played to the camera. Tenay re-introduced the headlines of Doug Williams being unable to make it to the show and he's stripped of the X Title. Taz said Syxx-Pac didn't make the 1:00 p.m. call time and he no-showed. In storyline mode, Tenay said Eric Bischoff is not at the event either despite being at the Fanfest last night.
In-ring: Rob Van Dam came out first for the opening match to see who's seizing control of the Lethal Lockdown match later in the show. RVD got the crowd behind him with the new ring entrance gimmick before doing a victory lap around the ring. RVD entered the ring and shared a word with ref Brian Hebner before Beer Money's music hit. No sign of James Storm. After a delay, Storm came out representing Team Flair.
1 -- ROB VAN DAM (representing Team Hogan) vs. JAMES STORM (representing Team Flair)
Storm wouldn't get inside the cage, so RVD dropkicked the door into Storm, who flew back to the ringside area. RVD then followed to the outside and the first match of the all-cage match format PPV began with the action outside of the cage. After a brief brawl ringside, RVD came up bleeding from the forehead and they entered the cage to officially begin the match. RVD noticed the blood on his forehead and played to the crowd before beginning a full-blown attack on Storm. RVD then missed with a corner splash and Storm went on the attack opening up RVD's forehead some more. Storm then clotheslined RVD over the top rope into one of the cage walls. Storm mocked RVD by doing a thumbs-to-the-shoulders pose before landing a front kick to RVD's forehead. Storm is so money playing the rugged, brawler-type heavyweight wrestler. This match is a good way to feature him in a singles role to let that shine through.
RVD and Storm started to exchange blows at 4:30 with RVD making a full comeback before sending Storm into the cage wall. RVD then went to the corner and hit a split-legged moonsault for a close two count. RVD attempted a move, but Storm blocked with a jawbreaker. He then grabbed his trademark bottle of beer and spewed it in RVD's face after distracting the ref. Storm followed with a standing kick and spike DDT for a close two count. After a pause, Storm measured RVD for a superkick, but RVD ducked and dropped Storm in the corner. RVD then went up top and nailed the five-star frog splash
WINNER: RVD at 6:37. Excellent start to the PPV. RVD was finally able to showcase his in-ring abilities in TNA and he channeled some ECW intensity with the blood and high-impact offense. As far as character presentation goes, Storm looked good in the singles match opportunity. (**)
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in Hulk Hogan to talk about Team Hogan vs. Team Flair tonight. Hogan talked dejectedly about Team Hogan's chances tonight. Hogan apparently didn't see the previous match where Team Hogan just got the advantage via RVD's victory. Hogan was just rambling here trying to fill two minutes of talk time. Seriously, he said nothing. Hemme asked Hogan about Bischoff not being here yet tonight. Hogan said Eric is being Eric, but if he can't co-exist with Bischoff, he's ready to walk away from TNA.
In-ring: Oh no, they added the Ultimate Xscape match to the PPV. Apparently TNA is out to prove the Ultimate Xscape match isn't a horrible idea after I ripped it again in my blog on Friday. Anyways, the winner gets Doug Williams's spot in the X Division Title match tonight. Homicide, Brian Kendrick, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley completed the field for the match, which was initially a tag match.
2 -- HOMICIDE vs. BRIAN KENDRICK vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. ALEX SHELLEY -- Ultimate Xscape match
Homicide tried to escape through the cage door once the bell sounded, but the refs held him back and locked the cage. Brian Kendrick then came up bleeding a minute into the match. A lot of blood early on the PPV. Kendrick and Homicide decided to work together as Tenay received word that Hulk Hogan has told Scott Hall to find a tag partner or he'll have to go one-on-two against Team 3D tonight. Homicide landed the Gringo Killer on Sabin at 4:30, then Homicide started to leave the cage after telling Kendrick they were working together. Kendrick realized too late that Homicide put one over on him and Homicide bailed out of the cage as Kendrick tried to chase him down. They focused on Kendrick PO'ed ringside as Homicide celebrated the victory on the way out of the ring.
WINNER: Homicide at 4:58. Homicide moves on to face Kazarian and Shannon Moore for the X Title later in the PPV. The match itself featured some spots we've seen before. No story to this until the finish where Homicide put one over on Kendrick, which was fine. (*1/4)
In-ring: After a video package on the Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young feud, Young came out first while Taz questioned Young's intelligence to trust Nash before Nash turned on him to join The Band. Nash then gingerly walked out doing a big-man strut to the ring.
3 -- KEVIN NASH vs. ERIC YOUNG
This had a decent story to start with the much-taller Nash beating up Young, who kept telling Nash to bring it and bring it some more. Nash cut off Young and gingerly approached Young to land some more offense, but Young kicked Nash's knees and started throwing haymakers before running into a big boot from Nash. Nash then lawn-darted Young into the side of the cage before limping around the ring and throwing up the Wolfpack to cheers. Nash dropped the straps and then hit the Jackknife powerbomb. Nash with the pin for the win. What do you know? Young was bleeding from the forehead post-match. The refs then half-dragged, half-rolled Young out of the ring.
Post-match: Nash took the mic and had some news for the "boys in the back." Nash said if management (Hogan and Bischoff) thinks Scott Hall is wrestling alone tonight, think again. Nash said he still has breath, so he's Hall's opponent vs. Team 3D tonight.
WINNER: Nash in 4:50. They're cutting a very quick pace to this PPV. They did what they could to cover for Young's eventual loss by having him show that "underdog fire" early in the match, but the end result was more confirmation Young's character isn't big league. (*1/4)
4 -- Knockouts tag champions BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE w/Lacey Von Erich) vs. Knockouts champion ANGELINA LOVE & TARA -- Knockouts Title & Knockouts tag titles match
All right, so who's bleeding in this one? After TNA recapped the Lockbox mess from Impact two weeks ago, the Beautiful People came out to defend the Knockouts tag titles. Also involved is the Knockouts Title, which is held by Angelina Love. She came out second after Tara's entrance. The rules are that the person who scores the first fall wins or retains whichever title would be applicable. During the match, tension between Angelina and Tara was a subtle undertone before the Beautiful People scored the pinfall to retain the Knockouts tag titles and Madison scored the pin, so she's the new holder of the meaningless Knockouts Title. In the post-match, nothing was subtle about Tara turning on Love and beating her down.
WINNERS: BPs at 5:10 & Madison Rayne is new KO champion. The not-for-the-Knockouts Title-anymore feud continues with Tara turning on Angelina and making Angelina more of a sympathetic babyface. The match itself was fine, but forgettable and resulted in another compromise of the Knockouts Title. (*)
Backstage: Ric Flair was backstage with all of Team Flair. Flair cut a promo on Hulk Hogan and the entire Team Hogan. He vowed to send Hogan packing from TNA never to be seen from again. Borash then turned to World Hvt. champion A.J. Styles to talk up his match against The Pope D'Angelo Dinero. Styles said the Sunday night service ends tonight for The Pope and there's nothing he can do about it.
In-ring: Tenay introduced the X Division Title match for the vacant title. Out first was Xscape winner Homicide, followed by Kazarian. Taz said he doesn't think it's cool that TNA stripped Williams of the X Division Title due to travel issues out of his hands. At least someone pointed that out. Shannon Moore then came out to round out the field.
5 -- HOMICIDE vs. KAZARIAN vs. SHANNON MOORE -- Vacant X Division Title match
Early in the match, Homicide was a pinball being punched off the ropes into the steel cage, then rebounding back into more punches from Kaz and Moore to pinball him back into the cage. Nice spot. Homicide then took control and started taunting the other two babyfaces. All three then met on the top turnbuckle and Homicide hit a double Ace Crusher from the top. The crowd popped for the heel, Homicide, doing the cool move, and Homicide tried a round of pin attempts, but he only scored two counts. There was nearly a double pin on a sunset flip and Northern Lights suplex combo spot, which would have been complicated to sort out, but there was no pin. Kazarian found himself up top and he landed a double-foot dropkick on Moore for a nearfall.
At 6:30, Kaz and Moore walked the ropes, but Homicide crotched Kaz. Moore then landed a springboard reverse DDT on Homicide for a two count. Kaz recovered and drove Shannon face-first into the steel cage before powerbombing him across the ring. At this point, Taz noted the X Title belt is not here, as it's with Doug Williams. Homicide and Kaz then battled up top and Homicide hip-tossed Kaz clear across the ring. Shannon tried to take advantage with a pin, but Homicide hit a diving headbutt on Shannon to break it up. Homicide then landed multiple European Uppercuts on Moore, then Moore airballed a top rope neckbreaker. Homicide wanted the Gringo Killer, but Kaz blocked and dropped Homicide with an inverted neckcrunch drop. It looked painful. Kaz then made the cover for the win and he's the new X Division champ...sans belt.
WINNER: Kazarian at 9:07. Good match with some unique spots. Homicide looked really strong as a heel here. It was nice to see that. (**3/4)
Backstage: Hemme brought in The Pope. Pope got himself so worked up that he needed a bottle of water from someone off camera. He cut the promo that should have been on Impact over the past few weeks. Alas, TNA waited until the PPV to air Pope's money promo that would have sold the PPV title match.
In-ring: Brother Ray and Brother Devon stormed the ring for the match against The Band. Ray took the mic and cut a pre-match promo. "These people didn't come here to see us wrestle," Ray said. He should have just stopped right there. He added that it's a St. Louis Street Fight with Falls Count Anywhere. It was inevitable.
6 -- THE BAND (KEVIN NASH & SCOTT HALL) vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- Street Fight
After Hall and Nash came out, with Hall appearing to be high or drunk, 3D met them on the entrance ramp and a brawl broke out. The brawl moved to the floor and to the ringside area and all over the arena. The unintentional comedy continued where Hall kinda threw himself over a section barrier into a group of fans after Ray landed a basic double axehandle. The fight moved to the cage where The Band trapped Devon inside while Ray was trapped on the outside. Hall did his job keeping the door shut so Ray couldn't get in. Nash then took his turn trying to keep the door shut, so Ray smashed Nash's hands with a chair and entered the cage. Ray landed right hand blows on Nash and Hall before stacking up The Band in the corner. Ray warmed up the dump truck and landed a big corner splash before Hall stumbled out of the corner to be set up for the What's Up? top-rope headbutt. Team 3D then brought in a table and Hall stumbled into a 3D through the table center ring. Devon made the cover and that's all she wrote for the win.
WINNERS: Team 3D at 6:45. Decisive victory for Team 3D in a match that doesn't belong on PPV. Unless The Band is gone after this PPV, the one-sided victory doesn't really affect the group since they can easily get their heat back on TV with a small percentage of TV viewers watching this. The match was satisfying for the live audience, overall. (n/a)
Up next: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle. Mr. Anderson came out first and received some cheers. The storylines are so messy that the audience is just cheering for the things they recognize (like Anderson from WWE) or picking their favorites. In this case, they cheered along with the "Green Bay, Wisconsin" and "Mister Anderson...Anderson" portion of the intro. Anderson had the key with him that will apparently be the...key...to the match. TNA still hasn't made it clear how the key factors into this. Kurt Angle came out second and entered the cage.
7 -- MR. ANDERSON vs. KURT ANGLE
Anderson turned the key around so it was hanging around the back of his neck. Taz questioned Anderson wrestling with a key around his neck. Anyways, Anderson knocked down Angle early on and stormed the cage door to try to unlock the door, but Angle grabbed him from behind. Anderson then blasted him with multiple key shots to the head. As expected, Angle came up bleeding here. Angle was gushing, so Anderson opened up Angle's forehead some more by ramming him head-first into the cage wall. Anderson was great playing a vile, vicious heel here. Anderson tried to escape, but Angle popped up and caught Anderson from behind. Anderson then ducked a clothesline and rammed Angle head-first into the cage again. Anderson tried to follow with a piledriver, but Angle back-dropped. Angle tried to unlock the cage, but Anderson splashed him with his butt to knock down Angle. Anderson was now bleeding himself from the forehead.
At 6:00, Anderson climbed up top and took too long to attempt a top-rope move, so Angle did his trademark Superman pop-up and run-the-ropes to execute an overhead suplex. The crowd popped for that spot. Both men then came to their feet and Anderson wrapped wrist tape around Angle's throat. Anderson then tried to choke the life out of Angle to basically kill him. The ref frantically tried to get Anderson to let go before Angle did a big John Cena-like power-up out of the vice grip. Angle then elbowed out and landed a back suplex to escape. Both men recovered, then Angle ran over Anderson with clotheslines before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex. Anderson then countered the Angle Slam into a rolling gutbuster. Anderson tried to follow with the Mic Check, but Angle ducked and hit a German Suplex. He maintained control and executed a second, then a third, and a fourth. He added a fifth and Taz said they might go 20 innings on the suplexes. Nice line after the Cardinals vs. Mets game last night. Angle executed a sixth German, then stared at the padlock and key. He decided not to escape and then slapped on the Anklelock center ring. Anderson escaped, though, and nailed Angle with the Mic Check out of nowhere. Great sequence.
At 13:00, Anderson went for the padlock and opened the cage door. Angle grabbed him, though, and hit the Angle Slam. Angle then walked over to the cage door and shut it. He proceeded to close the door and re-lock it, not satisfied with the punishment on Anderson. Angle then chucked the key out of the cage into the crowd and Anderson looked around, freaked out by the situation. Angle tried to inflict punishment, but Anderson cut him off and tried to climb out of the cage. Tenay said you can't win the match that way. Angle teased a German Suplex, but Anderson elbowed him. Angle fought it off, then nailed a sick German Suplex off the cage to the mat. Both men remained motionless on the mat before they replayed the spot a few times. Angle was first to his feet, then he climbed the ropes. He paused and stared at the top of the cage. Angle reached the top of the cage with his back to Anderson. They had an overhead shot of this as Angle went for a moonsault and appeared to jump out of the cage, before they cut to a shot inside the cage where Angle was so far off that Anderson had to get in the way absorb Angle's fall as he crashed to the mat. Sick, dangerous, risky moonsault. Tenay called it one of the most insane moves in TNA history.
After this, Angle suddenly found another key and unlocked the cage door. Angle had one foot out, but Anderson shot him the bird, then a second bird. He told Angle to come back and give him some more. Anderson then took Angle's rage and used it against him to smash Angle with the Mic Check. Anderson then crawled out of the cage and was nearly out, but Angle grabbed his ankle and dragged him back into the cage with the Anklelock applied. Anderson tapped several times, but it didn't matter. Anderson then flung Angle away into the cage door and tried to escape again, but Angle choked him out with a chain wrapped around the neck. Angle pulled back on the chain to sell the move hard before releasing. Anderson sold that he was unconscious, then Angle spit in Anderson's face, punted him in the crotch, and slowly walked out of the cage to be declared the winner of this. Angle walked off with blood covering his face as Anderson sold being completely out cold.
Post-match: Angle took the mic and thanked the fans in St. Louis. Angle surveyed the audience with this crazy, marketable look in his face. He said he's going to take some time off and regroup after this. He said he's going to miss the fans while he's gone, but when he comes back, he has one goal in mind: winning the TNA World Title. Nice way to put over the belt. Angle said it's real, damn real.
WINNER: Angle at 20:55. This PPV has walked a fine line between ultra-intense and a geek show. The match walked the line early on, then turned into TNA's first legit Match of the Year contender. There were still some very concerning issues in-play with the excessive blood and Angle's health that made it uncomfortable at times, but the drama, storytelling, action, Anderson's heel performance, and the facial reactions were absolutely amazing. Angle is just on a completely different level as a performer and this match was on a different level for this era of pro wrestling, just like Lockdown 2008 vs. Samoa Joe. Anderson was elevated to a superstar level with this too. Probably the most amazing aspect of this match that really elevated it was Angle and Anderson making the audience forget about the silly pre-match business with the key and just focus on a great back-and-forth battle. (****1/2)
In-ring: After a video package on the TNA World Title feud between A.J. Styles and The Pope, the challenger came out first with money dropping from the ceiling. Tenay recapped Pope earning the title shot via the Against All Odds PPV. A.J. Styles came out, then ref Earl Hebner told Ric Flair to scram from ringside. The heat was on Hebner and Flair here, with Flair ripping off his jacket and getting in Hebner's face. From inside the cage, Styles asked what was going on. Styles then stomped out of the cage and shouted at Hebner. The fans, who aren't in the mood to buy into TNA's storylines, chanted, "We want Flair." Styles eventually entered the cage and Borash handled the formal ring intros. Pope received a mixed reaction from the non-castmember crowd. Styles was mainly booed. And off we go.
8 -- TNA World Hvt. champion A.J. STYLES vs. THE POPE D'ANGELO DINERO -- TNA World Hvt. Title match
The crowd was quite vocal early on with dueling chants of "Pope is pimpin'" and "Let's go A.J." nice atmosphere as Pope and Styles exchanged holds back and forth. Pope then landed a series of arm drags and shouted at Styles to establish his control at the moment. Styles bailed to the corner to recover before they locked up again. The crowd picked up another loud dueling chant before Styles rammed Pope into the steel cage and took control. Styles then nailed his signature drop-down, leap frog, standing dropkick center ring with a spotlight on the sequence. Taz put over the move for exemplifying why Styles makes the big money as the champ.
At 6:00, Styles began working over Pope's left knee before attempting his springboard inverted DDT, but Pope moved and rammed Styles into the cage door. Pope followed with a spike DDT center ring. Pope then hit a snap powerslam off the ropes for a two count before the audience picked up a third dueling chant. The wrestlers battled up top and Pope landed headbutts to knock Styles to the mat. Pope then stood up top and landed a falling headbutt while still selling a shoulder injury. Pope tried to follow with a clothesline, but Styles ducked and nailed the Pele kick out of nowhere for a two count. Styles then went to the apron and nailed a beautiful springboard 450 splash for a close two count. Styles sold shock he didn't get the pin there, then climbed all the way to the top of the cage. Styles readied himself for a big spot, but airballed a cross-body splash. Pope tried to follow with a pin, but Styles kicked out. Pope then hit a sick codebreaker with Styles selling it by kicking his legs straight up in the air for a nice visual. Pope made a cover, but only a two count.
At 12:30, Styles pulled himself up and Pope went for the flying knee smash, but Styles moved and Pope crashed into the turnbuckles. Behind the ref's back, Styles then wrestled away a gimmick from the cameraman outside the cage and waited for Pope to come over. Styles stabbed him in the face with the gimmick, then Pope stumbled around. Pope stumbled back toward Styles, who landed a discus clothesline. Styles then set up the Styles Clash and connected center ring. Styles flipped Pope over and made the pin the win.
WINNER: Styles at 13:35 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Really nice back-and-forth singles match for the TNA World Title. The crowd was heavily involved from start to finish and created a nice atmosphere for the match. As expected, the match ended non-clean to protect Pope taking the loss. I'll be surprised if TNA actually follows up with consequences for Styles cheating to win. (***)
Backstage: They quickly cut away from Styles's celebration to show Eric Bischoff finally arriving and blowing off Borash. They cut back to the arena where the lights were off and Tenay did a voice-over wondering where Bischoff is. Tenay and Taz then fed to a very brief intro on the rules for the Lethal Lockdown match and immediately went to ring intros. They're apparently short on time here.
In-ring: Abyss came out no-selling being run over by a car on Impact. Tenay credited Desmond Wolfe for running over Abyss. So, has Wolfe been arrested yet? The excuse "oh, it's just wrestling" does not fly here. Robert Roode then came out for Team Flair to start the match.
9 -- TEAM HOGAN vs. TEAM FLAIR -- Lethal Lockdown match
The bell sounded and Roode tried to make light of Abyss's apparent injury from the car accident, which Tenay said was a "hairline fracture." Tenay questioned why Team Hogan would send out Abyss with his injury to start the match. Roode worked over Abyss early on, then RVD came out for Team Hogan after a five minute start. RVD slowly made his way to the ring and beat down Roode in the corner. The crowd was quiet as the babyfaces held a lopsided advantage here. RVD then executed a nice monkey-flip out of the corner before getting the crowd behind him with a "Rob...Van...Dam" chant. RVD hit Rolling Thunder on Roode, then landed elbow strikes. RVD was bleeding from the forehead again.
After a two-minute interval, Desmond Wolfe's music hit to zero reaction. Wolfe came out without being arrested on the spot. He cleaned house on Team Hogan's RVD and Abyss before Roode joined in on the two-on-two beat down. After another two-minute interval, Jeff Jarrett's music hit to bring out Jarrett for Team Hogan. Jarrett was more concerned with posing on the stage and slowly walking to the ring rather than helping his team. He eventually entered the cage and cleaned house. Jarrett attempted a huracanrana on Roode, but Roode blocked with a powerbomb before catapulting Jarrett into the cage wall. Wolfe aggressively worked over Abyss before the two-minute period expired to bring out James Storm for Team Flair. Storm sold some back pain on the way to the ring before spitting beer in Abyss's face. He then went to work on Jarrett with hard right hand blows.
At 13:00, it was time for Jeff Hardy to come out as the final member of Team Hogan. Storm waited anxiously in the ring, but no sign of Hardy. His music played for a bit, then they cut backstage to show Sting standing over an individual who appeared to be Jeff Hardy. The man dressed as Hardy was face-down on the ground, then they cut back to the arena where the fans booed. Inside the cage, RVD was bleeding heavily as Storm rammed his face into the cage. The two-minute interval expired and Sting, with baseball bat in hand, came out as the final member of Team Flair. Sting entered the cage, the cage door was locked, and Sting called for the top to come down on the cage. The roof slowly, slowly, slowly was lowered. They used some creative camera shots in an attempt to cover for this roof coming down at a snail's pace. Dave Penzer finally announced Lethal Lockdown could begin.
Wrestlers retrieved weapons and started using them as the announcers referenced Hulk Hogan saying he would consider walking away from TNA if Team Flair dominates this. That rapid-fire storyline addition to the PPV hasn't been fleshed out, as there were no pre-promos from Jarrett, RVD, Hardy, or Abyss talking about defending Hogan's honor and fighting for him tonight. so much more could have been done with this, but it was just thrown out there. Suddenly, Jarrett was thrown out of the cage door and he ended up on the floor. Beer Money followed out and attacked Jarrett. Back in the ring, Abyss suddenly had tacks and he sprayed them around in the ring. Abyss ripped off Sting's leather jacket and teased a chokeslam into the tacks, but Wolfe blocked. Storm then ran back into the cage and smashed Abyss with a beer bottle to the face.
Jeff Hardy's music suddenly hit and he stormed the ringside area wielding a Kendo Stick. Hardy smashed everyone in sight with the stick to give Team Hogan a "momentum boost." RVD hit a five-star frog splash inside the cage, then Abyss gave Sting a chokeslam into the tacks. Hardy then climbed into the cage from the outside and stood on top of the lid. He challenged Beer Money to come meet him up on top of the cage. Hardy smashed Roode with his stick, then Storm with a trashcan lid. Beer Money used the numbers advantage to cut off Hardy, then they set up a table on top of the cage roof. Hardy fought them off, then hit a Twist of Fate on Roode on the roof. This took forever, so I wonder what the folks inside the cage were doing. Couldn't someone have scored a pin inside the cage during this? Anyways, Hardy set up a ladder on top of the cage roof and climbed up the ladder. Hardy then hit a big splash off the ladder onto Storm, who was positioned on the table, and both men crashed through the table. They cut to a shot of Chelsea looking on bewildered.
At 26:00, Ric Flair's music hit and he jogged to the ring. Flair entered the cage and started stomping on Abyss before landing right hands. Flair then ripped off Abyss's Hall of Fame ring from Hogan. Suddenly, Hogan's music hit and Flair did the look of doom. Hogan came out to the ring walking as gingerly as possible while Flair was biting Abyss's fingers. Hogan entered the ring and grabbed the baseball bat. Flair backed off, then Eric Bischoff stormed the ring. Bischoff told Hogan not to do anything. As expected, the focus was on the three non-wrestlers not in the match. Bischoff pleaded with Hogan not to strike Flair, then Bischoff took the bat away from Hogan. Bischoff then reached into his pocket and grabbed brass knucks. He then tossed the knucks to Hogan, who hit Flair. Hogan did the old Hulkamania routine and Flair came up bleeding, of course. Hogan then tossed the knucks to Bischoff before ramming Flair into the cage wall multiple times. Flair was bleeding heavily and had the crazy old man look on his face. Hogan landed right hands, then Flair fell backwards into the tacks. Hogan landed a trashcan shot to Flair's head. In the middle of this mess, the attention turned to Abyss, who just kinda pinned Wolfe with a Black Hole Slam to score the pin and end the match.
Post-match: Tenay said Bischoff showed his loyalty to Hogan. "It may have taken months," Tenay said, "but the regime is united in TNA." Bischoff then shook hands with RVD and gave Hardy a thumbs up as Hardy posed on top of the cage with his back to the hard camera. They cut to a shot of Flair's head covered in blood. Team Hogan then did a curtain call and some wrestlers slowly made their way out of the cage. Hogan and Abyss posed in the ring together, then the PPV closed with Hogan trash-talking Flair.
WINNERS: Team Hogan at 30:10. What a mess. If there was ever a more fitting conclusion to a PPV, this was it with the non-wrestlers - Hogan, Bischoff, and Flair - the focus of the match after the wrestlers essentially did a bunch of meaningless moves because nothing mattered at the end until Abyss randomly hit Wolfe with the Black Hole Slam for the win. Obviously, the point was for the heels to get their comeuppance after trying to blow up and run over the babyfaces on Impact, so this was fine for accomplishing that goal. As for Bischoff's apparent babyface authority figure turn, I'm taking a wait and see approach until there's a clear story coming out of this on Impact. Asking for a clear explanation that makes sense after Bischoff antagonized the babyfaces for three months will be one tough task, though. This should be interesting to see TNA try to explain a knotted, twisted storyline. (n/a)
FINAL THOUGHT: TNA is a promotion desperately trying to find its way with the inclusion of Bischoff and Hogan in the mix. There was a ton of blood, with TNA trying to distinguish itself as a blood & gore promotion walking a fine line on being a geek show, but the most concerning aspect remains the heavy, heavy focus on non-wrestlers as the top stars in the promotion. Meanwhile, Kurt Angle worked his tail off to deliver an amazing match and Mr. Anderson could be the best heel of 2010.
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THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**