Written by: Jake Ziegler from InsidePulse
Family Arena – St. Joseph, Missouri
The opening video focuses on tonight’s main event, the Lethal Lockdown match featuring Team Angle against Team Cage. Mike Tenay and Don West run down the card. Then we go backstage for an interview with Black Machismo Jay Lethal.
MATCH #1: TNA X-Division Title Xscape Match – Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Shark Boy vs. Sonjay Dutt
Sabin has been the champion since 1.14.07 and this is his third defense. Dutt starts it off with the champion. They go back and forth with some high flying moves, and Dutt grounds Sabin with an armbar. He quickens the pace and hits a big DDT for two. Sabin comes back and goes for a superplex, but Boy tags himself in and hits Sabin with a sunset bomb, causing both Sabin and Dutt to crash into the mat. Boy covers Sabin for two. He beats on the champion some more, so Sabin tags out to Shelley. Boy dominates Shelley too for some reason. He hits a rana off the second rope and a missile dropkick for two. Sabin comes back in to help Shelley but they still can’t overcome Shark Boy of all people. Boy goes for the Dead Sea Drop but Shelley counters it to a Scorpion Death Drop. Shelley and Sabin go up top and hit a splash/legdrop combination at the same time and Shelley pins Shark Boy for the first elimination at 5:43. Lethal comes in with a double axe handle off the top rope on Shelley. He hits the hiptoss/dropkick combination for two. He goes up top and Sabin grabs his ankle to thwart him. Shelley goes up top and hits a super jawbreaker. Sabin hits Dutt with a surprise dropkick and the not-yet Motor City Machineguns are standing tall. They continue working together to keep Lethal and Dutt subdued. Finally Lethal finds a way to get himself tagged in and he unloads with right hands on the X-Division Champion. The Guns fight back with some sweet double-teaming on Lethal but they can’t put him away. Dutt tags back in and he takes care of both Shelley and Sabin with high risk moves. He hits Shelley with a shining wizard and a moonsault press for two. Shelley comes back with a Stone Cold Stunner and then locks on the Border City Stretch. Dutt escapes and puts on the Camel Clutch. Meanwhile Lethal and Sabin are reading submission holds as well. The match breaks down and Sabin catches Dutt in the Cradle Shock to eliminate him at 13:31. This is almost like a handicap match now. Lethal hits Sabin with the Lethal Combination and then hits it on Shelley as well. He goes up top and hits Shelley with the Macho Elbow to eliminate him at 14:33. Now the winner will be the first man who escapes the cage. Lethal blasts Sabin with a superkick and starts climbing. Sabin joins him in the climb and they battle on top of the cage. They take the fight to the side of the cage, and Sabin is able to drop first to get the win at 15:51. That was smart to get Shark Boy out early and let this one run as mostly a tag team match.
MATCH #2: Petey Williams vs. Robert Roode
The feud here is Robert Roode versus Eric Young, but since Roode signed a contract with Robert Roode Inc. he can’t fight, so Petey Williams fights his battles for him. Williams starts off hot, hitting a nice rana. He hits a Codebreaker for two. He executes Oh Canada, much to Ms. Brooks’ chagrin. Roode comes back by lifting Williams into the air and dropping him on the top rope. The Wall Street guy takes over on offense now, keeping Williams on the mat. Roode blasts Williams with a lariat for two. A backdrop suplex also gets two. Williams finally fights up with a flurry of offense. Roode cuts him right off with a uranage slam for two. Brooks tries to give Roode a hockey stick, but Young prevents it from happening. Williams fires up again but can’t put Roode away. Roode comes back with a spinebuster for two, and then turns his attention to Young and Books on the floor. That gives Williams the chance for a schoolboy rollup for two and a tornado DDT for another near-fall. Young throws Brooks to the floor and hands Williams the hockey stick. Williams hits Roode with it twice before referee Earl Hebner throws it to the floor. You know, it’s either a no-DQ match or it isn’t, make up your mind beforehand rather than enforcing rules at arbitrary times. They trade moves back and forth and Williams hurls Roode face-first into the cage. Williams signals for the Canadian Destroyer but Roode counters it and slams him into the turnbuckle. Roode follows up with the Payoff to get the pin at 10:14. That was decent but the stuff with the hockey stick was annoyingly inconsistent.
MATCH #3: Ladies Cage Match – Gail Kim vs. Ms. Jackie Moore
The match starts up in the aisle and the ladies Kim knocks Moore down the entrance ramp and then slams her into the table, and the bell rings for some reason. They’re not in the cage yet! Moore comes back and throws Kim into Tenay’s arms at the commentator’s table. She dumps water on Kim’s head. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to achieve. Kim fires up and Moore tries to use SoCal Val as a shield. They make their way into the cage and Kim hits a headscissors and a dropkick. Moore comes back with a stun gun. She hits a release German Suplex. Then she goes up top and Kim pulls her right back down. Kim goes up top and gets a sunset flip and Moore counters by dropping to her knees for two, and then Kim counters back to the sunset flip but Moore kicks out before even a one-count can be registered. Moore fights back with a clothesline, the hair mare, and a big boot to the back. Kim fights back with a flurry of offense. She bodyslams Moore and goes up top for a shotgun dropkick for two. Now Kim tries to escape out the door but Moore won’t let her. They trade some elbows and Kim pulls the door back into her face. Kim goes to walk out the door but then changes her mind and climbs to the top of the cage to deliver a high cross body to get the pin at 7:15. Gail had a pretty solid run in TNA and this is a pretty good representation of that run.
MATCH #4: Austin Starr vs. Senshi, with Special Referee Mr. Backlund
There are few things in life I enjoy as much as Bob Backlund promos. They start off with some chain wrestling and both wrestlers deliver clean breaks in the corner. Starr takes his chance to punch Senshi right in the face. Senshi fights back with chops, a bodyslam, and an elbow drop for a quick two-count. He hits more chops in the corner and Backlund tries to break it up. Once again Starr takes a cheap shot, poking Senshi in the eyes. Starr goes to work now, raking the back and hitting a back suplex for two. He hits a gutbuster and an STO, and then the Pendulum Elbow for two. He then goes for the Crossface Chicken Wing and Senshi fights it off. Senshi goes for Tidal Wave but Starr blocks it and hits a powerbomb for two. Starr then locks on a half Boston Crab and Senshi is able to reach the ropes. Senshi fights back with a flying forearm, a kick to the gut, and the hook kick to the head. This time Senshi hits the Tidal Wave. Starr comes charging and Senshi backdrops him into the cage. Senshi follows up with a rolling Koppo Kick for two. He hits a couple of kicks but Starr catches one and suplexes him for a two-count. Starr goes for the brainbuster but Senshi avoids it, only to get hit with the IED. He puts his feet on the ropes during the cover and Backlund sees it so he won’t count three! Starr argues with him, giving Senshi the chance to hit the running shotgun dropkick. Senshi goes up top for the Warrior’s Way but Starr throws Backlund into the ropes to knock him down. Starr goes up and hits the 450 Splash but Senshi kicks out at two! Once again Starr argues with the referee and Backlund shoves him right into a victory roll by Senshi and that’s enough for the pin at 9:59. As a match on its own it was pretty good, but I don’t think the Starr versus Backlund feud ever really paid off or went anywhere.
MATCH #5: Blindfold Match – Chris Harris vs. James Storm
These two have a lot to live up to trying to follow Jake Roberts versus Rick Martel. They wander around a bit trying to find each other. Finally they bump into each other but somehow manage to each miss a big haymaker punch. The crowd chants “we want wrestling” as we cross the three-minute mark with no contact made yet. Harris finds Storm and Storm scurries away as the crowd is getting quite restless. Now Harris gets the crowd into it Jake Roberts style (pointing) and gets a series of punches before Storm scurries away again. Storm swings wildly and makes no contact, and when Harris clocks him with a left hand the hood comes flying off and the referee has to re-apply it. The crowd starts a very audible “boring” chant. Storm hits a bodyslam but misses an elbow drop. His hood comes flying off again. I can’t believe they’re continuing on with this charade. Storm finds Harris and hits him with the Swinging Noose. He goes for another one but Harris counters it into the Tower of London for two. They take the fight up to the top rope and Storm loses his hood again, but Harris hits him with a Spear anyway. Both men make it back to their feet and this time Harris loses the hood. Harris hits the Uncle Slam for two. He accidentally grabs Rudy Charles and traps him in the Sharpshooter. Storm takes the opportunity to take his mask off and hit the Superkick to get the pin at 9:53. This was absolutely brutal and they really should have made sure the masks wouldn’t come flying off every minute.
MATCH #6: Jerry Lynn vs. Christopher Daniels
Lynn starts out hot, punching and kicking Daniels in the corners. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. He follows up with a Thesz Press and the punches. Lynn hits a back body drop and delivers a headscissors to send Daniels between the ropes and the cage. He hits a dropkick from that position. Daniels comes back by snapping Lynn’s neck off the top rope. He knees Lynn in the back, sending him crashing into the cage. Now Daniels goes to work, keeping Lynn on the mat with extra viciousness (according to Don West). Lynn comes back with a victory roll for two and a headscissors. Daniels cuts him off with a dropkick. He takes a cameraman’s cord and chokes Lynn with it. An Asai Moonsault gets two. Daniels goes for a super rana but Lynn slips out and hits a sunset bomb. Lynn goes on an offensive flurry and throws Daniels into the cage. He follows up with mounted punches in the corner and then a rana for two. Lynn hits a float over DDT for two. Daniels comes back with a backdrop right into the cage. He hits the STO for two. They trade punches now and Daniels counters the Cradle Piledriver with a uranage slam. Daniels tries the BME but Lynn avoids it. Lynn hits the TKO for two. They take the fight up to the top rope and Daniels is able to hit a super Flatliner. Amazingly Lynn kicks out at two. Lynn comes back with the Air Raid Crash for two. They go back up top again and Daniels is able to sweep Lynn’s legs, crotching him on the top rope. Daniels follows up with the Last Rites to get the pin at 13:22. I like the idea of getting Daniels over as a heel, but as with most Lynn matches it was full of moves and pointless hope spots and nothing felt like it meant anything. The moves were well done though.
MATCH #7: NWA World Tag Team Championship Electrified Cage Match – Homicide & Hernandez vs. Team 3D
Homicide & Hernandez have been the champions since 10.22.06, and this is their seventh defense. Team 3D have held the World, WWE, ECW, and WCW Tag Team Championships, but never the NWA Tag Team Titles. Conspicuous by his absence is Konnan. The challengers attack the champions right away and it’s a big brawl to start. Brother Ray and Brother Devon control the first several minutes. LAX comes back with some dirty tactics. Both teams are trying to use the electrified cage to their advantage. Devon is the first one busted open, thanks to a chain used by Hernandez. They do some more brawling and the crowd is surprisingly quiet. Funny out of context Don West quote: “You gotta be careful about what you reach around and grab.” Konnan gets wheeled out to ringside, and the guy who wheeled him out there takes out the outside referee, drawing the ire of TNA Spanish Commentator Hector Guerrero. He stops Konnan from doing whatever he was going to do, and opens the cage door himself so that he can give Brother Ray a table. He further interferes, slamming the cage door on Hernandez’s head. That gets a two-count, and LAX is soon in control again. Hernandez Border Tosses Devon into the cage and the lights flicker a little bit. The crowd is NOT impressed. The dreaded “Fire Russo” chant rears its ugly head. Team 3D hits the Doomsday Device on Homicide but he kicks out at two. Hernandez sets Devon up on a table and puts on his gloves so that he can climb to the top of the cage. It took him so long to get up there though that Devon moves off the table and Hernandez crashes through it. Devon throws Homicide into the cage and he gets electrified, and then Team 3D blows their own finish before actually hitting the 3D to get the pin at 15:37. That was just bad. The house lights were off, for reasons I don’t know. The lights would flicker when someone got thrown into the cage, which is the only effect produced. It was just a bad idea from the get go I think.
MATCH #8: Lethal Lockdown – Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Rhino, Jeff Jarrett & Sting vs. Christian Cage, Abyss, Tomko, Scott Steiner & AJ Styles
The first entrant is representing Team Christian Cage, and it’s AJ Styles. Number one for Team Angle is the team captain himself Kurt Angle. These two will battle for five minutes, and then the intervals go down to two minutes. They take it to the mat and Angle gains the first sustained advantage. Apparently Team Angle won the right to have the man advantage, but Jim Cornette reversed that decision. They don’t say why, and I don’t remember. The person who scores the fall in this match will get a title match at next month’s Sacrifice. Angle charges at Styles in the corner, but Styles moves and Angle’s head crashes into the cage. Oh, Don West explains that Cornette reversed the decision because Jarrett used the guitar in the finish of the match, so that makes sense. Styles is wearing Angle down, until Angle hits an Olympic Slam out of nowhere. The next entrant is Abyss, which is smart strategy for Team Cage. Naturally this doesn’t go so well for Angle. They beat on Angle for a while, and Rhino comes out to even the odds. He takes out Styles and Abyss, and gives Angle time to recuperate. Rhino catapults Styles into the cage. Tomko comes out to once again give Team Cage the advantage. AJ Styles is busted open. Rhino is bleeding as well. Team Cage is in control, using their man advantage to keep Rhino and Angle down. Samoa Joe comes out even the odds and shit is on now. He goes after everyone, and I start to wonder how awesome a Joe versus Abyss one-on-one match on pay-per-view would be. Joe takes out everyone and hits Styles with the STJoe. He follows up with the Muscle Buster, but pins don’t count until all 10 men are out. Angle hits the rolling Germans on Tomko. Scott Steiner is next out for Team Cage, and they’ve got the advantage again. He starts throwing suplexes this way and that. He even hits a huge Frankensteiner off the top rope on Rhino and gets a monster pop for it. Sting comes out to once again even the sides. He throws out a series of clotheslines and hits the Scorpion Death Drop on Abyss. He then starts throwing out Stinger Splashes. They do one of those big Tower of Doom spots that don’t make any sense. Sting puts the Scorpion Deathlock on Steiner, which Tenay abbreviates to “The Scorpion.” I just hate him so much.
The NWA World Champion Christian Cage comes out and is quickly dominated by Sting. Jeff Jarrett is the tenth and final entrant. The ceiling comes down and the match can now be won. He unloads a series of dropkicks and hits the Stroke on Styles. Everyone seems energized by the ceiling coming down and it’s a big brawl. Team Angle gets to the weapons first and they make good use of them. Styles tries to use a bat on Angle, but he counters it and hits a German Suplex. Styles escapes with a low blow, and then goes back to the ceiling, just like he did the year before. Angle decides to follow him up. Jim Mitchell gives Abyss two bags of thumbtacks. Harley Race wouldn’t tolerate that if he were there. Thankfully, Harley Race IS there, so he punches Mitchell out. Back in the ring, Rhino hits a tremendous Gore on Tomko up against the door, and Tomko goes crashing to the floor. Styles and Angel are battling in dangerous territory. Steiner knocks Rhino to the floor and he follows him out. Joe comes through the ropes with a suicide dive on Tomko. Abyss spreads out the tacks, but Jarrett and Sting chokeslam Cage on them. Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam on Jarrett. Back to the roof, Angle punches Styles right off the roof, and Styles falls on everyone on the floor. I love that spot because the setup wasn’t at all contrived. Now Abyss fills up a guitar with tacks and wants Jarrett to hit Sting with it, for some reason. Instead he smashes it over Abyss’s head. Jarrett gives the pin to Sting at 28:05, since he wants Sting to have the title shot. That was easily the best Lethal Lockdown match to date. The booking was sound, the action was non-stop, and the finish was unique.
BONUS MATCH: Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Christy Hemme’s Team
VKM are accompanied by Lance Hoyt. Christy Hemme’s team is Serotonin, with Kaz and Havok taking the wrestling duties while Martyr hangs out with Hemme at ringside. Kip James and Kaz start for their teams. Kaz shows off some of his agility, but then he runs right into an Ace Crusher for a one-count. BG James tags in and hits a low dropkick for two. Havok comes in the ring and Kip hurls him into the cage. BG hits the jabs on Kaz, but Havok comes from behind and they lift a kendo stick into BG’s groin to take him down. Kaz hits a dropkick for two. He goes for a guillotine legdrop but misses. Tags are made and Kip is a house afire. Kip throws Kaz’s head through the cage wall, and then goes for the Fame-Ass-Er. Havok avoids that but can’t avoid the One and Only and that gets the pin at 3:41. That was perfectly acceptable preshow fare.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.