The glorious fed known as TNA came to our hometown! Fellow NHO member Adam, his fiance, and myself attended the show live. THIS is your TNA road report 2011 edish~!
Geo: I arrived at Adam's apartment, hands full of food I sneaked into the arena including a sweet turkey sandwich that I made Katie stuff in her hoodie in an effort to evade security guards. We hit the road around 6:20pm and made our way to the US Bank Arena.
Adam: Dang, Geo! You powered through that McDonald’s salad before we left. In regards to the food you snuck in, I’ve only got one thing to say … “TUR-KEY SAND-WICH!!” *clap clap clap clap clap* “TUR-KEY SAND-WICH!!”
Geo: Arrival at the arena. We entered the arena and were told to go to customer service, much to our chagrin, figuring something got fucked up as it usually tends to do. Little did we know that our original tickets in section 230 of the arena had been blacked out, and we got upgraded to section 104. That was delish. We found our seats, which were conveniently located behind the boom camera. Joy.
Adam: Traffic wasn’t as bad as I figured it would be getting in to the arena. As we pulled into the garage under the Reds stadium, my jaw dropped at the outlandish parking fee of $20 per car. I paid up as even though it was expensive, it’s the best option for a quick getaway to avoid traffic after the event. I wondered too about why we had to go to customer service. Wasn’t expecting to be upgraded a whole section but was pleasantly surprised.
7:30pm: Pre-show starts at the bottom of the hour on the nose. JB and Christy Hemme came out to greet the crowd, and due to Hemme's appearance, I immediately thought to myself that I should've worn basketball shorts or some sort of other pants that are non-restrictive in the crotch area. I'd like to point out that about four-fifths of the lower bowl was filled, along with all of the upper bowl opposite of the hard cam.
Pre-Show match: D-Von Dudley vs. Anarquia – G:3 A:3
Geo: We got this really hot start on the floor with D-Von rushing the suave Anarquia, who strolled to the ring as if his pants were weighed down by cartel. Some pretty good brawling on the outside going on, accompanied by a few cups of beer shots to Anarquia's glimmering head. As the action moved into the ring, D-Von's facial selling was on great display -- it was clearly visible from where we were located. At this point some kid behind us had us rolling with tears nearly running down our cheek when he shouted to his dad, "The best thing about TNA is that it's all real!" Yep. D-Von hit a decent spine-buster-like maneuver for the pin, but took 'Quia to the ramp and hit him with two great suplexes that reverberated through the concrete walls.
Adam: Not sure who this Anarquia fellow is or where he came from. This felt a lot like the first or second match on an Impact broadcast. Agreed on the brawling Geo, that was probably the best part of the match. D-Von had some good sells of ‘Quia’s mundane moveset. Suplexes on the ramp after the fact were another good aspect that actually bumped up the match a point for me. Those kids you mentioned were also really excited to see Jeff Hardy.
Photo Two: Some Anarquia for dat ass.
7:45: We sit there and listen to JB talk to us, blowing the city of Cincinnati and telling us to be loud, along with pimping tonight's matches.
8:00: Show starts off with a really raucous crowd. Brian informed me that Meltzer stated that the crowd was dead, but I beg to differ, good sir.
Opener: X-Division Escape Match -- Elim. style: Chris Sabin vs. Robbie E vs. Suicide vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Max Buck vs. Amazing Red vs. Jay Lethal vs. Brian Kendrick – G:5 A:5
Geo: Suicide got the biggest pop as he came out. Dude is over. Jeremy Buck's offense really struck me as smooth. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a Young Bucks fan, but they both looked pretty damn good tonight. Lethal hit a perfect Lethal Combination early on in the match, just smoother than Silk Milk. Sabin and Lethal had this really amazing sequence that all led up to this really great arm drag by Lethal on Sabin out of a head scissor. Red came in with some really crisp offense that didn't look tacky at all, and after his elimination, things slowed down a bit which made me happy. The Bucks faced off in the ring, leading to a really cool moment of that brother vs. brother feud we've become accustomed to in pro wrestling. Kendrick spent a lot of the time meditating in the corner, until he finally came in with an explosion of offense. We had this utter shithead behind us screaming in our ear, yelling for Kendrick to get up and "kick 'im in the head." Kentucky is right across the river, you know. I really dug the bump Kendrick took of the cage -- nothing too flashy, but looked good. Overall, I dug the match and the vibe it created, setting the tone for the rest of the show.
Adam: I though things early on were just them doing a lot of cool looking moves to get a pop out of the crowd. Too bad this was Lethal’s last match with the company as I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of his work. That was a really nice sequence by Lethal and Sabin. Nice to see that Young Bucks feud went somewhere. Even though this was a giant mess at parts, the moves they executed were pulled off to perfection. I really hate obnoxious, loud-mouthed fans at shows who ruin things by pissing everyone off and the guy behind us was a prime example of that. I think my eardrums are still ringing from his yelling. Good match to open with and set a good pace.
Photo three: Orgy of madness/awesomeness?
Ink Inc. vs. British Invasion vs. Eric Young & Orlando Jordan vs. Crimson & Steiner – G:4 A:3
Geo: Everyone wanted to see Steiner get tagged in like crazy, especially the aforementioned shithead. Magnus and Williams has some really great control in the first part of the match, dominating the other teams. Steiner got tagged in and the place erupted. He hit his usual overhead belly-to-belly suplexes that the crowd collectively jizzed their shorts over. I had already done so due to Hemme. This match could've been a lot better, though. I mean, no Frankensteiner or Chaos Theory at Lockdown? Come on, man. Shitty finish - some stupid spinning mid-rope neckbreaker. The energy created by the crowd made me knock this match up a notch, though.
Adam: Nice to see Magnus and Williams teaming up again but I guarantee they’ll be forgotten about in a week’s time. I popped big when Steiner came out. Say what you will but his recent runs in TNA have really been a lot of fun. His segments week to week on Impact are the highlight of that show for me. Really wish he would have busted out the Frankensteiner. Another match that was kind of a mess.
Geo: At this time we relocated due to the shithead another section over. Everyone was appearing to do this to get a better view, so we took part as well.
Photo four: Steiner lookin' all gassed
Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James – G:N/R A:0
Geo: Adam pointed out that due to Mickie's shoulder situation, she wasn't able to go in the ring. Here I was hoping for another sweet Thesz press off the top of the cage. Mickie's intensity did seem to be up, though, which I dug for a few seconds that the match lasted.
Adam: This match was so short that I didn’t have time to finish my pretzel. Rayne stalled forever before she got in the ring. Two moves later, this was over.
Photo five: Interesting angle, Adam
The Pope vs. Samoa Joe – G:5 A:5
Geo: More jizzing for Joe. I found myself sitting back with a smile on my face as Joe and Pope worked, seeing as they do so so well. While the two were precariously situated on the top rope, I was digging Pope's glassy-eyed staggering on the top rope. Joe's striking looked pretty damn good from our angle. He was really making some good contact with Pope's obsidian-colored torso. There was this slapping spot in the match that I was marking for as both guys just laid some sick slaps in each others face. Thank God. I mean, the two are supposed to hate each other. This really conveyed it. Joe busted out this new leg drop onto a standing Pope that looked really good -- glad to see he's got something new in his arsenal. There was this really great near-fall after Pope hit this lung blower that really connected. Loved the typical Joe fin of the muscle buster into the rear naked choke that made Pope's bitch-ass tap the hell out.
Adam: For as terrible as this feud has been, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of this match. I remember seeing Pope listed on the card against Eugene for a D-level indy show at this local run-down opera house after his WWE release and laughing my ass off. Pope’s selling was pretty good and Joe seemed to have turned things up, probably because it’s outside of Orlando and he knows he better not pull any of that lazy shit here. Couple good nearfalls made the place pop good. Strike exchanges were meaner that a pitbull infected with rabies. Finish was standard Joe.
Photo six: Pope dodging Joe
Geo: Here comes the match all of us knew we'd have to suffer through. I'm going to try to go into this with open eyes, despite the fact that I think both Hernandez and Morgan are atrocious in the ring.
Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez – G:4 A:4
Geo: So Sarita came out and I found myself getting desperate, asking total strangers if they had an extra pair of pants I could use for the rest of the night because my current situation just would not do. We got the match we really expected out of this, including a really boring drag in the middle. There was some clumsy maneuvering in the ring, but Hernandez had some decent bumping into the cage walls. Surprised we haven't seen any juice yet, but then again they're probably saving that for the upper card. There was this really great finish that bumped the match up a point, seeing Hernandez come off the ropes, only to eat a boot to the face from Morgan. Alright, I dug that.
Adam: While I didn’t see it, I heard tales of their cage match last summer at Victory Road being absolutely abysmal. The match the previous month on PPV between these two was marred by laziness and a bad finish so I didn’t have much hope for this. Hernandez looked like he hadn’t learned a thing in AAA. Morgan still has never done anything for me. I find him to be the most generic big man on the planet with the most generic move set and cutting the same style promo whether he’s face or heel. I agreed with Geo, not only was the finish nice, it was the only highlight.
Photo seven: Morgan getting a bird's eye view
Sarita got on the mic post match, then I caught sight of this fellow (Photo eight)
Making me laugh my ass off with a sign that read, "Who writes this crap?" Excellent, excellent question. Velvet came out and whupped Sarita's amazing ass.
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett – G:8 A:7
Geo: This. Was. Incredible. Angle got a huuuuuge pop, including myself, jumping up and down like a 11 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. Match started off with mat work, which is both good and bad. Good in the sense that both guys are hitting their top-shelf shit out of the gate, bad in the sense that these two are supposed to hate the hell out of each other, yet they want to do headlocks. I guess since the first fall was submission, it made sense. Jeff had this really great 80s style sell after Angle reversed his Figure Four leg lock that I found to be intriguing, harkening back to the days of Memphis. There was also some really tits counter wrestling go on, especially by Angle, who hit this great sleeper counter by whipping Jarrett over top of him, yet Jarrett held onto the hold. The arm psych was really sound, after Jarrett evaded Angle's spear, causing Angle to hit the post like he always seems to do. Some more of that great counter-wrestling going on when Jarrett locked in a cross-arm breaker on Angle, who rolled through and grabbed Jarrett's ankle for an ankle lock for a submission. Tiiiiits! Jarrett hit The Stroke (terrible move) for an excellent near-fall. The crowd all sighed because everyone thought that Jarrett got the pin. Oh no, my friends, he did not. They played this same spot with Angle hitting the Angle slam, only to have Jarrett get his arm up at the last possible iota of a second. There was this great superplex by Angle, who stumbled a bit getting up the ropes, but recovered, leading to another great near-fall. Kurt hit those five Germans he loves to burst out, which lead up to one of the most amazing things I have seen live EVER. Jarrett was sitting standing on the top turnbuckle, leaning against the cage while Angle slammed his foot into Jarrett's face. So now we were standing up in anticipation because we knew that someone was going to get royally fucked up. Angle situated himself onto Jarrett's shoulders -- at this time we all thought we'd see a super powerbomb, but at the last second, as both men were in mid-air, Angle flipped back and hit a rana, landing RIGHT ON HIS FUCKING NECK FROM THE TOP ROPE!!!! EXCUSE ME!?!!! At this point I nearly passed out from jumping up and down so much and beating Adam on the shoulder in excitement and fear. I had to sit down before I went all cardiac all over the place. If that wasn't enough, Murphy came down with a chair as Kurt tried to get out. At this moment I said to Adam, "That motherfucker is going to bust out that moonsault!" Steiner came down and chased away Murphy, and my friends - please sit down for this - Angle hit this tear-jerking moonsault that looked amazing. Amazing. I was jumping up and down so much I'll probably need to replace my knees in 20 years. This match was incredible. No words can do it justice. While the finish was kind of shitty, it was still amazing.
Adam: Geo pretty much covered this from top to bottom but suffice to say this was an incredible match live. This was fought under “ultra male rules” which is basically a neat way of saying that each fall is different. First fall was submission only and was kept on the mat with some really good work. Second was pinfall only and this is where things got good with the aforementioned Kurt Angle neck break rana move. Geo and I went completely nuts. I loved the moonsault from the top of the cage and from our seats we saw Angle grin and cross himself before jumping like a madman. This was worked like a blowoff match and really, it should have been. Jarrett winning left me scratching my head as to where else they could go with this feud. This ranks right up there with Angle vs. Anderson from Lockdown 2010 and the uber-pimped Angle vs. Jarrett match from Genesis ’09 as some of Angle’s best TNA work.
Photo nine: The face off
Photo ten: Sweet GOD HE's GONNA...
RVD vs. Anderson vs. Sting – G:3 A:3
Geo: Anderson got a huge pop. Each man kept hitting big maneuvers like a double mic check, a splash and death drop by Sting, and RVD using his "educated feet." Sting hit this great double deathlock on both guys, then, this happened: Hogan feeds a pipe to RVD, who refuses to use it. Anderson picks up the pipe (does Steiner know Hogan stole his trademark?) and bashes RVD with it, then flicks off Hogan. Weak fin with a Scorpion Death drop on Anderson for Sting to retain.
Adam: J.R. used to say in regards to RVD’s educated feet that “one went to Yale and the other went to Harvard”. Judging by this match it was more like they went to a technical school to finish their GED. This was the first time that I saw Sting live and while the match wasn’t much, it was still great for me to see one of the legends in action. Liked the double deathlock spot as Geo mentioned. I popped when Hogan came out. They just sort of meandered around like lost children at the mall until the finish.
Photo eleven: ...
Photo twelve: Double Death-Lock Goodness
Lethal Lockdown Match: Fortune (Beer Money, Kaz, Daniels) vs. Immortal (Flair, Matt Hardy, Abyss, Bully Ray) – G:5 A:6
Geo: So all eight guys came out at the same time, which surprised all of us. Abyss and Kaz start the match. Abyss hit a really nice boot on Kaz, who sold it well, continuing on and hitting Abyss with a rana. Enter: Hardy. Matt had some pretty damn good bumping and selling on Kaz's leg drop. Really was surprised to see him bump his ass off. Enter: Daniels. Great energy from Daniels, really fired up and going 110%, laying in all of his offense. He hit this new foot stomp that looked rather sweet. Enter: Flair. We get a leather bag chopfest that quite typical of Flair. Enter: Storm. Storm hit an excellent lung blower and backbreaker combos on multiple guys. He then busted a beer bottle on Flair's head, which of course Flair bladed for. Enter: Ray. Just pure decimation on Bubba's part, taking guys out left and right and really expressing that dominating persona. Enter: Roode. More great energy. Roode was pumped on the outside, then exploded in the ring. Really, really great. The roof lowers and Hardy and Daniels go to the outside. Hardy and Daniels get to the top, seeing Hardy hitting a Twist of Fate on Daniels, which obviously made no connection, but Daniels sold it well. Daniels hit a sick plancha off the top of the roof onto Abyss and Hardy, garnering more jumping and screaming. SIIIIIIIICK!!! We get AJ running in to a hell of a pop that shook the building. Roode locked in a submission on Flair for the win.
Adam: I loved the promos with Daniels and the rest of Fortune on the go-home Impact. It really gave this match a feel like all eight guys just wanted to beat the ever-loving crap out of each other. Hometown boy Abyss (who got his start in a local fed called NWF) started off with Kazarian. Show was running long so the initial five-minute period was knocked down to three minutes. Flair bled buckets as usual and it was great seeing him live one last time. Not sure what the problem was but they didn’t lower the roof right away. Match was pretty typical of these style bouts until the weapons came into play. The Daniels dive spot really made this match for me as I just went apeshit crazy and starting jumping up and down when he dove off the cage. Crowd popped so loud for the A.J. Styles run-in that I’m pretty sure it shook the scoreboard at the Reds stadium next door. Some really fun stuff here and definitely one of the better Lethal Lockdown bouts.
Photo thirteen: Flair bleeding.... WOOOOO!
Photo fourteen: The roof lowers
Photo fifteen: Battle up top
Geo: Overall, a successful event. TNA is a really great company to go to when you attend PPV's. House shows? Ehhhhh, that's another story.
Match Average: 4.1
See: Pope vs. Joe; Angle vs. Jarrett; Lethal Lockdown
Another road report in the books. Thanks for reading! BOOYAKA BOOYAKA~!
Notes by Geo, Pics by Adam