The following is a review of the TNA pay-per-view Hardcore Justice 2013. It was written by TNA Correspondent Joseph Holberry (check out the bio here) Enjoy reading. Follow, comment and like!
TNA IMPACT: HARDCORE JUSTICE 2
A different one tonight, a one off event that TNA recorded for TV back in March. Basically this means that no storylines are affected, and some unusual guests.
A weird start to the show, we’re shown a montage of WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I already know half of the spots and I’m 3 minutes in! Bad call by TNA there.
Also HJ2 has been filmed in the Impact Zone in Orlando, Terrible Venue. The crowd is quiet and it just looks small.
STREET FIGHT – THE NEW CHURCH (SLASH AND SINN) VS. L.A.X
NC come out to silence. I’ve been watching TNA for years but I can’t remember anything about these two. The only thing that stands out is that Sinn used to be Kizarny! Remember him? He Was on Smackdown for a few months back in 08 into 09 before getting released, oh dear. Nice to see Homicide back though, I always thought he was underrated.
The match starts with very basic action between Homicide and Slash, not much to write about at all. All men end up on the outside, with Hernandez somehow finding a hardhat and headbutting both his opponents in the stomach. Standard hardcore stuff until Hernandez decided to wear the hat for about 5 minutes after, which made me laugh out loud. For some reason in this streetfight, the men have to tag in and out…but can brawl on the outside for however long they want, bizarre. If I’m totally honest, this is sucking, Slash is draining the energy out of this match by having absolutely no athleticism, I’d say running slowly but he’s not really running at all. Eventually Sinn tags in, gets Cuttered by Homicide, top rope splash from Hernandez and it’s over.
This match just reminded me how bad Chavo is, and how much I’d prefer L.A.X back. Also for a return like that, couldn’t they have found better opponents?
HARDCORE MATCH – OBD VS. JACKIE MOORE
I’ve got to say, I’m interested in this, as last time I saw Jackie in a hardcore match (against Gail Kim) she lost her two front teeth and carried on, the woman is nails. ODB comes out to a good reaction, she’s always been over with the crowd but under used.
There hasn’t been a single wrestling move before both ladies are searching for a weapon, classy. Jackie goes under the ring and finds a broom, some lotion and…vaseline. Pretty subtle joke with Jeremy Borash acting clueless on commentary. Some weird stuff with shaving foam, a hair weave and a pvc boot. Kind of disappointing when you know both women are tough and can put on a hard-hitting match. Jackie disrupts the comedy with a handful of talc into ODB’s eyes and a hard side slam. After some back and forth strikes, ODB spits booze into Jackie’s face poison mist style and a TKO (swinging neckbreaker) for the 3 count. In a word, Disappointing.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT – Bad Influence teach Borash the meanings of some words, underrated, underappreciated, etc, everything they feel they are. Pretty serious words from Kaz until Daniels makes a hardcore-softcore porn joke and climbs up a ladder, these two can do no wrong in my eyes.
LADDER MATCH – GENERATION ME/YOUNG BUCKS VS. BAD INFLUENCE
Right, this is the one match I really wanted to see. Christy Hemme tells us that the winner of the match will recieve a cheque for 20 thousand dollars, which I think is just an excuse to use ladders. Surpringly there’s a ‘LETS GO BUCKS’ chant as the match begins, must be some ROH fans. Both teams quickly run through chain double team moves with BI getting the upper hand and heading to the outside for a ladder. Nice spot with Daniels doing the Terry-Funk-ladder-over-the-head-helicopter-thing until getting a drop toe hold from Max. A lot of very innovative action with the ladders, as you’d expect from these four men. Watching GM’s double team moves makes me miss The Motor City Machine Guns, super quick holds and kicks. I let out an audible gasp at one point, Max delivered a vertical suplex over the top rope onto a ladder laid between the ring and the crowd barrier, but Kaz landed on the very edge and fell to the floor, very nasty looking. So nasty infact both referees and Max were making sure he was okay afterwards. An INSANE move where Jeremy was fingertips away from the cheque, Daniels pushes the ladder, Jeremy lands on the ropes and hits a springboard somersault plancha onto Kaz, all in one swift sequence. Kind of goofy ending to the match, Daniels throwing his Appletini into Max’s face so Kaz could grab the contract and the W. Seemed a little bit silly after the action we’d just seen, but I guess it fits the characters.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT – Joseph Park is talking to Borash, James Mitchell appears and tells him that Abyss has debts to pay, and if he can’t get them from him, he’ll take them from Joseph in a Monsters Ball Match. Park looks scared, and that’s it.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT – Bad Influence tell us that they’re the best in the world, but are actually pretty respectful and give the Bucks their due.
HARDCORE GAUNTLET BATTLE ROYAL – LITTLE GUIDO, CRIMSON, SHARD BOY, DEVON STORM, SAM SHAW, 2 COLD SCORPIO, FUNAKI, JOHNNY SWINGER and GUNNER
This is just filler, so I’m just going to note things that stand out to me. Devon Storm comes out and he’s got a golf club, apparently you can bring your own weapon. Little Guido out next with a shovel. Crimson comes out with an UMBRELLA?! Wouldn’t you get a barbed wire baseball bat or something? Sam Shaw out with a walking stick and the worst shorts I’ve ever seen. Johnny Swinger out with a crutch, pretending he needs it (so did Sam Shaw, these lads need to watch the monitors backstage). Guido eliminates him in about 30 secs. Funaki out with a piece of guardrail in a tshirt that says Funaki in the Smackdown font, lawsuit time. Gunner out with a Nightstick, eliminates Devon Storm. Looks like Little Guido has been eliminated? Didn’t see that somehow. TOO COLD SCORPIO is out next, with a broom. He looks brilliant for his age (47), and he scraps with Shaw for a while before leg scissoring him out of the ring. Sharkboy comes to the ring, with a fishnet, ho ho ho! Scorpio hit a great front flip leg drop, before tricking Funaki into going to the top rope and eliminating him. Gunner and Crimson then team up and elimination 2 cold. Gunner looks in the fish net and acts scared, Shark boy Stunners both men, and reveals that there was actually a small shark in the net. He chases both men around the ring with it…and then eliminates them both. They were acting scared…of a dead fish. The only redeeming factor was that someone in the crowd tried to start a ‘HOLY FISH’ chant.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT – DOC is on the mic for the first time, hypes up his two partners and their match later tonight. Actually really good on the mic, very clearly spoken.
6 MAN ELIMINATION TAG – JAMES STORM, BOB ‘HARDCORE’ HOLLY & MAGNUS vs. THE ACES & EIGHTS (D.O.C., WES BRISCO & KNUX)
The match starts with James Storm introducing their mystery partner, Bob Holly. He comes out in jeans and a HUGE tribal tattoo on his chest/shoulder. He looks to be in great shape, Borash mentions he’s brought out an autobiography, I’d be interested in reading that. The Match starts with Knux dominating Bob, and tagging in Wes. Wes gets in a couple of punches before Bob stiffs him and tags in Storm. One day they’ll realise no one will care about Aces & 8’s until they actually start getting some wins/even some offence. That said, it’s cool to see other members of the Aces having a full length match, may be Knux’s second match in TNA? Eventually Storm gets the hot tag and hits fast paced clotheslines to all three members, then hypes up the crowd before tagging in Holly. He heads to the outside to grab weapons as the crowd chant ‘PLEASE KILL WES’, hilarious. Impressively he Alabama Slams Knux and pins him, only to be rolled up by Wes. Magnus then pins Wes after a Michinoku Driver, and then gets chokeslammed by DOC and eliminated. Storm with the Last Call Superkick and the win. Nice to see Bob Holly getting a good reaction, he’s been around for a long time and definitely deserves respect.
MONSTER’S BALL MATCH – JOSEPH PARK VS. JUDAS MESSIAS (W/ FATHER MITCHELL)
There was actually a great, really gorey promo package for this match, recapping the Barbed Wire Massacre 2 match at Against All Odds between Abyss and Judas Messias back in 08. Judas is out first, wearing a mask almost indentical to the one Undertaker wore when he broke his orbital bone. Park with some great acting, putting on his glasses to look at the bins of weapons. One thing strikes me straight away, Park is scared of Messias, but is way taller and heavier than him. Messias goes to grab some weapons, seeing a demonic/occult character throwing a hockey stick into the ring really amused me. Pretty average weapon based match, albeit with Park acting clueless. I marked out for Park attempting early 90’s wrestler Earthquake’s running splash finisher, only for Judas to put a chair up into his groin. After what I thought was too long, they do the seeing blood gimmick and Park nails a Blackhole Slam for the 3 count.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT – Team 3D are backstage, talking about how their brother Spike/Runt (for legal reasons) needs to find himself a partner for tonights match.
TABLES MATCH – TEAM 3D VS. JEFF HARDY AND BROTHER RUNT
Bully jumps straight on the mic and starts tearing everyone apart, including Earl Hebner, brilliant. I honestly believe that no one wrestling today can do the loudmouth heel as well as Bully Ray. Brother Runt comes out to the ring looking pretty old, and reveals his partner is Jeff Hardy!
The match starts with Bully slapping Runt around, completely dominating him. Bully pushes Earl out of the way and they do the spot where Earl pushes back, for the thousanth time. It was good in 2001 though.
Jeff gets the hot tag and clears house, they hit D-Von with the Wassup Headbutt and bring a table into the ring. All Four men brawl outside of the ring, with Jeff throwing Bully into the steps and climbing back in with Runt and D-Von. Runt rolls D-Von onto the table as Jeff climbs to the top rope. He comes off with a splash, and the table breaks…a little bit and then falls over. That’s good enough for Earl and the match is over. Absolutely AWFUL ending, they could’ve carried on or even edited it out, it’s not live after all!
Notes – Overall, a really disappointing show. They seem to throw these shows together without much thought, but they are free on American TV and over here on challenge. If you need to see one match from tonight, make it Bad Influence Vs. Generation Me, a genuinely excellent match with a lot of risks and stuff you’ve never seen before.
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.