TNA PPVs CALDWELL'S TNA HARDCORE JUSTICE PPV RESULTS 8/7: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Sting vs. Angle, five title matches, BFG Series matches
Aug 7, 2011 - 9:48:15 PM
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TNA Hardcore Justice PPV Results
August 7, 2011
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
TNA's monthly PPV featuring Sting vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA World Title opened with a video package on crazy, Joker Sting and the last few weeks of TV build-up for their title match. Ultimately, to Sting, it comes down to returning the company to Dixie Carter.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay introduced the show, noting it will be a "night of champions," with none of the title matches more important than Sting vs. Angle. First, the X Division returns to its opening-match slot. Cue up Motor City Machineguns's theme music to bring out Alex Shelley and Taz's return to PPV after Jeremy Borash handled the co-pilot role last month. Austin Aries was next out, followed by X Division champion Brian Kendrick to some weird music that quieted the crowd. Kendrick also seemed to be paying tribute to Sabu and MC Hammer with new parachute pants. At least it doesn't look like he's wearing a diaper.
1 -- X Division champion BRIAN KENDRICK vs. AUSTIN ARIES vs. ALEX SHELLEY -- three-way X Division Title match
Kendrick and Shelley quickly floored Aries to clear the latest "anti-X Division heel" so they could wrestle each other. Aries paced around the ring as Shelley and Kendrick worked against each other, looking to pick his spot to re-enter. The match then focused on Shelley & Kendrick trying to keep Aries out of the ring before Shelley finally tried a roll-up on Kendrick for a close two count. Meanwhile, Tenay noted "big X Division news" on Impact Wrestling this week with new talent returning/debuting. Suddenly, Aries collapsed to the mat to sell an injury, leaving Shelley and Kendrick to resume their match. Moments later, Aries came to life to surprise Kendrick, clear Shelley from the ring, and work on the champion. Aries then found himself alone in the ring when he back-dropped Kendrick awkwardly over the top rope. The faces then huddled up on the floor and Aries landed a suicide dive onto both men.
Back in the ring, no one was selling and bodies started flying as they exchanged control of the match. Shelley eventually stood tall after smashing Aries off the ring apron with a superkick, then he came off the top with a flying splash to Kendrick's knee. Shelley followed with a spinning figure-four leglock and Kendrick cried out in pain. Aries re-entered to break it up, though. The men traded control of the match again with Kendrick still selling the knee work from Shelley. At 12:00, they set up a three-way corner spot and Kendrick kind of slipped to the apron and Shelley kind of fell on Aries. Aries helped the match recover by delivering rapid-fire offense before Kendrick magically recovered and flew into the ring to break up a pin. Kendrick then delivered Sliced Bread to Aries on to Shelley. Kendrick with the pin on Shelley for the win.
WINNER: Kendrick at 13:10 to retain the X Division Title. TNA has defined down the X Division as an opening-match act with little selling and rapid-fire action, which was the case in this match. Not smooth all the way through, though. As for the individuals, Aries carried himself like a star playing the heel, Shelley wasn't given a chance to stand out much, and Kendrick continues to play a deliberately awkward figure that makes him more of a spectacle than a star. (**1/2)
Announcers: Tenay and Taz stressed Kurt Angle is looking for a clean victory over Sting, which was a subtle hint in the TV build-up to order the PPV for a rare clean finish to a TNA PPV main event.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash brought in the Knockouts tag champions Miss Tessmacher and Tara to discuss their KO Tag Title defense tonight. Tessmacher did most of the talking before Tara added a few direct comments toward Sarita & Rosita about them wearing the gold now.
2 -- Knockouts tag champions MISS TESSMACHER & TARA vs. MEXICAN AMERICA (SARITA & ROSITA) -- Knockouts Tag Title match
Hernandez and Anarquia, who will be challenging for the men's Tag Titles later in the show, were given the boot from ringside before the match started. The heel challengers acted like heels to start the match by stalling to frustrate the champs. Sarita and Rosita then took turns working over Tessmacher. Tess was finally able to make a hot tag to Tara, then the action broke down in the ring. After chaos nearly allowed the challengers to score the victory, Tara eventually scored a pin for the win to retain the titles. Tessmacher and Tara had a brief post-match celebration before they cut backstage.
WINNERS: Tess & Tara at 7:08 to retain the KO Tag Titles. Completely serviceable, long-form TV match for the Knockouts. TNA also continued to build up Tessmacher, who they're focusing on as their #2 KO face below Mickie. Also, TNA has set a good pace for the PPV early on.
Backstage: "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero was with Borash. Pope had his phone in-hand looking to send out a Tweet about changing lives, similar to being a positive influence on Brother Devon's kids. He said he wants to send that message, but, tonight, it's going to be intense in a Bound for Glory Series match against Devon.
Announcers: Tenay reviewed the BFG leaderboard with Pope next-to-last and Devon close to the top of the leaderboard. An injured Matt Morgan was then given a full ring introduction to join the announcers for commentary on the first of two BFG Series matches tonight. Morgan said Pope and Devon can't stand each other, and there's points on the line.
Impact Zone: Pope was out first and seemed more pre-occupied with playing to Devon's kids. Morgan called him out on it, saying he needs to be more concerned about his match and becoming World champion. Tenay noted that at No Surrender next month, they will have the top four BFG Series points leader square off in two singles matches. The winner of the series will then move on to the BFG PPV in October to challenge for the World Title.
3 -- "THE POPE" D'ANGELO DINERO vs. BROTHER DEVON -- BFG Series match
The bell sounded despite Pope still having a mic in-hand. Devon paced around the ring and Pope said he's all about the BFG Series, but he cares more about their friendship and Devon's family. Pope said he gave Devon seven points a few weeks ago and he'll do it again. Pope placed himself on the mat to let Devon pin him, but Devon said he's not taking the points that way and told Pope to get up and fight him. Pope obliged and they started a match that quickly "turned personal" when they traded slaps. Devon and Pope traded control as Morgan passionately said he's hot with Pope for not taking this seriously because he would kill to be in this Series and have a shot at the World Title.
At 6:30, Pope left the ring to chat with Devon's family, which drew Devon out of the ring to throw Pope back into the ring. Devon went to work on Pope as Morgan encouraged Devon to have a greater sense of urgency looking for points. Pope then blocked a corner attack and landed consecutive offense. Pope followed with a top-rope cross-body splash for a close two count. Devon came right back, though, with another corner attack, but Pope blocked it again. Pope wanted the DDExpress, but paused mid-charge. Devon took advantage with a spear, but Pope rolled his shoulder to avoid a three count. Morgan was exasperated by this. Suddenly, Pope rolled up Devon out of nowhere and it was good for the win.
Post-match: Pope sold being conflicted over scoring the pin, then Devon popped up to his feet and put his hands on his hips. Pope extended his hand, saying Devon wanted to wrestle him. Devon waved him off, but locked eyes with his kids before leaving the ring. Devon then ducked back into the ring to shake hands with Pope before leaving. Devon sold frustration on the way out as the announcers said Devon wants to be a good role model for his kids.
WINNER: Pope at 9:33 to score 7 points in the BFG Series. Awkward finish after a standard Pope-quality match. Devon has improved his physical conditioning drastically and could be more valuable to the roster if moved up the card. There just isn't a clear picture of the issue between Pope and Devon for the audience to invest or care. (*1/2)
Backstage: Borash brought in RVD to discuss his BFG Series match against Crimson later on in the PPV. RVD just kept tossing an object in the air to show he was too cool for the interview. RVD said he's going to prove Crimson isn't "undefeatable." He chuckled to himself at that line. Jerry Lynn then walked in sporting an over-sized t-shirt and blue-jean shorts. Lynn said TNA should have no problem with him being in RVD's corner tonight. RVD just shrugged his shoulders and went along with it.
4 -- Knockouts champion MICKIE JAMES vs. WINTER (w/Angelina Love) -- Knockouts Title match
Winter was the aggressor early on, looking for a quick title win, but Mickie cut her off. Winter then gained an advantage when Angelina provided a distraction. Mickie cut her off again, though, and Winter bailed to the floor to regroup. Instead of waiting for Winter to re-enter the ring, Mickie went to the floor and ended up eating the guardrail. Back in the ring, they traded believable nearfalls after Angelina interfered behind the ref's back. Angelina tried to interfere again, but Mickie cleared her from the ring. Angelina then occupied the ref again, allowing Winter to spew a substance in Mickie's face. Winter made the cover, ref Hebner didn't see anything wrong with Mickie's face covered in a foreign substance, and Winter is the new champ. Medics checked on Mickie post-match to sell the effects of the substance.
WINNER: Winter at 8:58 to capture the Knockouts Title. There was some good, well-paced action offset by the over-booking and three instances of referee incompetence in the same match. TNA wanted to give their top KO face an "out" for losing the match and title, but they didn't have to over-do it to an unintentional comedy level. (*3/4)
Backstage: Borash brought in Brian Kendrick to discuss his X Division retention. Austin Aries then barged into the interview, cutting off Kendrick by shooshing him. Aries said he's tired of the code of ethics Kendrick and Shelley claim to abide him, but the whole match was a two-on-one handicap match. Aries said Kendrick didn't even pin him. He said Kendrick isn't the real champion until he beats him. Aries handed Kendrick his towel and told him to take a shower because he looks homeless. Kendrick just chuckled and said, "I'm the X Division champion" with no conviction.
Impact Zone: Crimson, the BFG Series points leader, came out first for the second BFG Series match. RVD was then joined by Jerry Lynn to face Crimson.
5 -- ROB VAN DAM (w/Jerry Lynn) vs. CRIMSON -- BFG Series match
Crimson went for early pin attempts, trying to end this quickly. The action then moved to the ring apron, which give Direct Auto Insurance some camera-time as RVD delivered a trademark thrust kick to the floor. Crimson quickly cut off RVD on the floor, then rolled him back into the ring to deliver more punishment. They cut to a shot of Lynn trying to sell concern as Crimson continued to wear down RVD with his trademark cravate hold. A few minutes later, RVD came back with the Five-star Frogsplash, but took a while to make the cover, which allowed Crimson to kick out. They cut to a shot of Lynn just kind of looking around like he was lost in the mall. Taz quipped he's doing a great job having RVD's back.
Crimson came back with a spear for a two count. Crimson followed with a sky-high bomb and had the pin, but Lynn ran into the ring and broke up the pin. Ref Jackson James shouted at Lynn, then DQ'ed RVD, giving Crimson the win. Plus, RVD loses ten points for a DQ loss. Apparently Lynn didn't get the memo on how this works. The crowd was silent for this, as the finish didn't come off great and they didn't understand why Lynn was there. Post-match: Lynn, in his over-sized Impact Wrestling t-shirt, told RVD he was just trying to have his back. Crimson and RVD then knuckled up to say it's all good between them, then RVD cut a promo on Lynn, who pleaded with RVD that he messed up. RVD left, then Lynn tried to follow him to explain himself.
WINNER: Crimson via DQ at 8:40 to earn 3 BFG Series points. Crimson has upside, but TNA continues to expose his limitations and really hasn't captured why the audience should invest in him. Meanwhile, RVD returned to TNA form just having a basic RVD match. The finish falling completely flat didn't help matters. (*1/2)
BFG Standings: RVD down to 25 points. Crimson up to 43 points, with a 10-point lead on #2 James Storm.
Backstage: Borash brought in Mr. Anderson, who did farting sounds with the palms of his hands like an eight-year-old. Yes, farting sounds on a nationally-televised wrestling PPV. Anderson then looked into the camera and said there's only room for one a-hole in Immortal. He said Ray gives a-holes a bad name.
Video package: Immortal vs. Fortune feud.
6 -- FORTUNE (A.J. STYLES & DANIELS & KAZARIAN) vs. IMMORTAL (SCOTT STEINER & GUNNER & ABYSS) -- six-man tag match
The two sides spent a lot of time trash-talking before the match, then the bell sounded to begin the contest. Steiner informed Kazarian he has the largest arms in the world, then turned his back on Kaz to flex. Next in were Daniels and Abyss, who had an awkward exchange highlighted by Daniels slipping on the top rope attempting a springboard and kind of brushing Abyss with a spin kick that put Abyss on his back. Fortune then cleaned house to try to fire up the crowd to cover for the awkward spot. The referee lost control of the match moments later and Immortal took advantage by isolating Daniels on the floor before throwing him back into the ring. Taz said ref Brian Hebner needs eyes in the back of his head for this one. Lynn is probably still available.
The action eventually broke down on the floor with men pairing off against each other. Steiner easily whipped Daniels into the guardrail, then started walking up the ramp away from the ring. He returned to ringside to drop Kaz face-first across the Direct Auto ring apron. Meanwhile, Gunner pulled out a table and positioned it ringside. Hebner had completely lost control at this point. Some men eventually found their way back into the ring as the crowd engaged in a slow-clap. This was followed by a loud man doing a solo chant. Then, another slow-clap. Moments later, another slow-clap as Kaz teased a hot tag to Styles.
Styles entered, flew off Abyss's back, and forearm-smashed Immortal on the ring apron. Styles continued to blast the trio of heels with offense before executing a springboard cross-body on Abyss. The action broke down again, then Styles scored a close fall on Abyss. Styles followed with a Pele kick for a two count, but Gunner broke it up. And, the action broke down again. A parade of big moves ensued, then the action broke down again. Meanwhile, Gunner set up a table spot on Styles, but Daniels saved him. Daniels and Gunner then fell through the table off the apron, taking them out of the equation. Back in the ring, Styles executed an innovative springboard Pele kick on Abyss. It was good for the win as Kaz held off Steiner.
Post-match: Styles checked on Daniels, who the announcers said "took a bullet" for Styles. Kaz joined the victory celebration as Daniels sold the effects of the table spot. Back in the ring, Steiner and Gunner questioned Abyss, who took the loss. Abyss lightly pushed them away like a small child trying to wave off his parents yelling at him. Visible in the background, ref Hebner pounded the mat, which was a signal to get out of the ring. Steiner and Gunner then walked out of the ring, leaving Abyss to question himself alone.
WINNERS: Fortune at 14:42. The match felt like it would be the type of match that doesn't solve anything and they'll be back to feuding on TV like this match never happened, but the outcome and post-match gave the match a purpose with Abyss possibly being booted from Immortal and Styles owing Daniels a favor. The action was hit-or-miss with so many different types of wrestlers that it created an odd mixture. (**1/4)
Backstage: Bully Ray was walking in circles around Borash as JB tried to set up a line of questioning for Ray. Ray repeated Anderson's line that there's only room for one a-hole in Immortal. He said he's the one, not Anderson. Ray said he made a mistake carrying Devon around for 15 years, JB's parents made a mistake when they had him, and Hogan & Bischoff made a mistake allowing Anderson into Immortal. Ray vowed to beat him down "really bad" and told Anderson the last face and voice he will see and hear, respectively, is Bully Ray. Ray mocked Anderson's echo intro to wrap the promo.
Impact Zone: Ray came out first for the match against Anderson. Ray did that old bit hiding behind the entrance stage as Anderson came out for his mic drop intro. Anderson received his mic and stood on-stage to proclaim himself the one and only a-hole in TNA Wrestling. As Anderson did his echo intro, Ray snuck up behind him and smugly nodded along. Instead of repeating his name, Anderson said, "Yeah, I know he's behind me," and spun around to pop Ray in the mouth. "An-der-son," he said into the mic after repeated blows that decked Ray. Anderson then punched Ray down the entrance ramp to ringside. They continued to brawl ringside as ref Jackson James tried to get them in the ring to officially start the match.
7 -- MR. ANDERSON vs. BULLY RAY
Anderson eventually got Ray into the ring and the match officially started. Ray begged off in the corner, but Anderson continued the onslaught. Ray then avoided a corner attack and decked Anderson before doing the old Stan Hansen growl and hand signal. Ray started trash-talking Anderson, telling him to fight him. Anderson didn't respond, so Ray slapped him across the chest and delivered a sidewalk slam for a two count. Ray kept talking trash like Kevin Steen with a running commentary. Anderson finally fought back with multiple right hands before Ray decked him with an elbow smash. "You gonna fight me or what?" Ray shouted down at Anderson.
They started trading bombs from their knees and Ray walloped Anderson to knock him onto his back. Ray tried a Bubba Bomb, but Anderson dropped him mid-ring and both men sold on the mat. They returned to their knees and traded bombs again. Ray kept taunting Anderson, who couldn't do anything with Ray before finally landing a knock-down clothesline. Taz said this is just a physical brawl. Anderson then teased the Mic Check, but Ray blocked and Anderson suddenly executed an enziguiri for a two count. Ray then came back with a uranage for a two count. Cue up the slow clap.
Ray charged Anderson in the corner with a big splash, but then missed with a flying splash from the second rope. Anderson tried his own corner attack and scored with a flying splash. They traded close nearfalls, then Ray countered another top-rope attack with a mid-air cutter. Taz said it's over, but Anderson kicked out in time. Ray, desperate, grabbed his chain and wrapped it around his fist. Jackson pleaded with Ray, then Anderson suddenly scooped up Ray and they collapsed into the ropes with Ray's weight bringing them crashing down. Anderson then wanted another top-rope move, but Ray rolled out of the ring, said, "Screw you," and fell down on the entrance ramp. Anderson retrieved Ray and threw him back into the ring, though.
Back in the ring, Anderson picked up Ray's chain and twirled it around. Ray covered his head, then Jackson yanked the chain away from Anderson, which allowed Ray to low-blow Anderson from behind. Ray then rolled up Anderson from behind and scored a quick three count. Ray asked for his chain and left while Anderson sold in the ring. They quickly cut backstage.
WINNER: Ray at 10:04. Credit Ray. He knows his character, doesn't try to "get over as a cool heel," and tried to draw something out of Anderson to elevate Anderson's stale, undefined character. Well-done match until another screwy finish on this show. (**3/4)
Backstage: Borash caught up with Hulk Hogan and a trimmed-down Eric Bischoff. Hogan said this is not a good night for Immortal. Abyss and Scott Steiner then walked into the shot, flanked by Gunner. Hogan told Abyss he's not a little Cruiserweight, but a monster. Bully Ray then joined the discussion and asked if they saw his win. No one was watching, so Ray kept talking about how great it was. Hogan ignored him, then walked off with the rest of Immortal except for Abyss, who was left standing with his lip quivering like a puppy dog.
Impact Zone: Mexican America came to the ring for the semi-main event Tag Title match. Anarquia took the mic and said they won't let them drop the Mexican flag from the rafters anymore, so they have their own. Anarquia vowed to make them hang the Mexican flag from every arena around the world. Beer Money then came out to defend the Tag Titles as Tenay noted Storm's storyline shoulder injury from TV. Before the match started, ref Earl Hebner booted Sarita and Rosita from ringside and over-stepped his bounds a bit shoving Rosita.
8 -- TNA tag champions BEER MONEY (JAMES STORM & ROBERT ROODE) vs. MEXICAN AMERICA (HERNANDEZ & ANARQUIA w/Sarita and Rosita) -- TNA Tag Title match
The bell sounded and the crowd went silent, which caused some of the in-ring chatter to be audible on the PPV broadcast. Beer Money then involved the crowd with successive offense on Hernandez to get some early shine. The action moved to the floor and Beer Money blasted Anarquia before ramming him head-first into an American flag draped over the guardrail. Back in the ring, Beer Money went back to work on Anarquia, who then stumbled into Hebner, allowing Hernandez to deck Roode from the ring apron. The challengers worked over Roode for a few minutes before Storm hot-tagged and the action broke down.
The champs eventually took control, then decided to do their Beer...Money pose right in the middle of an opportunity to score a pinfall to win the match. Storm then scored a close fall on Anarquia with a top-rope splash. Anarquia was fresh moments later and climbed to the top turnbuckle to splash Storm, but Roode shoved Anarquia right into a superkick from Storm. This cover was good for the win to retain the Tag Titles. Afterward, Storm grabbed a U.S. flag to celebrate in the ring.
WINNERS: Beer Money at 10:41. Extended-length TV-quality match. They didn't try to "steal the show" and set the bar too high for Angle vs. Sting, not that this was the match-up to "steal the show." Just an efficient match for Beer Money, who seem to be stuck at the same level without quality opponents to work with and not directly involved in the Immortal vs. Fortune feud receiving the most TV time and attention. Roode and/or Storm should be headlining PPVs right now. (*3/4)
Backstage: Borash was with Kurt Angle, who has shrunk. Angle looked into the camera and told Sting, "I will not lose." They went to a video package documenting Sting's recent crazy streak and trying to get the company back in the hands of Dixie Carter.
Impact Zone: After a Tale of the Tape break down of the Sting vs. Angle title match, Angle came out first as the challenger. Champion Sting then came out dressed in black gear, his new shoulder-patched ring jacket, and red facepaint smeared across his face. JB handled the formal ring intros as a shrunken Angle psyched himself up in his corner. Sting then posed in the corner and the bell sounded at 10:31 p.m. EST, giving them plenty of time for a PPV main event.
9 -- TNA World Hvt. champion STING vs. KURT ANGLE -- TNA World Title match
Early feeling-out process as the lightly-invested Impact Zone crowd attempted a dueling chant. This was followed by yet another slow-clap only 2:10 into the match. The match moved to the floor at 4:25 with Sting in control of the action. They did not brawl into the crowd, but returned to the ring. Meanwhile, the announcers continued to stress the idea of Sting needing the TNA Title to keep control of the company and return he company to Dixie, but TNA has never established the value of the title and why holding the title equals control of the company. There's a reason out there, but TNA has never taken that extra step explaining it. As a result, it comes across like an artificial reason to incorporate the ongoing "power struggle" storyline into the TNA Title picture.
In the ring, Sting continued to be in control to allow Angle to work from underneath to build toward his comeback. Angle missed with a top-rope moonsault, though, and Sting slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock. Angle sold he was in jeopardy, but it was too early in the drama to get the crowd to buy the false finish. Angle reached the bottom rope for a break, then Sting nailed a Scorpion Splash. Angle avoided the second one, though, and hit the Angle Slam for a two count. Angle missed with a corner attack, then Sting applied Angle's anklelock finisher. The crowd did a slow-clap, then Angle escaped and slapped on Sting's Scorpion Deathlock. Angle couldn't maintain the hold and Sting reached the bottom rope for a break.
At 12:30, Angle stalked Sting and went for multiple German Suplexes, but Sting elbowed out. Sting tried a powerslam, but Angle countered with an anklelock. The crowd bought this one a little more than the previous false finish, then Sting suddenly rolled up Angle for a two count. You could see the ref bump coming and it came moments later. Angle and Sting then had a double knockdown and everyone was KO'ed to the mat.
After a pause, Hulk Hogan gingerly made his way to the ring with chair in-hand. The crowd chanted Hogan's name, happy to see a brand-name star. Hogan approached Sting for a chair shot, but Angle snuck up behind Hogan and yanked the chair away. Angle then turned around and cracked the chair over Sting's back. Sting no-sold and stumbled across the ring as Angle revived the referee. Angle then dropped Sting with the Angle Slam. It was good for a Slow Hebner Three Count to give Angle the win and the TNA Title.
WINNER: Angle at 15:22 to capture the TNA World Title. Okay, not particularly memorable PPV main event. There was just something about brand-name stars like Sting, Angle, and Hogan involved in this angle in front of 900 people at a soundstage that made it all seem inconsequential. Hogan walking to the ring with a chair was supposed to be this big, dramatic moment, but the shot of the audience facing the hard camera pulling out their cameras to take a picture of a big star in their midst sent a message that this doesn't count. Angle's title victory was expected, but now they another "shades of gray" champion potentially being wooed by Immortal on the next set of TV episodes, which will only lead to more ambivalence. (**1/4)
Post-match: Hogan just glared into the ring as Angle stood tall with the TNA Title belt over his shoulder. Angle smacked the belt, suggesting Hogan come get it. After some back-and-forth camera shots between Angle and Hogan, the show ended without a clean sign-off.
They abruptly cut to a video package on the No Surrender PPV next month. The focus was on the winner of the BFG Series advancing to Bound for Glory to challenge for the TNA World Title. This was followed by inDemand's series of PPV previews, including a preview for Hardcore Justice focused on Abyss and blood, guts, and hardcore action for the PPV that just concluded.
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