wrestling / TV Reports

The Hard Justice 2007 Breakdown

August 18, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn

Hard Justice 2007
by J.D. Dunn

  • August 12, 2007
  • Live from Orlando, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Don West.

  • Opening Match: Christopher Daniels & Senshi (w/Elix Skipper) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt.
    See, now this is screwed up from the very start. The Machine Guns have the Match of the Year so far with the Briscoe Bros. over in ROH, and XXX is hot off reuniting. That would be a fine match-up. Instead, they have to wedge Lethal and Dutt in there just for the sake of getting people on the card. Hey, sometimes less is more. It’s like when the WWE did the Royal Rumble with 30 guys, so WCW did World War 3 with 60 guys! Yeah, but there’s only ten that anyone cares about! Dutt justifies his existence by doing an awesome kick battle with Shelley. Lethal plays face-in-peril as both the Guns and Triple X lay the beatdown. They work in the trainwreck spot with Dutt finishing it off with the Dude, Where’s My T-Shirt Moonsault. Suddenly, everyone starts hitting springboard moves. The MCMG make the match awesome with an electric chair springboard dropkick into a Flatliner. Triple X tries to one-up them with an Ode to the Bulldogs Warrior’s Way. Lethal sneaks in and rolls up Daniels for the fluke win at 14:39. I like Jay Lethal as much as the next guy, but the third team was totally unnecessary and the clusterfuckery of the match killed what could have been a great two-on-two contest. **1/2

  • Jeremy Borash catches up with Karen Angle who is canoodling with her new boyfriend. Hey, he’s bald just like Kurt Angle. Maybe she’s like Marissa Tomei and has a thing for bald men.
  • Raven (w/Havoc & Martyr) vs. Kaz.
    Before the match, Raven offers to let Kaz back into Serotonin. Kaz accepts and then turns on Raven. Serotonin winds up playing Keystone Cops, falling all over one another as they try to attack Kaz. Raven springboards off Havoc into a dropkick. Raven apparently watched TripleMania or something because he steps up into a Victory Roll for two. Raven continues to dominate until Havoc and Martyr try to help out with a doubleteam. That backfires, and Raven blames Martyr. Kazarian busts out some absolutely breathtaking moves, such as a double Cactus Clothesline and then a springboard rana from an impossible angle. Raven nails him with a Kendo Stick shot, but Kaz nails Martyr and finishes with a flying kick at 5:38. Not bad. Raven seemed extra motivated, and Kaz busted out some good moves. **1/4

  • In the back, Borash stirs things up by telling Kurt Angle that Karen brought a date.
  • Bar Room Brawl: Rhino vs. James Storm (w/Ms. Jackie Moore).
    I’m actually digging Storm’s entrance music. Rhino tosses a chair at Storm, but it goes out into the crowd. Lawsuit waiting to happen, folks. The “bar room” is a card table and a few folding chairs as well as a mannequin sitting at ringside. It’s not exactly Cheers, is it? That’s similar to when Jarrett did a “Good Housekeeping Match” with Chyna. They brawl out into the crowd and then back to “Storm’s Bar & Grill.” Rhino starts drinking and spraying Jackie Moore with the keg. See, now you know he can’t be a real alcoholic because that’s just a waste. They fight over to a toilet sitting in front of the announce table. No, seriously. Rhino stops to take another drink and gives Storm a swirlie in the commode. And then Rhino starts getting “sluggish” because he’s drunk. Despite his sluggishness, he’s still able to block Storm’s every move. Don West: He’s possessed by the liquor! The Gore through the table misses, and Storm starts smashing him with the garbage can. Storm actually works in the Conchairto. Storm finishes with a beer bottle shot at 13:03. Well, this was a waste of a decent feud. For a good example of how this should have gone, check out ROH in 2003 when Raven and CM Punk did the same thing only stretched it into the best feud of the year, one that would turn Punk into a star. *

  • New interview chick Crystal is excited about meeting Pacman. Ron Killings, not so much.
  • We see seats reserved for Karen Angle. Ominous sign: despite her apparent hatred for Kurt, she’s still using his last name.
  • The Voodoo Kin Mafia (w/Roxxi Laveaux) vs. LAX.
    For those who wondered, Roxxi would be the indy woman wrestler known as Nikki Roxx, which would be a good signing if they just let her be Nikki Roxx. Instead, she’s the Boogeywoman. TNA is allegedly trying to cut costs, so they didn’t fly in Christy Hemme, but apparently her wardrobe arrived on time because Kip is wearing it. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! Even Don West is speechless. The fans are solidly behind LAX here, so of course they have to protect VKM. BG actually seems to get pissed off at the crowd and tells them to “Suck it!” so they rightly chant, “Same Old Shit!” Hernandez goes for the Border Toss, but Roxxi tosses Voodoo Powder in his face. That leads to the Famasser for the win at 4:58. BUT WAIT! Hector Guerrero runs down and tells the ref about the powder, so the ref restarts the match. Kip is so shocked that Homicide is able to roll him up at 5:52. Meh. The USA Network is pushing for the WWE to go back to 1999. Maybe they should just bite the bullet and try to get the New Age Outlaws back. The sad thing is if they cleared out all the old, expensive talent, they’d have a great tag division. 1/2*

  • In the back, Eric Young talks about being humiliated his whole life. Kurt Angle interrupts looking for Karen.
  • Ultimate Humiliation: Robert Roode (w/Miss Brooks) vs. Eric Young.
    Loser gets tarred and feathered. What do they let Vince Russo book one match and then let Jim Cornette book the next one? This is actually more Tracy Brooks versus Eric Young early on. She beats him with her shoe and screams, “I hate you!” Roode controls for most of the match. They slug it out and knock each other out. EY gets two off a crucifix and works in the Flair Flip. Back in, the belly-to-belly suplex gets two. Miss Brooks runs in but gets catapulted into Roode’s hoo-haa. EY tries a double DVD, but Roode slips off. Young rolls Roode up, but the ref is busy with Miss Brooks. The Buff Blockbuster gets two for Roode. Brooks tries to slip in brass knuckles, but it doesn’t work out so well. Roode goes low and pastes Young with the knuckles for the win at 9:37. This was just fine, even if the feud has gone on too long. **1/4

  • After the match, Gail Kim saves Eric from a tar-and-feathering. Roode tries to punch her in the face but winds up nailing Miss Brooks. EY punts Roode in the nuts and sends him packing. Gail and EY tar and feather Brooks for fun. Hopefully, now that he’s humiliated Tracy, we can move on.
  • Recap of the Dustin Rhodes interview where he reveals that he’s been suppressing the evil monkey that lives in his brain, but now he’s going to let it out because Chris Harris “stole his spot.”
  • Chris Harris vs. Black Reign.
    Black Reign comes from the opposite entrance. Wow! What a devious mind! Okay, here’s the problem right off the bat: Goldust was an interesting character because Goldust was an interesting character. After forty years of “wrestling fags,” Goldust was a character that was openly homosexual (although that was later retconned as “mind games”). He had two motivations: he loved movies, and he loved Razor Ramon’s pooper, and Dustin changed his wrestling style to adapt to that character. Remember when he was crawl up and rub his ballsack all over his beaten opponent? This is just Dustin moving very slowly in one of Eddie Murphy’s old suits. “Black Reign” mauls Harris until he gets disqualified at 4:40. Good. Maybe he’ll go back into hiding for another 34 years. Kaz, Lethal and Sonjay Dutt run in to save Harris from getting stabbed in the face. I’m not sure if Dutt is smiling as part of his gimmick, or if he’s just cracking up by the sheer stupidity of the angle. Maybe he’s just a big Paul London fan. 1/2*

  • The Steiner Bros. vs. Team 3D.
    Tenay turns into Michael Cole, calling Team 3D “bullies.” We briefly saw Suwama standing with Rick and Scott during their pre-match interview. The Steiners clear the ring early and do their usual pose. Team 3D take a walk, but the Steiners track them down. Back in, Scott plays face-in-peril, and Team 3D starts working his surgical scar. Rick eventually gets the hot tag and cleans house. Scott tags back in and hits a belly-to-belly superplex. Bubba makes the save, and Team 3D hits the Dudleyville Device. Scott one-ups them by hitting D-Von with the FRANKENSTEINER! Rick breaks up the 3D, and the Steiners finish with the Top-Rope Bulldog at 11:03. There were a few cool moves, but the rest was average brawling. **

  • In the back, Dr. Nash gives Kurt Angle a pep talk. Is Kurt auditioning for the lead in the remake of The Jerk?
  • Tenay interviews Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones. Not to be outdone, PWG has announced that they have come to terms with Frogger. Jones gets a video package, pyro and his own theme song. Say it with me, folks – MONEY WELL-SPENT! Ron Killings interrupts and objects to Pacman coming in. Pacman tells him to bring it, but thankfully the specially contracted police keep him from touching Pacman.
  • The Christian Coalition laugh about the prospect of the Doomsday Cage of Towers of Blood, Death and Destructicity. AJ reveals his master plan – Band-Aids. Tomko has to point out that they stop bleeding, they don’t prevent it. That’s one of those jokes that would be funny if AJ didn’t have to be the absolute stupidest person on the planet not to know how a Band-Aid works.
  • In the back, “someone” has attacked Pacman Jones. My guess is that dastardly Pink Ghost.
  • Doomsday Chamber of Blood: Abyss, Sting & “The Punisher” Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage, AJ Styles & Tomko.
    Silly stipulation: the winner of the fall gets a title shot. Um, it’s a tag match. Why would you let your partner get the pin? Oh, and not that “Andrew” isn’t a fine name for everyday life, but TAFKA Test would be better off just going by “The Punisher.” I mean, it’s hard to think, “Holy Shit! Look out! It’s Andy!” The heels attack Abyss in the aisle, but Andy makes the save. The lights go out, and Sting sneak attacks Tomko. Apparently, Tomko hasn’t watched wrestling for the last ten years. We cut to the back where that prima donna Pacman Jones won’t even get into a car on his own. He has to be strapped to a gurney and loaded into his vehicle. Damned spoiled athletes. Oh, that’s an ambulance. Well, he looks comfortable at least. Back to the ring, the CC knock Sting to the floor and lock him out. That turns it into a handicap match. Abyss is already bleeding…buckets! Christ, it’s like Nancy Grace’s period. Sting, for once demonstrating he can rub two brain cells together, grabs some wire cutters and cuts a hole in the wire so he can get in. AJ tries to fight him off, but Sting makes his way in. Christian climbs out the same way to avoid taking an ass-kicking. That’s so Christian. That leaves AJ to get Black Hole Slammed on the glass at 10:14. And the crowd goes…mild. Thankfully, Sting and Andy were happy to just stand around and watch their shot at a title match go to another guy. Brilliant. Good job there, TNA. You’re real professionals. **

  • Recap of the Kurt Angle divorce. Problem: We hardly know Karen Angle. Hell, I barely even remembered Kurt was married. How am I supposed to care that they’re breaking up when I didn’t even know he was married? It’s like when I found out Merv Griffin died and thought, “Oh, I thought he was dead already. Well…that’s sad.”
  • IWGP & TNA World Heavyweight Title vs. TNA Tag Team & X-Division Title: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe.
    Remember during the build-up to WrestleMania X-7 when Vince decreed that Debra would have to manage the Rock to make things awkward for everyone, and then they decided that was completely stupid and went with a normal match because Austin and the Rock were capable of putting on a perfectly fine feud and match on their own? That’s what we call learning from mistakes. Now, remember when TNA first signed Kurt Angle, and they booked a dream match between Kurt and Joe because both guys were total ass-kickers and people wanted to see who was the better man? They did their highest buyrate in history. So they decided to restart the feud this summer only with a bunch of extraneous crap involving partners and spouses, and they did one of their lowest buyrates in history. That’s why Vince is Vince f’n McMahon and TNA is a second-rate vanity promotion. Not that I’m not rooting for them to succeed, but it would help if they stopped sucking. Karen Angle and her boyfriend, who may or may not be Chris Daughtry, take a seat at ringside. Angle goes out to confront her, so she throws her drink in his face. Hey now! He might have to start drinking again if you do that! Pedestrian match follows. The fans don’t even care at this point. Even their “Joe’s gonna kill you” chant is half-hearted. Joe hits an enzuigiri for two and then the STJoe for two more. Angle rolls through the Muscle Buster to the Anklelock to wake up the crowd. Joe rolls through and goes to the Coquina Clutch, but Angle reapplies the Anklelock. Joe shoves him off and cradles him for two. Angle pops up and hits the Angleslam for two. Joe goes up but gets belly-to-bellied off. Anglesault misses. MUSCLE BUSTER! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Angle bites his way out of the Coquina Clutch and reverses to the Anklelock. Joe reverses to the Coquina Clutch again, but Kurt’s leg is on the rope. The ref gets bumped, so he doesn’t see Kurt tapping out to another Coquina Clutch. Angle goes low, so Karen hops the rail and hands Joe a chair, but as Joe reaches out for it, she yanks it away. NO! I have specifically never seen that done before. I could never have seen that coming. Wow. What a stellar writing crew you have, TNA. What a creative and innovative braintrust they have running this promotion. I mean, Pontius Pilate eating a pickle, that was lame! Hey, you know when else they’ve done this same swerve? Last year’s Hard Fucking Justice. And sadly, Don West has to scream, “We were all fooled!” Yeah, you, Tenay and that Irish Pat Kenney baseball card you have stuffed in your pocket. Angle gets the pin at 18:33 and retains his titles as well as winning the X-Division, Tag titles and Western States Heritage Title. Karen, Kurt and Daughtry celebrate. The match wasn’t much of one until they just started hitting finishers and reversals, and we’ve seen that a dozen times before. The innate talent involved made this the best match on the card, but that’s not saying much. **1/2

    The 411: The wrestling was somewhat okay, but from a promotion that used to pride itself on leaving the WWE in the dust, “okay” just isn’t acceptable. The booking was downright atrocious. We’re talking Kip James’ vadge bottoms atrocious. So, what do you have to show for all of this, TNA? WWE and ROH are both putting on better matches than you. Both promotions have better booking than you. Oh, and both promotions are actually making money. But hey, at least you have all that press from the Pacman signing.

    Worst PPV of the year.

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