Hard Justice 2007
Date: August 12, 2007
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West
We’re on the final part of this three PPV series and it’s a winner take all main event with Angle vs. Joe and the TNA, IWGP, X and tag titles all on the line. Also on this show is one of the few TNA appearances of Andrew “The Punisher” Martin, who is more famous as Test. The last show I did (Genesis) was a great surprise so hopefully this is the same. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about how Angle is totally awesome and made Lesnar tap out in Japan to win another world title. This is set to video of the space shuttle launching for some reason. Karen is sick of him though and says their marriage is over. Angle blames Joe for it which is the other setup for the main event.
Pacman Jones arrives. Why they thought this was a good idea eludes me to this day.
Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt vs. Triple X vs. Motorcity Machineguns
Triple X is Daniels/Senshi (Kaval). No one seems to care about Dutt/Lethal so far as we have dueling XXX/Guns chants. Dutt and Shelley have a kick off as we have people in police shirts on the floor. Oh they’re here for Pacman Jones. You know, because a guy that was involved in the paralysis of a part time wrestler at a strip club shooting is worth putting on PPV because it could make a few bucks right?
Ok so I think we have Dutt vs. Daniels to start and it’s off to Lethal quickly. Now let’s look at two chairs because Joe is going to have Karen Angle here later on. Dutt hits a standing moonsault for two on Shelley. This is one of those matches that is designed to be very fast paced and not have any kind of selling or storytelling in it. The Guns beat up Lethal for a bit and the fans cheer. They wouldn’t get the titles for about 3 years.
Off to Senshi as I can barely keep up with what’s going on. It’s not that it’s too fast, but with the guys coming in and out and no one ever really being in trouble, why or how am I supposed to get behind someone? The fans want Shelley. Lethal gets beaten down by XXX and this is already dragging.
Off to Shelley vs. Dutt who gets a rollup for two. And before I finish that line it’s Lethal vs. Senshi. Make that Lethal vs. Sabin vs. Daniel and a triple clothesline puts them all down. Shelley hooks an abdominal stretch on the floor for some reason so Lethal can dive onto everyone. Daniels dives on them all and it’s Sabin vs. Senshi. Now they both dive and I just want this match to end.
Dutt takes out everyone with a big moonsault and all six are down. Elix Skipper, the third member of XXX, comes in to save Daniels from Sabin. After that batch of random fighting and big spots, here’s another batch of random fighting and big spots. The Guns beat up Lethal as there’s a weak “This is Awesome” chant. Everyone breaks up a bunch of pin attempts and Senshi escapes Sliced Bread. XXX does a pretty cool double team sequence, but since it’s TNA it only gets two instead of being the big awesome finish. The actual finish: Lethal rolls up Daniels after a bunch more cool double teaming spots.
Rating: D+. This was one of the biggest chores to sit through that I’ve ever seen this side of an ROH show. The idea of these matches is to be fast paced and exciting, not the same stuff over and over again for fifteen minutes plus. It went WAY too long and it’s the same Cruiserweight/X Division stuff we’ve seen a million times.
JB goes to see Samoa Joe but finds Karen and a guy that looks a lot like Kurt, saying he’s the new man in her life.
Kaz vs. Raven
Raven had some freak show team around this time and Kaz rebelled. This is the revenge match. Raven offers Kaz a chance to return to the team but Kaz pops him. They head to the floor quickly and Seretonin (the team) gets involved but screws up, giving Kaz control early on. Raven hits the Russian legsweep into the rail spot that he often does. In the ring, Raven busts out a victory roll of all things for two.
A Million Dollar Kneelift puts Kaz on the floor. Raven beats on Kaz but Kaz fires back with punches. I don’t know what it is but I can’t get into this show at all. I think a lot of it is the lack of storylines and context for these matches and angles, but I don’t think they’re going to be interesting no matter what you do with them. Kaz takes out the other Seretonin guys but Raven cracks him with a kendo stick to the head. Kaz escapes a DDT, hits a one footed dropkick….and gets the pin. At least it’s over.
Rating: D. Just a messy brawl that wasn’t anything to see. There were some cool spots, but Raven was just annoying Kaz here more than being a threat. This was another of those feuds that I have zero interest in but have to sit through for the purposes of writing this. That being said I wasn’t interested in this feud four years ago either.
JB goes to tell Kurt about Karen and her date and he’s not happy. Kurt blames it on menopause. Kurt: “Does this guy have any gold medals?”
We recap the Rhyno vs. Storm feud which is based on Rhyno being a recovering alcoholic and Storm pouring beer down his throat. They stole the spot from Raven vs. Punk in ROH but who cares?
Rhyno vs. James Storm
This is a bar room brawl, which means a street fight. There’s a table with a cloth on it in the ring and alcohol bottles at ringside. They start in the aisle and go into the crowd as the bell rings. Storm hits him with a trashcan as we talk about Rhyno throwing a chair into the crowd. Not that we saw it or anything but I guess it’s implied. This is one of those old ECW brawls where it’s walk walk walk, punch punch, walk some more.
After about 4 minutes they get to the bar that Storm set up at ringside. Rhyno drinks some beer (recovering alcoholic angle remember) and the fans cheer. There’s a mannequin there and Rhyno throws it around too. Rhyno drinks from a keg and throws it on Storm and here’s a toilet for no apparent reason. Is there a point to ANY of this? They haven’t been in the ring yet.
Now Rhyno drinks vodka. He sits on the toilet and everyone goes quiet. Gee I wonder why. Now there’s a ladder being brought in. I hate these alcoholic angles so I’m not happy at all here. They go into the ring finally and Rhyno is supercharged on booze I think. Jackie gets involved and James is able to send him flying over to the floor. Rhyno takes over and is now drunk or “possessed by the liquor” or something. There’s a table in the corner now but the Gore misses, giving Storm two. Storm goes off on him with a trashcan and adds a Conchairto. A superkick and beer bottle to the back of the head end this.
Rating: C-. I get the story of the match but I don’t like it. I’ve never liked these kind of stories and I never will. Rhyno would take a few weeks after this due to his relapse. Yeah that’s what they went with for a face. Nothing to see here as the match was just dull overall as it was a lot of standing around and then dominance by one guy or the other.
Ron Killings (R-Truth) rants about Pacman Jones coming to TNA.
The announcers talk about the main event to kill time.
Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. LAX
Just a tag match here. LAX are the good guys here. The fans chant DX rejects for some reason. I mean, they were in DX but rejects? Really? Do TNA fans really think that the HBK/HHH version counts as a major DX incarnation? And they call themselves smart fans. Wow. Kip James (Billy Gunn) looks like he belongs back in Billy and Chuck.
BG (Road Dogg) works over Homicide as we hear about the Steiners being in action later tonight against Team 3D. It’s a dream match, but at the same time the Steiners are old at this point so how dreamy is it? Kip hooks a bearhug on Homicide as I can’t see this match lasting long. Partially that’s because I looked at the match time but ignore that part for now.
The bearhug goes on for awhile as we’re waiting on the hot tag to Hernandez. I don’t get why they didn’t just make the modern version of Mexican America into LAX 2.0. I mean, it is LAX 2.0 but why not just call it that? Here’s Hernandez who cleans house and everything breaks down. Roxxi gets up on the apron to throw something in Hernandez’s eyes. A Fameasser gets the pin. Well it was more like he jumped and then Hernandez fell over but whatever.
Rating: D+. Whatever man. This was like an Impact match but we just had to have it here for some reason. Nothing to see here which is what happens when one guy holds the tag titles and is in the main event in a singles match. The Mafia didn’t mean anything at this point and the fans’ reaction to them seems to prove that.
Hector Guerrero comes out and tells the referee what happened. He listens to Hector so the match restarts and LAX gets the pin. Well sure why not. This is Hector’s return from being beaten down by…LAX. Vince Russo lives!!!
We recap Eric Young vs. Robert Roode. It’s more or less a comedy feud and we’re having a tar and feather match.
Eric says he’s going to lose like he did in high school. Kurt Angle comes up and says Karen wasn’t there. He accuses JB of dating her instead. Eric cracks up and confirms there’s another guy here with Karen.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode
This is part of the feud that went on FOREVER and never really went anywhere at all. Well it got Traci into a bikini which was a nice thing to see. Traci gets involved here and hits Eric with a shoe. Eh she was bent over in a low cut top so no complaints there. Roode chokes away and I remember why I hated his original heel run: he was boring. I mean like 5th season of NXT boring.
He’s just a rich guy that wrestles. There’s nothing to see here and he’s not interesting at all. He’s Curt Hennig’s moveset with DiBiase’s gimmick but none of their charisma or likability. Young gets something going but gets caught in an Alabama Slam to put him back down. A middle rope kneedrop hits for two. They slug it out and both guys go down. Crucifix gets two for Eric.
Roode goes up and gets crotched as the fans are trying to get into this. Traci comes in and is launched head first into Roode’s crotch. Eric tries a double Death Valley Driver but Roode escapes. Rollup gets two for Young. Blockbuster gets two. The ending sequence is a big mess with Traci interfering, a low blow and brass knuckles. The knuckles end Young.
Rating: D+. This was a pretty big mess. Roode has some decent moves at times but man was he boring as a heel. He’s a heel again in TNA at the moment and is the world champion. It almost has to be more interesting this time but here it just didn’t do it for me. Also, can Young do anything but be goofy?
Gail Kim comes out for the save as Young gets up. Roode accidentally hits Traci and then she gets tarred and feathered. At least take her top off first dude.
We recap Dustin Rhodes vs. Chris Harris. Rhodes had a split personality or something which resulted in Black Reign. This was REALLY stupid.
Harris says he earned his spot and didn’t steal it from Rhodes.
Black Reign vs. Chris Harris
Reign comes in from behind to jump Harris. The fans aren’t exactly thrilled with this new character. He beats Harris down on the floor and busts him open quickly. Rhodes throws down a referee and uses a spike thing to the head of Harris. There goes another referee and Dustin hits Shattered Dreams and a cutter. Referee #3 comes out and is thrown down also, FINALLY drawing a DQ.
Rating: N/A. I don’t use this often but it’s right here. This was a 5 minute beating, not a match. Harris didn’t get in a single punch and I have no idea what they were going for here. Rhodes as Black Reign was just stupid as everyone knew it was an attempt to be Goldust. The hardcore/monster thing was just bad because at the end of the day, it’s Dustin Rhodes. Why are we supposed to care?
The post match beatdown goes on forever.
We recap the Steiners vs. the Dudleys. Scott got injured in Puerto Rico and legitimately nearly died. This turned him face so Rick Steiner came in for some reason, setting up this dream match that would have been one if the generations we’re 10 years apart.
The Steiners say they’ll win and ECW is referenced.
The Dudleys make fun of Puerto Ricans. Scott is going back to the hospital tonight.
Steiner Brothers vs. Team 3D
Rick vs. D-Von starts us off and Rick looks BAD. Rick gets a quick powerslam and I think bites Bubba’s balls. Things break down quickly and the Steiners do their signature pose. The Dudleys start to leave and it turns into a fight on the ramp. The always annoying fans ask where their smoothie is. The Dudleys had opened a smoothie shop around this time, which every fan clearly knows about right? I mean, that couldn’t possible distract the fans right?
Scott comes in and does the push-ups on Bubba. Rick comes in and hooks a Crossface of all things on D-Von. Ray pulls Scott’s arm and the Dudley’s work over the scarred area of Scott’s back. There’s an abdominal stretch to eat up some time. Scott hits a double clothesline and it’s off to Rick who cleans a few rooms. That’s good as he needs the exercise it would seem. Scott manages the belly to belly superplex for two on D-Von. There’s the Frankensteiner but the Steiner Recliner is broken up. The Steiner Bulldog ends D-Von, who took most of the big moves in this.
Rating: C-. Yeah Scott busted out some big stuff, but for a dream match this was one of those dreams where you don’t remember it very long after you wake up. I get the idea they were going for here and the feel good moment, but did anyone want to see this match in this condition? Not really, but it could have been worse. They would do this at two more PPVs.
Angle goes to see Dr. Nash who was doing a psychiatrist thing or something at this time. Kurt cries onto the couch and looks like he’s about to have a breakdown. Nash says he’s more important than Kurt’s family. Kurt cries about being a loser and that no one loves him. This is about 30 minutes before the world title match remember. Nash tries to snap him out of it. Is there a point to this? It’s Angle vs. Joe and they have him like acting like a 13 year old girl. Nash leaves and Kurt cries some more.
Mike Tenay is in the ring and it’s Pacman Jones time. Oh get this over with. Tenay talks about how much publicity they’re getting (most of which was about how stupid this is and how Jones shouldn’t be doing this) and brings out Jones. We hear about his football stats but ignore the shooting stuff. Jones says nothing of note and sounds so bored and stupid I can’t believe it. He says he’s here to show he’s a team player.
Truth comes out to What’s Up which is still weird to hear in another company. He owns the rights to it so he can do it though so it’s legal. Just odd. Truth points out that Pacman can’t be touched while here, thereby pointing out that there is no real point to Jones being here. Truth says Jones needs to watch his back. Jones laughs and this is awful. TNA of course would give Jones a tag title in a match against Sting and Angle. This is so dumb.
We recap the six man cage match which is Team Abyss vs. Christian’s Coalition. It’s a hardcore cage match which was picked by Abyss after he won a ladder match. Team Abyss is Abyss, Sting, and wait for it…..wait for it……Test. Yes that Test, although he’s called Andrew the Punisher Martin here.
Christian says the name Doomsday Chamber of Blood sounds stupid. AJ is still a clueless idiot here.
Pacman is down in the back and bleeding. This gets a big pop from the fans.
Andrew Martin/Sting/Abyss vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko
There’s barbed wire around the top of the cage and you win by pinfall, but the person being pinned has to be bleeding first. Abyss gets beaten down until bald Test makes the save. The lights go out and Sting appears in the ring, clocking Tomko with a chair. No one is in the ring at the moment. Ok so it’s Abyss vs. Styles now. Well they had my favorite match ever in TNA in a cage so no complaints there.
Tomko is busted so he could be pinned now. AJ gets a jumping enziguri to put Abyss to the floor again. Styles dives out of the cage to take Abyss out again. So….you know what, screw it. I’m not playing dumb on this one. GET IN THE FREAKING CAGE LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO YOU IDIOTS! Three minutes in we’re told that whoever gets the fall is the #1 contender. Well sure why not.
Test beats up Christian but Christian isn’t bleeding yet so no cover. And now we cut to the back to watch Pacman freaking Jones get loaded into an ambulance. In the middle of the second main event of all times. OH COME ON ALREADY. NO ONE FREAKING CARES TNA. This is shown for 23 seconds, which could be worse but it was 23 seconds too long. Guess what the announcers are going to talk about for awhile now.
Everyone is in the ring now I believe. Oh wait Sting isn’t. Tomko breaks up a double chokeslam and Sting is trying to get in. That fails and they manage to lock him out of the cage. Abyss is busted open from his head and arm. Total heel beatdown here but Sting has wire cutters. Sting gets in and here comes the comeback. Tomko cracks Sting with a chari and AJ hits a top rope splash on Abyss as does Christian, getting two. Test kicks a chair into Tomko’s head and there’s glass on the mat. Christian escapes which doesn’t mean anything here. Black Hole Slam onto the glass gives Abyss the pin on Styles.
Rating: C. For this big bloody war, this wasn’t much. Then again we didn’t see the complete version because we couldn’t wait five minutes to see Jones get loaded up into the ambulance of course. Not bad but Lethal Lockdown is a lot better than this was. Having only six people in there was a good thing though as it wasn’t too crowded in there.
We recap Angle vs. Joe. The idea is Joe is X Champion and is the sole owner of the tag titles. Angle is world champion and has some Japanese title. This match is winner take all. Kurt turned into a jerk, blasting his wife and kids. His wife left him and Kurt snapped.
Joe says he’s taking the rest of what Kurt has tonight.
TNA World Title/X-Division Title/Tag Titles/IWGP World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
Kurt is all messed up mentally and drops one of the belts on the way to the ring. So it’s high school sophomore Kurt here. Joe has his Samoan dancers here. Karen is nowhere to be seen at the bell. Feeling out process to start and Angle is knocked to the floor. Here are Karen and that other dude. Nothing of note so far in the opening three minutes or so.
Joe tries a sunset flip and Kurt gets his tights pulled down for a Ric Flair imitation. Karen throws champagne in Kurt’s eyes. Back in a running knee gets two for Joe. Joe uses the Facewash in the corner and Kurt is in big trouble. The American hits a German on the Samoan to put both guys down. Off to a chinlock as this isn’t much of a match. It’s certainly below what these two usually do.
Here are the rolling Germans. Joe grabs one of his own and they slug it out. Snap powerslam gets two. Kurt goes to the second rope but Joe snaps off a wicked enziguri for two. The Slam is countered so Joe slaps Angle a few times. Powerslam gets two. MuscleBuster is loaded up but Kurt rolls through into the ankle lock which is countered into the Clutch which is countered into the ankle lock again.
They speed things up and the Angle Slam gets two. The fans are finally into something on this show and Angle runs the corner for the belly to belly, getting two. The moonsault misses but it would have been a headbutt at best anyway. MuscleBuster gets two. Joe grabs the Clutch again but Angle bites his fingers to break it. Off to the ankle lock which Joe counters back into the Clutch.
Angle gets his foot on the ropes and there’s the ref bump. Joe grabs the choke again and Angle taps. Ever the idiot since he’s the face here, Joe lets go of the hold since there’s no referee. Karen grabs a chair but, say it with me, IT’S A SWERVE!!!! Karen slides it to Kurt who clocks Joe with it for the pin and all the titles. Give me a break.
Rating: B. It’s good but when you have 2007 Joe vs. Angle, you’re expecting more than a Russo finish. I mean, it’s not bad but the swerve was predictable because it was exactly what you expected to happen. It was the least logical option given the storyline leading up to this so that was always going to be the ending. The first ten minutes of this were weak but the ending was a lot better, other than the swerve of course.
Overall Rating: F. Just no. I don’t care if there’s a good main event or not. This show was HORRIBLE. I haven’t been this bored and this uninterested in a show in a very long time. The Pacman Jones garbage to the SWERVE ending which takes away the last few weeks of storylines to Angle having EVERY FREAKING TITLE IN THE COMPANY was just stupid. What’s the point of any of the other matches if one guy holds every single belt? I hated this show and it ticked me off worse than any show I’ve watched in a long time.
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