A2Z Analysiz: TNA Hardcore Justice 2012 (Austin Aries, Bobby Roode)

Hardcore Justice 2012

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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – August 12, 2012

Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Kid Kash & Gunner

Kash and Gunner attack before the bell and here we go. They dump Hernandez to the floor and try to double-team Chavo but of course he’s too good to succumb to that. Chavo takes Gunner out and then hits Kash with the Three Amigos. He goes up top but Gunner knocks him down. Now Kash and Gunner are able to work Chavo over and wear him down. Chavo comes back with a headscissors on Kash. Gunner cuts Chavo off from the apron and they go back to work. Kash and Gunner have been totally dominant here. Finally Chavo is able to make a comeback and he and Kash clothesline each other. Both men are down. Hernandez gets the hot tag and he’s a Super Mex afire. He throws Kash and Gunner around while Chavo recovers. Kash and Gunner try to double-team but Hernandez fights them off. Hernandez throws Gunner to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Chavo actually made the tag while Hernandez was in flight, which is kind of neat. Hernandez hits Kash with a slingshot shoulderblock and Chavo follows with the Frog Splash to get the pin at 9:36. I don’t much care for these two teams so I was ready to dump on this match, but it was actually a perfectly serviceable opener, with the tag team formula done to a T.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #2: Bound for Glory Series Falls Count Anywhere Match – D’Angelo Dinero (7 points) vs. Magnus (21 points) vs. Mr. Anderson (40 points) vs. Rob Van Dam (35 points)

Dinero is in eleventh place, Magnus is in ninth, RVD is tied for fifth, and Anderson is in fourth. The winners of tonight’s matches will get 20 points apiece. For some reason Dinero doesn’t come out when his music is played. Cut to backstage, where Dinero is getting beaten up by the Aces & Eights. I think this was the last time Dinero has appeared on TNA television to date (June 17, 2013). RVD foolishly gloats before having actually done anything and Magnus dumps him to the floor. Anderson and Magnus go at it until RVD gets back in and he takes it to both of them. RVD spin kicks Magnus to the floor and they both tumble out. Anderson joins them on the floor and no one has been able to take a sustained advantage yet. Magnus introduces a steel chair and swings it t Anderson, who ducks. Anderson goes for a DDT on the chair but Magnus blocks it and Anderson’s back cracks against the chair. They fight up the aisle and RVD follows them to whip a chair at the back of Magnus’ head. RVD once again turns his back to celebrate and Magnus clips his knee. Magnus then locks on a Texas Cloverleaf and Anderson has to break it up. Anderson and Magnus make it back to the ring and slug it our before clotheslining each other. RVD gets up to the top rope and Anderson knocks him down. That leads to an almost Tower of Doom spot. Anderson pitches Magnus to the floor and tries to superplex RVD but gets shoved down. RVD then hits the Five-Star Frog Splash and Magnus pulls him off the cover. Magnus brings RVD up the aisle and suplexes him. Magnus tries to grab a chair from the crowd and gets into an altercation with a fan. He’s able to get the chair and goes for a bodyslam, but RVD slips out and hits the Van Daminator. I hate that move. Despite my hatred of the move, that gets the pin for RVD at 9:04. The finish came a bit out of nowhere, as I thought these three had some steam left. I think Magnus has the biggest upside, so I was bummed he didn’t win this and go further in the BFG Series. Surprisingly fun match though. Rob Van Dam is now in second place with 55 points.
Rating: ***

MATCH #3: TNA World Television Championship Match – Devon vs. Kazarian

Devon has been the Champion since 3.18.12, and this is his twelfth defense. Kazarian is one of of the TNA World Tag Team Champions of the World. Hey, a Devon match I’m bored already. Kazarian tries to stall but Devon brings him in the ring the hard way. Devon is all over the challenger. He throws Kazarian around the ring and then to the floor. Devon continues to abuse Kazarian outside the ring. Back inside Devon is still in control. Kazarian rakes the eyes and snaps Devon’s neck off the top rope. Now the challenger is in control. Kazarian controls for several minutes until Devon blasts him with a Spear. Devon unleashes a flurry of offense and the crowd goes nuts. I don’t get it. Devon hits a Hangman’s Neckbreaker (or in Tenay-speak “straight down, hangman’s style neckbreaker”) and a diving headbutt. He hits a Stinger Splash and another flying shoulderblock for two. Kazarian hits a jawbreaker but then goes to the second rope and Devon pulls him down with a super neckbreaker for a two-count. Devon tries a Rock Bottom but Kazarian counters with a crucifix for two. Kazarian goes for Fade to Black but Devon rolls out of it and hits the Spinebuster to get the pin at 8:30. Well, Kazarian did his best to make it interesting, and he did the best he could with Devon and got something decent out of him.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: TNA Women’s Knockout Championship Match – Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne

Tessmacher has been the Champion since 6.10.12, and this is her third defense. For some reason, the storyline around this match was that Rayne was having a love affair with referee Earl Hebner. How that was supposed to get anyone over I don’t know. The ladies jockey for position in the early going, and Hebner appears to be impartial. Tessmacher gets a series of pinning combinations and Hebner makes fair counts. Rayne goes to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Rayne is able to go on offense. Tessmacher fires back but Rayne cuts her off with a back elbow. Rayne hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. She follows with the Skull Fucker for another near-fa.. Once again Tessmacher makes a comeback and goes for her finisher but Rayne shoves her off. Rayne misses a charge in the corner and Tessmacher hits the face plant. Tessmacher hits an elbow off the top rope for a two-count. The champ argues with the referee, giving Rayne the chance to score an O’Connor Roll. Rayne also grabs the ropes for leverage and scores the pin and her fourth Knockouts Title at 5:28. The match was short and boring, and Tessmacher won the title back four days on IMPACT Wrestling so the whole thing was pointless.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #5: Bound for Glory Series Tables Match – Bully Ray (28 points) vs. James Storm (66 points) vs. Jeff Hardy (35 points) vs. Robbie E (5 points)

E is in last place, Ray is in eighth place, Hardy is in sixth, and Storm is in first. Jeez, is one of these guys out of place or what? Storm, Ray, and Hardy feel the same way I feel and get rid of Robbie E in short order. Ray takes control and then “apologizes” to E, asking him to bring a table in the ring to help him out. Hardy and Storm join forces and try to double-suplex Ray through a table. E moves the table at the last second, and Ray actually clips the corner and breaks it off. The referee decide that the match must continue. E sets up a table and is actually in control of the matchup. Of course that doesn’t last long. Storm tries to superplex E through a table, and Hardy joins in to make it a Tower of Doom. Ray moves the table out of the way though. He tries to put Hardy through the table but Storm moves it. Hardy sets up a table on the floor and tries to put E through it from the top rope, but E’s bouncer Robbie T comes out so Hardy leaps onto him instead. E sets Hardy on the table and jumps off the second rope but Hardy moves out of the way and E crashes hard through the table to the floor. Ray and Storm have been out for a while, and now they’re back in the ring slugging it out. When Ray tries to put Storm through a table, the Aces & Eights come out and distract him. Storm hits the Last Call and the gang gives Storm the thumbs up. Hardy comes in and goes after Storm. He blocks the Last Call and hits the Twist of Fate. Hardy sets Storm on the table and the Aces & Eights are back. Storm hits Hardy with the Last Call and goes for a powerbomb. Ray comes back in and pulls Hardy down and throws Storm to the floor. He then powerbombs Hardy through the table to get the win at 13:45. Oddly enough with 20 points on the line, the match lacked any sort of urgency until the Aces & Eights showed up. I liked how they were building the intrigue around Storm being the leader of the group, even though everyone knew in the end he wouldn’t be. Robbie E also had no place being out there, but the made the best of it and was willing to take the big bumps. Ray has moved into a fourth place tie with Kurt Angle.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: TNA X Division Championship Match – Zema Ion vs. Kenny King

Ion has been the Champion since 7.8.12, and this is his second defense. The crowd is behind the challenger in this one. King goes after the arm and takes Ion down to the mat. Ion tries to fight back but King has his number in the early going. King knocks Ion to the floor and tries to follow him out with a dive but Ion avoids it. Ion tries to whip King into the apron but King jumps up and this time wipes Ion out with a somersault senton. Back in the ring Ion knocks King back to the floor and this time the Champ hits a dive. Back inside again Ion hits a neckbreaker for two. Ion is in control now, wearing King down with a variety of maneuvers. He hits a really nice DDT for a two-count. Ion goes up for a moonsault off the second rope but King gets his knees up. King unleashes a flurry of offense now, including a huge spin kick for two. He hits an exploder into the turnbuckles and Ion rolls to the floor. King follows him out with a corkscrew plancha. Back in the ring King hits the springboard Blockbuster for two. They have a nice exchange of reversals that ends with King locking on a half crab. Ion escapes and hits King with a facebuster of sorts for a near-fall. The Champ goes up top and King meets him. Ion knocks King back and jumps down right into a kick to the head. King covers for two. King lands another kick for another two-count. He charges into the corner and goes for a sunset flip but Ion counters to the Gory Special to get the pin at 11:06. I liked that more than I expected to, as they had good chemistry together. King looked like the star of the match, but Ion held up his end.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match – AJ Styles (16 points) vs. Christopher Daniels (33 points) vs. Kurt Angle (48 points) vs. Samoa Joe (54 points)

Styles is in tenth place, Daniels is in eighth, Angle is in a fourth-place tie, and Joe is in third. Daniels is one half of the TNA World Tag Team Champions of the World. Styles attacks Daniels right away because they’re in the middle of a never-ending feud. Angle and Joe take their shots at Daniels as well. The united front doesn’t last too long and now it’s every man for himself. Daniels pulls Joe to the floor and then Styles wipes both of them out with a dive. Back in the ring Styles and Angle fight it out. Styles goes for a springboard maneuver but Daniels takes his legs out from under him with a ladder! That was cool. Angle tries to come to the rescue but Daniels takes him out too. Back in the ring Daniels uses the ladder as a weapon on Joe. He charges into the corner but Joe hits the STJoe on to the ladder! Styles gets back in the ring and drills Joe with The Dropkick. No one can sustain control for very long, as four men and a ladder is a recipe for chaos. In the coolest spot so far, Styles whips Angle into the ropes under the ladder, and then shoves the ladder into his face. Styles then hits Joe with the Pele. The Phenomenal One is all over everybody, which is cool because he’s in tenth place so he should be the most motivated. Joe sends Styles to the floor and hits the elbow suicida. Angle grabs Joe in a belly-to-belly suplex. Daniels comes out and hits Angle with a DDT. Back in the ring Joe is the dominant one. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster on Styles and Angle tries to hit a German Suplex on Joe but everyone just sort of crumbles. It was a great idea anyway. Daniels sends Angle to the floor. Styles hits Daniels with the springboard flying forearm. He climbs up the ladder and Daniels shoves him out to the floor. Daniels tries to climb up but Joe and Angle thwart his efforts and remove him from the match with a sequence of “Can You Top This?” Joe and Angle trap Daniels in the rungs of the ladder and unleash kicks on his unprotected chest and midsection. Finally they turn their attention to each other. Angle tries to climb up and Joe grabs another ladder and goes up that one. Joe knocks Angle down and appears ready to grab the points but Styles springboards to the top of Angle’s ladder and grabs the contract to win 20 points at 16:20! These are arguably the four best guys in the BFG Series, so it was great to see that much awesome concentrated into one match. They did some awesome spots with the ladder and the pacing was perfect. Styles needed it the most and it showed in the way he wrestled the match. Great stuff here. Styles moves all the way up to seventh place, and Daniels falls to ninth.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode

Aries has been the Champion since 7.8.12, and this is his first defense. Roode talks trash so Aries spits water in his face. Aries goes for a quick Last Chancery but Roode escapes and goes to the floor. Back in the ring Aries locks on the Last Chancery again and Roode bails. Roode continues to stall and avoid the Champion. Aries is able to connect with the IED and he goes for the Brainbuster but Roode slips out to the floor once again. Roode takes his eye off the ball, twice, and Aries is able to hit him with two house show dives. When Roode goes to the floor again, Aries goes up top for an ax handle but Roode avoids it and Aries hits the guardrail. Now Roode is like a shark that smalls blood, and he goes to work. Roode focuses on the chest and midsection, trying to take Aries’ wind away. Every time Aries tries to fight back, Roode is able to cut him off with his impressive power. Finally Aries is able to escape the Tree of Woe into a Stunner and both men are down. Up on their feet Aries unleashes a flurry of offense, sending Roode to the floor. Aries hits the double sledge to the back from the top rope, and then nails Roode with an IED up against the guardrail. Back in the ring Aries puts on the Last Chancery. Roode is able to rake the yes to escape, but the tenacious Aries is able to come right back with a Crossface. Once again Roode escapes, this time with a backbreaker. Now Roode uses the Crossface and Aries reaches the ropes. Both men rise and they trade strikes. Roode tosses Aries to the apron, and Aries counters with a shoulder to the gut. Aries goes up top to hit a missile dropkick. He follows with an IED but Roode quickly counters with a spinebuster. Roode takes Aries up top but Aries knocks him down. Aries goes for the 450 Splash but Roode gets his knees up. Roode goes for a Spear but Aries avoids it and the referee gets hit instead! On the next attempt Roode hits the Spear and another referee comes down but can only counts two. Roode goes for the Payoff but Aries slips out and tries the Brainbuster and Roode pushes him back into the second official and he gets squashed in the corner. Aries avoids a charge in the corner and kicks Roode right in the head. He hits the Brainbuster and the first referee has recovered enough to make the count but it only gets two! Aries goes up top and Roode crotches him. They do the superplex spot where both men’s shoulders end up down and each referees makes a count for each guy and the bell rings at 22:54.

I hate that finish. The first referee declares Roode the winner, the other referee says Aries. Senior official Earl Hebner comes out to sort out the mess and restarts the match. Roode has the belt and is pissed, but he’s able to counter the Heat Seeking Missile by putting the belt up and Aries flies into it. The challenger rolls the Champion back into the ring and covers but only gets two. Roode is frustrated but he picks Aries up, only to get surprised with a schoolboy rollup and Aries gets the pin at 1:40 (24:34 total match time). I do like that they played up the “no rematch” clause in the contract, but stopping and restarting a match almost always just hurts the momentum of the match and dulls the finish. Still, these two have great chemistry as opponents (and teammates, as we would later find out), and this was a tremendous match and a worthy main event. These two should be centerpieces of the TNA main event scene.
Rating: ****

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