Saturday, 15 September 2007

TNA Lockdown 2006 on TWC - TV Review

Unlike other TNA pay-per-views, I’m always somewhat reticent about watching Lockdown. The concept that every bout is held within the confines of a steel cage seems lacking in imagination, but seeing as this is being shown free on The Wrestling Channel, I thought what the hell, and give the show a look!

We begin with six-man tag action, a pre-cursor to the upcoming World X Cup, with Team Japan - Minoru, Hiroki Gotu and Black Tiger against Team U.S.A., - Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. Everyone seems to forget about the fact that Dutt is announced as being from Bombay, India, a town that’s actually called Mumbai now, and isn’t actually in America. A very good opener here, with the New Japan guys, as well as Alex Shelley, impressing the hell out of me, with some excellent spots and three-way team work from both tandems, and a mis-communication of sorts leading to the American’s downfall, with Black Tiger pinning Lethal after a tiger suplex. The World X Cup looks like it’s going to be a great event.

We then go to our hosts, Mike Tenay and Don West, at the announcers table, as they run down the rest of the show, before Jeremy Borash interviews Team 3-D backstage, as they tell us how they’re going to take out Team Canada in the flag match. Brother Ray tells us he’d rather work for Vince than listen to Oh Canada! Larry Zbyszko then appears, wanting news on the big announcement.

On to singles action, as Christopher Daniels takes on the returning Low-Ki, who now goes under the name Senshi in TNA, although he’ll always be Low-Ki to me, and it looks like I’m not the only one who feels that way as the crowd chant “let’s go Low-Ki”. Once again, the former Triple X partners put on a great match, great spots and counter wrestling with Ki looking as stiff as ever. A bout that kept you guessing about who would win right up until the end, with Ki countering an angel’s wings attempt with a backdrop, getting the pin with his feet on the ropes. It’s great to see Low-Ki back in TNA again.

Backstage, Borash interviews Bob Armstrong and the James Gang about the upcoming arm wrestling match. Am I the only one that thinks that given the way nostalgia and pro wrestling go together, TNA are dropping the ball with the former New Age Outlaws?

We then get a music video package showing the rivalry between the James Gang and LAX, before Konnan takes on Bob Armstrong in the aforementioned arm wrestling bout. To cut a long story short, the old man won, and LAX got hit by the leather straps. I agree with what the crowd had to say about this one.

Backstage, J.B. interviews Jarrett’s Army about the Lethal Lockdown match. Zybyszko makes another appearance, still looking for information on the big announcement.

Then it’s the X Division escape match, with Elix Skipper, Petey Williams, Puma, Chase Stevens, Shark Boy and Chris Sabin. The rules for this one were simple - pins and submissions counted until the final two were left, then escape rules applied. The usual X Division stuff here, with highly impressive spots from the beginning, with Chase Stevens performing a dive from the top of the cage, almost missing everyone. The last two men, Sabin and Williams, renewed their rivalry, with Sabin getting the win in a most unorthodox fashion - as both men were on the outside of the cage, Coach D’Amore tried to stop Sabin, who then rammed Williams’ head into the cage, who then proceeded to drop onto D’Amore’s shoulders as Sabin dropped to the floor to get the win.

In a dark corner somewhere backstage, Borash interviews Abyss and James Mitchell about the upcoming title match with Christian Cage. Mitchell cuts a hell of a promo here, in truly sinister fashion.

On to the first title match of the evening, as Samoa Joe defends the X Division title against Sabu. The first time these two have faced each other, Sabu is sadly hampered by his broken arm, although the fact that he didn’t pull out of this match shows what a tough bastard he is. As good a match as this was, you can’t help but think how much better it would have been had Sabu been fully fit. Joe got the win here after the muscle buster. Hopefully these two will face each other again someday.

Backstage, Borash interviews Team Canada and Coach D’Amore about the flag match. Like Father Mitchell before him. D’Amore cuts a great promo, before Zybyszko makes another appearance looking for answers, as D’Amore really chews him out.

More six man action follows, as A-1, Bobby Roode and Eric Young of Team Canada face all three members of Team 3-D in the flag/anthem match thingy. It’s great to see LSD back in action. Some wild brawling in this one, but that’s to be expected with a match of this kind, with the former Dudleys having to grab the flag twice, because the ref was taking a snooze first time round. D’Amore then gets taken out before the crowd at the Impact zone sing their song.

Then the gorgeous Christy Hemme, still showing that she hasn’t switched to de-caff, comes into the arena and gives Tenay an envelope with the news of the special announcement - that there will be a new public face of TNA management. Zybyszko is then put on probation for his past actions, and Raven is then reinstated, much to Zybyszko’s annoyance. The man himself then appears, to chase the boss around the ring.

Borash then tries to interview Christian Cage about his upcoming title match with Abyss, but the champ ain’t talking.

Then it’s time for the first half of the main event, as Christian Cage defends his NWA title against the monster Abyss. A bout of great intensity sees both men brawl all around the arena, and it’s a while before they actually get into the cage. A match worthy of it’s lofty title status, with a great storyline, and some tremendous action from both men, including a Snuka-like splash from the top of the cage by Christian, and Abyss one again taking the big bump on the drawing pins - twice - including an Unprettier, face first onto the metal, which set up the title retaining victory for Cage. But that wasn’t the end of it as Abyss attacked Cage with his chain, trying to hang him before stealing the title belt.

Backstage, Borash interviews Sting’s Warriors, Ron Killings, A.J. Styles and Rhino, who give us the usual hyperbole about what they’re going to do to Jarrett’s Army.

Finally, it’s time for the Lethal Lockdown match, with Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and America’s Most Wanted against Sting, A.J. Styles, Rhino and Ron Killings. Bringing back memories of Wednesday Bloody Wednesday a couple of years ago, this bout seemed to be building up to the crazy bump that Styles took on the roof of the cage, as after he put James Storm on a table, Styles climbed a ladder and came crashing down on him. Imagine what could have happened to Styles and Storm if the roof had given way. It was also plainly obvious that Scott Steiner is clearly not ready, and probably never will be, for TNA. His performance was really poor, his selling was atrocious, and if anything he’s a lot worse now than he was during his last WWE run. But anyway, back to the match - tons of brawling and weapons shots, with the end coming after Sting reversed Chris Harris’ scorpion deathlock attempt with his own version of the hold to get the victory for his team.

In conclusion - take out the almost disastrous Styles/Storm stunt, all of Steiner’s performance, and the boring arm wrestling segment, then you’ve got a good pay-per-view here, a viable alternative to WWE right now, and I must admit that my initial trepidations about the cage gimmick were quickly laid to rest.

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