This year’s Lockdown ppv event takes place from San Antonio, Texas featuring the biggest American crowd TNA Wrestling has ever drawn.
The show begins with a very well done intro putting over the many months of Aces & Eights’ supposed dominance and how its all coming to a head at this event. After all the losses and poor booking, can the Aces & Eights become a strong, credible force again and finally prove their dominance over the TNA roster?
X-Division Championship Match, Kenny King (c) vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York
Overview: This match opens up the show and the large crowd is already enthusiastic and lively. After a couple unfortunate botches and some exciting spots, Kenny King retains his title cleanly with a pin-fall victory over Christian York with his “Royal Flush” finisher.
Analysis: Despite a few awfully noticeable botches at the very beginning, this match delivered the usual fair of post six-sided ring X-division action. The three competitors worked with what little they were giving to tell a story by making up for it with exciting and well executed spots to keep the crowd interested. However, there was a clear lack of in-ring chemistry between the three and York, as per usual, was particularly slow in execution. Kenny King wins clean and solidifies himself as the X-division champion, something which his actual title win didn’t really do for him.
Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
Overview: After a brief interview, Joseph Park takes on Joey Ryan in the least build match of the ppv card. Ryan cuts a promo to draw heat from the San Antonio crowd and promotes how supposedly large his manhood is. Park fires back to get the crowd on his side by saying “San Antonio Rocks”. Ryan gets a cheap shot in as Park’s back is turned and the match starts. After a competitive and comedic bout, Joseph Park comes out on top.
Analysis: For having absolutely no build going in, this match lived to its first expectation; a comedic, fun bout to put over Joseph Park. If there was one thing to complain about, it’s the unnecessary amount of time this match took up. It did not really need to be as competitive as it was, however, it did its job for a match that was solely done to put over Park’s continuing endeavor to become a full-time wrestler.
Knockouts Championship Match, Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim
Overview: The original Knockout and longest reigning Knockouts Champion in TNA history, Gail Kim comes out first to take on Velvet Sky. As usual, Gail Kim argues with Taryn Terrell before the match begins to further portray the tension between the two. After a quick paced and fairly action packed bout, Velvet Sky wins after Taryn, fed up with the challenger’s antics, attacked Kim to help the champion retain.
Analysis: This was a very good match for current day Knockouts standards. The tension between Gail Kim and the referee Taryn Terrell was displayed very well. Velvet Sky did a good job in this match and she’s showing that she has definitely improved in the ring. For a match with little interest going in, this match delivered as well as it probably could have.
Bros Turned Foes, Rob Terry vs. Robbie E
Overview: In the first of what could be the last match of this heartbreaking and tear jerking feud, Rob Terry turned his former “Bro” Robbie E into his “ho” as the latter would say.
Analysis: Rob Terry, who is still being billed as “Robbie T” debuted a new entrance theme, looked very intense and really sold how much he wanted to pound Robbie E into the ground. “Little Rob” tries to plea with Terry to let bygones by bygones and even hugs him. To be honest, this is a real saddening moment as Terry rejects the embrace and the “Bromance” that once was is no more. Robbie E used his speed well to keep this match competitive as he was facing a strong but slow opposing force in his former “bro”. Eventually, as was expected, Rob Terry conquers his smaller opponent and beats him with a huge spine-buster. This match could have been better but, as it seems, it was solely done as a bout to put over Terry.
Tag Team Championship Match, Aries & Roode (c) vs. Chavo & Hernandez vs. Bad Influence
Overview: Chavo & Hernandez come out to a lukewarm reaction even despite the Hispanic friendly crowd in San Antonio. Following them is Bad Influence then the champions Austin Aries with his formerly “missing” tag team partner Bobby Roode. After a long competitive wrestling display, Aries and Roode steal the win after blindly tagging in after Chavo hit a frog splash on Christopher Daniels.
Analysis: To no surprise, this was a very good match between six good wrestlers. As unfortunate as it is, Chavo and Hernandez were the main focus of the match but it made sense as they were competing against two heels teams. There could have been more interaction between Aries and Roode and Bad Influence but what we got to see was very good. The action really picked up at the end of the match as finishers were teased and the finish kept every team strong while keeping the belts on Aries and Roode.
“The Era Of Dominance Continues” – Austin Aries
Steel Cage Match, Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle
Overview: After an awesome video package summarizing this feud and Angle’s intense passion for wanting to make Brisco pay, the rookie Aces & Eights member is introduced first. Surprisingly, Brisco came out confidentially and even tried to out-wrestle Angle at the very start of the match. Eventually, this became a beat-down on at the hands of Kurt Angle as Brisco would only get in a few shots and moves occasionally. After Angle escaped the cage without the knockdown referee seeing, D’Lo Brown assaulted Angle and dragged Brisco out of the ring for the young Aces & Eights member to get the upset victory.
Analysis: The commentary and video package sold Brisco’s nervousness and how intimidating the situation he was about to enter was. While Brisco could have been more competitive in this, it wasn’t expected of him. In no way could Brisco have won this match fairly, and the way TNA booked it was possibly the only realistic way he could defeat Angle. Though Angle could have played up the “revenge beat-down” motif better by really brutally beating Brisco, that is one of the only real complaints this match should bear.
Lethal Lockdown Match, Team TNA vs. Team Aces & Eights
Overview: In storyline brilliance, Aces & Eights send out cage match veteran and former two-time World Heavyweight Champion Ken Anderson out first to represent their team inside the steel cage. To counter, the first member to enter for Team TNA is the young stud Magnus. Anderson and Magnus talk trash and get to brawling, this was a great setup to start the match with two of the best wrestlers of the teams.
Knux joins Anderson in the cage and the duo begins to exploit their numbers advantage. Anderson seems to be having a lot of fun in the ring, even dropping a leg drop on Magnus to mock the TNA General Manager, Hulk Hogan.
Soon after, Samoa Joe comes out and lights up Anderson and Knux to even up the odds. Former tag team champions, Magnus and Joe are now in a two-on-two situation which they have quite a bit of experience being in with each other. Garrett Bischoff, out to chants of “You Can’t Wrestle” from the crowd, runs into the cage just to get destroyed by the fluent team of Magnus and Joe.
As soon as Team Aces & Eights get their advantage back, “Showtime” Eric Young comes out and takes down each member of his opponent’s team with some very fast paced offense. Things quiet down and Devon, the captain of this team, comes out to put down any bit of momentum Team TNA had since Young’s arrival. James Storm enters fourth for his team and annihilates anyone in his path until the Director Of Chaos makes the last entrance for the Aces & Eights. The biker gang celebrates as if they’ve already won only to be ended by the entrance of Sting, the captain of Team TNA, who brings trashcans full of weapons.
The veteran of Lethal Lockdown, Sting, goes to town on his rivals with an arsenal of weapons including his baseball bat. At this point in the match, Team TNA is largely in advantage and is practically destroying the opposing team with weapons and a vicious amount of offense. This absolute beat-down seems to last forever as Aces & Eights are losing hope fast and are looking defeated. However, as a glimmer of hope, Anderson was able to take advantage of Sting after a mis-communication with Eric Young.
When the momentum is split, there is a huge “Tower Of Doom” spot that set the crowd on fire. Sting takes down Knux and Eric Young dives off of the steel cage to hit Knux with a huge elbow drop for the win.
Analysis: Arguably the most hyped up match of the entire event, this battle did not disappoint. This match was great, however, having the Aces & Eights lose is an awful booking decision. Team Aces & Eights needed to win this match, to say the least. This group had almost no credibility whatsoever left after this match but the mainevent may very well have changed that.
World Heavyweight Champion Match, Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray
Overview: After a long contest, in front of a torn crowd and a good number of great spots, Bully Ray turned heel and joined the Aces & Eights. Bully Ray would then win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the very first time in his career.
Analysis: Though it may have been expected, Bully Ray turning on Hardy and joining Aces & Eights was a great sight to see. Ray is a far better heel than face and Aces & Eights really needed this to regain momentum, especially after losing the Lethal Lockdown match. It was a great match but an even better finish with Bully Ray ascending to the top heel spot of the company with an entire faction behind his back. The crowd would eventually throw trash into the ring to show the counter arc between Bully Ray joining Aces & Eights with Hulk Hogan joining NWO years ago. It was a very good storytelling segment and gave this angle a huge shot in the arm.
There were several interviews conducted with heel and face competitors before each match as is customary on TNA PPVs. All, which includes interviews with Bad Influence, Robbie E, Austin Aries and Kurt Angle, were well performed and setup their individual matches decently. Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim fought backstage, as well, continuing their feud.
In what was also a very good segment, Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray really sold their new father-son relationship as Hogan gave his new son-in-law a vote of confidence and stated that he thinks Ray can lead TNA into the future as a great World Heavyweight Champion. Also, D’Lo Brown gave a motivational talk to his fellow Aces & Eights brothers and put over how this was the night that they’ve been waiting a long time to come. No complaints for this segment, it was a simple setup to show D’Lo as the leader (as of right now) and to display the groups desire to prove themselves.
Despite the large crowd, the audience was only decent but that could be pinned on TNA for a lack of investment in storylines. So, all in all, the main motif of this event was whether or not the Aces & Eights could prove their dominance? The answer to that is definitely yes and quite frankly, the group has now hit their rather shallow peak with the reveal of Bully Ray as the President of the group. TNA Lockdown 2013 was a very good ppv that could have been great if it was built up better. Hopefully, Slammiversary will be hyped up far better and people should be excited for this Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling to see the fall-out from this event.
“This Is A Whole New World” – Taz
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