On This Day: August 16, 2009 – Hard Justice 2009: Two Takes On Being A Legend

Hard Justice 2009
Date: August 16, 2009
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 1,100
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay

We continue our backwards trip through TNA as I keep trying to get closer and closer to being done with their PPVs. This is one of three remaining 2009 shows I have so it’s as good a place as any. Anyway the Mafia is still around and the main event (haha) is Angle vs. Sting vs. Morgan for the title. There really isn’t much else as the card is rather lackluster. Then again this isn’t one of TNA’s biggest PPVs. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is all about Morgan for the most part, and how he’s perfect or something. His DNA was sent into space which is rather cool. They don’t talk about anything else here so you can tell it’s a weak card.

Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Amazing Red vs. Daniels vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequence Creed vs. Suicide vs. DAngelo Dinero

The Guns don’t have their signature music yet. This is the steel asylum, as in the big red cage, and you win by escape. Naturally there are WAY too many people in it so you won’t be able to call a thing in it. Winner gets an X Title shot at No Surrender. This is Pope’s debut. There’s a big hole at the top and you have to climb up to escape, which is hard because the roof curves up.

The fans are behind Pope it seems. Suicide makes a run at it but Creed pulls him down. The Guns beat up Daniels because that’s what they do. The camera has to keep cutting away from the match and various spots because they have to go to other spots. Lethal Consequences takes Red down and the Guns get a dropkick Conchairto to the head of Pope. This is really a collection of spots and not a match.

Daniels takes Lethal off the top and tries a climb, only to be stopped by Dinero. And never mind as Daniels punches the cage and probably breaks his hand. We’re at the point now where most people lay around and wait on two people to do something before getting in there again. The Guns and Lethal Consequences have a mini match with the Guns getting the better of it.

Daniels and Pope keep slugging it out on the top and there’s your Tower of Doom spot. We get a complex four person submission hold with the tag teams again. Shelley hits Sliced Bread #2 on Daniels and here comes Red. He takes down just about everyone that was still on their feet/knees and goes up, only for Shelley to make the stop in the corner.

Seven people are standing in one corner or are on the rope in that corner. The eighth comes up because he’s (Sabin) very stupid. Gee, with everyone in one corner, I’m sure there’s nothing he could do in the other five corners right? Everyone gets taken down as Daniels and Red go up. Daniels hooks in a leg and is kind of hanging around. Suicide almost makes it but Pope stops him, only to be stuck in the corner. Daniels finally wakes up and climbs out to win it.

Rating: C+. Really hard to call here as the whole thing was a mess. There’s no flow to it but to be fair it’s supposed to be a big mess I think. You cut this down to four people and you have a FAR better match. That being said at 16 minutes it’s still way too long, but at the same time they were trying and hit the limit with what this match can do under these circumstances I think.

Daniels says the X-Division is awesome. He’ll get the X Title back and AJ needs to come back also.

We run down the card for the ADHD fans out there.

Morgan says he’s in the main event to win, not help Kurt.

We recap the WAY too long Dr. Stevie vs. Abyss feud. Stevie put out a $50,000 bounty on Abyss and it’s about maiming him. The maimer in this case: Jethro Holiday, more commonly known as Trevor Murdoch. Yes, really.

Abyss vs. Jethro Holiday

THIS warranted PPV times. Yes, really. Oh and it’s no DQ/weapons are legal/whatever. Holiday, ever the generic southern/country boy, chops away and gets absolutely nowhere. Abyss claps away like an idiot as we head to the floor. For the second time tonight someone punches something made of metal and Holiday takes over again. Middle rope elbow misses back in as this is already boring.

Abyss finally brings in a chair as Stevie slides in a metal stick or something to Holiday. It’s a baton I think. Abyss fights back with his big man offense like a big boot and backdrop. Let’s clap some more because that’s HARDCORE BABY! Side slam gets two. Holiday gets a chair to Abyss’ balls and a baton shot to the head gets two. More brawling ensues and a chokeslam gets two for Abyss. Holiday gets the Texas standard move in the form of a bulldog for two. Black Hole Slam ends this a second later.

Rating: D. This wasn’t horrible, but it’s Trevor Murdoch vs. Abyss on PPV. Why in the world did they think this was deserving of about 11 minutes total? Boring match for the most part and just kind of there, which is fine if it’s ok but it’s not in this case. Holiday would do nothing for the most part and would be gone in a few months.

Holiday takes down Stevie post match, I guess turning face.

Angle says he’ll keep the title. He might weigh 180lbs here.

Rob Terry vs. Hernandez

Terry stole Hernandez’s briefcase and Supermex wants it back. Hernandez says the Impact Zone is his house and it’s like Terry stole the case from his family. This is going to be a fight, not a match. The other Brits try to interfere, Hernandez runs them off, bell, shoulderblock, pin. Literally, 9 seconds of the actual match.

Beer Money says they’ll win the Japanese tag titles, because we NEED Japanese tag titles right?

World Elite is awesome apparently and Beer Money is standing in the way of their dominance despite them not really dominating anyone.

IWGP Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. British Invasion

It’s more Japanese tag titles because they’re Japanese so every non-WWE fan loves them right? The Brits have the belts here. Young jumps in on commentary here. The Brits are Magnus and Williams here. Storm and Magnus start us off as the fans chant wanker. Storm makes both Brits look like idiots to start and Roode launches Storm over the top to the floor onto both Brits.

Williams comes in and takes over on Roode, including the always awesome jumping back elbow. Everything breaks down again with Beer Money in control again. This is one of those rather boring matches where not a lot is going on here. We get one of the stupid face in crotch spots from the Brits. The champions take over with some basic leg work on Storm as this is rather boring.

The fans chant for the Cowboy so at least they have the right football team. See how far I have to go for jokes here? Do you see what I do for you people here? Williams drops a knee and Magnus gets two off of it. Weak tag to Roode who hits the Blockbuster for two. There’s the time waster by the challengers and a double team Rock Bottom gets two on Magnus. Young comes in for a distraction and Williams rolls up Roode for the pin to retain.

Rating: D-. The match itself wasn’t really that awful but it was incredibly boring. Not an interesting match in the slightest and that’s saying a lot when it comes to a team as talented as Beer Money. This went nowhere for the most part and the whole thing was just a boring waste of time. Not bad, but the lack of anything interesting killed it deader than Immortal’s current credibility.

Deaner and ODB aren’t funny.

Knockout Title: Velvet Sky/Angelina Love vs. Cody Deaner/ODB

Ok so Angelina is champion here and it’s a tag match with a guy fighting for the women’s title. Just go with it. Madison is with the blondes here. Angelina and ODB start us off here This is a rather basic match here and Angelina looks far better with fewer tattoos on her arm. Velvet comes in and do you really think it matters what goes on in this? Deaner comes in and spanks Velvet a bit.

Angelina comes in and gets a quick two on ODB. The heels take over as you would expect them to here. Velvet is rather red from the spanking. I didn’t need the image of Deaner doing that. Seated dropkick gets two for Angelina. Deaner comes back in and kisses both blondes. Make that all three of them as Madison takes some tongue apparently. The girls finally get it together and beat up Cody, only for him to avoid some hairspray from Madison and roll up Velvet for the pin and the title for ODB. Deaner would claim he was the real champion, because that’s how TNA rolls.

Rating: D. Yeah this was a mess. Velvet is hot as is Angelina, but ODB and Deaner were the focus here and I don’t see the need to have Deaner involved here at all. I think this led to Madison being tossed out of the team but that could have been done in a singles match also. Weak match and a stupid angle.

We waste more time as Velvet and Angelina leave Madison in the ring.

Taz talks for Joe, saying that Hernandez didn’t beat Joe because Joe beat Joe. Joe is going to win the X Title tonight and take it to the Mafia.

XDivision Title: Homicide vs. Samoa Joe

Joe has his face tattoo still here. The fans chant 187. Joe takes him down with strikes quickly but Homicide uses his technical abilities to take him to the floor. Homicide is considered a ring master but I’ve never really seen it. He’s not bad but I don’t see the genius aspect to him. After a pep talk from Joe it’s time to go back to work for Joe. This is a rather fast paced match which doesn’t really surprise me.

Rana is blocked to send Homicide to the floor and a suicide dive sends him flying. Back in and Joe drops a knee so he can crank on the neck a bit. Powerslam gets two. Homicide tries to fight back but Joe is just too fat. Powerbomb is turned into an STF and into a crossface and into the Rings of Saturn, all by Joe. Homicide finally gets his foot on the ropes to break it up but that was kind of impressive. I think. Actually it wasn’t but it fits the submission aspect of Joe’s character.

Joe hammers away as the fans chant 187 again. I know Impact Zone fans are considered a little slow but they can’t even count to ten properly? Homicide comes back with some clotheslines and gets Joe down. Top rope dropkick sends Joe to the floor and there’s a tope con hilo to take Joe down even more.

Homicide and Taz nearly get into it but that goes nowhere. Neckbreaker gets two back in the ring for the champion. Diamond Cutter gets two. Gringo Killer (Vertebreaker) is blocked and Joe can’t quite get the Clutch. Ok so never mind yes he can and Homicide taps almost immediately. Some guy from the toughest place in the world.

Rating: B-. Pretty good here as both guys worked rather well out there. They probably fought a few dozen times in the indies so it’s pretty clear they know each other as well as possible. Better Homicide match than I remember him having more often than not so that’s a nice surprise. Not bad here at all.

Kurt goes to talk to Matt Morgan and doesn’t even knock. Angle tries to make a deal and Morgan agrees that it’s either him or Angle leaving with the title tonight.

We recap the Mafia vs. Team 3D. The Mafia more or less stole the titles from Beer Money. Team 3D complained about getting screwed out of everything (Bubba: “If I knew getting screwed felt this bad, I would have stayed a virgin.”) and therefore wanted a match. Don’t ask me how all of the tag titles worked at this time. With the Japanese belts out there it’s more confusing than an Egyptian restaurant menu.

Tag Titles: Scott Steiner/Booker T vs. Team 3D

Falls count anywhere here and they have two referees which is rather smart for once. Sharmell looks good here. Apparently it’s No DQ also, therefore making it a hardcore match. In a Russo company? I’M SHOCKED!!! Big staredown to start and the brawl begins. The fans want tables within ten seconds. Booker gets double teamed and the Mafia complains a lot.

Booker and Steiner yell at Hebner, the outside referee, and it’s time to head into the crowd. We go split screen and it’s one of those annoying ones that has about 30% of the screen devoted to the match and the rest is a big freaking TNA logo. I’ve never gotten why they do that. Is that for people that have bought all the PPV offerings for that night and flip through the channels to decide what to watch?

The races pair off and it’s a big brawl as you would expect from these guys. There’s the required ECW chant. To be fair though, three of these guys were in the original ECW so it’s hard to complain. Steiner gets two on Bubba off of I think a weapon shot. They’ve more or less dropped the split screen at this point, making it kind of hard to follow. I do however really like the falls count anywhere aspect as it means you don’t have to wait for them to get back to the ring for any drama.

Steiner dives off a balcony in the crowd onto Ray for two. Gee it was nice of Ray to stand there for a good ten seconds to wait on him to come crashing down on him like that. Ray and Steiner are at ringside now as are D-Von and Booker. I guess they can’t bare to be apart that long. Steiner gets two on Ray. The pairings haven’t switched for the entire match that I can remember.

The white guys get in the ring and a Steiner Line gets two. The fans still want tables. What’s Up to Steiner which probably doesn’t hurt that much due to the amount of steroids in him. It’s table time now and the fans are in a word really freaking happy with that decision. Steiner gets laid on one but here’s Booker for the save. The Mafia stands around FOREVER while D-Von is sitting on the ropes after being crotched.

The delay allows the Dudleys to set up the Doomsday Device through the table but Booker saves again, moving the table but the move hits like regular. Team 3D in control still here but it’s a Book End for Bubba through the table for two as he actually kicks out instead of having it saved. The Mafia in control now as things kind of grind to a halt. Scratch that as the Dudleys take over again. Back and forth match throughout so far.

Heel miscommunication lets D-Von get a belly to back on Steiner for two. Powerbomb out of the corner gets the same result with the same people. Axe kick misses D-Von and the 3D from 3D gets the pin on Booker, but at the same time Steiner rolls up Bubba and yep it’s a double pin. I was afraid of this. The threes went down at just about the same time which is rather helpful. We actually go to the video and the replay we see shows that those threes hit at the exact same time. The Mafia retain the belts and the fans aren’t exactly thrilled. WEAK finish as the video shows it was identical or at least way too close to call.

Rating: C-. Pretty good match but the ending really hurts it a lot. The fans chant BS during the highlight package which is very true. I mean dude, when EVER do they go to a replay to decide something in wrestling? Not a great brawl or anything but they did a lot of stuff right here. The ending crippled it though and there were a lot of dead spots in there that really hurt it.

Foley isn’t sure if he is ready for Nash or not. He did however get an extra $623 posing for pictures. Not really apparently but that’s the point of the feud. Nash wants the title because it brings him more money. Foley wants the title because wrestlers want to hold titles. I remember really wanting to see this match as the pairing is pretty interesting. Foley puts JB in charge of finding a barbed wire bat.

Recap of Nash vs. Foley which is what I just went over.

Legends Title: Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley

Foley is champion and the Legends Title would evolve into the TV Title. I can’t believe it but the video package actually made me want to watch this again. Oh and Foley won the title from Nash in a tag match. Never been a fan of those but at least Foley pinned Nash for it. Foley waves at Nash just after the bell which is funny for some reason. Nash’s right hand is taped heavier than usual.

Surprisingly technical stuff to start as they lock up a few times. Naturally it turns into more of a brawl but that’s what these two likely should do. Foley hits a running knee lift but a double arm DDT can’t hit. There’s your first hard bump of the match as Foley gets kicked into the guardrail. They brawl outside and Nash takes over. The fans chant “over here” which is kind of a cool chant to me for some odd reason.

Chair shot by Nash hits post but Foley’s hits Big Sexy’s back. Foley tries the elbow off the apron but Nash gets the chair in to block it. Foley’s eye is busted now. Oh man that’s a bad one too. Nash drops some F Bombs and wisely fires jabs in at the eye. There’s blood on the camera which is kind of a cool visual. That’s a sick blood flow and in a very dangerous area too.

Half of Foley’s face is bloody and half isn’t. That’s a creepy/awesome look indeed. Foley says bring it on and actually fires back. A forearm puts Nash down and we get the Mankind rocking back and forth. Foley pulls his hair out as he’s all fired up now. That blood is flowing everywhere. BANG BANG as you can’t even see his eye anymore.

Nash’s forehead is busted a bit now too. Make that a lot now. That’s a GREAT looking cut. Ref is bumped and it’s barbed wire bat time. Tracy Brooks of all people comes out and the distraction is enough for Nash to hit a big boot and something we can’t see that wasn’t the powerbomb for the title.

Rating: C+. I liked it. This was a surprisingly good match here as these two actually had some chemistry. Fun match as their characters and philosophies were perfect opposites and the story made the match for the most part. The ending is fine for the most part and while it was kind of boring from an in ring match, it was still good I though. At least I liked it. Good thing I’m writing this too.

Post match Foley takes the bat to the head and Abyss comes out for the save with a bat of his own.

Sting isn’t worried about Kurt and Matt working together. He’ll never lose hope in the war against the Mafia. Does Sting do anything but go to war with heel factions?

We recap the triple threat. Morgan wanted in the Mafia so they used him as a lackey and then screwed him over. Morgan won a trilogy of matches with AJ to get the spot here. Angle implied that Morgan should help him keep the title and Morgan said no way.

TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan

To waste more time, everyone gets the camera shot of them coming to the ring and then a video about them. Big match intros waste another few minutes. I guess wrestling doesn’t matter yet. Angle is SKINNY here, maybe weighing 170. Morgan and Angle work together to start but Angle gets caught quickly by Sting, getting us down to one on one. Everyone on the floor now and the brawl is on.

Sting works over Morgan, sending him into the railing a few times. Morgan’s wife is here apparently. The Mafia takes over again and the beating continues. Morgan is all like I told you I’d help. Sting again fights them off and takes over for like the third time in this match. Both guys get splashes and Morgan is sent to the floor. Suplex gets two on Kurt who wakes up and drills Sting to take over again.

We talk about AJ not being here and how he has a major announcement on Impact which was to be his retirement until Sting stepped in to save the day. Back in the ring the Angle Slam is countered into a Scorpion attempt but Morgan makes the save. Slam gets two. Ankle lock is reversed and it’s Morgan vs. Sting again. There are the corner elbows and Morgan just drops him instead of hitting a side slam which gets two.

Fallaway slam hits as Kurt really shouldn’t be down this long due to a reversed ankle lock. Angle pulls the top rope down to send Morgan to the floor and the not-exactly-giant isn’t happy. Morgan says the deal is over and hits the Carbon Footprint to take down Kurt on the floor. Well at least he has a reason to be down now. Kurt claims a shoulder injury now. There’s no one to count the pin that Morgan has on Sting now and Matt isn’t pleased.

Scorpion Death Drop in the ring and now Hebner is right there. Does that make Morgan Bret Hart some how? Now Kurt is holding his neck. Make up your crazy mind already dude. Morgan takes Sting’s head off with the kick and Hebner is slow getting there again, only for Kurt to pull him out. “You screwed Matt!” Kurt brings in a chair and takes both guys down with chair shots, good for the pin on Morgan to retain.

Rating: C. Just a triple threat here as not a lot was really accomplished here. Morgan gets screwed over again and Kurt is still champion. Sting of course will keep fighting and that’s about it. The match was just ok and nothing special in the slightest. Not a horrible match or anything but nothing that you couldn’t see on any other show.

Overall Rating: D. There’s some decent stuff here and there but overall this just fell flat. It was ALL about the Mafia here and that’s not exactly the most enthralling formula for a PPV. This was certainly a B level PPV and it came off as one: nothing significant seems to have happened, despite both midcard titles changing hands. Nothing to see here as nothing was a particularly great match or even very good. Pretty weak show but not horrid or anything.

 

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