We’re talking wrestling again here, so if you hate the stuff, you know what to do.
I thought Lockdown was a pretty good show over all, but most of TNA’s pay-per-views are, so that’s not surprising. A lot of people like to crap on the all cage match concept and I can understand why to a point, but after it worked last year I thought they might settle down a little. NO such luck, which also isn’t all that surprising, but a man can dream, right?
Anyway, here are a few random thoughts on the show.
*The Team Japan vs. Team USA opener was a solid, fast-paced match that got the night off to a fine start. The crowd was into it from beginning to end, which made things even better. that crowd was great actually, since they were pretty loud for just about everything all night long. I doubt that the World X Cup will draw TNA a lot of new viewers, but if this match is any indication of what the rest of the tournament will be like, it’ll definitely entertain the ones they already have and maybe even hook a few people who are on the fence about watching the product on a regular basis.
*I love the fact that they’re playing up Sonjay Dutt’s Indian heritage, but I seem to be in the minority there. My take on it is that if they didn’t mention it, they would catch heat for ignoring it, but since they are, it’s something that makes him easy for guys to heel on which gives the fans a reason to get behind him, which could add some extra heat to the X Cup.
*Calling Low-Ki Senshi is going to take some getting used to, but I’ll work on it. For now, I can’t say I’m thrilled with the change, but I understand why they had to do it…at least I think I do. Just in case anybody cares, Low-Ki didn’t want to sign the rights to his name over to TNA which is probably a wise move, so they gave him a new one that they could market whenever he wrestles there. And in case anybody is curious about what Senshi could possibly mean, I’ve heard that it translates into something along the lines of Japanese Warrior. I don’t speak Japanese though, so it could just be that people are fucking with me. If anybody knows for sure, toss me an email or leave a comment.
But whether you want to call him Senshi or Low-Ki, he had a fine match with Christopher Daniels. Again, not at all surprising, which is becoming a theme for this post. the thing I’ve always liked about Senshi is that even though he’s not a big man by any means, the things he does in the ring look like they have a very good chance of causing immediate death, which is a great thing to have going for you anyway but especially when you don’t have size to use to your advantage when it comes to getting noticed in the business.
*Watching Bullet Bob Armstrong do is pre-match interview, it hit me again not only how great he is, but how many guys can’t even come close to being that good today. I’m not saying that nobody can work the mic anymore, all I’m saying is that the ability to cut a quick and simple promo without being scripted to the word is becoming more and more of a lost art these days, and that’s sad. If you think I’m wrong, watch guys like Bullet Bob, Ric Flair, Bobby Heenan or Jim Cornette and then watch a lot of what’s out there now and count the number of guys who are relying on a couple of catchphrases to get over. There’s nothing wrong with catchphrases, but when they’re all you have, there’s definitely a problem.
*Speaking of the Bullet, the arm wrestling deal between him and konnan was as good as it could have possibly been, and I hope that this storyline can end now that the good guys have won and even gotten further revenge by strapping the hell out of Konnan and company. This is another one of those angles that’s gone on for far too long, and the crowd chanting boring while they should have theoretically been going insane with joy will hopefully make this fact obvious to the booking team.
*I enjoyed the 6-man X-Division Xcape match for the most part. The only thing that didn’t really work for me was watching Chase Stevens damn near kill himself by landing on his face after missing a shooting star press from the top of the cage. How he managed to not get caught and pull this thing off safely when there were 4 guys waiting in the ring I have no earthly idea, but he did it. I suppose his chances may have been somewhat better had the guys down below not tried to get out of the way for some reason, but whatever. At least he didn’t break his neck again, that’s the main thing.
I know that some people didn’t like the finish of this match, but I didn’t mind it. Maybe it should drive me nuts that they did something as silly as having Petey Williams land on Scott D’Amore’s shoulders instead of the floor when he fell from the cage so that Sabin would end up winning when he hit the ground first, but sometimes things like that just work, and for me, this was one of those times.
*On just about any other day, I’d have to call the Samoa Joe vs. Sabu match a bit of a disappointment, but considering that Sabu had a legit broken arm, there’s no way I could possibly do that and still be considered sane. There wasn’t a whole lot to this match, but it still accomplished what it needed to accomplish. Joe got another big win, and he got it over Sabu, which is a fairly big deal.
*I absolutely hated the Capture the Flag match or whatever the hell they were calling it. Everybody was working hard and there was lots of action, but for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, it felt like this thing was about 7 years long. If I have to blame something, I guess it would be the finish, but I wasn’t happy long before that point. Let’s talk about the finish anyway though since it was so unbelieveably stupid. The Ref got knocked out, Team 3-D captured the flag to win the match, their music started, people cheered, and then everything stopped. You see, it wasn’t officially a win since the man in charge didn’t see them take the flag. Realizing this, those dastardly men from Team Canada took the flag and put it back so that it would appear to the referee when he woke up that none of this had ever happened. All of that I’m absolutely fine with. What I’m not fine with is what happened next. the match continued, and it eventually ended up with Team 3-D winning anyway, which makes the whole ref bump utterly pointless. Ref bumps for the sake of ref bumps are a bad idea, because they make ref bumps that are supposed to mean something mean nothing when they need to.
Another thing that drove me nuts was that they didn’t show a huge part of the big victory celebration. The whole crowd was singing the American anthem while the announcers just talked over it hyping up other things, completely missing what could have been a pretty good moment.
*Larry Zbyzsko is ridiculously entertaining, and I hope he ends up staying on TV as a character in some form even though it looks like he’s being written out. His spots interrupting all of the backstage interview segments trying to figure out what management’s big announcement was were great, and his reactions when he finally found out and when Raven came out were fantastic. He’s certainly one of those people that some of the younger guys could learn a thing or 2 from if they watched what he does and when and how he does it.
*I’m not sure what to make of Christy Hemme signing with the company. I’m glad she’s got a job, but I’m not sure how much she can do since they’ve already got plenty of women on the roster with nothing going on. They could start a women’s division I guess, but considering that they’ve only got an hour of major tV to work with each week and they’re having trouble pacing things as it is, that’s probably not a good idea.
*Christian and Abyss had a great match, possibly Christian’s best since he’s been here, and definitely his best since he became champion. The only semi-negative thing I can say about this match is that they should think about laying off the thumbtacks. Abyss seems to use them in every PpV match he has, and kind of like ref bumps for no reason, when things like that are done too much, they lose that special oh my God feel that they should have. but that being said, they worked just fine here, and the extra bag of tacks was a nice touch and really helped put things over the top. I’m glad to see this feud continuing if it means that there’s potential for another match as good as this one.
*I should probably mention before I move on that Jim Mitchell cuts one fine promo.
*The Lethal Lockdown main event was quite good, and if it will be remembered for anything, my guess is that it will be for AJ Styles dropping from the ceiling of the building and putting Chris Harris through a table on top of the roof of the cage. It was probably safer than it seemed, but it was another one of those things where I was surprised A that somebody would be crazy enough to try it, and B that neither man was seriously injured or worse as a result.
*I figure that we haven’t seen the end of the Sting Jarrett feud since even though he was on the losing team Jarrett wasn’t the one Sting beat to win the match in the end. I’m sure we’ll end up getting a Sting vs. Jarrett 1-on-1 match somewhere down the line, and I’m ok with that as long as we only have to see it once before both guys move into some new storylines.
As usual, feel free to let me know what you thought of the show. We like interaction around here, it’s fun. And if any of you saw Backlash, which is probably just finishing up as I type this, what did you think? I’ll be watching it in the next few days and hopefully I can get something up before the weekend when I head out of town. If I don’t, oh well, but I’ll try.