Hardcore Justice 2012: Better Than I Expected Yet Underwhelming At The Same Time
Date: August 12, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
It’s the last stop before we start heading towards BFG which means tonight is all about getting points in the BFG Series. Well that and the world title match with Aries defending against Roode which is the final encounter, as no one is eligible for a rematch due to a pre-match agreement. TNA has done a good job lately of making us wonder who is going to win all of these matches tonight so let’s get to it.
The opening video is about how tonight is all about violence and the Series and the title is in there somewhere too.
Tenay says the TV Title is on the line tonight too so I guess we have a bonus match. Word on the street says it’s Kaz challenging D-Von.
Gunner/Kid Kash vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./Hernandez
This is probably the right choice for the opener as I don’t think anyone really cares about this for the most part but it should be fine from a technical standpoint. The villains jump Chavo and Hernandez before the bell and the fans seem to be behind Chavo. The fans’ pick starts with Kash and Chavo quickly hits the Three Amigos to take over. He goes up but Gunner knocks him down to slow Chavo down.
The heels use some nice double teaming moves, including a double slingshot suplex for two. Kash spends a little too much time bragging and Chavo snaps off a headscissors to take him down. There’s no tag to SuperMex though as Chavo and Kash stumble into the ropes for some reason. Off to Gunner with a right hand to take Chavo down followed by a backdrop. Back to Kash who hooks a cool neck scissors (only way I can think of to describe it) on Chavo.
Hernandez is getting annoyed on the apron but Chavo is stuck in the corner. Kash hooks a camel clutch but Chavo escapes into an electric chair. Gunner breaks up ANOTHER tag attempt. When that hot tag hits the place is going to erupt. Chavo hits a European Uppercut but goes after Kash instead of making the tag. That’s not very veteranly of him. They clothesline each other down and NOW we get the hot tag to Hernandez.
SuperMex cleans house and throws the evil tag stoppers around like they’re small men being thrown around by a large Mexican American. Gunner breaks up a pin attempt off a shoulder block so Hernandez clotheslines them both down at once. Gunner is knocked to the floor and SuperMex dives over the top to take Gunner out. Chavo tagged himself in as Hernandez was diving and after Kash is taken down by a slingshot shoulder block, the Frog Splash pins Kash at 9:37.
Rating: C+. This was perfectly fine for an opener. I don’t think most people really cared about the match but they worked the tag formula to perfection and it still works to this day. Chavo tagging himself in could lead to some friction so maybe there’s something to build off from this. Good stuff here though and a fine opener.
The people in the Series say they’ll win.
Bound For Glory Series Leaderboard
James Storm 66
Samoa Joe 54
Kurt Angle 48
Mr. Anderson 40
Jeff Hardy 35
Rob Van Dam 35
Christopher Daniels 33
Bully Ray 28
AJ Styles 16
D’Angelo Dinero 9
Robbie E 5
Bound For Glory Series: D’Angelo Dinero vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Magnus
This is Falls Count Anywhere and it’s for 20 points. Dinero is jumped in the back by Aces and 8’s before the match so I guess we have a three way instead. Apparently someone is late to the show but I didn’t catch the name. Anderson is fine with Dinero being out because it’s one less guy to worry about. They play to the crowd to start but Van Dam gets jumped by Magnus and knocked over the top rope to the floor.
Anderson clotheslines Magnus down but can only get a one count. Van Dam comes back in and monkey flips everyone in sight. Well everyone who isn’t a referee that is. Magnus and Van Dam go to the floor but Anderson breaks up the spinning legdrop off the apron. Anderson sends Magnus into the apron for one on the floor. Magnus gets a chair as I assume this is hardcore and not just falls count anywhere.
Anderson knocks the chair away from Magnus but his DDT onto the chair is broken up. The two of them brawl up to the stage on the floor but Van Dam pelts a chair at Magnus to break it up. Now he hits the spinning leg to the back of Anderson who was on the barricade next to the ramp. Magnus gets in a shot to Van Dam’s knee and puts on a Texas Cloverleaf on the stage, only to have Anderson clothesline him in the back of the head to break the hold.
Back to the ring and Anderson and Magnus hit a double clothesline to take each other down. Van Dam stumbles in to try the Five Star but Anderson crotches him. They load up a Tower of Doom but Anderson breaks it up. He tries the superplex on RVD but gets knocked down and Five Starred but Magnus breaks up the pin. Magnus suplexes RVD on the ramp and asks for an expletive chair. RVD goes up the ramp with the Brit following with the aforementioned chair. Apparently no one has watched tape because YOU DON’T HOLD UP A CHAIR IN FRONT OF VAN DAM! Van Daminator gets the pin on Magnus at 9:06.
Rating: B-. I was digging this although I’m not wild on them taking Dinero out. My best guess would be it’s someone trying to take people out of the Series because they’re low in the standings, but wouldn’t you want to take out the people with the most points so you could move up? Maybe it has nothing to do with the standings. Either way, another good match here in a show that feels like it could be awesome.
Security can’t find Aces and 8’s.
Madison Rayne says she doesn’t need help to win titles so Earl Hebner won’t mean anything. If only that were true.
TV Title: D-Von vs. Kazarian
D-Von is defending. Kaz stalls on the floor to start but D-Von launches him into the ring. They head to the floor and a drink is knocked into the camera. D-Von is in full control and hits Kaz in the head with a bottle of water. Kaz tries to run up the steps but slips a bit, giving D-Von a heads up and letting him slam Kaz when he dives at the champ. Back inside and Kaz gets in his first offense in the form of a clothesline.
A springboard reverse elbow sets up a springboard legdrop for two. Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long, but it gives the announcers enough time to talk about the planets for some reason. D-Von starts a comeback with some chops but gets poked in the eye to stop that cold. A spear out of nowhere takes Kaz down so hard that he stands on his head for a bit.
D-Von starts his comeback with the shoulders and a headbutt for no cover. Another shoulder gets two and D-Von has his goofy look. Kaz misses a charge in the corner and D-Von hits the neckbreaker out of the corner for two. A crucifix gets two for Kaz but Fade to Black is countered into the spinebuster for the pin to retain at 8:34.
Rating: C. Given the rumors of D-Von leaving soon, this might have been a way to throw the fans off and make them think D-Von would be leaving. Maybe that’ll happen on Impact or maybe it won’t happen at all, but either way this was fine for what it was. It was a comedy match in a way at first but it turned into your usual TV Title match. D-Von losing the title soon will likely be a good thing for it though as there’s nothing to most of his matches. Not that they’re bad though.
We recap Earl Hebner and Madison. The hot chick has a crush on the old man and he’s helped Madison win some matches. Tonight it’s a title match. Gee I wonder if that’ll mean anything.
Knockouts Title: Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher
Tessmacher is defending. They shove each other around to start and Earl is refereeing. WHY WOULD STING LET HIM DO THAT? Madison takes over by sending Tessmacher into the corner and then launches her across the ring by the hair. That has to hurt like no other. Tessmacher comes back with some clotheslines but walks into a northern lights suplex for two. The real comeback starts with some clotheslines but that mat slam of Tessmacher’s is countered. The champ slams her down by the hair and hits a top rope elbow for two. Out of nowhere Madison grabs a rollup and uses the ropes for the pin and the title at 5:30.
Rating: D. This was your usual Knockouts match: not that good but the girls look good in their little outfits. Hebner didn’t cheat at all in this which makes the sights of Madison kissing him COMPLETELY POINTLESS. Yes I get that it could mean something later, but WHY DID I HAVE TO SEE THAT HAPPEN INT HE FIRST PLACE??? Not a terrible match but man alive I do not care about women’s wrestling at all in either company. It’s just dull all around.
Bully Ray, with his back to the wall, shows JB a Dead Man’s Hand he found on his car. He tells Aces and 8’s to bring it on and says he’s going to Bound For Glory.
We recap the history of Aces and 8’s.
Bound For Glory Series: James Storm vs. Robbie E vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy
Another 20 points on the line here and this is a tables match. I believe it’s one fall to a finish. Storm is still being accused of being behind Aces and 8’s but there’s no concrete evidence. Ray tells everyone to go after Storm but Robbie wants nothing to do with it. Robbie is promptly chopped in the chest and punched in the face for his disagreements. Jeff and James throw him to the floor but they get their heads taken off by Ray.
Ray beats on Robbie a bit and brings in the first table of the match. Hardy breaks up an attempted suplex through said table but Robbie moves the table to avoid a double suplex to Ray. Unfortunately he doesn’t move it well enough and Ray’s arm knocks off a piece of the table. That doesn’t count though because we can’t have a three minute match so we keep going.
Robbie comes in and takes over, putting Jeff on the table but he stops to fist pump. Storm breaks the attempt up and tries a superplex on Robbie, but Jeff turns it into a Tower of Doom. Ray moves the table but lets Robbie get destroyed anyway. Smart man there. Storm moves the table so Hardy can’t be backdropped through it and the Cowboy is the only one standing.
Storm takes too long setting up a table in the corner and Rob gets in a shot to the Cowboy’s back. Hardy gets back up and knocks Robbie down again to take over. There’s a table set up on the floor with the Jersey Shore dude placed on it but Robbie T comes out as a distraction. Since Hardy isn’t the smartest guy in the world, he dives over E on the table to take T out instead. Storm and Ray are fighting off camera as Jeff is placed on a table on the floor. Robbie dives off the middle rope but Hardy moves, sending Robbie crashing through the table.
Back in the ring Storm beats up Ray and hits an enziguri in the corner, only to have his head taken off by a Ray clothesline a second later. There’s a table set up in the corner and Ray sets to drive Storm through it but here are Aces and 8’s. They don’t get in but the distraction lets Storm kick Ray down. The masked men give Storm a thumbs up but he doesn’t care.
Hardy comes back and jumps Storm as the match continues. The table is set up in the middle of the ring and Hardy hits Whisper in the Wind (not through the table). Last Call is blocked and Hardy hits the Twist of Fate. He puts Storm on the table but Aces and 8’s distract Jeff. Storm hits the superkick on Jeff but Ray comes back in and kicks Storm down before powerbombing Hardy through the table for the win at 9:45.
Rating: C. This was pretty entertaining but it was more about the storyline than the match which is fine. The signs seem to point to Storm being in charge of the attacks but there’s no direct evidence so far and Storm may be being framed. Ray getting the win is interesting, even though he may be leaving soon. Could it be a red herring? The fact that I don’t know for sure makes this much more fun.
Ray seems to have a bad elbow due to the inadvertent crash through the table earlier.
Austin Aries talks about how Roode seems obsessed with having a rematch clause. Tonight he’ll take care of everything that he has to, and if that includes Aces and 8’s so be it.
We recap the X Title match. King jumped to TNA and wants to be champion because if not, it was a failed risk.
X-Division Title: Kenny King vs. Zema Ion
King is challenging. Feeling out process to start with King finally taking over with a headlock. A backslide gets two as does La Majistral. Back to the headlock and then out to the floor with King hitting a sweet flip dive off the apron. They head back inside for a second but King is knocked back outside where the champ hits a flip dive of his own. Ion hits a neckbreaker for two and it’s off to a chinlock.
That only lasts a few seconds as Ion chokes instead. Now we get a longer lasting chinlock followed by a DDT for two. King comes back with an atomic drop and things speed up a bit. A high collar throw puts Ion into the corner and out to the floor. King hits a BIG corkscrew dive to the floor which gets two back in.
The modified F5 is broken up but King puts on a half crab of all things. A kick similar to Trouble in Paradise misses and a flipping backbreaker gets two for Ion. King hits a knee to the head for two and knocks the hairspray out of Ion’s hand. They head to the corner and King sets for some kind of sunset flip but gets countered into something like a shoulderbreaker for the pin by Ion to retain at 11:03.
Rating: D+. Ion is really freaking boring. At the end of the day all he has is big hair and that’s nothing interesting at all. I get that they want to wait on Sorensen to come back and take the title from him in a big moment, but do we have to sit through him as champion that long? Nothing to see here and Ion winning was a letdown as he was shown up in this match.
Joe tells Aces and 8’s to bring it and that he’s winning tonight.
Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels
20 points and it’s a ladder match. AJ immediately jumps Daniels and beats on him until Angle pulls Styles off. Angle jumps in and stomps on Daniels until Joe wants a turn. All three guys take their shots at Daniels who finally tries a BME, only to miss completely. Joe takes over but AJ knocks him to the floor and hits a big flip dive. It’s Styles vs. Angle in the ring but Daniels gets the ladder and hits AJ in the knee with it to take over.
The ladder is brought in but Joe slams Daniels onto it and goes for a climb. Angle and AJ come back in and knock the ladder down with Kurt taking over. Daniels jumps Angle from behind and sets the ladder up, only to get buckle bombed by Joe. The Samoan goes up but Angle makes the save and hits the overhead belly to belly to take Joe down. The fans chant USA despite all four guys being American.
Angle stomps on Styles but AJ shoves the ladder into his face to change control again. The Pele takes Joe down and AJ pounds on Daniels in the corner. Joe gets back up and cleans house, throwing around everyone in sight. He loads up the MuscleBuster on Styles but Angle comes in and grabs Joe for a German while he’s still holding AJ. Since that would probably kill AJ, he falls out and lands on Joe instead. Daniels hits an STO on Angle and goes for a climb but Kurt grabs the ankle to break it up.
AJ knocks everyone down and goes up, only for Daniels to shove him off the top and out to the floor in a scary landing. Joe and Angle bring Daniels down and it’s time for some suplexes. It turns into “can you top this” on Daniels which is always fun. There’s an Angle Slam and then Angle starts thinking. Daniels is put inside the ladder so that his head is coming through one hole and his legs are through another. The beating continues until Kurt climbs up. Daniels grabs his leg so Joe sets up another ladder and climbs as well. AJ pops in out of NOWHERE with the Shelton Benjamin leap and grabs the envelope to win at 16:18.
Rating: B. The stuff with Daniels was great and the match was good, but other than the ending there was nothing that stood out as great. Thankfully there was no Clair involvement here as she drags down almost everything she’s involved in. Good match here though and Daniels sold like a master.
Roode says he’ll win and that Aries is a fluke.
We recap the world title match. Roode was champion forever and Aries got the title match because he was X-Division Champion. He won the match to prove he could hang with the big boys and Roode has been furious since. Tonight it’s the final match and there are no rematches for either if they lose.
TNA World Title: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
After some big match intros we’re ready to go. Roode is challenging if that last paragraph was too tough for you. Aries grabs a quick Last Chancery and Roode bails to the floor. Roode stalls and hides on the floor and the match slows down a lot. The fans call Roode a coward and he’s walking away. The referee reminds him that there’s no rematch so Roode asks for time. When that’s denied he slips in and back out, so Aries dives on him in a great looking jump.
Aries knocks Roode around the ring a bit and goes to the apron again for another dive. This time Roode moves and Aries crashes into the barricade ribs first. Back inside and the challenger keeps up his advantage with a belly to back suplex and a knee drop for two. Roode wraps up Aries from behind to squeeze on the ribs a bit followed by some shoulders into the ribs. Aries grabs a sunset flip for two but a gutbuster stops him cold.
Back to the body vice for a bit before Bobby puts Aries up in the Tree of Woe. Aries finally escapes and hits an atomic drop and clothesline to send Roode to the floor. Aries loads up the suicide dive but Roode moves before it’s launched. Unfortunately for Roode he moves into position for a double ax off the top. Back in the ring and there’s the Last Chancery from the champ. Aries switches that off to a Crossface instead but Roode reverses into one of his own.
Aries finally makes the rope and we’re back where we started. They chop it out and Aries hits a missile dropkick for two. The brainbuster is countered into Roode’s spinebuster for two and both guys are needing some air. Aries goes up and after knocking Roode off the top, he fires the 450 but Roode gets the knees up.
Since this is a TNA PPV main event, the referee gets speared down by mistake, followed by a spear to Aries as well. Another referee comes in and counts two off the spear. The second referee doesn’t last long though as he gets crushed in the corner by Roode. The brainbuster hits Roode but the delayed cover means it only gets two. Aries goes up again but gets crotched. Roode hits a superplex but Aries hooks Roode’s feet for a kind of small package. Both referees count and it’s a double pin at 22:55.
Rating: B+. Good match here and I’m assuming it sets up a blowoff match at No Surrender, which at least gives that show something else to see with the world title. The No Rematch clause is at a kind of standstill here because you can’t really have a rematch if no one lost the match. I like this better than giving it to either guy, especially since the matches have been good and a trilogy is better than…..what do you call a series with just two entries?
We get the traditional arguing post match….and we’re going to restart it? Apparently so and Aries loads up the suicide dive, only to ram his head into the belt that Roode was holding at the time. HOW IS THAT NOT A DQ? Either way it only gets two. Roode goes to pick Aries up and gets rolled up for the pin after maybe a minute of restart time.
Overall Rating: B. This was a good show but there’s nothing on it that I would call great. That being said, it’s still better than I expected, although it wasn’t the runaway surprise I was expecting. The Series is a bit more interesting now and there were only a few matches that were weak, but nothing major changed here other than the main event with Roode basically out of the title picture now. This was a good show overall but it could have been a bit better.
Roode panics to end the show.
Chavo Guerrero Jr./Hernandez b. Gunner/Kid Kash – Frog Splash to Kash
Rob Van Dam b. Mr. Anderson, D’Angelo Dinero and Magnus – Van Daminator to Magnus
D-Von b. Kazarian – Spinebuster
Madison Rayne b. Miss Tessmacher – Rollup while holding the ropes
Bully Ray b. Jeff Hardy, James Storm and Robbie E – Ray powerbombed Hardy through a table
Zema Ion b. Kenny King – Shoulderbreaker
AJ Styles b. Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle – Styles pulled down the envelope
Austin Aries b. Bobby Roode – Rollup
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