Josh Boutwell reviews Impact Wrestling for 2/23/16
 
Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
February 24, 2016 
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
 
Lockdown is one of my favorite events every year and I still believe it should be one of TNA’s Live PPV’s each year, but it works out pretty cool for a TV special as long as TNA treats it like a special event. In years past TNA have gotten lazy with some of these themed episodes of Impact where it doesn’t feel any different than a regular episode of Impact, but last night that was certainly not the case. Every match had a story to it and all of the matches were solid to good with some really entertaining action with a hot crowd. 
 
It is so nice when you get to see a really good opening match at the start of a show rather than a 30 minute long promo every week, and this week Lockdown started off with a terrific opener between Beer Money and the Bearded Terrors (I’m going to call Bram and EY a different name each week until TNA finally gives them a name like they should have). There was a ton of great brawling on the outside before getting in the cage where the intensity was ramped up even higher and both teams put on a hell of a show. It looks like this will be the end of this feud, at least for now but hopefully we will see more of it down the line and especially more from Bram and EY as a team. 
 
EC3 cut yet another great babyface promo and I like that they are coming full circle with the EC3/Spud story from this time last year in England (more on that later).
 
Trevor Lee and Tigre had their best match together in the cage and Tigre had the biggest spot of the night with the dive off the cage, which will surely be replayed over and over by TNA this year, and I hope we get to see more of them together because they are started to develop some nice chemistry. TNA needs to let these two add some depth to the feud with promos, segments, etc. and not just matches each week. That is something TNA has struggled to do with the X-Division for years. 
 
The Lethal Lockdown was shockingly 100 times better than I expected. It would have been even better had Velvet been the one kept out of the match rather than Madison due to the attack backstage, but I think that might lead to something in the future. They really didn’t overdo it with weapons like tends to happen Lethal Lockdown and everyone worked hard. Maria eventually screwed over the babyfaces, like was expected, but the predictability of it can be forgiven because we got to see Maria in those shorts for the first time in TNA (good lord!)! Seriously, Gail looks kind of dumb to even put trust in Maria at all but they can play it off like there was really no one else for Gail to turn to anyway so it was either going to be Maria stepping up or Gail and Madison going at it alone. I was glad that Jade got the pin in the match too. 
 
Angle and Lashley had a nice promo and they are teasing a bit of a heel turn with Lashley which I’m expecting with Raquel as his manager. 
 
I liked the teasing they were doing with The Decay and Jimmy Havoc but this week Havoc tore his knee up in Australia so it looks like whatever TNA had planned for him will either have to be scrapped or put on the backburner for awhile. There is ways TNA could get around it while still doing it later on but I don’t if TNA will be willing to do it. 
 
Everything was very serious on the show with all of the feuds and angles until we got to Odarg vs. Eli which added a bit of nice entertaining comedy to the show. Odarg was priceless with his antics in the cage and the finish was original, but JB came off so lame pretending like he was shocked that Odarg was actually Grado.
 
Another great match from EC3/Hardy with a ton of intensity and the crowd was super hot for it which made it even better. Like I said before the EC3-Spud story comes full circle with Spud turning on EC3. Some fans are going to whine about “another heel turn” in TNA but Spud turning on EC3 made all the sense in the world, especially if they play it off like Hardy paid him along with Spud’s hatred for EC3 and everything he did to Spud last year. Spud gets his revenge and adds some more sympathy to EC3’s story of redemption. Great stuff. TNA is really on fire right now with the quality of the product. 
 
– Promo/Segment of the Night: EC3
– Match of the Night: Lee vs. Tigre, Hardy vs. EC3, and Beer Money vs. EY/Bram (***1/2)
– Overall Grade: A