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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Hard Justice Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish gets you ready for TNA’s extreme pay per view in Trenton, NJ..
Hard Justice is TNA’s annual August pay per view. They style it as the year’s most hardcore show. In actuality, it is a lead-in for Bound for Glory and TNA’s attempt to offer an alternative to WWE’s SummerSlam.
The intriguing possibility is that TNA seems to have altered its booking direction and might use Had Justice to wind up a bunch of old stories and launch the stories that will carry the promotion through Bound for Glory.
Let’s look at the matches:
Taylor Wilde, Gail Kim & ODB vs. The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky & Angelina Love) & Awesome Kong
Six-Knockout Tag Team Match
The Story: The Beautiful People have had a long-running feud with Kim and ODB – and they don’t care for Taylor Wilde, either. Angelina Love in particular harbors no love for the diminutive Wilde. Not only does Awesome Kong have an established feud with both Gail Kim and ODB, but she is stalking Taylor Wilde to reclaim her title.
My Prediction: Bad booking has pretty much sabotaged the Knockout Division, which was so hot a few months ago. This is exactly the kind of match that is responsible. It’ll be fast and have good things in it, but it doesn’t mean anything.
And precisely because it is meaningless, it is very hard to predict a winner. The smart thing to do is work toward Awesome Kong versus Taylor Wilde (and maybe The Beautiful People versus ODB & Gail Kim in a cage) If that’s the direction, then Awesome Kong should give Taylor Wilde an awesome Bomb and cover for the pin.
Predicted Grade: B
“Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams vs. Consequences Creed
The Story: Consequences Creed is on a roll and has plenty of fan support for this match, especially after he beat Williams in a non-title contest.
My Prediction: The announcers will gush about Creed, but it’ll be Petey Williams whose hand is raised in victory. Consequences Creed is a potentially valuable talent, but he probably needs to work lower on the card to perfect his game. Winning the X Division belt might be premature.
Predicted Grade: A=
LAX vs. Beer Money
TNA World Tag Team Title Match
The Story: Now the feud is really personal. Beer Money powered Homicide through the glass table on the iMPACT before the PPV and the LAX member may be too injured to even compete. The two teams were already on a collision course. Now they’re out for blood!
My Prediction: The glass table stunt sure sounds like an excuse for LAX to drop the title. Giving Beer Money the belts is a smart move at this juncture, since heroes always work best when they are the challengers and Beer Money needs the prestige of a championship run.
Predicted Grade: B
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt
Black Tie Brawl N’ Chain Match
The Story: Jay Lethal proposed to SoCal Val. She accepted, but Sonjay Dutt’s crush on her led him to disrupt the wedding. The two men have fought each other -0- and wooed Val – ever since.
My Prediction: This match is calculated to predict an indecisive end that permits the hostilities to continue toward an even bigger match. The feud ends when Black Machismo wins a major victory, which means that Sonjay Dutt gets the decision here. My guess is that it’ll end with Lethal losing his Black Tie outfit rather than in a pin or submission.
Since TNA loves to recycle storylines, I’ll bet Vince Russo would love to do a variation on the Tommy Dreamer/Beulah McGillicutty vs. Raven/Dawn Marie. The two guys fight to a draw, shake hands and leave hand-in-hand without SoCal Val. Well, it would at least be different.
Predicted Grade: B-
Christian Cage & Rhino vs. Team 3D
New Jersey Street Fight
The Story: Ever since Rhino and Cage patched up their friendship and reunited as a team, Brother Ray and Brother Devon have made them a prime target. Both teams are spoiling for this no-holds-barred donnybrook.
My Prediction: This is another match that’s tough to call. Because it is designed to have a gimmicky finish that leads to another match. LAX and Beer Money will have to have rematches, so it makes sense to extend this feud, too. Sadly, that sounds like Johnny Devine interferes and helps Team 3D win.
Predicted Grade: B
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
Last Man Standing Match
The Story: Kurt Angle wants revenge. The former TNA champion believes that AJ Styles has slept with his wife and he plans to dish out some severe payback. Styles is sick and tired of the allegation and wants to take it out on his tormenter.
My Prediction: This should end the feud, but there are elements in the storyline that hint that it won’t end here with what ought to be a definitive match. All that stuff about Frank Trigg menacing Karen Angle needs to be settled, too. Karen Angle will watch from ringside as AJ Styles takes Kurt Angle to the limit. Styles will fend off Tomko, but when Trigg grabs for Karen, he becomes easy prey for the former Olympian.
Predicted Grade: A-
Samoa Joe vs. Booker T
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Six Sides of Steel plus Weapons Match
The Story:It started with Booker T’s jealousy over Samoa Joe’s status TNA and has grown into a nasty feud. Hoe let Booker T have his dressing room and even tote around the championship belt, but all that stops when the two men enter the Six Sides of Steel and have at it in the main event.
My Prediction: Samoa Joe will win this and retain his title. I think Booker T may well get the belt at some near-future point, but this looks like a Joe victory that erases Booker T’s special perks.
Predicting how it’ll happen in another matter. There are two wild cards in this one: Kevin Nash and Sting. After a couple of months of teasing a Nash turn against Joe, TNA has stopped pushing that angle. It could be a decision to write it out of the show – or it could be preparation for Nash finally stabbing Joe in the back. The situation around Sting is also ambivalent. Is he the one who has interfered or is someone framing him?
I’m not sure this match will answer those questions. My prediction is that Sting will get involved, but that it won’t be possible to tell who he planned to help. It’s even possible that he and Nash will clash, though I think Sting might be Joe’s next foe if his character has actually gone to the dark side.
Predicted Grade: B+
Predicted Grade for Hard Justice: B+
I’ll be back on Monday with another edition of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I’ll recap the show and analyze the results.
— Arnie Katz