Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: March 9, 2014
Location: BankUnited Center, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
It’s been five months since the last pay per view so this isn’t something TNA is used to anymore. We have a double main event tonight with Magnus defending the World Title against Samoa Joe and Team MVP vs. Team Dixie in Lethal Lockdown for control of the company. The Lethal Lockdown match also has Jeff Hardy returning for the first time in a few months. All of the matches tonight are in the cage so let’s get to it.
We see Magnus arriving earlier today.
The opening video talks about being alone with your greatest enemies inside the cage.
Bad Influence/Chris Sabin vs. Great Muta/Sanada/Yasu
Daniels and Kazarian come out in Great Muta garb circa 1989. Sanada took the X Title from Austin Aries a week ago in Japan. Sabin and Sanada get things going and fight over hiptosses before Sanada grabs an abdominal stretch. It’s quickly off to Muta to drop some fast elbows on Sabin followed by a crossface hold. Daniels makes the save but we get the Green Mist from Muta.
Back to Yasuyuki who gets taken into the wrong corner with Daniels dropping him with a belly to back suplex, setting up a slingshot legdrop from Kaz for two. Daniels suplexes Kaz onto Yatzu, setting up a springboard moonsault for two from Christopher. Back to Kaz who misses a top rope legdrop, allowing the hot tag off to Sanada.
He cleans house until Bad Influence hits a quick High/Low for two. Daniels takes Sanada down for a second but a hot tag brings in Muta to really clean house with dragon screw leg whips all around. The Mist puts Daniels down and there’s the Shining Wizard, setting up a moonsault from Sanada for the pin on Daniels at 9:22.
Rating: C. Not a bad match and a good choice for an opener, but it’s also a good example of what’s wrong with the all cages gimmick. The cage added absolutely nothing here and there’s no reason for the cage to be there at all. The fans reacted well to the Japanese guys so it certainly wasn’t a terrible idea.
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Velvet Sky and Eric Young are answering internet questions. Eric thinks everything changes after tonight.
We recap Shaw vs. Anderson. Shaw is obsessed with Christy Hemme and Anderson is protecting her from harm. Samuel thinks this means Anderson is preventing him from being with Christy and has been attacking him as a result.
Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw
This is escape only. Before Anderson comes out, Shaw climbs to the top of the cage and says if Christy doesn’t come out, he’s going to professionally end it all. Before he can jump though, Anderson comes out and points out the obvious: the cage isn’t high enough to do a lot of damage. All that will do is break his ankle and make Shaw look even goofier. Anderson offers to beat Shaw up a bit and then take him somewhere really high to jump.
We’re finally ready to go with Anderson taking over for a few moments but running into a boot in the corner. Christy is at ringside now. An early Mic Check is blocked but Anderson takes him down with a gutwrench suplex. Shaw chokes Anderson in the corner but can’t quite get over the cage. Anderson goes after him but gets rammed face first into the cage a few times and knocked down to the mat. Shaw still can’t climb fast enough though and Anderson runs the corner for a belly to back superplex.
Shaw sends him face first into the cage but Anderson sends him into the cage door, knocking it open and drilling Earl Hebner in the process. There’s the Mic Check to Shaw and a second one sends him face first into the buckle. Anderson calls him a frickin weirdo and climbs the cage but Shaw reaches through a hole in the cage and pulls Christy in.
Shaw starts crawling on the mat ala Kevin Sullivan at the 1988 Great American Bash. Anderson makes it to the floor but there’s no referee. Mr. gets the key from Hebner and opens the door for the save but Shaw hits Anderson low and chokes him out before leaving for the win at 10:12.
Rating: C. I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to with Shaw getting creepier and creepier every week. The longer this story goes the more likely it seems that Christy joins Shaw at some point, but it doesn’t have quite the impact since she and Anderson are just friends. Not much of a match but the story and characters are good. It’s very nice to see someone like Anderson go from one feud right into another like people did back in the day instead of just floating around and doing nothing at all.
Team Roode isn’t sure what the insurance policy is and argue about who will own what percentage of the company after they win.
We quickly look at Ethan Carter III injuring Kurt Angle, putting Kurt out of the match tonight.
Here’s Ethan who has issued an open challenge for Angle’s spot. Ethan talks about growing up wanting to be the best and to beat the best. In 1996, Kurt Angle was the best and Ethan took him out twice now. The fans say he can’t wrestle but Ethan comes back with chants of “I’m very good” and “I disagree.” By the way this is our third promo tonight and it’s getting clear that they’re stalling, despite having eight matches. He asks anyone to come out here but warns the fans not to hijack this show.
Ethan Carter III vs. Bobby Lashley
Well that’s a surprise. Ethan insists that Lashley isn’t on the roster but Bobby powerslams him down and hits a big spear. There was no bell so it wasn’t a match, meaning Ethan is still undefeated.
Kenny King’s King of the Night promo.
Magnus says he’s all alone tonight but he’s used to that. He has to battle against Joe on his own tonight and he’s fighting a lone crusade. Something doesn’t sit well with him tonight because everyone is talking about what Joe is going to do to him. No one has asked what Magnus is going to do to Joe. Tonight, Joe bows down to the reign of Magnus.
Manik vs. Tigre Uno
Pin/submission to win here. Tigre Uno is Extreme Tiger from AAA. They trade some very fast wristlocks to start before they both go for dropkicks and crash to the mat. Back up and they miss each other a few times until Tigre dropkicks Manik down. Manik comes out of the corner with a headscissors before throwing him to the top rope, only to have Tigre catch himself on the cage. A moonsault gets two on Manik but Tigre misses a charge and goes flying into the steel.
Manik gets two off a belly to back suplex and drives some knees into Tigre’s back. There’s a surfboard hold from Manik and he drops Tigre backwards for two. Manik gets two more off a dropkick and a backbreaker gets the same. Tigre comes back by jumping up to the top rope and coming down with a hurricanrana.
A spinwheel kick and running DDT drop Manik again but he can’t get a sunset bomb off the top. Instead Manik dropkicks him in the back and gets two of his own off a sitout powerbomb. They trade standing switches and Tigre tries a capture suplex, only to drop Manik down onto his head. A quick Sabretooth (moonsault into a 450) Splash is enough to give Tigre the pin at 7:48.
Rating: C+. Take two guys and let them fly around the ring for eight minutes. It worked every night in WCW and it’s going to work every single time you use it in wrestling. Tigre Uno looked good out there and will be a nice addition to the division, bringing the roster up to what, five people? Good stuff here but this show needs something that matters soon.
We recap Gunner vs. Storm. Gunner took the Feast or Fired briefcase from him and Storm was livid, eventually turning on Gunner to cost him the World Title match against Magnus. Tonight it’s last man standing.
James Storm vs. Gunner
New music and long tights for James tonight. They start fighting on the ramp and Storm gets in a good shot early. Gunner rams him into the cage and suplexes him on the floor before going to get some chairs. He throws three of them into the cage but Storm sends him into the steps to slow Gunner down. Storm sends him into the cage and slams the cage door on Gunner’s head. He demands a count and we get the opening bell followed by a four count.
Storm wedges a chair into the corner and takes Gunner down with a jumping DDT for five. Gunner tries to get up but gets choked down by a tag rope and dropped throat first across the top rope. James ties the rope around Gunner’s throat and ties it to the rope but Gunner rips it away, only to be taken down by a low blow. Gunner no sells some ramming into the buckle and rams his own head into the same buckle for good measure.
Some running knees including one to Storm’s head have Storm in trouble and Gunner pulls the top of the steps into the ring. A hard shot to James’ head gets eight but he comes back with a quick Closing Time (Codebreaker) before ramming Gunner into the chair in the corner. James blasts him in the back with the chair but Gunner is getting that look in his eyes. He fights up and scores with a spear and an F5 as the fans think this is awesome. Storm tries to grab the chair but Gunner stands on it to thwart the Cowboy’s plans.
Gunner slams him down again and goes up, only to have Storm throw the chair at Gunner’s head on the way down for seven. Another hard shot to the back gets five and Storm sets up some chairs in the ring. He loads up the Eye of the Storm but Gunner gets to the ropes in the corner. Both guys climb to the middle rope and ram each other into the cage until Gunner superplexes him through the chairs for the win at 12:02.
Rating: B. Good but not great last man standing match here as they beat a lot of tar out of each other. Gunner getting a win over a former world champion on pay per view isn’t going to hurt anything but I just don’t see a top level guy in him. The ending spot and chair pelting spot looked good and the match was a lot of fun, which is what matters here.
We look at Dixie’s promo again because that’s what we do in TNA.
Team MVP is ready for revenge but don’t like the idea of being patient. Richards wants to get Aries for injuring his shoulder but MVP tells him to keep his composure. MVP promises to unleash the Wolves and the hunt will be on.
We recap Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne. They used to be best friends but titles came between them. How many times has TNA used that story for this division in recent years?
Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne
Rayne is defending. Gail quickly takes her down to start and chokes with a boot but Madison gets a quick rollup for two. Kim fakes her out on a middle rope cross body and tries to leave, only to have Madison get above her and use her legs to ram Gail’s head into the cage. Madison gets pulled off the cage and down to the mat in a crash for two but she’s still able to make a save as Gail tries to leave.
Kim bends her over a knee for a backbreaker but Rayne stretches her legs up for a kick to the head. Madison sends her face first into the cage and drops her with some forearms and a low dropkick. Both girls climb the cage but Gail brings her down with a neckbreaker in a big crash. Madison makes a save to prevent an escape but gets leveraged into the cage for two. They both climb again and Gail is sent down, setting up a top rope spear for the pin to retain Madison’s title at 8:55.
Rating: C. Madison is getting better in the ring and is of course very nice to look at so the match wasn’t all that bad. The cage added something with the collisions here but it’s still nothing that blew me away. The division is dying for some fresh stories but that’s been the case for years now.
These were always highlights:
We recap Joe vs. Magnus which was already covered in Joe’s promo. Magnus was part of the Main Event Mafia but joined Dixie Carter to become champion. Tonight it’s knockout or submission only to win.
TNA World Title: Samoa Joe vs. Magnus
Magnus is defending. Joe gets in the first offense with a hard kick to the thigh but the champion takes him down with a headlock. In a unique move, Joe grabs a wristlock and headbutts Magnus’ hand before putting on a hammerlock. A hard back elbow to the jaw drops Magnus again and Joe peppers him with right hands in the corner. Joe chops him down in the corner and hits the Facewash.
Magnus avoids the running backsplash and hammers away before raking Joe’s eyes. The champion misses a charge and goes into the cage so Joe rams him face first into the steel over and over. The ramming draws blood and Joe goes right after it but misses a charge, allowing the Englishman to send him face first into the steel over and over. Now Joe is busted open and Magnus locks on the Figure Four.
Joe turns it over but Magnus immediately lets go and puts on a camel clutch. That’s powered out of as well but Magnus slaps on a sleeper. Joe picks him up into the air and drops Magnus down onto his back, putting both guys down. Magnus loses a forearm slugout but gets a boot up in the corner to stop a charging Samoan. Joe comes right back with a slam and the backsplash followed by a cross armbreaker.
Magnus rolls out and heads up top and shoves Joe down before dropping the big elbow. Joe gets back to his feet and wins a slugout with his hard slaps before crotching Magnus down on the top. There’s the MuscleBuster and the Koquina Clutch but Abyss’ hand comes up through the ring and pulls Joe through the mat. After a few seconds, a furious Joe slowly comes up through the ring and chokes Magnus in the corner. Abyss comes up through the hole and hits Joe in the stomach with Janice before a Black Hole Slam sets up the Koquina Clutch from Magnus for the win at 19:28.
Rating: B-. Well the Authority has its Kane now. I don’t think it was a big surprise that there were shenanigans at the end but the question was what would happen. Abyss being the corporate monster gives him something to do but it’s not exactly something new. Then again, this is TNA where we have to have an evil alliance on top of the company because that’s almost all they know how to do.
Post match Eric Young asks Abyss what he’s thinking but Magnus says get him out of here.
Dixie sends Spud to get the insurance policy. Roode comes in and says he’s nervous but Dixie says there’s insurance. They tell each other not to screw this up.
We recap Lethal Lockdown with both teams fighting for control of the company. Aries swerved MVP to join Team Roode but MVP brought back Jeff Hardy to even things out.
Team MVP vs. Team Roode
MVP, Wolves, Jeff Hardy
Bobby Roode, Bro Mans, Austin Aries
It’s Lethal Lockdown, meaning WarGames and the winner gets control of TNA (Roode is fighting for Dixie and gets 10% ownership if his team wins). Two men start for five minutes followed by a member of Team Roode (due to winning a match on Impact) enters for a two minute advantage. After two minutes a member of Team MVP enters to even things out for two minutes. This alternates until all eight are in when a roof with weapons is lowered and then it’s one fall to a finish, including pins.
Aries and the hometown boy MVP get things going with MVP kicking Aries in the face. Austin comes back with a bulldog and the Last Chancery before laying on the ropes. A missile dropkick doesn’t work as MVP catches him in an exploder suplex and the Ballin Elbow but Aries takes him out before it lands. Aries hits a running dropkick but MVP slams him down and hammers away. Austin escapes an arm hold but misses an elbow drop as Robbie E comes in for the advantage after four minutes.
MVP immediately drops him on his face but Aries gets in a cheap shot and the heels take over. A top rope ax handle puts MVP down and E drops a middle rope elbow to the face. They talk trash to MVP until Eddie Edwards ties things up. Eddie cleans house as you expect a fresh man to do in a Lethal Lockdown match. DJ Zema Ion tries to interfere but gets knocked off the cage wall in a big bump. The good guys control for a bit until the clock runs out with Jesse Godderz giving Team Roode a 3-2 advantage.
The Bro Mans take over without much happening until Davey Richards and his bad arm ties things up. Davey of course gives his team the advantage again with the fast paced double team offense as the WarGames formula is firmly in place here. Stereo half crabs have the Bro Mans in trouble until Aries clotheslines the Wolves from behind. Roode and his awesome sleeveless coat makes it 4-3. The captains go face to face until Roode takes MVP down with a spinebuster.
The heels take complete control until the clock comes on and it’s Willow (Jeff Hardy’s new gimmick, which looks like a black and white Ultimo Dragon mask and really high pants) to tie things up and complete both teams. He comes in as the lights are out and dives off the top of the cage. If they don’t want us to know he’s Hardy, they might have wanted to give him a full body suit to cover the big green tattoo. Thankfully Taz and Tenay drop hints about who it is as the roof with the weapons lower…..and here’s Dixie.
She introduces the insurance policy as the special referee: Bully Ray. As in the guy that spent a year and a half trying to destroy her company. Team MVP waits for Ray at the door but Team Roode jumps them from behind. The weapons are brought in with Ray finding a table under the ring. Dixie sits in a chair on the stage to watch the carnage as it’s all Team Roode. Bobby puts Davey’s bad arm in the Crossface with Bully asking if he wants to give up and talking trash at the same time.
Team Roode all has front facelocks on their opponents but a triple backdrop breaks them free. Richards is broken out quickly and MVP makes sure to hit the Ballin Elbow on Roode. The weapons are used more extensively and Willow loads up a powerbomb on Aries but throws him face first into the cage instead. Robbie is tied up in the Tree of Woe as Ray is just standing in the corner watching. The Wolves set up a trashcan in front of Robbie’s face for an AWESOME double Van Terminator.
Aries is sat in a chair and kicked over and over until he grabs Richards for a BRAINBUSTER THROUGH THE CHAIR. Willow breaks up the save but Aries puts him on a trashcan, only to have Willow move before the 450 only hits the can. A Twist of Fate and Swanton gets a very delayed two on Aries as Roode makes the save and sends Willow into the cage. The table is set up in the cage but Ray gets in the way of the Roode Bomb to MVP. Ray and Roode stare each other down until Ray gives him a Bully Bomb. MVP hits a quick Drive By on Roode for the pin at 26:53.
Rating: B+. The match started slowly but those big spots at the end were great. MVP winning is the right call and fairly obvious (I don’t believe heels have EVER won Lethal Lockdown) but at least there was some drama in there. I don’t get the point of having Hardy be Willow if they’re going to just acknowledge he’s Hardy in a costume. Good main event and a match the show needed.
Overall Rating: B. The show was entertaining but the ending didn’t do much for me. The New York thing was pretty obvious if you thought about it long enough and Lethal Lockdown was the same as it always was. Overall it wasn’t bad, but like everything else with TNA it didn’t feel like it made things better.
The company is still in the same place: a promotion with a not bad story but nothing all that exciting because it’s most of the same guys just being rotated into different spots with about one new guy being added to the main event every year. At least the Authority is broken (for now) and we don’t have some evil owner. Then again this is TNA so I give them until June to have Dixie back on TV and in power.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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