Allergic to Alcohol TNA Impact Recap 02/06/15: Lethal Lockdown, AKA the Free PPV

So tonight is Lethal Lockdown, which should be a PPV. It would seem though that TNA isn’t doing PPV’s anymore, possibly due to lower profits and the switching of tv channels. Then again, doing their usual PPV’s free on tv could potentially increase their viewership, drawing in new viewers curious about the big shows.

So we’re taped from the Hammerstein Ballroom/Manhattan Centre in New York City, and the concept for those unfamiliar with TNA is that EVERY match tonight takes place inside the Six Sides of Steel cage.

Tag Titles; The Revolution (Champs) vs The Hardys

We get right into it tonight as the Hardyz are introduced for the opening match, which is the TNA Tag Team Title match they earned three weeks ago by beating the Wolves. The Diet Wyatts Revolution are out next, and the Hardyz wisely jump Storm and Abyss the moment they set foot in the cage, before any of their cronies can do the same to them.

Hardyz spend four minutes hitting all their spots and all but squashing Storm and Abyss, until Manik, (man I miss the Suicide outfit. It looked SO much more badass than this weirdass Aldo Montoya’s Blue Period get-up they stuck him in when they changed his name to appease concerned parents who feared their kids would commit suicide because a b grade wrestler in a cool costume pointed his fingers at his own brain), climbs into the cage to try and interfere. The Hardys were prepared for this possibility however, as Jeff produces handcuffs from his dungeon party the night before and he and Matt cuff Manik to the cage and neuter him.

This however gives Storm and Abyss recovery time and the control swings to the Diet Wyatts as they pummel the Hardys with power moves. Eventually it starts going back and forth, until Koya, the huge brick wall from India, pulls Matt through one of the camera holes in the cage. I assumed this would be a weird fuck-up finish since Matt had technically escaped the cage and both feet hit the floor, but Jealous of JR on commentary informs us viewers that since Matt;

  1. Did not climb over the top
  2. Did not go through the door, and,
  3. Did not leave the cage voluntarily of his own volition

Then this isn’t an automatic win and the match continues as Koya and The Great Sonata, (allegedly the Great Muta’s nephew, who apparently thinks a romantic musical composition makes for an intimidating ring name), beat Matt down. Meanwhile Jeff, realizing he’s alone, kicks Storm and Abyss a couple times to wind them, then goes to climb the cage. But Muta Junior takes after his uncle and spits green mist into Jeff’s eyes, allowing James Storm to get the pin.

The Diet Wyatts aren’t satisfied with simply winning though, and so bring a couple tables out. Koya puts Matt through one on the outside, and Storm brings the other into the ring. He and Abyss set up the table then Abyss frees Aldo Maniktoya by simply breaking the handcuff chain with his bare hands.

They lay Hardy across the table and tell Manik to splash him, but Jeff moves and Manik breaks the table alone. Then Jeff beats down on Abyss and Storm, and starts climbing the cage to get to Sonata, who gladly climbs up to meet him, only to get boot to da face. Hardy telegraphs a little by losing his balance for a second while positioning himself for the spot coming next, but it looks so legit painful it can be forgiven, as Abyss makes Jeff can himself on the top of the cage door, allowing Storm to climb to the top and nail him with a cowbell on a noose, and Jeff repeats his “unintentional Swanton off the door back first onto bare steel steps” spot that was seen in the highlight reel used last week to promote this event. That’s a 7 foot fall back first onto unpadded steel.

Let no one ever forget that Jeff Hardy takes sick bumps. The crowd chants TNA as Jeff lays there completely dead, and staff come out to check on them and Storm randomly kicks Matt Hardy like a villain kicks a puppy. Jeff is still barely moving as they go backstage to MVP giving the BDC a pep talk about beating Team Angle later tonight.

They again replay that sick cage fall spot and I’m bordering on marking because I can’t NOT wince in horror every time they show the way he bounced off the steel. It looked like he may have hit his head and/or neck. We’re told he didn’t need a stretcher but was helped out by attendants.

The BDC is now in the Ring as MVP shows everyone why WWE shitcanned him with a boring generic paint-by-numbers promo about how badass the BDC are. He calls out Kurt Angle while taking potshots at New York to get cheap heat, saying he has a proposal for Kurt. Angle’s music hits and out he comes, with Gunnar and Austin Aeries in tow.

MVP keeps bringing up Jeff’s sick fall spot as if the BDC were somehow responsible for it to sell the danger of the cage. He starts blathering about how Aeries and Gunnar should back out of the match for the good of their careers, then gloats that Kurt’s knees is basically McGyvered together and Kurt should back out of the match if he wants to keep his knee intact. Cowardly Bragging Heel 101.

Kurt and his crew laugh at this and jump them, but the numbers soon overwhelm Kurt and crew, and Gunnar gets beaten down by Low-Ki and Joe, causing the announcers to question if he can go for the actual match later.

Promo for Havok/Kong later tonight and, (TMI Alert), oh god I think I’m a little wet just thinking about it.

In the back the staff Doctor says Gunnar can’t wrestle tonight because his shoulder is fucked but Gunnar insists he’ll not only go, but he’ll start the match.

Match 2; Havok vs Awesome Kong

(Fair Warning; I WILL fangirl like a little bitch throughout this match unless they seriously botch it somehow, so don’t expect the most nuanced recap for this part).

Havok is out first, then Kong, and the crowd is already fired up to high hell as Havok jumps back out of the cage to try and rush Kong. Kong of course is all like “Child please” and gives Havok a brutally stiff looking meathook clothesline knocking her hard down onto the steel ramp. Kong bitchslaps her a few times then leads her to the cage. Kong goes to ram her head into the steps, but Havok reverses and slams Kong’s head down hard. The crowd is already chanting “This is Awesome” seeing how stiff and brutal these two are clearly planning to work in this match, and they’re not even in the bloody cage yet.

Havok leads Kong around the outside, ramming her headfirst nto the cage twice and screaming, and the ref just goes “ehn, fuck it” and rings the bell to start the match officially, apparently having decided that as long as they make it into the cage at SOME point he’s done his job and he’s getting the fuck out of Dodge before he gets lynched.

The crowd chants something as Havok pulls up the floor padding, but Josh is so damned loud on commentary I can’t make it out no matter how many times I run it back. Havok bearhugs Kong in an attempt to slam her to the partially exposed concrete that’s mostly covered by a bad hotel rug, and gets a small ECW chant for some reason, but Kong boxes her ears and Havok lets go. Kong throws Havok into the railing, then, as they reach full circle around the cage, headfirst into the door, as the crowd starts chanting “BETTER THAN DIVAS!” at them.

Tazz proves he needs hearing aids as he claims the crowd is chanting “Earl’s a Diva” at the ref. Josh then immediately ruins Tazz’s sad attempt to cover up the crowd’s mentioning of the competition by reminding us all that Kong brought “her own vision of karma to WWE”. (Oddly this s the SECOND time tonight Josh has mentioned his old job, having cited how many times the Hardys were WWE tag champs).

The ladies are finally in the cage and Kong casually throws Havok around like she’d touched her cornrows. Which, to be fair, she did. The two are now forehead to forehead psyching each other up, and trade shots so stiff you can see bits of skin flying. Havok knocks Kong off her feet with a stiff kick, and whips her nto the corner. They go back and forth with brutal shots, and then they start trading bloody chokeslams like it ain’t no thang. Kong climbs the ropes but Havok climbs them too to interrupt with kicks to the face. Kong takes three but catches the fourth kick and pulls Havok down. Kong climbs the ropes again and hits a second rope splash, and gets the win. Kong celebrates and I want more. That was too bloody short and there needs to be more of it. There are guys on the roster in TNA AND the ‘E who aren’t that brutal and fun to watch.

Video package recapping the feud between Bobby Roode and Eric Young and again I have to give their new production crew props for improving so dramatically, because their video packages are about on par with WWE now. It was short, to the point, and got across the story nicely.

We now get a backstage footage bit from two weeks ago that didn’t air then, showing what happened after Robbie E conned his way out of getting fired by pointing out that a woman not even technically in the bloody match pulled the Fired briefcase instead of him. Velvet cries on Angelina Love’s shoulder while Love smiles evilly behind her back, clearly for some reason pleased to be losing her tag partner of 8 years.

Quick segue to Lashley arriving and staff informing him that Angle is looking for him, to which he replies he’s not hard to find.

Match 3; “Showtime” Eric Young vs “The It Factor” Bobby Roode

Both men have promised to make the other bleed tonight, so I expect some ugly blading. Or wait, wasn’t that outlawed in New York? Or was that New Jersey?

EY is out first, followed by Roode, and Josh informs us this is not an “escape the cage” match; it can ONLY be won by submission or pinfall. The boys trade blows, clotheslines and slams into the cage, as the crowd chants “we want bluh-udd!”. Stay classy New York.

They keep a good pace going as they keep trading blows, no one keeping the upper hand for long. Then EY signals for MVP, who comes out and slides a chair through one of the camera holes for him. Josh shows he’s way more genre savvy than Tazz by suggesting that MAYBE it would be wise to, you know, NOT have huge ass holes all around the cage for the cameras.

Roode dodges a chairshot attempt by EY and takes control of the match, slingshotting EY headfirst into the cage, and the camera abruptly zooms in on Roode, and seriously could they possibly be any MORE obvious that they’re hiding EY tossing the blade he used while Roode was prepping the slingshot? ANYONE who knows how wrestlers generally blade saw EY do it, so of course when the camera finally goes back to EY he’s already dripping a Crimson Mask. Roode does everything he can to EY’s face to increase the blood flow, and EY ends up dripping.

EY briefly gets control back, but Roode stops it cold and beats on Young some more. Finally he starts screaming “you are not my brother” at EY, then gives him what looks like an AA onto a chair. 3 count ensues and Roode wins. There was some blood from some painfully obvious blading, but otherwise it was kinda just okay. Nothing to write home about.

Kurt Angle finds Lashley backstage and all but begs him to wake up and help himself by helping Kurt take out the BDC. Lashley still gives Kurt absolutely zero fucks to work with.

Match 4; Lockdown Handicap Match, Rockstar Spud & Mandrews vs Tyrus

They go straight to introductions. The Brits are out first, followed by EC3 accompanying Not Brodus, and the Brits valiantly try to jump him before he gets in the cage.

It goes about as well as you’d expect, as Tyrus takes his sweet time dismantling Spandrews as Josh is now calling the Brit boys. Tyrus toys with them til they rally, but of course the rally is short lived as he quickly regains control. THAT is shortlived as Spud uses his thighs to smother Tyrus until he gets dizzy, then climbs the cage in the corner, kicking Tyrus in the head to prevent being yoinked back down and reaches the cage top, but instead of, you know, winning the match by dropping to the outside, he pulls a Daniel Bryan and lands a suicide plancha from the top of the cage in a really awesome spot.

EC3 goads Mandrews into chasing him outside and then suckers him. He pulls Mandrews’ feet out from under him, and Mandrews’ head hits the step awkwardly. He goads Spud into making the same mistake, and slams Spud’s head with the cage door, giving a recovered Tyrus time to hit his weak finisher to win the match.

EC3 goes to shave Spud’s head, but Jeremy Borash at ringside cuts the power cord before he can, and we end this bit on EC3 chasing Borash. A brief refresher on the BDC/Team Angle thing is followed by a passionate angry Bobby Roode post match promo.

We seque to a weird segment where they play the audio from a never aired promo where Robbie E challenged Brooke to an obstacle course around the ring/arena, while showing clips FROM that race, which Brooke won. Okay then.

Match 5; Lethal Lockdown, the Beat Down Clan vs Team Angle

Jeremy Borash apparently escaped EC3 successfully, because he’s here to introduce the match. But first he explains rules. The match starts Royal rumble style, with one random person from each team starting the match, then every two minutes another guy joins in at random, alternating between teams. Once everyone has entered, only pinfalls or submissions will get a win. There are also various weapons attached to the cage, including trash can lids, a kendo stick, a stell pipe and a goddamned hockey stick.

Kenny King and Gunnar are first. They get into beating on each other pretty quickly. King immediately starts working Gunnar’s taped arm, but Gunnar powers through and kicks his ass pretty good. Low-Ki comes out next, and at first Gunnar puts the boots to him to keep him from getting any shots in, but King gets back up and now Gunnar is on the foul end of a 2 on 1 advantage. He again rallies back a couple times, but King and Ki overwhelm him, until next man out is Aeries, who bolts in like a bat out of hell and cleans house. Jesus fuck Aeries is moving so goddamn fast even Low-Ki feels like an old man in comparison. Aeries hits move after move on both men, then he and Gunnar hit a modified Doomsday Device on King using a trash can lid. Aeries then uses the lid for an utterly vicious looking elbow drop on King whilst Gunnar beats on Ki.

Then Borash counts down again and it’s Samoa Joe, who desperately needs new ring attire because he looks like he’s wearing a cloth diaper in those ridiculous-ass flowy shorts. Joe IMMEDIATELY reverses the momentum back to the BDC, stiffing Gunnar and Aeries like they owe him money. Joe destroys Aeries with weapons while King and Ki stomp on on Gunnar. Borash counts down and it’s Kurt Angle, who briskly jogs out, and gets met with a hockey stick to the gut from Joe. Kurt dodges a second shot and Germans him, then badly botches a spot with King and it’s kinda sad to watch. Kurt has officially crossed into Hogan Land.

Everyone pairs off now, and Low-Ki hits an ugly top rope double stompo to Aeries’ ribcage. King is stomping on Angle, whilst Gunnar is choking Joe out in a modified Camel Clutch using a kendo stick. King breaks that up with a trash can lid to Gunnar’s head, and Borash starts counting down to MVP as the last entrant for the BDC left to come down, while the announce team points out that there’s no one left on Angle’s team to come out next, which pretty much guarantees Lashley will come out after all, because not having your world champion compete at your monthly special event would just be a crazy idea. *COUGHLesnarCOUGH*

So the BDC are in control as MVP comes in, and he attacks Aeries with a weapon, but starts to pose and brag and Angle Germans him for it. Everyone brawls for a minute until Joe runs out of what few fucks he had left and just starts caning everyone on Team Angle viciously. MVP keeps his promised threat from earlier and holds Kurt’s leg out so Joe can start hammering his knee with the Kendo stick, trying to cripple him. Personally I’d go for the neck. We all know Kurt’s neck is held together by fishing line and blind luck.

MVP trashtalks the crowd while the BDC dismantle everyone, and without a countdown Lashley’s music hits. He fakes making peace with MVP and they shake hands, then Lashley tosses him like a ragdoll, and takes out the whole BDC, until King clips his ankle and MVP nails him. The BDC beat on him for awhile while MVP screams how he “made” Lashley, and I’m sure Lashley’s parents would disagree. Then Team Angle rallies back, and it goes back and forth for a minute until Angle reverses a Muscle Buster and locks Joe in the Ankle Lock, Aeries gets Low-Ki locked into his submission move which Tazz calls “the Last Chancery” and dear Goddess please tell me that’s no what Aeries actually calls it. Gunnar gets King in a Luger-esque Torture Rack submission, and Lashley spears MVP for the win.

The faces raise their hands and the heels crawl out the door like beaten dogs, and the show closes with a quick “Next week on Impact” promo.

I’m hesitant to say this out loud, because I don’t want to jinx it, but it seems like TNA is FINALLY getting it’s shit together and bouncing back after the years of damage Hogan and Bischoff did to the company. With a few exceptions (like the Diet Wyatts), they’ve stopped trying to ape the ‘E. Each week there’s more and more goodness and less and less tripe. And as far as PPV-like shows go, this one was actually better than most of the past year’s WWE events. Honestly only Wrestlemania XXX and NXT Takeover R-Evolution were better, Lockddown was a better overall show than everything else. TNA is legt winning back my trust and interest after years of squandering it to pander to Hogan’s ego. If I gave ratings I’d give the show 4 stars, and I’d definitely recommend you tracking it down and giving it a watch. You can do that here;

Seriously, I came into doing these recaps with low expectations expecting to find lots of shit to mock relentlessly. And there WAS shit to be mocked the first couple of weeks. But the shit that was actually GOOD counterbalanced it, and each week the balance has been steadily tipping in favour of the good shit, with less and less of the stupid shit. Whoever is running the booking crew right know knows their shit and has the company back on track, and the show is improving every single week. While it’s not as good as NXT is every week, I’d dare to say it’s overall been a better show the past few weeks than most Raws.

My honest advice; If you hate TNA, give it a chance with fresh eyes. If you loved TNA, you can be proud to say so again. And if you’re, like I was, just someone who had lost all interest in the product because it was fucking up left and right and failing to be a good show? It’s getting it’s shit together nicely and it’s worth a second chance.

See you all Tuesday for Penny Candy. And go watch this show!

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