Tuesday, 21 August 2012

TNA Review: Hardcore Justice 2012

TNA Pay-Per-View Review – Hardcore Justice 2012 By Phil Allely TNA adapted their annual Hard Justice a few years ago to accommodate the then influx of former ECW stars they had signed and created an event that embraced that more 'Hardcore' style match set-up and environment. This of course went against their (PG Rated) competitors the WWE and gave old school fans something to grab their attention. That initial event was booked by Tommy Dreamer, but even now that he and many of his ECW peers have left the promotion the concept still works. The opener here saw new TNA signing Chavo Guerrero align himself with fellow Mexican Hernandez to battle the combo of Gunner and Kid Kash. Although this was a scrap of little worth, it was good to see Chavo looking in the best shape he has in years. Guererro hit a frog splash to nab the win for his team. The 'Falls Count Anywhere' encounter between Rob Van Dam, The Pope, Magnus and Mr Anderson was an as expected flurry or intensity and action. Pope was knocked out of the running early after an attack by the mysterious 'Aces and 8s' group (who will of course be unveiled soon). Anderson in an exclusive interview by yours truly did state that the main concern he had in this bout was the hard to predict RVD. UK star Magnus stood out here by offering up a more intense attitude than he has shown previously. RVD nailed a nice Van Daminator (chair assisted kick) to net himeslf a very cool 20 point Bound For Glory Series score. The Devon/Kazarian scrap for the TV title did little to enhance either man next. Kazarian is worth more and Devon has his place in TNA. The problem was the pairing never really worked here. Devon blocked a Fade to Black for and hit a slam for the pin to retain his strap. Miss Tessmacher lost her prized TNA Knockouts Title after some confusion and the lecherous Earl Hebner's attention to her opponent Madison Rayne's presence took top billing. Rayne won the gold with an assist from the ropes and a blind eye from her main crush Earl. The Bound For Glory series ' Tables Match' was an eventful and somewhat annoying affair. This four way brawl between Robbie E (minus T), Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and James Storm had all the hallmarks of a classic encounter, until the 'Aces and 8s' reared their heads again. This time however they made it look like Storm was involved with the group. Ray took advantage of the confusion to take the pin over Hardy. Zema Ion successfully defended his newly won X Division Title next. Challenger Kenny King has looked well of late and did so again. Ion of course retained and we now wait until Jesse Sorensen gets the go ahead to take this cocky grappler down for good. It is rare for a wrestling promotion to feature one heel against two faces, but the 20 point BFG Series 'Ladder Match' did just that. AJ Styles and Daniels of course have their own agenda and Kurt Angle is a man on a mission at the best of times, Samoa Joe is a whole other story (his recent tag success alongside Magnus seemingly rejuvenating him. We enjoyed this one and especially the interplay between the combatants. Styles overcame many ladder assisted moves and near falls to net himself a 20 point BFG advantage. The main event between Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries and former champ Bobby Roode was a match of highs and lows. The back and forth, near fall moves worked well and got the live audience involved the way they should. The ref bumps and confusion not so much. The finish came as Aries grabbed a nice roll up to retain his treasured belt. Hardcore Justice came hot on the heels of some of TNA's finest PPV's to date. The matches were on the whole fair to good and the results pleasing. Aries as Heavyweight Champion is a breath of fresh air to the title chase and when done right the number two wrestling company seem to surpass their foe. There may still be many things to iron out, but TNA/Impact Wrestling are still the only guys in the game who seem to want to please their fans and not boost twitter ranks or web links. By Phil Allely

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