So we find ourselves in the middle of the TNA UK Tour 2016 as the backdrop changes from Manchester to London. I enjoyed the last 2 episodes of Impact in England (for the most part) and Lockdown looks decent on paper. The scheduled matches are somewhat promising and the crowd should be great, as they usually are in this part of the world. The Lethal Lockdown KnockOuts match does provide a new twist on things as it is the first time the ladies have competed in said contest, but this Beautiful People/Dollhouse feud has simply ran its course. I imagine that they'll show well and prove that they can hold their own in such a violent type of cage fight. A team that is widely adored here at TNAMecca, the always maniacal Eric Young and Bram, will take on ultra-popular Beer Money and figures to be a highlight of the show as the heel/face dynamic is very strong in this one. Eli Drake competes against...gulp...Odarg...The Great. If E-Li Drake doesn't go over here, I'm not going to be a happy camper (and many of us feel the same way of course). Trevor Lee vs Tigre Uno doesn't excite me that much as the X-Division seems to be in another holding pattern, but I anticipate some quality in-ring work here. And finally, EC3 vs Matt Hardy in the main event is sure to include shenanigans and outside interference which most likely means that Hardy will retain. I don't see him losing the belt this quickly as TNA management seems to be infatuated with Matt Hardy being in the main event scene, which is mind-boggling to me. At least Spud and Ethan are beginning to reunite as that is very pleasing to many of us here.
Does that line-up blow your socks off? It shouldn't really because it's one of the weakest line-ups for this annual affair in many years. So that leads to this question: Is Lockdown a PPV-quality event or not? It's evident that it has become more watered down with each passing year. I understand wanting to have it take place in front of a big, hot crowd in London but taping it ahead of time causes it to lose its luster. Personally, I feel that TNA needs to have Lockdown return to being a traditional Pay-Per-View starting in 2017. I know that the PPV business has changed and isn't what it used to be, but you're telling me that we only get two of these type of events per year now? That just doesn't seem right. Ideally there would be four big events each year with one per quarter as some of us have suggested. Maybe 2 of those would be on PopTV on a Saturday? Is that asking too much? If so, and perhaps I am shooting for the moon here, at least have Slammiversary and Bound For Glory be live and not in the Impact Zone for crying out loud. I get that there are budgetary restraints and so forth but you can't expect fans to realistically get excited for "major" Pay-Per-Views hailing from a sound stage in Universal Studios. In fact, if they decide to put one of those 2 events in the Impact Zone this year, I am not going to buy either of them on principal alone. The only exceptions would be if the card was absolutely irresistible or if there were some major roster additions. I'm done spending money on PPV's that are shot in that piss poor environment. I hate the Impact Zone with the passion of a thousand burning suns and I'm taking a stand.
What do you think of Impact on PopTV so far? This Lockdown show is being billed as the biggest and best thing they have done so far on this new network, so hopefully it translates well on TV this week. Maybe I'll be wrong, but right now it just feels like another week of Impact. Is there a match that you are just dying to see? TNA has got to step their game up at this next set of tapings. They need to close out the first quarter of the year with some momentum and buzz because, frankly, right now they have very little of either. I know that feat will be challenging as they head back to the confines of the Impact Zone but it's critical that they find a way. I'm not being negative here, I am being a realist. There has to be some things that happen at these March TV tapings that raise the spirits of the fans in order to off-set the depressing fall back to Orlando. Be bold. Do something that gets people talking. There has not really been a "defining moment" during the first couple of months on PopTV yet. Sure, the Lashley/Angle match will most likely provide a quality moment but do you want that to be the best thing that happens all year long? I'm thankful for what Angle has done for TNA but the potential big moment I'm referring to should come from a younger star that represents the future of the company, not an older wrestler that is having his final match in TNA. Thoughts?