HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My Hard Justice 2009 Predictions
Our resident philosopher tries his best to sort out all the chaos that is Hard Justice.
This is the Pre-PPV for Bound For Glory. In many ways, it will simply start the snowball rolling down the hill. I don’t expect a lot of surprises, with one possible exception. Despite the fact that this PPV is going to be rather boring, I’ll do my best to figure out the directions that Vince Russo is planning to go with this one. (Vince is about the only writer left on staff, these days).
The debut of D’Angelo Dinero
Backstory: This newest superstar is the former Elijah Burke of WWE/ECW. It originally sounded as if he were going into the Steel Asylum match, but the official TNA website has it set that he will see individual action. He’ll likely battle someone within the World Elite, probably Kiyoshi or Bashir.
Prediction: It won’t matter who TNA throws against Dinero/Burke. He’s going to win this one. He’ll likely use his old Elijah Express finish. It’ll have a modified name like the Cashout (based on the Dinero surname).
Predicted Winner: D’Angelo Dinero
Predicted Grade: B
Abyss v Jethro Holliday
Backstory: Dr. Stevie has put a huge bounty on the head of Abyss. A few minor guys have tried to collect, but they weren’t a real threat. The former Trevor Murdoch attacked Abyss with a chair, on Impact, to try and collect the money. Sunday, he’ll get the chance to finish off the monster.
Prediction: There is just no way in Heaven or Hell that Jethro is going to collect the bounty. He’s a decent fighter but it wouldn’t make sense to have Abyss taken out on the first real attempt. This match will likely bring out Dr. Stevie, Daffney, Raven, Shane Douglas, and several others to try and destroy Abyss. I’m expecting this one to go to a No Contest. I’d love to see Abyss dominate Jethro to send a message to Dr. Stevie but that’s not likely to happen.
Predicted Winner: No Contest
Predicted Grade: D+
Hernandez v Big Rob Terry
Feast or Fired Briefcase match
Backstory: The British Invasion attacked LAX (Hernandez and Homicide) and took their individual FoF Briefcases. Homicide took his back from Doug Williams and cashed it in to become the new X-Division champ. Hernandez now wants case #4 back from the Brits.
Prediction: Hernandez is in the middle of a monster push. There is just no way someone would be stupid enough to book Hernandez to drop this match. Even Russo wouldn’t be that dumb. Rob will put up a decent fight but he’s basically a rookie going against a seasoned pro. Hernandez might actually hit the Border Toss on Rob, but he’ll likely take the match with the Frog Splash. Hernandez then might pull a C.M. Punk and pick the bones of the victor in the main event. More on that, later.
Predicted Winner: Hernandez
Predicted Grade: B+
Homicide v Samoa Joe (with Taz)
X-Division title match
Backstory: Homicide used his Feast or Fired case to take the X-Division title. He’s really not defended it much since winning it. Samoa Joe revealed that Taz was the puppet master pulling his strings. Taz stated that he was ready to unleash a new, brutal Joe who shows no remorse.
Prediction: The fact that Taz is ready to unleash the new Juggernaut Joe is going to be the deciding factor in this match. Joe should be able to shred Homicide like beef in a tamale. Joe is going to go too far in this one and end up disqualified. I’d bet the farm on that one.
Predicted Winner: Homicide (by DQ)
Predicted Grade: D
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky v ODB and Cody Deaner
Knockout title match
Backstory: Ok, this one’s a little weird. Cody “Cooter” Deaner is ODB‘s main squeeze. Velvet Sky is Angelina’s BFF (Best Friend Forever, for shure). This is a tag team match where Love’s Knockout title is on the line. Ok, this is a lot weird.
Prediction: I have this horrid Santina Marella flashback kinda thing running in my head, where Cody pins one of the not-so-Beautiful People and claims the Knockout title for himself. No, nobody would book something that dumb. I figure Velvet will flirt with ol’ Cooter, which will allow Angelina to crack the Deaner Diamonds and roll up the witless one. This is likely to lead to Velvet demanding a shot at the title at Bound For Glory. She’ll whine that she’s protected Love for months and it’s time that she gets some attention.
Predicted Winners: Angelina Love and Velvet Sky
Predicted Grade: B
Suicide v Chris Sabin v Amazing Red v Alex Shelley v Jay Lethal v Daniels v Consequences Creed
Steel Asylum Match
Backstory: This match is to determine the number one contender to the X-Division title. Suicide, as KAZ, has won this one in the past. Everyone wants the shot.
Prediction: The easiest way to predict this one is by process of elimination. Suicide, since he’s won it before (as KAZ), would seem a logical choice. The problem is that his push has run its course. He’s not going to win it. Sabin and Shelley are running the “poor little me/us, we don’t get no TV time” schtick. Since only one can win it, I’d eliminate both of them. Like Suicide, Lethal Consequences are yesterday’s news. They are great stars but they’ve gotten lost in recent months. That leaves Daniels and Red. Daniels has been dealing with a bad leg for quite a while. It’s one reason, according to many sources, why KAZ took back the Suicide persona. Daniels might have a tough time climbing the crimson cage o’ doom. I hear it now…(Mike Tenay): “Red has conquered the red”.
Predicted Winner: Amazing Red
Predicted Grade: A (Match of the night)
British Invasion v Beer Money, INC.
IWGP Tag Team title match
Backstory: Beer Money (Robert Roode and James Storm) dropped the TNA World titles to Scott Steiner and Booker T. They want gold. The Brits took the IWGP belts from Team 3D (although New Japan still refuses to acknowledge the title change). Beer Money wants the straps from the members of World Elite.
Prediction: I think it all goes back to Japan for this one. New Japan is not going to be happy until Team 3D wears the belts that they never lost. I think the Brits are going to have some help from Kiyoshi, Bashir, Eric Young and maybe even a Main Event Mafia member or two to screw Beer Money out of the belts. I see this leading to an eventual 4 team unification match, where the IWGP and TNA World tag belts will be merged, at least in TNA.
Predicted Winner: British Invasion
Predicted Grade: C+
Mick Foley v Kevin Nash
Legends title match
Backstory: Booker T created the semi-bogus title. He dropped the belt to A.J. Styles. Styles then lost the belt to Booker’s buddy, Kevin Nash. In a tag match, where Kurt Angle‘s World title and Nash’s Legends title were on the line against Bobby Lashley and Mick Foley. Despite being jumped in the back, Foley and Lashley came back to destroy Nash. Lashley did the major damage with Foley taking the pin and title.
Prediction: ON the last Impact, Nash and Foley had a pride v money discussion about wrestling. It was really boring. This match is likely to be the same. Foley has teased that he will bringing his hardcore style to the fight. Nash is just there for the paycheck. I expect Foley to slip past Big Sexy and retain the title, after something seriously brutal (Barbie, the baseball bat or a flaming table?) Regardless, the CinderFoley story continues after this one.
Predicted Winner: Mick Foley
Predicted Grade: B
Booker T and Scott Steiner v Team 3D
TNA World Tag Team title match
Backstory: The tag team division has been chaotic in recent months. Team 3D started out with both the TNA and IWGP belts. Ray and Devon dropped the TNA belts to Beer Money in a fantastic bout. Beer Money then lost the TNA straps to the makeshift team of Scott Steiner and Booker T. Team 3D wants to start working towards their 23rd world title.
Prediction: Just like the IWGP tag belts, the TNA tag belts are staying where they are. I expect a Winner Take All tag team war at Bound For Glory. To make that happen, the heels need to cheat their way into retaining their belts. Expect Kiyoshi, Bashir, the British Invasion, Beer Money, and possibly the Motor City Machine Guns to get mixed up in this anarchy. This match is almost certainly going to end up a No Contest. I know that would make two No Contests in the same night but that’s what feels right, here.
Predicted Winner: No Contest
Predicted Grade: B+
Kurt Angle v Sting v Matt Morgan
TNA World title match
Backstory: Matt Morgan faced off against A.J. Styles in a Best of Three series to earn his way into this match. Kurt Angle was confident that Morgan would help him retain his title. In fact, Kurt demanded that The Blueprint do the job for him. Morgan got offended that Kurt would demand anything from him and said he would take Kurt’s title. Kurt had offered to make Morgan a member of the Main Event Mafia if he helped Kurt keep the belt. In the middle of all this mess, Sting is there to try and regain the title.
Prediction: This is going to be the Swerve Match of the Night. Morgan’s bravado about taking the title is all baloney. He is going to beat the facepaint off Sting and then step back to give Kurt the free ride to keeping his belt. Here’s where the fun comes in. Kurt, who will have taken a pretty nasty beating from Sting (and possibly Bobby Lashley), will have Hernandez come out of nowhere to cash in his Feast or Fired contract. He will take the belt from Kurt. He’ll probably drop the belt back to Kurt (or someone) at one of the next two Impacts.
Predicted Winner: Kurt Angle, then Hernandez
Predicted Grade: A-
Final Grade: B-
Final Thoughts: This Pay-per-view isn’t going to be spectacular. TNA has to know that the majority of people are saving their pennies to order Summerslam. This show is a builder towards Bound For Glory. With the possible exception of the TNA World title, I don’t expect any titles to switch on Sunday. TNA is definitely struggling without Dutch Mantel and Jeff Jarrett. I never thought I would say this…Russo is doing the best he can and he’s keeping things rolling while Jarrett sorts out his personal issues.
— Jay Shannon