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KELLER'S TNA PPV REPORT 5/15: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV

May 15, 2005 - 9:54:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

TNA HARD JUSTICE
MAY 15, 2005
ORLANDO, FLA. AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS


-On the pregame show, they announced that Sean Waltman was replacing Jeff Hardy, (who missed his flights to the TNA PPV).

-The PPV began with a ten bell salute to Chris Candido who's leg injury on the previous PPV cost him his life.

-Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show. The "Hard Justice" logo in the stands was as chinsy looking as anything you'll see. It looked like a 14 year old fan did a really nice job with a fan sign, but that's about it.

1 -- SONNY SIAKI & APOLO vs. TEAM CANADA (Petey Williams & Eric Young w/Scott D'Amore)

WINNERS: Team Canada when Petey pinned Siaki at 8:09.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Nothing wrong with it at all, but it just felt like a warm-up match.

-They showed separate clips of Tito Ortiz, A.J. Styles, and Jeff Jarrett arriving at the arena. Jarrett, in his white jeans, pink shirt, and boots, looked about as intimidating as Charles Nelson Riley, especially since the security guards walking next to him were his height or taller with broader shoulders.

2 -- TRINITY & MICHAEL SHANE vs. TRACY & CHRIS SABIN

Early on Tracy and Trinity went into a series of rolling small package reversals that resulted in a couple of one counts. Trinity hit a crossbody off the ropes, but Tracy rolled through for a soft two count. Sabin took a beating for a while, then hit an enzuigiri and hot-tagged in Tracy. The women brawled up the ramp. Then Sabin springboard dove onto Shane at ringside. Back in the ring, four-way action broke out. Sabin grabbed Trinity, but Tracy low-blowed Sabin from behind, turning on him. Shane and Tracy hugged in mid-ring. Tenay and West were shocked and dismayed at the deception of Shane and Tracy. West said he never believed they were really ever apart.

WINNERS: Shane & Trinity 10:18.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Another okay match.

-Tenay and West plugged the June 19 third anniversary PPV called Slamiversary.

-Terry Taylor interviewed Team Canada backstage. D'Amore rubbed his hands in celebration of his team's victory. Petey said Team Canada is ready to reestablish their dominance. D'Amore said Canada proved superior to Samoa and Puerto Rico in the opening tag. Taylor showed a sheet of paper to Team Canada. D'Amore said what he read is like sending a one-legged man into an ass-kissing contest.

-Dusty Rhodes sat down with Tito Ortiz backstage. Dusty said there is no one better than him anywhere (not counting Chuck Liddell, of course). Dusty presented Tito a ref shirt and told him to call the match straight down the middle. Tito said hard justice will be served if Jarrett gets out of line. He said either way hard justice will be served Tito Ortiz style.

-Taylor interviewed Raven backstage regarding the switch of his opponent from Jeff Hardy to Sean "Syxx-Pac" Waltman. Raven said he's disgusted with Hardy being a coward and not showing up for his match. He said he hurt him so badly last time, he didn't want any more. Raven referred to Waltman as "X-Pac." Raven said he hunts alone and he plans to rip someone's eye out and swallow it. Raven threatened Taylor, but then said he's old and retired, whereas X-Pac is in his prime. He said he would send Waltman home in an ambulance and then blow up the ambulance. Good promo for the first half, then it seemed as if he got the signal to fill time and it felt stretched.

-They showed Tito Ortiz talking with A.J. Styles backstage.

3 -- SEAN "SYXX-PAC" WALTMAN vs. RAVEN - House of Fun match

Waltman jump-started the match with chops and then a trash-can shot to Raven's head. Waltman played to the crowd early. He then dropped Raven into the trash can with a Russian leg sweep. Raven and Waltman both bled early. Waltman sidestepped a leg sweep attempt and then grabbed the chair and threw it at Raven. They both went for spin kicks at once and both missed. Waltman then took Raven down and hit a Bronco Buster. Waltman put Raven on a table at ringside and then pounded away at his forehead. Waltman flipped off of the top rope onto Raven, crashing them through the table he was on. The crowd chanted "holy sh--." Raven surprised Waltman in the ring with a DDT out of nowhere for a near fall at 8:15. They brawled up the rampway. Raven threw Waltman off edge in cramped quarters onto a table five feet below. It looked pretty brutal. Raven went for a pin, but Waltman lifted his shoulder. Raven dragged Waltman back to the ringside area. He rammed his head into the stairs, then looked for a foreign object. He couldn't find it at first, so he went back to Waltman and kicked him in the head. Then he finally found handcuffs and attached Waltman to the ringpost. He then hit him with a kendo stick. Raven asked Waltman if he had enough. Waltman said, "Give me more, you pussy!" Dusty walked out and ordered Waltman to be uncuffed. Luckily the referee happened to have the key. Raven didn't know Waltman had been uncuffed. He surprised Raven with a kick and then a chairshot to the back. Waltman used a staplegun in Raven's forehead. Raven backdropped a charging Waltman into the side of the cage. The cage wall collapsed to the mat and Waltman landed on it on the floor. Raven then scored the pin.

WINNER: Raven at 13:22.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Good garbage match. They didn't overstay their welcome since that style match can burn out quickly. Waltman was a bump machine more than at any time in years. A suitable substitution for the Hardy no-show.

-Taylor interviewed Dallas Page backstage. Page showed Taylor a text message that said his partner was en route and late due to travel issues. Well, now we know that James and Hardy are together. Page said he shouldn't have trusted James. Ron Killings offered to be his partner instead. Page accepted.

4 - OUTLAW & MONTY BROWN vs. RON KILLINGS & DALLAS PAGE

After some back and forth action early, Killings took a beating for a few minutes, then hot-tagged Page at 6:30. Page worked over both Brown and Outlaw. Then Phi Delta Salm jumped Page at 7:45. Page managed to fend off their attack and gave the fat member of Phil Delta Slam a Diamond Cutter. Outlaw grabbed James from behind, but Page mule kicked out of his grip. Brown then surprised Page with a Pounce for the win.

WINNERS: Brown & James at 8:55.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Another basic tag match. Three out of the first four matches were all interchangable tag matches of around eight minutes. Nothing special at all. The Phi Delta run-in was lame.

-Tenay interviewed The Naturals backstage about the death of their manager, Candido. They said they learned a lot from Candido and they don't feel alone. They also revealed that everyone has been great to them lately, including a legend backstage. Tenay inquired as to whom they were speaking. Chase Stevens told Andy Douglas that now wasn't the time to talk about it. That was bad judgment to mix talking about Candido's death with an angle of them getting a new mentor. It just felt out of tune.

4 -- THE NATURALS vs. AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

The fans chanted "Chris Candido" at the start of the match. Another back and forth match, with AMW on defense for an extended period. They made their comeback and brawled at ringside with the Naturals. Back in the ring they executed what Tenay called a Tower of Doom, a four-way suplex spot that ended with everyone sprawled on the mat. James Storm scored a near fall on Chase Stevens. Douglas knocked Harris off the top rope, then scored the fall on Storm in the ring with his foot on the ropes as a tribute to Candido. They held up a towel after the match in tribute to Candido.

WINNERS: The Naturals at 12:00.

STAR RATING: ** -- It was a bit bland without any established heel, but the execution was solid.

-When Tito Ortiz was ging to step into Jarrett's locker room, David Young blocked him and said he wasn't a champion and knew nothing about champions. Monty Brown walked out of Jarrett's locker room and had a brief staredown with Ortiz. Brown's body looks like it was molded off of a 1980s WWF action figure. Jarrett then invited Ortiz in to talk about the title match. Dusty had instructed Ortiz to visit each of the wrestlers before the match.

5 -- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. SHOCKER -- X Division Title match

Tenay noted that Shocker turned down being part of TripleMania, the biggest annual event in Mexico, in order to participate in the X Title match. Both men went for flip dives, but both moved, and both landed in their feet. Daniels settled into a Koji Clutch. Good back and forth action for several minutes with good intensity. Shocker hit a frog splash at 7:00. Daniels surprised Shocker seconds later with an implant. Daniels overshot with his BME, then scored with a springboard moonsault for a soft two count. Shocker applied a crossface with a leg hook. Daniels considered a tapout, but then bit Shocker's thumb to force a break. Daniels came back and scored the clean pin after his finisher.

WINNER: Daniels at 11:57 to retain the X Title.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- It never felt special, but it was always good.

6 -- GAUNTLET FOR THE GOLD

Bobby Roode vs. Zach Gowen began. Roode ripped Gowen's prosthetic leg out of his his hands. Gowen nailed Roode with a dropkick and elbow. Roode quickly took over briefly, but Zach gave him an inverted DDT followed by a moonsault. Eric Young joined third, giving Team Canada a two-on-one advantage. Roode swung Gowen by his one leg around the ring in a circle. Cassidy Reilly came out fourth to even the odds. Primetime came out fifth. He flipped into the ring and nailed Young with a clothesline. Roode then hit Primetime, but Primetime climbed the ropes Shelton Benjamin style and backflipped onto Roode. Shark Boy was out next. Gowen clotheslined Shark Boy and then did some trash talking. Shark Boy responded by biting Gowen, who eliminated himself by leaping over the top rope to avoid the Shark Bite. A1 joined followed by Sabin and Petey Williams. All four members of Team Canada were in the back but had yet to use that numbers advantage to eliminate anyone. A1 eliminated Shark Boy at 8:00. Young eliminated Reilly next. Then Siaki trotted to the ring. He went right after A1. Lance Hoyt ran into the ring next and got the first legit pop of the match. He got in a flurry of offense. There was a series of rapid-fire eliminations. Shane and Sabin eliminated each other and then brawled at ringside. Then out came Jerome Clark. Williams eliminated Clark with the momentum of executing his Canadian Destroyer. Mikey Batts then ran to the ring. Outlaw charged to the ring and went right after Hoyt. Batts went after Outlaw, but Outlaw eliminated him with a neck tie slam. Fans chanted "One more time!"
He obliged. The crowd popped. Trytan came out next. Hoyt knocked him off the apron with a big boot. Trytan entered the ring and began cleaning house, including chokeslamming Outlaw. He powerslammed Hoyt. Ron Killings ran out. Trytan powerslammed him, awkwardly so. Team Canada worked together to triple team Trytan and eliminate him at 16:33. Apolo entered next. Hoyt eliminated Apolo after a minute of brawling. B.G. James came out next. Hoyt eliminated Roode. Roode then grabbed Hoyt by his hair and A1 eliminated him. James pump handle slammed Williams. Outlaw and James worked together and easily eliminated Team Canada. Then they had a staredown. Abyss ran out and eliminated both of them at the same time. Bad camera work focused on Outlaw and James rather than Abyss's run-in. It became Killings vs. Abyss in a singles match as the final two at 19:30. This would have been a great occasion to introduce Samoa Joe as a surprise entrant and have him sky rocket to the no. 1 contender position.

They brawled at ringside for a few minutes. Killings almost bumped into the ref. Then Abyss charged after Killings, but Killings moved, and the ref went down. Killings followed up with an axe kick off the ropes at 24:30. He made the cover, but the ref couldn't make the count. He was still knocked out. Abyss then choekslammed Killings onto a chair. The ref came to and counted to two before Killings kicked out. Abyss ran the ropes and stidown splashed Killings who had a chair on his chest. It was a blown spot because Killings was supposed to turn the chair on its side. Abyss went right back to the same move, and this time Killings did tilt the chair and crotched Abyss. Abyss, though, fired back with the Black Hole slam for the clean win.

WINNER: Abyss at 26:50.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Above-average, mostly entertaining match, but it felt clogged with undersized wrestlers who didn't look like legit contenders, exposing TNA's roster depth limitations in the heavyweight division.

7 -- JEFF JARRETT vs. A.J. STYLES -- NWA World Hvt. Title match

They did a nice job giving it a big match feel, with the video package and announcer hype along with the formal Jeremy Borash ring intros. Ortiz held the belt over his head, then signalled for the bell. Give Tito credit for being an actual in-ring special ref, not just a lame "ringside enforcer." When Styles backed Jarrett into the corner, Ortiz called for a break. When Jarrett tried to take advantage of the situation, Ortiz grabbed him and shoved him into the corner. Jarrett didn't look pleased. Styles took control with a hammer lock as the crowd chanted "A.J.,. A.J." Jarrett took over and worked over Styles's left leg for several minutes. He applied the figure-four at 7:45. Styles eventually reversed it, but not for nearly two minutes. Jarrett released it. Styles couldn't stand. Styles elbowed Jarrett a couple of times, then stood and threw some punches. He was going to spring off of the middle rope onto Jarrett, but sold that his legs weren't recovered enough yet. Styles gave Jarrett a discus clothesline to the floor. Styles clutched at his leg, though, and was slow to capitalize. A minute later, Styles tried to reenter the ring, but Jarrett stopped him. Ortiz didn't like that, so he grabbed Jarrett by the throat and reprimanded him. A minute later, when Sytles was going to hit Jarrett with the guitar, Ortiz stopped him. Styles then bashed the guitar against the ringpost so at least Jarrett couldn't use it. Styles then went after Jarrett at ringside, then threw him quickly into the ring at 14:00. Styles hit a springboard flying forearm to Jarrett's head followed by an inverted DDT for a two count. Styles went for the Styles Clash, but Jarrett blocked it. Then he caught Styles in the air and turned it into a powerbomb for a two count. Styles came back with a backslide for a two count. Jarrett gave Styles his own Styles Clash finisher for a two count. Styles came back with a Stroke. No crowd pop at all for Styles using Jarrett's finisher against him. Jarrett kicked out, but couldn't be bothered to actually lift his shoulder after the kickout. The ref stopped counting. He should have counted to three and told Jarrett his shoulder was down. He could play dumb afterward. At 18:00 Monty Brown ran to the ring and gave Jarrett a Pounce. Styles covered Jarrett. A second ref began a count, but Ortiz yanked him out of the ring by his leg, then took control again. Styles wasn't happy with Ortiz. As he argued with him, Jarrett gave Styles a low blow. Jarrett cimbed to the second rope and was going to punch away at Styles, but Ortiz yanked him down. Jarrett shoved Ortiz. Ortiz KO'd Jarrett with a punch. Styles then hit his Spiral Tap for the win. West pointed out that was the first time he used the move in over two years in TNA. Styles raised Ortiz's arm afterward and they shook hands. Brown consoled Jarrett about his botched Pounce. Jarrett was slow to wake up, selling the KO punch from Ortiz. Styles celebrated with the belt.

WINNER: Styles at 19:30.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- PPV main event worthy match, the best of the night, but when a 20 minute Styles main event PPV match isn't four stars, it's not Styles's fault.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this event. To contribute your thoughts on TNA Hard Justice, click here.


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