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TNA Lockdown 2006 PPV Review
Lockdown, a night of cage matches. Some say that a series of continuous cage matches will lessen the significance of the cage. Others speculate that cage will limit, rather than enhance the performances of the shows participants. Additionally, tonight may hold the payoff in the Abyss/Cage feud that has been brewing for weeks on Impact. Will the cage be a crown or crutch? Will Abyss/Cage end and an new storyline begin? Only time and the bookers know for sure.
The show opens up with the traditional fireworks display and we go right to the first match of the night.
Match 1 ? Team Japan (Minoru Tanaka, Hirooki Goto, & Black Tiger) vs. Team USA (Sonjay Dutt, Alex Shelley, and Jay Lethal)
This match started off with a fast pace which remained constant throughout the match. It was a typical X-Division style tag match, which featured some very good mat wrestling from the opening bell, as well as some nice tag team work. Everyone worked well together, and that combined with a series of false finishes built this match up to a very nice crescendo. Although this was a cage match, the cage was not used at all during the match, (I assume TNA wants to save that for later). The match ended when Black Tiger hit the Tiger Suplex on Lethal to get the three count. This was a very good match and a great way to start the show.
We are then taken backstage where Jeremy Borash first plugs the new TNA action figures, and then conducts a generic interview with Team 3D. Following the interview Larry Zbyszko asks Jeremy if he knows anything about the big announcement that TNA management will be making sometime during the PPV. As it turns out, Borash knows nothing about the announcement, and Larry has the first of what will be many disappointments of the night.
Match 2 Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki
This was billed as Daniels vs. a mystery opponent. The opponent turned out to be Daniels former compatriot Low Ki. This was a very good match that consisted of a fast pace wrestling/brawling style, with some stiff striking on the part of both men, as well as occasional use of the cage. It is a shame that Low Ki came into this match as a mystery opponent, because a lack of storyline was the only thing missing from this match. Had TNA done some video packages about the return of Low Ki and his history with Daniels this match would have had it all. That having been said, the match still felt significant even without a storyline to drive it. The finish came with a clever reversal of the Angle?s Wings, and a little help from the ropes, giving Low Ki the win. Up to this point the show is looking great and I can?t wait for more.
Next we go backstage with Jeremy Borash for an interview with the James Gang and Bullet Bob. We get another generic interview here, which only served to remind me of how tired I am of this feud. Are we really going to have a 60 year old man arm wrestle at a PPV?
Match 3 Bullet Bob Armstrong vs. Konnan (Arm Wrestling Loser Gets Strapped Match)
Yes, we are actually going to have Konnan wrestle a 60 year old man. The show had moving along wonderfully, and this segment brought everything to a screeching halt. Konnan and Bob have their arm wrestling match, and after about a minute of bad acting, Bob wins. What followed was a poor comedy skip in which each of the members of LAX get hit with a leather strap. I can?t believe this was done on a PPV, and placed where it was. The show had great momentum up to this point, and this segment killed it. Now we start all over again.
It?s backstage once more for Borash?s interview with Team Jarrett. Again we are given another generic ?Were going to win? promo, at the end of which Zbyszko comes in looking for information on ?The Big Announcement?, and again gets no answers.
Match 4 Elix Skipper vs. Petey Williams vs. Puma vs. Chase Stevens, vs. Shark Boy vs. Chris Sabin. (Escape Match)
During the introductions Skipper climbs the outside of the cage, jumps over the top of it and nails a perfect landing inside the ring. Sadly for Elix this was all the showboating he would be allowed in this match. The addition of Puma in this match again shows TNA?s propensity to put people in the ring we know little to nothing about. Again we should have been getting video packages about Puma in the weeks leading up to the PPV, as without this sort of introduction he just seems to be there as filler for the match. That complaint aside this was a good match. It flowed well, and eventually worked down to Williams vs. Sabin with a rather creative finish. However the highlight of the match was Stevens?s insane Shooting Star Press off of the top of the cage. The move was unbelievable, but unfortunately TNA would do things later in the show to diminish it. I won?t ruin the surprise by giving away the circumstances of the how the match was won, but Sabin got the victory with a nicely written and funny finish. The show is back on track at this point, but doesn?t have the momentum in had before.
Next we go backstage for JB?s interview with James Mitchell and Abyss. Mitchell gives a very good ?Harbinger of Doom? promo, once again proving that he?s worth every penny he?s paid.
Match 5 Sabu vs. Samoa Joe (X ? Division Championship Match)
I had been looking forward to this match for quite a while. The opportunity to see the contrasting styles of these two coming together had the makings for a great match. Unfortunately that was not the case. Instead of coming up with the sort of hybrid match I had expected, both men simply wrestled a generic style, occasionally mixing in some of their signature moves. On top of that, they didn?t even make much use of the cage, which I thought would be an interregnal part of the contest. Instead we got a mediocre match that didn?t show the best of either of them. In the end, Joe landed the MuscleBuster to win and retain his title.
Once again we go to Borash, this time for an interview with Team Canada. We get the standard speech form Scott D?Amore before Larry Z arrives on the scene. Watching this promo reminded me of how many times we have already seen the Team 3D vs. Team Canada in one form or another. I don?t know why we are seeing it again, and I?m not looking forward to this match. Larry tries to get some information out of D?Amore, but he learns nothing more about the impending announcement.
Match 6 Team Canada (A1, Bobby Roode, & Eric Young) vs. Team 3D (Capture The Flag/National Anthem Match)
Although I wasn?t looking forward to this one, I must admit that the majority of the match was very entertaining. The combination of frequent use of the cage, combined with the ?everyone in the ring at once? format made the paring of these two teams seem fresh. Unfortunately, towards the end of the match things slow down, the effect of the gimmick wears off, and the addition of an anticlimactic finish made me remember why I wasn?t looking forward to this match in the first place. The match ended with Runt acquiring the USA flag and thereby winning the match. The purpose of this match was to have the winner sing the national anthem off their country, but actually singing the song seemed to be an afterthought, as TNA cut away a commercial when the singing should have started, and when we got back to live action the announce team talked over the majority of the remainder of the song. Thing seem to be getting confused, and the PPV is slowly winding down.
In a surprise appearance, Christy Hemme comes out and delivers an envelope to Mike Tenay. The envelope contained TNA management?s major announcement, mainly that Larry Z has been put on probation and that Raven had been reinstated in TNA. This brought out both men, and led to Larry once again having Raven removed by security.
Next its backstage to JB for an interview with Christian Cage. Christian was not in a talkative mode, and simply left the set and headed for the ring.
Match 7 Christian Cage vs. Abyss
The idea behind this match was that Christian was seeking revenge for the unspeakable acts Abyss had committed in the past few weeks. That?s why I was so surprised that this was wrestled as just a run of the mill contest. With the exception of some brawling amongst the fans at the start of the match, nothing unusual took place. Although TNA went to great length to tell a story outside of the ring, they failed to carry that story into the ring. Christian did hit a frog splash from the top of the cage, (it was not a impressive as Chase Stevens?s Shooting Star Press, so I don?t know why they had Christian do it), but outside of that it was a typical outing for both Christian and Abyss. Christian won the match by hitting the Unprettier onto a pile of thumb tacks. After winning the match Cage returned to ringside to take a shot a James Mitchell but ended up being hung by Abyss?s chain, and having his belt stolen. This was another mediocre match whose ending did an excellent job of killing the crowd.
JB conducts the final interview of the show with Team Sting before go to the final match of the night.
Match 8 Jeff Jarrett, AMW, & Scott Steiner vs. Sting, A.J. Styles, Ron Killings, and Rhino (Lethal Lockdown)
The match started with A.J. squaring off with Chris Harris, followed by entrances by Storm, Rhino, Jarrett, Killings, Steiner, and Sting. This was a decent although slow paced contest that ended in a weapons match. Highlights included the patented TNA Tower of Doom, as well as A.J. dropping down from the lighting grid and landing on a table bound James Storm, (the two were fighting on the top of the cage at the time).
The match was won when Sting forced Harris to tap with the Scorpion Death Lock.
So there you have it TNA?s Lockdown. What started out as a very good show, slowly wound down into a mediocre presentation. The matches TNA spent the most time hyping were the least entertaining of the night, and the one they threw together stood out the most. TNA?s strength is still in it?s X-Division, if they just would accept that fact and place their faith in that talent they could have booked this show from weaker matches to stronger matches, instead of the other way around. Though tonight?s show was supposed to be ?all about the cage?, in fact it was ?all about the booking?. TNA chose to emphasize the wrong matches tonight, and as a result, the show suffered.
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