Bully Ray gets World Title Justice
By Phil Allely
Bully Ray became the TNA World Heavyweight at TNA's most recent HardCore Justice themed Impact Wrestling broadcast.
The Aces & Eight's president beat champ Chris Sabin (who beat Ray at the recent X Division themed Impact show, where Sabin's X title was forfeited for a shot at Ray's gold). On that occasion Ray fell to a hammer shot from Sabin. Here Sabin had not only a cage match to contend with, but some cunning tactics by TNA's resident biker gang.
The match itself was a solid affair and saw Sabin (for the main) hold his own against the formidable might of Ray. However it is still hard to watch Sabin take serious bumps after his serious leg injuries of recent years. The key spots worked well and the ref bumps etc. added to proceedings well. The interference by A&8's Mr. Anderson (a cage door shot to Sabin) and run-ins by Rampage Jackson (Main Event Mafia) all led up to the title change.
Jackson easily removed Anderson from the equation, but the appearance of fellow MMA icon Tito Ortiz proved to be his undoing. As Ortiz pulled a swerve and struck Rampage with a hammer to eliminate his interference.
Ray was then left in a position to power bomb a prone Sabin to nail a three count and his second TNA World Title.
Elsewhere on the show Kazarian overcame Austin Aries, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy in a very impressive ladder match with 20 Bound For Glory series points at stake. Kaz was aided in his win with an appletini wielding Daniels however.
Mickie James, Gail Kim and ODB then faced off in a triple threat scrap. As knockouts encounters go this was above average and worked well for the slightly underused ODB (who pulled off the win).
The BFG series tables match then saw Bobby Roode, Magnus, Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson. This was a match that was face heavy for the most part. There were also some nice spots too. Roode netted himself a nice 20 point BFG score after yet another spot of interference from Daniels.
TNA Impact Wrestling: HardCore Justice also saw company president Dixie Carter acknowledge Kurt Angle entering rehab, the Main Event Mafia offering Austin Aries his spot in the upcoming team encounter with A&8's and much more.
The big news is that Bully Ray is now champion again and whether Sabin was purely a transitional champion rather than a genuine threat to the belt.
As many fans worry about TNA's cost-cutting and talent shedding matters, the flip side is that by doing so the company are ensuring they are a viable competitor to the WWE and will remain it as well.