What’s up everyone? It’s George here with another column at PWMania.com. I’ve decided to use the title “From Across the Pond” for all my articles here from now on.
I’m going to break from the norm for me this week and preview the next wrestling PPV on the calendar, which is TNA’s annual LockDown PPV. As things stand at the moment, there are 7 matches on the card, so I’ll briefly run through them and pick who I think will win their respective matches. Ready? Let’s get started!
TNA TV Title Match: Devon (c) vs Robbie E
This is a rematch from their last PPV outing, where Devon won the title from Robbie E. Robbie issued an open challenge to the fans at Victory Road because every other wrestler was booked that night. Devon wandered through the crowd, into the ring, accepting his challenge. About 3 minutes later, he pinned Robbie E with a spinebuster to win the TV Title.
Surprisingly, I’m fine with these guys in a match. Devon’s a veteran worker, so it can only help Robbie E to work with someone of Devon’s experience. I also agree with TNA having a mid-card title, but why should the fans invest in it if TNA can’t make their mind up who’s babyface and who’s a heel? That’s a story for another time.
I don’t see this match going any longer than it needs to, maybe 5/6 minutes tops. Rob Terry will somehow try to get involved here, but I can’t see the title changing hands so quickly, especially with the experience Devon has in this kind of match.
My pick: Robbie E to become NEW TNA TV Champion
Matt Morgan vs Crimson
This is a battle between two of TNA’s big-man. They’re athletic and powerful, which shouldn’t point to a great technical match. It’ll be more of a brawl. Crimson turned on Morgan at Victory Road during their Tag Title match. There had been a few teases leading up to it that things weren’t rosy between them and TNA pulled the trigger on the team here.
After Morgan had laid waste to the tag champs (Joe & Magnus) with a double clothesline, he turned around into a HUGE spear from Crimson. Crimson’s still undefeated of course, which leads me to think that they won’t have him lose to Morgan. Morgan’s so established now that he can afford a singles loss at a PPV. That doesn’t mean I’m happy with how TNA’s booking him though.
Crimson will pick up the win here and move on to find singles gold in the next few months.
My Pick: Crimson
TNA Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim (c) vs Velvet Sky
Before I get started talking about this match, I want to put something out there. I think that, for the most part, TNA has an OUTSTANDING group of female wrestlers. They’re beautiful and they can get it done inside the ring. For me personally, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne are top of the list. My God!
Anyway, getting back to the point, which is to preview the match, I’m so happy that Gail Kim is back in TNA. Gail was horrifically used in her last WWE run, because they don’t give a sh*t about women’s wrestling. She’s a tremendous worker, as her feud with Awesome Kong proved in 2007-08. She went back to WWE (I think because she wanted to be well paid for being a great worked), but it never really worked out. That’s strange to me because she’s always been able to get it done inside the ring.
Her opponent, like I’ve said above, is absolutely stunning. I think I’m in love with her! Haha!! But seriously, Velvet has come a long way since her days as a member of The Beautiful People. Do I think she’s a tremendous wrestler? Not really, but she’ll continue to improve as long as the likes of Mickie James, Madison Rayne, Katie Lea (Winter), Angelina Love and Gail Kim stick around.
It’s been reported that TNA officials are high on Velvet’s look and work ethic, so I’ve no doubt that she’ll become the TNA Knockouts Champion… But not at LockDown.
My pick: Gail Kim
TNA Tag Team Championship Match: Samoa Joe & Magnus (c) vs The Motor-City Machine Guns
How great is it to have the Guns back? TNA, and tag-team wrestling in general, has missed their high-octane offense over the last 12-18 months. I’m glad to see Chris Sabin has recovered from his injury. It was quite a serious one, so I hope that his problems are behind him.
One of the things that separates these two teams is that Joe & Magnus have been tagging regularly over the last few months and the Guns might be a little bit rusty team-wise. They’re more than capable of putting on a tremendous show though. They’ll probably be feeding off adrenaline more than anything else. I just hope that Sabin doesn’t try too hard and put himself back in his road to recovery.
To me, the Guns are a throwback to the golden age of tag-team wrestling. They’re entertaining and genuinely love teaming together. Their feud with Beer Money a few years back is one of the best tag-feuds of all time. They won a best of 5 series after being 2-0 down and won the tag-team titles.
Joe & Magnus formed a team as a result of the Wild Card Tournament in January this year. Since then, they’ve really gelled together as a team, despite having contrasting styles. Looking at their team on paper, it doesn’t look as though it should work, but it does and that’s what’s impressive. For me, Joe & Magnus are a tremendous team, but they should be in the upper mid-card. At least they’re getting TV time and making the most of it. You could say that they’re making an impact!
As far as the match goes, Joe & Magnus should win, but I can see the Guns walking away as the new TNA Tag-Team Champions.
My pick (and new TNA Tag-Team Champions): Motor-City Machine Guns
Lethal Lockdown: Team Garrett (Garrett Bischoff ©, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Mr Anderson and RVD) vs Team Eric (Eric Bischoff ©, Gunner, Bully Ray, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian w/Ric Flair)
I can’t be the only one who honestly couldn’t give a sh*t about Garrett or Eric Bischoff. Their feud doesn’t have any place on a wrestling show and it’s a complete waste of ALL of the ACTUAL talent in this match.
The only good thing this match has going for it is that both teams are incredibly well matched. Garrett’s team has AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Mr Anderson and RVD. There’s experience there in terms of World Championship reigns and each of those men could claim to be the best in the world.
Eric’s team has tremendous heel heat. Even taking Eric out of it, there’s Gunner, Bully Ray, Kazarian, Daniels and the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. WOOOO!!!! That’s a mix of high-flying, powerful offense. Only problem is that only one of those men has a World Championship reign under his belt, and he’s not even wrestling.
For me, the two best wrestlers in TNA right now are Bully Ray and Austin Aries. Aries is quite simply “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived”. He can do it all. He can wrestle, he can brawl, he can do high-risk moves and he just oozes charisma.
I’ve gotta be honest here and say that I never thought I’d see Bully Ray make it as a singles wrestler. That doesn’t mean that I think he’s a bad wrestler, I just didn’t think anyone would give him the chance to break out on his own. Well, someone in TNA did and Ray has grabbed the bull by the horns! (Sorry for the puns guys. Honestly, I’ll try to cut them out! Haha!)
This match will probably come down to the grouping of Daniels/Kazarian/Styles and I can see Styles coming out on top for Team Garrett.
(By the way, I really, REALLY hope that after this match, we never see Eric or Garrett Bischoff in the ring again. There’s no need to. Eric is great as the on-screen authority figure, but he’s no place in the ring.)
My pick: Team Garrett Bischoff
Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle
I don’t want to spend too much time discussing this match, because I think that it’ll steal the show.
There’s nothing more that anyone can say about either of these men as in-ring performers. On their day, there are very few people in the world that are better than these two. They’ve got a lot of experience in this kind of match. Expect to see the usual high-flying spots from either man.
Jeff will hit his whisper in the wind and the swanton. Kurt will hit his running belly-to-belly throw up the ropes and probably go for a moonsault off the cage. This is the one match on the card that has me genuinely excited. I can’t wait to see what these two will do in the ring together. Give them 20-25 minutes and let them have an absolute classic match. No interference, no ref bumps, just two wrestlers going toe-to-toe inside a steel cage. I love it!!!
As for who wins? It’s tough. I really don’t mind who wins. A loss wouldn’t affect either man. Going by logic, since Angle won at Victory Road, Jeff should win here. However, TNA don’t seem to use logic, so it’s really up to the toss of a coin. I’ll go for logic and pick Hardy, but only just.
My pick: Jeff Hardy
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Bobby Roode © vs James Storm
This is the main-event of the night: a battle between two former best friends and tag-team champions. This feud has been bubbling under quite nicely over the last several months, ever since Roode beat Storm for the title back in November, turning heel in the process.
For two big guys, Roode & Storm work well with each other. I suppose that comes with the chemistry they built up when they were tagging as Beer…. Money!!! Ever since I first started to watch TNA around 7 years ago, I liked Bobby Roode. His attitude, his look, his mic skills all seemed to me like he was destined for the top, but for one reason or another, it didn’t happen. Until last year that is.
TNA built up Roode SO strongly during their “Bound for Glory Series” that everyone though he would win the World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory. For one reason or another, on that night, TNA decided to keep the belt on Kurt Angle and Roode lost the match under suspicious circumstances. He would then win the title from James Storm two weeks later when TNA were effectively playing “pass the parcel” with their major title.
My major problem with Roode winning the belt like that was, if he “wasn’t ready” for it on October 16th, how in the hell was he ready for it by November 3rd? If anyone can answer that question for me, I’d appreciate it. Since then, Roode has kept hold of the belt by beating men like AJ Styles, Sting and Jeff Hardy. Now, he comes up against his ol’ pal, James Storm again.
We’ve got a saying over here in the UK, so I’m gonna use it to describe James Storm. Storm is built like a brick sh*t-house. Now, let me just explain that. What I mean is that he’s solidly built and it takes a lot to knock him down. I said this earlier when I talked about Bully Ray. I never saw Storm as being an upper mid-carder or a World Heavyweight Champion. Not because he doesn’t deserve to be, but because I didn’t think Hogan or Bischoff would pull the trigger on his push. I’m glad they did.
Storm is arguably the #2 babyface in the company behind Jeff Hardy. He can throw hands, but he can also wrestle. He’s not your typical clumsy big guy (see Great Khali) and he’s really entertaining on the mic. A lot of people, me included, expected to see Bobby Roode work as the babyface when Beer Money split up, but Storm’s really stepped up to the plate and is excelling in the role.
In the words of good ol’ JR, this is gonna be bowling-shoe ugly and a good old fashioned slobber-knocker. The cage will probably play more of a part in this match than any other. In my opinion, Bobby Roode will get his ass well and truly kicked here, resulting in a title change.
My Pick (and new TNA World Heavyweight Champion): James Storm
So, with 72 hours or so until TNA brings their LockDown PPV to us from Nashville, my picks are: Robbie E, Crimson, Gail Kim, Motor City Machine Guns, Team Garrett, Jeff Hardy and James Storm. What do you guys think? Will we see the World Title change hands or will Bobby Roode find another way to keep hold of the belt? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Last week, I introduced a new part to this column, called Wrestling Throwback. Incase you missed it, basically I give you the chance to be a part of my article. All you have to do is think of a match/promo from the last 20 years that means something to you; tweet me the link and I feature the best one in my column. Simple as that. No really, it’s that easy.
This week’s Wrestling Throwback was chosen by Tom Young (@simkintom). He went for a match that I’d completely forgotten about until he mentioned it. It’s between two of the greatest performers in the last 20 years, Shawn Michaels and Mankind (Mick Foley), at the “In Your House” PPV: Mind Games.
Tom chose that match because: “it showcases Foley as a wrestler, not a hard core legend and it’s definitely a forgotten classic”. Here’s the match in question for all of you fine wrestling enthusiasts to enjoy!
Well, that’s my view on TNA LockDown from across the pond here in the wet & windy UK! If you guys want to suggest any future promos/matches for the Wrestling Throwback, send me a tweet @georgec1982, using the hashtag #FATPWrestlingThrowback and it could be your suggestion that’s part of my column next week!
Until next time, have a great week whatever you’re doing and remember, if you’re bad, somebody’s gonna call your momma!!