411's PPV Roundtable Preview: TNA Lockdown 2014
Posted by Larry Csonka on 03.08.2014
Magnus defends the World Title against Samoa Joe as TNA presents Lockdown on PPV! Plus, Team Dixie battles Team MVP in Lethal Lockdown for control of the company and more! Check out the full roundtable for all the details and join 411 for LIVE coverage on Sunday night!
Welcome back to the latest edition of the 411 Roundtable preview. Since the last time TNA hit PPV a lot has happened. The Aces and 8s are done, AJ Styles is gone, Hulk Hogan is gone, Sting is gone and Bully Ray has gone insane. Magnus won the World Title, MVP and the Wolves have arrived, EC3, the BroMans and Gunner are getting shots to shine, and Dixie Carter is the company's main heel. Lockdown is an important PPV for many of the new faces in TNA, lets meet the staff and break down the show…
NOTE: TNA changed the card LATE Thursday night, so picks for the Manik vs. Tigre Uno and the six-man tag are not included, due to our deadline. We apologize for this.
Steel Cage Match: Samuel Shaw vs. Ken Anderson
Mike Hammerlock: For all the crap Anderson gets in some circles, I like him and I think he's been an asset for TNA. I liked his wild card booking prior to Aces & Eights and they've built this fight against Shaw pretty well. He's a good hand to have working Shaw's coming out match. I expect a stiff, no-nonsense brawl. I don't know that Shaw represents the future of TNA (he's 30), but it's nice to see TNA freshening up the pool a bit. It will be interesting to see whether they give Shaw something like a Fandango win or if Anderson takes it since he's one of TNA's main event players.
Winner: Sam Shaw
Justin Watry: Actually, this is fairly intriguing to see who comes out on top. Shaw is beyond anything realistic, suspending disbelief or fitting the mold of programming TNA tries to present, but if he is getting television time, you would think there are plans for him. On the flip side, Anderson DID just come off a feud with Bully Ray. Is he just going to turn around and lose to a fairly new act on pay-per-view? Veteran versus rookie seems to be the idea TNA has going for a lot of their current feuds. In this case, I will go with the heel.
Paul Lapointe: Its the Asshole Vs The Dexter in a battle of whims over the affections of an already declared married woman. The only thing missing from this angle is Austin Aries crotch and it would be perfect. I digress as thrown together as this match seems it does finally put Shaw in the ring, a steel caged ring but a ring nonetheless. That being said his character works win or lose and the two time champ needs to shine before moving on to feud that really matters. So what happens when a future prison inmate is trapped in a cage like a hamster with a raging jerkhoff from Green Bay? A serviceable match that allows Mrs. Hemme a little vindication.
Winner: MRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR........you get it.
Michael Weyer: Not really sold on Shaw just yet but does have promise and we do need a fresh face on the roster. Anderson is a good pick for him, should be able to carry to a decent battle and give a rub to the guy. I'll give it to Shaw, a good way to break out and hopefully he's more a boon than a bust for the company.
Winner: Samuel Shaw
Dino Zucconi: This classic feud of two weeks sees the creepy rookie Shaw take on the guy who should probably get a title shot for eliminating the Aces and Eights, and then again defeating Bully Ray in another feud, Mr. Anderson. Make no mistake: I think Sam Shaw, thus far, has been ridiculous. No one cares that he's stalking a woman besides Ken Anderson? Cameramen just follow along and watch, and the commentators just ask if anyone will do anything, but don't actually lift a finger. It's an instance of over thinking it. A vicious, bad guy can absolutely be done in wrestling, but everyone should actually give a crap. However, no one does. I hope Anderson gets the win here, just because the last time a guy using a head and arm style choke got a push, he was beating Virgil at SummerSlam 92. Let's tweak Shaw a bit after this match, can we?
Winner: Ken "Mister" Anderson
Wyatt Beougher: Okay, let me see if I've got this storyline straight - former Gut Check winner Sam Shaw is now an American Psycho/Dexter-styled stalker who is obsessed with Christy Hemme (can't fault his taste, at least), and her knight in shining armor is chauvinistic, misogynist asshole Ken Anderson, who was wooed to join the Aces and Eights with the promise of strippers? Ooooo-kay then. Does anyone remember when Anderson (as Ken Kennedy....................KENNEDY) seemed like a can't-miss prospect? Funny how when he was actually good in the ring, he couldn't stop getting hurt, but now that he's decidedly mediocre, he's always healthy. ANYWAY, this match should be perfectly acceptable wrestling, though I hope that with the loss of the six-man tag it's not slotted in as the opener, as I think it'll be more of a psychological affair, which probably isn't conducive to getting the crowd warmed up for the rest of the show. At any rate, Shaw will benefit more from the win, so let's hope TNA actually gets that.
Winner: Samuel Shaw
Larry Csonka: I will say this a lot, but this is an important PPV for TNA and for a lot of the new talent that they are trying to push. This is a huge match for Samuel Shaw, who has exhibited very good character work, but his in ring is a big mystery. With all due respect, Ken Anderson's TNA run has been pretty forgettable and even his best matches have had the feeling that they have been dragged out of him. I am honestly not expecting a lot, but I hope Shaw does well.
Winner: Samuel Shaw
Steel Cage Last Man Standing Match: James Storm vs. Gunner
Mike Hammerlock: I'm kind of glad these two are fighting since I never really thought they clicked as a tag team. Storm deserves a lot of recognition for being able to reinvent himself multiple times while always remaining essentially the same guy. He's due for whatever his next phase is after this match. Meanwhile Gunner, age 31, is at a now or never juncture of his career. It looks like he's getting the push. As with Shaw, it's nice to see TNA mixing it up.
Justin Watry: Ah, irony at its finest. Two years ago, I wrote up and down that James Storm was damaged goods heading into Lockdown. In front of his family and friends, he could still get a huge victory and become TNA Champ! His short lived title win months earlier was a joke in itself and (in my opinion) was a BIG part of their slow downfall of TV ratings and viewers going bye-bye. Even when given a chance to salvage that months later at Lockdown, nope. Not in this company. TNA just HAD to go with the cheap Bobby Roode heel victory and do their usual 'swerve that nobody asked for,' and that was it for James Storm. Done. I said it then and say it now. Such a shame. Now, he is fighting Gunner. Yep, Gunner. Good luck with that. Never too late to call up WWE headquarters James...
Winner: James Storm
Paul Lapointe: Though a lot of fait was put into Gunner for a bit there he always seems to run hot and cold with booking. He wins the TV title that never really mattered, then disappeared. Came back with Ric Flair and was given 700 nicknames and disappeared. Came back again and won the tag titles with James Storm for some reason and inexplicably disappeared anyhow. Now finally back in the limelight he has been elevated to potential marine foil against Dixie Corp. Word to the wise though, a hero must be able to pick himself up when he is at his last breath and keep fighting and this fight will continue on past this Sunday. All and all the heel gets the first round before the he gets his comeuppance. Storm by Roode influenced tomfoolery.
Winner: James Storm
Michael Weyer: Man, TNA. You give me hope with the Roode turn and a possible Beer Money reunion, then you do the exact same "shocking swerve" with Storm. I do think it works, guy is a great heel and should be able to use this to push himself up again. He and Gunner should give us a good brawl, they know how to work together and should spark the crowd up nicely with a great fight. Tempting to say Gunner but if the heel turn is going to mean more, Storm goes over here and uses it to follow Roode's footsteps and get back in the limelight big time.
Winner: James Storm
Dino Zucconi: Now this match, on the other hand, I'm really geeked for. I'm a huge James Storm fan, and Gunner has slowly won me over these last few months. I really liked the friction caused by Gunner doing what Storm preached- anything to win the briefcase. Storm's jealous tiff for a few weeks seemed to finally be supplanted by a heart to heart in the middle of the ring, until Storm superkicked Gunner as he attempted a big splash on Magnus in a World Title bout. Feud: Back on. And it's been done great. They just hate each other, and they want to fight about it. Nothing extra, no hidden cameramen... just two guys looking to fight. I expect this to be a vicious piece of business, and an entertaining one at that. And while I'd like to lean with the Cyyyyyyowboy (as Hemme calls him), I just don't see it in the cards.
Wyatt Beougher: So after this match, are they going to be friends again? Or can Braden Walker Chris Harris come back so Storm has something actually constructive to do, other than he and Gunner repeatedly turning on one another? Fortunately, like the first match, the booking leading up to it shouldn't negatively impact the in-cage stuff too much, as both guys are suited to this kind of knock-down, drag-out brawl. I wouldn't be surprised if Storm busts out some handcuffs, AMW-style, to get the win in this Last Man Standing match, just to give both guys something to do going forward.
Winner: James Storm
Larry Csonka: In a lot of ways I have liked the James Storm vs. Gunner feud. Storm needed to be freshened up and the heel turn does that. I am not completely sold on Gunner, but he has done well and I like the fresh face being used and he attempt to make him. Storm has been great in the past in brawls and matches like this, and combining his experience with the cage should cover up any shortcomings Gunner may still have. This has a chance to be good, and I see Storm winning to continue the feud.
Mike Hammerlock: Kim's one of the best female workers in the business. Rayne's a five-time Knockouts champ. Technically this should feel like a big match, but the Knockouts division is fairly sparse at the moment. I get the feeling this match is designed to set up Kim as an indomitable champ and then someone new will come into TNA to challenge her.
Winner: Gail Kim
Justin Watry: It just feels like we have seen this song and dance. Gail Kim will win the belt for the 49th time in her career, try to cut a worthwhile promo and Tapa will stand there doing nothing. Madison Rayne? ODB? Velvet Sky? No thanks. Time to get a new challenger in there. Since Gail is the best worker, it may be wise to have her hold the gold until something interesting is actually done.
Winner: Gail Kim
Paul Lapointe: I feel the need to point out that I believe Madison's winning of the title was a thank you for coming back after giving birth. TNA though already needs to rebrand the KO division just like the X division and its easier in my minds to start fresh from the beginning and go from there. So was it that was the first KO's champ? Oh that's right.
Winner: Gail Kim New Champ
Michael Weyer: Madison really seems more energized after coming back but at this point, the Knockouts are all about Gail. Once again, it's sad to see one of the stronger parts of TNA collapse like this as it'll be a fair match in a cage but in the end, Gail gets the win and title against a very thin pool of competitors.
Winner and NEW TNA Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim
Dino Zucconi: You know that feeling you get every once in a while? Specifically, when a women's wrestling match with vicious stipulations is announced? You're a WWE fan, and you're used to Bra and Panties matches, or bikini contests... there's no way these chicks can have a cage match! Then TNA does it, and has great results! It's one of the weirdest phenomena in wrestling, but I love it. Cage matches, Last Man Standing Matches, the TNA Knockouts do it all! And usually, Gail Kim is the glue that holds it all together. Can she do it again and take her gold back from Madison Rayne? I hope not, if only because I love the Serg classic "Killa Queen" so much.
Winner: And STILL Knockouts Champion, Madison Rayne!
Wyatt Beougher: While it's been great to see Rayne back in TNA, I fear that she and Gail really aren't enough to return the division to its former glory, so the result of this match isn't really that important to me - no matter who wins, they're still going to be the champion of an incredibly shallow division, but, on the bright side, this match will be better than any women's match the WWE puts on RAW or Smackdown this month.
Winner: Madison Rayne?
Larry Csonka: Rayne and Kim have a good history together, teaming and now feuding. They have had goon encounters, and I figure that they will work hard to deliver on PPV. Rayne isn't setting the world on fire as champion, so I see Kim winning the title back as the division looks to move onto some new faces, like the newly signed Santana Garrett.
Winner: Gail Kim
Lethal Lockdown Match For Control of TNA: Team Dixie (Bobby Roode, Austin Aries & The BroMans) vs. Team MVP (MVP, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards & Jeff Hardy)
Mike Hammerlock: This is where I miss six sides of steel. If they had that and then made this an Ultimate X match, it would be off the chain. Still, there's a lot of talent in there and I suppose they'll make good use of the dangling plunder. MVP keeps saying he doesn't have a long-term contract with TNA, which makes it seem like maybe his team's chances here aren't so good. Then again, that potentially might be him working the fans so that this win feels huge. The biggest individual storyline in this match is Roode. Much as Dixie vs. MVP gets the headline, Roode's direction coming out of the match will have the biggest impact. Major bonus points if Roode goes lumberjack, pulls down an ax and chops down Willow.
Winner: Team Dixie
Justin Watry: I actually think this will close the show. Magnus has been showcased as one of those 'middle of the card' champions where other story lines get more time and focus. Since that is the case, a logical outcome is the hometown (and face) team wins to end the evening. Bro Mans have no place anywhere near the PPV much less the main event. Austin Aries has turned face/heel for the millionth time this year. Plus, Jeff Hardy playing 'Willow" must be part of contract negotiations. Otherwise, it makes no sense to have one of your top stars change his name and gimmick just to keep the person happy. Otherwise, I like all the other participants and in-ring potential here. Should be the best match of the night. MVP reigns supreme and boots Dixie Carter from television...hopefully for a long time. She can take her action figure and Twitter account and go. Just go. Worst professional wrestling character in a long time from every single measure.
Winner: Team MVP
Paul Lapointe: The Good Guys always win these things unless they are up against the NWO. The end. Let the corporate takeover begin. Unless that crazy hermit guy shows up to replace Jeff Hardy then we have problems. I will be optimistic.
Winner: MVP plus 3
Michael Weyer: Funny how the TNA website still says it's a "mystery member" for MVP. I do like Lethal Lockdown and stakes for this are good. It's tempting to say MVP to get Dixie off screen and with the Wolves and Hardy plus the Roode storyline is good. But I'm going to guess we get some sort of "shocking swerve" perhaps from the Wolves, to cost the match so Dixie still reigns supreme and MVP is soon forced back to the ring to fight for the honor of this company he just joined. May not be good but it's sadly logical for TNA.
Winners: Team Dixie
Dino Zucconi: On paper, these teams are pretty evenly matched. Roode, Aries, MVP and Hardy are all stars in their own rights. The BroMans are working hard, Eddie Edwards is working hard, and then there's that idiot Davey Richards. Hopefully the entire Team Dixie won't have to earn Davey's respect as wrestlers at the conclusion of this match, nor will they have to stand still and wait for his ridiculous kicks. I'm sorry, I no like Davey. I think MVP's team gets the win to give a false sense of security to TNA and the fans, until Dixie can manage to swindle control back at some point in the summer. Until then, let's let the faces have their fun.
Winner: Team MVP
Wyatt Beougher: *Ahem* Jeff Hardy is suspended, and the mystery member of MVP's team will actually be Willow...which, unfortunately, makes no sense, as Hardy's OMEGA character (updated with actual production values and a healthy dose of Bray Wyatt) certainly doesn't come across as someone who'd be the least bit interested in saving the company from Team Dixie's machinations. In fact, I'll just assume that that's the finish of the match - Willow loses interest or goes crazy or whatever and costs Team MVP the match.
Winner: Team Dixie
Larry Csonka: I have to say that the "Match For Control of TNA" angle has been very rushed. MVP arrives, and three weeks later they are having this huge match for control for the company. A lot of what they have done has been solid, but still, rushed. But that's just my opinion. I feel that MVP has done well in his role, and also feel that it is time to move away from Dixie Carter as the main authority figure on TV. I feel that someone (see later) from MVP's team will challenge for the World Title next month, which leads me to believe that Team MVP will take it here. It sets up three matches for next month's PPV if done correctly as well. Although who the hell knows since they apparently haven't officially signed him to a contract; sorry but that is just not a good business plan at all.
Mike Hammerlock: Nice to see Joe crushing people again. He does unstoppable better than anyone in the business - because it's about intensity, not muscularity. However, he's getting stopped here. Might be because of interference. In fact, it probably will be because of interference. Magnus can't lose this one because, if he does, what was the point of his title reign? They've got some sort of larger plan for Magnus. It doesn't end here for him.
Justin Watry: From my understanding, Samoa Joe has a VERY good win-loss record at Lockdown. Why that has not been a major selling point is strange. Either way, TNA has booked themselves into a corner here. Joe is motivated and rumored (yes, just rumored) to have an expiring contract. Thus, with talent leaving left and right, it is no wonder why they went back to reliable Samoa Joe in the main event scene. On the other side of the ring is Magnus. His title reign has been all about Dixie Carter so far (big surprise, huh?), and his gimmick of being the weakest champion of all-time needs to have a payoff...or he was just the weakest champion of all-time. Everything said about him would prove to be true, should be lose at Lockdown. I am going to say Magnus retains by 15 guys interfering and then feuds with Jeff Hardy. Samoa Joe? Sorry. We know how this story goes.
Paul Lapointe: I can muster up a bunch of over cooked jargon to pontificate on about this match like Magnus's other title defenses but we have already been through enough of that. If Magnus is to be a worthy holder of the belt or even slightly legit, he needs a weaseled victory here by HIMSELF and his own wits. A good champion finds a way to win. Plus this FEUD MUST CONTINUE! And that is what is best for business.
Michael Weyer: Nice to see Joe in the main event after so long but I highly doubt he's going to get the belt here. It's been a pretty dominant run for Magnus and unlikely a rare PPV goes with him losing the title. Joe gives his best but outside interference and Dixie end up undoing his chances and continue Magnus as the great champion TNA thinks he is until someone else comes along. It's what's best for business.
Winner and STILL TNA World Champion: Magnus
Dino Zucconi: The Reign of Magnus has been under whelming, if only because the desire to show what a chickenshit he is has caused him to lose the ability to win any match on his own accord. It's fine to cheat, but when you're shown to be ineffective, things can get bad. At this point, Magnus cannot win without help. That's not a good thing heading into a match with Joe. Joe, the one who should have had multiple dominant TNA Title reigns, finds himself back as the number one contender, looking to defend TNA while humiliating his old partner at the same time. With the Lethal Lockdown match going on, has Magnus gotten the attention from Dixie that he needs? Will this match come before or after the Lethal Lockdown? If it's after, will Magnus be sad that Team Dixie lost? Will he be excited for their win? Will he keep his belt? I see some more shenanigans keeping Joe in his usual "We need you to make someone else seem important" spot.
Winner: And STILL TNA Champion, Magnus!
Wyatt Beougher: What a difference a few months makes. I bashed Magnus pretty heavily during an appearance in Wrestling Fact or Fiction several months ago (during the return of the MEM) for being devoid of charisma and decidedly average in the ring. Now, just a few short months later, it's like watching an entirely different performer out there. In my opinion, Magnus is just one of those guys who has the natural personality and mannerisms of a heel and his work since turning has been one of the brightest spots in TNA (probably second to EC3 and, in particular, his subtle and growing distrust of Magnus). On the other side of the cage, you've got Samoa Joe, who honestly could've been the face of this company, if only they'd pushed him correctly six or seven years ago. Now, he's got CM Punk-itis, where he can still be one of the best in-ring performers in the company, but he's burnt out and/or dissatisfied with his position in the company and mostly seems like he's phoning it in (at least compared to his great performances from his first few years in the company). So will he win the title from Magnus or will this be "Aborted Samoa Joe Push #6456237"? My money's on the latter, although I wouldn't be opposed to this feud continuing, so a less-than-clean ending here wouldn't be completely unsatisfying, as long as it's not completely overbooked. Maybe Rockstar Spud grabs Joe's foot a couple of times early in the match and then finally Joe gets a hold of him, which allows Magnus to roll him up or hit his finisher and get the win.
Winner and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Magnus
Larry Csonka: In my opinion, this is a huge test for Magnus. He has had some good outings in the past with Joe, AJ and Hardy, but I do not feel that he has had that standout, but time singles match that you want your top singles star to have to prove that he can deliver. Magnus has been good as the snobby champion who constantly gets help; he carries himself well, his promos are solid and he looks the part, but he has to deliver here. I feel that Joe is the man that can help him have that performance. Joe has been booked tremendously on the way to this title match and is looking more motivated than he has in a long time. I think that Magnus wins here, and then moves onto a familiar opponent next month, Jeff Hardy.
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