THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s multi-man gimmick match overload time again as Total Non-Stop Action goes on the road to Philadelphia for their latest pay-per-view offering, the 2009 version of Lockdown, with Mick Foley challenging Sting for the gold, and shown on a three day delay here in Britain on Bravo 2. As usual, Mike Tenay and Don West are at ringside handling commentary duties.
The show begins with the first title match of the evening, with the masked man Suicide defending the X Division title against Jay Lethal, Kiyoshi, Consequences Creed and Sheik Abdul Bashir. Let’s go over the rules for this one – with all five men in the ring, eliminations can come via pinfall or submission, but once it gets down to two, normal cage match rules apply. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get back to business. It’s the usual X Division style match, tongs of great spots, and with two teams in this one, some nice team work from Lethal Consequences as well. The Great Muta…..I mean Kiyoshi was the first man to go, pinned by Lethal and Creed after Lethal’s top rope elbow. Creed was next to go, courtesy of Bashir’s WMDDT. Lethal was the next to go. After Suicide took him out with his suicide solution finisher, Bashir pulled the masked man off the pin attempt and pin Lethal himself, leaving the Sheik and the masked man the last two men in the match. And this was when things got a whole letter better. With just two men in the ring it was a lot easier to follow all the action, and we also got a moment that will probably make TNA’s best moments of 2009 list. After Suicide knocked Bashir from the top of the cage and back into the ring, Bashir’s running buddy Kiyoshi came running back to the ring, with security guards following. As the guards restrained the Japanese star, Bashir began to make his way to the cage door. Suicide, meanwhile, dived off the top of the cage and onto the guards below, and with his feet touching the ground first, he was declared the winner. An exciting match in it’s own unique way, but it would be nice to see the X Division title defended in a singles match on pay-per-view once a while.
Then it’s time for the Knockouts with a four-way Queen of the Cage match, featuring Madison Rayne, Sojournor Bolt, former Governor Daffney and ODB, accompanied by Cody Deaner. Well, I guess it wasn’t a one night stand then. No normal cage match rules for this one, with the first pin or submission wins. Once again it’s a solid outing from the women, with the addition of Daffney, sans awful governor gimmick, proving to be a welcome addition to the division. In the end there could only be one winner – ODB. After taking a swig from her flask, ODB spat whatever it was into Bolt’s eyes, and a powerslam later, she got the three count. Good stuff from the Knockouts though, although I wish they’d get rid of Cody Deaner, who has quickly become the second most annoying man in TNA.
The second title match of the evening follows, with the Motor City Machine Guns defending the IWGP Junior Tag-Team titles against former champions No Limit and LAX. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I always thought that the IWGP Junior titles were for wrestlers of a certain weight, I.E. light heavyweights. Well, if this is the case, why is Hernandez in this match? He certainly well over the light heavyweight limit. But anyway, back to the matter at hand. Fought under tornado rules, style wise it’s like the opening X Division title match, with plenty of fast-paced action and crazy bumps, although I couldn’t help but notice that messrs Tenay and West, for the most part, ignored No Limits, the Japanese contingent, in their commentary, instead focusing on the Guns and LAX, a great shame because from what I saw of them they looked to be a very good and very capable team. Hernandez, as always, was impressive with his power moves, especially when he was throwing people into the cage. The end came when Sabin and Shelley took Nito (I think that’s how you spell it) down off the top rope with a powerbomb/sliced bread combination to retain the title. A good match, but I couldn’t help but think that this went on a tad too long.
The gimmickry continues with Matt Morgan and Abyss in a Doomsday Chamber of Blood match. The rules – you can only pin your opponent if they’re bleeding. Time to be completely honest again. This match just didn’t do it for me, probably because this feud is starting to get a little stale. Abyss got busted open early when Morgan kicked a steel cage into his face. Moments later Morgan introduced a bag of broken glass into the equation, which Abyss later used to cut Morgan open after the referee took a hit. We then found out that Abyss’ doctor is in fact Stevie Richards, who stopped Abyss from using a chair, and later a bag of drawing pins by coming into the cage and slapping the monster. This gave Morgan the chance he needed, delivering a low blow from behind, before taking him down with a choke bomb on the pins. A three count later and Morgan had the win, hopefully winning the feud. Who knows, maybe Big Stevie Cool will challenge the monster next!
The third title match follows, with Awesome Kong, accompanied by Raisha Saeed, defending the Knockouts title against Angelina Love, accompanied by Velvet Sky, and Taylor Wilde. Now this is what women’s wrestling is all about. Kong, as always, was awesome (no pun intended), and once again dominated both of her opponents, even attempting a somersault splash from the top rope. As for Love and Wilde, their exchanges were great. We also had the novel sight of Love and Skye tying Kong’s braids to the cage in an attempt to take her out of the match. One scary moment though was when Wilde came off the top rope and Love banged her head on the mat, looking like she was unconscious for a few moments, which would probably explain the finish. After Wilde put Love in a chin lock, she broke off the hold to go after Kong, who was still tied to the cage. Kong kicked her off, and then Love got the immediate pin, winning the title. A very good match, but for obvious reasons the ending was a little disappointing. But then again, that couldn’t really be helped.
Then it’s on to the fourth title match of the evening, with TNA Tag Team Champions Beer Money face IWGP Tag Team Champions Team 3-D in a Philadelphia street fight, with both titles on the line. Basically, they can fight anywhere, and get pins anywhere. It’s basically one big brawl, with the obligatory monthly brawl through the crowd, and a smattering of tables, and it’s pretty damn entertaining. James Storm and Robert Roode once again proved what a great team they’ve become, and Team 3-D, well, we already knew how good they were. In the end, 3-D came out as double champions, after Storm accidentally clobbered Roode with the cage door, the former Dudleys took Roode out with a 3-D through a table. Three seconds later and they added another set of belts to their collection.
We then moved on to TNA’s version of War Games, with Team Angle – Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner, Booker T and Kevin Nash, taking on Team Jarrett – Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles and Chris Daniels. The rules – one man from each team start the match. After five minutes, another man enters, giving one team, in this case Team Angle, a one man advantage. Then, every two minutes, another man enters until all eight men are in the cage. Then the roof and weapons are lowered, and a pin can be made. Angle and Daniels were the first two out, followed by Booker, Styles, Steiner, Joe, Nash and Jarrett. Tons of great action throughout this one, with even Scott Steiner looking good. The fun and games, though, only really started when the roof came down and the weapons came into play. Angle and Styles made their way onto the roof and began to brawl, both men nearly throwing the other off the top, before Styles provided the moment of the night by diving through the roof of the cage onto the Mafia below. Later, Jarrett accidentally clobbered Styles with a steel chair when Booker ducked out of the way. But in the end all of that was forgotten when Jarrett clobbered Booker with his trusty guitar, and Styles got the pin for his team. But that wasn’t it. As soon as the match ended, the lights dimmed, and none other than former ECW Champion Bobby Lashley appeared on the stage, much to the delight of the Mafia. Well, apart from this introduction, a great match, very enjoyable.
Main event time, with Mick Foley challenging Sting for the World title. Quite why Foley, a part-time wrestler, if he’s even that, has got this title shot is beyond me. Oh well, at least this is being contested under normal steel cage match rules. Now, before I continue, I just want to say this – I admire Mick Foley, I really do. He’s a true legend, a hell of a writer, and a great guy. I will always respect him for what he’s done in and out of the wrestling business. But from watching this match it’s obvious that his best days are far, far behind him. I just couldn’t get excited by this match. Foley’s performance was just poor, he’s just a punch and kick kind of wrestler now, and it saddens me to say that. Foley and Sting may have had some classic matches in the past, but this wasn’t one of them. I just couldn’t wait for it to end, after clobbering Sting several times with his trusty old barbed wire baseball bat, Foley beat Sting to the punch, climbed over the top of the steel cage and hit the floor first, winning his first TNA World title. Definitely not the best match I’ve ever seen.
In conclusion – I really have mixed feelings about this year’s Lockdown. In the past few months I thought that TNA were starting to move away from their reliance on multi-man matches on their pay-per-views. Well, they went right back to that with this show. Of the eight matches on this card, there were only two singles matches and one two-on-two tag matches, and only one match fought under normal cage match rules. Don’t get me wrong, there was some great action in the majority of these matches, there really was, but it still saddened me that they’ve apparently gone back to their old way of trying to get as many people as they can on their shows. As the old saying goes, less is more.