Hardcore Justice 2011
Date: August 7, 2011
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
Well at least there’s no ECW tonight. This card looks like it’s loaded up with a lot of stuff that not many people other than the really big fans would be interested in. The main event is Sting vs. Angle because goodness knows we haven’t seen those two fight enough in the past. I’d assume some kind of shenanigans because this is a TNA show after all. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Sting vs. Angle with Sting going all crazy. He seems to like it. Angle is coming after Sting and the title though. Sting needs the belt right now to help fight Hogan and Bischoff and bring back Carter. Sting says he hasn’t snapped but that he just feels good. Angle says that it’s just business.
They even have a sponsor tonight: Direct Auto Insurance. That’s a good thing.
X-Division Title: Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries
Taz says he sees a lot of himself in Aries. Not sure on that one. Kendrick has some weird new music and he’s back in the shorts. Well long shorts but whatever. There’s a big brown thing on the front that looks like a huge patch. Aries is sent to the floor quickly and has no issues with just chilling out there. Well you can’t say he’s not thinking. Not that this isn’t the strategy of almost every heel in a triple threat or anything but still.
Down to a one on one match at the moment and Shelley takes him to the mat. They ask for Aries to come back in but he declines. Alex throws on a wristlock as Aries is getting back in very slowly. And never mind as he’s right back outside. The fans are behind Shelley here. Shelley backs him into the corner and Aries holds him in place there. Not sure why but he just kind of did.
Shelley pops Aries on the apron and Austin is down again. Ah there he is and never mind as he’s knocked to the floor again. They totally botch something as Shelley is suplexing Kendrick and Aries is supposed to catch him but he misses Kendrick completely. Then Austin rakes Shelley’s back…and falls down. No idea what that was supposed to be but it’s booed loudly.
The faces slug it out and Shelley is sent to the floor. Austin pops Kendrick to stop the dive though as Taz calls him a funky looking possum. Kendrick gets backdropped to the floor and hits his foot/ankle on the apron on the way down. Aries sets for a dive of some sort but Shelley breaks it up. What’s good for the funky possum is good for Skunk Boy I guess. Aries sends them both to the floor and stands tall for a few seconds. The Possum flies and his advantage continues.
Back in a Lionsault by Aries lands on the knees of Shelley. Aries is down and Kendrick gets caught in a Crossface. The only non rodent named person gets to the rope. Alex can’t get Sliced Bread but does get a Dragon Screw Leg Whip to put the champion down. Shelley goes up for what presumably was to be the splash but Aries makes the save. I’ve never gotten that: why not let Shelley take Kendrick out THEN jump Shelley so you can steal the pin on Kendrick?
Aries is sent to the floor (film at 11) and Shelley puts that freaky leg lock on the champion again. Aries saves and bulldogs Shelley, putting him into an inverted chinlock (Benoit used to do it a lot). Kendrick vs. Aries now and Austin takes two different feet to the face. Sliced Bread is countered again so they try a Tower of Doom/Mega Sliced Bread move on Shelley but Kendrick falls off the top. Brainbuster hits Shelley but Kendrick saves and hits Sliced Bread to Aries onto Shelley, who he pins to retain.
Rating: C+. The botches hurt this a lot here, especially the one at the end. When one noticeable botch happens it’s understandable it’s ok but two that big in one match hurts it too much. Still though, pretty fun although they never hit that huge gear you would have expected. A lack of dives, the whole point of the division, hurt it also. Still though fine for an opener and nothing bad.
Tessmacher and Tara talk about the brawl with Sarita/Rosita and we get to see why Tessmacher should be seen and not heard. Tara guarantees a win and says “Come on Brooke.” It’s about time she had a first name.
Knockout Tag Titles: Sarita/Rosita vs. Tara/Miss Tessmacher
The challengers (I’ve been yelled at for referring to a Mexican that portrays a Mexican who is called Mexicans as a Mexican so it’s challengers now) look good in their red, white and green flag outfits of a country it’s apparently racist to say by name. Tessmacher looks good in red but not as good as in blue. The challengers’ male counterparts (who are of no apparent nationality or race whatsoever) are sent to the back.
Tara vs. Rosita (loving the white shorts) start but it’s off to Sarita who looks like a freaky Christmas present. The challengers keep tagging quickly as it’s back to Rosita who snaps off a rana on Tara. Tara’s response: KICK HER IN THE FACE. Why mess with the basics? This breaks down quickly and it’s Tessmacher being all feisty. She gets her face rammed into the buckle though and the challengers take over.
The fans chant for Brooke and then Tessmacher. Tazz makes an Andy Devine reference or something similar to that. Tessmacher gets beaten down but manages to grab a rollup for two and a tag as well. Tara comes in but the Widow’s Peak (is that offensive to spiders? Insects maybe? Why not a thorax peak?) is broken up and Tara gets dropped on her shoulder out of a double underhook slam.
Rosita kicks Tara into a cover by Sarita for two. Sarita really likes to dance. Must be a freaky Christmas present looking thing. Widow’s Peak is countered again into a rollup by Rosita for two. Mike keeps calling Tara Powerfully Hot. I really hope that isn’t an attempt at a new nickname. Tessmacher makes the save again and this time, the third time (racist against even numbers much?) the Widow’s Peak (complete with its own chant) ends Rosita.
Rating: D+. They were playing up the power vs. speed thing here but it didn’t work for the most part. In short (or tall. Please don’t sue me!) it’s just boring. There’s no interest in these titles and I see no real reason for this match to have happened other than to get the rematch clause out of the way. The tag titles need to die already because they never had a point to them and the depth isn’t there anymore to support it.
Pope is trying to send out a tweet to D-Von to say the match doesn’t need to happen. If he’s so close to D-Von’s family, why not just go to them and get D-Von’s number? Pope says he’s been a good influence on the family so he doesn’t get why D-Von is mad. It’s going to be intense though because of the BFG aspect of it. He’s going to do the right thing.
D-Von is a submission away from being tied for first in the Series. That’s not right. Like at all.
Bound For Glory Series: Devon vs. D’Angelo Dinero
Matt Morgan is the official analyst for the Series now. I think he has a new version of his theme music but maybe not. D-Von’s kids are in the crowd and Pope says hi to them on the way to the ring. At No Surrender the top four in points will have two singles matches and the person with the most points after those matches go to Bound For Glory. Dudes, just make a tournament. Quit making it overly complicated.
Pope says D-Von is like his big brother and he expect a lot out of him, just like the kids expect something out of him. Their relationship is more important though so Pope is going to do the right thing again here. Morgan isn’t happy because he’s injured and Pope is laying down on this opportunity. D-Von isn’t taking it though and says get up, albeit it in more colorful language.
Basic stuff to start including D-Von getting a hip toss and covering, with Pope holding him down in an attempt to get pinned. Why doesn’t he just tap out while in a wristlock ala Chavo Guerrero? More basic stuff until Pope hits a forearm to take over. There’s a lot of arm work in this so far. Why do wrestling companies keep thinking we want to watch commentators talk? I didn’t pay $40 to watch Matt Morgan talk.
D-Von takes over again and it’s back to the arm. Jumping back elbow gets two, just like a headbutt. Out to the floor and Pope misses a charging D-Von, sending him into the post. Pope gets a chain and hands it to D-Von’s kids. Morgan is getting fed up with the total lack of focus on the match and I’m starting to agree with him.
Dinero starts getting something going and hammers away on the head a bit. Top rope cross body gets two. The crowd doesn’t seem to be all that interested. When you can manage to bore the Impact Zone, you might be really freaking boring. Pope sets for the DDE but stops dead, allowing D-Von to spear him for two. Morgan sighs and is about to growl. D-Von tries a chokeslam (really?) and gets rolled up for the pin. Sloppy rollup too.
Rating: C-. The match was ok, but it’s D-Von Dudley vs. Elijah Burke for nine minutes on a PPV in 2011. That sounds like something off a really bad indy show. This story has been going on for several months now and it’s more or less right where it started: Pope likes the kids, the kids like Pope, D-Von doesn’t like Pope. Are the kids going to turn on D-Von or something? Why would they do that? Why is this getting so much time? I don’t understand it.
D-Von wants to leave but his kids say shake his hand, which D-Von does.
RVD says he’ll beat Crimson when Jerry Lynn pops up. He says he’ll be in RVD’s corner and that’s that I guess.
We recap Winter vs. Mickie James which has been set up for months now but it’s not an X-Division match so it got put on hold. Angelina and Winter are working together because the zombie thing is over.
Knockout Title: Winter vs. Mickie James
Winter’s song is pretty awesome. Mickie and Winter are both looking hot here. Mickie takes over to start and grabs a leg. Kind of an awkward start as they seem like they’re not clicking in the slightest. Out to the floor and some double teaming sends Mickie into the front row. For no apparent reason Winter is all cool with getting a countout. This is what I mean by a lack of psychology.
The only good thing so far in this is all the upskirt shots of Mickie. Winter works on various parts of Mickie, currently working on the back. At one point Angelina comes in and hits her spinning backbreaker. She tries that spinning backbreaker of hers but Mickie escapes. A very weak dueling chant begins. Mickie grabs a tornado DDT to send Winter to the floor. Angelina comes in to try it again but Mickie takes her down. She tries to come in a third time but gets caught, allowing Winter to spit mist (think Muta) into her face for the pin and the title.
Rating: D-. Mickie having her skirt fly up all the time can’t be a failure but at the end of the day this was freaking bad. There was no flow to the match at all and Winter looked all over the place. Also the mist and the three run ins by Angelina were way too much booking. Not very good at all as the Knockouts are really failing now and we’re not even touching on the Velvet was bullied nonsense.
Kendrick is talking about winning earlier when Aries pops up, telling him to shush. That wasn’t a triple threat but rather a handicap match. Until Kendrick beats Aries, he’s not the real champion. Aries gives Kendrick the towel he was carrying and says go take a shower because you look homeless. I haven’t been to Minneapolis in years but I don’t think the homeless there have championship belts.
Bound For Glory Series: Crimson vs. Rob Van Dam
Lynn is with RVD here. The fans are behind RVD as you would expect. It’s a bit surprising I guess because we know so much about Crimson and have so many reasons to care about him right? An early Rolling Thunder attempt misses and Crimson gets a suplex for two. Van Dam starts kicking and there’s Rolling Thunder. Rob is holding his throat for some reason and Crimson adds in a neckbreaker for two.
Out to the floor and Van Dam uses some nice speed stuff to take Crimson down. Taz starts using bad lines to plug the sponsor like “he’s going to need some insurance after that. Better call Direct!” Back inside and Crimson takes over with basic strikes, namely elbows and forearms to the head. Off to a cravate which makes sense with the throat/neck stuff earlier.
That doesn’t last long and Van Dam gets the split legged moonsault but can’t get the kick off the top. Crimson gets something like a Falcon Arrow for two. Red Sky is countered by a kick to the chest. There’s the spinwheel kick from Van Dam which sets up the Five Star to NO reaction. The cover is delayed though and it only gets two. Tenay sounds like he’s ordering dinner when he calls the kickout. Crimson spears him down for two. In a weird ending, RVD misses a spin kick and Crimson hits Red Sky. He covers but Lynn comes in to break it up for the obvious DQ, costing RVD ten points.
Rating: C. Not horrible here but they tried I guess. The crowd flat out does not care about Crimson and that’s going to be a big problem moving forward. The problem is that we’ve been given zero reason to care about him through the form of promos or backstory so why are we supposed to want him to win? That hasn’t been addressed and it’s a problem.
Post match RVD yells at Lynn, saying he cost him a lot of points in the Series. Lynn apologizes so there’s No Surrender for you.
Anderson talks about Immortal being awesome. He curses a lot and makes noises that a 4 year old would make. This is so stupid I can’t comprehend it.
We recap Fourtune vs. Immortal. It’s a six man tag that is happening because they’re factions and we need a match on PPV between them.
Scott Steiner/Abyss/Gunner vs. AJ Styles/Kazarian/Daniels
And remember Daniels has been talking to AJ about something that hasn’t been established yet. Gunner vs. Kaz to start us off and they hit the mat. Kaz grabs a front facelock and Gunner taps. It doesn’t count for no apparent reason other than that isn’t what’s supposed to happen or something. Off to Steiner who shoves Banderas around a bit. Crucifix gets two for Kaz.
Off to AJ as Fourtune is all in black/gold trim here. Steiner is feeling rather colorful with his language tonight. The super best friends double team Steiner a bit and the bald dude comes in for Fourtune. Off to the Monster in a match that doesn’t sound very appealing. Daniels tries a springboard something and falls flat on his face. He does manage to get a foot to hit Abyss so it’s not a total loss.
Triple teaming puts Abyss down but Daniels charges into a spinebuster. Off to Gunner who throws on a chinlock. Steiner comes in with a suplex and it’s off to Abyss quickly. Immortal likes to tag a lot. Daniels rolls through to tag in Kaz who snaps off a rana which Abyss sells really strangely. Flux Capacitor gets two. Tornado DDT sends Abyss to the floor where Kaz hits a huge dive onto him.
Everything breaks down and they head to the floor. Steiner and Gunner set up a table to try to validate this as a hardcore show. Back to normal now with Steiner beating up Kaz. There are the push-ups. Gunner comes back in and continues to be as basic as possible while still trying to be all tough and evil. Off to Abyss as this has been domination for awhile.
Kaz manages to get a DDT to take Abyss down and there’s the hot tag to AJ. AJ fights off Immortal and hits a springboard cross body on Abyss for two. Styles Clash is countered as is Abyss’ chokeslam. Pele puts Abyss in 619 position but Gunner makes a save from a pin. Everything breaks down again and Daniels hits an STO into a Lionsault. AJ goes up but gets crotched and Gunner tries to F5 him through the table. Daniels saves and both he and Gunner go through the table. AJ hits a springboard Pele on Abyss for the pin.
Rating: B-. Not bad here but definitely the best match of the night so far. No tension or issue between AJ and Daniels at all so that was kind of odd. Still though it was a nice change of pace after being bored out of my mind for 90 minutes coming into this. Not a classic but this was fine for what it was.
Immortal yells at Abyss post match.
Ray says there’s only room for one of them in Immortal. Everyone makes mistakes. He carried D-Von around for 15 years. JB’s parents made a mistake when they had him. Even Hogan and Bischoff made a mistake when they let Anderson into Immortal. Anderson is going to get beaten out of Immortal.
We recap Anderson vs. Ray. Basically it’s about Ray volunteering Anderson to face Kurt Angle and then costing him the match. This is a contest over who can be a bigger jerk for the most part.
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray
Ray comes out first and talks trash to Taz for some reason. He also sets for an attack on Anderson, who I guess doesn’t notice the lack of Bully Ray in the ring even though he would have come out second. Another thing I’ve always wondered: how do guys not get in fights when they’re waiting to come through the curtain? In a cool bit, Ray sneaks up on him and Anderson says into the mic “Yeah I know he’s behind me” and turns around to slug Ray.
After he beats on him for a bit he repeats his name. I’ll give him a pass for the cool bit before that. This might be a street fight but I’m not sure. They brawl around the railing and I don’t think a bell has rung yet. They haven’t been in the ring yet. Ray goes into the post/steps at the same time. Into the ring now and Ray gets a shot in to take over. Anderson takes forever to get up from a pretty normal shot.
Big chop in the corner as Ray has dominated the in ring aspect of this. I’m pretty surprised by that as he’s certainly more of a brawler than a wrestler. Side slam gets two. Ray hammers away and talks more trash which motivates Anderson. It’s about time something did. They slug it out from their knees and Bubba tries the Bubba Bomb which is countered into a DDT by Anderson to put both guys down.
It’s boo/yay time with Anderson being the popular and therefore successful one. Ray starts no selling stuff as clotheslines and shoulder blocks have no effect on him. An elbow does though as does a neckbreaker which gets two. Mic Check is blocked as is a release Rock Bottom. Another Mic Check is avoided but Anderson steals Amazing Red’s double spin kick for two.
Swanton hits for two as Ray reverses into a crucifix for two of his own. Cutter gets two for Ray. He grabs the chain but Kenderson picks him up in a fireman’s carry. Instead of the rollthrough that he usually does though he falls backwards by accident, adding yet another to the insane list of botches tonight. Ray tumbles into the ropes which gets two for some reason.
Ray tries to walk out but that doesn’t work all that well. Anderson is kind of wrestling face here by default, which of course messes up the whole dynamic of him but it’s TNA with a tweener so who cares? Anderson has the chain now which is quickly taken away. The delay allows Ray to low blow him and roll him up for the pin. Not wild on that ending.
Rating: C. The match was good but at the same time it never clicked as well as I think they were shooting for. Anderson needs the exact right kind of guy to get him to have a great match and Ray isn’t that kind of guy. Also the double heel thing didn’t work for the most part because Anderson tried to be a heel but he was cheered because he had to be by default. Not bad but not great.
Hogan and Bischoff are here. Gee how nice of them to grace us with their presence. Hogan isn’t happy and yells at Abyss, saying he isn’t a little cruiserweight out there. Bischoff yells at him too. Ray comes up and asks if they saw that and they don’t care. Immortal goes to have a meeting but Bischoff tells Abyss to stay there. If this leads to anything other than Abyssamania I’m happy.
Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. Mexican America
TNA named them that so don’t yell at me for it. Remember that Roode has a bad shoulder and Storm hurt his back on Thursday. Anarquia complains about not being able to have the flag hang from the ceiling anymore so they brought their own. Roode vs. Hernandez to start. It’s officially Bobby now I guess. Roode hits the ropes a few times and takes him down with a jumping forearm.
Off to Storm for some double teaming. His back is talked about but it seems fine. Back to Roode whose arm seems fine as well. Anarquia tries a clothesline but gets caught in a Fujiwara Armbar which gets broken up by Hernandez quickly. Storm and Anarquia in at the moment with Storm getting a clothesline for two. Storm likes the clothesline as he uses one to send Hernandez to the floor.
Roode tosses Storm over the top to land on Anarquia. Off to Roode officially and he gets caught in the corner of the challengers. More double teaming by the heels follow. Nothing of note at all here as it’s been pretty dull and pedestrian. Hernandez chokes a bit and takes Roode down with a big shoulder.
Anarquia gets a butterfly suplex for two. Hernandez comes back in and walks into the Double R Spinebuster which makes no sense now as his name is Bobby again but whatever. Not really a fair comparison because Taker was still called Taker when he was a biker. Hot tag to Storm as the fans are DEAD. DDT gets no cover on Hernandez. Double suplex takes the big bald dude down and it’s time to SHOUT OUR NAMES!!!
Storm puts Anarquia on the top and smacks him before snapping off a hurricanrana. Big splash off the top gets two for Roode. Hernandez snaps off the slingshot shoulder block for two on Storm. Anarquia is up top and tries to dive onto Storm but Roode shoves him right into the superkick for Beer Money to retain…again.
Rating: C. Match was again just ok but at the same time, what are they waiting for with Beer Money? They’ve already had the longest title reign in the history of the belts and they’ve beaten everyone that there is to beat. Knowing TNA they’ll just hand the titles to part of Immortal but whatever. They need to drop the titles but I have no idea who they could do that to. The back injury was never touched on at all and Storm looked fine.
Angle says he needs to beat Sting to be considered the best ever. Angle says he won’t lose and that’s it.
Hype video for the main event which is more or less a clash of the titans. Angle allegedly has never beaten Sting which is false but he did say he’s never beaten him without help, so they’re covered. Angle insists it’s just business, which is never a safe line to say in wrestling.
TNA World Title: Sting vs. Kurt Angle
Big match intros fill in some time. Sting is in gray which is a weird look on him. Sting grabs the arm to start as this seems like it’s going to be a feeling out process to start. I think they’re going for the big epic match but that’s just not going to happen here. Angle grabs a headlock which gets him nowhere. The dueling chants are already going and Sting’s paint is like 1/3 off less than two minutes in.
Now Angle works on the arm. The gray isn’t working for Sting as it looks like he’s dusty. Sting escapes and works on the leg to set up for the Scorpion. Angle fights back and hammers away. The champ backdrops him over the top and out to the floor as things slow down a bit. Out to the floor for the usual railing stuff. Back inside and Angle grabs a Samoan Drop for two.
There’s a seated reverse chinlock as Angle works on the back a lot. Off to a slightly modified version of the same chinlock after a few quick covers. Sting pops out of the corner with a clothesline and both guys are down. DDT gets two for the champ. Angle pops off the belly to belly for the same. Sting grabs the Death Drop and you would think Tenay was ordering lunch. Actually scratch that as picking the chicken salad would be more emphatic than that.
Rolling Germans by Angle get two. Tenay sounds like he doesn’t care at all about these covers and near falls. Moonsault misses so Sting hits an Angle Slam for two. There’s the Scorpion which isn’t sat down on at all. He finally makes a rope but Sting hits the Splash but the second one misses. Angle Slam hits for two and no reaction from anyone. Kurt charges at Sting in the corner but his shoulder hits the post.
Sting throws on the ankle lock and they speed things up a bit. Angle puts on the Scorpion Deathlock because that’s how Angle matches roll. Here are some more rolling Germans and Kurt grabs the ankle lock. Sting rolls through for two. And there goes the referee due to a misses enziguri by Kurt. Well it IS a TNA main event. Heeee’re Hulk with a chair. He gets the best reaction of the night and sets to pop Sting with the chair. Angle grabs it from him and Hogan leaves. Kurt blasts Sting with the chair and the Angle Slam gives him the world title.
Rating: C+. Good match overall but the crowd did not care for the most part and neither did Tenay. Not a horrible match but they didn’t get going like I think they wanted to. The finishers were never going to finish it and we were just waiting on the ref bump for the screwy ending. Good enough match but Kurt has had better matches in his sleep.
Hogan isn’t happy but he isn’t furious either. TUNE INTO IMPACT BABY!!!
Overall Rating: D. I’m sorry but no. Some of the matches were ok I guess but nothing other than Angle vs. Sting felt like it had any build at all. This show was boring and not hardcore in the slightest. No idea why they kept that name this year because there wasn’t even a street fight or anything like that on the card. Angle as champion will probably last until BFG with a match vs. RVD or something but that’s not exactly thrilling. It feels like we saw this two years ago, and that’s not good. Bad show.
Brian Kendrick b. Alex Shelley and Austin Aries – Pinned Shelley after a brainbuster from Aries
Tara/Miss Tessmacher b. Rosita/Sarita – Widow’s Peak to Rosita
D’Angelo Dinero b. Devon – Rollup
Winter b. Mickie James – Pin after spitting mist into James’ face
Crimson b. Rob Van Dam via DQ when Jerry Lynn interfered
AJ Styles/Daniels/Kazarian b. Abyss/Gunner/Scott Steiner – Springboard Pele to Abyss
Bully Ray b. Mr. Anderson – Rollup
Beer Money b. Mexican America – Superkick to Anarquia
Kurt Angle b. Sting – Angle Slam