Sunday, August 12, 2012

TNA Hardcore Justice 2012

TNA Hardcore Justice 2012
August 12th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's live TNA PPV coverage with your always humble host, yours truly. We're a month removed from one of the better TNA PPVs in recent memory and the crowning of a new, somewhat unlikely World champion in Austin Aries and everything from now until October is all about the build for Bound for Glory. With the new Aces and 8's faction running roughshod over the roster and Hardcore Justice's reputation for gimmick matches we can surely expect an interesting show tonight. So sit back, keep your finger near that refresh button, and enjoy the play-by-play and analysis.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz

Chavo Guerrero/Hernandez vs. Kid Kash/Gunner
Nice choice for the opener. I like the pairing of Gunner and Kash too, give 'em a Briscoes-lite gimmick and they could be quite entertaining. The heels jump the faces before the bell can even ring and we're not three seconds into the match before Chavo is pulling out the Three Amigoes on Kash and looking for the frog splash. Gunner trips him up though and the heels trade quick tags, working Chavo over in their corner. Crowd is vocally behind Chavo from the start here and the heels are doing good work of getting heat. The heels take their time to build heat with Chavo in their corner, trading tags and grinding him into the mat with submissions. Chavo busts out an Electric Chair on Gunner and nearly is able to get the tag but Kash cuts him off again before he can. Chavo leaps onto the top rope from a slingshot attempt, backflips out of the corner, and clotheslines Kash in a neat moment which finally gives him enough time to get the hot tag to Super Mex. Mex cleans house on the heels and then delivers a sick Dominator to Kash for a two count. He clotheslines Gunner out of the ring and then wipes him out on the floor with a huge suicide dive. Chavo actually manages to tag Hernandez while he's soaring in mid air though, and he climbs to the top rope and leaps off to finish Kash off with the Frog Splash for the victory at 9:32. Mostly formula stuff but that's all it really needed to be, Chavo and Hernandez both looked good and the crowd was hot all the way through, solid opener. **3/4

Bound For Glory Series Falls Count Anywhere Match
Rob Van Dam vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero vs. Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson

Pope gets jumped by Aces & Eight's backstage during his I guess he's not competing tonight. This is one of three four-way (or three way now I guess) matches for 20 BFG Series points tonight. RVD does his usual showboating to start and Magnus sends him face-first into the steel steps out of the ring for his cockiness. Magnus is only able to fire off a clothesline before RVD returns to the ring to try and monkey flip one man onto the other. RVD gets sent off the apron into the steel guardrail while trying to set up Anderson for his leg-drop spot and all three men are brawling on the floor now. Anderson grabs a chair to DDT Magnus on it but gets shoved back-first onto it instead. Anderson gives Magnus a gourdbuster up the ramp onto the guardrail and RVD comes running up to set Anderson up on the guard rail and dive off the ramp with his signature legdrop in a sick spot. These guys are going hard early. Magnus tries a sharpshooter on the ramp on RVD but Anderson breaks it up and all three men find their way back into the ring again. All three men tease going for the Tower of Doom spot but Anderson sends Magnus out of the ring and winds up eating the Frog Splash instead for a two count (cool to finally see someone block the Tower of Doom spot). Magnus grabs RVD and suplexes him nastily onto the rampway then kindly asks for a "fucking chair" from a fan. Of course bringing a chair into a fight with RVD is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy and he spin-kicks the chair right back into his face to pick up the somewhat surprising pin and 20 points at 9:06. I'm a bit surprised this didn't get more time to develop, but I guess that explains why they were so quick to start going for the spots in this one. Magnus didn't look out of place at all with two relative main eventers, which has to be seen as a success. Fun stuff. ***

Backstage JB informs us that Aces and Eights are nowhere to be found, those dastardly villains. Madison Rayne joins him to insure us that Miss Tessmacher doesn't stand a chance tonight.

TV Title Match
© vs. Kazarian
Fingers crossed for a title change here. Kaz stalls to start and gets tossed back into the ring for it. Backdrop from Devon and he sends Kaz out of the ring for a refreshing beverage to the skull. Devon sends Kaz into the steps and back in the ring Kaz wants to shake his hand, but Devon will have none of that. Finally Kaz gets a finger to the eyes and is able to mount some offense. Kaz hits a sick leg lariat and starts to get a bit cocky, so Devon sets him straight with knife edge chops. Devon hits a flying shoulder-block for a two count and then hits a nasty running neckbreaker out of the corner. Crucifix pin gets Kaz his own near fall and he tries for the Fade to Black, but Devon blocks it and hits the spinebuster to retain at 8:33. One of the better TV title matches in recent memory thanks to Kaz's involvement, and I'll give Devon credit for holding his own here tonight, but man, at the end of the day, I still can't take Devon Dudley seriously as a singles champ. **1/4

TNA Knockouts Title Match
Miss Tessmacher
© vs. Madison Rayne
Earl Hebner is our ref of course, lets see if Rayne's wiley womanly antics can persuade him to give her favor tonight. Brooke takes Rayne into the corner but has to break. Madison stalls for a moment and then works over Tessmacher in the corner with her boot. Butterfly suplex from Rayne gets her a two count. Tessmacher comes off the top with a haggard looking elbow drop but Rayne gets the ropebreak. Tessmacher doesn't see the ropebreak though and argues with Earl, which gives Rayne enough time to roll her up from behind and steal the pin and title with her hands on the ropes for leverage at 5:30. Could have seen that finish coming a mile away and I really have no idea what they're trying to do with the KO division anymore. The match itself started off decent but Tessmacher was a bit awkward and sloppy and it hurt things. *3/4

Backstage JB is with Bully Ray, whose pissed off about Aces and Eights apparently putting out the hit on him. He shows off some cards they left on his truck that morning and then promises to pick up 20 points in a few minutes by putting someone through a table, and then he'll be going on to become the TNA World champion at Bound For Glory.

Bound For Glory Series Tables Match
Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E

Hmm, one of these things is not like the other. Crowd is very hot to start and there are tables set up all around the ring. Robbie E gets in Ray's face to start and gets the taste slapped out of his mouth. Moments later Ray works over Storm and actually convinces Robbie E to bring a table into the ring in a sign of teamwork before nailing him on the apron as soon as he does in a funny bit. Storm and Hardy try to suplex Ray through a table but E moves it (mostly) out of the way to save the match. E actually works Hardy over a bit and sets him up on a table but Storm grabs him on the top rope. Hardy meets them there and they do the Tower of Doom spot as Ray moves the table out of the way again. Hardy gives E a sitout gourdbuster and then sets him up on a table outside the ring. Robbie T comes down the ramp to intervene so Hardy flies off the top rope and wipes him out with a plancha. This gives E time to recover though and set Hardy up on the table outside the ring. He tries for an elbow drop off the top rope but Hardy moves at the last second and Robbie crashes through the table instead, which means the match continues. Back in the ring Bully slams Storm face-first into a table in the corner and sets up for a move, but here comes Aces and Eights. Storm hits the Last Call superkick on Ray and Aces and Eights give Storm the Thumbs Up as if to signify this was all a plan under Storm's order. Hardy jumps Storm from behind while he's distracted and sets a table up and then nails the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate but Aces and Eights distracts him again and Storm hits the Last Call only for Ray to send Storm out of the ring, sneak inside and powerbomb Hardy through a table to pick up the win and 20 points at 13:46. Ray immediately high-tails out of there as soon as the bell rings. Another entertaining BFG series match, E actually fit nicely into the scheme of things providing some comedy and they were able to work the Aces and Eights storyline into the story of the match without hindering any of the action, can't ask for much more than that. ***

Backstage Austin Aries explains again that his World title victory was not a fluke and that he will not need a rematch, hence why he waived his rematch clause for tonight's title match. Oh boy, that doesn't bode well for Austin does it?

X-Division Title Match
Zema Ion
© vs. Kenny King
This is exactly the kind of fresh match up between two talented young guys that the X-Division made it's name off of and is exactly what I wanted to see out of this division going forward, kudos TNA. It's also nice to see the X-Division title not relegated to the opening slot like it usually is. Both men lock up and King takes advantage of a wristlock. Both men trade some nifty counters on the mat before Ion gets sent to the floor with a haymaker. Ion blocks King's first moonsault attempt but King winds up hitting it off the apron anyways. Ion sends King back to the floor and it's his turn to fly now as he hits a big tope and then nails a neckbreaker back inside the ring. Ion hits a big DDT for a two count but then misses a moonsault from the second rope. King hits a spinkick then delivers a sick cradle exploder suplex into the corner! Ion bails to the floor for a reather but King wipes him out with a corkscrew tope on the floor moments later. Springboard neckbreaker from King back inside and King evades a kick from Ion before putting him deep into a single leg Boston crab. Ion breaks it up and then flips King backwards and face-first into his own knee in a unique move I've seen him use a few times. King fires back with a rolling spinkick and another cradle that nearly gets him a two count. King gets caught by Ion out of the corner and just drops him face first onto the mat to pick up the win and retain the title at 11:09. Easily Zema's best singles match in TNA so far and another great outing from King, this was excellent stuff while it lasted and it left me wanting to see more out of what these two could do together in the future. Good old fashioned X-Division fun. ***1/4

Backstage JB is with Samoa Joe, who of course lets us know he's going to win the ladder match and the 20 points in the BFG series next. They should really add something different to these backstage segments sometimes because they're a bit formulaic and cookie-cutter. Even a change of scenery for the interviews would be nice to see. Minor quibble though.

Bound For Glory Series Ladder Match
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe

As if this four-way wasn't already going to be awesome, they went and added a ladder into the mix to spice things up. I can dig it. Daniels is the first to be sent out of the ring as Joe hits running elbows on Angle and AJ in opposite corners. Joe and Daniels brawl outside on the floor and AJ wipes them out with a soaring tope. AJ gets absolutely nailed with a ladder by Daniels in the corner moments later and I crack up as a fan heckles Daniels by screaming "Daniels you suck! You haven't won a match in two months!". Daniels makes the mistake of charging into the corner on Joe and winds up getting an STO onto the ladder for it. He briefly attempts to climb the ladder but AJ breaks it up. Daniels tries to climb the ladder but Joe power-bombs him off of it into the corner! He turns around right into a belly-to-belly suplex from Angle though and a huge "USA!" chant breaks out. AJ just rockets a ladder right into Angle's face and somewhere Joey Mercury is cringing. AJ hits Joe with the pele kick and then unloads on Daniels in the corner with big punches. Outside the ring Joe delivers a belly to belly to Angle but eats an ace cutter on the floor from Daniels. Back in the ring AJ, Joe, and Daniels do some of their signature three-way spots before Daniels gets belly-to-belly suplexed into the corner. Joe tries for the Muscle Buster on AJ but Kurt sneaks up behind him and hits a German suplex on Joe while AJ is still on Joe's shoulders! Daniels gets put into the ankle lock briefly but Daniels breaks it off only to eat a springboard forearm from AJ. Styles climbs the ladder and nearly grabs the clipboard but Daniels dumps him out to the floor like a sack of potatoes instead. Daniels tries the same thing but Joe knocks the ladder out from under him and he and Angle decide to have a suplex-off on Daniels, delivering different variations of German and t-bone suplexes one after another in an awesome spot. Daniels gets stuck in between the rungs of one of the ladders that Kurt climbs while Joe climbs a ladder right next to him, but here comes AJ like freaking Superman springboarding onto the top of the ladders and grabbing the clipboard for the sneaky win at 16:22. Just the kind of awesome wrestling match you'd expect with these four in a ring at the same time, they didn't really work many ladder spots into things but it was fine because they worked so much nifty stuff into such a short amount of time that there was never a dull moment to be had here. I'd still like to see these four wrestle in a non-gimmick match with a good 20-30 minutes though. ***3/4

Backstage JB asks Bobby Roode a question posted on Twitter--"Are you afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Wait, no, that's not right. "Are you afraid of Austin Aries?", yeah, that sounds better. Roode makes a promise to walk into Bound For Glory the World Heavyweight champion.

TNA World Title Match
Austin Aries
© vs. Bobby Roode
Win or lose tonight Aries has had about as good of a one month run as champ so far as anyone I can remember and it's really elevated him to a whole other level. The fact that he beat Roode clean in the rematch on Impact helped alot, but kind of makes the outcome of tonight's match a bit predictable. Aries almost immediately is able to put Roode into the Last Chancery but Roode is able to escape, though he's suitably pissed now. Back inside Aries hits a dropkick in the corner and teases going for the brainbuster, but again Roode escapes to the floor to stall. Aries wipes him out with a pescado and Roode again tries to escape so he just gives him another pescado on the opposite side of the ring. Back inside he dropkicks the back of Roode's head from the corner. Roode falls out to the floor and Aries meets him with a big double axe handle. He brings him back into the ring with a suplex from the apron and gets a two count off a kneedrop. Roode counters by lifting Aries onto his shoulders and then driving his chest down into his knee in a sick gutbuster. Roode wraps his legs around Aries in a legscissors and the crowd tries to rally behind the young champ by chanting his name. Aries gets set up in the tree of woe but he manages to counter out of it with a unique stunner variation. Aries sends Roode out of the ring and hits a huge double axe handle off the top that sends Roode into a chair in the corner where Aries quickly dropkicks the everloving fuck out of his face. Ouch. Back in the ring Aries has the Last Chancery but Roode rakes Austin's eyes to break it up. Aries locks him into his own crossface instead, but Roode counters that into his own crossface. Aries is able to break that up and both men trade chops on their feet. Roode fires off the spinebuster and nearly regains the belt, but Aries kicks out. Aries blocks a superplex attempt with a sick Mongolian chop and then tries for the 450 Splash, but Roode gets the knees up. Roode goes for the spear but winds up taking out the ref instead of Austin. Roode spears Aries now as a new ref runs down but he takes too long to hit the ring and Roode only gets a two count. Aries blocks a Fisherman's buster and sets up for the brainbuster, but Roode knocks him into the second ref, knocking THAT ref out too. Aries nails Roode in the head and then hits the brainbuster just as Brian Hebner regains consciousness but Roode still kicks out at two! Damn I thought Aries might escape right there. Roode crotches Aries on another 450 attempt and then superplexes him off the top and both men wind up in a cradle with both of their shoulders down and both refs make a double-count, and we have ourselves a controversial draw of sorts it seems. Earl Hebner comes down to the ring to try and clear things up and grabs the title out of Roode's hand, and he decides instead to re-start the match! Aries goes for the tope while Roode is arguing with the refs outside the ring but Roode is still holding the title belt and he smashes Aries with it in mid-air, knocking him out. Roode puts his lifeless body into the ring...but Aries still kicks out at two! Aries turns Roode around and rolls him up and manages to sneak away with the pin to retain at 26:18! Okay I take everything back about what I said about this being predictable. TNA planted a red herring with the no rematch clause to make you think Roode would cheat him out of the title here and screw the good guy out of the title, but instead they went the other way and had Aries retain, and retain cleanly albeit after a bit of hijinx. The match itself was the usual stellar encounter these two have every time they wrestle each other, but the added drama and element of story added another layer onto this great match. Another winner from these two. ****

We close out the show with a stunned Bobby Roode storming off while Austin Aries celebrates in the ring.

Bottom Line: Another good show in a string of them from TNA lately, they've really been on a roll as of late and even a relative B-show like this wound up being worth my money with solid undercard matches abound, a fun ladder match and X-title match, and another killer main event that not only delivered the goods, but managed to surprise me in the best way possible, really can't say enough good things about the direction TNA has taken lately and this PPV is a shining example of that. Nothing extraordinary but lots of good stuff and a killer main event so an easy Thumbs Up tonight.

Score: 8.0/10


Anonymous said...

Great review, I'm sure Aries winning and now retaining the title against Roode wasn't the original plan, but it was the right choice.

This has added much-needed intruige to the BFG series, and since I think we'll still get Storm v. Roode at BFG (albeit not in the main event), the BFG poster seems to indicate that we'll get Aries vs. AJ, Angle, or Hardy.

Sounds like TNA can already count on 2 stellar matches for their biggest show.

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You gotta be shitting me, the Crowd was horrendous for pretty much the entire PPV!

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