Written by: Colin Rinehart
April 17th, 2011
US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Tonight’s a big night for TNA, as for once a PPV has had a decent build to it and on paper this looks to be one of the stronger TNA PPVs in quite a few months. Tonight Sting defends the TNA World title in a triple threat match against Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson, while Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle square off in a 2/3 Falls match in the steel cage in what has to be the most anticipated match of the night. We’ve also got the annual Lethal Lockdown as well as a few other matches, so let’s jump right into the show.
We get your usual opening promo focusing on all kinds of scary things like cages, blood, and fire. This entire opening promo seems to revolve around blood. We get it TNA, you let your guys blade, WWE doesn’t. Now stop blading every damn week on TV and it might actually mean something when someone does it on PPV.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
TNA X Division Title Number One Contender’s Xscape Match
Chris Sabin vs. Robbie E vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Max Buck vs. Amazing Red vs. Jay Lethal vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Suicide
Elimination rules here to start by pinfall or submission until it gets down to the final two, when it becomes an Xscape the cage match. What’s with using X’s instead of an “ES”? What is this, a mid 90s hip-hop album? The role of Suicide will be played by Okada tonight I do believe. Tag rules apply here, which should help keep the match from being a clusterfuck. The heels team up on Suicide to start. Lethal and Jeremy Buck trade armdrags and Lethal delivers a pair of backbreakers. Robbie E delivers an STO variation to Suicide and the masked man is the first eliminated at 2:47. Sabin and Lethal double-team Robbie for a bit, slamming him into the cage. Lethal and Sabin do a PHENOMENAL exchange of counter flips and armdrags that gets a nice pop from the crowd. Red tags in blocks a handspring back elbow attempt from Lethal. Red hits the Canadian Destroyer and Lethal is gone at 4:56 Red leaps off the ropes to Sabin but eats a nasty Michinoku Driver and a huge lariat and Red is gone at 5:54. Max Buck and Sabin square off and Buck hits a big springboard ace crusher to surprisingly eliminate Sabin at 7:22. Kendrick hops in and blocks a moonsault attempt from Max with his knees, and Jeremy tags in so it’s brother vs. brother. Jeremy slams Max into the cage a few times and then hits a sick roundhouse kick right to Max’s temple. Max rolls up Jeremy though and Jeremy is gone at 9:47. Max and Robbie, being the heels, team up on Kendrick now, launching him into the cage like a lawn dart. Kendrick fights back for a bit and then nails both men with a series of stiff kicks, the last of which is enough for Kendrick to eliminate Robbie E (thank God) at 11:30. It’s down to Max Buck and Brian Kendrick as now the only way to win is to escape the cage. Kendrick tries running out quickly but gets taken down. Max Buck goes for a big powerbomb into the turnbuckle, but he sort of botches it and Kendrick misses the turnbuckle completely, slamming his head into the bottom of the mat in a nasty spot. Both men jockey for position back on top of the cage until Max sends the ref into the ropes, knocking Kendrick down and giving Max enough time to climb out for the win at 13:34. Decent enough opener, but for an X-Division opener you expect alot more excitement than what this match brought. There was a decent flow to the thing, and Max winning is a good thing because of the X-Division’s desperate need for heels, but this was a bit disappointing considering who was in there. **¾
Eric Bischoff comes out to the ring to cut a promo and rile up the crowd a bit. Camera scans over the crowd and this truly is one of the biggest crowds TNA has ever had, somewhere in the 6000 person range from preliminary reports, which looks great here and really makes this seem like a big show. I’ve never been a fan of promos on PPV though, so this didn’t do much for me. Doesn’t do much for the crowd either as they really should be alot more fired up by this point then they are, and Bischoff sure as shit isn’t going to help them.
Backstage Christy Hemme catches up with Scott Steiner and Crimson. Steiner lets us know he’s going to kick some ass tonight. Whatever you say Big Booty Daddy.
TNA Tag Team Title #1 Contender’s Four-way Match
Shannon Moore/Jesse Neal vs. Doug Williams/Brutus Magnus vs. Eric Young/Orlando Jordan vs. Scott Steiner/Crimson
Eric Young and Orlando Jordan on PPV makes me a very sad panda. Tag rules apply here. Eric Young tries escaping the cage to start, but it’s pinfall and submission only. One lonely guy in the crowd chants “Super Eric!” while all of his friends pretend they don’t know him. Jesse Neal and EY trade a ton of armdrags to start, too many armdrags quite frankly. Moore tags in and hits a spinning headscissors on Young before slapping on an armbar. Crowd is pretty dead here and they have been for the first 30 minutes of this show so far, not a great sign. The British Invasion trade quick tags and work over Neal with lariats and elbows. The crowd is getting restless now, chanting for Steiner. Neal fights off the British Invasion and gets the tag to Crimson, who lays in some big knees and a neckbreaker on Magnus for a two count. Steiner finally tags in and cleans house on the British Invasion with back body drops and belly-to-belly suplexes. Eric Young flies off the top rope right into another belly-to-belly from Steiner. Double-underhook suplex off the top from Steiner on Magnus, which Taz incorrectly calls a “belly to belly suplex”. Moore tags Steiner for some heat, but half of the people in the ring aren’t legal anyways right now so nobody really cares. Quebrada from Moore gets a two on Young but OJ breaks it up with a nasty reverse DDT variation that might just be the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen Jordan do in his entire career. Match totally breaks down from here with everyone coming in and hitting their big moves on each-other with no regard for tags. Young climbs out of the cage like a goof while Moore totally botches his springboard neckbreaker finisher (called the “Mooregasm”, which is a candidate for stupidest finisher name ever) but somehow that’s still enough for Ink Inc to get the win at 8:53. This was just a total mess of a match that honestly did not belong on PPV in the first place. Total Impact match here, and there was no regards for the tag rules and a few ugly botches. Not pretty. *
Backstage Madison Rayne tells off Christy Hemme and Tara, as her match with Mickie is next.
TNA Knockouts Title Hair vs. Title Match
Madison Rayne © vs. Mickie James
It’s the feud that never ends, hopefully ending tonight. Rayne has really improved on the mic but unfortunately she’s just so godawful in the ring that all of this great hype for this match is going to be for nothing most likely. She does have awesome theme music though. Mickie is BRUTAL to start, just flinging Madison into the steel cage a few times in a very hard fashion. Big DDT from Mickie despite the injured shoulder, and yep, that’s enough for the pin at 0:36. Well, atleast this feud is FINALLY over now. You’d think you would give more offense to Madison though considering she’s squashed pretty much the entire Knockouts roster aside from Mickie on Impact over the last few months, so Mickie squashing her in 30 seconds just makes the ENTIRE division look like complete and utter shit besides her. Whatever, no one really cares do they? DUD
Backstage Christy Hemme interviews Matt Morgan before his match with Hernandez.
Samoa Joe vs. Pope D’Angelo Dinero
Let’s see if these two can pick up the slack from that mediocre first hour. Pope tries to climb out to start but Joe drags him down and lays in some right hands. Pope taunts the crowd and gets a mudhole stomped in him for his troubles. Nice spinning enziguri kick from Joe in the corner. Pope lays in open-palm slaps to Joe’s stomach, which can’t be very good strategy because all he’s hitting is fat. Pope tries to climb the cage again but gets knocked off. Joe gives him the facewash boots in the corner but Pope throws the ref in the way before the final blow. Chinlock from Pope, that’ll get the crowd fired up. As if God is mocking me, the crowd actually does start to rally behind Joe, who then locks in a chinlock of his own. Pope fights it off and hits a lariat for a two count. Snap powerslam from Joe. Slapfest ensues and Joe hits an inverted atomic drop and a back senton for a near fall. Big leg lariat off the second rope from Joe for another near fall, which is damn impressive for a man Joe’s size. Joe hits the Muscle Buster and goes for the pin, but Pope gets his foot on the rope at two. Pope gets his trunks pulled down a bit, because goodness knows what this match needs is obviously homoerotic comedy! Big elbow drop off the top only gets a ONE count on Joe though as Joe is fired up now. Codebreaker from Pope gets another close two count. Joe catches Pope and just slams him into the cage and then gives him a second Muscle Buster before locking in the Coquina Clutch and submitting Pope at 10:20. Now this is more like it, pretty good match between these two and probably the best they’ve had together yet. It could have definitely used a few more minutes, but this was a fine way to (hopefully) blow off this feud. **¾
Backstage Mexican America or whatever their silly name is bickers in Spanish with Christy Hemme. I guess this is your pre-match interview for Hernandez’s match with Morgan.
Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
Hopefully this will be better than that atrocious First Blood match they had last month. Just to remind us of how silly this whole feud is, the pre-match video package shows footage of heel Morgan last year breaking Hernandez’ neck and insulting him. Well that certainly makes me want to cheer for him! Total brawl to start with nothing but punches and kicks. Anarquia holds Morgan’s foot through one of the holes in the cage designed for the cameras and Hernandez splashes him into the cage. Hernandez locks on the dreaded NERVE HOLD! Uh oh, this is getting serious guys, can you FEEL the hatred?! Hernandez chokes Morgan with his towel for a bit and I’m not sure Morgan has gotten a single offensive move in here since the opening bell. We get out 347th wide shot of the arena, just to remind us yet again that there’s actually a decent crowd here for a TNA show for once. Literally as soon as I type that, they go to ANOTHER wide shot roughly 5 seconds later. Wow, we get it guys, you got a good turnout tonight. Morgan hits a clothesline and he starts to either fire himself or he’s in the midst of some serious constipation, I really can’t tell from the look on Matt’s face. Morgan tosses Hernandez into the cage a few times while the rest of Mexican America bickers on the outside. Back suplex from Morgan gets a two count. Holy shit, a WRESTLING move in a wrestling match? Who would of thunk it? “USA” chant starts up, even though Hernandez is from Texas. Hernandez comes off the top rope and eats the Carbon Footprint to give Morgan the win at 8:14. Well, it was better than their DUD last month, but only just barely. Hopefully this feud is over now and these two can move on to something, ANYTHING else. ¼*
After the match Sarita and Rosita get in the ring and cut a typical anti-USA heel promo, getting some decent heat. God damn Sarita is fine, I must say. I do like me some fiery Latinas. Velvet Sky makes the run-in though and all is right in Amerikah!
2/3 Falls “Ultra-Male Rules” Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle
First Fall: Submission Only
Here we go, now THIS is the match that most of us have been waiting for. Angle stole the show last year at Lockdown with his incredible match against Mr. Anderson, so let’s see if he can top last year’s efforts tonight (doubtful). Huge pop for Angle, biggest of the night by far. Karen is ejected before the match starts, thankfully. Side headlock from Angle to start, and he follows it up with a snap suplex. Jarrett goes for the Figure Four early but Angle quickly gets to the ropes. Beautiful T-Bone suplex from Angle and he tries for the ankle lock, but Jeff fights it off. Jarrett tries a headlock but he gets locked into the ankle lock again, and again he fights it off. Enziguri from Jarrett and he applies the juji gatame armbar, but Angle counters back into the ankle lock and Jarrett taps out to give Angle the first fall at 4:54.
Second Fall: Pinfall Only
Jarrett is limping now from the ankle lock. Angle rolls through a cross-body block off the top and gets a near fall. The ref starts the count while both men are on the mat, again forgetting the stipulations of the match. Pace picks up here with some quick clotheslines and a big overhead belly-to-belly from Kurt for another near fall. Angle hits a pair of German suplexes but Jeff breaks up the third one. Angle avoids the Stroke and delivers the Angle Slam to Jarrett, but Jeff gets the shoulder up just barely at the count of two. Angle nearly botches the overhead belly to belly throw off the top, but quickly regains his composure and hits it for another near fall. Nasty ace crusher from Angle, but again Jarrett kicks out at two. Tenay tries to claim it’s a new move, which is baffling considering all the years that he spent in WCW, commentating DDP matches. Jarrett rolls up Angle and hooks the tights for the pinfall and the second fall at 11:29.
Third Fall: Escape the Cage
Lot of confusion as to whether Jarrett actually got the pin or not. Doesn’t help that it takes Borash forever to announce the second fall is over. Jarrett takes the upper hand here, catapulting Angle right into the cage, but Angle quickly comes back and hits the hat trick of Germans this time. He goes to walk out the front door, but thinks better of it and decides to come back for some more punishment for Jarrett, dropping the key into his trunks. Angle scrapes Jarrett’s head across the cage and Jeff is busted open now. Both men climb to the top of the cage and Jarrett gives Angle a powerbomb off the top rope, where Angle lands NASTILY on his neck. That looked almost botched and Taz practically screamed, obviously legitimately concerned with Angle. That was a VICIOUS bump. Jarrett goes to climb to the top of the cage, but Angle runs up and gives him the Angle Slam off the top rope! Angle goes to climb out now (did you lose the key amongst your ball sweat?) but Gunner from Immortal runs out with a steel chair, holding Angle off from dropping down to the floor. Angle, being fucking insane, decides to relive last year and delivers the HUGE MOONSAULT OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE! Just as crazy of a bump as the moonsault he did last year, and you knew he was going to bust that out at some point. Suddenly Scott Steiner runs down to ringside and runs off Gunner, which is awfully nice of him. Angle finds the key now apparently and unlocks the front door to walk out, but Karen Jarrett runs down to ringside and sprays something into Kurt’s eyes. Nothing I hate more than run-ins in a blow-off feud-ending cage match. Kurt, being blinded, clotheslines the referee. Uh oh, I smell a fishy ending coming. Jarrett tries to crawl out, but Kurt grabs him by the ankle and locks in the ankle lock! Karen slides a guitar into the ring though and Jeff smashes it over Kurt’s head! Jeff takes far too long to try and escape though, and by the time he tries Angle locks on the Ankle lock again. Karen smashes the steel cage door into Angle’s face though, and Jarrett crawls out to win the third fall and the match at 22:37. Well, that certainly wasn’t the finish anyone was expecting. This was thought to be the blow-off match in the feud so you’d think Angle would triumphantly win, but I guess not. It was obvious they were trying to replicate the Angle-Anderson match from last year’s show, and they did borrow one of the big spots from that match, but it was well executed and by far the best thing on this show so far. Questionable ending aside, this was a great match. ****
TNA World Title Match
Sting © vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam
Strange that this would go on before the Lethal Lockdown match, but I’m guessing that means we’re going to end the show on some crazy spot in that match. Anderson talks trash to both RVD and Sting to start and gets knocked around a bit between the two. Seriously, HOW IS THIS GUY SUPPOSED TO BE A FACE? This is pure heel shtick here. Sting goes for the Scorpion Death Lock but RVD breaks it up with a roundhouse kick. Standing moonsault gets a quick near fall for Van Dam. Anderson goes for the Mic Check on Sting but it’s blocked. Sting manages to apply the Scorpion Death Lock to BOTH RVD and Anderson at the same time, which is quite the nifty visual and something I don’t think I’ve ever seen out of the Stinger. This match is already longer than the Victory Road main event by the way. Not to be outdone, Anderson gives both Sting and RVD a double Mic Check, but he can’t get the three count on either man. RVD hits the Five Star on Anderson, but Sting breaks the cover up before it even begins. Suddenly Immortal’s music hits and Hulk Hogan walks down to ringside with the most clearly gimmicked steel pipe I’ve ever seen. Hogan even stupidly bangs it against the stairs to “show how real it is” and it barely makes a sound. He hands the pipe through one of the camera holes in the cage to RVD. Oh great, the heel turn everyone was expecting is about to happen for someone. RVD acts like he’s going to use the pipe but just throws it away defiantly (or stupidly), so Anderson grabs the pipe and takes out RVD, saying to Hogan “That wasn’t for you, it was for me!”. Sting hits him with the Scorpion Death Lock though and gets the anti-climactic pin to retain at 7:57. I know Sting is limited with what he can do, but you couldn’t have cut out that useless 8 man tag earlier in the show to add a few minutes to this? There was some decent stuff in here with some unique three-man variations on finishers, but Hogan coming out accomplished absolutely nothing, especially since no one took his help and turned. Just another case of Hogan stealing the spotlight from the actual workers for no particular reason whatsoever. **
Lethal Lockdown Match
Christopher Daniels/Kazarian/Robert Roode/James Storm vs. Ric Flair/Matt Hardy/Abyss/Bully Ray
This has been a bit of a mess of a show apart from the 2/3 falls match, so hopefully this will cap the night off in a positive manner. All the fans are expecting here is a fun hardcore match, so let’s see if they can deliver it. I’ll go ahead and make a pre-match prediction that Daniels will do some insane spot to finish the match. Kaz and Abyss start us off. Kaz avoids an early choke slam attempt but eats a big boot instead. Big hurricanrana from Kaz and he dropkicks Abyss into the cage. Matt Hardy is the next man in, but he eats a series of kicks and a springboard legdrop from Kaz immediately. He goes for the Omori Driver but Hardy escapes and locks his new guillotine submission finisher (called the “Ice Pick”) onto Kaz while Abyss stomps away at his back. Side Effect from Matt and Kaz is just dead here. Daniels is the next man in and he cleans house on Immortal. Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever and stomps away on Abyss, looking fired up in his return to TNA PPV. Next man in is the Nature Boy, and the countdown to his inevitable bladejob begins. He slaps away at Daniels in the corner and then cheap shots him with a low blow. Hardy hits a nice bulldog on Daniels while Flair and Abyss double-team Kaz, mocking Beer Money on the outside while they do it. James Storm is the next man in and he spits beer into the face of Abyss and then gives him a Codebreaker. He hits a lung-blower on Hardy and then smashes his beer bottle over the head of Ric Flair! And the Ric Flair bladejob countdown is over, ending somewhere along 2-3 minutes after he entered the match. Perhaps a new record? Storm goes to town on Flair in the corner with chops and punches. Flair does the Flair Flop and gets his pants pulled down and spanked, just to cement how far one of the greatest wrestlers ever has fallen. Bully Ray is the next in and he cleans house on the Fortune members, being the fresh man. Immortal spends the rest of the period beating down on Fortune until the final man Robert Roode enters the cage. Beer Money hit a double suplex on Ray as the weapons-filled cage top is lowered as Lethal Lockdown “officially” begins. Everyone immediately grabs weapons, which consists entirely of trash cans and kendo sticks, and starts beating the piss out of each other with them for a bit. Daniels and Matt Hardy both make their way out of the cage and climb up to the top of the cage as the Cincinnati crowd rises to see what happens next. Daniels sets up for the Angel’s Wings but Hardy backdrops him and Daniels nearly falls off the top of the cage by accident. Twist of Hate from Matt on the top of the cage lays Daniels out while below the chaotic weapons-smashing continues. Ray hits a big sideslam on Storm for a two count while Hardy get’s dropkicked off the side of the cage. Flair completely botches a spinebuster attempt from Roode while Daniels flies off the top of the cage with a cross-body, wiping out Abyss and Matt Hardy! Cool spot and all, but we saw the same thing for free on Impact when Daniels made his return. Back inside the ring Roode locks Flair into the Figure Four, but Ray breaks it up with a phoenix splash! Just kidding, he smashes a trash can over his head. Ray goes to town with the kendo stick, hitting everything around him that moves. Ray goes to smash the kendo stick over Daniels saying “This is for AJ!” and as soon as he says that AJ Styles music hits and this arena EXPLODES! AJ Styles makes his return, running down to the ring and totally destroying Bully Ray while the crowd eats it all up. Flair gets put into a Fujiwara Armbar from Storm and that’s enough for Storm to submit and give Fortune the win at 22:51! This was about as good as could be expected out of this type of match. It was sloppy at times and very chaotic, but it was never boring and guys like Daniels worked very hard out there to try and make this better than it probably should have been. Styles return was a great moment as well, and the right team went over, so all in all a quality main event here to end the show. ***¼
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.