TNA Hard Justice 2007 8/12/2007
– Watching the pre-show, you have to wonder why TNA didn’t use some of the video hype for Joe vs. Angle on Impact this week instead of waiting until the PPV pre-show to get fans excited for the match. Instead of doing sports entertainment angles with Angle’s family, this PPV match could have been sold on TV with a focus on the wrestling and competition. Yes, Kurt Angle’s delusional take on his place in history might have distracted from the PPV hype, but not anymore than the Karen Angle storyline.
LIVE PPV REVIEW
The PPV opening package included NASA file footage with Kurt Angle narrating his accomplishments. They showed a wrecking ball going into a building and several planes crashing to represent Angle’s marriage and life falling apart.
They showed a Hummer pulling up backstage where a dude walked out and opened the door for Pacman Jones to walk out. The fans in the arena booed when Pacman appeared on screen. After Tenay and West broke down the PPV card, Tenay demanded with a very stern face to roll footage on the media coverage of Pacman Jones. The TNA voice-over man narrated Pacman’s journey to TNA. They showed clips from ESPN’s coverage of Pacman signing with TNA.
1 — JAY LETHAL & THE GURU SONJAY DUTT vs. TRIPLE X (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & SENSHI w/Elix Skipper) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY)
They cut to a shot of extra security ringside for Pacman, and then there are two reserved seats ringside for Karen Angle and guest. Triple X exchanged tags working on Lethal for a good five minutes. Guru dropped Shelley and Sabin to the floor, then Dutt walked the top rope with Daniels and nailed a clothesline. He went for a Camel Clutch, but Shelley kicked Guru square in the face. The action broke down at 10:00 with all six men strewn about the ring. Naturally, the matched moved to the outside where Lethal hit a suicide dive on Shelley. Daniels then nailed a moonsault on Lethal. More men flew to the outside, leaving Guru alone in the ring. He then hopped to the apron and hit a moonsault on everyone. Back in the ring, Sabin hung up Daniels for the Tree of Woe, but Earl Hebner, for some reason, decided to try to unhook Daniels. That allowed Slipper to slip into the ring and gave Sabin a huracanrana after running the top rope. The action then spilled back into the ring where everyone went for flying spots. Spot. Another spot. More spots. Someone breaks up a pin. Crowd goes nuts for a big highspot, but not as big of a highspot as the final highspot of Lethal rolling up Daniels in the middle of the ring after Lethal shoved Daniels into Senshi’s crotch.
WINNERS: Lethal & Guru in 16:00. Ah, the irony. They have a video game-style match with a bunch of highspots, one right after the other, and the finish is a small package. That’s why the highspots don’t matter in TNA. (**)
Backstage, they showed Jeremy Borash standing outside of Samoa Joe’s locker room. He barged in and found Karen Angle on the couch with some random guy. Karen told Borash that he has a new man in her life. She took a swig of champagne, then told Borash to scram so she could be alone with The Dude.
Serotonin made its entrance with Raven on a giant chair. Kaz then came out with a Kendo stick. Before the match, Raven took a mic and said Kaz has made his point about wanting to be alone. He said Kaz could shake his hand and all would be forgiven. They shook hands and hugged, then Raven held Kaz’s hand in the air. Kaz quickly re-turned on Raven and swung the Kendo Stick onto Raven to start the match.
2 — KAZ vs. RAVEN (w/Havok and Martyr)
Raven then flipped Kaz over the top rope onto one of the Serotonin members. Raven then tried to fly onto Kaz, but he crashed onto both of his members. Back in the ring, Raven rolled out of the electric chair into a roll up for a nearfall. Raven then went on the attack, using knee strikes and kicks to the head. Kaz suddenly fired up with rapid-fire elbow strikes before landing a dropkick. Serotonin then spilled into the ring, but, as per the script, Martyr accidentally nailed Havok with a superkick. Raven and Martyr had a discussion, then Kaz clotheslined both of them over the top rope the floor. On the floor, Raven caned Kaz in the back right in the front of the ref. I wasn’t aware of this being No DQ. Back in the ring, Raven went for the Evenflow DDT, but Kaz escaped and kicked Raven in the back of the head for the win.
WINNER: Kaz in 6:00. Good win for Kaz after going through the bumbling trio. We’ll see if this means anything on TV. (*)
Backstage, Borash approached Kurt Angle, who was sitting on a locker room bench with a dejected look on his face. Borash said Karen is here, and Angle wanted to know who she was with. Borash finally spit it out that Karen’s here with a date and they’re sipping champagne while looking into each other’s eyes. Angle didn’t believe it, as he said Karen doesn’t drink. Angle then quizzed Borash on who the guy is and where they are. Angle left to go find Karen and The Dude.
They aired a repeat video package on Rhino vs. James Storm. They cut to ringside where James Storm and Jackie Moore walked to the ring past the barroom brawl set for the match. Tenay said Rhino had not arrived at the building prior to the PPV going live, which is uncharacteristic for him. Where have I heard that before? Rhino then stormed the ring and chucked a chair into the crowd, probably nailing someone in the face.
3 — RHINO vs. JAMES STORM (w/Ms. Jackie Moore) — Barroom Brawl
The non-pre-taped fight started in the crowd where Rhino landed a trashcan shot to the head. Predictably, they took the fight up the bleachers to the top of the building. The fight moved past Tie-Dye guy’s immediate relatives, then Storm reversed a whip on the floor and sent Rhino crashing into the PPV poster covering a hole at the base of the bleachers. They moved to the “bar” and Rhino took a swig of beer. He then sprayed Jackie Moore. Rhino picked up the dummy drunk sitting at the bar and flung him into the ring. Rhino then grabbed a keg and sprayed Jackie Moore before taking a swig himself. And, yeah, there’s also a toilet ringside. Rhino tried to give Storm a wedgie (according to West), but Storm blocked the swirlie and executed a wrestling hold with a suplex on the entrance stage. Storm took too much time playing to the crowd, allowing Rhino to back drop Storm onto the collapse bar. Rhino then took a swig of everything he could find before dumping Storm into the toilet. Rhino popped a squat, then tossed Storm into the ring. He retrieved a ladder while Tenay and West talked about the smell of booze all-throughout the Impact zone. Jackie tried to get involved, and Storm made the save before Rhino could violate a woman with a press slam. Storm then tossed Rhino over the top rope onto a ladder. Rhino made a comeback and went for a Gore through a table in the corner, but Storm moved and Rhino ate the table. Storm went wild with trashcan shots to the head before picking up a chair and creaming Rhino in the face. He then nailed the Conchairto on Rhino. Rhino stumbled to his feet and walked into a superkick from Storm. He finished off Rhino with a beer bottle smash to the back of the head for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Storm in 14:00. Just a repeat of last month. Now, all we have to do is wait for Rhino to show up on TV this Thursday running to the ring as fresh as a daisy so they can repeat the entire match at next month’s PPV. (*1/2)
Backstage, some new interview lady broke down the Pacman Jones story. Ron Killings then made his return and asked who she is. She’s Kristal. Killings then cut a screaming promo on Pacman Jones. Oh, I see where this is going.
Tenay and West filled time by breaking down the Karen Angle storyline while the clean-up crew worked on the ring and ringside area.
4 — VKM (B.G. JAMES & KIP JAMES w/Roxxi LaVeaux) vs. LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ)
The match started with B.G. and Homicide while the fans chanted, “DX rejects”. Kip then took a tag and brought his bright blue trunks and matching chaps into the ring. Something from the old Billy and Chuck days. Kip then had his way with Homicide before B.G. tagged in and nailed Homicide. Tenay asked West to comment on Kip’s ring attire and West had no comment. VKM continued to pound Homicide while Hernandez waited for a tag. Homicide finally slipped through Kip’s crotch and tagged out to Hernandez, who cleared VKM. He went for a Border Toss on B.G., but Roxxi threw powder onto Hernandez. Kip then hit the Fameasser on Hernandez for the win.
After the match, Hector Guerrero stormed the ring and explained to Earl Hebner what happened. Hebner saw where Roxxi spilled the powder on the apron and called for a re-start. Homicide then rolled up Kip for the win.
WINNERS: LAX via re-start in 6:00. Quite obvious how committed they are to LAX when they needed to book a screwy finish to give LAX a win and give VKM an out. (3/4*)
They showed a video package on Robert Roode vs. Eric Young. They’re doing a humiliation match, which we’re not sure what that entails. Young cut a promo backstage with Jeremy Borash, who told Young to snap out of his elementary school problems about being humiliated and focus on being a man. Kurt Angle then found Borash and said he went to Samoa Joe’s locker room and didn’t find Karen. Angle asked Young what he was smiling about. Young then said he saw Karen and The Dude going at it backstage before the show. Angle said that’s not like her. He’s going to find out what’s going on.
5 — ROBERT ROODE (w/Ms. Brooks) vs. ERIC YOUNG — Humiliation match
The match spilled to the outside early on, with Brooks nearly spilling out of her blouse while screaming at Young that she hates him. Comedy ensued when Brooks tripped Young and love-tapped him with his shoe before rubbing her nails across Young’s back. Roode then took Young back into the ring and worked on Young’s neck and head. Young made a comeback at 6:00, but Roode cut him off with a thumb to the eye. Suddenly, Brooks entered the ring and Young catapulted her head-first into Roode’s crotch. Young had a roll up pin on Roode, but the ref was distracted by Brooks, and Roode kicked out. Roode then came up with a Blockbuster for a nearfall. Brooks tried to hand Roode brass knuckles, but Young kicked Roode away. There was some referee confusion and other referee incompetence, leading to Roode nailing Young with the brass knucks for the win.
After the match, Roode took Young to the floor and took the mic to announce it’s time for Young to be humiliated. Before Roode and Brooks could tar and feather Young, Gail Kim stormed the ringside area and covered Young. Roode called her a bitch, then Brooks attacked Gail. Roode went for a right hand blow, but Gail ducked and Brooks took a right hand blow to the face. Roode then proceeded to choke out Gail to re-create the top story of the summer, then Young kicked Roode square in the crotch from behind. Young said he was going to tar and feather Brooks. Gail and Young dumped the feathers on Brooks while Roode backed up the entrance ramp. Brooks jumped up and screamed at Roode, who waved her off and left.
WINNER: Roode in 10:00. A TV match where the post-match activity took precedence over whatever happened in the match. Sloppy finish with all sorts of interference and no real explanation of the rules. (*1/4)
They showed a video package on Dustin Rhodes. Backstage, Kristal interviewed Chris Harris about Dustin’s behavior. Harris said Dustin lost his spot on his own, and while Dustin was losing it, he was earning his own. Harris said he’s tired of has-beens like Dustin trying to get in the way of his future.
Chris Harris came to the ring to a re-mix of the old ECW theme. Apparently, the music department had a lot of time on their hands the past two weeks to create new theme music for everyone. Black Reign then came out (he was announced from the deepest, darkest corner of his mind). Reign then entered through the opposite tunnel from behind Harris. The lights came back on and revealed Dustin dressed in a giant black outfit. It’s like La Parka on crack and getting dressed in the dark. Like I said last month, there must be at least one WrestleCrap moment on a TNA PPV.
6 — CHRIS HARRIS vs. BLACK REIGN DUSTIN RHODES
Rhodes took Harris to the outside and busted him open. Rhodes continued to work on Harris before he shoved the referee into the railing. Grounds for a DQ? Nope. The match continued with Rhodes pulling out a spike with a blade on the end of it. A new referee came out as Rhodes landed cuff shots on Harris before he KO’ed the second referee. Rhodes channeled Delirious and shouted jibberish at him. He then hit a running bulldog and stared down at Harris. Earl Hebner then came out as the third referee and called for the bell while Rhodes choked out Harris with a chain.
After the match, Hebner quickly bailed from the ring when the announcement was made that Harris won the match. Rhodes then cuffed Harris to the corner and security members came to the ring and were dumped to the floor. These are the guys who are supposed to protect the fans from Pacman Jones? Rhodes then picked up a spike object and jammed it on top of Harris’s head. X Division jobbers then stormed the ring and cornered Harris while Rhodes stood his ground in the center ring. Guru Sonjay Dutt was having a good laugh at the scene. Rhodes then slowly left the ring.
WINNER: Harris via DQ in 4:00. Is this a new low for TNA? Unbelievable. Dutt laughing at the whole scene was apropos. This is why no one takes wrestling seriously. (DUD)
They aired a video package on the Steiners vs. Team 3D feud. Backstage, Kristal interviewed the Steiners backstage. Rick told Team 3D if they don’t like him, then bite him. Scott cut his promo that Team 3D is nothing more than a warm-up match for his tag match in Japan. Suwama, who Steiner is teaming with on August 26 for All-Japan, did the Rick Steiner dog noises. They cut elsewhere where Team 3D cut a promo with Jeremy Borash. Ray tried to re-create some sort of hospital scene to make fun of Scott’s injury. Ray then said the Steiners are two of the biggest bitches ever in wrestling.
7 — TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) vs. STEINERS (RICK & SCOTT)
The bell sounded and the fans chanted, “We want smoothies.” Ray distracted Rick, allowing Devon to get in some work on Rick. Scott took a tag and helped Rick clear Team 3D to the outside. Ray said they were done and feigned leaving before the Steiners chased them down on the entrance ramp. The action returned to the ring where Scott hit a turnaround belly-to-belly suplex on Devon before Rick tagged in and worked on Devon. Team 3D took control at 6:00 and worked on the right side of Scott’s stomach, where the giant scar is. Scott recovered when he blocked a top rope move from Devon and executed a belly-to-belly suplex with just enough room to spare before Devon hit his head on the mat. Team 3D came back with the Doomsday Device on Scott, but for a nearfall only. They tried to set up the diving headbutt from the top rope on Rick, but Scott broke it up after the fans chanted, “Same old s—“. Scott then dropped Devon with a top rope Frankensteiner to pop the crowd. Team 3D quickly recovered, rendering the move useless, and hit a hanging neckbreaker on Scott. Rick then sloppily dumped Ray on his back. The Steiners went for a top rope bulldog on Devon and Scott made the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Steiners in 12:00. It was a tag match. Some spots happened. Steiners get the win they were supposed to get two months ago. (*1/2)
Backstage, Angle approached Dr. Nash’s office with Borash. Angle walked in, dropped his belts on the floor, and collapsed on the couch. He cried while explaining tonight’s story to Nash. Nash said there are things more important in life than his family, for example, his doctor. Angle sat up on the couch while Nash snapped him to attention. He told Angle he must beat Joe tonight. Nash walked away, then Angle started crying again.
In the ring, Mike Tenay threw out the “living under a rock” or “living in a cave” lines about TNA’s media coverage for Pacman Jones. The fans booed when Pacman was announced. He then walked to the ring by himself. West listed his accolades while fans in the front row made it rain in the ring. Tenay went for a handshake, but Pacman shook him off. Tenay then asked Pacman why he picked wrestling. Pacman said he grew up loving wrestling, so he wanted to step into the ring. He said he picked TNA because it’s a trend-setter. Pacman said his goal is to show the world that he’s the best team player that ever lived. Ron Killings then interrupted and walked out on stage. Killings welcomed Pacman to the snake pit where pro wrestling is not a team sport, but about individuals. Oh, well, that explains WWE’s stance on the tag division. Killings said wrestling is about who’s going to screw who first. He said no one has back or front. He said Pacman got himself in trouble with his NFL contract where he can’t touch or be touched. The fans chanted, “He’s a bitch” while Pacman stared down Killings. Killings then put out a challenge, but said no one has to worry about Pacman fighting in TNA. Killings told Pacman to watch his ass in the ring, at home, in the showers, and in the picnic. In the showers? Pacman then said he saw Killings talking a lot earlier, but he likes to fight, not talk. Killings approached Pacman and tried to grab Pacman’s leg, but security jumped Killings and dragged him up the entrance ramp. Pacman said he sees what Killings is about and he would see him later in the back. In the shower? Pacman stared down the crowd while the front row people made it rain with Monopoly money. He left the ring.
They showed a video package on the Doomsday Chamber of Blood match. This should not to be confused with the Doomsday Chamber of Doom match or the Doomsday Device Chamber of Blood and Doom match or its distant cousin, the Chamber of Horrors match.
They cut backstage where Krystal interviewed Christian Cage, Styles, and Tomko about the DCB match. Christian said it’s a ridiculous name for a match, and if Styles sheds one ounce of blood tonight, he’s holding Abyss personally responsible. Christian said the champ is leaving the cage as the #1 Contender tonight. Christian left, then Styles asked Tomko if his band-aids would help. Tomko said the band-aids stop the bleeding, not prevent the bleeding.
Ringside, Tenay and West had an urgent bulletin in their ears. They cut backstage where Pacman was on the floor holding his neck in pain. Security jumped into the camera shot and pushed the camera away. Unbelievable. Tenay and West talked about those contractual restrictions. Typical TNA where they choose not to explain things and just assume everyone knows what they’re talking about in secret code.
8 — CHRISTIAN CAGE & A.J. STYLES & TOMKO vs. ABYSS & STING & THE PUNISHER — Doomsday Chamber of Blood match with barbed wire and winner must score a pin, but not before the person to be pinned is bleeding
The heels came out, then Abyss walked out alone. The heels jumped Abyss on the outside before his partners came out. The incredible hulk Andrew Martin’s music hit and he stormed the ringside area. Lights on and off, then Sting showed up in the ring. The fight was in the ring, but quickly moved to the outside. Wait, wasn’t the whole point of the barbed wire, per Cornette’s explanation on TV, to keep the action in the ring so Christian’s team couldn’t bail from the match? They suddenly cut backstage where they were doing a stretcher job with Pacman Jones, loading him into an ambulance. I wonder how Tommy Urbanski would feel about seeing that. Back to the match, Christian’s group prevented Sting from entering the cage. They then locked Sting out of the cage. Christian pulled out a bag and grabbed some broken glass. He then opened up Abyss’s forehead to generate blood. Punisher came up throwing right hands on Tomko, then Sting started climbing the cage wall with wire cutters. He quickly and easily cut the barbed wire aside so he could try to climb inside the cage. Sting made the comeback for his team before Tomko cracked Sting across the back with a chair shot before slamming Abyss back-first into the chair. Styles came off the top with a splash, and Christian followed with a frog splash, but it was good for a two count only. Christian then dumped the glass across center ring. Martin then smashed a chair into Tomko’s face. Christian decided to bail from the cage, leaving Styles in the ring with Tomko to take a beating. Abyss gave Styles the Black Hole Slam into the glass and Styles came up bleeding from the back, presumably, and Abyss covered Styles to win the match.
WINNERS: Abyss & Sting & Martin in 11:00; Abyss is #1 Contender via pin. Another stipulation undermined to show that Jim Cornette’s character isn’t a competent authority figure. Beside the #1 Contender stipulation, the whole point of the match was to keep Christian’s group inside the cage, yet the first-half of the match was spent on the outside and the final images were of Christian walking on the outside away from the cage. (*1/2)
They showed a video package on the Angle vs. Joe feud. Krystal interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. He cut a promo about Angle being a ruined man. Angle came out first looked dejected, then Joe came out with his Samoan dance troupe for a ceremonial pre-match dance.
9 — KURT ANGLE vs. SAMOA JOE — Winner Take All — TNA Hvt. Title, X Division Title, TNA Tag Titles, IGF version of the IWGP Title
Borash handled the ring intros and Angle was nearly in tears before the bell sounded. Angle had new trunks and bright white shoes for the match. They cut to ringside to show the two empty chairs reserved for Karen Angle and friend. They had a shoving match in the opening minute, then Angle bailed from the ring and tried to console himself. They cut to a shot of Karen and The Dude walking to ringside with champagne in hand. Angle then walked over and stared them down. Joe had a big smirk on his face in the ring. Back in the ring, Joe and Angle exchanged holds before Angle bailed and stared at Karen. Angle became frustrated when Joe kept grabbing Angle’s straps, so he dropped the straps and went back to work. Suddenly, Joe pantsed Angle, revealing full white ass cheeks. Was that what Ron Killings was talking about? Karen and The Dude had a good laugh, so Angle walked over to them and Karen poured champagne in his face. Joe then rolled Angle back into the ring. He landed successive kicks to the chest and back before following with a sentaun splash for a nearfall. They went into an exchange of holds before Joe snapped off a powerslam for a nearfall at 11:00. Joe suddenly nailed Angle on the side of the head with an enziguiri kick for a nearfall. Angle came back with a release German suplex, then he went for the Olympic slam, but Joe countered with slaps to the face and a front slam for a nearfall. Joe went for the Muscle buster, but Angle countered into the anklelock. Joe quickly escaped and went for the rear naked choke, but Angle countered into the anklelock again. Joe escaped, but walked into the Olympic slam for a nearfall.
They fought up top at 15:00 and Angle landed a top rope suplex for a nearfall. Angle then screamed down at Karen and The Dude. He followed by going up top for a moonsault, but Joe moved. He then took Angle up top for the Musclebuster and connected. He made the cover for a very close nearfall. Joe paused after the near-miss, then went for the rear naked choke. Angle bit his way out of the hold, then slapped on the anklelock in center ring. Suddenly, Joe flipped Angle around and slapped on the rear naked choke again. Angle wisely rolled over and placed his bottom rope on the bottom rope. And, yes, there was a referee bump right after this. Joe then placed Angle in the rear naked choke again and Angle tapped out, but the ref was out cold. Joe released the hold and Angle landed a cheap shot. Karen Angle then slipped out of the stands and extended a chair to Joe, who crawled over to accept it. Karen pulled the chair away, though, and Joe screamed at her. She then handed it to Kurt, who creamed Joe in the face with the chair. Angle covered, revived the ref, and scored the pin to win the match and all the belts. After the match, Tenay screamed that everyone fell for the trap. Angle, Karen, and The Dude celebrated in the ring to close the show.
WINNER: Angle in 18:00 to capture all the gold. Easily the best match of the night, but not at the level of their three-match series when Angle first came to TNA. The swerve was predictable, as it fit TNA’s booking of making Joe’s character look like a complete idiot throughout this feud with Angle. I do like that it gives Angle more of an edge to his character going forward as holder of all the belts. (***1/4)