The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Lockdown: Recap & Analysis
The Kingfish Arnie Katz reports all the angles and highlights of Lockdown 00 and delves into what it all might mean for TNA and its fans!.
Lockdown, billed as the year’s most violent show, certainly tried to suit the extreme action to the Philadelphia setting. They did a pretty good job, though Abyss-Morgan again offered very little beyond mind-numbing gore.
The title change, with Foley supplanting Sting, was certainly a shocker. It nicely balanced the two “feel good” decisions in the Team 3D-Beer Money and Lethal Lockdown matches.
Let’s look at the card match by match to see what happened…
The Pre-show differed radically from the usual TNA collection of video reruns. This time, Jeremy Borash greeted fans from the arena at Temple University in Philadelphi9a with a live broadcast.
Borash introduced Dixie Carter, the woman behind TNA and also presented the schedule pre-show match.
The Kingfish comments: This sure beat what TNA has done in the past. They even limited the clips to one run each.
Dixie Carter makes a wonderful impression. She is very attractive ad shows a nice level of enthusiasm.
Danny Bonaduce vs. Eric Young
Special Pre-Show match
The Story: He half-a$$ed his way through Celebrity Wrestling. so he’s a natural to work a TNA pay per view.
My Prediction: This is the very definition of the type of idea that will forever separate TNA from WWE – and not in a good way.
Having the former child star, and current adult lost boy, win will compound the mistake. Yet that’s what TNA will book for this one.
Predicted Grade N/A/. You give me a match and I’ll give you a grade for it.
The Match: Danny Bonaduce pointed out to Lauren that he promised to do his best and bleed a lot, not necessarily to win.
Eric Young slapped Bonaduce at the opening bell, The radio star asked if that was all he had, so EY gave him another, much harder one.
The announcers played up Bonaduce as a hometown hero, but the crowd booed him and only switched to cheering when Young vegan to pummel Danny,
Bonaduce did a top-rope centon, but Young came back with a Sit out Powerbomb!
Bonaduce advanced upon Young with nun-chuks. Eric rolled him up for the pin.
Actual Grade: C
The Kingfish comments: The crowd didn’t seem that into it and it wasn’t much, unless you compare it to the Legends match at WrestleMania. The lukewarm response may’ve been because it was before the official show.
After the match, Bonaduce attacked Young with the non-chuks and choked him. Rhine ran into the ring and, to the delight of the crowd, hit the Gore! Gore! Gore!
The Kingfish comments: This might be the start of a young-Rhino tag team.
A suitably claustrophobic, cage-oriented video opened the show. Smashing Pumpkins provided the music with Rat in a Cage.
Mike Tenay covered the arrivals of Team Jarrett and Team Angle. He made a point of the fact that only Styles and Daniels arrived together, but that the Main Event Mafia seemed much more united.
Suicide d. Jay Lethal & Sheik Abdul Bashir & Consequences Creed & Kiyoshi
The Story: Destination X heated up the division and Suicide has quite a group of challengers who want to take the title. In a match like this, the odds seem stacked against the champion, but Suicide is far from an ordinary competitor.
My Prediction: Sheik Abdul Bashir is a good bet to regain the X Division Championship, but not in this match. It would be very tempting for TNA to pass the title, because the stigma of losing is so low in this type of contest, but it would be better for Suicide to win here and then give up the strap somewhere down the road, possibly in a Triple Threat with Homicide or Lethal.
Predicted Grade: A-
The Match: The match unfolded as a battle between two factions, Bashir-Kiyoshi and Lethal Consequences, with Suicide on his own.
Sure enough, everyone started by going after Suicide, but the animosity between the two teams soon took over the action.
Jay Lethal eliminated Kiyoshi with a top-rope Legdrop.
Bashir got rid of Consequences Creed with his version of the DDT.
Suicide hit Lethal with his finisher, but it was Bashir who actually scored the pinfall.
The Sheik Dropkicked a section of the cage wall and almost made it out. A camera man got in his way, which gave Suicide time to haul him back inside the steel.
Shades of Victor Rivera and John Tolos at the Olympic! They both straddled the top of the cage and pounded each other with punches and chops! Suicide connected with a Headbutt that sent Bashir tumbling to the canvas.
Kiyoshi ran back into the ringside area and tried to stop Suicide. The masked man fended off the attack and then did a Suicide Dive into the security force to win the match before Sheik Abdul Bashir could go out the door.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish comments: The elimination format helped make this an outstanding match. The pins slowly stripped away the advantage of the two duos opposing Suicide. The action was good, especially Lethal and Suicide working against each other.
There’s no question that this match is only a way station enroute to a big showdown between suicide and Bashir.
Lauren interviewed Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. They stressed that they are on the same page and reiterated their determination to defeat Team Angle.
ODB d. Madison Rayne & Daffney & Sojo Bolt
Queen of the Cage Match
The Story: Women compete at Lockdown each year for the honor of becoming Queen of the Cage, an accolade that will never again be mentioned until the next Lockdown, if then.
My Prediction: ODB and Daffney don’t need to win this, so it’ll be either Sojourner Bolt or Madison Rayne. Both are recent victims of ineffective pushes, so either could really use some kind of victory. TNA probably has bigger plans for Rayne, so she’s my predicted winner.
Predicted Grade: C+
The Match: Madison Rayne and Sojourner Bolt made some headway against ODB with double-teaming, but they didn’t stick to it. As is so often the case in these matches, wrestlers who start as teammates end up fighting each other.
Cody Deener reached through the hole in the cage the camera man used to –pour the contents of a flash into ODB’s mouth. She went on a tear and looked as if she was going to simply steamroller the other combatants.
ODV got near falls against both Sojo and Madison. The two women saved each other a couple of times each.
ODB spit whiskey in Sojourner Bolt’s face and then put her away with a Powerslam! She is now Queen of the Cage and, perhaps, the new number-one contender.
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish comments: It’s good to see Daffney again in her old character, but she looks like she could use about 10lbs. of additional weight.
I’m not sure I like ODB’s new act. Maybe it’s just jealous; I’d rather have her fondle my butt than Cody Deener’s.
Jeff Jarrett arrived at the arena. He was alone.
The Motor City Machine Guns d. LAX & No Limit
New Japan Tag Team Title Match
The Story: The IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship is the main issue in this three-cornered match. The Machine Guns took it from No Limits, which wants it back. LAX has forced on the title, too, perhaps thinking that it would help restore their somewhat tarnished standing among TNA’s top tag teams.
My Prediction: This should be one of those fast-paced, hard-to-recap contests with six men bouncing around the ring and doing all sorts of impressive maneuvers. TNA bookers believe that if everyone moves around and makes a lot of noise, no one will notice that the storyline is weak
LAX is strictly there to add a complication. This is a showdown between the Guns and the team from which they took the title, No Limits. The Japanese duo is likely to win back the IGWP straps, because they have virtually no value in the US, but that should happen in Japan, in front of a home crowd. The Machine Funs will win, but the finish will allow No Limits to claim that they could’ve come out on top except for the meddling of LAX.
Predicted Grade B+
The Match: The tornado tag team rules made the match very exciting, but it also kept the teams from mounting long offensive runs. For instance, Hernandez held Shelley aloft with a Delayed Vertical Suplex, but Sabin made the save. Then the Machine Guns worked together to give Super Mex a bad time.
The Machine Guns finally caught up with Naito and finished him with their Made in Detroit double team finisher. (It’s a Sliced Bread Powerbomb.)
Actual Grade: B+
The Kingfish comments: No Limits is pretty good in the ring, but they have the trouble that many Japanese teams have encountered in the US. They don’t speak the language, so they are pretty much shut out of the big matches. It doesn’t help that the American audience is schooled to judge wrestlers by how ripped they are; that’s not something you see on a lot of Asian grapplers.
The idea that No Limits and Kiyoshi are all part of an “army” under the leadership of Sheik Abdul Bashir is a hard sell. The Japanese guys don’t seem to win and they are more than a little anonymous, because they can’t work the mic.
Lauren, conducting an interview, expressed concern about Abyss’ welfare. The Masked Monster called her “the greatest girlfriend ever,” which Lauren did not rush to confirm.
Matt Morgan d. Abyss
Chamber of Blood Match
The Story: Once they were friends, but now they are relentless, implacable foes! The blood-splattered feud continues with the latest chapter a grueling match inside the steel.
My Prediction: Matt Morgan should win this one, both to improve his current status and to continue the program with Abyss at least one more pay per view beyond Lockdown.
Predicted Grade: C+
The Match: The match was designated a “Chamber of Blood” match. As Mike Tenay explained it, a man must be bloodied before he is eligible to be pinned or submitted.
Matt Morgan got off to a strong start by busting open Abyss very soon after the match started. After Abyss scored a Sideslam, he stood for a long moment, contemplating a chair that Morgan previous brought into the ring. The Blueprint took advantage of the hesitation; he kicked the chair back into Abyss to draw blood for the first time in the match. Morgan very cleverly threw the chair out of the ring so that Abyss could not use it to retaliate.
Matt Morgan opened a bag and spread glass shards on the canvas. He tried to force Abyss into it, face first, but the Masked Monster resisted. Abyss threw his antagonist into four of the cage walls, but the referee reminded him of the rules when he went for a pin.
The Blueprint went to the top turnbuckle. When he came off, though, he hit the referee instead of Abyss. Andrew Thomas crumpled.
Abyss grabbed a shard of glass and savaged Morgan, busting open his forehead.
They traded ferocious shots in the center of the ring. Just when it seemed that Matt Morgan had gained a slight advantage, Abyss uncorked a Black Hole Slam. By the time a substitute official hit the ring, it was too late. The extra time let Morgan recover enough to raise his shoulder.
Abyss went out of the ring to get a chair, which brought Dr. Stevie to the ring to remonstrate with him. Morgan tried, and failed, with a sneaky roll-up.
Despite Dr. Stevie’s admonitions, Abyss found another bag under the ring. He dumped all of the tacks it contained onto the canvas. Dr. Stevie got into the ring and actually started to slap him. Morgan came up behind Abyss, low-blowed him and dished out a Powerbomb into the tacks! Morgan draped his arm over his prostrate foe to claim the victory.
Actual Grade: B+
The Kingfish comments: This match was gory, but compelling. They probably need to come up with something besides those bags full of glass and tacks if they want to continue this.
The slap fight with Dr. Stevie was the weakest part of the performance. And doesn’t it seem strange that a supposed doctor who wants Abyss to quit resorting to violence would immediately stoop to physical abuse?
Jeff Jarrett, talking to Jeremy Borash, said that he was going to start taking care of his own business . He added, cryptically, that he would “do the right thing,” but he didn’t explain what he thought that was.
Angelina Love d Awesome Kong & Taylor Wilde
TNA Knockouts Championship Match
The Story: The story is simple, straight-forward and compelling. Taylor Wilde wants to again scale the heights she experienced when she defeated Awesome Kong one-on-one. Love gas watched babyface after babyface try and fail to stop Kong and now she wants her chance to prove that she is not just beautiful, but a premier wrestler.
My Prediction: It’s extremely difficult for the bookers t fashion a credible one-on-one loss for Awesome Kong, so this match is “Taylor-made” for shifting the gold to another waist.
Except that it won’t be Taylor Wilde who gets that victory. Angelina Love hasn’t held the title and, as a heel, would be very useful in transferring the title to a face or a tweener, My prognostication is that Taylor will take out Kong and Love will find a way. After that, Taylor and Kong will work a program and Love will work a title program against ODB or Sojo Bolt.
Predicted Grade: C+
The Match: Taylor Wilde and Awesome Kong worked together a little, but they didn’t have a firm alliance. Kong tossed Wilde around almost as much as she did Angelina Lo0ve.
Angelina Love withstood an Awesomebomb. She tried for a Sunset Flip, but Awesome Kong countered with a Big Sit-down. Unfortunately for the Knockout Champion, the leader of the Beautiful People slithered out of the way before she got squashed.
Awesome Kong tried, and missed, a Centon Splash from the top turnbuckle! If Taylor Wilde hadn’t made the save, Angelina Love might well have pinned her, then and there.
With some help from Velvet sky, Love tied Kong’s braids to one of the ring ropes! Raisha Saeed circled the ring, howling like a woman possessed.
Taylor Wilde went to check on Kong’s predicament. Angelina Love attacked from behind and took the match. She is now Knockout Champion.
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish comments: This was the best way to transfer the title without a contrived ending. So, what did they do? Yep… a contrived ending – and one not all that different from what they used in the Morgan-Abyss match.
Based on the finish, Taylor Wilde looks like Angelina Love’s first challenger, probably in a match on iMPACT
Lauren interviewed Team 3D, surrounded by excited Philadelphia fans. Devon did most of the talking this time, pointing out how Team 3D had raised from nobodies to stars as a result of their time in Philly.
In video clips, Team 3D extolled the IWGP title. Beer Money focused on the importance of this specific match.
The Kingfish comments: These videos did a terrific job of setting up the match. American fans are not prone to care about foreign wrestling titles, but the idea of Beer Money trying to prove themselves is very strong.
Team 3D vs. Beer Money, Inc
TNA World and IWGP World Tag Team Title match
Philly Street Fight
The Story: Ream 3D has always liked reciting its achievements, especially the large number of titles they have held during their long and illustrious tag team career. Beer Money has a lot of pride in its accomplishments, too, and has met Brother Ray and Brother Devon blow for blow. Now, with two titles on the line, these superstar teams clash inside the six-sided cafe!
My Prediction: This is a match that could possibly turn out as a DQ or some such thing, but I forecast a definite decision, though the loser will have something to say about fairness. This might be a chance to give Team 3D another title for the resume, but I think it is more likely that Beer Money will take the decision and the title. That would pave the way for the team to tour Japan and, while there, drop the IWGP World Tag Team Championship.
Predicted Grade: A-
The Match: After all four men mixed it up inside the cage for a little while, Team3D ejected Beer Money. They wandered through the crowd, all over the arena, and Team 3D seemed to get the better of their younger opponents just about every step of the way.
As the action circled back toward the ring, Beer Money started to get back in the match. Robert Rude scored with several big blows against Brother Ray, while James Storm spit beer in Devon’s eye and ran him into the guardrail!
After the Tennessee Cowboy smashed the cage door into Brother Ray’s head and knocked Devon to the arena floor. Beer Money set up a table and the ring stairs side by side. They hauled Devon up the metal stairs and then Stereo Suplexed Brother Devon through the table!
Back inside the cage, Beer Money relentlessly pounded on the 21-time champs. They locked Devon out of the cage so they could focus on double-teaming Ray. The big man fought against the odds with a Wingspread Clothesline and a Bodyslam of Roode. Ray hit a top-rope Bubbabomb on Roode, but he could get only a couple of near-falls, even with the assistance of Devon.
Roode took a Wassup and then, with both members of Beer Money down, Team 3D heard the crowd’s “tables!” chant. Beer Money used the time to recuperate, but a Backdrop Suplex only earned a two-count.
Ray rolled out of the way of Roode’s attempted Diving Headbutt and then rolled the other way to evade Storm’s follow-up Cross-Body Splash. Beer Money used a Neckbreaker and a Suplex to put both brothers on the mat. They couldn’t keep them there long enough for a win, though.
Team 3D slammed Roode into the cage wall and, before he could recover, put him away with the Three-D to become TNA World Champions.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish comments: It was a little hard to get past the fact that this match had one gimmick too many. If there are two angles that cannot, and should not, co-exist, it’s the Cage Match and the Street Fight.
The first thing they did was open the door of the cage, which pretty well killed the Cage Match. They fought all over the arena and then, just as Mike Tenay tried to save the situation by declaring that, “falls count anywhere,” they returned to the cage and fought the rest of the match there.
They worked the “passing the torch” angle so hard in this match that I was surprised when Team 3D added another belt to their list of championships. Perhaps the last chapter in the feud between these two tag teams has yet to be played out in the ring.
Mike Tenay forced Don West to reclaim Team 3D 22-time tag team champions.
Kurt Angle seemed supremely confident as he talk to Jeremy Borash in the group’s dressing room. The former Olympian praised each Mafia member in turn, finishing with the just-arriving Kevin Nash.
Kurt positioned the Main Event Mafia as a group of ring-wise veterans who would use their brains to triumph over their younger, stronger, but less savvy foes.
The Kingfish comments: Kurt may have done a little too well with this promo. It made the Man Event Mafia sound like the babyfaces. The idea of grizzled veterans making a last stand is both romantic and exciting, but it doesn’t seem the right tack for a heel group in a major confrontation with the promotion’s young babyfaces.
Team Jarrett d. Team Angle
Lethal Lockdown Match
The Story: Kurt Angle heads the Main Event Mafia, while Jeff Jarrett is the living embodiment of the TNA Frontline loyalists. The two factions have battled constantly. This time, it’s four-on-four action, a little war for TNA bragging rights.
My Prediction: Who wins something like this is less important than what feuds issue from it. In this case, TNA has teased something between Steiner and Jarrett that could possibly be a turn toward the Mafia for the TNA Founder. It’s not a very appealing idea, but it looks like that might be the plan.
In this match, Jarrett will tease that turn, but he won’t make it until next PPV if at all. Samoa Joe will be like a force of nature, but that could create some problems, possibly between the Submission Machine and Jarrett. This match represents very fluid situation with a lot of options, but the bottom line should be a Team Jarrett victory.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Match: Kurt Angle and Daniels started for their respective teams. They filled the first five minutes with excellent, fast-0paced chain wrestling embellished with some nice highspots.
As Booker T entered, Daniels had Angle trapped in a submission hold, but Booker lost no time breaking up that situation.
Daniels took a lot of punishment, especially from Booker until AJ Styles joined the match to even the sides. He knocked both members of Team Angle around the ring.
Daniels held his own in direct confrontation with Kurt Angle, but the arrival of Scott Steiner tipped the scales toward the MEM again. Scott blasted both faces with Steiner Lines and rocked Styles with two Belly-to-Belly Suplexes.
The Main Event Mafia had its way with the beleaguered Frontliners until Samoa Joe stormed into the ring. The Submission Machine was on fire and it looked like no one and nothing could stop him!
Kevin Nash, his elbow heavily bandaged, came to the cage. Samoa Joe kicked the cage door at him, flattening Big Sexxy.
Nash hit Styles with a Chokeslam and Daniels with a Sideslam. Samoa Joe forced his former friend into the corner and whaled away at Nash.
Both factions pulled off big moves, but no one could go for a pin until Jeff Jarrett completed the roster of eight participants.
Double J was already dishing out the punishment when the top of the cage came down. He jumped up and began hauling down weapons and passing them out to his teammates before the roof firmly settled into place.
Though Jarrett and Steiner have spent a lot of time talking to each other in the weeks before the pay per view, it didn’t prevent JJ from clouting Big Poppa Pump with about a dozen rapid-fire shots with a trashcan lid.
Angle busted through the cage roof and went through to the top of the structure. AJ Styles joined him there and the two had an epic struggle for dominance. The phenomenal One dodged an Angleslam while the former Olympian prevented AJ from executing the Styles Clash.
Kurt Angle left Styles lying on the roof. He sailed down into the fight just in time to subject Jeff Jarrett to an Olympic Slam! Styles regained his senses and then plummeted through the roof and, with help from Daniels, nearly finished Kurt Angle.
Samoa Joe thought he could finish Scott Steiner with a Muscle Buster. He pulled off the maneuver, but Booker T broke up the attempted pin.
Booker T kicked Styles in the midsection and then went for the Axkick. AJ ducked, but Booker whirled around, ready to try again. Jeff Jarrett rushed across the ring, chair in hand, but he hit Styles instead of Booker. Don West proclaimed this a Jarrett turn, but Tenay showed characteristic caution and suggested a wait-and-see attitude.
Jeff Jarrett went back to the weapons hanging from the underside of the cage roof and claimed his trusty guitar. When he returned to the actionist ring, he stood about the same distance from Booker T and AJ Styles. The TNA Founder gave them each a long, hard look – and then blasted Booker! AJ Styles covered for the pin and the win for the TNA Frontline and Team Jarrett.
Actual Grade: A
The Kingfish comments: The Achilles Heel of this match is the long interval during which there is a lot of fighting, but pins are not yet allowed. This section of the match could easily be whittled down to two-minute and one-minute segments to get things going toward the real four-on-four confrontation. I think it might be a good idea to make it an elimination match, too.
TNA deserves credit for building up a situation in which fans genuinely wondered which side Jeff Jarrett favored. The only problem is that some of what they had people say didn’t make a lot of sense without a turn. It could be that we will yet see Jeff Jarrett break from the mostly babyface Frontline.
Bobby Lashley came to the upper stage for his TNA debut. Kurt Angle looked happy to see him, but Jeff Jarrett didn’t seem nearly as pleased.
Sting told Lauren that his years in the business have taught him to expect the unexpected.
Mick Foley told Jeremy Borash that Mick Foley couldn’t attend, but that Cactus Jack was here with his barbwire bat.
Mick “Cactus Jack” Foley vs. Sting
TNA World Title Match
The Story: Life is full o mysteries and unexplained phenomena. One of them is the reason Mick Foley has decided to challenge Sting. They had a match about two centuries ago, but Mick has always seemed pretty happy about how that one went. In any case, Foley is rarin’ to go and Sting is ready and waiting.
My Prediction: Mick Foley’s career ha always been about compelling matches rather than strings of victories. This will be another one in which he gives his best possible performance, but Sting will walk out with the win and the belt.
Predicted Grade: B
The Match: Earl Hebner confiscated the barb wire bat before the opening bell.
Foley started strong, punching his way to a dominant position. He tried to scale the cage wall, but Sting brought him back down to earth.
Sting tangled Foley in the ropes and got in some savage [punches and kicks. Foley battered Sting and then propelled him into the cage wall with a Double-Arm DDTY. The champion forced his shoulder off the mat before the final count.
Mick went for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Sting knows his own hold well enough to disrupt it before it caused appreciable damage. Foley told the referee to open the door and, when he didn’t comply, pushed him.
Suddenly, Mick Foley did a Baseball Slide through the camera opening in the cage and obliterated the cameraman. It didn’t give him an exit, though. He tried to squirm through the opening, but his belly prevented it. Sting yanked him back inside the cage by his feet.
The cameraman whom Foley hit have him a barb wire bat! Sting stopped in his tracks before committing to a strategy that had Foley miss three straight swings of the horrific weapon. Sting thought this would be a good time to climb the wall, but Foley banged him in the leg with that deadly bat!
When Foley charged the champion, a Drop Toehold sent him careening into the bat! Sting took possession of the bat and dealt four vicious shots with the bat, but soon Foley had it back and made Sting pay.
Foley put on Mr. Socko and wrapped the barb wire around his fist. Then he smashed Sting in the face! Foley started climbing, with Sting in pursuit. Cactus Jack made it to the top and went over before Sting could accomplish the same feat.
Mick Foley is the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion!
Actual Grade: A
The Kingfish comments: The Foley win was ideal from TNA’s standpoint, It put Mick on top for what figures to be a relatively short run while it preserves Sting as a challenger. After all, Foley didn’t really beat the Icon, he just climbed a fence and dropped to the floor.
Predicted Grade for Lockdown: B
Actual Grade for Lockdown: B+
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tonorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back and, please, tell your friends.
— Arnie Katz