How to Destroy Championship Prestige: The TNA Lockbox Challenge
In 2010, six weeks into the second Monday Night War, TNA was desperate for ratings. After being destroyed week after week by Raw, TNA turned to their Knockouts to pull them out of a hole.
TNA heavily promoted a Lockbox Challenge, an eight-elimination elimination match: Tara (the knockout champion), Angelina Love, Hamada and ODB against The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich) and Daffney.
Lockbox Challenge Rules
For each pinfall, the winner and loser were eliminated from the match, with the winner receiving one of four keys that would grant them access to a vault. It was a tag match, but even those on the losing team could “win” by pinning someone and getting a key.
And what were the prices in those mysterious PO boxes?
Box 1: An open contract, the winner being able to play a match against anyone he chooses.
Box 2: Tarantula, Tara’s pet, Poison.
Box 3: The TNA Knockouts Championship
Box 4: The “honor” of having to do a striptease.
There are a lot of illogical things in this game. Tara as a knockout champion is guaranteed to lose something here – her championship or her tarantula (which had been kidnapped in the storyline). Why did Tara have to put two things on the line? It was very unfair to her.
In a highly disrespectful move towards the Championship, many of the contestants in the match had no interest in the Knockout Championship. In previous segments, Lacey Von Erich was clearly in the match just for the opportunity to strip. ODB also showed no interest in the Knockout Championship, her goal was to win the open contract, so she could step into the ring with AJ Styles and her booty…
And perhaps most egregious of all, why is the Knockouts Championship being equated with a striptease!?
It all sounds very comedic like a random throwaway segment to fill time but no it was heavily promoted throughout the show there were many behind the scenes segments and interviews dedicated to the match the match him -even took an awful lot of time, and the segment in which the Knockouts opened their vaults was the main event of impact.
Lockbox Challenge Winners
KO champion Tara was the first to win a wrench, scoring a quick fall over Madison Rayne. The second key was earned… during a commercial break – Daffney pinned Hamada to get one of those all-important keys. Velvet Sky got the third key by pinning OBD leaving us with two final ones from Angelina Love and Lacey Von Erich. Lacey Von Erich, who has shown no interest in the Knockouts title, makes it to the finals. Luckily, she doesn’t win, as Angelina Love gets the victory and the fourth and final key.
With the four winners awarded, we had to wait until the end of the Impact to see who got which prize. Velvet Sky was the first to open her vault and her prize was… The open contract for a match of her choice. Velvet chose to face Angelina Love in a leather and lace match for the Knockout Championship.
Tara, the woman with the most to lose in the match, opens the second box to see that she has won… Poison, her pet tarantula. Grateful to be reunited with her beloved spider, she quickly realizes she lost her championship through no fault of his own, she scored a pinfall, and her team won the match.
The last two boxes reveal that Angelina Love won the Knockouts Championship in the cheapest possible way, while Daffney won the “honor” of performing a striptease. Angelina Love and the Knockouts Championship are quickly forgotten as all the drama falls on Daffney who now has to perform a striptease against her will.
Never before has a championship been so disrespected. At least Madusa throwing the Women’s Championship in the trash was just one segment; it was a one-night-stand in which several people showed no interest in winning the championship, with some actively wanting to win other boxes that were of little value. All the while, the drama of a striptease eclipses the championship proper.
The Lockbox Challenge is a stain on the legacy of the Knockouts Championship. This championship is considered one of the most prestigious in all of women’s wrestling and the fact that it was contested in this monstrosity showed exactly how much TNA cared about the Knockouts Championship, and the Knockouts as a whole, during this period.
TNA was jam-packed with talent, but that didn’t stop the booking team from mismanaging wrestlers. Some stars could not escape a bad booking in Impact!
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