Powell's TNA Hardcore Justice 2012 Preview and Predictions: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA Title, Aces & 8's tease an appearance, three Bound For Glory Series matches, X and Knockouts Title matches
By Jason Powell
The creative team has made a lot of positive changes in TNA, but apparently their reach isn't long enough to ditch some of these awful pay-per-view names. Once again, TNA presents its annual event that sounds more like porn than a pro wrestling show. I suppose that's only fitting given the name of the company, and at least they "core" to the name so the event has a broader appeal than the "Hard Justice" name, which was likely to attract only pay-per-view buyers of the homosexual persuasion.
Now that I have my annual mocking of this horrible pay-per-view title out of the way, let's get down to business. I had absolutely zero picks right for last month's pay-per-view offering. I did bounce back with perfection for the WWE offering in July. I suppose the good news is that it can't get worse with my TNA picks this time around. TNA didn't do a great job of making this feel like a must see event, yet it has strong potential to be an entertaining card in terms of the in-ring product.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA Title: The added stipulation that there won't be a rematch regardless of who wins means we won't be seeing a rematch with a better outcome on television this week. Or at least we better not. I see this as the way to put the title back on Roode and let him move on to the Bound For Glory Series while taking Aries out of the title picture until the next title change. Perhaps there's also a long term plan in place to make viewers want to see a rematch, yet not give it to them until the time is right next year. This should be a hell of a match and I'm curious to see where the loser goes regardless of the outcome. I suppose one way to avoid a finish would be to have Aces & 8's interfere. That would even give TNA a chance to give away the rematch on Spike TV. God help us.
Prediction: Bobby Roode regains the TNA Title.
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels in a Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match for 20 points: The problem with the BFG Series matches is that while there's 20 points at stake, TNA hasn't done a good job of establishing the ramifications as far as the standings go. Obviously, a win is big, but would some wrestlers be all but eliminated from contention if they lose. The format has been improved this year, but everyone from creative to the broadcast team needs to immerse themselves in this so that all the matches feel important, not just last few heading into the final four tournament. Anyway, this should be the best of the bunch and is the likely show stealer. Styles is the lowest man in the standings and needs the win to stay in contention. They could go with Joe or Angle if they want to make them look dominant heading into that final four format, but since picking three out of the four entrants would be a copout...
Prediction: A.J. Styles picks up 20 points.
James Storm vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E. in a Bound for Glory Series Tables Match for 20 points: The setup for the match seemed to tease Hardy getting revenge on Robbie E by putting him through a table. That seems like a predictable, yet logical outcome. Bully Ray could really use the win if they want to keep him in contention, but he noted on his Twitter Machine that he got the Aces & 8's cards on his truck window over the weekend. Thus, the other logical outcome is that Ray takes a pounding from the faction while Storm inadvertently reaps the rewards to keep that mystery alive. It's a tough call, but I'll take the latter.
Prediction: Storm wins due to Aces & 8's interference.
Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. D'Angelo Dinero vs. Magnus in a Bound for Glory Series Falls Count Anywhere Match for 20 points: This is the least attractive of the three four-way matches and I can't say I have much interest in the outcome. I believe the four wrestlers involved will deliver a good brawl, yet I just don't feel like we've been given any incentive to care about the outcome. It seems like a two wrestler race so I'll go with the one I'd like to see win simply because he seems more inspired in the ring these days.
Prediction: Rob Van Dam wins 20 points.
Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne for the TNA Knockouts Title: I know Brooke Hogan is busy being afraid of Aces & 8's, but you'd think she could at least take the time to make sure that horny Earl Hebner isn't assigned to the match. Of course, even if he's not, then I'll sit back and wait for the ref bump. I hope they're not so high on this silliness that they go with a title change. Perhaps Brian Hebner will count the pin against his future evil stepmother.
Prediction: Miss Tessmacher retains the Knockouts Title.
Zema Ion vs. Kenny King for the X Division Title: They did a better job of giving King a chance to establish his personality recently, but not enough that viewers should have a strong desire to see him win the title. It's too soon for a title change. I'm hopeful that we'll get a good match with a finish that sets up the need for a rematch between the two.
Prediction: Zema Ion retains.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Gunner and Kid Kash: I'm more excited by the Kash and Gunner pairing than the new Mexican America or new LAX or whatever the hell this Chavo and Hernandez team his going to be called.
Prediction: Chavo and Hernandez win, we all lose if Kash doesn't get mic time.
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