On Sunday April 15th, TNA Wrestling hold their annual all-cage-match PPV, Lockdown. In days gone by, such a gimmick running throughout the entire show might have been considered risky or too much, but since WWE started assigning gimmicks to almost every single event, it's actually quite run of the mill. However, this is one niche that TNA beat them to and it's become their second biggest show of the year behind Bound for Glory! Now let's see what they have in store for us...
TNA World Tag Team Championships
Magnus & Samoa Joe (c) vs The Motorcity Machine Guns
After the long awaited return of the Motorcity Machine Guns to Impact Wrestling last week, the Tag Team Champions have been put on notice! The Guns definitely have momentum on their side, being a fan favourite tag team, who've been sorely missed for the past year. However, Magnus and Joe are only just beginning to gel as a legitimate tag team, if they lose the titles straight after winning them, they may as well go back to singles competition, their reign will have meant nothing. If I were to venture a guess, I'd expect the Champions to retain their titles, setting up a rematch next month. There's so little going on in the Tag Team division, they pretty much HAVE to keep their feud going.
Prediction - Magnus & Samoa Joe defeat The Motorcity Machine Guns via pinfall to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championships
TNA Knockouts Championship
Gail Kim (c) vs Velvet Sky
Gail Kim has been decisively dominating the Knockouts division ever since returning to TNA in October of last year. There have been a few contenders who've come close to toppling her, whether it be "Hardcore Country" Mickie James or "Killer Queen" Madison Rayne. Either of those competitors would've made complete thematic sense. However, I'm sad to say that current candidate Velvet Sky makes least sense of all. While she was the one who initially lost the Knockouts Championship to Gail upon her return, Velvet has been a forgotten footnote ever since. This renewed pursuit of the title has literally come out of nowhere, with Velvet going from jobbing to pinning their biggest star (James) in a matter of weeks. Despite all of this, I do think TNA are feeling the need for a change and will once again use a big show to put the belt on Velvet, just as they did back at Bound for Glory. If she does manage to end Gail's reign, here's hoping Velvet's second attempt at being Champion is more dignified than her first.
Prediction - Velvet Sky defeats Gail Kim via pinfall to win the TNA Knockouts Championship
TNA Television Championship
Devon (c) vs Robbie E
Prediction - Robbie E defeats Devon via interference (from Rob Terry) to win the TNA Television Championship.
Crimson vs Matt Morgan
This is one of several feuds at Lockdown that began all the way back at Bound for Glory six months ago, with TNA showing remarkable forward-planning. Even if we weren't really happy with the pairing in the first place, they stuck to their guns and gave it to us anyway. Initially, the feud was conceived as a battle of the giants, a supposed "dream match". After a brief intermission with Samoa Joe, the pair were sucked into the ailing tag team division for Sting's wildcard tournament and the months that followed. No matter how the two behaved, you knew at some point the trigger would be pulled and they would turn on each other, it was just a question of how. In the end, Crimson's "undefeated streak" (except for all those tag matches he lost) went to his head and he screwed over his partner Morgan in a rematch for the Tag Team titles. The one positive going into this match at Lockdown is that Hulk Hogan promised during a promo that this would be the end of the conflict. Hopefully, the pair will pummel each other, hit a few choice power moves and we can all move on. Nothing to see here that we haven't a hundred times over already.
Prediction - Crimson defeats Matt Morgan via pinfall to maintain his "undefeated streak"
Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle
The majority of the groundwork for this feud was laid before Victory Road over a month ago. The crux of the matter is that Kurt Angle is jealous of Jeff Hardy because Kurt's son Cody idolises Jeff over his own father. I've always found this to be a slightly flimsy excuse to have your two most popular active wrestlers go at it, but whatever gets them in the ring, I guess. The last month has really been a case of keeping things ticking over until the inevitable rematch. I suppose we're meant to ignore the fact they just had a twenty minute match together on Impact Wrestling last week. As long as it ended in a cheap fashion, it may as well never have happened, right guys. At least this iteration of the pairing comes with the added bonus of the cage and Angle's patented moonsault off the top corner. He's done it two years in a row now against both Ken Anderson and Jeff Jarrett, one hitting, the other landing nowhere near. After it was recently revealed that Angle is suffering from a major injury that could possibly keep him out of the Olympics, this guaranteed leap off the top is even scarier than usual. Please dear god Kurt, don't kill yourself.
Prediction - Jeff Hardy defeats Kurt Angle via pinfall (Angle takes a few months off to heal nagging injuries)
Team Garret vs Team Eric
(featuring - whoever doesn't already have a match)
In the past, the Lethal Lockdown match has headlined the PPV over the World Heavyweight Title match. In this case, I'm praying that's not the case. While both feuds have essentially been running since Bound for Glory last October, I wish Bobby Roode and James Storm the best of luck. Whereas, the Bischoff name has been a blight on Impact Wrestling for far too long. Whether it's Eric's pompous promos that even the audience aren't listening to or Garret's botchfests they dare to call matches. Lethal Lockdown is to determine who gets the rights to the name and who remains on the Impact Wrestling roster. Ultimately, NEITHER of these men deserve to be on your television each and every week. It's blatant nepotism and makes me cringe every week. I'd rather see the competitors in this match fighting over who was going to pay the bar tab afterwards, rather than the Bischoff name. It'd be one thing if we didn't already know the conclusion, but after the monster push that Garret has received for simply being Eric's son and the supposed "future of wrestling", there's no way in hell that Garret is going away. Even worse, Eric will come straight back too. What's the point?
Prediction - Team Garret defeats Team Eric via pinfall (Garret himself getting the pin on Eric)
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode vs "The Cowboy" James Storm
Ladies and gentlemen, our main event of the evening! Where all the other feuds that've carried over the past six months failed, this one has succeeded.
Bobby Roode went into TNA's biggest show Bound for Glory a clear fan favourite and lost his prized title shot through a last minute screwjob (perpetrated by Kurt Angle in the ring or Hulk Hogan outside of it?). Through some questionable hotshot booking, the World Championship soon found it's way to Roode's Beer Money partner, James Storm. Being an honourable "cowboy", Storm wanted to right the wrongs of BFG and gave first crack at the title to his best friend. After a hard-fought match, Roode's jealousy got the better of him and he used Storm's own beer bottle to steal the win and the World Heavyweight Championship. Since then, Roode has bloomed into a respected main event heel, proclaiming himself the leader of the "Selfish Generation". He's held the belt consistently for the entire six months, despite never once winning a match clean. He's become the quintessential villain for the 21st century.
In the opposing corner, we've watched an even more surprising rise to the top in the form of James Storm. Even as recently as a year ago, no one would have believed he could become a genuine World Championship contender or centrepiece of the company. But in a bizarre twist of fate, his "Cowboy" gimmick has led to a rebirth of sorts, with Storm evolving into a hard-drinking redneck hero the likes haven't been seen since Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Not to put unnecessary pressure on these two top class athletes, but this match could very well be the culmination of six months worth of television. For a company who's internal logic can fly out the window on a whim if it suits them, the fact they've held true and let these two young guys prove themselves in the spotlight is a miracle. The match itself will undoubtedly cover a number of styles, whether it be technical wrestling or outright brawling. I can't think of two people who deserve the attention more, now they just have to keep it. Considering this PPV is being held in Storm's home town and will function as an end to this feud, you have to put good money on the Cowboy coming out on top.
Prediction - James Storm defeats Bobby Roode via pinfall to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion!