Monday, 17 September 2007

TNA Lockdown 2007 on Bravo 2 - TV Review

It’s gimmick match overload time again, as Total Non-Stop Action once again present their annual Lockdown pay-per-view, shown on a three day delay in Britain, with each and every match inside the confines of the six sides of steel. As usual, our hosts for the evening are Don West and the Professor, Mike Tenay.
The show begins with a backstage interview, as Letitia chats with Jay Lethal and his new Black Machismo gimmick. It’s nice to see that Lethal has finally found a personality. A shame it’s not his own.
The action then begins with a five-way match for the X-Division title, as Chris Sabin defends against Jay Lethal, Shark Boy, Alex Shelley, and Sonjay Dutt. The rules for this match were simple - the first three eliminations were decided by pin or submission, and when the match was down to the final two, it was normal steel cage match rules, with escape the only way to win. There was some tremendous action in this one, with Shelley and Sabin executing some great double-team moves. After Shark Boy, Dutt and Shelley were eliminated from the match, it was left to Sabin and Lethal to contest the final part of the contest. As both men climbed down the outside of the cage at the same time, Sabin kicked Lethal’s legs through the cage, jumping down immediately afterwards to win the match and retain his title. A very enjoyable way to open the show.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash gets a few words with Team Cage. After the champ promises victory for his team, there’s something of an argument between the team members because the guy who gets the winning pin gets a title shot, no matter what team he’s on.
Singles action next as Petey Williams takes on his former Team Canada buddy Robert Roode. Roode has Tracy Brooks and Eric Young in his corner. After all the hype, it’s nice to see Roode actually wrestle on pay-per-view for once, Another enjoyable match here, with Williams and Roode putting together a good match, and it wasn’t even blighted by the antics of Eric Young. Despite the fact that Williams was able to clobber Roode with a hockey stick that Young passed to him through the bars of the cage, Roode got the winner with his pay-off bridging suplex. Not bad, but I wish they’d drop the Young angle soon.
Backstage, Kurt Angle tried to convince Rhino that Jeff Jarrett is a good choice for his team. Rhino just doesn’t trust old Double J.
On to women’s action, as Gail Kim faces Jackie Moore. This one starts before they even get into the cage, as they begin to brawl all around the ring, before eventually getting into the cage. Mike Tenay’s face as Gail landed on him during one exchange is highly amusing. Now this is what women’s wrestling should be about. Jackie and Gail delivered a match that any of their male counterparts would be proud of, neither of them holding anything back as they put on an enthralling contest. It was Gail who got the victory in this one, coming down in Jackie with a cross body from the top of the steel cage.
Backstage, Borash chats with Bob Backlund about his role as special referee. It’s the usual non-sensical stuff from Backlund here.
Next up, Austin Starr faces Senshi, with Bob Backlund as special referee. Both guys put on their usual good match, with, of course, Starr having his usual problems with Starr, including arguing over two count following his 450 splash from the top rope. This was when the argument really got going, and you could tell that Backlund was really angry at this point - he took his bow tie off! After pushing Starr into Senshi, the warrior then got the roll-up and the victory. As I said before, not bad, and thankfully Backlund only really had a small part to play in the proceedings.
Backstage, Borash chats with Samoa Joe. The big guy voices his displeasure at the fact that he’s got to team with Jeff Jarrett later.
Time for the former tag partners to battle it out next as Chris Harris faces James Storm in a blindfold match. This is the third blindfold match I’ve ever seen, and the third blindfold match that was the absolute pits. It was basically two guys who (apparently) couldn’t see stumbling around the ring trying to find their opponent. What didn’t help this match at all was the fact that the hoods kept coming off. The end, thankfully, came when Harris accidentally put the ref in a sharpshooter, and as he quickly realised his mistake, Storm took off his head and connected with a super-kick. He then put the hood back on before getting the winning pinfall.
Backstage, Kurt Angle catches up with Sting, who promises to give Jeff Jarrett the benefit of the doubt, for now.
Then it’s time for the match I was really looking forward to, as Jerry Lynn takes on Christopher Daniels. Thankfully all references to Lynn’s age are now missing from the build-up to his matches. This one certainly didn’t disappoint. The two X Division veterans put on a match that would have been worthy of a title bout as they unleashed their full arsenals against each other. We nearly saw Daniels unleash the Angel’s Wings from the top, and we nearly saw Lynn do the same with his patented cradle piledriver, but neither man was able to pull off those moves, with Daniels getting the win after an age of great action with his last rites finisher. Is this the last time we’ll see these two hook up in a TNA ring? I hope not.
Backstage, Borash chats with Team 3-D about their upcoming title match with LAX. They’re carrying ECW, WWF and WCW title belts. I wonder how those in Titan Towers feel about seeing some of their merchandise on a TNA show? Of course, the brothers promise to win the one title they’ve never won against the Latins. A few moments later, Letitia catches up with LAX. Konnan, seated in a wheelchair, does as his opponents did moments earlier, and promises victory.
The second title match of the evening follows, as the LAX team of Homicide and Hernandez defend their NWA World Tag-Team titles against Team 3-D in an electric steel cage match. We are reliably informed that ten thousand volts will be surging through the bars of the cage as the match takes place. Even the lights in the arena dim as the current goes into the bars. This one is little more than a fight, with both teams in the ring at the same time as they beat seven sorts of you know what out of each other. There’s the usual big spots from the big teams, with Hector Guerrero leaving his chair at the Spanish announcers table to stop Konnan from interfering. Both Devon and Homicide take the shocks when they are thrown into the cage, but miraculously recover mere moments later. In the case of Homicide it’s mere seconds later as he is Irish whipped across the ring into a 3-D as the former Dudleys win the titles. A passable match, but it was really hampered by the gimmick.
Backstage, Borash chats with Kurt Angle. Borash says that he turned to Jeff Jarrett out of desperation, which only serves to enrage Angle somewhat. Angle says he trusts Jarrett, but will deal with him if he turns on him.
Main event time, as Team Angle - Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Sting, Rhino and Jeff Jarrett take on Team Cage - Christian Cage, Scott Steiner, Tomko, A.J. Styles and Abyss, in the Lethal Lockdown match. TNA’s answer to the old War Games format proved to be something of a slobber knocker, with tons of great action throughout, and the drama provided by the will he-won’t he situation surrounding Jeff Jarrett. Some great performances from everyone involved. Styles did his usual stuff on top of the cage, brawling with Angle, who eventually pushed him off to the floor below, where he landed on those who were brawling outside near the announcer’s table. And to the surprise of many, we even got a Frankensteiner from old Big Poppa Pump. With a world title shot going to the man who got the pin, Jarrett clobbered Abyss with a guitar loaded with thumb tacks - but didn’t take the pin for himself, instead insisting that Sting take the pin and the title shot next month. Surprised by Jarrett’s action, Sting did as he was told, winning the match for Team Angle, and then shaking Jarrett’s hand afterwards.
In conclusion - despite what you might have read from certain “experts” on various other websites, TNA Lockdown wasn’t as bad as they made out. Okay, there were some duff moments in the show, but I actually quite enjoyed most of it, with Lynn/Daniels and the main event certainly delivering what they set out to do, and yours truly will certainly be watching what could be an interesting situation with regards to Jeff Jarrett.