A2Z Analysiz: TNA Hard Justice 2005 (Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles)

hard justice 2005

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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mike Tenay and Don West are on commentary.

PRESHOW MATCH: Shark Boy vs. David Young

The winner here gets to go on to the 20 Man “Gauntlet for the Gold” Match later on. They start with some aggressive chain wrestling, and Boy strikes first with a dropkick, and then hits another one. Boy tries to keep Young grounded but Young uses his power to get back to his feet and crush Boy in the corner with a clothesline. Young misses a charge in the other corner and his shoulder hits the post. Boy executes the Shark Bite and Young takes a powder. The excitable Boy tries a house show dive but Young catches him and drops him on the guardrail. Ouch. Back in the ring Young goes to work. Young delivers a variety of maneuvers for near-falls, including a moonsault from the second rope. He goes up top for another moonsault but this one misses. Boy fires up and unloads with a flurry. He hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. Boy goes back up top and Young knocks him down. Young goes for a superplex but Boy drops him down on his face. Boy comes down with a sunset flip for two. Young hits a swinging slam for a two-count. Boy gets in position to hit the Deep Sea Drop and that’s enough to get the pin at 6:29. That was a nice back and forth exhibition for the preshow, and I like that they gave the match meaning by putting a spot in the gauntlet match on the line.
Rating: **½

MATCH #1: Apolo & Sonny Siaki vs. Petey Williams & Eric Young

Team Canada is accompanied by Scott D’Amore. Williams and Young attack before the bell and away we go. Apolo and Siaki weather the Canadian storm and send the opposition to the floor, where they regoup. The match starts proper with Apolo and Williams in the ring. The powerhouse Apolo dominates, and Siaki tags in for more of the same. Young tags in and Siaki continues th eadvantage on him as well. Team Canada use some creative double-teaming to take control and they go to work on Apolo. D’Amore takes cheap shots when he can. Apolo catches Young with a superkick and he’s able to make the hot tag. Siaki is a house afire, throwing both opponents around with ease. The referee loses control and it’s a big brawl. Williams sends Apolo to the floor and calls for the Canadian Destroyer. Siaki counters and hits a neckbreaker. D’Amore distracts the referee, allowing A1 to sneak in the ring and hit a Jackhamer on Siaki. That’s enough for Williams to steal the pin at 8:01. That was a fine enough opener and I was enjoying it more than I thought I would, and then I remembered how every Team Canada match ended with some kind of interference. Meh.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Chris Sabin & Traci vs. Matt Bentley & Trinity

The women start the match and Trinity slaps Traci and then runs away from her. That clears the way for the men to go at it, and Sabin starts flying all over to beat on his hated rival. The women come back in and they roll around awkwardly. Trinity runs away again and the men come back in the ring. Bentley is able to take control, and Trinity is happy to take cheap shots whenever she can. Trinity even adds a missile dropkick while Bentley is holding Sabin for good measure. After several minutes Sabin makes the hot tag of sorts and Traci unleashes offense on Trinity. The women spill to the floor and fight up the entrance ramp. Trinity throws Traci up the ramp and then bodyslams her. Sabin comes to Traci’s rescue, and then wipes Bentley out with a springboard suicide dive. Everyone gets back in the ring and the referee has no control over anything. For some reason Traci hits Sabin with a low blow, and then Bentley superkicks Trinity! Bentley then superkicks Sabin to get the pin at 10:20. Traci and Bentley celebrate their subterfuge. As a match this was a bit of an all-over-the-place mess, with no rhythm ever being established and stuff just happening left and right with nothing really meaning anything. That’s a disappointment.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: House of Fun Match – Raven vs. Sean Waltman

Raven was originally scheduled to face Jeff Hardy but Hardy didn’t show up for whatever reason, so Waltman is the replacement. Waltman sneaks in the ring and attacks Raven from behind, gaining the first advantage. They head to the floor and Waltman slams Raven’s head into the steel cage section, busting him open. Back in the ring Waltman continues the abuse, but when he goes for the Bronco Buster Raven throws a trash can in his face. They go back to the floor and Raven busts Waltman open. Raven brings trash can lids back to the ring and beats on Waltman with them. They continue to trade momentum, and Waltman is successful in his second Bronco Buster attempt. Waltman hits the X-Factor. He brings Raven back to the floor and sets him on a table. Waltman goes to the top rope and hits a cannonball senton to break the table. That gets a two-count (it’s falls count anywhere). Back in the ring Raven catches Waltman with the Even Flow DDT but it only gets two. They fight up th eentrance ramp and Raven hurls Waltman off the ramp and through a table! Somehow Waltman kicks out at two. Raven brings Waltman back up to the ring and handcuffs him around the ring post. He grabs a kendo stick and cracks it across Waltman’s back several times. Director of Authority Dusty Rhodes comes out to get Waltman uncuffed (how did they have a key?) and somehow Raven doesn’t realize that Waltman has escaped. Why would Dusty come out like that in a No Rules match, and how would Raven not notice him being out there? Anyway, Raven swings a steel chair but misses and Waltman kicks it into his face. Back in the ring Waltman takes it to Raven with a kendo stick, and then finds a staple gun that he uses on Raven’s bloody forehead multiple times. He charges and Raven backdrops him through the the steel cage wall. That’s enough for Raven to finally get the pin at 13:03. That was certainly violent so they delivered on that promise. There wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to any of it, but they hit each other with stuff, did their big moves, and there was almost no down time so it was what it should have been.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Diamond Dallas Page & Ron “The Truth” Killings vs. “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown & Kip James

DDP was supposed to tag with BG James, but just like Jeff Hardy, BG isn’t there. Brown and DDP start the match. They go back and forth but DDP seems to be one step ahead. Truth and James tag in and Truth works him over with a variety of strikes and then a headscissors. James comes back with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Brown and James keep Killings isolated in their half of the hexagon, wearing him down for a bit. Eventually DDP gets the hot tag and he cleans house. For God knows what reason, the two big fat guys known as Phi Delta Slam come out and beat on DDP, but there’s no disqualification for also God knows what reason. DDP takes both of them out with Diamond Cutters, and he gives one to James as well. Brown comes back in and hits DDP with the POUNCE to get the pin at 8:57. Well, that was pretty bad to begin with but the finish made it a whole lot worse. What was the point of the fat guys running in?
Rating: *½

MATCH #5: NWA World Tag Team Title Match – America’s Most Wanted vs. The Naturals

Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas have been the Champions since 4.29.05, and this is their first defense. They won the belts from James Storm and Chris Harris, so this is the rematch for AMW. Stevens and Storm start the match with chain wrestling. That goes Storm’s way and the challengers are in the driver’s seat early on. When Douglas tags in AMW doesn’t flinch, continuing their dominance. The battle spills to the floor and the challengers are looking unbeatable here. Douglas and Harris fight in one section of the arena while Storm and Stevens battle in another. They trade dance partners and continue to brawl all over the arena. After several minutes, Harris and Douglas make it back to the ring and the pace doesn’t slow at all. Stevens and Storm make it back in too and the referee has no control over anything. They work in a Tower of Doom spot and all four men are laid out. They rise and trade strikes, with offense continuing to come from all four men and plenty of near-falls. They start busting out signature moves, but when AMW go for the Death Sentence Douglas pushes Harris off the top rope and Stevens rolls Storm up with his feet on the ropes to get the pin at 15:00. That was non-stop action but I don’t think they ever enforced the tag rules or anything so it was always all four guys all the time and it kind of got repetitive. Also, we had just seen an all-over-the-arena brawl two matches prior, so that dulled the impact somewhat.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: TNA X Division Championship Match – “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels vs. Shocker

Daniels has been the Champion since 3.13.05, and this is his second defense. They go back and forth to start and Shocker sends Daniels to the apron. Shocker follows him and delivers a headscissors off the apron! They trade dive attempts and Shocker is able to hit his. Back in the ring Daniels is able to take control and he tries to keep Shocker grounded. Daniels is able to keep Shocker on the mat for several minutes until Shocker is able to catch him in a powerbomb. Shocker fires up and unleashes a flurry of offense. He lands a nice Frog Splash for a near-fall. Daniels comes back with a flatliner, and then he tries the BME but overshoots it, so he hits an Arabian Press instead. That gets a two-count. Shocker gets a quick inside cradle for two, and then counters the Angel’s Wings into a basement dropkick. They fight up on the top rope and Shocker brings Daniels down with a super gourdbuster. Shocker puts on an STF and Daniels bites his way out of it, so Shocker turns it into a Camel Clutch. Daniels counters out of that. Shocker puts him on the top rope but Daniels brings Shocker down with a super Angel’s Wings to get the pin at 12:00. That was perfectly competent and well worked, but Shocker is pretty boring and he had no realistic shot of actually winning the title here so it was just a match that happened.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: 20 Man “Gauntlet for the Gold” Match

Intervals will be one minute. Bobby Roode is entrant #1, and Zach Gowen is #2. Abyss will be the last man out because he won a 10-man gauntlet match on iMPACT! recently. Roode underestimates Gowen from the get-go and Gowen makes him pay for it. Eric Young comes out at #3 to join his Team Canada teammate Roode. Young and Roode double-team Gowen until Cassidy Riley is out at #4. Next up at #5 is “Primetime” Elix Skipper, and he immediately starts to fly. Shark Boys is #6 and he comes in a fish afire. He uses the Shark Bite to eliminate Gowen. Next up at #7 is the third member of Team Canada in the match, the powerhouse A1. X-Division stalwart Chris Sabin is #8. Team Canada rounds out its roster when #9 is Petey Williams. A1 eliminates Shark Boy. Young eliminates Riley. We reach the half-way point with Sonny Siaki at #10. Roode eliminates Skipper. There are now more Team Canada members in the ring than not. Lance Hoyt evens the ods at #11, and he press slams Young to the floor. Matt Bentley is entrant #12. He doesn’t last long, as Sabin clotheslines him to the floor and tumbles out with him so they’re both eliminated. Williams and Roode knock Siaki to the floor. “Mr. 630″ Jerrelle Clark is lucky #13. Williams hits Clark with the Canadian Destroyer (with an extra push from A1 and Roode, and Clark flies over the top rope. Mikey Batts is #14. He flies around a bit until Kip James comes out at #15 and flattens him with The One and Only. Kip hits The One and Only again and then Trytan is out at #16. Batts is tossed out easily by Kip. Trytan cleans house and Ron “The Truth” Killings is #17. The Team Canada trio works together to dump the massive Trytan to the floor. Apolo is #18. James is able to eliminate him in about a minute. BG James finally shows up and he’s #19. Hoyt eliminates Roode. A1 eliminates Hoyt with a little help from Roode. BG hits Williams with the Pumphandle Slam, and Kip hits A1 with the Fame-Ass-Er. They toss the remaining Team Canada members out, and then Abyss clotheslines both of them to the floor. That leaves just Abyss and Killings left, which means it’s a regular singles match now. They quickly take it to the floor and brawl for a bit. Back in the ring Abyss is firmly in control. Killings fights back and almost pins the Monster with a rollup. Abyss cuts him off with a big boot to the face. He grabs his chain but the referee stops him from using it. While the referee takes forever to get rid of the chain, Abyss brings in a chair but it backfires on him and Killings almost gets the pin. The referee accidentally gets bumped. Abyss is able to Chokeslam Killings on the chair, and the referee recovers but only gets a two-count. Killings gets the chair up into Abyss’ junk after they blow the first attempt. He goes to the second rope but jumps right into a Black Hole Slam and Abyss gets the pin at 26:49. That was solid battle royal action, with a good mix of storylines in there. Abyss and Killings had some struggles in the end, but overall this went by fast and was plenty of fun to watch.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: NWA World Heavyweight Title Match, Special Referee Tito Ortiz – Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles

Jarrett has been the Champion since 6.2.04, and this is his ninth defense. They start off slowly, feeling each other out in this all-important title contest. Styles seems to have the upper hand so Jarrett takes a powder. Back in the ring Jarrett briefly takes control but Styles cuts him off with The Dropkick, a bodyslam, and the Kneedrop for two. The Champion weathers the storm and goes to work on Styles’ leg, even putting him in the Figure-Four Leglock. Styles stays in the hold for quite some time before turning it over and Jarrett gets to the ropes. Back on their feet Styles gets momentum going and hits Jarrett with a swank Tornado DDT. Styles clotheslines Jarrett to the floor and tries a dive but Jarrett sweeps his legs on the apron, sending the challenger crashing to the floor. They fight on the floor and Jarrett avoids a clothesline, sending Styles crashing into the ring post. Jarrett tries to use his guitar but Ortiz gets in his way. Styles grabs the guitar and tries to use it but Ortiz stops him as well. Instead Styles breaks the guitar against the ring post. Back in the ring Styles hits the springboard flying forearm and a leg lariat. Styles hits the flip over inverted DDT for a near-fall. He tries a rana but Jarrett catches him in a powerbomb for two. Jarrett hits a snap powerslam for antoher two-count. Styles comes back with a backslide for two, an inside cradle for two, and then a sort of Pele kick. Both men are down. Back on their feet Jarrett is able to hit Styles with the Styles Clash! That only gets two. Styles responds in kind, hitting Jarrett with The Stroke to get a near-fall. He goes up top and tries a 450 Splash and misses, but he’s able to land on his feet. Styles goes for the Styles Clash and Monty Brown runs in and accidentally hits Jarrett with the Pounce. Ortiz runs Brown off, and is not there to count for Styles. Another referee starts making the count and Ortiz pulls him to the floor because he’s the referee. Styles is angry and gets in Ortiz’s face about it. Jarrett hits a low blow and puts Styles on the top rope. He delivers some punches and Ortiz pulls him down for some reason. Jarrett gets in Ortiz’s face and Ortiz knocks him out. Styles goes up top and hits the Spiral Tap to get the pin and win the title at 19:32. This was going along just fine, not great, but as usual with TNA they found the worst possible way to give AJ Styles the title. Instead of Styles going over Jarrett clean and being the Man, he needed help from Monty Brown and Tito Ortiz just to beat Jeff Jarrett. Why would anyone have confidence in AJ Styles as the Champion going forward? Terrible, kid.
Rating: **½

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