Hardcore Justice 3
Date: January 16, 2014
Location: Lowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Mike Tenay
So apparently this show aired over two weeks ago. This comes as a surprise as I watch every episode of Impact and I NEVER heard about this airing. They usually talk about this for at least two weeks but I didn’t hear about it at all. The title of the show should tell you everything that you need to know about TNA: they can’t count because this is at least the sixth PPV called Hardcore Justice. Let’s get to it.
We open with the traditional One Night Only highlight package of the show we haven’t seen yet. We’re getting Lethal Lockdown tonight which should be pretty cool.
This show was taped a few weeks ago so it’s at least up to date.
To say this show looks low rent is an understatement. No video screen, no set, nothing. It’s literally just a curtain and an aisle leading to the ring, making it look like a house show. I kind of like that.
JB is in the ring and tells us what we’re going to see but not the participants in the matches. The card is actually stacked. Borash is cut off by Ethan Carter III who isn’t all that familiar to TNA fans yet but he’s getting there. The fans know the advertised cards though and chant WE WANT DREAMER. Carter says keep chanting, because the more the fans want to see him means the more money is in his trust fund. After all, he’s a Carter and the world needs him.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Ethan Carter III
This is a tables match and as expected, the fans are entirely behind Tommy. Carter works on a wristlock to start but Dreamer comes back with right hands and a running clothesline to send Ethan outside. Tommy takes a beer from a fan and spits it in Carter’s face, messing up the camera lens. They head into the aisle where Dreamer gets crotched on the barricade. Tommy comes back with chops out of the corner but gets sent shoulder first into the post.
A belly to back suplex puts Dreamer back down again but Carter covers like someone always does in TNA tables match. Carter misses a middle rope elbow and gets punched in the corner as we’re waiting on the first table. Dreamer hits something like a downward spiral to send Carter into the middle buckle before going outside to look for some plunder as Dusty Rhodes would say.
The first table is set up on the floor but Carter stops Dreamer from coming in with a dropkick. Dreamer comes right back with a swinging neckbreaker before pulling out his second table. They head back inside with a table down on the mat which Dreamer lands on back first. Carter goes up top but gets pulled down into the Tree of Woe. Dreamer puts the table in front of his face for the baseball slide and the fans are into this. The table is set up in the corner but Carter comes back with a quick bulldog driver. Tommy’s Death Valley Driver is easily escaped and a spinebuster through the table gives Ethan the win.
Rating: D+. This was there so they could say they had a tables match on the show and nothing more. Dreamer losing was obvious the entire way as he’s one of the biggest jobbers in the history of wrestling. Carter is a guy that I like more and more every time I see him and having him get a win over a fan favorite is only going to help him.
Austin Aries is ready for Chris Sabin later tonight. See what I mean about how much better these are when they’re tied to current storylines?
Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin
This is an Xscape match meaning it’s in a cage and the first person to climb out wins. Christy isn’t doing the commentary tonight but the guy they have (never shown or named) has a good deep voice. Aries sends Chris into the corner to start and quickly pulls Sabin down on an escape attempt. Back down and Aries scores with some armdrags and goes up for a top rope ax handle. A big running elbow drop sets up the pendulum elbow and Sabin is in trouble.
Luckily it’s not deep enough trouble for Aries to get out as Chris pulls him back down, sending Austin’s head into the mat. He goes for a cover to make sure the fans get the idea because wrestling fans aren’t that bright. The cage is used for the first time with Aries being slammed back first into the steel as Sabin extends his advantage. Chris hits his own brainbuster followed by a swinging facebuster (think a spinning backbreaker but with the recipient’s face down) but Aries makes another save.
They fight on the top rope with Aries climbing onto Sabin’s shoulders and taking him down with a nice hurricanrana. A running clothesline in the corner and a bulldog set up the Last Chancery. Sabin knees his way out of a brainbuster but takes the running dropkick in the corner. Another running dropkick against the cage looks to allow Aries to escape but Sabin crotches him down on the ropes.
Sabin gets all heelish and takes the belt out of his shorts and ties Aries’ feet to the ropes but apparently he wasn’t a good Boy Scout because Aries easily unties it and stops the escape. They slug it out on the top rope again with Sabin getting crotched and knocked down to the middle of the ring. Austin goes up, headbutts Sabin down through the cage, and drops to the floor for the win.
Rating: B-. That might be a bit high but I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. There’s a story here (not much of one but it’s a story) so it’s automatically easier to care about these two fighting. It’s no masterpiece or anything but it was entertaining enough to fill in fifteen minutes and that’s all it needed to be.
James Storm, a member of Team Angle in Lethal Lockdown, won’t reveal the fourth member of the team along with himself, Kurt and Samoa Joe. They’re facing Team Roode tonight.
Here are the Bro Mans to add some comedy. Robbie asks Jesse who are more hardcore than the Bro Mans before revealing that they’re in Lethal Lockdown along with Roode and Magnus. They talk about Team Angle and make sure the fans know the participants in the main event. None of their opponents are hardcore though and there’s no fourth man because everyone is scared of the Bro Mans. They’ve found someone willing to try their lucky though: Dewey Barnes.
Dewey comes through the crowd and throws out t-shirts before getting in the ring and not understanding fist bumps. The Bro Mans ask him to tell the fans a bit about himself and what do you know: he used to spend his summers here. Apparently Barnes is going to run the Bro Marathon with the first step being a dance off with Robbie E. The fans give it to Barnes so he’s a step closer to being on Team Angle. Now it’s a posedown with Jesse and Barnes might be in trouble. He does the Hogan poses and you can figure out the results here I’m sure.
That brings him to the final challenge: a pushup contest. If Dewey can do ten pushups, he can be in the main event tonight. He gets to nine and the Bro Mans channel their inner DiBiases and attack. This was longer than it needed to be to get the idea but it’s better than some stupid countdown or flashback sequence like the rest of these shows use to fill in time.
Bobby Roode is going to step up for his team against Samoa Joe to earn the advantage in the main event.
Video on Lethal Lockdown and steel cages in general.
Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe
The winner gets the advantage in Lethal Lockdown. Joe still has his mohawk here to date the show a little bit. Feeling until Joe starts peppering him with right hands and a shin breaker. After a quick trip to the floor it’s more right hands to Roode’s face followed by a knee drop for two. Bobby heads outside again and Joe gets caught chasing him to change momentum.
Back in and an elbow to the jaw puts Joe down again for a Hennig necksnap and a two count. Joe gets caught in a front facelock but fights him off and grabs an Orton powerslam for two. He counters a PerfectPlex but walks into a spinebuster for two by Roode. The Roode Bomb is easily blocked by the powers of fat and Joe loads up the MuscleBuster but has to settle for the Clutch instead.
Roode jawbreaks his way to freedom and the referee is bumped on the landing. Bobby brings in a trashcan and pulls an Eddie Guerrero by slamming it against the mat, throwing it to Joe and falling down as the referee turns around to call the DQ. The gullibility of referees never ceases to amaze me.
Rating: C. Just a basic wrestling match here with an ending that ties into the hardcore theme at the end. Joe is starting to get back to what he used to be but he needs to actually win a few important matches first. Given the history of team cage matches, there really was no doubt on the winner here.
Velvet Sky is ready for her street fight with Tapa. She’s absolutely gorgeous here.
Velvet Sky vs. Lei’D Tapa
Street fight as mentioned. Velvet is in one of her regular tops and torn jeans which is a nice change of look for her. She charges at Tapa over and over but keeps getting shoved away with ease. A few kicks to the leg have little effect on Lei’D so Velvet tries even more. Tapa charges into two boots in the corner and gets low bridged to the floor. Velvet is pulled outside and sent into the steps for good measure.
Tapa throws her into the apron a few times as the match slows down despite not going that fast in the first place. Velvet is still down and Lei’D goes through the curtain and comes back with a chair but hits the post instead of Velvet. Some kicks slow Tapa down a bit but she rams Velvet into the apron again to take over. The chair is wedged between the top and middle ropes in the corner but gets knocked out when Velvet crashes into it. Tapa puts it back in but charges head first into it herself. Sky gets in some very weak chair shots but Lei’D knocks it out of her hands and the fireman’s carry Stunner is good for the pin.
Rating: D. This just didn’t work at all and was only good because Velvet looks good in jeans. Tapa just sucks the life out of any match she’s in and Velvet wasn’t the right kind of character to carry her to a good match. It just didn’t work and the weapons stuff was nothing special. Bad match, good view for part of it.
Bad Influence knows Joseph Park is Abyss and that he bleeds blood instead of nougat. They can’t make him bleed but they can beat the stuffing out of him and his fishing buddy.
We recap Bad Influence vs. Young/Park, which started as the two of them vs. Young before Park got involved. Bad Influence began going after Park and looking into his background and found out that he was in fact Abyss.
Eric Young/Joseph Park vs. Bad Influence
This is Full Metal Mayhem which means TLC but you win by pinfall. Park grabs a mic but is stopped by a WE WANT ABYSS chant. He says he would love Abyss to walk through the curtain right now because this isn’t his kind of match. Young comes out second and says that he and Park are friends but he has to do something to bring out Abyss. He goes to open up Park’s head but Bad Influence hits the ring to start the fight and prevent the blood from flowing.
Young it quickly sent to the floor and Park gets double teamed with shots to the ribs instead of the face. Eric comes in with a double missile dropkick before bringing in a chair. He pulls it back to hit Park but Kaz steals it away, only to hit the rope and knock the chair back into his own face. Now it’s Eric getting double teamed with a Daniels kick to the head getting two. Back outside with double teaming on Park but Young gets in a few shots, allowing Joseph to put the ladder around his head and spin around to put Bad Influence down again.
Daniels backdrops Young onto a ladder in the corner and a double suplex puts Park onto the same ladder. The fans want blood but get chairs to Park’s back instead. Bad Influence stays on Park with Kaz hitting a baseball slide into the ladder to knock Young down on the floor. Daniels drops an elbow off the apron to Young while Kaz blasts Park in the chest with the chair. Young finally comes back in and fights both guys off but Bad Influence takes him down again.
Eric low bridges them to the floor as Park is back to his feet and things speed up a bit. Shoulder blocks and a Samoan drop get two on Kaz but he’s still able to break up a Boston crab on Daniels. Daniels comes back with ladder shots to send Park outside but Young dropkicks the ladder into Daniels’ chest. Chris pops back up and hits Young with the ladder before going for a climb, only to pulled down and caught with a running powerbomb onto the ladder. Young goes up but Kaz makes a quick save and loads up the Wave of the Future (C4) off the top. Eric fights him off, shoves Kaz to the mat and drops a big elbow for the pin.
Rating: C. Not bad here and the ending spot looked good but there wasn’t much in between. They never even had Abyss show up after hyping him up for the entire match and promo at the beginning. That’s the problem with the whole Park story: everyone knows the ending and wants to get there, but there’s nowhere to go once we get there.
Post match Park’s mouth is busted but he controls himself.
Bully Ray calmly rants about Anderson ending the Aces and 8’s, saying he can never forgive Anderson for what he took away from him. He quotes Behind Blue Eyes by the Who to continue a strange but awesome trend. Ray saw Anderson as his brother but tonight he takes him out like an enemy.
We recap Anderson joining the Aces and 8’s but then costing Ray the title and ending the team. Ray wants revenge in a stretcher match tonight.
Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson calls Ray a creepy man and says he doesn’t want to see Ray receive medical attention on a stretcher. Therefore, this is now last man standing. Anderson quickly punches Ray down but walks into a bad looking spear from Bully. Some elbows to the head have Anderson in trouble again and he’s sent into the steps to bust him open badly. Ray rips up a fan’s sign and rubs Anderson’s blood on his face.
Bully throws the steps into the ring before whipping Anderson with the chain a bit. Back inside and the steps are stood up in the corner but Ray’s big boot kicks them instead of Anderson. Mr. still can’t fight back though and gets caught in a Rock Bottom for five. More chain shots have Anderson in trouble but Hebner interrupts for no apparent reason. Anderson finally gets up and takes the chain away before getting in some whips of his own.
Anderson drops the chain and brings in a piece of barricade but Ray kicks through a bar and into Anderson’s face for a nine count. Ray takes too much time though and gets slammed down onto the barricade followed by a swanton from Anderson for a VERY close nine. Anderson goes up again but gets crotched back down, setting up a superplex onto the barricade. The referee gets bumped in the corner right before we get a Mic Check onto the barricade but there’s no one to count. The distraction lets Ray hit a quick low blow and beat the count for the win.
Rating: C+. By the numbers last man standing match here but you can’t expect them to do anything huge on a show of this magnitude. This was fine for what it was supposed to be and these guys have some solid chemistry together. I’m sure the big blowoff match between them will be solid enough.
Magnus says he’s allowing the team to be named after Bobby Roode out of the kindness of his heart.
We recap the world title tournament semi-finals and finals plus Roode vs. Angle.
Team Angle vs. Team Roode
Kurt Angle, James Storm, Samoa Joe, ???
Bobby Roode, Magnus, Bro Mans
It’s Lethal Lockdown, meaning WarGames. The first two men fight for five minutes, then Roode’s team sends in another man for a two minute advantage. After those two minutes it’s Team Angle sending in its second man to tie it up for two more minutes. They alternate every two minutes until all eight are in and then first fall wins.
Storm and Jesse Godderz get things going after a LONG stall by Jesse before the bell. Storm will have none of that and rams Jesse into a few fans’ shoes. They head inside for the opening bell and more punishment from James. He finally misses a charge to allow Godderz to get in some choking but Storm comes right back with clotheslines and a running neckbreaker.
A running knee drop and a powerslam have Jesse in even more trouble and there’s a suplex for good measure. Godderz comes back with some more right hands and a leg drop but Storm hits a Thesz Press as Robbie E makes it 2-1. The Bro Mans start their double teaming with choking and stomping as this isn’t really interesting stuff. Samoa Joe ties it up after nothing of note takes place.
Joe easily beats up the tag team champions as the problem of the match becomes clear: you have two comedy guys as half of one team and the other team has at least three former world champions. It’s kind of hard for the heels to have a fighting chance you know? Joe hits ten elbows to the head in the corner and it’s all good guys as Roode makes it 3-2. The exact same sequence follows with the heels taking over with punches and kicks for two minutes until Angle, looking as bored as I’ve ever seen him, comes in to tie us up at three apiece.
Kurt goes right after Roode with right hands and a lot of suplexes. Angle escapes a Roode Bomb and grabs the ankle lock on Bobby until everyone is down in the corner. Magnus comes in for the final heel advantage and brings in a trashcan full of weapons. All of the good guys are hit with various metal objects until Abyss’s clock chimes and things get very serious very fast.
Eric Young wheels out a shopping cart full of weapons as Abyss runs over all of Team Roode with ease. Again, there’s a case to be made that any combination of two Team Angle members could win this four on two but at four apiece it’s totally lopsided. No roof full of weapons this time either.
The good guys easily clean house and it’s an Eye of the Storm for Jesse. Magnus takes Storm down but gets caught in a MuscleBuster. There’s no heat to this match at all. The Bro Mans hit the Samoan low but get chokeslammed by Abyss. He finds a barbed wire board and a Last Call sends Robbie into the Black Hole Slam on the wire for the pin.
Rating: D-. I feel bad about this because the match isn’t really doing anything wrong but MAN was this dull. Like I said, there was absolutely no drama at all to this because the rosters were so one sided. That’s an all-star group on Team Angle and if you put Abyss in one of these things it’s even more unfair for the heels. The rating is misleading though as it’s definitely not a bad match, but it’s just SO uninteresting and basically 25 boring minutes of waiting for the inevitable.
A highlight package takes us out.
Overall Rating: B-. As usual, TNA continues to screw up the good stuff they have. If you watch this show, turn it off before the main event and you’ll be thanking me immensely. I can’t tell you how important it was to have current stories on this show. The One Night Only shows are so dull because the stories begin and end on those nights. This was a show with feuds that didn’t need an introduction because they’re (mostly) still going. I could easily see this being Lockdown if it was held at the end of January.
Therefore, of course TNA didn’t talk about it. I’m serious when I say I had no idea this show aired. I knew it was taped but that’s the last I had heard of it. The show is really entertaining and I’d have no problems paying $15 to see this. The main event sucks but it’s because of the lineups being so one sided. I really liked the atmosphere too. The regular One Night Only shows have the same set as Impact and it doesn’t look interesting at all. Nice touch and one of the best One Night Onlys yet.
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