Hardcore Justice 4
Date: April 10, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Jeremy Borash
This is one of the shows that has been the definition of hit and miss. When you just let people do hardcore violence, it can make for some entertaining matches. However, when you stop caring and just let them be goofy, it turns into a huge mess that makes no sense and is more embarrassing than anything else. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is just a quick package of clips of what’s coming later. This is extreme you might say.
Wolves vs. Manik/Geat Sanada
Ladder match. It’s a huge brawl to start of course with the Wolves being beaten out to the floor, sending the Revolution off to get the ladders early on. Davey gets back in to kick the ladder into the Revolution’s faces but their double suicide dive is countered with a ladder smash. Back up and the Wolves do their toss into a kick to the chest spot followed by a German suplex to send Sanada into the ladder.
Manik throws Edwards into the air to have him crash down onto the boots before finally setting up a ladder. Everyone but Manik goes to the floor so Davey dives back in for the save. Davey can’t go up quickly because of his back so Manik pulls out an orange ladder for a change of pace (Matthews: “TAZ IS BEHIND THE LADDERS!”) but it winds up bridged in between the ropes and the standing ladder. Manik and Davey fight on the ladder until Eddie pulls Manik down.
That goes badly for Eddie as Manik springboards back up to the ladder before hitting a wicked sunset powerbomb to drive Davey into the ladder. Naturally the TNA fans barely react to a huge spot. A delayed THIS IS AWESOME chant starts up and stops in the span of ten seconds. Sanada hits a standing moonsault on Eddie before they both head up, only to have Sanada bust out the mist.
Davey shoves the ladder over though and actually does something smart by using his wrist tape to clean his partner’s eyes. The Revolution gets their heads caught in the ladder so Eddie can hit a top rope double stomp for another spot that deserves a better reaction. The Wolves go up and get the contract, which apparently is for a future Tag Team Title shot.
Rating: B-. It’s a tag team ladder match with four guys who know how to work this style. Unfortunately they’re in front of a bored crowd who doesn’t seem interested in cheering and only had about ten minutes to work with here. Good match here and for some reason I have a feeling this show just hit its peak.
Drew Galloway is fired up for his pipe on a pole match against Kenny King. There’s no mention of the Rising here because they didn’t exist when this was filmed. I like that better though as Drew has more than enough charisma to carry a match.
Drew Galloway vs. Kenny King
Pipe on a Pole. The fans are fired up for Drew so both guys immediately go for the pipe. Why not let someone get it and nail them on the way down to grab it instead of making the save? Drew gets two off a suplex, making the pipe worthless/optional. King speeds things up and collides with Drew to knock both guys outside in a big crash. It’s Galloway taking over with the fans holding King so Drew can throw chops. One of the fans hands Drew a rubber chicken to beat on King, because a STEEL PIPE is too lame.
King no sells the rubber chicken (just go with it and it’ll end faster) and jumps to the apron and spins around for a cannonball to drop Drew. They finally remember the whole pipe thing and go after it with Drew hammering King down and nailing a middle rope Russian legsweep. A German suplex drops Kenny again and a middle rope elbow gets two. King gets back up and hits a spin kick to bring Drew down from the corner and a Michinoku Driver gets another near fall. Drew still can’t get the pipe as King knocks him into the Tree of Woe. King FINALLY gets the pipe but walks into a running boot to the face for the pin.
Rating: F. For a match it was fine but the pipe could have been anything from a fight in the crowd to a good looking woman to A RUBBER CHICKEN BEING SOLD IN A WRESTLING MATCH. It was a distraction instead of anything important and that’s one of the most annoying things in all of wrestling, making gimmick matches a huge waste of time. The rubber chicken brings this down even further.
Rockstar Spud gives a great promo about the scar Ethan Carter put on his forehead. Tonight isn’t about pinning Carter and that’s the way Spud wants it, because tonight is about making Carter bleed.
Gunner vs. Eric Young
Tables match which is the result of Young issuing an open challenge. JB: “You can see the crazy in his eyes.” No, you can’t Borash. Gunner punches him to the floor to start and rams Eric into the apron. Young sends him into the barricade and apron like a CRAZY man but Gunner chops him down and hits a headbutt off the steps. Fans: “USE THE CHICKEN!”
Instead they get a table but Eric fights out of a suplex and actually takes it back inside for more brawling. Gunner suplexes him right back to the floor and IT’S CHICKEN TIME! JB: “He’s choking him with the chicken!” We get another table set up at ringside but Eric blocks the German from the apron. Blast it why can’t we see him knocked senseless? Gunner sets up table #3 but actually puts this one inside for a change.
Eric gets in a shot to put Gunner down though and loads up a whip into the corner. Fans: “YOU STILL SUCK!” I like these people! Gunner is sent throat first into the ropes but is still able to break up the top rope elbow. A superplex plants Eric and Gunner hits something like a middle rope palm strike. They head to the apron, right above a table, but Gunner can’t hit a piledriver. Instead it’s a low blow from Young and a piledriver puts Gunner through the table for the win.
Rating: D+. This was still nothing good but it was MILES better than the pipe match. Young still sucks (just listening to the fans you see) and Gunner continues to be a guy just floating around on the roster. This wasn’t much of a tables match, but you get what you pay for on a show like this. Cool finisher though.
Package on Havok destroying Gail Kim over and over, eventually taking the title from her.
Gail Kim vs. Havok
Street fight. Gail rolls away from the monster to start and hits a running dropkick in the corner. Havok comes back with a shot of her own before having to block a kendo stick shot. It’s Havok getting in the first shot to Gail’s ribs before tying her in the Tree of Woe for even more ribs shots. Off to a standard choke instead before Havok lifts her up with a full nelson. Gail has to dropkick a trashcan back into Havok’s face and dives off the apron to take her down again.
Back in and Havok throws her into a chair in the corner, followed by a running knee to the face. Gail is fast enough to send her face first into the chair as well before hammering away in the corner. A spinning high cross body gets two for Kim but since it’s just a cross body, Havok kicks the chair into her face for two and loads up the chokeslam. Gail counters into a DDT on the chair for a big smash, but that’s too good of a finish so here’s Eat Defeat for the pin instead.
Rating: C. Better than I was expecting here with the right ending, even though Havok has just disappeared from the face of the earth since Kong returned. I still find Gail overrated, but she’s still more than good enough to carry a match like this. Good stuff here and one of the better matches of the night.
The Wolves may be banged up and half blind, but they’re going to Sizzler!
Abyss vs. Matt Hardy
Monster’s Ball of course, but the interesting thing is Christy introducing Abyss as the Swamp Suplex Machine, which has to be a rib of some sort. Matt gets one of the loudest chants of the night but Abyss easily shoves him around to start. They head outside with the fans wanting the chicken but having to settle for right hands from Hardy. It’s time for a barbed wire table with Abyss getting the better of it and bridging the table between the ring and the barricade.
A chokeslam is blocked so Matt throws in a trashcan full of weapons and whips out a cheese grater. After Abyss gets done wedging a chair in the corner, he turns around to feel a stepladder to the ribs. The fans actually chant for Abyss as he takes Matt over with a suplex, only to have Matt crotch him with the ladder. Hardy follows it up by using the chair as a golf club to drive the ladder even further in.
Abyss pops up with something made of metal to knock Hardy off the top, driving her into the barbed wire table for the match’s big spot. We get the required thumb tacks but Matt uses the cheese grater to the crotch for the save. You don’t do that even to a monster so he throws Matt into the chair in the corner.
The tacks are spread out but Matt drives him face first with the Twist of Fate, only to have his own back covered in tacks as well. The busted barbed wire table is brought back in as Matt basically no sells the tacks, only to eat an elbow to the jaw. It’s Janice time but of course it misses, allowing Matt to spear him through the barbed wire table. A Twist of Fate onto the chair gives Matt the pin.
Rating: C-. STOP HAVING THIS MATCH! They do the exact same spots with the exact same weapons, usually with the same ending and one of the same people in the match every single time. Just stop doing this match over and over again so many times, as it stopped being interesting a long time ago. Let it build up instead of just doing the same thing over and over and stop adding it in like a side salad. Let it be the main course for a change with a fresh recipe. Did I mention I haven’t had dinner yet?
James Storm says he’ll win the hardcore battle royal because he has the Revolution behind him.
What would a One Nigh Only be without one of these? Two minute intervals and everyone has weapons. Robbie E. is in at #1 with a selfie stick and Crazzy Steve brings a bag of something. Robbie bails to the floor to start and attacks a distracted Steve from behind. Steve comes back and empties the bag to reveal…..Gummy Bears. Oh geez here we go. Robbie eats one and gets sick, setting up a chokeslam onto the Bears.
Jesse Godderz is in at #3 (OH THE SHOCK!) with a baseball bat (Matthews: “Perhaps left over from an icon?”) to try and make this serious. Steve avoids being eliminated as JB worries about the sugary goodness of the Gummy Bears. Chris Melendez is in at #4 with a nightstick, which is somehow a very welcome sight. That says a lot as Melendez is a very dull guy, but he’s better than the Gummy Bears and selfie stick.
The BroMans take over and it’s Samuel Shaw in at #5 with a wire. Nothing happens for now so it’s Khoya with a Revolution flag in at #6 as we’re still waiting on our first elimination. Khoya cleans house, including with a double clothesline to put the BroMans down. It’s rubber chicken time again (ERG!) with Steve getting in a few shots on most of the people until Crimson of all people is in at #7 (to almost no reaction from the announcers) with a trashcan lid.
Crimson and Khoya stare each other down but Shaw chokes Crimson down with the wire. Steve hits Robbie low with the chicken as there are WAY too many people in the ring at the moment. Robbie throws the chicken out but Tyrus is in at #8 with a chain, hopefully to eliminate some people. Robbie and Melendez are quickly tossed and Tyrus hammers away on Jesse in the corner.
Knux is in at #9 with a cane but it’s a cross body to put Tyrus down. Jesse is tossed and the freaking chicken is brought back in. Good grief let the stupid idea die already. James Storm and his noose with cowbell are in at #10 to hopefully make this a bit more serious. Storm is content to sit in a chair at ringside as Shaw chokes Crimson, only to have both guys fall out to the floor for a double elimination. DJZ is in at #11 with his bottle of hairspray because….yeah. Matthews loses his mind when he sees Storm’s rope wrapped around the chicken.
Tyrus hammers away in the corner and Mr. Anderson is in at #12, giving us a final group of Steve, Khoya, Tyrus, Knux, Storm, DJZ and Anderson. Mr. actually takes the mic off the cord to bring in as his weapon. That’s actually clever, unlike EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS MATCH. Anderson pounds on Tyrus in the corner and hammers away on everyone with the mic but gets taken down by Steve of all people.
Steve sprays hairspray in DJZ’s eyes for an elimination but gets tossed by Khoya. Knux follows him out and we’re down to four. Khoya misses a charge and is tossed out, leaving us with Tyrus, Anderson and Storm. The Last Call hits Tyrus by mistake and Anderson throws him over the top. Tyrus actually tries to skin the cat but it goes as well as you would expect. Storm throws a distracted Anderson out a few seconds later for the win.
Rating: F. I’d like to remind you that 95% of this match took place with the ring covered in Gummy Bears. Combine that with the chicken gag that WILL NOT JUST FREAKING STOP and I think you get why this was a nightmare to sit through. On top of that, it was a poorly run gauntlet with way too many people in the ring at the same time for the majority of the match.
Anderson Mic Checks Storm post match and eats some Gummy Bears. And puts some of them down Storm’s tights. I hate this show. Like, a lot.
Ethan Carter III brags about everything he’s put Spud through and says tonight is going to be the same all over again.
Long package on the history of Spud vs. Carter. That’s still a great story.
Ethan Carter III vs. Rockstar Spud
First blood and now with 100% fewer Gummy Bears. Carter talks about how no one makes him bleed before the match, but gets cut off by a CHICKEN’S BETTER chant. Spud comes out and has to hear another recap of the feud. Carter offers him a chance to leave but Spud turns to face him and nails Carter in the head with the mic to get things going. They head outside with Spud going after the face but stopping for his chicken pilgrimage.
Thankfully he throws it away and sends Carter into the post instead. Back inside with Carter taking over by sending Spud into the buckle a few times and dropping an elbow to the face. The freaking chicken gets another chant so Carter gives them a big sarcastic thumbs up. With Carter taking a breather, Spud removes the covering from the bolt holding the ring together.
Carter’s splash is sidestepped and his head hits the buckle, which Josh says is the actual turnbuckle. He knows this due to building a ring as a kid and having to learn all the terms. I know that sounds like the setup for a joke, but that’s actually kind of interesting. Now the fans are asking where’s the chicken. Spud gets all fired up and REMOVES THE BOWTIE to start his comeback with a flurry of punches. The Underdog connects and Carter rolls to the floor for a breather.
That sets up a huge flip dive from Spud as Carter is reeling. Cue Tyrus so Spud grabs a chair but Ethan breaks up another Underdog attempt. The referee gets bumped and Carter takes off the brace (fans: “CHICKEN KILLER!”), only to have Spud take it away and nail Carter in the mouth, drawing blood. Tyrus is quickly there with a towel to clean it up and a chain to help cheat and the match ends exactly as you would expect it to.
Rating: C-. Someone find whoever brought in that stupid chicken and cover them in batter. That thing stopped being funny about ten seconds after it was brought in and these fans have chanted for it for over an hour and a half. I know you didn’t pay to get in, but Heaven forbid you stop acting like idiots for five minutes so people can enjoy the show. And yes, I know how lame that sounds.
Tommy Dreamer says he’s bled in cages before but you can ask Raven and the Eliminators how tough he is inside the steel. Or we could ask someone who has actually been in a cage with you in the last, oh, fifteen years or so. I’m fine with Dreamer on a hardcore show. I get annoyed when they wedge hardcore in for the sake of a cheap nostalgia pop. In other words: do it naturally instead of forcing everything.
Bram vs. Tommy Dreamer
In a cage of course. The brawl starts on the floor before the bell and Dreamer puts on a rainbow mohawk wig while drinking a Coke. Well at least it’s not the chicken. Bram crotches Dreamer on the barricade but Tommy sends him into the cage door and then inside the cage to finally draw the opening bell. To further the stupidity of this show, the announcers don’t know how the match is going to end, but they think the match could spill outside the cage.
Bram does just that so he can slam the door on Tommy’s head, confusing the crowd even more. Back in and Dreamer is sent into the wall before we hit the chinlock. It is a cage match after all so that’s the level of violence you have to expect. Tommy finally comes back with a clothesline and we get a House of Hardcore chant. A bunch of punches set up a Bionic Elbow as the fans tell Dreamer he still has it.
We get a chair brought in because the cage isn’t enough and because we need Tommy to take a drop toehold onto a chair for contractual obligations. There’s the Tree of Woe/chair/dropkick/ECW chant spot. Matthews: “Tommy is always evolving and changing.” In all his years on commentary, Taz never made me laugh as much as that one line did. Dreamer hits the White Russian legsweep as Dreamer is now stealing others’ old spots. The Dreamer DDT (further proving my point) gets two so Tommy just kicks him low. Bram returns the low blow and hits the Brighter Side of Suffering onto the chair for the pin.
Rating: D+. See, this is the way you use Dreamer: occasionally and only when you have a hardcore show. I’m fine with him coming in for stuff like this (though not for the ECW chants) and putting someone over while getting the crowd going, but keep him off my TV every week.
Bobby Roode is ready for Lashley and can’t wait to continue their feud.
Package on the history between Roode and Lashley, who is still heel here.
Bobby Lashley vs. Bobby Roode
Last man standing. Roode drives him into the corner to start but Lashley powers him to the mat. Back up and Lashley gets kicked in the face, setting up the Blockbuster for an early six. The Roode Bomb is countered into a very delayed vertical suplex and Lashley pounds away in the corner. We get one of the few (likely unintentional) clever bits from the crowd all night: “LET’S GO BOBBY/BOBBY SUCKS!” Roode gets caught in a dragon sleeper for a nine but the fans start chanting for the chicken again.
Back up and Roode grabs a sleeper for nine. Thankfully it’s not a long lasting nine as Lashley gets up and plants Roode with a powerslam. More chicken chants take away from Lashley superplexing Roode for a double eight count. Roode grabs a spinebuster but Lashley hits one of his own for seven. Back up and Roode nails a spear followed by the Roode Bomb. That works as well as you would expect before Lashley spears Roode out to the floor. Roode is up at nine and avoids another spear, sending Lashley into the steps. A Roode Bomb on the floor gives Roode the win.
Rating: C. This was fine but totally paint by numbers. Roode and Lashley are capable of having great matches, but there’s only so much they can do in an environment like this one. At least Roode won, which would be nice to see today after all the weeks of putting Eric Young over for a story that isn’t leading anywhere.
Overall Rating: D-. Oh yeah this was awful. It’s very clear when they’re not trying on these things and it was even clearer than ever here. Making things even worse we had the most annoying crowd I’ve heard in years as they didn’t want to watch the show they were seeing and turned it into a big joke. That got old after about ten seconds so of course they kept going for over an hour. Terrible show that just kept going, though some of the guys were legitimately trying.
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