Lockdown 2008 – Angle vs. Joe…..Finally

Lockdown 2008
Date: April 13, 2008
Location: Tsongas Arena, Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay

Lockdown very well may be the dumbest idea for a PPV that I’ve ever heard of in my life. Let’s think about this for a minute. For one thing, they’re actually putting matches like Gail Kim and ODB vs. Kong and Saed in there. That’s the biggest problem: so many of these matches flat out do not need to be inside a cage, which ties into the second problem: the matches that actually belong in the cage like Lethal Lockdown and Joe vs. Angle 19 or whatever it was are cheapened because weaker matches are in the cage as well.

As for matches tonight, TNA FINALLY is pulling the trigger on Joe, two years after they should have which means everything is all well and good. Other than that it’s of course Team Christian vs. Team Top Heel of the Month in Lethal Lockdown, their version of War Games. Let’s get to it.

Tenay says that tonight Joe’s life is on the line and that apparently all he knows is wrestling. Yeah TNA doesn’t get overdramatic at all. The video is about how EVIL, yes EVIL I say that steel is. They have a Latin prayer or something. TNA always went WAY too far with these things.

The fans are energetic if nothing else. JB and West are in the stands which is a cool idea I guess. It’s been done a million times but not in awhile.

X-Division Title: Jay Lethal vs. Johnny Devine vs. Shark Boy vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Consequences Creed vs. Curry Man

So the idea here is elimination but once you get down to two you have to get out of the cage. I always liked Curry Man. He was based off of a commercial that Daniels saw in India I believe. If nothing else you certainly remember him don’t you. Good night Devine is bland. He’s the X-Division traitor at the moment and hanging out with Team 3D. It went nowhere.

Creed is a guy that had his character completely changed as he started out like R-Truth was supposed to be and is now a total comedy character. Sonjay is Lethal and Socal Val’s best friend, so of course he would turn on them in like a month to take the title and Val. And this is the era of Stone Cold Shark Boy. This was so stupid I actually got headaches from it. Oh and Lethal is still Macho Man.

So we have a guy that would become Apollo Creed, a guy impersonating Steve Austin, a guy impersonating Macho Man, a guy as an Indian guru, a guy imitating an Indian curry commercial, and a guy named Johnny Devine that is bland . Does anyone else thing that this sounds like a bad parody instead of a match? Also note that it’s taken 11 minutes and 49 seconds for the first bell to ring.

Wait, they have to TAG? Dutt and Devine start as my head is hurting more and more here every second. One thing that TNA got very right with the cage matches: putting a hole in the cage to get camera shots with nothing barring the shot. Now we just get completely ridiculous with the spots. I mean they just don’t even try to make it seem like they aren’t totally planned out.

After Dutt saves Lethal he gets rolled up by Devine for the pin to begin the wedge between the two of them. Creed hits a bad DDT on Shark Boy after Curry Man messes up and he’s out. Something tells me this is supposed to be epic and it’s just failing completely. We go back to nothing but big spots that are completely insane but make for good TV when you don’t think too hard about them.

After a dive off the top of the very tall cage that should have killed him, Curry Man hits a Burning Hammer which is called the Spice Rack to put Creed out. Devine, the idiot that he is, breaks up the pin on Lethal to hit the Devine Intervention, a double underhook piledriver, on Curry Man to get us down to one on one under elimination rules. Devine puts him down but Dutt won’t let him go through the door. What a great face move to do there. And Lethal dives out the door to win. That was just stupid for an ending.

Rating: C-. Well, considering what they were going for with the opener here, this was ok. The spots were RIDICULOUS looking though and I hated the ending. You could see Dutt getting ticked off slowly but surely and the feud was coming soon. It sucked too.

Frank Trigg is in the back and says that both guys are getting ready. Good to know. The problem here is that Trigg might as well be Angle’s twin. He had an ok TV presence but they went a bit stupid here by trying to make this an MMA fight when it was a wrestling match. To be fair though, this was a good idea to have a legit MMA guy come in and give an analysis here.

Roxxi vs. Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky vs. Salinas vs. Rhaka Khan vs. Traci vs. Christy vs. Jacqueline

Yep 8 knockouts in a single cage is JUST fine. I still think Christy Hemme is a robot. No human can look that good. Has ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE, ever cared about Jackie? EVER? Traci Brooks comes out to Aerosmith’s Rag Doll. I hardly ever notice those things. Somehow the rules are as follows: you fight on the floor and the first two INSIDE the cage have a one on one match. Could this be any stupider?

So wait, the idea of this show is that every match is INSIDE the cage right? I’m not confused on that am I? And after about 2 minutes Love and Roxxi get in with ease. The match is about three minutes long and while it’s ok, that’s just it: it’s ok. It’s not particularly good or bad. It’s just ok. I think this one gets the it’s just there rating, as there’s nothing to talk about here and it’s hardly bad either. Roxxi gets a shot at Kong for this which she wouldn’t win.

Rating: F. It’s failing for just being stupid. At a show about cages, there was a match outside a cage where the point was to get into the cage. In what wrestling universe does that even begin to make sense in?

Lauren makes her TNA debut here and GOOD FREAKING NIGHT she looks amazing. She looks like Jenny McCarthy back when McCarthy looked hot. Joe says he’s not retiring. No really? Apparently Joe will sacrifice his life to be champion. Again, TONE IT DOWN.

Kip James (Billy Gunn) cuts the most cue card based promo that I’ve ever heard about being an animal in a cage.

BG James (Road Dogg) says he’s coming for James.

BG James vs. Kip James

Seriously, how has this match not happened before? This started as Roadie won a tag title shot in Feast or Fired and had his 60+ year old father be his partner of all things. No one bought it and this is what it was setting up. This should have been the finals of the 99 KOTR but that would have made sense so there we go. Billy breaks out a Diamond Cutter of all things to counter the punches of Roadie. Sorry, I refuse to call him Kip James.

Roadie is easier to type than BG James also, even though that really is closer than Jesse James. The problem with this whole PPV shows up again: while this could actually be a decent feud/match, the first match of it simply doesn’t belong in a cage as it’s just a regular match but in a cage. A Fameasser gets two and then a low blow has both guys down.

Naturally the finish sucks: Billy stomps his foot three times before going for a splash which misses and Roadie rolls him up for the pin. They do the reunion for about two seconds and Kip does the heel turn which no one cares about but of course it’s evil and no one saw it coming. After a bad and short feud with Matt Morgan, Billy would be Cute Kip to just end any shred of credibility he had.

Rating: D-. What was the point of this again? Actually that’s not a fair question. This match actually had a point. However, giving them seven minutes in a pointless cage match is just freaking stupid by TNA as they throw away a potentially kind of big match with no time and a terrible finish. Makes sense at least.

Angle says he wanted to come to TNA to fight Joe. And he did: this is match number 5. Angle looks like he’s under 200lbs here. Oh and it’s personal here.

Rock N Rave Infection vs. MCMG vs. Eric Young/Kaz vs. LAX vs. Scott Steiner/Petey Williams vs. Black Reign/Rellik

This is Cuffed in the Cage: all 12 in the match at once and it’s elimination by being cuffed to a rope, last man standing gets his team a shot at the tag titles at a future date. Reign and Rellik (Killer backwards. Clever huh?) beat up Eric backstage before they can come out. The entrances take a few hours or so. Oh and Black Reign (Goldust but a cheap knockoff that no one bought) and Killer are supposed to be monsters. This is idiotic.

How in the WORLD have the Guns not been tag champions yet? There are two sets of tag titles in TNA (don’t even get me started on how freaking stupid that is) and they can’t get one of them. That’s just stupid. Oh LAX already have a title shot, so they’re getting a chance to get a second one here, because it would make NO SENSE to take two people out of here to, oh I don’t know, unclutter the stupid thing a tiny bit???

This was back when Petey was Maple Leaf Muscle, as in a tiny version of Steiner. Is this supposed to be Mexico or something? Steiner just beats the heck out of everyone until LAX takes him down. About four people get him cuffed to eliminate him. What would be smart here? Perhaps having him leave? Nope, that would make too much sense, so he just stays in the cage cuffed to the cage. Someone was actually paid to think of this. That’s just sad.

Young comes down and gets scared by the monsters. You can’t tell a thing that’s going on because THERE ARE ELEVEN PEOPLE IN THERE AT ONCE. Sabin and Shelley get cuffed at the same time. Petey is put out and I just couldn’t care less. The problem here is that you get some decent stuff and spots but there are just so many people in there and the camera jumps around so much that you can’t tell a stupid thing at all. LAX are both out.

Kaz is out as we have Killer and Rock N Rave and Black Reign left. The fans already get the idea as they chant Super Eric. The idea is this: Eric Young puts on a shirt, a mask and a cape and all of a sudden he’s not scared anymore and is a tough fighter. This is making me lose intelligence very rapidly. He does a HUGE dive off the top of the cage to put four guys down. Ok that was pretty cool looking. Hoyt (Vance Archer) is put out.

The other problem becomes that no one can move anywhere as there are people on so many parts of the cage. Oh Jimmy Rave is out too. Young gets the two monsters to win the thing. To further drain my intelligence, here’s how this played out. Eric and Kaz won the tag titles (why they’re not being defended here and why the X Title isn’t being defended here is beyond me.

Tomko and AJ FREAKING STYLES were the tag champions, yet they’re not on the PPV. Upon further review they’re in the Lethal Lockdown match so that makes it a bit better) at the next Impact but because Super Eric wasn’t the guy Kaz entered the match with they didn’t get the titles.

Instead they were held up and a whole PPV, Sacrifice, was dedicated to getting new champions with LAX and 3D fighting in the finals of the Deuces Wild tag tournament where you had random partners fighting established teams but the random partners WON NO MATCHES. THIS WAS PRAISED by TNA fans. They thought this was a good idea.

Rating: F-. This was just so freaking stupid that I can’t believe it exists. Seriously, TWELVE PEOPLE in the cage at once and you handcuff them to eliminate them. I wanted wrestling, not some screwed up sex fantasy that even Vince McMahon would say slow down when offered. Seriously, screw Dave Meltzer. He said that Edge vs. HHH vs. Kozlov was worse than this? Dave is a brilliant guy, but his anti-WWE bias gets out of hands at times.

And we go to Samoa Joe’s family who are dressed in “traditional” clothing. This makes my head hurt. Yes because Samoans apparently have no idea of what the modern world is like and they all wear grass for clothing. If nothing else though, Lauren is entering Hemme territory in hotness.

We recap the Knockouts tag match which again doesn’t belong in a cage match.

Gail Kim/ODB vs. Awesome Kong/Raisha Saeed

Please…make it quick. Don’t get me wrong, three of the four here are very talented, but WHY IS THIS IN A CAGE? You can’t just call it a grudge match and make it interesting. I get the feud here, and it should be a decent match, but the cage is just freaking pointless here. Kong and ODB start us off. Both of the faces want Saeed for some reason that isn’t covered at all because that would be too helpful.

Oh apparently she’s cost both faces the title which Kong holds. I found that online, not from here of course. She’s more commonly known as Cheerleader Melissa, who is amazingly talented and very good looking as well. Kong rams Kim’s head into the cage to turn the tide. Kong hasn’t actually been in the match yet by the way. Dang it how do I time these things so well?

She beats the living tar out of Kim who is half dead already. And Kong is already out again. ODB comes in to clean house as she was being pushed very hard around this time. Naturally nothing ever came of it as they had Kong beat her anyway. Everyone is in now and the referee says nothing, meaning they never needed to tag at all. Gail gets a SWEET hurricanrana from the top of the cage. Kong accidentally knocks the heck out of Saeed and a splash from ODB ends it.

Rating: D+. The match was indeed fine, but there was no point to having this on PPV. It’s ok, but it’s just ok, and that’s the problem here. Why should I pay money to see this? Nothing was accomplished as Roxxi had the title shot next and Kong wasn’t even involved in the pin. The wrestling is fine and even good at times, but why is this on PPV is what I want to know.

Karen Angle is here and it’s no shock now that Jarrett slept with her. She supports Kurt.

We take a SPECIAL look at Booker vs. Robert Roode. Why is it special? We’re never told but we know it’s SPECIAL. Roode makes a great point: he keeps moving up the charts and someone from WWE kept showing up and instantly being handed a push. He’s absolutely right. The feud is over Roode accidentally hitting Sharmell, and no one would want that of course.

The announce guy calls this a towering inferno of rage. Do I even need to make fun of this? Naturally it’s a mixed tag instead of one on one, because Booker was so nervous about his wife being hurt that he has her in a match here. Oh and it was a punch heard around the world. It wasn’t even heard around Wrestlezone.

Peyton Banks/Robert Roode vs. Booker T/Sharmell

They don’t even try to hide the theme music being a rip off here. Ok so the match is now over and I have the same complaints I had for the previous match: why is this in a cage and why is this on PPV? Literally, the girls are in there for 30 seconds total as it’s all Booker vs. Roode and then Sharmell is tagged in and rolls up Banks for the pin.

It’s just Booker vs. Roode again in a feud that went on for like 6 months and no one really cared about it. I mean the match is ok, but again that’s just it: it’s just ok. Why should I want to pay my money to watch this show? I can’t think of a reason to do so. Roode leaves Banks in the ring and goes back on his own.

Rating: D. This was the same thing as the previous match but the previous one had better wrestling in it. This is the big problem that the company has with this show and I’ve said it a dozen times now I think: not every match needs to be in a cage. It’s complete overkill and makes no sense at all, and that’s what’s going on here. If this was a regular match, it’s probably a C or so.

We go to the gorgeous Lauren who is with Marcus Davis who trained Joe for the fight. Again, I get the idea, but this is wrestling, not MMA.

We look at Lethal Lockdown. The rules are just like WarGames but with one ring and after the last person comes in the roof comes down and there are weapons attached, and only then can you win the match. It’s kind of a nice twist but this needs to be 3 on 3 and not 5 on 5 as one ring is just too much. Oh and you can win by pin. That’s fine.

Team Cage vs. Team Tomko

Christian, Nash, Sting, Rhino, Matt Morgan
Tomko, Bubba, D-Von, AJ Styles, James Storm

Remember that AJ is a comedy heel here so the talent is a bit one sided. Christian and AJ start as the smarks explode. Tomko teases being number one for his team but he sends AJ in instead. Now remember they’re going for five minutes and then after the coin toss whoever wins will have a two minute advantage and after that two minutes the losing team makes it 2-2.

That continues until all ten are in. Ten men are WAY too many but I love me some WarGames so this is fun. The heel team of course wins to continue the tradition. AJ is freaking amazing. He might be better at this point than he is now if you can believe that. AJ is dominating here and we have another heel coming. What is our future ECW Champion going to do???

Christian takes over for a bit but we get back to even as Brother Ray comes out. One of the beauties of this match is that you have seventeen minutes at least of wrestling before you get to the finale of the match. It’s a nice little break from those never ending matches that get rather boring.

Ray wears a Yankees jersey and remember we’re just outside of Boston (those teams hate each other for you non baseball fans). And Ray uses a Boston Crab. That’s just amusing. Rhyno ties us up. Didn’t they hate each other for like ever? The clock is ten kinds of messed up now so it’s anyone’s guess how close they get to the right time. James Storm comes out maybe a minute and twenty seconds later. He’s got Jackie with him. Yeah I don’t care either.

He and Roode would hook up soon. For no explainable reason AJ climbs the cage and he and Christian fight on the top but Christian climbs down on the outside and gets knocked to the floor. Nash ties it up but Christian is still on the floor. He launches an AWESOME high cross body to Bubba and Storm. That was sweet looking. D-Von comes in after maybe a minute.

The clock is completely insane, but I can’t criticize it as the Royal Rumble is never anywhere close. I never remember a team that turns face or heel faster than 3D. I like the booking here as they’re letting the heels dominate when they’re way behind in talent but the booking is realistic. Matt Morgan comes in next and he’s as green as possible. He had been Cornette’s bodyguard forever but never got in the ring until here. We know it’s Tomko and Sting left so that’s no mystery.

There’s a lot of laying around here but you have to do that in a sense here as there are just too many people in there. AJ and Matt hook up for awhile which is a PPV main event someday if they quit messing around with Morgan. Oh that’s right: we need to have Hogan’s boys in the main event. Christian and Tomko go at it as the two captains which is always interesting.

D-Von is bleeding pretty well. The fans want Sting. Everyone stops to meet Sting but he pulls a 96 WarGames and beats them all up by himself. In a cool spot, Sting throws AJ up like for a back body drop but just kicks him in the balls instead. The roof with the weapons is lowered. Everybody grabs one as they have them on the roof too. Yeah they’re not even bothering trying to hide that they’re going up there.

Oh ok there’s a trap door so it’s more obvious. I kind of like that. Storm and Christian go up there which unclutters the ring a bit as it badly needs. There’s a bit hole in the roof which is kind of a cool visual. Nash and Morgan do a double chokeslam on 3D. AJ grabs a kendo stick and just massacres people with it. We have a table on the roof and AJ heads up there too so there are three up there and seven in the ring. AJ sets up a ladder ON TOP OF THE CAGE. Once he climbs it, he might be higher up than on top of the HIAC. I’m pretty sure he is.

As someone afraid of heights, that’s scary to me. Christian climbs up too and Storm shoves the ladder over. Nothing at all is happening in the cage mind you. They couldn’t have gone any further without a potential serious injury. And then Rhyno gores Storm for the pin. What the heck was that???? It’s like they ran out of time all of a sudden and said go home NOW.

Rating: B-. That’s mainly for the bad ending. There was no big dramatic moment or anything and they just had the Gore for the pin. I’m not wild on that at all. The ten people are just WAY too many for one ring. This should have been 3-3 or so and nothing more. Actually 4-4 could work. There were also far too many dead spots too.

This is definitely a good idea but it needs a lot of tweaking with the main thing being an adjustment to the amount of people. I’m probably shortchanging this a bit, but there were too many people and too much laying around doing nothing because of the confined space. The two ring, 8 man matches were always, well at least almost always, awesome because they found that balance. If TNA can do that then these matches go WAY up in value.

We recap the Angle/Joe feud. Let me make this clear: counting the intros, this takes over 12 minutes. That’s not counting the JB intros where he says who each guy is. Counting that we hit 15 minutes. It is 18 minutes from the end of Lethal Lockdown to the start of this match. That’s just ridiculous.

TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe

Now the first thing you notice is that this is more or less designed as a half MMA fight and half wrestling match. Now I get the idea here as they want to spread out the audience, but this isn’t something I can get into. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but it’s just not the greatest idea in the world to me. It’s new though so I have to give them credit for not just doing the same match.

They use a lot of MMA techniques and it’s actually working pretty well. They have Frank Trigg on commentary which is a good idea as he offers a perspective that we wouldn’t usually get, much like Tenay used to do with the cruiserweights in WCW. This is about seventeen minutes of primarily submission based stuff and while it’s not my style, it’s certainly great stuff.

You can tell there’s been a lot of training done for both guys to incorporate a lot of new submissions. In a CREEPY moment, Joe gets a crossface on Angle and the fans chant Joe’s gonna kill you. I don’t think it was intentional or anything, but that’s rather chilling. After a ton of submission attempts, and I mean at least 12 apiece, Joe hits the Muscle Buster to get the pin. Massive posing and celebrating ends the show.

Rating: A-. That might be a bit high but after what I went through with the idiocy earlier, this was gold for me. It’s a completely different style but it worked exactly like they wanted it to so I can’t complain at all. This was named match of the year in TNA and I can buy that.

I’m glad this was a one off thing though as it’s not something I’d want to become the norm. Either way, this was a great way to put the belt on Joe, but because it came two freaking years too late, no one cared and he was a boring champion.

Overall Rating: D. Well, the two main events were really good, but that’s all this show has going for it. The all cage thing is just not a good idea at all. The last two matches belong in a cage and by having another I believe 6 matches before that, it just makes the last two seem weak.

If you take away the cage earlier for everything other than maybe the X match, then this is easily a C+ or so. The matches are ok, but the Women’s match and the tag match were just so freaking STUPID. What was the point of those gimmicks? Anyway, this was a bad idea but if tweaked could turn into a much better one. Show sucked for the most part though. Get Joe/Angle and the Lethal Lockdown if you’re very bored, but you’ll be better off with an old WarGames match. Other than that, not worth it.

3 comments

  1. Matt Jarrell says:

    I’ve gotta admit, as bad as Stone Cold Shark Boy was, TNA totally dropped the ball by not having that character do a skit with Kurt Angle. That had comedy gold written all over it and TNA was too stupid to even realize that.

  2. Yappa Pie says:

    Wait Billy has faced Road Dogg before. Why do you keep saying they never did?

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