This Sunday, March 3rd, TNA presents Lockdown from Miami, Florida. This time around we have three predicters, Alex Barie, our TNA mainstay, Jesse Sherwood, the man when it comes to both TNA and the WWE, and Matt Kunka is joining us from WWENews.net I will not be predicting this time around as I have not been following TNA closely enough with my health issues, but I'm putting it together for Jesse so he can enjoy his vacation a bit.
I think it is safe to say that whenever there is a TNA Wrestling pay-per-view it is something special. Let's take into account that they only have 4 live PPVs a year, so those PPVs have to be topnotch. There can't be any mistakes. There can't be any flaws. The pay-per-views have to go according to planned. With only 4 live PPVs, they really need to create something special. It just isn't about the match card. It's so much more than that. It's not just about the story lines coming to an end or progressing either. It's about the anticipation. It's about the possibilities. One of the things I love about the wrestling industry is the way any company can do a swerve. If it goes according to planned, it could be one awesome swerve that no one sees. Remember last year's Lockdown where Bully Ray turned and became the President of Aces & 8s? I can't believe it has been a year already, but that is the stuff I love. Does TNA need something like that for this PPV? They certainly don't need it but it will definitely help them. It will make it so much better. Now, I do have to admit that I wasn't ready for the PPV a week ago. From my thoughts turning about going away next weekend for a short vacation to watching loads of wrestling on the WWE Network to doing several things to improve TNANews.com (cheap plug), I became worn out and faded. I lost the excitement. However, it came back to me after this past Thursday's Impact Wrestling. It did what I wanted it to do and that was to hype up the PPV. The show did a great job with it and I am excited for several matches on the card (the ones they built at least). In short, they did a fantastic job at building the pay-per-view. It looks like a great card. I am just curious how it is going to go over at the end of the day.
Another year has passed and another Lockdown PPV has arrived! Arguably the most exciting TNA PPV of the year, this one had me worried at first. With no Sting or AJ Styles, I was worried the card wouldn’t be as exciting. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Bad Influence & FAIL SABIN vs The Great Muta, Seiya Sanada, and Nakanoue
I have to say, I am eagerly awaiting this match! Muta's WRESTLE-1 promotion is supposed to have some great talents, and I am sure we will see them on full display here against the best team in the bus-i-ness and the worst heel turn ever. I am a bit skeptical of how well Muta can still go in the ring, but considering it is his promotion helping with the crossover, I can't see them going under here.
Jesse's Predicted Winners – The Great Muta, Seiya Sanada, and Nakanoue
I really don't think there has to be some big explanation for this match on account of who the one team is. With The Great Muta coming in and doing more than just the Fan Interaction, you know this is special for TNA Wrestling and they are going to try to make it as special for the fans as possible. There's no doubt in my mind on who the winners are going to be.
Alex's Predicted Winners - Muta, Sanada, Nakanoue
I am always jumping for joy when we get to see Japanese wrestlers on promotions that air in the States. The Great Muta has had one of the best careers that many mainstream viewers don’t know about. I remember him having great matches with Ric Flair, Sting, Arn Anderson and even Lex Luger back in the late 80s and early 90s. As part of a talent exchange, we get to see them on TNA. However, the trio faces a tough, tough match in Sabin and Bad Influence, which is Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. This match is filled with some of the best X Division wrestlers that TNA has seen in recent years. I expect all men to utilize the cage and use lots of aerial offense. I don’t see The Great Muta doing as much as he is in his 50s but the other guys will probably barely be on the mat. This is a huge opportunity for Kazarian, Daniels and Sabin to make a name for themselves against one of the greatest Japanese wrestlers of all time. However, with Muta being the weathered vet he is, I do not see him leading his team to defeat.
Matt's Predicted Winner - The Great Muta, Seiya Sanada and Nakanoue
Manik vs Tigre Uno
Ummmm... Where in the blue monkey's butt has Manik been? He lost the X Division Title at Bound for Glory back in October, and we haven't seen him since. For someone they had hoped to rebuild the division around, he sure fell off the radar fast. Tigre Uno, best known in Mexico as Extreme Tiger, has a long list of things going for him, including the fact he was trained by Rey Misterio Sr., a number of titles in AAA, and a very unique in-ring style. His hardcore and high-flying backgrounds should make him feel right at home in TNA's cages, so I have to give him the W.
Jesse's Predicted Winner – Tigre Uno
The only thing I don't like about this match is that there wasn't any build. Don't get me wrong, I love wrestling and I certainly love the X-Division but at least give us some build like a video interview of Manik talking about Tigre. We have to work with what we have though. I do expect this to be one awesome match regardless. I haven't seen much of Tigre Uno's work but I heard great things bout him. I know Manik can step up and get the fans off of their seats. This is the kind of X-Division match that we have been waiting for. Without any build, this match should be awesome to watch. As far as the winner goes, I can't see Tigre Uno losing the first night he comes to TNA Wrestling.
Alex's Predicted Winner - Tigre Uno
This late addition to the card is sure to make all X Division fans happy. Tigre Uno has had a very successful career in Mexico as Extreme Tiger. Having wrestled many of the TNA guys in his career in AAA gives him an idea on the styles to expect. Manik, having been a TNA X Division Champion, is going to take full advantage of this singles match. There is going to be a lot of extreme high flying as well as the experience of having a new X Division superstar in Tigre Uno. Tigre Uno is going to fully take advantage of his new career in the States and after a gravity defying match, is going to make an example of Manik.
Matt's Predicted Winner – Tigre Uno
Mr. Anderson vs Samuel “Creepy Bastard” Shaw
While the build to this particular match has been extremely quick, just rapid fire over the last couple of weeks, Shaw's build into a fantastically creepy character has been amazing! Stalking Christy Hemme is something most men wouldn't mind doing, and him playing the calm psychopath has been a much different change of pace for Impact. Anderson, on the other hand, appears to yet again be suffering from Anderson Booking Syndrome: He gets a feud, blows it off right before a PPV, and is left in a lurch, so TNA books him into the first available feud spot. Not that he hasn't worked well with Shaw! Anderson has been on top of his game with the newcomer. But the problem here is that Shaw is a newcomer, in the midst of a push. There is no way Anderson can go over here and Shaw look really strong.
Jesse's Predicted Winner – Samuel “Creepy Bastard” Shaw
I am really looking forward to this match just because of the build behind it. I am becoming a huge Samuel Shaw fan. I hope that doesn't make me sound like I am some kind of creep or anything, but this guy's character has developed so nicely. When he first appeared I didn't think anything of it. I thought it was strange and intriguing but wanted to see where the company goes with it. They really went with it. I liked how they uncorrupted Christy Hemme in it. I also like the transition with Mr. Anderson (even though Anderson stated he wanted a World Championship shot after Aces & 8s fell apart). Shaw is on a hot streak and I see it continuing after Lockdown. As far as Shaw goes, I do want to point out that he isn't on the show because of his wrestling skills. While he is good in the ring, he is showcased because of his character. No one should expect him to pull off a classic match... it's all about the gimmick.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Samuel Shaw
This feud has been a favorite of mine. As a fan of horror movies, I appreciate the cool and creepy way Samuel Shaw has been used with Christy Hemme as of the past few months. Shaw is the jealous stalker of Hemme and goes into a violent rage whenever he sees another man talking to her. It even went as far as Shaw accidentally knocking out and injuring Hemme in an attack. A little corny and possibly pushing it too far; but I love it. Mr. Anderson has been in a fall from his top spots in the company as of late and he could really use a victory here. With all said and done, I can see the rage benefiting Shaw as he takes out Mr. Anderson with all the lights on him.
Matt's Predicted Winner - Samuel Shaw
Ethan Carter III vs TBA
Honestly, considering this match is a last minute switch for Kurt Angle, unless they can get someone HUGE to fill his shoes, then I don't really see a reason to care about this one. I figure Kurt was going to hand EC3 a loss here, but I can't see whomever they bring in now getting a rub over him.
Jesse's Predicted Winner – EC3
I am not even going to guess who Ethan's opponent may be. However, he does say he is planning to wrestle at the PPV so I am adding his match. I can't see him losing at this point in his career. Something is going to happen to him soon whether he turns on Dixie or Magnus or if Dixie sides with him more than Magnus. Either way, he needs to continue his momentum.
Alex's Predicted Winner - Ethan Carter III
Just a few days before this PPV, Kurt Angle was officially pulled from this match needing surgery to repair a legit knee injury. As of now, we do know that Ethan Carter is going to wrestle at Lockdown but his opponent is unknown.
Matt's Predicted Winner - Carter
Knockouts Championship Match – Madison Rayne (c) vs Gail Kim
So, Madison and Kim are going at it again... I guess this is what happens when your Knockouts division is only 6 women deep. At this point, I just don't have it in me to care what happens in the match at Lockdown. If Kim wins the title, that just means she can defend it against the same 3 people she has been facing the last 6 months, and if Madison retains it, that leaves her in the position of facing Kim or Tapa some more. So we are in a Catch-22 all the way around here, and a company's booking shouldn't be like that. I guess I'm just going to go with my gut and call a face win.
Jesse's Predicted Winner – Madison Rayne
This match hasn't really been booked properly at all, in my opinion, and I certainly don't think it was given the amount of time it deserves; however, as I stated, we have to work with what we have. I have no doubt in my mind that Gail Kim will try to steal the show. She did it before with Taryn Terrell and I bet Madison has no problem with that. These Knockouts can fight. They can certainly work and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Gail is fantastic in these type of gimmick matches, but I have to turn the opposite way for this one and give Rayne a continuation of her Championship reign.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Madison Rayne
The Knockouts division of TNA is the new standard for women’s wrestling. They give so much time and promotional time to their women that it makes me so happy to watch the matches both as a fan and as a blogger. This rivalry between these two women goes back a few months when Rayne made her return to the company. The back and forth cat fights and tension between the ladies reminds me of old school ECW brawls. Gail Kim defeated Rayne recently in a match that left Kim with a bloodied nose and the fans cheering for more. It’s hard hitting styles that put them on the same level as most of the men. Madison Rayne is a dominating Knockout who loves holding on to that title. However, Gail Kim has fought tooth and nail to claw back and I think that after a mutual beating, Kim will come out on top.
Matt's Predicted Winner – Gail Kim
Last Man Standing - Gunner vs James Storm
Now here is booking done right! Gunner hoping over Storm to get the Feast or Fired case, Storm letting it come between them, as all partners seem to do, and ending in Storm kicking Gunner's teeth in during the Title Match, leading to The Cowboy becoming heel for the first time in 2-3 years. Honestly, the change of pace for Storm is a refreshing one, and Gunner seems to be destined for great things in the future. He's got the look, the ring work, and the character to succeed, he just needs a bit more work on the stick. And while I expect a flat out brutal match from both men here, I know that this isn't Gunner's moment to take over the spotlight. Sorry 'bout your damn luck!
Jesse's Predicted Winner – James Storm
I really want to see how this match goes down because it is a Last Man Standing match in a Steel Cage. I really expect this match to be brutal. It is going to be violent. I expect blood in this match. However, I really want to see how this match is booked. It almost sounds like a "Russo move" as the IWC would say. However, let's just call it mashing up to matches to see how it works. At any rate, I have been impressed with Gunner ever since he won the Feast or Fired briefcase. I have gotten behind him and I am growing on him as a fan. Not only does he have the look but he is really improving on the mic. His in-ring work is great. I see him as a future main eventer and World Champion before 2014 ends. Storm, on the other hand, really changed and I like it. James has been a face for years and years and seeing him change is a breath of fresh air. Storm doesn't hold back. He is almost being that heel that you just have to hate. It's great! I wouldn't say this is the classic American Hero vs. the guy who takes it for granted but this feud is definitely described as such. I am curious if they are going to continue this feud after this match because it is going to decide who I book as the winner. I honestly see this feud going on and they can certainly add more elements to the fire so I am going with Storm. I do want to say that I won't be surprised if Gunner wins it though.
Alex's Predicted Winner – James Storm
This match is one of my personal favorites on the card. The chemistry that tag team partners have makes them the perfect opponents. They both know one another’s moves so well that they will have to find new ways to execute them and possibly new moves. After being tag team champions, Gunner and Storm broke up earlier this year after frustrations arose from not being able to recapture gold in their rematch. Gunner had a shot at the heavyweight belt and Storm interfered and cost him that match. Both men are such spectacular performers that I believe they will put on a heck of a show and tell a great story while they’re at it. Gunner is out for retribution against Storm and I believe his day to shine and make up for losing to Magnus will be this PPV.
Matt's Predicted Winner – Gunner
Lethal Lockdown - Team MVP (MVP, The Wolves, and Jeff Hardy) vs Team Dixie (Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and The BroMans)
Ugh... I love the idea of Lethal Lockdown. It is one of the better gimmick matches in TNA right now, and they do it right by keeping it strictly on Lockdown almost every year, with '09 and '10 being the only exceptions. But this year's has me in the doldrums because of the arbitrary stipulation attached to it. If Team MVP wins, he controls wrestling operations in TNA, whereas if Dixie wins, she gains full control of TNA and Roode gets 10% ownership of TNA (Yes, I know that contradicts itself... BAKA Dixie!). To me, this feels like yet another way for TNA to shoehorn in a GM on TV. And if Sting, Hogan, Foley, Dusty, Cornette, Jarrett, Zbyszko, ect... were any indication of how this will work, then I can safely say that I don't want to see another one. Sadly, though, the numbers never lie, and the face team has won EVERY Lethal Lockdown match contested, so I have to say that I will go with the safe bet on this one.
Jesse's Predicted Winners – Team MVP
And here we are again with another takeover angle in TNA. Someone wrote to me the other day stating that TNA has had too many takeover angles in the past 5 years and points to Immortal, Main Event Mafia, Aces & 8s, and Team Dixie. Each faction has their own unique traits and that is why I think they keep on developing them. They all have the same principle though. To get back to this match, I really have no idea which side TNA is going to lean toward. For me, I wouldn't mind seeing both. I want to see Team Dixie just to see the fallout between Bobby Roode and Austin Aries and Roode's 10% and if he splits it with Aries. I also want to see MVP win and see what he would do "differently" and if anything changes viewership/rating wise for him. I am just split down the middle. Who will win though? I think and I ponder and I stare and I just not sure what direction TNA will take. We know they live swerves. They like the unexpected twists. What is more of a twist though? If Dixie wins, where does that lead MVP? If MVP wins, where will Dixie go? Sadly, at the end of the day, we know Dixie isn't going anywhere. MVP will come and go at some point. TNA is Dixie's company (not Jarrett's) and she will stay with it till the very end. With that being said, I see Team MVP winning this match but Dixie gaining control down the line (as she always does at the end).
Alex's Predicted Winner - MVP
The struggle for power in TNA is ON. Dixie Carter and MVP are both at each other’s throats for complete control over the TNA operations. After Jeff Hardy left, it was rumored he’d return at any time and in a big way. MVP announced that Hardy, against Dixie’s wishes, would be returning at Lockdown. To add to the drama, Bobby Roode came moments away from retiring on camera. In a tearful address to the audience, he said that he couldn’t take it anymore and needed out. Dixie, in desperation (after legit leavings of Sting and AJ Styles) didn’t want to lose another great talent so begged and pleaded with him to say. If Dixie’s team wins the match, she promised that Roode can become a 10% owner in TNA. Each team has a pair of seasoned veterans with a supporting tag team. MVP and Jeff Hardy are going to help elevate the Wolves, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards in this hard hitting and fast paced match. Roode and Aries are the vets on their team with the BroMans, Robbie E and Jessie Godderz, to support them. MVP has made a huge splash in TNA and has rubbed Dixie the wrong way. No doubt that Dixie is going to bribe her team in some way to come out on top. Promises of control of the company going to the winner, I can see Dixie giving title shots to all the men on her team if they win.
What is going to help this match is we have Jeff Hardy in a cage. Hardy has made a hall of fame career off of high spots that could at any second end his career. This is going to be a match that even people who don’t like TNA will be able to soak up and enjoy as these are teams of the best of the best in such a combustible environment. However, I don’t see them bringing in MVP just for him to already lose power.
Matt's Predicted Winner – Team MVP
TNA Heavyweight Championship Match under Joe's Rules (Submission or KO are the only ways to win.)
Magnus (c) vs Samoa Joe
This is going to be the must see match of the night! Joe and Magnus never really got to show all of their stuff in their feud a couple of years ago, so I am expecting a slobber-knocker of a battle here. But while I know the match will be excellent, I am having some great difficulty in calling a winner in this one. Magnus is a rising star, although this reign has done more to damage his stock than to help propel him into the “Future is now” category. With wins over AJ Styles, Sting, and Gunner taking multiple people to assist him to ensure his victory, he has been booked more pathetically weak than I have ever seen a first time champion booked. A clean win over a well established name like Samoa Joe would do wonders in knocking off the Paper Champion moniker he has earned. However, Joe has been in a desperate need to re-establish himself as one of the top guys to beat in TNA. His career speaks for itself, and Joe can go with the best of them still. Then you also have the fact that Joe's contract is set to expire this year. Could we see TNA strap Joe to hopefully make him happy? And then there is the storylines that could come from each win! If MVP's team wins like I think they will, MVP and Magnus butting heads could be extremely fun to watch. But Magnus losing the Title here could create some extremely interesting fractures in Team Dixie, especially if EC3 and Bobby Roode win their respective matches. There are endless possibilities here, but I am going to go with my gut and hope that TNA has the logic to legitimizes their champion.
Jesse's Predicted Winner- Magnus
And here comes the main event. I have a feeling with Team MVP winning the match that they are going to have us think that Joe will win the match as well. I just don't see a huge flop like that for Lockdown. It would be too predictable. There needs to be some distance between the control of the operations and championships - There always is! I don't know how TNA will book this match whether there will be interference or some type of hated heel scenario, but I don't see Samoa Joe walking away as champion, sadly. I want him to be champion. I want to see him at the top. I just don't see it for this PPV with how the other match is going to play out. I do see Joe wining the World Championship soon though and I will continue to wait for that moment. I will sit and wait, but when it does happen, if it is a logical and great booking fashion, I will praise TNA for finally giving the ball to Joe after 4 years of throwing him to the side.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Magnus
When AJ Styles left, Magnus won a tournament to win the title. Later, he was deemed the undisputed TNA World Heavyweight Champion. In the last few months, Magnus has been put in the spotlight of TNA. Defeating Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe and ending the career of Sting; Magnus has been at every important main event. Being given such an opportunity and running with it, he’s impressed even the most jaded of wrestling fans. Over the past few episodes of Impact Wrestling, Magnus has had some very emotional vignettes of him talking to people for advice and giving interviews about the roads he took to get to the top. However, he’s going up against Samoa Joe. The man has been an absolute work horse for TNA over the years. Joe has been hungry as of late to get his belt back. He even has a submission victory over Magnus. This is going to be a battle of the brutes as both men have something to prove. Magnus needs to prove to himself that he’s worth it and Samoa Joe needs to prove he still has the ability to be at the top. As good as Samoa Joe looks coming in to this with his dominance on the past few episodes of Impact Wrestling, I feel that Magnus is going to be just that much better.
Matt's Predicted Winner – Magnus
With all the turmoil in TNA lately, many people wondered how they would make their feuds work. They still have some of the top talent in all of wrestling and all good feuds need to start somewhere. I see Lockdown as a place to start over and make some brand new stars.
Lockdown has every single match in a Steel Cage match. While I love the whole gimmick concept, I am worried that the cage will be worn out quickly as we can only see so much in a cage match. I expect to see some new and unbelievable things though just by looking at the match card. I hope TNA can pull it off as not should they create a PPV of the Year scenario but they need a strong momentum push as they are start to film their television shows again in the United States. They need that boost and I certainly hope it works out. This PPV should be worth it. Lockdown is certainly a locked in to be a PPV stealer!
After the bits of Impact I have seen, and after compiling these predicts – and Jesse acting like a giddy little boy over the card – I'm really looking forward to see what they throw at us for Lockdown. I also hope you join us in the Open Thread for Lockdown, and chat with us as the PPV goes down.