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TNA Impact
BAX'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 3/31: Alt. perspective review of Thursday's Impact - steel cage main event, Bax Reax & letter grade on overall show

Mar 31, 2011 - 11:58:30 PM
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By Matt Baxendell, PWTorch contributor

TNAImpactlogo_213.jpg
BAX’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
MARCH 31, 2011
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA
AIRED ON SPIKE TV


Where We’ve Been: The biggest storyline of last week’s show was the ending between RVD & Mr. Anderson, where the Main Event ended in chaos as RVD was down at ringside while Sting (the special enforcer) brawled with Anderson. The announcers left the loose impression that Van Dam had won the #1 contendership via DQ, but that will certainly be a central issue in this week’s Impact.

[Q1]

The show began with a long recap of last week’s Main Event, where Sting continued to claim that he didn’t ring the bell to end the match. After two consecutive weeks of multi-segment talking bits to open Impact, I'm hoping TNA keeps it shorter this time.

Out to kick things off is Mr. Anderson, who was dragging Earl Hebner alongside. No signature entrance here - Ken took him right to the middle of the ring and handed Earl a microphone. Anderson asked why Hebner rang the bell last week to disqualify him.

Hebner told him to respect him and to never put his hands on him again or he would suspend Anderson. He said the reason Ken was DQ’d was because Ken put his hands on Sting. Anderson didn’t like that answer, saying that he was provoked by Sting. He told Hebner that he was provoking him right now and he had better overturn the decision or else. Hebner said the decision stood, so Anderson hit him and went for the Mic Check before Brian Hebner ran out to protect his dad.

Anderson asked the younger Hebner if they both wanted to screw him, after all Earl had been in the business of screwing people for a long time. As Anderson challenged Hebner to hit him, Sting’s music hit and he entered the ring quickly, telling the referees to depart. Sting told Anderson that if he wanted to pick on the referees, then why doesn’t he pick on the Stinger?

After Anderson made another smart remark, Sting punched him and the two brawled until TNA security came in between them to break things up. They’d barely been broken apart before RVD sauntered his way out to the stage. Van Dam told Anderson that if he really thought he could beat him instead of just via DQ, then make it a three-way at Lockdown for the TNA Championship because he didn’t want the victory from last week. Hebner told him that he didn’t have the authority to do that.

Cue the decision-makers. Out came Hogan and Bischoff and Hulk quickly agreed, saying that he just saw the RVD that he had brought into TNA. Bischoff then took the mic and blabbered about friggin’ ratings before making a Main Event match to preview Lockdown that featured Mr. Anderson, RVD, and Sting vs. Abyss, Matt Hardy, and Bully Ray inside of a steel cage. After all three sold surprise, Sting broke through his security guards and jumped Anderson before they were separated to close the segment. [c]

BAX REAX: I think the best thing that TNA has going right now is Mr. Anderson’s loose cannon character. He’s psychotically single-minded in his pursuit of the TNA Championship and has put over the belt more on his own with his behavior than everyone else in TNA put together over the last few weeks. While RVD letting Anderson into the Lockdown Main Event because he thought the win was tainted is a lame excuse and Bischoff’s infuriating trend of talking about ratings continued, this was a good, short starting segment that put together a nice Main Event and teased solid dissension between the three main guys competing for the TNA Championship at Lockdown.

[Q2]

-Mr. Anderson was shown backstage coming back from commercial. He was asked an inaudible question by the roving cameraman and his answer was ‘No Comment.'

-They threw to RVD in his locker room, who was saying that he knows how to keep things in balance. He’s excited to take care of business against his opponents and maybe even against his partners.

-Cut to Sting, who said that Anderson disrespected him and therefore owes him an apology. Sting said that before tonight was over he would get that apology. He was asked about the steel cage match and he reiterated that he was going to get his apology. Sure sounds like we’ve got a “Team” that is going to have trouble getting on the same page in the Main Event.

-After a plug for the Main Event from Taz & Tenay, they announced that one of tonight’s other matches was going to be Shannon Moore vs. Scott Steiner and quickly went to Moore backstage (with Jesse Neal looking fully supportive next to him). Moore said that Steiner wasn’t cool or hip and the young generation didn’t want to see him. He said the reason he disrespected Scott Steiner was because he has no respect for Scott Steiner.

-Immediately, they cut rapid-fire to Steiner somewhere else backstage with Crimson. Steiner said his definition of disrespect isn’t stealing a chain headpiece and throwing it at someone before running away, his definition of disrespect is sleeping with someone else’s girlfriend. He said Moore had asked for a wrestling match but he wasn’t going to get one. Instead, he was going to get a beat down.

-Now that TNA got viewers excited to see Steiner and Moore face off, they went to...an ‘earlier today’ vignette featuring Bully Ray. Really? Nothing wrong with showing Ray, but after some solid promos, wouldn’t it be time for the match? Ray was asked about putting A.J. Styles into the hospital two weeks ago. Bully Ray said that he proved himself to Hogan & Bischoff by doing so. Ray then talked about how big the chip was on his shoulder and said he’s willing to go anytime, anywhere.

-And Orlando Jordan & Eric Young are up next apparently. Why did they do the promos for Moore-Steiner now if that’s not up now? [c]

-Back from break, the Jarretts were in Hogan’s office, trying to talk him out of letting Angle step into a cage with him. Double J wanted out of the match, but Hogan offered that ‘Rob Terry’ thing instead. That seemed to satisfy Jarrett as they walked out of the office.

-In the Impact Zone, Moore was in the ring as Eric Young and Orlando Jordan were at the commentary booth. As Big Poppa Pump made his way out with Crimson, Eric announced that he and Orlando would be in a four-way tag match at Lockdown that would feature Steiner & Crimson, Ink, Inc., and a mystery team. At that, the bell rang.

1 - SCOTT STEINER (w/Crimson) vs. SHANNON MOORE (w/Jesse Neal)

Starting off, Moore used the ref as a shield before rolling outside. Neal told him to get in the ring before Crimson tossed him in. That led to some dominant offense from Steiner that was deliberate and powerful, culminating in a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Apparently, Orlando Jordan is wearing a peacock hat, and E.Y. and he have shirts that say “We love Tag Teaming.”

Back to actual wrestling, Moore turned the momentum by squirming out of a carry and kicking Steiner in the back of the knee. Moore kept him down with some swift kicks before mocking him with Steiner’s own signature pushups. After a dropkick, Moore them put Steiner’s chain mail on before missing a top rope moonsault, despite Neal’s wishes to the contrary. At 3:30, Steiner hit an overhead belly to belly suplex before downing Moore with the Steiner Liner.

[Q3] After doing his push-up routine to cheers, Steiner dragged Moore over to the top turnbuckle and set him on top. The crowd got on their feet as he signaled for the Frankensteiner and hit it for the victory.

WINNER: Steiner in 4:30. I don’t care how old Steiner is, that top rope Frankensteiner is still an awesome move. I enjoyed the pace of this match as both men got some offense in before the bigger Steiner used his power moves to claim the win. I just would have preferred their solid promos right before the match started instead of with a commercial interlude and a Bully Ray promo.

-Young and Jordan went down the ramp to congratulate Steiner & Crimson in advance of their match at Lockdown. After Steiner gave them the finger, they were assaulted on the ramp by Magnus...and Douglas Williams. It looks like the British Invasion is back together! They definitely got the better of Young & Jordan ringside. Tenay & Taz teased that the British Invasion was the mystery fourth team at Lockdown as the commercial break hit. [c]

BAX REAX: Evaluating this, the British Invasion should have been back together much sooner than this, but I’m not going to complain now that they are a team once more. With the Guns recently out of the tag team scene due to Alex Shelley’s injury, Williams & Magnus provide instant championship credibility to the tag division.

-Anderson was shown backstage ‘talking’ to his face on a Lockdown poster. He asked poster Anderson if Sting was going to get his apology tonight and the response was ‘Sting can go (bleep) himself."

-The Jarretts were then shown, as Karen worried what would happen if Hogan & Bischoff’s plan didn’t work. Double J told her to leave it to the professionals. Karen’s sarcastic reply: “The professionals, like the guys who agree to wrestle Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage?” Jeff calmed her by saying that he had a Plan B.

-A vignette was shown featuring Generation Me’s internal squabbles over the X Division Championship at Victory Road. Apparently, younger brother Jeremy isn’t happy with older brother Max, so they’re fighting tonight. Max feels that the younger brother should be the one to defer to his older sibling.

2 – MAX BUCK vs. JEREMY BUCK

Right off the bat, Max told Jeremy to lay down so he could get the win, but Jeremy said no. What followed was nice, fast, back-and-forth X Division-style wrestling that got a big ovation from the crowd. Jeremy followed this up with two quick arm drags followed by a top rope running corkscrew arm drag that was pretty impressive. Max rolled out of the ring in frustration before younger brother Jeremy sat on the second rope to let him into the ring. Jeremy extended his hand, but Max turned the handshake into a headlock.

There was more fast-paced action back-and-forth that had the crowd making lots of noise. This culminated with yet another innovative arm drag from Jeremy, this time using a springboard off of the second rope. The sequence culminated at 3:00 with Max sitting down in the corner, looking at his little brother in shock.

Max tried to charge him but Jeremy hit a quick huracanrana for a very close nearfall before Jeremy was expelled to ringside after Max hip-tossed him through the ropes. Mimicking Jeremy’s behavior from earlier, Max sat on the rope and offered his brother the chance to climb back into the ring but instead kicked his brother in the head before powerbombing him into the turnbuckle. Max finished off his little brother by flipping off the top rope into a Diamond Cutter for the victory.

WINNER: Max in 4:00. A pleasing X Division-style match, the kind that TNA used to feature with great regularity not so long ago. While I’m not a fan of the dissension between one of the promotion’s promising young tag teams, if they have a brotherly spat that results in the X Division getting some time every week then it might be worth the trade-off. This was a fun and action-packed four minutes.

-Backstage, Fortune entered the building as Kaz received a text message saying someone had arrived at the airport and was on his way to the Impact Zone. [c]

[Q4]

-Back from break, Angelina Love looked completely spaced out as Winter made her drink from a cup. Winter told her that Velvet Sky cost them the Knockouts Tag Titles. She said that Velvet wants to control Angelina and she couldn’t let that happen.

The events that had happened since Winter’s arrival, culminating in last week’s debut of Zombie Angelina, were recapped by a nice video before Velvet & Winter made their entrances. As Winter was making her way down the ramp with her strange blindfold on while wearing a maroon one piece outfit with a fur vest, TNA abruptly cut to a commercial break. That might have been the shortest time between commercials in the history of Impact. [c]

3 – VELVET SKY vs. WINTER

The bell rang immediately back from break. Velvet charged Winter and rammed her into the corner. She was pulled off by Earl Hebner, but she went right back after Winter and cornered her again. This was quickly followed by a snap slam and a dropkick to Winter’s face. In full control, Velvet charged Winter in a corner for the third time, only to see Winter move and slam her hard to the mat.

Winter was now in full control and tossed Velvet across the ring by her hair before hitting a backbreaker for a two count. Winter’s rapidly making people forget about Daffney when it comes to being ‘Zombie Hot.’ Anyways, Velvet managed to reverse things and a bulldog on Winter at 3:00.

[Q5] As Velvet was standing Winter up, Angelina began slowly walking down the ramp with a completely blank look on her face. This allowed Winter to assault Velvet from behind and hit a spinning backbreaker that allowed Winter to lock in some sort of naked choke that forced Velvet Sky to tap out.

WINNER: Winter via submission in 4:00.

After the match, Winter locked on her submission move again and made her stare down Angelina before walking up the ramp and motioning for Angelina to follow, which she did wordlessly.

-Taz and Tenay began to plug the Main Event when Mr. Anderson’s music hit for the second time tonight and out he came. He told Sting to get his ass out in the ring. Stinger obliged, taking his time walking down to the ring to stare Anderson nose-to-nose. Anderson asked him if he wanted him to apologize to him before saying that he was going to do something that he never expected to do.

I expected an apology for a brief moment before Anderson hauled off and cheap-shotted Sting. This led to a brawl that went all over the Impact Zone before coming back to ringside. Taz & Tenay wondered how they would get along tonight in the Main Event as Sting slammed Anderson into the ring steps.

But, their fight was broken up as Bully Ray, Matt Hardy & Abyss came out to beat up on both men. The announcers put over Immortal’s intelligence in taking advantage of the three-on-two numbers mismatch. After a few moments, Rob Van Dam flew into the ring to get Bully Ray off of Sting. However, he did nothing to help Mr. Anderson, who was being double-teamed by Abyss & Matt Hardy at ringside, and RVD went to the back.

Abyss rolled Mr. Anderson into the ring and Sting promptly leveled him before scaring Abyss & Hardy, who had climbed up onto the apron, back to ringside. As the three members of Immortal retreated from Sting, Taz & Tenay continued to discuss the impossibility of Anderson, RVD & Sting forming a cohesive tag team in the Main Event.

BAX REAX: I really enjoyed this segment because everything seemed to make perfect sense. Anderson is a jerk who is furious at Sting, so he cheap shots him. The two men fight until Immortal realizes they can weaken up their opponents in the Main Event by jumping them. RVD makes the save only for Sting, who had earned his respect a few weeks back and left Anderson out to dry. This whole segment only made me more interested to see the Main Event and that’s the sign of good build throughout the show.

-Backstage, Karen was on the phone crying for help as Double J banged on a locker behind her. After she hung up, Jeff told her that she did really well and Karen replied that someone (I’m assuming the police) were on their way. Taz & Tenay plugged Kurt Angle “In Action” up next but said his opponent was still a mystery. Ummm, didn’t Hogan say it would be Rob Terry earlier? [c]

[Q6]

-The brawl featuring the six combatants in the Main Event was recapped coming back from commercial before the Immortal team was shown backstage with Ric Flair. Flair said that they’d already won the match after the showing his three guys just had in the brawl.

Hardy said that RVD, Sting, and Anderson couldn’t co-exist. He said that it was the three men on his team versus three individuals. Ray said that he’s going to beat up RVD for jumping him. Abyss said that everyone just saw Immortal shaking their weight and Flair said that Lockdown is going to need a new Main Event after tonight.

-Velvet Sky was shown in a ‘Moments Ago’ promo where she said that she was going to cleanse Winter from TNA. She said that she’s never seen Angelina act like this before and believed that Love was drugged, so she was going to be the one to get her tag team partner back.

-In the Impact Zone, Kurt Angle’s music played and he approached the ring in street clothes. Angle wasn’t dressed to wrestle at all, but apparently he has a match. He called out Jarrett and said that he was sick of messing with his personal life and didn’t want to wait until Lockdown.

Surprisingly, Jarrett’s music played and the announcers sold shock that Double J would even come out. However, he came out with Rob Terry, who is officially Kurt’s opponent. Terry took his time getting into the ring as Angle focused on Jarrett at ringside. Finally, Kurt got his hands on Double J but Terry ran in for the save and the match was on.

4 – KURT ANGLE vs. ROB TERRY

Well, we’re about to see if Angle is truly good enough to be able to get a decent match out of anyone. No way this lasts too long as Kurt wasn't wearing ring gear. Terry hit some overhand smashes on Angle to start off the match before Terry hit his trademark slow motion shoulder block that looks like it wouldn’t hurt a kitten. Somehow, Angle fought back and tried to hit a crossbody off of the top rope. Unfortunately, Terry caught him and scored a huge powerslam.

Taz immediately pounced on everyone’s surprise that Terry actually hit a big move, saying that Angle could be in danger. Ah, the curse of Taz: when he says you’re in position to win a match, it means you’re about to go down. Naturally, when Terry picked up Angle for another power move, Kurt fought his way out of it and locked on the Ankle Lock and it was academic from there as Jarrett hilariously leaned over the bottom rope in a vain attempt to distract the referee.

WINNER: Angle in 1:30.

Angle immediately circled around the ring trying to get his hands on Jeff before nearly locking on the Anklelock in the ring. However, Jarrett is slippery and got halfway up the ramp before Kurt caught him again and ripped his shirt off. Angle followed that up with an attempted Angle Slam, but Jeff shimmied out again and ran backstage with Kurt hot on his heels.

Jarrett ran around a corner and I guess Angle somehow missed him because he ran right past him and went out a door instead while yelling, "Jarrett!" and ran right into the waiting arms of four police officers and Karen. The officers slapped cuffs on Angle, who berated Karen and told her that he was going to tear Jeff apart at Lockdown before going with the officers. Karen acted relieved like her actions were somehow going to prevent Kurt from making it to Lockdown.

-Fortune was then shown in their locker room, where Roode told everyone that they had to be extra cautious. Fortune was debating whether they should have Sting’s back in the Main Event. They said that ‘The Four’ of them would take care of Sting and went to talk to him. Taz & Tenay informed the viewers that the cage was being built right now and the Main Event would be up next. [c]

[Q7]

-Bischoff & Hogan were shown in front of a monitor while talking about the Main Event, saying that they would be able to ‘pick and choose’ whoever they want after RVD, Sting, and Anderson beat each other up. Is Immortal going to be recruiting heading into Lockdown?

-In the Impact Zone, the cage was built and Immortal’s team came out as a group to Immortal’s music, further underlining their unity in this match. The stark contrast was shown when RVD came out alone. Mr. Anderson then made his third entrance of the night and performed his signature self-introduction, until Sting assaulted him from behind and hit a snap suplex on the stage.

Immortal took advantage of the distraction as Flair hit RVD with a low blow and then tossed him into the cage for a three on one beat down. Sting ran down to help and the match was on.

5 - TNA World champion STING & MR. ANDERSON & RVD vs. MATT HARDY & BULLY RAY & ABYSS (w/Ric Flair) -- steel cage match

Sting came in and started cleaning house, leading to him hitting Stinger Splashes on Ray & Hardy before hitting a Stinger Splash on Abyss, who was standing on the Apron between the ropes and the cage. Cool spot. Sting climbed up on the second turnbuckle to hit the 10-count of punches on Hardy, but found himself being hit with an atomic drop. Sting no-sold the move (I guess he was wearing a cup) before clotheslining Hardy down hard. Right afterward, Anderson was shown standing with his hands on his knees outside of the cage, clearly taking his sweet time to get into the match.

Back inside, Bully Ray stomped a mudhole into Sting before Abyss came over to stomp him further. While RVD was left dumped on the ring apron, Mr. Anderson pulled up a chair and sat down outside to watch. [c]

Back from break, RVD & Sting were down and Taz promptly informed the audience that Anderson hasn’t moved from his chair at ringside. In the cage, RVD was hit with a knee to the groin and a leg drop from Hardy while Abyss choked Sting. Suddenly, Hogan’s music hit and Hulk came out with his back brace on.

After Anderson mocked him, Hogan told him to get his butt in the cage. Anderson told him no. Hulk told him again and Anderson acted like he was going to punch Hulk, who begged off. However, it became pretty clear that the back brace was a ruse since he raked Anderson’s eyes and tossed him hard into the side of the cage. With Anderson reeling, Hulk threw him through the open cage door and seven minutes into the match all six men were finally inside.

Sting and Anderson didn’t even pretend that they were on the same team as Immortal stood back and let the pair of them fight. After Sting threw Anderson hard into the side of the cage, Immortal went right back to work destroying the three men in the Main Event at Lockdown. It was dominance to the point where Immortal was going around the ring and attacking each man three on one. Finally, Hardy went for a pinfall and Abyss & Bully Ray retreated into their corner for a proper tag match.

With only RVD in his corner (Anderson was still down on the ring apron), Sting desperately tried to make a tag but Hardy stopped him and tagged in Abyss. After Sting was beaten with big fists from Abyss, Ray was tagged in and the two big men went for a double team clothesline. But at 10:00, Sting ducked and they ran into each other instead. Stinger took them both down and finally made a hot tag to Rob Van Dam.

[Q8] RVD came in on fire, taking down each Immortal member twice, including a brutal spin kick on Bully Ray. However, Abyss stopped his momentum briefly before RVD hit a big single leg thrust off of the top rope to put him down hard. Van Dam vaulted up on the far turnbuckle to go for the Five Star Frog Splash, but, suddenly, Mr. Anderson jumped up from the ring apron below (where he had been laying most of the match since he came into the cage) and hit RVD with Bully Ray’s chain.

This allowed Ray (the legal man for Immortal) to hit the Bubba Bomb on Van Dam and earn the pinfall victory for his team as Anderson kicked the door open to leave the cage.

WINNERS: Ray & Abyss & Hardy in 12:00 (8:00 televised).

Anderson was long gone as Immortal started beating down RVD & Sting after the bell. However, things didn’t go too far before Fortune’s music hit and Beer Money & Kaz hit the ring. Ric Flair locked the cage door behind them as Immortal took the momentum thanks to Bully Ray’s chain. Kaz & Robert Roode were busted open as Immortal dominated Fortune, who were a bloody mess at this point.

Out of nowhere, Christopher Daniels came through the crowd and climbed to the top of the cage and took out all three members of Immortal with a huge splash. As Flair threw a steel chair at the cage in fury, Taz & Tenay told the audience that Daniels was a long time friend of Fortune and they would find out what this meant for Fortune after the break. [c]

BAX REAX: A solid cage match that told a very good story with the dissension on one side. It also shows how serious of a threat the Immortal team is with a win over the team featuring the three guys in the TNA Championship match and a bloody beatdown of Fortune afterwards. I’m also thrilled to see The Fallen Angel return, but I would have ended the show right then and there with Daniels as the only man standing in the cage with the question lingering until next week: Why is he back and what does it mean for Fortune? That would have been a great ending to the show.

-The cage match was recapped coming back from break, culminating in Daniels’s huge crossbody onto all three Immortal members. Going backstage, Flair was on a rampage, wondering who just jumped off of the top of the cage. Ray said he was another pretty boy, one of A.J.’s best friends. Abyss said that he caught them off guard.

Flair said that the key thing to remember was how Sting & Rob Van Dam were laid out after they beat them. Abyss asked if Flair saw all of the blood coming out of Kaz’s head and Flair said that Fortune will be lucky to make it to Lockdown. Bully Ray said, “You know why his best friend showed up? Because A.J. is in the hospital. Daniels, returning to TNA: Good idea. Returning against Immortal: Bad F’ing Idea.”

[Q9]

-Cut to the Fortune locker room, where Daniels was talking with blood spattered on his face. Daniels said that he returned because they put his best friend in the hospital and the next time he has blood on his hands, it is going to be Bully Ray’s. Kaz was a mess. He looked like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. James Storm said that Fortune was going to finish Immortal’s careers off because they’re the best in TNA.

Daniels held his hands up, which were covered in blood. He said that this is what TNA was built on. Kaz said this was just getting started.

-The quickly cut to Sting in the Gorilla position. He said they would see at Lockdown who the real veteran is. I'm not sure what he meant by that. He said it would be Showtime.

-A ‘Moments Ago’ camera followed Anderson backstage. He said that he had been screwed over royally every week before RVD came out of nowhere to beat him down quickly. There were cuts in the video (hence ‘Moments Ago’), but the end result was RVD walking out of the trailer saying, “Have a good night, Ken!”

Anderson was laying on the ground and told the camera that he was going to kill RVD. He was going to beat his ass. Anderson then flipped on the cameramen, screaming for them to get out of his locker room as the show concluded.

BAX SHOW REAX: I’m not sure what they were doing at the end with the Reaction-style closing to the show during the over-run, but I think the closing would have been far more effective if the show had ended with the Fallen Angel standing tall in the middle of the ring after his triumphant return coming off of the top of the cage. But, isn’t that the most consistent criticism of TNA, that they rush things?

Overall, this show was a massive improvement over the last two shows, which might be attributed to a post-Jeff Hardy disaster environment at the time of those two tapings. This show featured a lot more wrestling (23 televised minutes by my count) than in previous weeks, the stories made a lot more sense than usual, and the only quick match didn’t bother me with Kurt Angle dominating Roid Terry before going after Jarrett.

But, there were a few flaws with the show. First of all, I liked the old-school vibe with the promos from Steiner & Moore in the first hour, but why didn’t TNA go right to the match? Instead, the promos seemed to be lost in the shuffle of Orlando Jordan’s peacock outfit. The other big flaw was Hogan & Bischoff’s continued obsession with talking about ratings. Memo: Viewers don't care about ratings! They're interested in a good main event (check), good undercard matchess (check), and stories that make sense (check). Impact had all of that tonight, so talking about ratings should have been the furthest thing from their minds.

While I’m always going to advocate for more time allocated towards in-ring action, I have to say that I really enjoyed tonight’s show. Anderson is just amazing right now and I can see his feud with Sting extending out, especially if Immortal recruits him like Hulk hinted at before the cage match. I’m also very happy with the two major returns of the evening: The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels and the British Invasion.

Finally, I have to give a lot of credit for the build-up to the Main Event. TNA has a well-earned reputation for tossing out gimmick matches for the heck of it, but putting the warring factions in the TNA Championship picture inside of a Steel Cage against a cohesive and dangerous trio of opponents makes sense. Putting them in a cage to previous Lockdown’s all-Steel Cage format makes sense. And the amount of time allotted to making the match feel like a big match was well done in my estimation. This was a badly needed strong show to hopefully kick-start a solid road to Lockdown over the next few weeks.

SHOW GRADE: B

Matt Baxendell is one of the Torch’s new contributing writers covering TNA Wrestling. He’s also live on air as one the Young Guns on Sports Radio 790 The Zone in Atlanta. If you want to talk wrestling, hockey or football with Bax, please email him at matt.baxendell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MattBaxendell


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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 STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

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**

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