A2Z Analysiz: TNA Hardcore Justice 2011 (Sting, Kurt Angle)

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Hardcore Justice 2011

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Universal Studios – Orlando, FL – August 7, 2011

Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.

MATCH #1: TNA X Division Championship Match – Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries

Kendrick has been the Champion since 7.11.11, and this is his third defense. The action in this one should be fast paced. Aries score the first couple of hits but Shelley catches him with a spin kick and then Kendrick clotheslines him to the floor. Shelley and Kendrick go back and forth a bit as Aries regroups on the floor. Aries ties to pick his spot to get back in the ring but he picks a bad spot and gets sent back outside. Shelley keeps Aries on the floor so he and Kendrick can continue the mat wrestling. Finally Aries makes it back in and rakes Shelley’s back. Oddly Aries falls down and starts selling his face for some reason. Kendrick sends Shelley to the floor and goes for a dive but Aries cuts him off. Aries dumps Kendrick to the floor and goes for a dive but Shelley trips him up. Shelley tries to follow up but Aries sends him to the floor and wipes out both of his opponents with the heat seeking missile. Back in the ring Aries hits Shelley with the twisting slingshot splash for two. Aries tries the quebrada but Shelley gets his knees up. Kendrick gets back in the ring and dropkicks Aries down. Shelley locks Kendrick in a Crossface and the Champion is forced to reach the ropes. A series of reversals ends with Shelley hitting a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes. Shelley goes up top but Aries brings him down. Aries tries to follow up but Shelley superkicks him to the floor. Kendrick tries to bring Shelley down but Shelley knocks the Champion back and follows him down with a Superfly Splash. Shelley then locks on a new leg submission. Aries comes in and breaks it up. He hits Shelley with a bulldog and locks on the Last Chancery. Kendrick breaks that up. He goes for Sliced Bread on Aries but it gets reversed into a shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex combination. Aries goes for the IED but Kendrick gets a boot up. Kendrick hits a flying Yakuza Kick for two. He goes for Sliced Bread #2 again but Aries counters it. Shelley comes back in and tries to help execute a double-team Sliced Bread #2 but Kendrick’s knee is too injured. Aries hits the shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex combination on Shelley and then blasts him with the IED. He hits a Brainbuster and Kendrick has to break it up. Kendrick grabs Aries and hits Sliced Bread #2, causing him to land on Shelley. The champ then pins Shelley to get the pin at 13:10. That was good action with some clever three-way spots, but it was nothing overly memorable.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match – Tara & Miss Tessmacher vs. Mexican America

Tara and Tessmacher have been the Champions since 7.21.11, and this is their first defense. Rosita and Sarita have Hernandez and Anarquia in their corner. Sarita has a mask covering her broken nose. Referee Earl Hebner sends the men to the back before the match can even start. Tara and Rosita start the match. The size differential plays a part right away, as Tara uses her strength to dominate. Sarita tags in and doesn’t fare much better. Tessmacher tags in and carries the pace set by her more experienced partner. The champs look good in the early going. Rosita is able to execute a headscissors and sends Tara to the floor. Sarita takes cheap shots but none of that leads anywhere and the champions are right back on offense. Finally Rosita and Sarita are able to isolate Tessmacher and work her over. After a short time Tessmacher is able to make the hot tag and Tara is a house afire of sorts. The referee loses control and all four women are in the ring. It settles to Sarita and Tara, and Sarita hits a nasty double underhook slam that looked like a nasty landing for Tara. The challengers try to capitalize but Tara is just too strong for them. Tara press slams Rosita and then hits her with the Widow’s Peak. Tessmacher keeps Sarita at bay while Tara makes the pin at 7:12. That had moments of being better than okay, but they never established any heat or anything, and the Champions were never in any sustained danger.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #3: Bound for Glory Series Match – Brother Devon (30 points) vs. D’Angelo Dinero (10 points)

The injured Matt Morgan comes out to join the commentary team, since he was in the BFG Series but had to withdraw due to injury. The bell rings and then Dinero starts cutting his promo. Dinero talks about how much he respects Devon and offers to lay down for him. Devon wants nothing to do with that and would rather have a match. Over two minutes into the match they finally make first contact. Dinero’s heart is not in the match for whatever reason and he tries to hold Devon on top of him to get pinned. Devon gets pissed and slaps Dinero in the face. Finally Dinero fights back but the match is still boring. Eventually they go to the floor and Devon misses a charge and runs into the ring post. He sells that for about five seconds before going back on offense. Back in the ring Devon hits a powerslam for two. Dinero fights back and hits a cross body off the top rope for two. Devon comes back with a flying shoulderblock. He misses a charge in the corner and Dinero goes for the DDE but hesitates. Devon hits a Spear for two. He tries a Chokeslam but Dinero slips out and schoolboys Devon to FINALLY get the pin at 9:34. Dinero has 17 points now. That was like an IMPACT Wrestling match, but twice as long and twice as boring. These two had zero chemistry as partners and opponents.
Rating: *

MATCH #4: TNA Women’s Knockout Championship Match – Mickie James vs. Winter

Mickie has been the Champion since 4.17.11, and this is her fifth defense. Winter has Angelina Love in her corner, and Angelina is seriously way too skinny. It’s just not right. Angelina distracts Mickie right away and Winter almost gets a quick pin. Mickie immediately starts going after the leg. That goes nowhere but Mickie is still mostly in control but gets distracted again. Even so, Winter’s advantage is short-lived. Winter goes to the floor and Mickie gives chase. Angelina distracts Mickie long enough for Winter to slam her into the ring post. Winter then throws Mickie into the front row. Back in the ring Winter is in control but Mickie can’t help but fight back a lot. You know, you can really tell that Jerry Lynn is an agent when every good guy fights back a lot during the “heat” segment. Mickie fights back so Winter distracts the referee and Angelina sneaks in the ring to deliver a lungblower. Winter covers for two. Moments later Mickie hits the Tornado DDT and Winter rolls to the floor. The referee goes out to check on her so Angelina gets in the ring again. This time Mickie hits her with a neckbreaker. Back in the ring Angelina distracts the referee and Winter spits some kind of red mist into Mickie’s eyes and that’s enough to get the pin and the title at 8:53. That was a lot of interference and a lot of protection for Mickie James that she really doesn’t need. Winter has a great look and offers something different aesthetically for the Knockouts division, but I don’t recall ever really seeing her have a good match.
Rating: *½

MATCH #5: Bound for Glory Series Match – Rob Van Dam (35 points) vs. Crimson (40 points)

Jerry Lynn is in RVD’s corner for some reason. Crimson and RVD are the top two for number of points in the Bound for Glory Series so far. RVD starts off using his speed and agility, while Crimson counters with his size and power. With his good buddy Lynn watching on, RVD reels off some kicks and hits Rolling Thunder for two. Crimson comes back with a neckbreaker for two. He continues using his power advantage and RVD takes a powder. Crimson follows him out but gets kicked in the face for his troubles. RVD tries a dive but Crimson pulls him out and clotheslines him. Back in the ring Crimson presses the advantage but can’t put RVD away. RVD takes Crimson down and hits the split-legged moonsault for two. He goes back up top and misses the thrust kick. Crimson catches him in a Falcon Arrow for two. He tries to follow up but gets kicked in the face. Again. RVD hits another kick and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash! Crimson kicks out! RVD doesn’t quite know what to do now that Crimson has kicked out of his big finish. Crimson hits a Spear from out of nowhere but only gets a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Crimson hitting Red Sky and Lynn runs in to get his friend disqualified at 8:42. Crimson is rightfully pissed and RVD is just confused. Crimson still gets points but not as many as he would have for a pin, and RVD actually loses 10 points for being disqualified. I get that the reason Lynn did that is he was setting up RVD to turn heel on him later, but for a pay-per-view match that was a highly unsatisfying finish. It was actually going along okay up to that point too, as these two meshed styles better than I thought they would. Crimson now has 43 points and stays in first place; RVD is down to 25 and drops from second place to fifth.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Abyss, Scott Steiner & Gunner

Kazarian and Gunner start the match. They wrestle on the mat and Kazarian has the advantage there. Gunner gets frustrated and tags Steiner into the match. Even with Steiner’s extreme power advantage Kazarian is able to hold his own and tag Styles. The Phenomenal One works with Daniels to double-team Steiner, and the Fortune trio is looking great. Steiner makes the tag to Abyss and Daniels is able to use his speed and agility to subdue the monster. Gunner and Steiner try to help out but Fortune is just too much for them. Finally Abyss is able to use his power to knock Daniels down, and now Immortal is in control. They work Daniels over for a few minutes before he’s able to make a lukewarm tag. Kazarian comes in a house afire. The battle spills to the floor and everyone is brawling. Steiner and Gunner set up a table but the referee herds them back to their corner. Meanwhile, Abyss is stomping on Kazarian in the ring. Immortal works him over for a bit until Kazarian hits a slingshot DDT on Abyss. Styles gets the hot tag and he’s all over the Immortal trio. The referee loses control and all six men are fighting it out. Remember that table that got set up earlier? Gunner tries to put Styles through it but Daniels rescues him. Instead Gunner grabs Daniels and drives him off the apron and through the table. Back in the ring Styles hits a springboard Pele on Abyss to get the pin at 14:42. That was fine six-man action, but the feud was almost a year old at this point so it was hard to still be invested. And the finish was hella lame.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray

Both of these men are members of Immortal, but they don’t like each other so they’re going to fight. Ray tries to attack Anderson from behind during his custom ring entrance but Anderson was ready for him. Anderson hits Ray with the microphone. They brawl towards the ring and slug it out at ringside, with Anderson mostly in control. Finally they make it into the ring and referee Jackson James calls for the bell to start the match proper. Anderson is still in control but he runs into a boot. Ray works Anderson over now, and weathers his offensive flurry. Anderson tries to fight back but Ray continually cuts him off. Ray goes for the Bubba Bomb but Anderson counters to a DDT. They trade punches as they rise and Anderson gets the better of it. Anderson goes for the Mic Check but Ray avoids it but he can’t avoid an enziguiri. One clothesline later Anderson has a two-count. Ray catches Anderson running in with a Rock Bottom for two. He goes up to the second rope but misses a big senton bomb. Anderson goes up and hits the Kenton Bomb for two. He goes back to the second rope but jumps right into a Bubba Cutter and that gets a near-fall. Ray grabs his chain but Anderson grabs him and they kind of awkwardly tumble to the mat. Anderson comically covers for two. He goes back up top and Ray bails, saying “screw him” as he walks up the aisle. Anderson follows him and throws him back in the ring. He grabs the chain but referee Jackson James stops him from using it. Ray gets a low blow and a rollup for the pin at 10:04. That was actually more entertaining than I thought it would be, but the finish was kind of weak. It makes sense I guess, but it felt more suited to TV than pay-per-view.
Rating: **½

MATCH #8: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – Beer Money vs. Mexican America

James Storm and Robert Roode have been the Champions since 1.9.11, and this is their seventh defense. Hernandez and Anarquia have Sarita and Rosita with them. I think it was obvious by this point that Beer Money had outgrown the tag team division and were ready for bigger things. Just like the Knockout Tag Team Title match, Hebner sends Sarita and Rosita to the back before the bell even rings.

Hernandez and Roode start the match. Roode dominates and tags Storm. Hernandez cuts Storm off and tags Anarquia. That allows the Champions to go right back on offense. It’s been all Beer Money in the opening minutes. Hernandez illegally clotheslines Roode from the apron and finally the challengers have some sort of control. Mexican America isolates Roode in their half of the ring and wear him down. After a few minutes Roode is able to catch Hernandez with a spinebuster and both men are down. Tags are made. Storm is a house afire and Anarquia doesn’t know what to do with him. The referee loses control and Hernandez gets taken out with a double suplex. Oh, and of course … BEER, MONEY! Storm hits Anarquia with a rana off the top rope and Roode follows with a Superfly Splash but it only gets two. Hernandez claws his way back in and hits Storm with a slingshot shoulder for two. Storm comes back with a Codebreaker to send Hernandez to the floor. Anarquia is on the top rope and Roode shoves him down right into the Last Call and Storm gets the pin at 10:40. Beer Money was on a total roll, and this was solid formula stuff with a cool finish.
Rating: ***

MATCH #9: TNA World Championship Match – Sting vs. Kurt Angle

Sting has been the Champion since 7.14.11, and this is his first defense. This is my least favorite Sting, “The Insane Icon,” in which he showed off his terrible, terrible acting chops whilst trying to act like The Joker. They start by trading holds and Angle quickly takes it to the mat. They go back and forth until Sting dumps Angle to the floor with a back body drop. Sting follows Angle out and abuses him all around ringside. Back in the ring Angle hits a sloppy fallaway slam. Angle continues to wear Sting down for a while. Sting makes the comeback and hits a solid DDT for two. Angle grabs the Champ in a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop but it’s only a finisher so it gets a near-fall. Angle starts hitting rolling German Suplexes, and lands three of them. He goes up top but misses a moonsault. Sting hits an Angle Slam for two. He locks on the Scorpion Deathlock and Sting is basically standing up, making the hold look shitty. Angle reaches the ropes. Sting hits a Stinger Splash to the back, but then misses another one. Angle hits the Angle Slam for two. He then misses a charge in the corner and his shoulder hits the ring post. Sting then puts on an Ankle Lock and Angle reverses to a Scorpion Deathlock. Angle even sells his own injured ankle while applying the hold, which is awesome. Sting reaches the ropes. Angle hits more rolling German Suplexes and Sting fights out of them. Sting tries a powerslam but Angle counters to the Ankle Lock! The champ is able to roll through into a cradle and gets two. The referee takes a bump, because of course he does. Both men then clothesline each other and they are down. Hulk Hogan comes gimping out with a steel chair. He goes to hit Sting with the chair but Angle stops him and takes the chair away. Angle then cracks the chair on Sting’s back. The referee wakes up in time to see Angle hit the Angle Slam to get the pin and win the title at 15:22. That was surprisingly energetic for Sting, and I was kind of digging on the match until Hogan felt the need to interfere at the end.
Rating: ***

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