TNA Lockdown Review March 9th 2014

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  • Welcome to TNA chaos! House show title changes; international title changes; Matches added to the card; Kurt deleted from the card. Now, I personally like this stuff. I like the idea of a wrestling organisaton as a big complicated travelling circus where anything can happen, on or off camera. The only thing I would change is the failure to capitalise on the Wrestle-1 collaboration. Muta is a big star, and his presence at the PPV should have been at least mentioned on previous Impacts; he’s definitely worth a few buys. The opening match involving him and Senada is excellent, but it would benefit from being incorporated into a wider story arc.
  • Sam Shaw’s new music is a complete rip off of “Nightcall” from Drive. It’s also brilliant, as is his entrance and the ensuing match. The Anderson / Shaw feud is a great pairing and needs to continue.
  • Gunner and Storm absolutely tear the house down. Heel Storm has a beautifully villainous new look and theme. I loved the super-delayed corner chair bump, the thrown chair and the chair superplex, the latter of which prompts duelling “TNA” and “Holy Shit” chants. This is a great fun, brutal match which fits the look and character of the participants perfectly.
  • What would women’s wrestling do without Gail Kim? From her backbreaker into submission combo to a nasty looking top-turnbuckle neckbreaker, she’s completely amazing here. Aside from a slightly underwhelming spear to finish, this is the best women’s match which has been on TNA or WWE TV so far this year.
  • I’ve got to get something off my chest about Samoa Joe: The guy is not going to win the TNA title right now. I’m not exactly Vince McMahon when it comes to fetishising wrestler’s physiques, but he’s working in a shirt, and that’s not acceptable for a champion.
  • I like that Borash clearly announces the rules for the title match. TNA need to get this basic stuff right more often. The wrestling portion of the match is slightly underwhelming, and to be perfectly honest the crowd are not really buying it. When the arm appears from the canvas, we enter a surreal parallel universe. “This is completely insane” says Taz. Agreed: Awesome and insane. However, the crowd are not happy, at all. I like these type of shenanigans, but I can appreciate the argument that this hokey stuff shouldn’t be polluting your title scene. It also raises questions as to whether Magnus and Joe are really the two guys you should have fighting over your world title right now. I think this was Magnus’ best singles match so far as champion. RIght now I’d say that on the mic he is delivering. In the ring, not so much.
  • We need to have a talk about the Lethal Lockdown format. It’s horrible. For a start, no explanation is given as to how the entry order is decided, so that’s a missed opportunity for some storyline right there. Also, there’s a section where you *can’t win*. Is it really any surprise that the crowd drop off a bit during a part of a match where nothing significant is even allowed to happen? Also, given that the heels always have the man advantage, inevitably the match devolves into a prelonged heel beatdown, which is, again, a known crowd killer. The middle section of this particular Lethal Lockdown is a slow motion montage of The Wolves & Bromans entering one by one, and is almost supernaturally boring. The obvious answer is to turn the whole thing into an elimination match of some kind. This would of course be quite similar to WWE’s Elimination Chamber. But so what? At least it would be entertaining.
  • That said, there are some great spots in this match. The cage dive is a nice debut for Willow, and I enjoy his shrieks. I Could do without the cartoonish “W” on his back. Then there’s a brainbuster onto a chair. You will *never* see that in WWE.

If you use terms like “overbooked” then you probably didn’t like this show. Personally, I enjoyed it very much. The crowd were only average, as seems to have become normal for Lockdown. I guess the all-steel-cage format becomes a little wearing. Nevertheless, this felt like a make or break show for TNA, and the stops were duly pulled. Whether you think every twist and turn was necessary, the end result was anything but dull. For me, tonight was a good example of how TNA can work as a more chaotic, slightly deranged alternative to WWE.

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