Booking Hard(core) Justice

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
How I would book Hard Core Justice

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, sits down in the Booker’s chair to set up ECW’s (alleged) Last Hurrah…Hard (Core) Justice.

TNA has decided that somethings will never be allowed to die. They are setting up another One Night Stand-like show, with former ECW stars both performing and running the thing. I thought I would take a look at some of the possible match-ups. These are based on the announcements of who will be there and who might be there.

Rob Van Dam (with Bill Alfonso) v Abyss (with “Father” James Mitchell).
TNA World Title Match

To be a true ECW-like scenario, RVD needs Fonzie. That darn whistle should echo off the walls as RVD takes the fight to The Monster. Abyss has had a working relationship with his “dad”, Mitchell, in the past. It would be interesting to see Mitchell return to help his “boy” go after the gold. I don’t think Abyss stands a chance of winning but this match, however they book it, is going to be one of the bloodiest and most brutal matches in recent history. I expect RVD to nail the Five-Star Frog Splash on Abyss, who will be lying in a sea of glass shards.

Predicted Winner: RVD
Predicted Grade: A+

Mick Foley v Terry Funk (Special Guest Ref: Tommy Dreamer)

If Tommy hadn’t torn up his knee, I would have put him in the middle of this fight. Tommy would make a great “special enforcer” ref for this hardcore melee. I’m not sure if Funk would be up to another hardcore battle, but it’s possible. If Funk isn’t available, I’d combine this match with Sabu v Raven and make it a Three Way Dance. This match would definitely be a slow, plodding event but the fans would love it. Foley’s my age (45), while Funk is 66. I can’t imagine Funk not taking this match. He’d force Foley to tap out to the Funk Spinning Toe Hold. After the match, there would be a huge hug fest between the three men.

Predicted Winner; Terry Funk
Predicted Grade: B+

Sabu v Raven

The crowd erupted in a “Sabu” chant during the announcement promo for Hard (Core) Justice. It just wouldn’t be an ECW Reunion show without the Homicidal, Genocidal, Suicidal madman. This match would go all over the Impact Zone. There would be wicked bumps and more blood than three hospitals combined. I’d bring Bill Alfonso back out to escort Sabu to the ring. As for Raven’s second, there could only be one man for the job…Jake “The Snake” Roberts. As for who would win this crazy match, I’d have to go with Raven. He’s hometown TNA, after all.

Predicted Winner: Raven
Predicted Grade: A-

Sandman v New Jack
Weapons Match

Forget wrestling moves. This one would be all about the weapons. Ringside would end up looking like a clearance sale at Home Depot. Ladders, tables, trash cans, staple guns, 2x4s, etc… would all get used to their most evil possibilities. This would not be for the feint of heart (or small children). If I had to pick a “winner” for this chaos, I’d go with New Jack. He has just a few more skills than the beer-drinking, chain-smoking lunatic.

Predicted Winner: New Jack
Predicted Grade: C-

Justin Credible and Lita v Kevin Thorn and Ariel

This would be an “old school v New Age” battle. Thorn would, most likely, have to come up with a new identity for this battle. Since he likely can’t use Mordecai either, I’d suggest going with a biblical name, like Malachi or Obadiah or Isaiah. Ariel would likely revert to Salinas. LIta would probably go by her given name, Amy Dumas, or Angelica/Miss Congeniality. Now that we have all the name switches out of the way, time to look at the action. Credible has a lot more experience than Thorn and that would make all the difference. Malachi (Thorn) would try for his Dark Kiss finisher off the ropes. Credible would block it, reverse position and plant him with his “That’s Incredible” spinning Tombstone.

Predicted Winners: Justin Credible and Lita
Predicted Grade: B-

Balls Mahoney v Rhino

This would be another knock down/drag out battle between two brutes. Mahoney would be swinging for the fences with his handy dandy steel chair. Rhino would be itching to hit The Gore! I think the end of this one would combine the two. Rhino would be set for The Gore but when he charged, Mahoney would clobber him with the steel chair. Mahoney would then plant Rhino with the Nutcracker Suite to take the hard-fought win.

Predicted Winner: Balls Mahoney
Predicted Grade: C-

D’Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke) v Monty Brown (Marcus CorVon)

They were part of the second incarnation of ECW but they still deserve invites to the party. Dinero has worked well for TNA since leaving WWE. Brown was a solid player in the early days of TNA. These two actually worked as partners at one time, so a battle between the two would seem a natural. Brown would have a ton of ring rust, thanks to his retirement to take care of family. He should still give Dinero all he can handle, and then some. I think Brown would take this one with his Pounce finisher, as a tribute to both the 2nd ECW and the early days of TNA.

Predicted Winner: Monty Brown
Predicted Grade: B

Mikey Whipwreck v Super Crazy v Yoshihiro Tajiri v Little Guido v Brother Runt v Johnny Swinger v Pat “Simon Diamond” Kenney v Danny Doring v Jerry Lynn

This would show the X-Division kids how to do a speed match. There would be dozens of high spots in this insane bout. I’d book this one as an Elimination Match. I think it would come down to Tajiri, Super Crazy and Guido. Tajiri would take out Guido but fall to Super Crazy, in the end. This match will earn a standing ovation.

Predicted Winner: Super Crazy
Predicted Grade: A

Brother Ray v Brother Devon
Flaming Tables Match

Ray and Devon have been at odds for the past few weeks. Devon wants to show his respect to the old days. Ray feels that they have moved beyond the ECW years. Both have valid points. The best way to settle things is a Tables Match. If this is to be a true ECW Tribute show, set that bad boy on fire and let somebody go tumbling through the dangerous thing. Since Ray is the dominant member of the team, I would imagine that he would be the one to take the win.

Predicted Winner: Brother Ray
Predicted Grade: B-

The bWo (Stevie Richards, Blue Meanie and Nova) v J.O.B. Squad (Al Snow, Bob Holly and 2 Cold Scorpio)

They were two distinct groups in ECW. All six men would be available for this special event. The crowd would surely explode if Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova were to arrive. This match would be a fantastic opener. There would be quite a few close calls but, in the end, The Stevie Kick would prevail.

Predicted Winners: The bWo
Predicted Grade: B(lue)

Masato Tanaka v Steve Corino

These are two of the most talented men to ever work for ECW. Both men are experts in brutality, as well as technical marvels. The fans would be amazed and entertained by these two. The match would be a mix of acrobatics and mat basics. This one would like come down to one missed move. It would be that close. I’d have to give this one to Masato, following a Roaring Elbow to Corino’s face.

Predicted Winner: Masato Tanaka
Predicted Grade: A-

In Conclusion:

Sometimes it’s fun to play “booker” for a show. This one is going to be special. It will, supposedly, be the final chapter in the ECW Legacy. Honestly, if it makes TNA money, you can bet they will milk this for all it’s worth. I truly hope this would be a final farewell to ECW. I was a huge fan of the product and have dozens of tapes to prove it. There comes a time to just let go of the past and move forward. I’ve said my good-byes to ECW, twice, don’t make me have to do it again.


–J ay Shannon
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