Well, people, football season is officially back and all is right in the world (well it officially will be when the Crimson Tide of Alabama takes the field in early September), and I?ve been busy watching the Steelers and Cardinals go at it hoping to get a glance at Alabama great (and rookie for the Cards) Rashad Johnson in his debut in the NFL so I?m already pumped tonight! With that said, now it’s time to cross the line and see how TNA responds following what, in my opinion, was their strongest week of TV in quite some time last week.
The show kicks off with highlights from last week including the humongous brawl that involved most of the entire TNA roster followed by the usual Impact intro.
Christy Hemme’s music hits and the Knockout makes her official return to TNA! We haven?t seen her in several months after injuring her back, and she is looking exceptionally good tonight.
Christy Hemme vs. Sojo Bolt
They lockup and Christy gets a side headlock on Sojo but Sojo shoves her off and then grabs Christy’s hair and pulls her into her own side headlock. Christy does the same to Sojo and then hits a Side Headlock Takeover and holds onto the headlock, but Sojo reveres it with a head scissors. Christy fights out of the hold and kicks Sojo and then hits a nice Front Kick and gets a nearfall. Christy whips Sojo into the ropes and goes for a backdrop but Sojo grabs her by the hair and slams her to the mat. Sojo picks Christy up and whips her into the ropes and hits a big Backbreaker. 1?2?NO Christy kicks out. Sojo chokes Christy on the middle rope with her leg and then goes to the apron and hits a Slingshot Elbow Drop. Sojo goes for a Powerbomb but Christy counters with a backdrop and then a flying double forearm. Christy goes for a clothesline but Sojo ducks and Christy comes right back with a Cross Body Block! Sojo rolls through and tries to pick Christy up but can?t and botches it. She drops Christy and then sits Christy up on the top rope. Sojo climbs up with Christy and goes for a Superplex but Christy shoves her off and then hits the FFG (Flying Firecrotch Guillotine)! 1?2?3 and Christy gets the pin in her return.
Winner: Hemme via pinfall (FFG)
At ringside Tenay and West hype up Hard Justice and then the card for tonight which will include L.A.X.’s Hernandez going one-on-one with The British Invasion’s Doug Williams, a special interview with Bobby Lashley, Eric Young & Sheik Bashir of the World Elite facing Rhino & Jesse Neal, Brother Ray of 3D taking on MEM’s Scott Steiner, Kong vs. Tara vs. Love vs. ODB in a Fatal 4-Way, a contract signing between Foley and Nash, and the Best of 3 Series Finale between AJ & Morgan! West reveals that Sting will be in AJ’s corner and Angle in Morgan’s. We then see a split screen of both AJ and Morgan arriving earlier today with Morgan arriving in a cool orange Hummer.
In the back Lauren is with Taz and asks Lauren about Joe’s mentality right now after the loss to Hernandez a few weeks ago. Taz says Joe let he and Joe himself down when he lost to Hernandez and that there was a point in the match where he had Hernandez beat but showed remorse and that just doesn?t work. Taz says Hernandez didn?t beat Joe, Joe beat Joe. Taz says he will use that as motivation for Joe and Homicide will be the one that pays for it at Hard Justice. Taz guarantees that Joe will put Homicide out this Sunday.
Doug Williams w/British Invasion vs. ?Super Mex? Hernandez
They show highlights from Hernandez’s big upset over Samoa Joe a few weeks ago. At the bell Hernandez runs over Williams with a big running Shoulder Block and then he throws a big forearm at Williams. Hernadnez chops Williams and then whips him into the opposite corner. Hernandez charges but Williams nips up and over the charging big man. Williams hits a European Uppercut and then goes for a suplex but Hernandez counters with the Delayed Vertical Suplex! Hernandez whips Williams into the corner and then hits a huge Overhead Gutwrench Backbreaker for a nearfall. Brutus gets up on the apron arguing with the referee and Hernandez comes over and grabs Brutus, but that allows Williams to hit Hernandez from behind and then hit a big Spinning European Uppercut. Williams with an elbow drop and then several big right hands. Williams with another European Uppercut and then he chokes Hernandez on the middle rope and scrapes his eyes at the same time. Williams with a Snapmare Takeover and then a Knee Drop for a nearfall of his own. Williams locks Hernandez in a Rear Chinlock and then he pokes him in the eye as Hernandez started to make a short comeback with body shots. Williams whips Hernandez into the corner and hits a Flying Knee Strike and then climbs up top. Williams goes for a Diving Backsplash Senton but Hernandez moves and then hits a big clothesline followed by another one. Hernandez attempts to whip Williams into the ropes but Williams blocks it and pokes Hernandez in the eyes. Williams then attempts a whip of his own but Hernandez counters and then hits a big Back Bodydrop! Hernandez with a huge One-armed Spinebuster! 1?2?NO Williams kicks out! Brutus gets up on the apron again but eats a forearm from Hernandez this time. Williams hits Hernandez with a knee and then an Uppercut as he turned around. Williams attempts to whip Hernandez into the corner but he reverses it and then charges but eats a boot from Williams. Williams climbs up top and goes for a Flying Cross Body, but Hernandez catches him in midair and then puts him up and drops him down with the huge Sitout Powerbomb! 1?2?3 and Williams is done.
Winner: Hernandez via pinfall (Sitout Powerbomb)
After the match Brutus attacks Hernandez from behind but eats a nasty Shoulder Block as he came off the ropes! Hernandez then hits the Corner Splash on Brutus and wraps the Mexican flag around Brutus? neck and throws him across the ring! Rob Terry gets in the ring with the briefcase and blasts Hernandez with it! West reveals that Terry will face Hernandez this Sunday at Hard Justice and then Hernandez comes to in the ring and chases the Brits up the ramp!
Back from commercials Hernandez is in the back with Lauren and he snatches the microphone from Lauren and screams something in Spanish directed at the Brits and then storms off.
We then cut to an interview that Tenay conducted with Bobby Lashley earlier today. Tenay asks Lashley about the transition from wrestling to MMA and he says that he left amateur wrestling so abruptly that he still had the urge to compete. He says the transition between wrestling and MMA has been pretty smooth for him and says he was always training when he was in WWE and says that he was actually training with a boxing coach and still training in amateur wrestling while in WWE. Tenay asks Lashley if he thinks it’s possible to be a success in both Professional Wrestling and MMA at the same time. Lashley says that he thinks it can be done and says that he still has a love for Pro Wrestling and he wants everyone to understand that. He says if done right he thinks he can be successful in both areas and he?ll prove to everyone that it can be done. Tenay asks Lashley about a potential matchup between he and Angle, and he says the fans will win because they?ll see a great fight and he says it will take place.
In the back JB is with Stevie and Daffney and asks him about the bounty he put on Abyss? head. Stevie says that 1,000’s of people have volunteered to collect the bounty and to get the money it’s not about pinning Abyss it’s about hurting Abyss and maiming him! Abyss then runs up and grabs Stevie by the throat and tells Stevie to do his own dirty work and says he won?t because he’s nothing but a ?worthless b*tch!? All of a sudden someone blasts Abyss with a steel chair from behind and it’s Jethro Holiday. He screams ?you remember me, Abyss? and continues to destroy Abyss with the chair (if you remember back in July Jethro was supposed to go one-on-one with Jay Lethal but Abyss came out and beat the hell out of him).
In the back Lauren is with Tara and her spider Poison. Tara says Kong has been ?run off the road by a 2-ton Mack Truck? (Awesome Kong) on her road to regaining the Knockouts Title after being screwed by the Beautiful People (get your mind out of the gutter people). Tara says she wants to beat the best and Kong is the very best. Tara asks Lauren if Kong is afraid of tarantulas and we?ll find out tonight.
?War Machine? Rhino & Jesse Neal vs. ?Showtime? Eric Young & Sheik Abdul Bahshir w/Kiyoshi
Can someone get this dude (Jesse Neal) some real ring gear? Young and Neal will start the match off. They lockup and Neal gets the quick advantage with a side headlock but EY pushes him off and Neal comes back with a shoulder block. Neal comes off the ropes but EY grabs him by the legs and trips him and then puts him in a side headlock. Neal counters with a wristlock and then tags Rhino in. Rhino with right hands on EY and then a side headlock of his own followed by a shoulderblock for a nearfall. Rhino whips EY into the corner and this a running shoulder block and then tags Neal back in. Neal with another side headlock and another shoulder block. Neal comes off the ropes again but eats a back elbow from EY. He tags Bashir in and he throws Neal headfirst into the top turnbuckle and then puts the boots to him. Bashir snapmares Neal and follows up with a dropkick to the back of his head and a nearfall. EY tags back in and he and Bashir put the boots to Neal in the corner. EY whips Neal into the ropes and hits a huge Lariat for another nearfall. EY throws Neal facefirst into Bashir’s boot and then tags Bashir back in as Tenay reveals the participants for this Sunday’s Steel Asylum Match which will feature the debut of ?The Pope? D?Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke)! Bashir whips Neal into the ropes but he goes for a Sunset Flip. Bashir blocks it and tags Young in as Neal rolls Bashir up. Young hits Neal from behind and drops a Knee on him for another nearfall. Bashir tags in again and knocks Rhino off the apron. Bashir and Young then double team Neal and Bashir leaves the ring (without tagging). EY hits a Scoop Slam and then an Elbow Drop followed by another one. EY climbs up top and dives off but Neal gets his boot up. Neal almost gets to Rhino for the tag but he runs over and knocks Bashir off the apron instead! EY then rolls Neal up and gets the pin as Rhino just looks on in disgust at what just happened!
Winners: Young & Bashir via pinfall (rollup)
After the match Rhino screams at Neal and asks him why in the hell didn?t he tag. Rhino then slaps the hell out of him and then Gores him! Welcome to wrestling, buddy. Rhino spits on Jesse before he leaves the ring.
In the back Lauren is with Rhino who and Rhino says Jesse’s best isn?t good enough. Lauren says that it was Rhino that OFFERED to train Jesse and Rhino responds with ?this isn?t the Lifetime Channel.? Rhino says that he offered to train Jesse because he saw a man that wanted to fight and that wouldn?t give up, but obviously he makes mistake after mistake. Rhino tells Lauren to look at the scars on his forehead and says to ask his family who never gets to see him and says he offered to train Jesse and then he makes a fool out of him. Rhino screams at Lauren and says she hasn?t suffered like he has and that Neal will never understand. Rhino says that he respects what Jesse did in the military but he needs to ask if he?ll fight again and Rhino says that he would DIE in the ring.
Knockouts Fatal-4 Way
ODB w/Cody Deaner vs. Tara vs. Awesome Kong w/Raisha Saeed vs. Angelina Love w/Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky
West says that while he was cooking breakfast for Velvet Sky tonight (yes, he really said that) she told him that Angelina had to have Cody Deaner’s saliva surgically removed from her body (from when he kissed her two weeks ago) so she could go on being beautiful. The Hurricane’s going to fly in and Hurri-Chokeslam West, oh that’s right Velvet dropped him like a Roy Jones Jr. uppercut. As the bell rings the girls pair off with ODB going after Angelina and Kong going after Tara. They all brawl in opposite corners and go back and forth with each other. Kong chokes Tara in the corner with her boot and then ODB whips Angelina into the ropes and goes for backdrop but eats a boot from Angelina instead. Angelina goes for a clothesline but ODB ducks and hits a Fallaway Slam. ODB and Tara double team Kong now and they whip Kong into the ropes but eat a Double Clothesline from Kong. Kong charges at Tara and ODB but they drop down and pull down the bottom rope as they go down which causes Kong to go flying over the top rope to the floor! In the ring ODB takes a swig of her ?liquid courage? and hen hands it to Tara and she takes a swig of it too. Tara and ODB climb up to opposite corners! ODB flies off with a Plancha onto Cody, Kong, & Raisha! Tara then dives off the top with a gorgeous Plancha of her own onto the Beautiful People! Tara looked like she may have hit her head on the floor when she came down though. Back from commercials Kong destroys Tara with a huge Corner Splash and then a Flying Hip Attack! They show a replay of the Plancha Tara hit and reveal that she did in fact hit her head on the landing. Kong goes for a second Flying Hip Attack but Tara rolls out of the way and Kong nails the turnbuckles. Tara then pulls Kong out to the floor and chops her! In the ring now Angelina is throwing rights and forearms at ODB. Angelina hits the Botox Injection on ODB! 1?2..NO she kicks out! ODB comes back with a knee strike and then a Powerslam! 1?2?NO Kong runs in and breaks it up! Kong throws Angelina out to the floor and then ODB runs over and chops at Kong! She goes for a Scoop Slam but Kong doesn?t budge and then Scoop Slams the hell out of ODB! Kong with a big Leg Drop but only gets a nearfall. Kong puts the boots to boots to ODB while Tara and Angelina go at it at ringside. Kong nails ODB with a Chokeslam but then Cody gets up on the apron to distract Kong. Kong just stares at Cody and he turns his hat around and tells Kong to come on! The fans are chanting ?Kong’s gonna kill you!? and as he approaches her he decides to kiss her instead! Kong is pissed and pulls Deaner into the ring and Awesome Bombs the ever-living hell out of him! Tara runs in, rolls Kong up, 1?2?3 and Tara gets the pin!
Winner: Tara via pinfall (rollup)
Kong can?t believe it and punches the mat as she stares at Tara.
In the back Lauren is with AJ Styles and Stinger. Sting tells AJ that he’s in the pressure cooker tonight and AJ says that’s what the business is all about and it’s about how well you work under pressure and says it’s what separates the mid-carders from the main eventers. AJ says no one has ever given him anything in the business and they won?t start now. AJ says either he’s a winner tonight or a loser and then walks off.
In the back JB hypes up that damn TNA Mobile. Team 3D then walk up and Devon says that the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat were two of the greatest tag teams in wrestling and they paved the way for 3D. Devon says he doesn?t mean any disrespect but they are the greatest tag team in wrestling. Devon says they?ve run their mouths in every company they?ve been in but they?ve always backed it up. Devon says that Steiner & Book are just another tag team attempting to knock off the greatest tag team in the history of wrestling and it isn?t going to happen. Bubba says what makes them a great tag team is that the fans say they are. Bubba says the TNA Tag Titles belong to them and says they were screwed out of those titles, the #1 contendership, and the IWGP Tag Titles. He says if he knew getting screwed felt this bad he would?ve stayed a virgin.
No DQ Match
?Big Poppa Pump? Scott Steiner w/Booker T. & Sharmell vs. Brother Ray w/Brother Devon
Steiner and Bubba both grab a microphone before the match. Steiner says that Bubba’s opinion means nothing to them like the rednecks in the crowd. He says 3D couldn?t have beaten the Steiner’s or Harlem Heat and they won?t beat Book & Scott because they?re better. Steiner says they will walk in Tag Champs and walk out as the champs and there isn?t a damn thing they can do about it. Bubba says they respect Harlem Heat & the Steiner’s because they always backed up their trash talking, but that’s exactly what makes 3D better. Bubba says the Steiner’s and Harlem Heat were house hold names but garbage is also a household name and just like garbage Steiner & Book are getting old and stinks! West says that’s the post calling the kettle black. Steiner hands Book his mic and throws a right at Bubba, but Bubba blocks it and throws a couple of rights of his own! Steiner rakes Bubba in the eyes and then throws him into the top turnbuckle and puts the boots to him. Steiner attempts to whip Bubba into the opposite corner but Bubba counters it and attempts to whip Steiner. Steiner counters it into a T-Bone Suplex! Steiner only gets a one count and then chops away at Bubba. Steiner whips Bubba into the corner and charges but eats a boot from Bubba. Bubba chops Steiner and then hits an elbow to the top of Steiner’s head. Bubba whips Steiner into the corner and then hits a Corner Splash. Bubba goes for a Scoop Slam but Steiner blocks it and then goes for a Steinerline, but Bubba reverses it into the Bubba Bomb! 1?2?NO Steiner kicks out! Bubba hits a Big Splash but then Sharmell gets up on the apron and distracts the referee as Booker runs in and attacks Bubba. Devon runs in and knocks Booker out of the ring. Bubba hits a Scoop Slam on Steiner and then Devon hits the Wassup Headbutt on Steiner! Bubba puts Steiner’s headdress on his head and mocks Steiner and then tells Devon to get the table! Devon slides a table in the ring and Bubba sets it up! The Brits make their way down to the ring which distracts 3D long enough for MEM to jump them from behind. Book hits a Hook Kick on Devon and then they Double Chokeslam Bubba through the table! 1?2?3 and that’s it.
Winner: Steiner via pinfall (Double Chokeslam through a table)
Back from commercials Mike Tenay is in the ring with a table set up and Nash and Foley in the ring prepared for their contract signing. Foley signs his contract and then Nash signs his. Foley says that a few weeks ago Nash gave an interview where he talked about everything in the business being about money. He says that people have asked him if that’s really how Nash is and he says that he can?t recall a conversation he’s ever had with Nash that didn?t revolve around money. Foley says that his kids, who are in attendance tonight, have been asking him when he’s going to be champion again and he’s been able to hold up his belt (and he holds it up) and say I am again. He asks Nash if that really doesn?t mean anything to him and asks if he really has no pride. Nash says Foley’s win was tainted in the first place but says yeah, he could have made $20,000 at his last autograph signing if he had the belt so yeah losing it means something to him. The fans chant ‘sellout? at Nash but he says they don?t even know what sellout mans because they don?t even make $6.50 an hour. Nash says that he looks at Foley and sees a guy that could put a pen to paper and write a best seller (he has like 4 or 5 doesn?t he?) and has a beautiful family, but he can?t understand why he would rather wrap himself in barbed wire and set himself on fire than to just continue to write. Foley says that he believes the convention Nash was talking about (where he lost the $20,000 for not having the title) was called Wizard World and Nash says yes (sounds like a nerd convention I?m guessing) and says that their talking about Hard Justice but he’s complaining about Wizard World? Foley says he would?ve wrestled for free and for many years he practically did and Nash is concerned about Wizard World. Foley tells Nash to bring his intelligence, looks, and height to Hard Justice and he?ll bring his passion and they?ll see what happens. Nash takes his jacket and shirt off and Foley asks him what his point in doing that is. Nash says the point is that he is an athlete and a business man while Foley is a pathetic wrestler. Foley says he’s damn right he’s a wrestler and proud of it and his definition of wrestling includes things like ladders, chairs, tables, and garbage cans so Nash can bring his set of skills and he?ll bring his. Nash picks up his clothes and starts to leave when Foley wishes him good luck. Nash says that Foley is the one that?ll need good luck and then tells him to look at Nash. Foley stops Nash as he’s walking off and then says he can?t believe they?re having a contract signing on a wrestling show and nobodies going through the table. Nash says he read the contract and it doesn?t say he gets anything extra for going through the table or putting Foley through the table so he could give a damn about the table. He says he?ll wait until Sunday and Foley says that’s the difference between he and Nash because he would put Nash through that table for free and he would go through the table for free. Nash asks him if he’s serious and Foley says he damn sure is and then he comes off the ropes and dives through the table putting himself through it as Nash looks on in disbelief and shock (Nash’s facial expression was classic)! Foley starts smiling and laughing and says he?ll see Nash on Sunday!
Another vignette airs hyping the debut of D?Angelo DiNero. West and Tenay run down the card for Hard Justice and the only new matches signed are Abyss vs. Holiday and Hernandez vs. Terry.
They run a vignette hyping up the return of the Steel Asylum, a pretty cool vignette actually. I expected them to just run the same one they always do for this match but it was a new one with highlights from the former matches as well as video of TNA staff setting up the structure.
In the back Lauren is with Matt Morgan and he says he doesn?t feel any pressure. Morgan calls AJ a midget and says he’s the one with pressure. Morgan says AJ’s had his shine in TNA and now it’s time for him to get to the back of the bus and give Morgan his turn. Morgan guarantees victory tonight.
Best of 3 Series Match #3
?The Phenomenal? AJ Styles w/Sting vs. ?The Blueprint? Matt Morgan w/Kurt Angle
Sting and Angle don?t get their own intros but actually walk down with the wrestlers as they come out. AJ knocks Morgan off the apron as he tried to enter the ring and then takes it to the skies with a gorgeous Somersault Plancha over the top onto Morgan on the floor! AJ with leg kicks and right hands on the floor and then he attempts to whip Morgan into the guardrail, but Morgan reverses it. AJ leaps over the guardrail completely clearing it and then he springs off the guardrail with the Flying Forearm! Is there anyone in wrestling more athletic than AJ? Styles rolls Morgan back in the ring and then puts the boots to Morgan’s knee and even locks him in a Figure Four! AJ holds Morgan in the hold for several minutes as Morgan just screams in pain and swings wildly trying to connect with AJ. Morgan is finally able to crawl to the ropes and break the hold. AJ with shoulder blocks on Morgan in the corner and chops. Morgan is able to come back with a Knee to the gut and then he sells the knee trying to shake it off. Morgan whips AJ into the corner and limps over and puts AJ up on the top rope. AJ with right hands from the top and then he goes for the Tornado DDT but Morgan blocks it and puts AJ down over the top on the apron. AJ with a right hand knocks Morgan back and then springboards off the top but Morgan ducks down and AJ leaps over him. Morgan charges AJ but he drops down and avoids Morgan and then hits the Phenomenal Dropkick! 1?2?NO Morgan kicks out! AJ throws Morgan into the top turnbuckle and then hits a Flying Forearm on Morgan in the corner and then goes for another one but Morgan nails him with a huge Big Boot in midair! Morgan still selling the knee as he hits AJ with those nasty back elbows in the corner. Morgan with a Corner Splash and then he hits the Sidewalk Slam. 1?2?NO AJ kicks out. Morgan tosses AJ out to the floor and continues to try and shake off the pain in his knee. AJ finally rolls back in the ring as Sting gives him some words of advice. Morgan chokes AJ as he gets back in the ring and then lays him over the top rope and hits the Body Guillotine. 1?.2..NO AJ still kicks out! AJ tries to come back with body shots but Morgan drops him with a headbutt. Morgan hits a big Fallaway Slam but as he landed he sold the knee again like it hurt him to do the move. 1?2?NO AJ kicks out! Sting tries to fire AJ up but Morgan levels AJ with another headbutt and then a forearm smash. Morgan puts the boots to AJ and then chokes AJ in the corner and asks him ?why won?t you die? Stay down!? Morgan goes for the Carbon Footprint but AJ ducks it and Morgan kicks the turnbuckle and he hurt the knee again. Morgan goes for a Corner Splash this time but AJ moved again and Morgan hits his head on the ring post! AJ with big right hands rocks Morgan and then he levels him with a big Leaping Enziguri! AJ springboards off the top with a Springboard Missile Dropkick! 1?2?NO Morgan kicks out! AJ comes off the ropes but Morgan catches him in midmove with the Sidewalk Slam! 1?2?NO AJ kicks out and Morgan slaps at his knee again. Morgan climbs to the top, selling the knee as he climbs, but AJ punches Morgan in the knee crotching him. AJ climbs up top but Morgan headbutts AJ knocking him to the mat! Morgan reaches down and grabs AJ as he starts to get up but AJ catches him with the Pele out of nowhere! Morgan crashes off the ropes down to the mat! 1?2?NO Morgan still kicks out! AJ goes springboard one more time going for the Springboard Flying Elbow but Morgan moves and AJ crashes and burns. Morgan then hits the Carbon Footprint and absolutely decapitates AJ! 1?2?3 and Morgan gets the clean pin!
Winner: Matt Morgan via pinfall (Carbon Footprint)
After the match Kurt Angle helps Morgan up and celebrates with him as the rest of the Mafia walks out and Sting pulls AJ out of the ring and helps him to the back.
Angle has a microphone as we come back and he congratulates Morgan for winning the match and getting into his first PPV Main Event. Morgan says he always knew the Mafia would recruit him and Morgan says that he thought he was selling himself to the Mafia but Angle says it doesn?t matter. Angle says one more favor and Morgan is in the Mafia. Morgan says that Angle can?t be suggesting that Morgan help him retain the title this Sunday. Angle says he isn?t suggesting anything, he’s demanding it. Morgan calls Angle ?little man? and says no one demands anything from Morgan and that includes Angle. Morgan says that if Angle thinks he’s going to pass up an opportunity to win the belt than he’s crazy. Morgan tells Angle that this Sunday he?ll walk in as The Blueprint but walk out as the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion! Angle looks on in shock as Booker and Steiner try to calm him down and Morgan just smiles at the Mafia.
They run a hype video for Hard Justice mixed with a video for F.I.L.T.H.E.E.’s song ?Burn It Down? (a song he wrote exclusively for TNA, ?we don?t need no water, TNA’s gonna burn it down!?). Pretty cool song and pretty cool video.
At the beginning of the show I asked the question, ?how would TNA respond? from their big show last week and the answer to that question is that they responding fairly well. While it wasn?t better than last week, tonight’s show was still very solid, and more importantly it sold the PPV nicely putting emphasis on almost every match tonight (something that the folks up north are ignoring at the moment). Hard Justice is stacked at this point but it may be a little too stacked. There is 9 matches booked for the PPV which is probably 2 too many and which is exactly what they did at Victory Road. Hopefully that doesn?t mean this PPV will be like Victory Road in any other way.
The opening match with Christy Hemme returning against Sojo was actually surprise because I didn?t realize Hemme was returning already. She was a little rusty and the match was a bit sloppy (thanks mostly to Sojo it seemed though) but it was a decent match and Christy got a good reaction from the crowd.
Taz’s promo tonight was very good and I really don?t know who’s going to win this Sunday. It wouldn?t really elevate Joe any to win the X-Division Title again but then again he’s out for revenge so I don?t know. It should be very good though.
Hernandez and Williams worked well together and set up the match between Hernandez and Terry nicely as Hernandez has to get his briefcase back. Wouldn?t it be crazy if he won it back and then cashed it in later in the night after the Main Event?
Lashley’s interview kind of felt pointless and Tenay refereed to Lashley as one of the best MMA fighters in the world. Don?t get me wrong, he’s very good, but come on.
Young and Bashir vs. Neal and Rhino was nothing special at all but I did love Rhino killing the kid with the Gore. Hopefully Rhino’s turning heel and Neal just really sucks to me. I?m sorry, I know the kid is a war hero but he does nothing for me. That stupid hair cut could be part of it.
The Knockouts 4-Way was just great. 4 of the better women’s wrestlers in the world and it really was great. One of the better matches on the card. Kong and Tara is going to get good, really good.
Steiner and Bubba was nothing special, in fact the promos beforehand were better than the match itself in my opinion, but it furthered their storyline and even got the Brits involved again (as I see them continuing to feud moving onward) but no Beer Money was kind of strange.
The Nash & Foley segment was really great. Both seemed to have fun during it and Foley putting himself through the table was classic Foley. I just hope they can pull it off this Sunday because that match could be bad, really bad. Not Jenna vs. Sharmell bad but bad nonetheless.
Morgan and AJ tore the roof off tonight with easily the best match of the card as well as their series, and Morgan’s best match ever, period. AJ worked on the knee again that he had previously injured and both men just wouldn?t stay down. Really good stuff. I was surprised that AJ got pinned clean and this is got to be the first time in a long, long time that AJ hasn?t been on a TNA PPV. They may stick him in the Steel Asylum but I don?t see how that will help him any. I would have rather AJ won and went to the Main Event but I understand Morgan with his history with the MEM. It looks like a face turn for Morgan but it could be a swerve too.
– Match of the Night: AJ vs. Morgan (***)
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Foley & Nash contract signing
– Overall Grade: B+
Hard Justice Lineup:
– TNA World Title Triple Threat: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan
– TNA Legends Title: Mick Foley (c) vs. Kevin Nash
– TNA Tag Titles: Booker & Scott Steiner (c) vs. Team 3D
– TNA X-Division Title: Homicide (c) vs. Samoa Joe
– TNA Knockouts Title: Angelina Love (c) vs. ODB
– IWGP Tag Titles: British Invasion (c) vs. Beer Money Inc.
– Steel Asylum X-Division #1 Contenders Match: Suicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Amazing Red vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Daniels vs. Consequences Creed vs. D?Angelo Dinero
– Hernandez vs. Rob Terry
– Abyss vs. Jethro Holliday