Over the next two weeks, Total Nonstop Action and World Wrestling Entertainment return to pay-per-view showcasing their top feuds in unique matches. For TNA, every bout during the April 18 Lockdown event will take place within a steel cage. A week later, WWE’s April 25 Extreme Rules pay-per-view features matches with unique stipulations designed to push rivals to their limits.
For the past five years TNA has presented the Lockdown all-cage-match event billed as its most brutal pay-per-view of the year. Seven matches are confirmed for this year’s event from the Family Arena in St. Louis, including TNA Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles defending his title against “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero and Team Hogan pitted against Team Flair.
Abyss was set to captain Hogan’s team but his status is uncertain following a vehicular assault against the Monster by an unknown assailant during the April 12 Impact on Spike TV. Jeff Hardy, another member of Team Hogan, suffered a fireball to the face by Beer Money’s James Storm. Although in question, if Abyss and Hardy are able wrestle they will join Jeff Jarrett and RVD in battle against Ric Flair’s team of Beer Money, Desmond Wolfe and team captain Sting.
Other cage matches confirmed for Lockdown include Kurt Angle challenging Mr. Anderson; X Division Champion Douglas Williams defending his title in a Triple Threat match against Kazarian and Shannon Moore; a women’s war where all belts are on the line pitting The Beautiful People against Angelina Love and Tara; a clash between Eric Young and Kevin Nash; and Team 3D facing Scott Hall and Sean Waltman.
Four bouts are confirmed so far for WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Both world titles will be on the line as WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena defends against Batista and World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger battles Randy Orton. Cena, however, must fend off the Animal in a “Last Man Standing” match while Swagger makes his first pay-per-view title match against The Viper in an anything goes “Extreme Rules” match.
Also confirmed for Extreme Rules is a “Street Fight” between Triple H and Sheamus and another battle between CM Punk and Rey Mysterio. This time, however, if Mysterio beats Punk, the Straight Edge Society leader will lose his hair.
Television changes have been made and are on the horizon for both TNA and WWE. TNA has moved its two-hour Monday night Impact show an hour earlier to an 8 p.m. start time. The lead-in will be TNA’s new Reaction show featuring exclusive backstage access and candid interviews starting at 7 p.m.
For WWE programing, a big change will take place Oct. 1 when its Friday night Smackdown show will move from MyNetworkTV to the SyFy Network. “Syfy is a terrific partner and we look forward to bringing our proven ratings winner and 10-year television institution, Friday Night SmackDown, to the network,” WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said in an April 13 press release. “With this move, WWE is thrilled to be expanding its long-standing relationship with the NBC Universal family.”
“WWE is the ultimate in imagination-based sports entertainment,” said David Howe, President of the SyFy Network. “The fantastical thrills of Friday Night SmackDown provide an ideal addition to the Syfy slate, as it targets the younger male and female demographics, which are the fastest growing categories for WWE.”
WWE’s current SyFy show, NXT, will end it’s run when Smackdown debuts on the network.
Tickets are on sale now for WWE’s big event in Richmond and its return to Hampton Roads. Raw invades the Richmond Coliseum on April 26 for a special three-hour broadcast featuring the 2010 WWE Draft. All the stars from Raw and Smackdown will be in attendance. Smackdown returns to the Hampton Coliseum on June 13 for a afternoon live event starting at 5 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 to $60.
Vanguard Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Damien Wayne retained his title against Phil Brown during VCW’s April 10 “Paws For A Cause” event. VCW will host an open house tryout April 22 at The Bump Zone, its new elite training facility located at 128 B Production Drive in Yorktown. More information can be found at VCW-Wrestling.com.
Southside Pro Wrestling will hold its next “BattleZone” television taping on April 18 at noon at the Southside School of Pro Wrestling in Virginia Beach. Although this event is not open to the public, fans can be part of the studio audience by calling 301-9885 or sending an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited. BattleZone airs on Cox Communications Channel 11 on Sunday nights at 10:30 p.m. Log onto myspace.com/southsideprowrestling for more information.