By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Beer Money def. King of the Mountain Champion Eric Young and Bram in a Steel Cage Match
Young and Bram simply don't have great chemistry as a tandem and I hope it's a matter of time before they break off into singles competition again, but they've worked well with Beer Money throughout this mini feud in recent weeks. As a result, this was an enjoyable opener to the show. Beer Money make anything they're involved in worth watching and this was another solid affair from them. The two-on-one dynamic made it stand out above most tag team matches and the babyfaces battling back to score the win was the right call. I look forward to their eventual money match with The Wolves for the tag team titles.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy Interrupted Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud
I thought the angle that closed last week's show was enough to sell me on the Lockdown main event, but this segment did that very effectively. Although it was excellent, I didn't think it was necessary at first, but it ultimately made sense by the end of the night (more on that later). I really liked how Spud was reluctant to forgive EC3 at first after all the heinous things EC3 did to him over the course of their storied rivalry. Hardy's two cents were also entertaining and made me even more excited for the main event.
X-Division Champion Trevor Lee def. Tigre Uno in a Steel Cage Match
It's a shame these two haven't had any promo time to help further their feud as of late because their matches have been awesome. They contested another really fun match inside the steel cage and it was easily their best bout of the series. It's hard for the crowd to care when they know next to nothing about Lee, but three straight wins over Uno definitely should add to his growing credibility. This must mean this is the end of the program because Lee beat Uno decisively all three times.
The Dollhouse def. Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Velvet Sky in a Lethal Lockdown Match
It was cool to see history being made with the women by having them compete in a Lethal Lockdown match, but I would have cared considerably more if the feud actually had meaning. It's been consistently featured on programming since Impact Wrestling's move to Pop TV, but The Dollhouse has been so poorly booked that it was hard to buy into them as a threat to Kim and Sky. And why was Kim surprised Maria didn't help her? She's been a heel from the get-go despite saying the Knockouts division needs a "miracle," so she shouldn't have been surprised. That said, Jade picking up the victory for her team was reassuring as it gives me hope she'll be positioned the leader of the group going forward.
Lashley Interrupted Kurt Angle
While Lashley has never been the strongest talker, he cut one of his better promos in recent memory in his confrontation with Angle. They have done a superb job over the past month of building this bout up and making it feel ultra important, as it should be considering it will be Angle's final TNA match. Angle firing back only for Lashley to flash a smirk and walk off was tremendous. On a side note, I guess Lashley's deal with Raquel was either abandoned or put on the back burner as he goes into this program with Angle.
Odarg the Great def. Eli Drake in a Steel Cage Match
I truly do get a kick out of Grado (sorry, Odarg the Great), but this feud with Drake does absolutely nothing for me. This was a better match than the tag team garbage we got last week, but that might have been because Mahabli Shera didn't compete (though he did help Odarg take out Jessie Godderz toward the end). Please let this match be the end of this awful angle.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Matt Hardy def. Ethan Carter III in a Steel Cage Match
For as many times as we have seen these two go one-on-one since the summer, I didn't think I would be anticipating this encounter as much as I was. The way it was hyped up throughout the night was fantastic and it certainly gave it a big fight feel. The match had its fair share of big spots that were extremely well executed and I appreciated how Tyrus' interference was kept limited for the most part. In all honesty, I didn't see Rockstar Spud's heel turn coming whatsoever, not even when he ran down to the ring. He's been a breakout babyface in the past year, so I'm hesitant to praise the turn, but time will tell I suppose.
This was the perfect pay-per-view-esque edition of Impact Wrestling in that I wouldn't have paid for the card on PPV, but it made for an terrific two hours of TV. The main event stole the show, but the rest of the episode was filled out nicely with good Steel Cage matches and storyline progression. I've never been high on the idea of holding every match inside the cage, but since most of these matches featured feuds getting blown off, I didn't mind it as much.