411’s PPV Roundtable Preview: TNA HardCORE Justice
Welcome, 411 wrestling readers, to 411Mania’s TNA Pay-Per-View Roundtable! Last month, TNA held Victory Road 2010 where Rob Van Dam retained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a fourway match against Jeff Hardy, Abyss, and Mr. Anderson, while X-Division Champion Douglas Williams also retained his belt by beating Brian Kendrick. New TNA World Tag Team Champions were crowned with the Motor City Machine Guns finally winning the straps by besting Beer Money, and Angelina Love temporarily won the TNA Knockouts Championship off Madison Rayne. Kurt Angle continued his quest reach the #1 spot on the TNA top ten rankings by beating the Pope, and Jay Lethal managed to make Ric Flair tap with the Figure Four to overcome one of his idols and, if I may be so bold, a wrestling god. AJ Styles and Kazarian earned a place in Flair’s new faction Fortune by defeating Samoa Joe and Rob Terry with an assist from Desmond Wolfe, while Brother Ray beat Brother Devon and Jesse Neal in a threeway match, and Hernandez got the victory over his former tag team partner Matt Morgan in a steel cage match.
This month, TNA switches things up with HardCORE Justice as the
ECW Hardcore Originals reunite (partly) for “One Last Stand!” So far, only two matches have been announced with Rob Van Dam taking on Jerry Lynn and Tommy Dreamer and Raven reigniting their feud with Mick Foley as the guest referee. As a result, we’re changing things up a little this month with our preview to make up for the lack of announced matches. Thankfully, a plethora of former ECW stars have been announced with there apparently being eight matches on the card, giving us plenty to speculate about and discuss. It should be a night of surprises and hardcore extreme action! So let’s get right down to it!
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Joining the Roundtable this month are:
Four 4Rs master and writer of the Hush-Hush News Report, Jeremy Thomas!
The man who shines a spotlight on wrestling each and every week, Michael Weyer!
He of Cook’s Corner and all-star utility wrestling recapper, Steve Cook!
And of course, yours truly Chad Nevett!
I know they don’t use any video footage from ECW because the WWE owns it all, but the still photos work better, I think. They add to the nostalgia feel of the PPV. A rather good video. Different than what you usually get and it works for this show.
TNA HARDCORE JUSTICE
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Jeremy Thomas: Well, this one will be an obvious result–no way Jerry Lynn (much as I like him) is going over the TNA World Champion–but this isn’t about the result. This is about rekindling the spark that made for one of the most fondly-remembered feuds of the late ’90s. I don’t know anyone who disliked seeing these two guys do battle and I think they’ll be able to live up to their feud because both men are in remarkably good condition considering the toll ECW put on most bodies. Will they be putting on a Match of the Year candidate? No, I don’t think they will. But they will be putting on a solid and exciting match. I know that I’m looking forward to seeing them lock up.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Michael Weyer: This should be a good match as Lynn is still capable of going to his best and RVD has been invigorated a bit by the move to TNA. I don’t see them putting Lynn over the world champ, nostalgia or not, so RVD manages to win.
Steve Cook: Most people know by now that I’m not as high on Jerry Lynn as 95% of the people that write for and/or visit this website. I’m not sure what TNA is telling their talent roster by bringing in a guy that they had no plans for over 2-3 years while he was under contract and having him main event a PPV. I think Jerry is popular enough with the TNA veterans like AJ Styles for them to give him a little leeway, but you know they can’t be happy with the front office that they’re getting a payday taken away so they can bring in Lynn and all the other people taking up spots here.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Chad Nevett: I wasn’t really into ECW so I only have a vague understanding of this feud, but it seems like something that people should be interested in, and these two guys can still deliver in the ring, so it has a shot at being a pretty good match. Any other outcome than Rob Van Dam winning would be very, very stupid.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
411Mania Roundtable Consensus: Rob Van Dam (4-0)
Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven
Jeremy Thomas: This was one of the classic ECW feuds, and nostalgia alone is reason for me to want to see this at any time. I loved Dreamer vs. Raven and adding Foley as a referee is a nice touch as well. Now, will this be like their heyday matches? Of course not. Both men are in various degrees past their prime, but they’ve always brought out the best in each other. This will be a nice, classic hardcore match and when it comes to the winner…well, come on. Tommy Dreamer NEVER beats Raven. (Okay, maybe once, but still.)
Michael Weyer: Even given their advanced ages, these two guys should still get back into the old chemistry that made that feud such a classic. Expect ample amounts of blood and chair shots with some liberal interference to get the crowd going while Foley tries to keep order. As for the result, I don’t see TNA going to the trouble to get Dreamer in this if they’re not going to have him finally get another win over Raven.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer
Steve Cook: Yeah, Raven always beat Dreamer in ECW. But Dreamer beat Raven in every other promotion. And this is E-V-2.0, not ECW. Tommy might try to put Raven over, but Dixie will insist that Tommy win because she has a thing for him.
Well, why else would she let him book a PPV?
Winner: Tommy Dreamer
Chad Nevett: I look at this match and want to say that Raven will win simply because he’s technically TNA talent and I could see Dreamer not wanting to book himself as the winner. But, part of me would rather go for the crazy finish where Mick Foley attacks both men after a long, hard-fought battle, pins one of them, counts 1-2-3, and declares himself, the Hardcore Legend the winner. Have someone enter the ring with a microphone and ask why he did that, so he can respond with just two words: “BANG BANG!” It won’t happen, but I would like that.
411Mania Roundtable Consensus: Tied (2-2)
Is it worth buying? What would you like to see from the remaining participants, who include: Team 3D, Rhino, Stevie Richards, Simon Diamond, Al Snow, Axl Rotten, Johnny Swinger, Sabu, 2 Cold Scorpio, Brother Runt, CW Anderson, the FBI, and the Sandman?
Jeremy Thomas: Man, rough Pay-Per-View to talk about. They are actually doing this the right way, I think, by announcing names and not matches because the above matches are what ECW fans would want to see, and no one would buy a show just for Team 3D vs. FBI or whatever. This will be a fun pay-per-view that will make TNA some cash and draw in old wrestling fans to possibly check out what TNA has to offer, so this makes since from a business standpoint. The key here is whether they use it to entice people to stay, and I think they have a good plan in mind with the “supershow” the next iMpact. Will I be buying it? Absolutely. I’m a sucker for the ECW days and this is TNA’s One Night Stand, only they’ve gotten people to work for them that the ‘E didn’t. Sure, they don’t have Lance Storm but that is probably best for both TNA and Storm; Storm comes off as having his integrity while TNA isn’t having to pay Storm’s price. But overall, I’m definitely going to be checking this out.
Now, as for what I would like to see…well, personally, I would love to see Taz return to the ring but I know that won’t happen. The two matches we have are great, and they have enough talent to book a ton of classic ECW matches. I will give them credit for getting as solid a group of ECW talent as they can. This is an interesting experiment and I hope TNA succeeds with it.
Michael Weyer: The ECW reunion was a great idea…when WWE first did it five years ago. The advanced ages of the guys make it unlikely the show will shine like One Night Stand did and the lack of Paul Heyman means they lack the true creative spirit of ECW. But for nostalgia value, it might be worth checking out just to see if they can recapture that ECW feeling for one night. As for what to expect…
*Joel Gertner trying one of his dirty limericks only to get interrupted.
*Rhino vs Sabu.
*Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney vs Team 3D.
*2 Cold Scorpio vs Little Guido vs CW Anderson.
*The Sandman still unable to come out to “Enter Sandman” (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t even allow him to smoke).
*No Blue World Order reunion (especially as WWE owns their great intro theme).
*Plenty of talk on ECW without actually naming the organization or being able to show clips.
Overall, an interesting show but not sure how it’ll stack up for the ECW fanatics.
Steve Cook: I’ll be as blunt as possible. I have zero interest in seeing this show, and there’s not really anything I want to see from anybody on the card. I am looking forward to next week’s Impact, which will have the big MCMG/Beer Money finale, Angle vs. Styles, an RVD/Abyss garbage match and some other stuff that’ll be a heck of a lot better than watching people trying to relive their glory days. If I wanted to watch that sort of thing, I’d go to my high school reunion.
Chad Nevett: I fail to see why TNA is doing this. It may increase buys for this pay-per-view, but I don’t see that translating to future episodes of Impact or future PPVs. I can see it alienating existing TNA fans like it has me (and, yes, even though I can be very critical in the 4Rs, I am a fan of TNA and would like to see them produce quality shows), which hurts them in the long run. Unless they do something like have the young TNA talent ‘invade’ the PPV and demand that TNA management start treating them with respect and stop pushing guys relying on nostalgia as some have suggested, I don’t think this is a smart move for TNA. Nor, honestly, is it their place to do this. This is a TNA PPV I won’t be buying and, really, will only read the recap on the off-chance something worthwhile actually happens.
There you have it folks. And now for the monthly Roundtable awards…the 411Mania staff’s sure pick of the show and anyone’s game match!
Sure Pick of the Show: Rob Van Dam over Jerry Lynn (4-0)
Anyone’s Game: Raven over Tommy Dreamer/Tommy Dreamer over Raven (2-2)
And of course…the standings Year-to-Date! Victory Road had Aaron Hubbard, Kyle Fitta, Andy Critchell, and the Impact recapper Ronnie LaFianza all going 6 for 9 with my bosses Larry Csonka and Jeremy Thomas going 5 for 9, while I finished dead last with only 4 correct predictions.
Aaron Hubbard: 6 of 9 (66.67%)
Kyle Fitta: 6 of 9 (66.67%)
Andy Critchell: 6 of 9 (66.67%
Chad Nevett: 11 of 18 (61.11%)
Jeremy Thomas: 10 of 18 (55.56%)
Ronnie LaFianza: 10 of 18 (55.56%)
Michael Weyer: 5 of 9 (55.56%)
Larry Csonka: 5 of 9 (55.56%)
Michael Bauer: 4 of 9 (44.44%)
Hubbard, Fitta, and Critchell all jump out to a solid lead while my strong predictions at Slammiversary allow me to maintain a lead over the next four guys with Bauer trailing behind. But, the year is still early and anything can happen!
And, of course, don’t forget to join 411’s Chris Lansdell on Sunday night for LIVE coverage starting at 7:30 pm!