Monday, August 8, 2011
WrestlingNerd Presents: TNA Hardcore Justice Review
What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Hardcore Justice. With a so-so card going into this event, how would the PPV turn out? Well, let's take a look and start the review.
Match #1: Brian Kendrick vs Alex Shelley vs Austin Aries for the X Division Title Match
We open up the show with an X Division match. Anyone notice the ring ropes were red as opposed to blue? They also showed the TNA logo on the ring apron and there seemed to be advertisements all over the place for Direct Auto Insurance. I understand that was the sponsor for the PPV, but does the logo have to be plastered everywhere? I guess TNA didn't read the fine print since this logo was everywhere. Kendrick might have just changed his character after tonight. He was wearing the MC Hammer's baggy pants and came out to.....porn music? Yeah, what the hell was up with that entrance music? I wasn't one for his original music, but this was almost an insult to the original music. Aries was mainly playing possum for most of this match. He was on the outside of the ring most of the time just waiting to pick his spot while Kendrick and Shelley try to ignore him. From time to time, Aries would get involved, but they two boy scouts would work together....at least for a while since this is a title match. The match was pretty good, but there was something about it that was missing. This match really didn't feel like a match that should be on PPV and I felt the Aries/Shelley match that was on Impact last week was much better than this match. There was some decent moves like the Cattle Mutilation/Horns of Aries that Aries applied and the Spinning Figure Four Leglock by Shelley, but I felt like more should have been done. It doesn't help when there was a potential high spot that had all three guys in the same corner, but it was botched when Kendrick slipped off the ropes while Shelley and Aries had the make the most out of a bad situation. Still, an ok match to open up a PPV. The finish comes when Aries hits Brainbuster on Shelley, but Kendrick shows up to hit the Sliced Bread and he pins Shelley to retain his title. I think they had to go down this direction because it would have made the division look completely weak if Aries already takes the top prize after only being there for a month. This pretty much pushes Shelley out of the picture and sets up a match between Kendrick and Aries, and maybe then Aries can take the title afterwords. Right now, Kendrick isn't giving me a reason to care about him and he is a pretty weak champion.
Winner via pinfall and still X Division Champ: Brian Kendrick
Match #2: Tara and Miss Tessmacher vs Sarita and Rosita for the KO Tag Titles
This was a match added in at the last second. Yeah....so instead of giving a match like RVD/Crimson an extra 5 minutes (I will get to that one a little later), you give us second KO match? Perfect.....just what I wanted. What was hilarious was Mexican America is now bringing out a smaller flag to the ring in order to raise it. I guess they got some complaints by the live audience since the flag that would drop down was blocking their view. This was another one of those matches where it seems the camera men are focusing on Tessmacher's ass. In fact, when Rosita was throwing punches at her in the corner and you can barely see Rosita while the camera is eye humping Tessmacher. At this point, why don't you just have her put on a show with a cucumber while your at it? Hey, that's one way to get the ratings up.....along with other things HEY OOOOOOOO!!! Anyway, for a KO match, this one was at least tolerable. The finish comes when Tara hits the Widows Peak for the clean win. The title change just happened, so it makes sense for her to keep the titles. Then again, what would make even more sense is to just blow up the KO tag titles since nobody cares about them.
Winner via pinfall and still KO Tag Champs: Tara and Tessmacher
Match #3: Pope vs Devon in a BFG Series Match
There was a backstage scene in which the Pope was trying to get a word from Devon, but he kept blowing him off. He says he sent a tweet about making some changes in his life......why? What's next, he is going to talk to us about his DVD collection? Anyway, Matt Morgan was on commentary for this match since he is going to add insight for the BFG Series from week to week. Again, gotta really feel for Morgan because of the injury and having to listen to Mike Tenay. I also just found out Pope had 10 points going into this. I thought he only had 3 points? Again, this is why having the BFG Series at house shows is a problem since it feels TNA can make up the metrics whenever they feel like. The match is ready to begin and Pope has something to say. He says he cares about the BFG Series, but his respect for Devon and his family is above that. He lies down on the mat and wants Devon to pick up the easy points. Devon says he wants to do this the right way and tells him to give him a real match. Morgan was angry when he saw this while TazzTazz on this one. Pope tries to half ass it, but once Devon slaps him, he finally lets loose and the match finally begins. The match was nothing special. Just another example of a match that would have been a lot better on free tv and not something worth seeing at a PPV. Pope was about to use his chain at one point, but Devon's kids talk him out of it, so he gives them the chain. The finish comes when Pope sneaks a rollup victory. After the match, Pope wants a handshake, but Devon blows him off. He sees his kids and they tell their dad to do the right thing. Devon goes back in the ring and shakes his hand, thus ending the segment. Well, it was nice to actually see some progress from this storyline....even though its anyone's guess as to where they plan on going with all of this. I said this could lead to a possible tag team, but who really knows. Pope is now sitting at 17 points, meaning he is only 4 points away from AJ Styles. Yeah, Styles' role with the company has definitely changed if he is on the bottom half of the tournament.
Winner via pinfall: Pope
Backstage interview with RVD. He says all the cliche stuff until Jerry Lynn arrives. He says because of Crimson's undefeated streak, he thinks he will cheat and he will watch at ringside to watch out for RVD. For some stupid reason, RVD actually is ok with this. Oh...of course because Crimson is known for being a cheating rotten bastard.....what? Wow, they basically put it out there in gigantic letters what they are going to do. I know people will say how RVD's laid back attitude would allow for Lynn to be in his corner, but how long has RVD been doing this game? You know shenanigans is on the way if the guy volunteers to watch your back. Wrestling logic can be a bitch sometimes.
Match #4: Mickie James vs Winter for the KO Titles
Most people would say this was the better of the KO matches this evening, but I think it was the other way around. I don't know why, but it just seemed like the in-ring chemistry between Mickie and Winter was never in sync. Mickie gets tossed over the guard rail and we have this long scene of Mickie trying to get back up while Winter is just standing in the ring. When she gets back up, Angelina Love does an attack while referee Earl Hebner's is dealing with Winter. This spot looked as if someone missed a cue because it shouldn't have dragged out that long. This match felt really sloppy at times. This might have something to do with the in ring work or Love's interference, but it was making me sick just watching this performance. As for the finish, my God was it busted. It comes when Mickie hits her Delayed DDT, but Winter rolls out of the ring. The ref stupidly walks out of the ring to check on Winter (Wrestling logic because the referee usually STAYS in the ring even if a competitor is out of the ring). During that time, Love tries a interference for the 54th time in this match (Seriously, too much interference and most of it was unnecessary until the last one), but it fails as Mickie takes her out. The ref is now back in the ring and is now restraining Love, while Winter shows up and uses red mist on Mickie. She is blinded and without the ref questioning the mist (Have you raped wrestling logic enough TNA?), he makes the count and we have a new KO champ. After the match, the ref is somewhat questioning the red mist, but just doesn't care anymore while the medical staff is checking up on Micke since she is saying her eyes are burning. I am fine with interference occurring. In fact, interference is almost pro wrestling's calling card, but it has to at least make sense. There were so many times where the ref saw the interference, but didn't do anything. Again, where is the choreography? As far as Winter winning, I suppose it makes sense. I am not really big on this Love/Winter team. Plus, two KO matches for a PPV? I almost feel like TNA is insulting you at this point.
Winner via pinfall and NEW KO Champ: Winter
Backstage interview with Kendrick. He talks about defeating Aries, but Aries interrupts and says he didn't beat him since he pinned Shelley. He also says he is not a champion until he beats him. Kendrick on the other hand is acting like a complete moron and keeps saying how he beat Aries. Aries finally throws a towel at him and says to shower up because he looks like a hobo. Kendrick still considers himself the champ and says it in a way that makes you want to fall asleep. I am starting to see why WWE never gave Kendrick much of a singles push (Not that I didn't see it beforehand mind you). He is just so bland as a champion that your just screaming for them to just hand the title to Aries because he is making this entire scene work while Kendrick is trying to kill it. In fact, let's have a contest for the blandest champion in pro wrestling. It's either Ezekiel Jackson and Kendrick. Ironic that it would be these two guys, wouldn't you say?
Match #5: RVD vs Crimson in a BFG Series Match
I thought this might be on the brighter spots of the PPV, but what the hell TNA? You only gave these guys like 4-5 minutes to do their thing? The match really felt rushed and didn't turn out well. It just seemed like RVD was rushing through all of his moves while Crimson was playing defense. Again, doesn't TNA know how to build a f****** undefeated streak? Crimson needs to go in there as a beast and just take out everyone, not be on his back most of the time. Crimson looks like a bad ass, but TNA isn't making him look like one. Plus, why isn't Crimson cutting more promos? I want to hear what this guy has to say and see if he can roll with the top dogs on a mic because this is important in pro wrestling. There is a reason why Crimson's push as of late isn't doing better. TNA creative staff, what are you doing? RVD hit a Frogsplash, but Crimson kicked out of it. I understand having Crimson kick out of RVD's finisher, but it would have made the moment much bigger if the match was back and forth for about 10 minutes. This was lazy booking if I ever saw it. Again, we have two KO matches on this PPV but only give you undefeated beast 5 minutes? Who's idea was that? Just as it was established earlier, Lynn is watching at ringside for this match. The finish comes when Crimson sneaks the Sky High Powerbomb and is about to get the three count, by Lynn attacks Crimson. With the DQ, Crimson only wins 3 points while RVD looses ten points since Lynn represented him (I could question this, but f*** it). After the match, RVD apologizes to Crimson for Lynn's screw up. Lynn is apologizing for the screw up while RVD still continues to be angry about it. TNA, I really want to be the guy who likes your show and tells everyone about it in my reviews, but you make it so hard to like your product sometimes. Are you kidding me? So, they are basically setting up a RVD/Lynn match.....again. AGAIN!!! Why? We already saw it, so why do a rematch? While RVD and Lynn put on a pretty good performance at Dest X, they should just learn to move on from it. I think they will end up fighting at BFG in some sort of hardcore style match (Hardcore you say? That's ironic), but I am not sure about this one. I really didn't like the booking with this one. I understand if you want to do a RVD/Lynn match that it would make sense to do the DQ, but they could have done this at a different time. What I would have done was have RVD and Crimson put on a 10-15 minute clinic and have Crimson get the clean win. It would have done wonders for Crimson since it would have shown he can go the distance with a tough opponent and prove his undefeated streak is for real. They could have had Lynn screw up one of RVD's matches on free tv and then you can build up that match. I just don't like the way TNA went about this entire scene because it did nothing for Crimson or RVD. Crimson still comes off as if the winning streak is a bit of a fluke while RVD is just another guy. Really disappointing TNA.
Winner via DQ: Crimson
Backstage where Mr. Anderson is talking about assholes. He starts to make a bunch of fart sounds in regards to Bully Ray...
This had to be one of the worst promos I have ever heard. I usually like Anderson on the mic, but I really have to wonder what he was thinking when he said some of these things. I would rather hear one of Randy Orton's generic promos than listen to this. In fact, it would have been funnier if Anderson sang this song...
Match #6: Immortal vs 4Tune
Sadly, this might have to be considered the best match of the night, but it was for all the wrong reasons. 4Tune is doing a ton of high flying moves while Scott Steiner continues to receive a paycheck for some reason. Oh, and a table got involved on the outside. Gunner ends up tackling Christopher Daniels through the table, and that was the closest this PPV got to being hardcore. That's a fail if I ever saw one. Come on, April O'Neil is more hardcore than this PPV. The finish comes when Styles hits a flying Pele Kick on Abyss for the win. After the match, Gunner and Steiner blame Abyss and your starting to think he would do something, but does nothing and just goes with it. Once again, they are teasing a Abyss face turn, but did the same thing at the last PPV. This was just more padding for future events. Also, they probably should have done something to progress the Styles/Daniels deal unless they have canned that idea. With TNA creative staff, you can never tell.
Winner via pinfall: 4Tune
Backstage interview with Bully who does nothing but SHOUTING THROUGHOUT HIS ENTIRE PROMO!!! Damn, and I thought Samuel L. Jackson did a lot of shouting in his movies. Who am I kidding? Samuel L. Jackson is about the only thing that can save this PPV...
Match #7: Bully Ray vs Mr. Anderson
Both guys fought up the ramp and Anderson choked out Bully with a chain before the match started. This match was a mixed bag sort of match. There were moments where it was going well, but parts where it felt slow. Still, the match was a lot better than I thought. Anderson going for a Kenton Bomb always scares the crap out of me because he gets this close to landing on his head. Anderson also had a botched Samoan Drop since he went up against the ropes. I noticed he was grabbing his back afterwords. Yeah, Bully has lost some weight, but he is still a large man. Clearly, Anderson just couldn't quite lift up Bully's fat ass. The finish comes when Anderson has the chain, but the ref finally decides to do something about it. He gets caught up in the mix, which allows for Bully to sneak a low blow on him and he wins the match. Sometimes, the referees love to question wrestling logic. Earlier in the match, Bully was about to use the chain, but the ref was playing chicken s*** with him; but when Anderson has it, all of the sudden he has enough balls to step in and take the weapon? I understand its pro wrestling, but there are moments where the referee is a genius while other times they are idiots. Like the time the ref during the Miz/John Cena rivalry that was freakin MacGyver and penciled in all the clues of interference. Oh well...
Winner via pinfall: Bully Ray
Backstage with Immortal. They are chewing out Abyss for some of his recent screwups while Bully comes in gloating about beating Anderson. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff say Immortal is going to celebrate, but Abyss can't come along and join in their reindeer games. Yeah, if they weren't already showing signs of Abyss turning face, than I don't know what is.
Match #8: Beer Money vs Mexican America for the TNA Tag Titles
Anarquia cuts a typical anti-American promo. The strangest thing about this match was Hebner was the ref for this match and sent Sarita and Rosita to the back. He also worked the Mickie/Winter match earlier and didn't bother to send Love to the back for the 1000th interference. Doubled standards much Hebner? Why is there so much wrestling logic showing up tonight? I also noticed Hernandez did the Captain Kirk chop attack. That was pretty weird, but it was actually amusing. The finish comes when Robert Roode pushes Anarquia off the top rope and he lands into a James Storm Super Kick and Beer Money retains the titles. While I enjoy BM as the tag champs, they really could have used this opportunity to start the singles career of Roode and Storm. Then again, Mex America is so generic that they are not ready for tag titles. If Chavo Guerrero wants to work for TNA, they should bring him in since he would instantly make this stable better. Plus, Chavo can cut a promo, so it does help in taking this stable seriously.
Winner via pinfall and still Tag Champs: Beer Money
Match #9: Sting vs Kurt Angle for the TNA World Title
Did Tazz just say Sting is as crazy as a fox? What does that even mean? I think Tazz just doesn't give a s*** anymore and just hope that paycheck keeps arriving in the mail. The match did drag a bit, but it was expected. I told you Angle would be carrying Sting's ass throughout this since Sting isn't what he used to be and I was right. Sting looked so winded that he needed an oxygen tank right then and there. In fact, if Sting vs Hogan happens, it should be an Oxygen Tank on a Pole Match. Where the winner gets the breath and the loser.....we just hope he is ok after the evening. Joking aside, I suppose the match was ok for what it was worth. The finish comes when a ref bump occurs. Hogan walks down the ramp (anyone still on board with my idea to give Hogan a wheelchair to roll his ass down the ramp faster?) with a chair and is about to use it on Sting. Angle steals it and says he doesn't want to win it like this. As Hogan walks away, Angle uses the chair on Sting, hits Angle Slam on Sting, and pins him for the win. The show ends with Hogan looking a bit puzzled as Angle is celebrating with his title, but is nowhere near Hogan and didn't celebrate with him. Yeah....that was different to say the least. Before you jump to conclusions that Angle has joined up with Immortal, there was no indication that Angle has joined the group. For one, Hogan didn't seem to be smiling and just seemed confused. Two, the rest of the stable didn't show up to celebrate with Angle. And third, Angle didn't do anything afterwords to show he is with Immortal and its basically assumed Angle did the attack for himself. Hard to say if Angle is a face, heel or a tweener at the moment. I would say he is more of a tweener, but I actually like the way the show ended. They ended it on a cliffhanger because of Angle's actions, thus keeping you invested to watch Impact to find out why Angle did what he did and who is he with. Yeah, so I actually liked the ending to this show and it keeps me interested to see where they go with all of this. Yeah, there is a chance it will be a disappointment, but its too early to make that indication. I will add this. It would be overly stupid to have Angle join up with Immortal considering he had a 8+ month feud with Jeff Jarrett and it would really make no sense to go through all of that only to see Angle and Jarrett shaking hands. TNA, I really hope this isn't your plan because it would be pretty dumb. Still, I bet the IWC is already tearing TNA a new one since "Angle joined Immortal" even though that was not established yet. I am fine with getting the title off of Sting because he hasn't looked very good with these last two title runs and his matches aren't getting any better. Again, I was a big Sting fan growing up, but he has lost several steps and really needs to hang up the boots for good.
Winner via pinfall and NEW TNA World Champ: Kurt Angle
Even if you ignore the fact the PPV has "hardcore" in its name and didn't have one hardcore match, this was still a disappointing evening. All of the matches didn't feel like they were PPV worthy and this really felt like a three hour edition of Impact. If this was on free tv, it would be alright with some hang ups, but when you have to fork over money to watch this, it's just a waste. I don't recommend ordering this PPV, nor do I recommend ordering the replay. This is one of those PPVs that is ok to check out when it shows up on Net Flix or something like that, or just a DVD rental. No, I don't even think its worth that. Some of the matches were ok like the X Division or the Six Man Tag Match, but they weren't matches I would be worth a second look. It doesn't help when there was some questionable acts with management. I don't think they are building up Crimson correctly with the whole undefeated streak. Do they even remember how Goldberg made a name for himself? Yeah, it would be a rip off, but it would make Crimson a bigger star and really get the crowd behind him. Crimson has lots of potential, but I just feel TNA isn't handling this in the best way possible. I have noticed the crowd isn't taking a liking to him, but how will we know how well Crimson is doing when he is in front of the same audience every week? That's another thing. Remember when the Chicago audience was really into the MITB PPV? Well, tonight's audience really didn't seem to care about PPV and when the audience doesn't seem interested, how is the audience at home watching this supposed to get invested if the audience on tv is bored? Just another reason to get the hell out of the Impact Zone and take this show on the road because I am getting sick of seeing the same people every week, reacting to the same thing. It also seemed there was a lot of botches tonight. Since this is pro wrestling, botches are going to happen, but it just seemed like everyone was off their game tonight. It just makes some of the matches sloppy and hard to watch. I just felt bored while watching this tonight. In fact, it got so bad that I almost fell asleep while watching this. The ending really did grab my attention and it probably was the only memorable thing from tonight, but it isn't worth sitting through 2 hours and 45 minutes just to see it. Also, why call it Hardcore Justice where there is nothing hardcore about it? Reckon, I am not a fan of hardcore matches, but why call it Hardcore when it isn't going to be there? They should have just called this Hard Justice, so I don't even want to know what they were thinking with they were marketing this show. I said Immortal/4Tune was one of the better matches, but for all the wrong reasons. That's because none of these matches really stood out. In fact, I look back at the Bully/Anderson match and I am starting to think that might have been the best match of the night. For the overall score of this PPV on a scale of 1-10 and 5 being average, I have to give Hardcore Justice a 3 out of 10. I might be a little harsh in the grading, but I look at it like this. Ever since the Victory Road PPV, TNA has been showing progress in the right direction and the PPV quality was going up after each show. Tonight, they really took a lot of steps backwards and the finished product wasn't that great. This could have been a great show, but it wasn't very well polished and I felt TNA tried to do too much tonight. There was nine matches on the card, and they really could have done away with two of those matches and give more time to some of the other matches to make this an entertaining evening, but that apparently wasn't what they were going for. Again, even though I am not a fan of tonight's performance, I am a little interested to see what happens on Impact when Angle cuts his promo and explains himself. I wouldn't be surprised if I get angry complaints from the TNA fanboys in how I am only here to bash TNA and make WWE look good. Truth of the matter is I want TNA to do well and I want to like this show, but with TNA's lackluster storylines, stuff that makes no sense and bad choreography, its really hard for me to like this product and give it a positive ranking. Plus, whenever TNA does something I enjoy, I do talk about it in a positive way. Trust me, I think there are a lot more harsher reviewers out there and its amazing how people think I am overly critical against TNA while there are others who trash TNA and WWE a lot more than I do. Anyway, I could talk more about this show, but this review is already too long and we need to wrap it up. I cannot recommend watching this. In fact, a DVD rental isn't even worth watching. I would say watch a Youtube video of the ending and just save yourself three hours. That is going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review and tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
WrestlingNerd's Official Hardcore Justice Score: 3 out of 10
WrestlingNerd's Favorite Match: N/A