By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Team MVP Confronted Team Roode
I honestly couldn't care less about this control of the company storyline, but at least it looks like we might get some good matches out of it. Everyone involved in this opening segment (even The Bro-Mans) played their roles well, with the exception of Dixie Carter. She's still as terrible as ever and it's a shame she was kept off TV for only a week. We've known for weeks that Jeff Hardy would be competing at Lockdown, but the MVP's announcement of him being on his team came off hot for the live crowd. The brawl that ensured afterward was a nice tie-in to the subsequent six-man tag team match.
Samuel Shaw def. Eric Young by Disqualification
Mr. Anderson's pre-match promo was entertaining and encouraged the hilarious "Creepy Bastard" chants from the England crowd during the match. This could have been a nice squash win for Shaw, but I'm fine with him setting his sights on Anderson instead, giving him the DQ victory. He has gotten the better of Anderson for the last two weeks, which is smart booking considering Shaw needs all the momentum he can get in order to be taken seriously as a wrestler. This story with Shaw, Christy Hemme and now Anderson initially did nothing for me, but it has been gradually growing on me as of late, though I still thing the Anderson vs. Shaw match at Lockdown is not in need of a Steel Cage stipulation.
Kurt Angle Interrupted Ethan Carter III
I've been liking the new serious side of EC3 in recent weeks as well as his feud with Angle. Both men have been holding their own on the mic with has made for some enjoyable exchanges between the two. EC3 further injuring the knee of Angle is smart booking, as that can be Angle's out for losing their match at Lockdown. A win over Angle can do wonders for EC3, but losing to him wouldn't heavily damage his act, either, so I look forward to their upcoming matchup.
Velvet Sky, Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne and ODB def. Gail Kim, Lei'D Tapa and Alpha Female
Kim was at a clear disadvantage teaming with two green wrestlers, but they were limited in their role and Kim made the most of it. Then again, it's not like Sky is all that much better in the ring, either. The match was decent enough that it wasn't terrible and it helped further the feuds involved. I enjoyed the interactions between Sky and Chris Sabin here, though this match didn't do much to put heat on the Knockouts Championship match on Sunday.
James Storm Interrupted Gunner
Gunner was made out to look like a few weeks ago on Impact, but he hasn't came off that same way since. He cut a fine promo here, but the crowd wasn't behind him as heavily as they were two weeks ago. Storm was good in his role, and despite the low blow and superkick to Gunner, he was still cheered regardless. The promos between these two have grown tiresome to me, but I'm willing to give their upcoming match a chance. By the way, is their match seriously going to be Last Man Standing inside a steel cage? Vince Russo must definitely have been rehired by TNA.
Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and World Tag Team Champion Robbie E def. MVP and The Wolves in an Elimination Tag Team Match (Winner Gets Lethal Lockdown Advantage)
While the eliminations were well-booked, the crowd was silent for most of the match. Each elimination came off as anticlimactic, even if the action in the match was solid. MVP was protected despite being eliminated early on, as was Aries. I wasn't a fan of Edwards getting injured and having the match resume later on in the evening, but I guess it provided a nice hook for the rest of the show. The mini-match between Roode was fun while it lasted and Edwards looked good in defeat. The heel team getting the advantage going into Lethal Lockdown comes as no surprise seeing how they always due, only for the face team to ultimately victorious. It's been the case for years. When will TNA ever switch things up?
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus and Samoa Joe Faced Off
This was the promo that I was looking for from these two on this show. Their feud has been fun to watch unfold in the last month and it was been built up well, but they haven't had many clashes on the mic. I loved the fact Magnus mentioned their past dating back to their days as tag team champions together in 2012, even alluding to a promo he cut in England two years ago. Joe was his usual ruthless self and was equally excellent. The inevitable brawl was a small preview of what to expect on Sunday and while Magnus tapping out yet again doesn't exactly make him look strong, it plays into the match that it is one of the ways that he can lose the title at Lockdown.
There were some things that could have been better and other things I could have done without, but those things were far and few between and everything was mostly solid. The show was successful in building toward Lockdown and was the first episode in a while that didn't feature one tremendously terrible match or segment. While some matches on the card have potential to be great, I am still underwhelmed by the event. TNA has only three pay-per-views a year, and they waited until the last minute to throw together a card for this show. Hell, I didn't even know Lockdown was happening up until a few days ago! Nevertheless, the product has been improving in the last month and I surely hope TNA can deliver a quality show on Sunday to keep the momentum going.