10 March 2014

My Thoughts on TNA Lockdown 2014

I have to admit, my expectations for this year's Lockdown were very high and that's a testament to the outstanding build by TNA the last month or so.  Did the PPV live up to my expectations? No.  But I was thoroughly entertained by the show and its interesting (and at times wacky) moments.  After the show, I was left with a feeling of optimism for the future as I find that the new characters and the new creative direction resonate with me.  I paid $49.99 for Lockdown last night and I feel like it was well worth it. Lockdown was three hours of fun in-ring action, killer spots, fascinating character development, good storyline progression, and a couple of nice surprises.  There were also some odd moments but none that I found terribly awful. Perhaps questionable might be a better description, and that's fine as everything in pro wrestling is subjective. But that's part of what makes wrestling so much fun, the debating.

I thought every match on last night's card delivered in one way or another.  The opening six-man tag match put a smile on my face that lasted until the very final moments as the Wrestle-1 trio celebrated on the ramp.  I can't tell you how wonderful a moment it was for me to watch the Great Muta spray the green mist into Kazarian's face.  It's moments like those that make pro wrestling such a unique experience.  Another great moment followed a few minutes later as Samuel Shaw climbed to the top of the cage and threatened to jump if Christy Hemme did not come out to ringside.  A simply brilliant piece of character development by the writers.  Overall, the Samuel Shaw story is one that will push the boundaries of the bizarre in pro wrestling and I, for one, am loving it.

Bobby Lashley surprised everyone by accepting Ethan Carter III's open challenge and although I'm not the biggest fan of his, I'm fine with his arrival.  I feel like he deserves another chance simply because he never got a fair shot the last time he was in TNA.  As for EC3, it will give him someone to feud with until Kurt Angle recovers from knee surgery.  The X Division got a nice shot in the arm last night with the debut of Tigre Uno and the return of Manik, although the latter's return is short-lived I hear as he won't be traveling with the company to Orlando for the Impact tapings.  Tigre Uno and Sanada are fine additions to the new global X Division.  Incidentally, both wrestlers will be making their Impact debut on Thursday night.

Gunner vs James Storm delivered in a way that I thought it would.  It was pure brutality with a couple of scary spots that truly had me worried about the welfare of the two competitors.  A tremendous effort by Gunner and Storm.  Equally as tremendous was the effort put in by Gail Kim and Madison Rayne.  The Knockouts Division has been heavily criticized by some of late and it's unfortunate because we've lost sight of the effort that these amazing women put in.  How many female wrestlers in mainstream wrestling, at least in the US, perform neckbreakers off the top rope?  It is not common and I applaud Gail and Madison for raising the bar for the entire industry.

Magnus vs Samoa Joe was a great match with a peculiar ending.  It's certainly something that I had not expected but I thought the theatrics of it all were well executed.  Unfortunately, it was so bizarre that it took me a few minutes to process and by then, the match had ended.  I'm fine with Abyss aligning with Magnus simply because the champion will need someone to back him up now that Dixie Carter has lost control of wrestling operations so from a storyline standpoint, it makes total sense.  It also gives the potential Abyss/Eric Young feud a more significant spot on the show.

And lastly, the Lethal Lockdown match, in my opinion, was the best of its kind in recent years as it featured everything you'd want from a main event match.  It had the killer spots (Aries' brainbuster on Davey Richards onto the chair was mind-blowing), the debut of Willow, the Bully Ray reveal and turn, and a victory for Team MVP.  Bully Ray bodyslamming Bobby Roode through a table was just the icing on the cake, ending the show on a very high note for me.  I think the show did a very good job of getting me excited about this week's Impact.  The ramifications from Lockdown will make for great television and I think that's something a PPV should do.  Overall, this year's Lockdown was a very good show.

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