Rough Justice as Angle takes Stings Gold!
By Phil Allely
Last year TNA’s Hard Justice pay-per-view changed its name to HardCore Justice and took a distinctly ECW/Extreme wrestling theme to its matches and styles. It certainly worked as a one-off, but with many of those participants gone from the active TNA roster would this year’s event live up to its new name?
In the main event champion Sting dropped his World Heavyweight Title to Kurt Angle in a hard fought encounter. After trading signature moves, a ref bump and an ill-fated Hulk Hogan run (walk)-in saw Angle utilise a steel chair to weaken the Stinger and raise the belt.
The show opened reasonably well with Brian Kendrick defending his X Division championship against fellow high flyers Austin Aries and Alex Shelly. The crowd may not have been into it fully, but the guys gave it their all anyway. Kendrick retained his gold after a Sliced Bread finisher on Shelley.
Knockouts Tag Champs Tara and Miss Tessmacher then retained their titles against the feisty duo of Sarita and Rosita. The rapidly improving Tessmacher and veteran Tara proving to be the better team.
In a poor Bound For Glory Series bout Devon battled a semi-reluctant Pope. Things did pick up action wise, but not enough to build things well, Pope snagged a quick roll-up to win.
Knockouts Champion Mickie James seemed well on track to successfully defend her belt against challenger Winter next. Interference from Angelina Love was met well by the champ, however a spray of red mist to her face by the challenger saw her let her guard down and fall prone to a pin and lose her title.
Rob Van Dam’s BFG Series match with Crimson was a fairly exciting brawl. However Van Dam’s ally Jerry Lynn’s unneeded interference backfired and saw RVD disqualified.
The Immortal versus Fortune six man scrap had some nice moments. Daniels being man of the match taking a nasty table fall from Gunner, allowing teammate AJ Styles to capitalise and pin Abyss to take the win.
Immortal members Mr Anderson and Bully Ray tried to settle their personal scores next. A steel chair proving to be Anderson’s downfall, as the ref disposed of the weapon Ray hit a low blow to keep Anderson down.
Beer Money’s Tag Team Championship defence against Mexican America saw Hernandez and Anarquia use their power to their advantage whilst Roode and Storm utilised their skill and speed. The champs proving to be the better team on the night by overcoming their Latino opponents.
Then of course Kurt Angle utilised a steel chair to defeat Sting for the World Title, considering his statements about only wanting to beat Sting legally this alone must direct us to possible re-matches.
HardCore Justice was an eventful PPV, we saw Winter net her first TNA gold and Kurt Angle get his hands back on his beloved Heavyweight title too, but the intensity of previous months was not evident.
TNA’s build to company mega event Bound For Glory is shaping well though, we now have a Hulk Hogan/Sting/Angle dilemma to work out and some rematch clauses too. Minus the ECW edge this may have been a slower and less imaginative event, but it has allowed storylines to develop and feuds continue. The one big story being will Hogan wrestle again and if so against who?