Powell's TNA Lockdown preview and predictions: Will Samoa Joe beat Magnus to win the TNA Title? Will MVP or Dixie Carter have control of the pro wrestling operations following the Lethal Lockdown match?
By Jason Powell
Check back tonight for my live coverage review of TNA Lockdown at 7:00 p.m. CT. CT. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive audio review after the show. Become a Dot Net Member today by signing up via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Please note that every match listed below will be fought inside a steel cage. I'm not a fan of the all cage match gimmick and I wish they would save it for a a few matches at most, as most of the matches listed below aren't at the point where a cage match is needed to settle a score. This is TNA's first live pay-per-view event of 2014 and they have three additional shows scheduled. There's a lot to criticize about the overall booking and the abundance of Dixie Carter segments on many editions of Impact, but I do like the shift to younger talent and the character development than many have received. Let's get to the picks.
Magnus vs. Samoa Joe for the TNA Title. The original plan was to build up Magnus vs. A.J. Styles as the main event of this show. However, plans changed when the company could not come to terms on a new contract with Styles. As such, I suspect they went into the feud with Joe with the idea of keeping the title on Magnus. I really hope there's been a change in plans. It feels like there's a resurgence in fan interest in Joe despite the inconsistent booking of the character. Joe doesn't have to win the title at this show, but I really believe he's the guy they need to get the title on in the near future and push him as the face of the company. I like Magnus and was open minded when they put the title on him, but creative can't seem to decide whether he's a heel who wants to be a credible champion or a guy who is protected by Dixie Carter. I never thought I'd be in favor of a title change this quickly, but I am. If Magnus wins, hopefully it's done in a way that manages to make viewers see him in a different light without causing them to lose faith in Joe. These two worked well together as a team and I believe they can deliver a quality main event that's not overshadowed by TNA creative nonsense. My pick might be coming more from my heart than my head.
Samoa Joe wins the TNA Title.
MVP, The Wolves, and Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Robbie E, and Jessie in a Lethal Lockdown match. MVP owns 50 percent of the company. Dixie Carter owns 50 percent of the company. This match gives the winner control of the wrestling operations (booking of matches, etc.). However, if Dixie's team wins, she has agreed to give Roode ten percent of her 50 percent. Meanwhile, Austin Aries wants half of Roode's ten percent. I believe BroMans also wants a cut, but nobody really cares what they want. Got all that? Feel free to read it a few more times and it might make a little more sense.
This is supposed to be Hardy's return match. However, Dixie stated on Impact that she actually suspended Hardy when he decided to go home. MVP didn't seem to take that seriously and neither would I if it wasn't for the Willow vignettes. Willow the Whisp was Hardy's alter ego on the indy scene. My guess is that Dixie somehow gets her way and Hardy is not able to wrestle, but he dresses up as Willow to work the match. Who wins? Beats the hell out of me. There's a lot of star power on the babyface side of things so barring some type of overbooked finish, which is always a possibility in TNA, I think the babyfaces win. Either way, I don't think we've seen the last of Dixie Carter on television.
Team MVP wins.
Gunner vs. James Storm in a Last Man Standing cage match. Yes, the cage match gimmick is not enough. This is actually a last man standing match inside the cage. They've laid it on really thick with Gunner being the military veteran and the All-American guy. He's playing the part well and it has potential if they don't go overboard and make people resent him. Storm is the heel now, yet he delivered one-liners like a babyface during the go-home verbal exchange. I like Storm as a babyface, but now that he's a heel he needs to act like one. It's early in the feud and the gimmick gives them a chance to make Storm look ruthless by taking out Gunner's knee, while also making Gunner look like a badass for fighting through it before eventually not being able to get back on his feet before the ten count. Or at least that's the finish I like. I'm open to other finishes as long as there are no handcuffs or duct tape involved (see WWE last man standing matches). I must add that there's a chance Gunner wins here because he's still in line for a TNA Title shot. If that's the idea, then don't be surprised if Magnus wins the main event. In other words, this could be a telling match.
James Storm wins.
Ethan Carter's open challenge: Kurt Angle was scheduled to face EC3 on the show, but he is still recovering from knee surgery. Tommy Dreamer is working for TNA as an agent and he popped up east coast live events. He'd be a nice surprise for the pay-per-view audience and he'd also mesh with the theme of EC3 getting the better of aging talent. I don't know if we'll see Dreamer or not, but I assume EC3 gets the win either way.
EC3 beats someone.
Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw: Shaw is my guilty pleasure character. He's doing a hell of a job with the off the wall character. Less is more as far as his mic work is concerned, and I'm stunned that TNA is having him take part in the meet and greets with the fans at the house show events. Maybe I'm old school, but he's the one guy I would keep away from the fans. It ruins the mystique of the character when he's breaking character and happily signing autographs backstage like a normal person. Anyway, Anderson was really over with the UK crowd and his "Creepy Bastard" tag for Shaw caught on with the chanting crowd. He seems to be in the midst of a resurgence of his own, so I am curious to see whether they can have one of these guys go over without damaging the other. Shaw's finisher has been established nicely and I see him using it to win by submission, pin, escape the cage, or whatever the hell the rules of these matches are.
Manik vs. Tigre Uno: Uno has the AAA background and has been featured in vignettes setting up his arrival. Meanwhile, Manik hasn't really been appearing on television, so it seems like he's the guy who will lose here.
Tigre Uno wins.
The Great Muta, Sanada, and Nakanoue vs. Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, and Chris Sabin: Daniels and Kazarian have been treated like throwaway talent lately. They both told me in separate interviews conducted prior to Bound For Glory that their contracts expire this year, which may explain why the Bad Influence push stalled. It's a shame because they produced some very entertaining television during their push. I assume the Japanese trio gets the win here. It will be cool to see Muta again after all these years.
The Great Muta, Sanada, and Nakanoue win.
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