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  3. TNA Hard Justice PPV Recap (8/16)

The PPV opens with a video about Matt Morgan, “The DNA of TNA,” which includes audio of the voice of Stephen Hawking talking about DNA.

Mike Tenay opens by talking about tonight’s card.



Steel Asylum Match
Chris Sabin
Amazing Red
Alex Shelley
Jay Lethal
Christopher Daniels
Consequences Creed
“The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero (aka Elijah Burke)

The winner of this match is the first one to escape through the opening in the top of the cage. Previous winners were Jay Lethal and Frankie Kazarian (Suicide).

This is a wild, action packed spot fest, so it’s impossible to call all the action. Daniels and Suicide start off teaming up against the Guns. The tag teams in the match team up against the others, too, but on the whole there isn’t much of a story here. It is a fast, fun way to get the crowd warmed up for the rest of the show, though, and on that level it’s a rousing success, getting “this is awesome!” chants from the fans.

Chris Daniels knocks Red off the ceiling of the cage, but ends up hanging by one leg, apparently unconscious. Suicide and The Pope make a climb, but Dinero, who puts in a credible performance and looks at home in the X Division, knocks Suicide off and then has to climb down himself due to a leg injury.

As the others battle in the ring, Christopher Daniels wakes up and climbs out the opening in the top of the cage to win the match and become the Number 1 contender for the X Division Championship. He gets a shot at the belt on the next PPV.

Jeremy Borash talks to Daniels after the match, and he says either Homicide or Samoa Joe will have to face him next month. Then he gives a shout out to AJ Styles, who is at home after losing his chance to be in the main event tonight to Matt Morgan.

Lauren asks Matt Morgan about his match tonight, and his decision to go for the belt himself, and not to help Kurt Angle win. Morgan says even Kurt Angle can’t stand in the way of greatness.

Bounty Match
“The Monster” Abyss
Jethro Holliday with Dr. Stevie

Dr. Stevie put up a $50,000 bounty to anyone who injures Abyss, and Holliday is trying to claim it. This match is a brawl from the beginning, and they soon go out to the floor and use weapons including a steel police baton, brass knuckles, and chairs. It’s very much like all the other brawls in this feud. Abyss wins with the Black Hole Slam.

After the match, Stevie comes in and berates Holliday, who decides he’s had enough and decks Stevie. In response, Holliday gets a round of applause from the fans and Abyss.

I was hoping that this annoying Dr. Stevie angle had ended with the PPV before last, and then that it ended last time, when Abyss used the taser on Stevie, but they have refused to let it go. Please let this be the end!

Jeremy Borash talks to Kurt Angle, but doesn’t mention Kurt’s arrest yesterday. Instead, he asks about Matt Morgan’s refusing to help Kurt. Kurt says he’s going to have a talk with Matt and change his mind.

Match for the World Title Shot Briefcase
Rob Terry with The British Invasion

Mike Tenay mentions that the British Invasion stole the briefcase from Hernandez, but he doesn’t address why TNA allowed them to keep it. Hernandez gives a promo before the match, giving them a chance to return his briefcase and walk away, or they can get beat up by him.

All three attack Hernandez, but he quickly gets the advantage and tosses Williams and Magnus from the ring. He nails Terry with a huge shoulder block and pins him immediately. I think the whole thing took less than two minutes. Hernandez leaves with his briefcase as Tenay wonders when he will cash it in.

Lauren talks to Beer Money, who say they are going to beat the British Invasion and get the IWGP belts.

New Japan IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
Beer Money, Inc.
The British Invasion (C)

After New Japan protested that TNA had no right to put the IWGP titles on the line at the last PPV, there were some discussions, and New Japan now recognizes the title change. Eric Young joins Tenay and West at the announce table, as the guest commentator. Who made that decision? Young’s been horribly bland and dull in his heel promos, so what makes anyone think he’s good enough to be at the announce desk on a PPV? His voice tonight is so flat, he sounds like one of those computerized voices. Is this a plot to make Don West sound better?

The four men go all out to put on a fast paced, entertaining match, but West and Young spend most of the time droning on and on about other things instead of calling the action. The Brits get Storm isolated on their side to work him over, but finally he makes the hot tag to Roode, who cleans house. Beer Money is set to win, but then Eric Young interferes and allows Doug Williams to pin Roode.

Lauren talks to ODB and Cody Deaner. Deaner says sexual harassment is a problem he faces daily, but he only has eyes for ODB. ODB says she’s going to shine up the Knockout belt after she wins it, and then party with Deaner.

TNA Knockout Women’s Championship Match
Angelina Love (C) & Velvet Sky with Madison Rayne
ODB & Cody Deaner

As you’d expect, this was another brawl. When Deaner was in the ring, about all he did was kiss the Beautiful People, until Velvet Sky mule kicked him below the belt. Then Madison tried to use the hairspray on him but hit Velvet in the eyes instead, allowing Deaner to pin Velvet. Deaner then ran off with the belt, claiming he’s the new Knockout Champion.

I thought that the women would be okay this PPV, with no matches involving Sharmell or Jenna, but TNA managed to insult the women and the fans even more. This is disgusting! As if the kissing weren’t bad enough, they give the title to a man! No real wrestling fans think things like this are appropriate, and it’s very hard to believe that a woman owner would allow this kind of misogyny in the scripting. Does TNA want to lose all the fans of women’s Wrestling’s? They would do well to remember that the women’s matches get the best ratings on iMPACT!

Jeremy Borash talks to Taz, who says that Joe is going to follow his plan and win tonight.

TNA X Division Championship Match
Homicide (C)
Samoa Joe with Taz

This is a slow, methodical brawl, with Joe taking breaks to go out and consult with Taz. At one point, Joe was supposed to be putting Homicide in an STF, and Homicide had to reach back and offer his arm to Joe so he could complete the move. Homicide’s offense is impressive, and he keeps the match moving well, but he ends up submitting to the Kokina Clutch.

The last place Sloppy Joe should be is in an X Division match, but since he’s just not believable beating the wrestlers in the heavyweight class, I guess TNA has decided to sacrifice the X Division to him again. It’s a shame, because the X Division was just starting to come back from the damage done from the last time they were used to try to put Joe over. The guy can‘t even perform his finishing move correctly. I wish TNA would just accept already that Joe will never have what it takes to be a successful main eventer (personality, mic ability, talent, wrestling ability), and they should just give up and let him settle in the mid card, where he belongs.

Jeremy Borash follows Kurt Angle into the locker room. where he talks to Matt Morgan. Angle asks him if he wants to be in the Main Event Mafia. Morgan says of course, but Kurt kept playing games, and now Kurt will get what he’s asking for tonight. Then Kurt tells him he can still be in the Mafia, as long as one of them wins tonight and Sting doesn’t. Morgan agrees.

TNA World Tag Team Championship Match
Team 3D, Brother Ray & Devon
Scott Steiner & Booker T (C)

Falls count anywhere in this match. It is yet another wild brawl, and the action quickly leaves the ring and goes all through the crowd. They split up and go in different directions, and there are two referees to follow both pairs. Ray and Steiner go one way, and Devon and Booker go the other. To my amazement, Scott Steiner actually jumps off one of the walls in the bleachers onto Brother Ray!

Finally, they return to the ring area, with Ray and Steiner getting into the ring. They put Scott on a table, but Booker takes him off. Scott goes up to try to suplex Ray. Devon takes Booker out, and gets under Scott, but Booker comes back and removes the table, so it ends up just a regular suplex, and Scott doesn’t go through the table. The battle continues with two referees and lots of near falls.

In the end, Steiner pins Ray while Devon pins Booker, and each referee counts a different pin. The announcer says that they will review the video footage. Slick Johnson and Earl Hebner review the video and decide that Booker and Steiner are the winners. The fans loudly chant, “Bullshit! Bullshit!”

Jeremy Borash asks Mick Foley if he’s ready to step into the ring with a guy the size of Kevin Nash. Foley says that what’s important to him is that there are two very different people fighting for the title. He’s in it for the fans, while Nash is only in it for the money.

TNA Legends Championship Match
Mick Foley (C)
Kevin Nash

Foley and Nash give us yet another slow paced brawl, going to the outside early on, and using the guard rail and chairs as weapons. Foley hits an elbow on a chair and it snaps back cutting Foley’s forehead open. Blood is gushing, but Nash keeps punching Foley in the eye, trying to blind him and take him out of wrestling forever. Foley refuses to give up, and tells Nash to come on. The crowd is solidly behind Mick, chanting his name. Now Nash’s forehead is busted open from having his head bashed on the ring steps by Foley.

Both men are wearing the crimson mask when Foley goes under the ring and finds his barbed wire baseball bat. Traci Brooks comes out and gets up on the ring apron to distract Foley. Traci is knocked to the floor as Nash comes from behind to get the pin and the win. Then he grabs the barbed wire bat and hits Foley in the face with it. Abyss comes out at that, with his own barbed wire bat, to stop Nash from hitting Foley more. Foley gives Abyss a big thumbs up, much to the delight of Abyss.

Lauren asks Sting what he’s going to do with Angle and Morgan teaming against him. Sting says that he has learned you can only count on one person, and that is yourself. Angle will do and say anything he has to, to get what he wants. He finishes by saying TNA is going to come back in style, “and I do mean Styles.”

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kurt Angle (C)
Matt Morgan

A little boy was in the front row with a sign saying, “It’s my 8th birthday, and I’m here to see Sting.” When Sting made his entrance, he walked over and shook hands with the boy and said something to him.

As they planned, Morgan and Angle take turns beating on Sting. Angle charges Sting and misses, going through the ropes to the floor, and Sting takes full advantage of the mistake, but when Angle recovers, it’s back to two on one.

Mike Tenay mentions that this is the first time in 5 years that AJ Styles has missed a PPV, and that Styles is going to make a major announcement on Thursday’s iMPACT! They keep on in this pattern, with Angle letting Morgan do most of the work, until Angle pulls Morgan out of the ring. Then Morgan goes after Angle, who lays on the floor outside the ring and pretends to be hurt. When Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint and is about to pin Sting, Angle jumps up and breaks it up. Angle grabs a chair and hits Morgan with it, pinning him for the win.

TNA’s next PPV is No Surrender on September 20 at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.

This PPV continues the self destructive booking pattern that TNA has been on lately, and I can’t recommend it. I hope fans will e-mail TNA about the huge insult of the Knockouts title going to Cody Deaner: [email protected] Be polite!

— Karen Belcher

Courtesy of ProWrestlingDigest.com