By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Good match with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy defeating World Tag Team Champion Austin Aries by disqualification. These two always have excellent matches together, but it didn't seem to capture the same magic this time around. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable while it lasted and the disqualification loss protected Aries. I'm not sure why Aries felt the need to call out Hardy and why Matt Morgan interfered, but I was fine with it. It's about time Morgan was inserted into the World title picture, so here's hoping this actually leads somewhere.
Fine segment with D'Lo Brown being revealed as the VP of Aces & 8s. Wes Bricso's promo beforehand was exceptional, but at least it helped cover the groundwork for his match with Kurt Angle at Lockdown. D'Lo Brown has been rumored to be a member of the group for months now, so it didn't come as much of a surprise to most people, but it was still well done regardless. As much as I like D'Lo, I'm skeptical of this move since much like Taz, he is no longer an active in-ring performer.
Mediocre match with Devon defeating Sting. I have no desire to see two guys past their prime duke it out, but the match was fine for what it was. I was pleasantly surprised to Devon pick up the victory, which helps give the group more credibility. I'm guessing the fan interference was planned, as it seemed way too coincidental that Devon took advantage and picked up the victory moments later.
Decent six-person tag team match with Gail Kim and Bad Influence defeating Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. The action was nothing out of the ordinary, but everyone was able to get their signature spots in at the end. Since the heels will more than likely won't be winning on Sunday, it was nice to see them pick up the victory here and score some much-needed momentum.
Entertaining tag team match with Samoa Joe and Magnus defeating D.O.C. and Garrett Bischoff. The commentators made mention of the history between Magnus and Joe, so that was good to hear. I'm not a fan of either D.O.C. or Bischoff, but they worked well with Magnus and Joe. The finishing sequence was cool and it was followed up by one of the loudest pops of the night. Joe and Magnus should remain single competitors, but this one-off reunion was fun to watch.
Solid segment with Lei'D Tapa winning the Gut Check challenge. While I'm not a huge supporter of hers, she showcased some impressive mic work and deserved to win the TNA contract. I'm more surprised that they cut Ivelisse Velez. She showed great potential last week and won her match, so it's mind-boggling that she didn't make it. Here's hoping they end up utilizing her in some form or fashion down the line because it would a true shame for her immense talent to go to waste.
Nice match with Mr. Anderson defeating James Storm. The match was pretty standard for the most part, but they developed nice chemistry down the stretch. It definitely could've gone longer, but the finish was basic and well-executed. It succeeded in giving Aces & 8s another victory that they desperately needed and momentum going into Sunday.
Lackluster promo between TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray. I understand the whole "respect" angle they have going, but if this doesn't lead to a heel turn for Ray on Sunday, I will be vastly disappointed. His face run has had its moments, but it's uninspiring to say the least. Hulk Hogan's involvement in this segment felt unnecessary, but the brawl between Team TNA and Aces & 8s was a good way to close the show.
Overall, a decent show that did its best to build towards Sunday's Lockdown event. However, I'm just now learning of matches on the card I didn't even know were taking place, which isn't a good thing. They've had close to two months to hype this show, but they've failed to make it feel special. I'm not excited for most of the matches on the card, but at least the Lethal Lockdown match was well-built for the most part. The pending pay-per-view could end up being fantastic, but as of now, the hype for the show indicates that it won't be anything worth watching.