The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Hard Justice>/I> Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz breaks out the crystal ball to get you ready for TNA’s August pay per view event, Hard Justice, from Orlando, FL.
Let’s look at Hard Justice match by match to see what’s in store – and what may happen.
Hard Justice is always a set-up for one of TNA’s biggest shows of the year, >I>Bound for Glory. It establishes the feuds and motivations that TNA hopes will blow the lid off at the major event.
Circumstances and outright mistakes have put TNA into an even weaker-than-usual position on the eve of Hard Justice The booking committee is in tatters and Jeff Jarrett is suddenly out of the picture. Inconsistent and, sometimes, illogical plots have painted the promotion into a corner. If this show does nothing more than straighten out the various messes, TNA (and its fans) should be grateful.
Abyss vs. Jethro Holliday
The Story: Dr. Stevie has transformed from Abyss’ therapist into his worst enemy. After Abyss thrashed him at Victory Road, the mad medico offered a huge bounty to anyone who could destroy the masked man. Several wrestlers have tried to claim the reward in out-of-ring attacks, but this time Abyss will meet his doe head-on in the ring.
My Prediction: Since it would make no sense for this bottom-of-the-card guy to destroy Abyss, we can only hope that this match is merely an excuse for a wild scene in which Dr. Stevie and Daffney come to the ring and cause trouble for Chris Park.
If I had the booking authority, Abyss would wipe the floor with Jethro Holliday and would be well on his way to doing the same to Dr. Stevie when another wrestler hits the ring and tries to collect the bounty. An embarrassed and humiliated Abyss would then hook up with the man who blitzed him for a showdown at Bound for Glory.
Predicted Grade: C
Hernandez vs. Rob Terry
Battle fir the Briefcase
The Story: Things looked so promising for LAX when both Hernandez and Homicide won “Feast or Fired” briefcases, but both men have traveled a rocky road since then. Super Mex returned a couple of weeks ago after recuperating from an injury and immediately established himself as a prime contender for the heavyweight title. The only problem is that the British Invasion filched the briefcase! This match is about who has the right to keep the case and the title match it represents.
My Prediction: I’m uneasy about predicting this match, because it looks so cut and dried that Hernandez must win. The British Invasion has other commitments for the evening, so they aren’t likely to interfere, which leaves… what? Look for Super Mex to show he can handle a big guy like Rob Terry as a prelude to a confrontation with someone like Matt Morgan
Predicted Grade: B-
Homicide vs. Samoa Joe (with Taz)
The Story: Samoa Joe has a new mentor, but he seems even less helpful than the last one. After a shocking defeat, Samoa Joe has turned his attention to what may look like an easy target, the much smaller Homicide. The champion’s athleticism and speed may make it hard for Samoa Joe to capitalize on his strength and sheer aggressiveness.
My Prediction: The fact that Joe lost his first match, an upset, under the guidance of Taz suggests that this is no simple storyline. It could be awkward if Samoa Joe won the X Division strap, so his loss will have to be a DQ or COR. My prediction is that Taz will exhort Joe to greater and greater violence that will cause the referee to give the match to Homicide. That way, Joe looks strong, but Homicide keeps the title. It is also possible that they will do the generic thing and have Taz interfere to give Joe the title so that he can lose it to AJ Styles or Suicide at the next pay per view.
Predicted Grade: B+
Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. ODB & Cody Deaner
The Story: Cody Deener stole a kiss from Angelina Love, who now plans to knock out his teeth. He’ll be in the ring as an official participant in a match that could cost Love her title if the decision goes against her.
My Prediction: My lack of admiration for the booking that caused this match is boundless. “asinine” is the word that comes quickest to mind. It would be bad as a simple grudge match; as a title bout, it’s hard to accept. Wouldn’t you like to see Cody enter the ring in one of those red tee-shirts from Star Trek? I predict that it would be an appropriate , because the likely finish will see the champion pin the guy who forcibly took a kiss.
Predicted Grade: C+
Suicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Amazing Red vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Daniels vs. Consequences Creed
Steel Asylum Match
The Story: The first man who can climb out the top of the funnel wins a shot at the X Division champion, probably at Bound for Glory.
My Prediction: Noting that both Suicide and Daniels are scheduled, it could mean that Kaz is ready to don the hood again. If so, he is going to win. If either Suicide or Daniels fails to appear for the match, then it would probably be one of the heels who gets the title match.
Predicted Grade: A-
British Invasion vs. Beer Money
IWGP Tag Team Championship
The Story: The only thing scarier than Beer Money is Beer Money with a serious grudge and a chance to take home some gold. The British Invasion took the title with low tactics; who knows what they might have to do to keep it against Storm and Roode.
My Prediction: I must echo Jay Shannon’s comment in his Hard Justice column – which you should read here on OWW – when he says that the New Japan angle is likely to be decision. Reportedly, New Japan isn’t happy about the British Invasion holding the IWGP tag belts.
It’s a complex issue that largely depends on what TNA and New Japan work out behind the scenes. If Beer Money is acceptable, they can win the match and the title. Then Beer Money would face Team 3D with both tag team titles on the line (since I predict Ray and Devon will take the TNA belts from Booker and Steiner.)
If Beer Money is not acceptable to New Japan, even on an interim basis, then this match will end with the titles held up. These two teams, plus Steiner/Booker and Team 3D will have a four-way for both tag team titles at Bound for Glory. My pick is Beer Money for the win and the title.
Predicted Grade: B+
Mick Foley v Kevin Nash
The Story: Mick Foley seemed a little lost when he dropped the belt to Kurt Angle, but winning the Legends Championship has breathed new life into the Hardcore Icon. Kevin Nash is out to not only take the championship, but maim Foley in the process.
My Prediction: My heart says Mick Foley will win, but my head says that the World Elite will assault the ring and help Nash take the title. Their interference could also get Big Sexxy disqualified, but it would be better for the show if he won the belt now and lost it in another rematch in a cage at Bound for Glory.
Predicted Grade: B
Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. Team 3D
TNA World Tag Team Championship
The Story: The past and present collide in the ring as today’s top tag team, Team 3D, tries to take back the title from men who have held many such belts in the past.
My Prediction: Team 3D will defeat Scott Steiner and Booker T, despite outside interference.
Predicted Grade: B+-
Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan
TNA World Championship
The Story: The Sting-Angle feud has become the hottest one in TNA. They can’t focus only on each other, because Matt Morgan is a powerful wild card in this three-way rumble for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
My Prediction: With the heroic giant Hernandez gaining a title shot, the most exciting contest would be against the even bigger Matt Morgan. I see Sting and Angle fighting each other to a stalemate and Morgan busting through with a Hellavator.
Predicted Grade: A-
Predicted grade for Hard Justice: B-
That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of Hard Justice on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.
– Arnie Katz