TNA is an odd company to follow, really. I have tried time and time again to take it seriously as a company, only to find myself facing some ridiculous storylines or match stipulations which only question my ever meandering levels of sanity that come from watching the company. TNA, or GFW-Impact as we should now refer to it as, has produced some of the finest wrestling displays of the past two decades, but it has also been tarnished with some of the worst matches and stipulations you will ever see. Think 2000 / 2001 WCW then multiply that by five and you are on the right wavelength here.
The lockbox challenge was a prime example of this sort of hazardous booking! To start things off, the graphics hyping the match had it listed as a lockbox showdown, despite everyone calling it a challenge. It was an eight women match where the winners were granted keys which would open sealed boxes and reveal a surprise for the lucky recipient. These prizes would vary and could be anything from the title belt to a live tarantula. For the women, though, there was the added punishment of having to perform a strip tease in front of the crowd at the Impact Zone!
To quote Taz, “If you like Knockouts and you like boxes, you’re going to love what’s up next!” Damn right, Taz! In the warm up to the match we saw The Beautiful People stretching, like they needed to stretch for what was about to come. The ladies who made up team one were Angelina Love, Tara, ODB & Hamada. Team two combined Velvet, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich & Daffney. As a side note, do YouTube some of Hamada’s matches in Japan and compare them to her TNA run.
The action kicks off with Madison placing Tara’s head between her legs then bouncing her face off the mat repeatedly, almost like she was humping her skull. So, in summary, this match had started by Tara having her head up Madison’s anus. Taz called this a ‘pelvis thrust into a forehead head butt type of thing,” which is not enough to help Madison out and she eventually loses to Tara, causing both women to leave the ring. Keeping up so far? Good. If you failed to understand what just happened, if you are pinned, you and your opponent must leave the ring. Daffney then gets the next key. How? Your guess is as good as mine as it happened during the commercial break. Remember this is a taped show. Velvet then faces ODB. ODB is an amazing wrestler so of course she is the one that gets pinned. We then have Angelina vs Lacey Von Erich. Lacey, for some reason, attempts a moonsault, lands on her feet then performs an elbow drop, which she misses. Angelina eventually gets the pinfall and the key.
We then head up to the boxes. Here we go people. Velvet opens the box to reveal a contract that will allow her to compete in any match of her choosing, quite the reward there. Tara is next to open a box, we should mention at this point that her title is in one of the boxes, so despite not losing, she could go home without the title. She opens the box with the tarantula then proceeds to make out with the box. THIS. IS. NOT. A. JOKE. This also means that Tara has lost the championship. Angelina opens the next box and wins the title! Thank God she fought so valiantly to win it! This means that Daffney has the last box so has to perform a striptease in the middle of the ring. Taz summarises this whole situation perfectly by stating: “Oh my God, Mike, have you ever seen a Zombie strip?”
Daffney strips at a dismally slow pace whilst the most awful stripping music plays. Daffney does not strip nude, of course, but instead gets attacked by Lacey Von Erich who then strips herself! A brawl then breaks out between Tara and Angelina in the ring and Lacey carries on stripping in the corner. Daffney is just laying on the ground at this point as if she has been murdered.
Good lord, that was difficult to get through! However, there you have it. The knockouts lockbox match. What a stinker! What was going through the mind of the bookers when this one was planned?! Well, that’s Russo for you.