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8/7 TNA Hardcore Justice PPV results and review: Sting vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA Title, Beer Money vs. Mexican America for the TNA Tag Titles, Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries for the X Division Title
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to Jason Powell's 61-minute interview with WWE Tough Enough contestant Jeremiah Riggs, and will hear Powell's audio review of Hardcore Justice later tonight. You can score ad-free access right now and correspond with other members in the Dot Net Members' Forum by signing up via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Live from Orlando, Fla.
At Universal Studios
The show opened with a video that focussed on the Sting and Kurt Angle match... Mike Tenay and Taz checked in from the announcers' table on the stage...
1. Brian Kendrick beat Alex Shelley and Austin Aries in a three-way to retain X Division Title in 13:15. Kendrick wore baggy pants and had some funky music. As usual, I can't hear the TNA ring bell. You may actually have dog DNA if you can make it out every time they ring it (or my hearing is just awful).
Aries stayed at ringside early on and tried to pick his spot to get involved. Shelley kept a close eye on Aries and ran him off on a couple of occasions when he tried to get involved. Kendrick actually wore shin pads over those goofy shoes wears. Aries got caught trying to picks his spot again and both of his opponents took shots at him.
After Aries fled again, Shelley rolled up Kendrick for a near fall. Taz said the buddy thing only goes so far when there's a title on the line. Aries finally picked the right time to get involved and was able to go on the offensive. An "Aries" chant broke out with a portion of the live crowd before he dove onto both of his opponents at ringside.
At 12:15, they tried to set up a tower spot in the corner with Kendrick apparently going for Sliced Bread. However, Kendrick slipped on the top rope and they just aborted the spot. Aries went to work on Shelley with some of his signature spots. He hit the brainbuster, but Kendrick recovered and double stomped Aries. Kendrick hit Sliced Bread on Aries and then covered Shelley for the win...
Powell's POV: The announcers played it up as though either Kendrick or Aries could have won, so I assume we'll get the singles match between them next. As much as I don't care for the Kendrick character (at least as a babyface), he really is going all out to make it work. The match was solid. It didn't blow me away, and that spot they blew wouldn't have made much of a difference even if they had hit it. I did like the way Aries stayed at ringside early on.
The announcers spoke about the main event from their stage perch... Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Tara and Miss Tessmacher. The latter said it was personal because Sarita and Rosita jumped them in a parking lot like hood rats. Tara guaranteed they'd leave as Knockouts Tag Champs...
2. Tara and Miss Tessmacher defeated Sarita and Rosita to retain the TNA Knockouts Tag Titles in 7:10. Sarita wore the face covering and debuted a new one piece outfit. Tara drove Tessmacher to the ring on her motorcycle. No big stripper entrance for Tessmacher even though she appeared to be dressed to do so while she was backstage.
The referee ordered Herandez and Anarquia to the back. I faintly heard the bell that time. Woof. The heels worked over Tara and isolated her. Tara came back and performed an impressive press slam of Rosita. Granted, she probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, but it was still impressive. Tara hit the Widow's Peak on Rosita and got the pin...
Powell's POV: If Sarita's goal in buying the new ring gear was to destroy her sex appeal, then mission accomplished. The match was just kind of there.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed D'Angelo Dinero, who was texting during the interview. He said he was sending out a tweet that he hoped would be relayed to Devon because he respects him. Pope said he's trying to make a positive change and wished Devon could see that. "Pope's going to do the right thing, it's that simple," Dinero said...
Matt Morgan joined the announcers on commentary for the BFG Series match...
3. D'Angelo Dinero beat Devon in a Bound For Glory Series match in 7:40. Devon's kids were at ringside again. Pope took the mic before the match and said he'd prove to Devon that he means more to him than the match. Pope laid down on his back. Morgan wasn't happy on commentary and talked about how much he wished he could be in the ring.
Devon told Pope to stand up because he was going to whip his ass. The bell apparently rang to start the match. Pope was still dogging it early, so Devon slapped him across the face and then the match was on. The crowd was behind Devon at this point in the match.
They went to a flaming split screen shot. No, really, they had flames shooting up in the background while they showed the announcers in a small box and the match in another. Somewhere, Beavis is yelling, "Fire!" Hey, it's not a truly dated reference since the show is coming back.
They ended up at ringside in front of Devon's kids. Pope grabbed a chain and wrapped it around his fist, but the kids talked him out of it and then Devon attacked him before he could use the weapon. Later, Pope was setting up for his DDE, but he stopped in the middle of the ring. Devon speared him. Devon went for a chokeslam, but Dinero turned it into a rollup for the pin.
After the match, Dinero offered Devon his hand. Devon tried to blow him off, but as he was leaving he made eye contact with his kids, who weren't happy. Devon shook Pope's hand and left the ring...
Powell's POV: It was hard to tell whether Pope was apprehensive about hitting the DDE or if there some a botched spot. I assume it was part of the story they were telling, but it didn't make much sense given that he was on the verge of using the chain earlier. I don't even know what to make of this feud, but I wish Devon would just find a damn babysitter.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash was interviewing Rob Van Dam when Jerry Lynn interrupted. Lynn said he was going to be in RVD's corner because nothing could break their bond. RVD was fine with it...
Powell's POV: They were rivals, not friends. I can see Lynn playing this up as a heel, but RVD just goes along with the idea of Lynn being in his corner? Weed makes you paranoid, not a trusting idiot. I really like the pacing of the show so far. They're not messing around with a bunch of backstage stuff. Rather, whatever they do backstage is quick and to the point, and then they go back to the ring for a match.
A video set up the Knockouts Title match...
4. Winter (w/Angelina Love) defeated Mickie James to win the TNA Knockouts Title in 8:45. Mickie must not have heard the silent bell either, as Winter rolled her up right away for a near fall. At 2:30, Mickie went after Winter on the floor. Angelina tried to get involved, but Mickie spotted her. Winter used the distraction to ram Mickie's head into the ring post.
Mickie sold for the next few minutes and then hit a tornado DDT off the ropes. Later, Winter spat a red substance in Mickie's face and then pinned her. Mickie sold it like it was acid. Referee Earl Hebner tried to console her but didn't feel compelling to reverse the decision. A trainer ran out and wiped the substance away...
Backstage, Borash interviewed Kendrick, who was talking about beating the best the X Division has to offer. Austin Aries showed up and talked about the Girl Scout code of ethics that Kendrick and Shelley have been living by. Aries said they were double teaming him and it wasn't a real three-way. Aries said Kendrick can't call himself the real champion until he beats him...
Powell's POV: A logical followup to the match. Unfortunately, Kendrick didn't get angry, he just said "I'm the X Division champion" with a big smile on his face while using his best stoner voice. Way to make us feel like you're out to prove something, Brian.
5. Crimson beat Rob Van Dam (w/Jerry Lynn) by DQ in a Bound For Glory Series match in 8:35. The camera just happened to catch some older guy trying to do the RVD song bit. He did the thumbs right, but he couldn't figure out seven words that make up the lyrics. The silent bell apparently rang to start the match once RVD was in the ring.
Late in the match, Crimson hit his finisher and went for a cover. Suddenly, Jerry Lynn ran in from ringside and broke up the pin. The announcers explained that Van Dam didn't just lose the match, he lost points because he was disqualified rather than pinned. Lynn apologized to RVD afterward...
Powell's POV: My favorite part about this was RVD saying he thought Lynn was there to watch his back. You know, because babyface Crimson has this long history of having people interfere in his matches. I'm happy to see Lynn back, but the setup and the execution made everyone involved look bad. Where was Matt Morgan? I thought he was the BFG Series color commentator.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Mr. Anderson, who actually made a farting noise with his hand at one point during the interview. He talked about how everyone wants to be an asshole. He channeled Bon Jovi while singing that Bully Ray gives assholes a bad name...
A video set up the six-man tag...
Powell's POV: Anderson really needs to take the character in a different direction. He's gotten everything he can out of the asshole stuff, and I'm not sure whether the fart or Bon Jovi reference was more pathetic.
6. A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian defeated Gunner, Scott Steiner, and Abyss in a six-man tag match in 14:40. The heels isolated Kazarian for a few minutes. All six men ended up in the ring at one point. Daniels had a flurry that was cut off by a Steiner suplex. The wrestlers took turns hitting moves and clearing each other from the ring until it was down to Kazarian and Abyss temporarily.
At 14:20, Gunner put Daniels through a table at ringside. Styles hit a springboard Pele Kick on Abyss and scored the clean pin. After the match, Styles and Kazarian helped Daniels to his feet. Inside the ring, Abyss wasn't very popular with Steiner or Gunner.
Powell's POV: Does anyone want to see muppet babyface Abyss again? I'd rather see Gunner get the hell away from Immortal, as he's just stuck in the background. There was no turn here, but it looks like they're heading in that direction. Please tell me he's not going back to the Evad Sullivan crap to coincide with the Hulk Hogan babyface turn.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Bully Ray, who took offense at Anderson saying there was only room for one asshole in Immortal. Ray said he's going to right the mistake that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff made in letting Anderson into the faction... A video recapped the Anderson and Ray issues...
Powell's POV: A well delivered promo from Ray, as usual. However, I still have no idea whether I'm supposed to cheer for either wrestler. Do the fart jokes and Bon Jovi parody make Anderson a babyface in the warped minds of the powers that be in TNA? Your guess is as good as mine.
7. Bully Ray beat Mr. Anderson. Anderson did his self-intro bit on the stage. Bully Ray came out behind him stood there. "Yeah, I know he's behind me," Anderson said before turning around and punching Ray several times. He grabbed the mic and delivered his second "Anderson" before slamming the mic on Ray.
They fought at ringside and TNA has a bell that can't be heard (at least with my damaged ears), so don't expect an accurate match time. The fans chanted "Anderson" at one point. They must be big "Slippery When Wet" fans. Bully Ray pulled one of Anderson's knee pads off at one point.
Anderson missed with one kick and spun around and caught Bully Ray with a big kick. Cool spot and not something we see from Anderson. He came back later with a senton off the top rope. Later, Anderson tried to hoist Ray on his shoulders, but he fell over and they topped into the ropes. Ugly spot.
Ray headed to ringside and said, "Screw you." He teased leaving, but Anderson caught up to him and threw him back inside the ring. Later, Anderson picked up Ray's chain and went to use it, but referee Jackson James stopped him. Ray low-blowed Anderson and rolled him up for the pin...
Powell's POV: It was an entertaining brawl early and both guys were trying hard, but it looked like they ran out of gas down the stretch, particularly when Anderson attempted to pick up Ray. At least some of the fans were behind Anderson, as I was worried the fans would just sit on their hands since they were given no reason to root for either wrestler.
Backstage, Borash caught up with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. Bischoff scolded Abyss for letting him down again. Ray showed up and boasted about beating the hell out of Anderson, but Hogan and Bischoff said they didn't see it. Immortal walked off, but Bischoff told Abyss not to follow...
8. Beer Money beat Mexican America to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 10:35. The announcers showed the insurance company sponsor some love during the introductions. Anarquia said TNA doesn't want to drop their flag anymore, so they brought their own. Earl Hebner gave Sarita and Rosita the boot from ringside before the bell, which Tenay had to tell me had actually made noise.
The crowd was pretty laid back during the first nine minutes of the match. However, they came to life for the "Beer Money" dance as the tag champs went on the offensive. Hernandez told Anarquia to go to the top rope. He complied and then tried to jump at Storm, but Roode pushed him and he jumped into Storm's superkick. Storm covered Anarquia for the win...
Powell's POV: Thank goodness they didn't put the tag titles on the lousy Mexican America act. It's a shame that the tag division is in a rough place right now. Beer Money is a great duo, but they lack quality opponents.
The announcers spoke about the main event... Backstage, Borash interviewed Kurt Angle, who said he's never really beaten Sting (even though he has). Angle said he won't lose... A video set up the main event... Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the main event...
9. Kurt Angle defeated Sting to win the TNA Title in 15:15. Brian Hebner was the referee. Sting wore new gear that only an indy worker or a mime could love. There were dueling chants for both wrestlers. Angle clutched his hamstring early. He took a big back body drop over the top rope moments later. Wow. He came up holding the hamstring again.
At 9:30, Angle missed a moonsault. Sting hit the Angle Slam on Angle for a near fall. Sting followed up with the Scorpion Leg Lock, but Angle eventually reached the ropes to break it up after doing a good job of selling the pain. Sting followed up with a Stinger Splash, but missed second one. Angle hit him with the Angle Slam for a near fall.
At 11:10, Sting applied the ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Angle kicked him off and then applied the Scorpion Leg Lock on Sting. Later, Angle hit a couple of German suplexes on Sting, who blocked a third. Angle locked in the ankle lock. Sting flipped Angle over into a pinning situation for a good near fall.
Angle went for an enziguri. Ref bump!!! Good lord. Hulk Hogan walked out with a chair in hand and entered the ring. Hogan snuck up behind Sting, but Angle recovered and took the chair away from Hogan, who rolled out of the ring. Angle turned around and struck Sting with the chair over the back.
Angle woke up the referee. He hit the Angle Slam on Sting and made the cover. The referee, who was wearing the blue shoes that didn't match the red ropes, rolled over and made the slow three count. Hogan and Angle looked at one another to close the show...
An ad aired for TNA No Surrender for September 11 on pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: Really good effort from both men in the main event. They kicked it into another gear during the final five minutes. Unfortunately, they just can't resist the predictable ref bump spot. The announcers tried to sell it like everyone was too shocked to say anything when Angle hit Sting with the chair. I was too busy groaning over the ref bump to care. The TNA Title keeps changing hands and means less every time. Overall, this was a forgettable pay-per-view despite the effort shown in the main event. I'll have more to say about the show in my audio review later tonight.
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