08 February 2015

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Feb 6, 2015

Going into this week's Lockdown, I knew that I'd most likely have to judge this show strictly by the quality of its matches. Unlike a regular episode of Impact, I did not expect much storyline progression or any of the weekly bells and whistles TNA tinkers with. So the question remains, did the matches on Lockdown deliver?

The show opened with the Revolution vs the Hardys for the Tag Team Championships. This was a very good match that saw James Storm and Abyss retain their titles. Some might argue that it was overbooked with the constant interfering by the members of the Revolution but I didn't have an issue with it simply because they found ways to bypass the obstacle that the cage presents. Khoya is strong enough to literally pull Matt Hardy out of the cage through one of the camera holes and no cage can stop Sanada's mist.  Where these two succeeded, however, Manik failed. He was able to climb into the cage but was quickly handcuffed to the ropes by the Hardys and then missed with a frogsplash onto the table when Jeff Hardy moved. It seems like Manik is being booked as the odd man out and I'm curious to see how this plays out.  The segment ended with one of the most insanely dangerous bumps that you will ever see in wrestling. Jeff Hardy's limp body falling from the top of the cage door onto the steel steps beneath was insanity. Just when you think he can't outdo himself after the bumps he took last year, he goes and does this. It's amazing the lengths he will go to and I have so much respect for him because of it.

Awesome Kong vs Havok was decent but it felt like the first match of a series so in that sense, it served its purpose.  Unfortunately, Havok did not travel to the UK for the Impact tapings so any potential next chapter to this feud must wait until early Spring. Some have mentioned to me that Havok's grandfather passed away on the day of this taping so I must commend her for being able to go out there a perform for us. I can't imagine it was easy.

Bobby Roode vs Eric Young was a very good singles match that highlighted the hatred between the two men. Roode emerged victorious after a very physical encounter that included a couple of chair shots and Eric Young being busted open by the cage.  This is the second match of their feud, EY had won the first one with a piledriver to a chair, so I imagine there will be a third even though Roode claimed it was over after the match.  I'm not so sure. I don't think Eric Young is going away so easily.

Tyrus vs Spud and Mandrews was a really fun affair and it cemented, in my mind, the latter as a young tag team to watch. They might by a bit smaller than most but their energy and athleticism is infectious. Tyrus ended up winning the match, however, with a finisher that has to be one of the worst right now in pro wrestling. I simply loathe his finisher. It's a finisher that might look acceptable on Spud but it will be exposed on talents who are much bigger so I hope TNA gives him another finisher. There were two highlights in this match: Spud's plancha off the top of the cage on Tyrus and Mandrews' nasty fall on the steel steps in which he looked like he hit the back of his head on one of the steps.

And lastly, the Lethal Lockdown match, in my opinion, was one of the most enjoyable that I've watched in years. For one, it was a hardcore fan's dream with all the weapon shots, particularly the trash can lid shots to the head. Secondly, it avoided all the previous years' overbooking nonsense due to power struggle or invasion storylines. This was also as stiff a match as you'll see on American mainstream television. It was absolutely brutal and the physicality was non-stop from the opening bell to Lashley's pin on MVP. The Lethal Lockdown concept isn't always very exciting, at least until all competitors are inside the cafe, but I thought TNA did a very good job keeping me interested this year. The match told a good story and the brutality (minus any blood) was top-notch.  Overall, very well done.

Favorite Moment - There were quite a few this week but I will have to go with Jeff Hardy's bump on the steel steps simply due to how insanely dangerous it was. Honestly, I don't know how many wrestlers take that bump.

Least Favorite Moment - The honor goes to the most absurd moment of the week, the "Earlier tonight" footage of Robbie E and Brooke racing. I suppose it's cool that TNA shared with us an event that happened before the show, exclusively for the live crowd, but it was just odd.

MVP of the Night - Lashley came out looking like the destroyer that he is.  Not only did he save the members of Team Angle but he dominated in a big way, including getting the pin for his team.

Grade - So...I ask again, did the matches on Lockdown deliver?  I think for the most part they did.  The Knockouts match and Roode vs EY were much too short but overall, I think TNA delivered an enjoyable night of wrestling.  I will give this year's Lockdown a B+ which is much higher than I would've given any Lockdown PPV the last few years. Nicely done, TNA.

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