TNA is doing a live pre-game show hosted by Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme, who previewed the top matches. Hemme looked absolutely awesome. Borash looked like, well, Borash.
They aired a video feature on the TNA championship match.
Devon vs. Anarquia
Devon met Anarquia on the ramp as he made his way to the ring. They started brawling around ringside with Devon working him over with punches and tossing him into the railing. Devon tossed him into the cage but Anarquia crotched him as Devon entered the ring.
Devon was choked against the ropes. He worked over Devon in the corner with shoulderblocks and a series of rights in the corner. He took Devon to the mat and began biting him on the forehead. He used the tape around his wrists to choke out Devon but the referee, Jackson James caught it. Anarquia rained down with punches in the corner.
Devin was whipped hard into the turnbuckles. Anarquia whipped him a second time but Devon came out with a clothesline and a big shoulderblock. He nailed a sideslam for a two count. Anarquia missed a clothesline in the corner but was nailed with another shoulderblock for a two count.
Devon drilled Anarquia to the mat with a one armed uranage and scored the pin.
Your winner, Devon!
After the match, Devin tossed Anarquia out of the cage to the floor, then slammed him into the railing. Devon continued the beating. He nailed Anarquia with a drink and choked him out on the floor. Devon followed him up the ramp and suplexed him onto it. Devon nailed a second one and made the Last Rites signal.
Match was solid but way too short to be anything of consequence. Just an opener to set the stage for the night. I kept waiting for Jackson James to reverse the decision since he's always in the middle of some way to screw the babyfaces subvertly, but it didn't happen.
I spotted Ronnie Lang’s Atlas Security in the house.
They aired the Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett match preview.
Hemme and Borash ran down the details of the Lethal Lockdown match. They do a great job in this role.
They went to a video feature on TNA Lethal Lockdown.
Christy Hemme interviewed Fortune. Chris Daniels said they have had their asses kicked in the past but that pain is nothing compared to being underestimated by people who walk into TNA and act like they are the stars. He said they were the ones who built the company from ground up while they acted like it was beneath them. Then, once they made a name for TNA, people like Ric Flair and Matt Hardy wanted to come and take advantage of their hard work. He said he was tired of dumbasses like them and tonight, Fortune was going to show them once and for all who the real stars of TNA are. Good promo.
The next time TNA does one of these pre-game shows live again, I'd love to see them shoot promos like this on the stage so you can see the crowd in the background. It might give the show a "bigger event" feel.
At ringside, Jeremy Borash gave everyone a close-up look at the inside of the Steel Cage. He then ran down the lineup for the PPV.
Borash pitched it to Taz and Mike Tenay, who discussed the lineup for the PPV, specifically Immortal vs. Fortune. Taz said it was going to be a crazy night and he just hoped that no one was going to be injured.
Borash gave us a look at the live crowd in Cincinnati, then pointed out all the weapons waiting for the Lethal Lockdown match later tonight.
Here we go with the official PPV broadcast.
They aired another really good video opening for the PPV.
X-Division Xscape Match: Jeremy Buck vs. Max Buck vs. Robbie E. vs. Chris Sabin vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Suicide vs. Jay Lethal vs. Amazing Red.
Suicide and E started. Suicide got the better of the exchange and chopped him hard in the corner. Max Buck tagged in but was hiptossed into the corner by Suicide. E and Buck used a double elbow for Buck to get a two count.
Buck nailed a standing dropkick. Jeremy Buck tagged in but Max wanted nothing to do with it, backed off and tagged in Lethal. Lethal and Jeremy showed each other respect. Buck nailed headscissors on Lethal but was caught with a tiltowhirl backbreaker. Buck was caught in the Lethal Combination.
Max Buck tagged himself in but Suicide tagged back in. He drops an elbow on Max Buck. E tagged back in and drilled Suicide to the mat, using his leg as a weapon, then scored the pin.
Suicide is eliminated.
Lethal and E faced off. E dared him to have a fist pumping challenge but tagged out to Sabin. Sabin and Lethal tossed E into the cage. He and Lethal then had a nice back and forth athletic exchange, which Lethal got the better of.
Sabin charged Lethal in the corner for a big boot. Red tagged himself in and nailed a missile dropkick. Lethal went for a handspring elbow but Red dropkicked Lethal as he was upside down. Red drilled him with the Code Red for the pin.
Lethal has been eliminated.
Sabin tried to roll up Red but he kicked out. Red ducked a clothesline. He went for a rana but was caught and tossed into the cage. Red caught himself and kicked Sabin. He went for a DDT but was caught in a suplex mid-move. Red slipped out but was caught with a Fireman’s Carry into a Michinoku Driver. Sabin hit him with a huge running clothesline that sent Red upside down for the pin.
Red has been eliminated.
Max Buck attacked Sabin and worked him over. Sabin tripped him up in the corner and nailed a leaping knee strike. He hung up Buck and nailed the hangman’s dropkick. He cradled Buck for a two count. Meanwhile, Brian Kendrick has been sitting in the corner meditating the entire match.
Buck came off the ropes with a twist into a Buff Blockbuster and pinned him.
Sabin was eliminated.
Kendrick hit the ring and tried to roll up Buck for a two count. E tagged in and worked over Kendrick, only to eat a dropkick. Kendrick charged E and splashed him against the cage but hit his own head on the steel. Buck went for a moonsault but Kendrick got his knees up in time.
Jeremy Buck finally got his hands on Max and worked him over with rights. Max kneed him hard in the chest and tried to ascend the cage. Jeremy pulled him back down. He ran Max into the cage hard and then did it a second time. He did it a third time and drilled Max with a stiff spinning kick. Jeremy continued beating down Max on the mat. Kendrick and E were still out from the splash into the cage. Out of nowhere, Max caught Jeremy in an inside cradle for the pin.
Jeremy Buck is eliminated.
Robbie E started working over Kendrick. Buck joined in. They picked up Kendrick together and lawn darted him into the cage. Kendrick mounted a comeback against them both. He began stomping on E. He nailed Buck and E with leaping thrust kicks and pinned E.
Robbie E has been eliminated.
The first man to escape the cage is the winner.
Buck peppered Kendrick with punches. He started to ascend the cage. Kendrick stopped him but Buck got the better of him, running him into the cage numerous times. Buck went to the top rope but Kendrick met him. Kendrick slammed his head into the cage a number of times and shoved Buck off. Kendrick started to climb up. Buck staggered into referee Brian Hebner. Hebner slammed into the cage and Kendrick fell off into the ring.
Max Buck escaped and won.
Your winner, Max Buck!
Match was OK and what you would expect but there was no time to really develop anything. Some spots were cool but no flow. The finish with the referee being bumped this early in the card totally reeked over overbooking. If they wanted Buck to go over, they could have done a finish where he was bumped out of the cage door and won, anything else. Doing the referee deal this early doesn’t bode well in my opinion.
Eric Bischoff came to the ring to cut a promo. Bischoff said that tonight was a special night and occasion for him personally. He said it was one of the happiest nights he’s ever had in the industry and he’ll explain why in a few moments. He said that after 25 years in the business, people come to him and ask him what matters most to him in his career – the success, the money, the women (which he said was years ago) or something else. He said that when you are in his position and re-written the book of pro wrestling history, you set the standard so high that it’s hard to say what matters most.
Bischoff said that tonight is a special occasion. The fans were on him, chanting that he sucks. Bischoff said he may suck but he has a hell of a lot more money than any of them. He said that tonight Immortal is going to take care of the distraction that Fortune has become. He said that Fortune have a great future ahead of them but they made the mistake of getting into Immortal’s business, but that will be taken care of tonight.
Bischoff said that he is proud to be a small part of the vision of Hulk Hogan. Bischoff said that Hogan taught him everything he knows about pro wrestling. He said that he will get to be a small part of Hogan executing his plan to regain the TNA championship tonight. He said that makes him so happy and that’s the only thing that matters to Bischoff.
So, unless he is made the guest referee or a major part of the main event tonight, when you think about it, Bischoff said NOTHING OF MERIT. This needed to be on the PPV why?
Christy Hemme interviewed Crimson and Scott Steiner about their four way tag match. Crimson said that there was no one who he wanted to have his back more than anyone else in the world. Steiner was asked if he’s evaluated their opponents. He said that they are going to evaluate his fist in their face. He said he wasn’t going to be Kobe Bryant and get people upset but they are going to go to the ring and kick some ass, giving what a tough town like Cincinnati wants.