Written by: Colin Rinehart
April 15th, 2012
Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendance: Unknown at this time
Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411’s live TNA PPV coverage. Tonight we’ve got one of TNA’s biggest annual shows, Lockdown, with the big World title grudge match between Robert Roode and James Storm inside of a steel cage (as is every other match tonight). We’ve also got the annual Lethal Lockdown match, as well as Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle and a few other matches to round out the card, so let’s kick things off.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open up the show with some pre-taped footage of James Storm explaining how personal his match with Bobby Roode is tonight before taking off for the show earlier today. The hype package is totally Roode-Storm focused as well and is quite well done. Backstage Garrett Bischoff tries to convince his teammates to let him start off the Lethal Lockdown match tonight so he can earn their respect, and they agree.
Lethal Lockdown Match
Team Garrett Bischoff (Garrett Bischoff/AJ Styles/Austin Aries/Mr. Anderson/Rob Van Dam/) vs. Team Eric Bischoff (Eric Bischoff/Gunner/Bully Ray/Christopher Daniels/Kazarian)
Bit of an odd choice for an opener, but I’m down. Garrett starts us off with “Mr. Intensity” Gunner (that nickname has to be a rib, right?). Gunner tries for a powerslam to start but Garrett counters with a nice superkick. Garrett hits a dropkick from the second rope, but Gunner lariats him moments later. Gunner dominates Garrett until the countdown starts and Bully Ray is our next man out for Team Eric. Just as you’d expect the heels do an extended beatdown on Garrett until the next countdown, as the crowd begins chanting for Austin Aries and sure enough he’s our next man out. Aries is red hot to start, cleaning house on the heels with elbows before Ray catches him with a big boot. Aries counters with a nice missile dropkick on Ray as the buzzer counts down again and Kazarian is our next man out, sporting a freshly shaven head that renders him nearly unrecognizable. Kazarian shoots Garrett into a top-rope clothesline from Gunner in a neat double team maneuver as the heels have regained the advantage again with the numbers in their favor. Next out is AJ Styles to a big pop, and he slams the cage door in Kaz’s face on his way into the cage, where he nails Gunner with a pele kick. He nails Ray with a dropkick and then lays in some stiff chops to Gunner in the corner while Austin Aries hits a huge elbow on Bully Ray. Christopher Daniels is next out to return the advantage to the heels. Garrett gets launched into the cage like a freaking lawn dart by Bully Ray and man, he just got shot into that cage like a damn bullet, that’ was ugly. Ray takes turns handing out big double axe handles from the top rope on AJ and Aries. Anderson is our next man out.Kaz and Daniels double team their former friend Styles as our next man out is Eric Bischoff. In a wrestling match. In the year 2012. Eric goes right for his son, holding him up while all of the heels get their own cheap shots in on him, including a sick bicycle kick from Kaz. Finally our last entrant, Rob Van Dam, makes his way to the ring and takes out Daniels immediately with a lariat as the weapons begin to be lowered from the ceiling and now pins and submissions officially count. Everyone starts grabbing plunder from the ceiling, mostly garbage cans and hockey/kendo sticks and everyone starts nailing each other with weapons shots while Eric cowers in a corner hiding. AJ and Aries spot him and lay him out while Anderson snaps off a neckbreaker to Daniels. Anderson gives Ray the Green Bay Plunge while Kazarian fires off a huge kick on Styles in the corner. AJ and Kaz both start climbing the top of the cage like monkey bars, and AJ drops Kaz off drop the middle of the cage before dropping off himself with a sick elbow drop. As if that wasn’t enough, RVD follows up with the Five Star Frog Splash on Kaz. Everyone starts trading big moves from here with RVD kicking a chair into Ray’s face while Daniels delivers the Angel’s Wings to RVD. Garrett manages to cover Daniels but his father breaks the pin up with some singapore cane shots. Eric keeps nailing his son with the cane, but he starts celebrating prematurely and his son manages to grab a guitar from the ceiling and break the thing over Eric’s head, which is enough to get him the pin and give his team the win at 26:10. This was a strange Lethal Lockdown match, because honestly, the gimmick never really came much into play outside of a few weapons shots. Usually you expect a big spot to cap off one of these matches and really put over the brutality, but we didn’t get that here, though that may be because they’re saving those spots for later tonight. The match itself was technically pretty good, and well worked during the countdown process but this really didn’t capture the brutality and intensity you’d expect from the Lethal Lockdown match. ***
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Samoa Joe/Magnus © vs. Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin)
From this point on all matches can end by escaping the cage as well as pin or submission. It’s great to see the Guns finally back and 100% healthy, now hopefully they can get the singles pushes they deserve. Magnus and Shelley start us off with some nice rope-running sequences, trading waist-locks before Magnus nails a lariat. Joe and Sabin tag in and Sabin nails him with a big dropkick before tagging back out to Shelley. Joe tags Magnus back in and the Guns send Magnus back and forth with punches like a pinball. Shelley tries for the poetry in motion, but Magnus counters by catching Sabin and then giving him a huge fallaway slam right into Shelley. Joe tags back in and the heels are able to begin isolating Chris Sabin, cutting the ring in half and trading quick tags to one another while working Sabin over. Sabin manages to get a big tornado DDT on Joe while booting Magnus and he gets the hot tag to Shelley. Magnus blocks the Sliced Bread attempt from Shelley but he gets caught in the corner while Joe eats a superkick. He tries for the Sliced Bread again but Magnus blocks it and the heels try for a double suplex off the top rope, but Sabin power bombs Joe from the top rope instead! Shelley blasts Magnus face first into the cage, sending him flying off the cage and he follows up with a double-stomp from the top rope, but Joe manages to break up the pin attempt. The Guns hit a double suplex on Magnus for a two count. Joe grabs Sabin and puts him into the Coquina Clutch while Shelley hits Magnus with the Sliced Bread, but Joe breaks the pin attempt up, abandoning his submission attempt in the process. Magnus blocks another Sliced Bread attempt and hits a sick Michinoku Driver on Shelley. Joe is able to grab Sabin and give him the snapmare and Magnus hits the top rope elbow drop as the heels are able to retain off their signature double team move much to the crowd’s displeasure at 11:20. This was an outstanding tag team match from an in-ring perspective but my god this crowd just sat on their hands the entire match and there was just zero heat whatsoever to anything going on, which is a damn shame because all four of these guys busted their asses and I saw more out of Magnus and Joe in particular tonight than I have in months. It’s just a shame the crowd didn’t give a shit, because this was awesome. ***1/4
Backstage Jeremy Borash catches up with Robbie E and Robbie T so they can get some fist-pumping and other generic Jersey Shore references in.
TNA TV Title Match
Devon © vs. Robbie E.
God bless Bully Ray for reinventing himself as a singles competitor, but I’m sorry, it’s not going to work with Devon, especially not as TV champion. The ref has to tell Robbie T to leave the cage, allowing Robbie E to jump Devon from behind before the bell. Robbie E, former X-Division champion mind you, goes right for chinlock city as usual. When that doesn’t work he tries to climb to the top rope, but Devon crotches him. Devon sends him into the corner and then plants him on the mat with a spinebuster, which is apparently enough to put Robbie away at 3:25. After the match the heels beat down Devon to try and get their heat back, but it’s not like anyone has ever actually cared about Robbie. This basically just served to give Devon a clean title defense on PPV as if that proves he justifies his push. *
Backstage JB is with Matt Morgan, who informs us that tonight the ring is his prison and Crimson is going to be his red-headed bitch. When did they start hosting events in Oz?
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Gail Kim © vs. Velvet Sky
Taz takes a cheap-shot at Jerry Lawler before the match by dissing anyone who would wear a crown. Kim jumps Velvet at the bell but she manages to get a sunset flip for a quick two count. Gail tries choking Velvet in the corner but she fights back with chops and a pair of knees to the face. Gail tries to climb the cage but Velvet yanks her back down. Gail starts working over Velvet’s back on her knee and then she decides to switch it up into a dragon sleeper. Kim starts to become overconfident here, taunting Sky while she beats her down. She misses a spear into the corner and both ladies trade forearm smashes back on their feet. Sky hits a clothesline and a pair of elbows followed by a headscissors and a snapmare. Velvet dropkicks Gail and then hits a nice running bulldog. Gail tries to climb the cage again but Velvet meets her at the top and then delivers a sick sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope to Kim! Gail manages to grab the rope at the count of two, but that was a very nice bump from both ladies. Rayne and Sky start bickering while Gail tries to escape out the door, but instead Velvet rolls her up. Kim counters into a roll up of her own though and manages to get the pin to retain her title at 7:30. I think I can safely say this was the best singles match of Velvet Sky’s career thus far, she really showed marked improvement here compared to where she was even a year ago in the ring, and Kim is always game for a solid match. The sunset powerbomb was a great spot but the ending was a bit deflating and again the heat just wasn’t there, but this was good. **3/4
Ric Flair’s music hits next as we’re graced by the presence of the Nature Boy himself, fresh off of his Wrestlemania Hall of Fame appearance for the WWE. Ric gets right in the ring with a mic and starts poking fun at some fans in the front row, reminding us all just who he is. Ric says he could be anywhere tonight, but he’s in Nashville, because he’s pissed off, and he’s pissed off at Hulk Hogan. He notes how Eric Bischoff’s career is over now because his team lost the Lethal Lockdown match and insults another fan when he’s interrupted by the newly appointed GM of TNA, the Immortal one himself, Hulk Hogan. Hogan grabs a mic and says that Flair is the single greatest wrestler to ever live, which is a pretty surreal thing to hear considering their storied past relationship on and off camera. Hogan tells Flair to go ahead and air his grievances, so Flair tells him that he hasn’t liked him for 30 years, he doesn’t like how he treated Bischoff, and he doesn’t like how he’s running the company. Flair says he should have been in the Lockdown match tonight, not Bischoff, then threatens to kick his ass. Hogan responds by saying if they hooked up the roof would blow up. Hogan nails Flair with a big right hand and then takes off, leaving Flair to do his usual psychotic, tie-tearing, shirt-ripping temper tantrum. Oh dear lord in Heaven, PLEASE tell me they aren’t building to a Hogan/Flair match. In the eternal words of Jud Crandall, “sometimes dead is better”. Move on.
Crimson vs. Matt Morgan
I’ve been trying my best to keep up with TNA but I still can’t quite tell whether Crimson is supposed to be fully heel or not. These two tagged together and then split up, which is basically the exact same angle that Morgan did last year with Hernandez. Morgan dominates to start with a big knee on Crimson and calls for an early chokeslam, but Crimson blocks it and hits a chop-block on his knee. Crimson chokes Morgan over the second rope for a bit Morgan tries to mount a comeback but Crimson plants him with a big spinebuster. Morgan manages to fire off a lariat but collapses immediately afterwards. Back on his feet he hits Crimson with a boot and then slams him into the corner turnbuckle before folding him in half with a big back suplex. Both men try climbing the cage, where Crimson knocks Morgan off and Morgan get’s his leg caught in the ropes on his way down, trapping him like a wild animal. Crimson opts to just climb out over the top and escapes to the floor for the win at 7:59. A bit slow to start but this one picked up some steam as it went on and amounted to a decent enough power vs. power contest. Some nice moments but overall average stuff. **1/4
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle
Jeff Hardy comes out looking like Dr. Doom with his hood up and some metallic facepaint. Angle usually makes it a habit to try and commit suicide via crazy bumps every year at Lockdown but that’s sort of Jeff’s gig too, so I’m expecting this one to be brutal. Hardy takes the quick advantage at the bell with a dropkick and legdrop to Angle’s groin, but Angle responds in true heel fashion by raking his eyes. Angle did injure his knee a few weeks back though, so maybe he won’t go insane with the spots tonight. Hardy hits the big dropkick on Angle in the corner, but Angle counters by sending him face first into the steel cage. Angle grinds Hardy’s face against the cage like a cheese grater and Jeff has been busted open. Angle continues the punishment, slamming Hardy face first into the cage yet again. Hardy is able to catch his breath finally and manages to counter a rope running sequence into the Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Hardy headscissors Angle face-first into the cage and then hits him with the Twist of Fate. Hardy tries to scale the cage but Angle runs up to catch him and delivers the Angle Slam from the top rope to Hardy! Somehow Jeff is able to kick out of that though. Again Hardy tries to climb the cage but Angle grabs his foot so Jeff knocks him back to the mat and hits a Vader Bomb splash out of the corner for another near fall. Hardy tries to escape but Angle grabs him in the ankle lock, only for Hardy to counter into an ankle lock of his own. Angle breaks it up but Hardy nails him with the Twist of Fate again. He hits the Swanton Bomb from the top rope in one corner then hits another Swanton from the opposite corner, but still Angle kicks out! Angle hits the Angle Slam, but of course Hardy kicks out of that too so he takes the straps down. He tries for another slam, but instead Hardy hits him his own Angle Slam and then takes off his shirt and begins to scale the cage. Swanton Bomb from the top of the cage on Angle! And you bet your ass that’s enough to give Jeff the pin at 14:52. Just as good as last month’s match, but distinctly different as this was more of a battle of attrition than a pure wrestling contest like the month prior. Not as good as some of Angle’s Lockdown matches in year’s past, but still great stuff and the final spot from Hardy was typically nasty. ***3/4
TNA Knockout Tag Team Title Match
ODB/Eric Young © vs. Sarita/Rosita
Well hey, as good a choice as any for a filler match before the main event. Total comedy stuff here as you’d expect, and really, there’s nothing wrong with that for this spot in the card. The heels do a bit of dancing while working over ODB in their corner. Sarita and Rosita start showing off their goods to Eric in the corner to tell him what he’s missing out on, but that’s ODB’s man don’t ya know so she just takes a shot of whiskey and cleans house on the heels before finishing off Rosita with a Death Valley Driver at 4:17. Just some quick comedy stuff to give everyone a chance to catch their breath before the main event. 1/2*
Backstage Bobby Roode tells Jeremy Borash that tonight he’s going to prove he always has been and always will be better than James Storm. Tonight just isn’t a wrestling match to Bobby, it’s a FIGHT. Some nice fire from Bobby before the main event.
TNA World Title Match
Robert Roode © vs. James Storm
For once TNA has done a good job of building up a feud since Bound For Glory, as everything since then has been leading to this match here. Roode takes forever on his entrance so Storm just grabs him and they start brawling outside the ring. Storm slams him face first into the steel steps and then spits some beer into Bobby’s eyes. Storm hits an elbow on Roode off the commentary table. Roode tries to mount some kind of offense but gets sent into the steel guardrail instead. Storm grabs a chair but Roode avoids it and slams Storm into the cage. He grabs one of Storm’s beers and takes a sip while Storm blades himself off-camera. Finally Roode rolls a bloody Storm into the ring and we get our opening bell after about five minutes of brawling. Roode dominates Storm from here, building up crowd heat for the comeback. Storm fires off some right hands, teasing the comeback, but again Roode takes him down. Roode starts grating Storm’s bloody head over the cage and the boos reign down while Bobby trash talks him in the corner. Finally Storm catches his second wind and takes over, manhandling Roode in the corner with big stomps and kicks. He gives Roode a back body drop and then sets up for the Eye of the Storm, but the champ slips out and avoids it. Storm catapults him into the cage instead. Storm hits a lungblower for a two count and starts grating Roode’s face into the cage again. Roode counters by locking him into a nasty crossface submission. Eventually Storm breaks that up and both men climb to the top rope. They jockey for position until Roode manages to boost himself up on Storm’s body and get halfway over the top of the cage. He nearly climbs over to the other side but Storm grabs him by his hair and pulls him back in and we’re back to square one with both men trading shots on the top rope. Storm slams Roode’s face into the cage a few times and finally shoves him off. Storm opts to stay in the cage instead of escape, and gets met with a beer bottle to the face from Roode for his decision, but still Storm kicks out. Back on his feet Storm hits the superkick on Roode out of nowhere. Storm sets up for another superkick and hits it, but it sends Roode flying out of the cage door and onto the floor, giving Roode the escape win at 19:01. And the crowd completely deflates as chants of “Bullshit!” ring out. This was exactly what Roode said it would be—a fight, and a bloody and brutal one at that. Everything was building nicely and this reminded me of an old school NWA cage match to end a blood feud, but then you have Roode retain the title belt by another fluke win? Seriously? Are they really going to drag this feud out until Bound for Glory now or something? I mean common sense tells you the good guy goes over here, but when has TNA ever used any of that stuff? Solid match with a puzzling finish, but a bit underwhelming all things considered. ***3/4
After the match Storm spits on Roode before embracing his wife, in disbelief over his luck again.
Bottom Line: Lockdown is usually one of TNA’s best shows of the year and this year was no different from a match quality perspective—there were solid matches all up and down this card from the opener to the tag title match, the Hardy/Angle contest, and the main event even down to the Knockout’s match, which was far better than I was expecting. But man oh man did this crowd just absolutely suck, I would have figured a Nashville crowd would be hot for this show of all shows but they basically sat on their hands the entire night while crickets chirped on in the background, the only thing that got them out of their seats the entire night was Hardy’s Swanton off the cage. Put this show in front of a crowd that doesn’t suck and this would have been a much better show, but as it remains it’s just simply a solid one. Thumbs Up for TNA Lockdown 2012.