TNA One Night Only: Hardcore Justice II (3/19/2013)- Orlando, FL
So… Hardcore Justice… II. Let’s set aside, for a moment, the fact that this is actually the fourth Hardcore Justice event, and let me ask the following question: Anyone remember what the tagline to the first Hardcore Justice was? “The Last Stand.” They are doing a sequel to a show whose tagline was “The Last Stand” (don’t worry, I don’t blame you for not remembering the tagline to the first show. I can’t blame anyone for blotting the first Hardcore Justice out of their memory).
The PPV starts off with Tenay telling us that “These legendary competitors have been waiting for one more shot at revenge. And can these long-standing rivalries finally be settled?”
I thought the whole concept of these things was that they were self-contained themed Pay-Per-Views. People going for “revenge” and “long-standing rivalries” are the opposite of self-contained! Who is getting revenge? Against whom? And for what? And which “legendary competitors” are Tenay referring to? I love Homicide and Spike Dudley, but they are not legends (well… you could argue that Cide is an indy legend if you really wanted to, but that’s not what TNA means).
Anyway, after that silliness Tenay immediately gets back in my good graces (or as close as a sh*tty announcer like Tenay could ever to being in my good graces) by delivering some outstanding news: His broadcast partner tonight will be Jeremy Borash… which means NO TAZ!
We then got a video package of a bunch of clips of table spots, crazy dives, weapon shots, thumbtack bumps, and other hardcore things. This was a good video package aside from two things. The first issue I had with it was that it was over three minutes long, which is just too damn long. I came to see wrestling, not a video package. The second flaw in it was that, hidden among a perfect selection of clips of hardcore spots in TNA’s long, rich history, was a shot of a bloody Hulk Hogan ripping his shirt off. The purpose of the themed One Night Only shows is so that people to whom that theme appeals will buy them. For most people who are here to see hardcore wrestling, Hulk Hogan is going to put them out of the mood. Hell… I’m certainly not an “ultra-violent” fan, and when I saw Hulk Hogan in that video package, my immediate response was to roll my eyes and ask “really?” Yeah, it’s a nit-pick, but I think it is something that would just annoy the demographic to which this show is marketed, so putting it in the opening video package is not a good idea.
STREET FIGHT: LAX vs. The New Church (Slash & Sin)- 4.75/10
The New Church? Hell yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about! That’s some old-school hardcore TNA right there. If only they could have gotten James Mitchell to show up with them. I couldn’t tell is LAX got an actual pop, or if it was just part of their entrance music.
This was a decent tag team match, but certainly nothing worthy of being called a “street fight.” The most hardcore they got was a few shots with a road sign. Pretty disappointing for a show whose entire concept is that everything will be hardcore (yeah, I know that you can’t go all out in the first match because then the rest of the card won’t have anything to do, but if you’re concerned about that, you shouldn’t have booked a show entirely full of hardcore matches in the first place). This match would have worked a lot better on the One Night Only: 10 reunion show that they taped two nights before this one.
During the commentary on this match, we got a few interesting pieces of information. The first was that the person who is looking for “revenge” tonight is Brother Runt, who wants revenge on Team 3-D for the fact that he is ambushed at Bully’s wedding. Is it self-contained? No. But it is a good piece of continuity and simple enough to explain, so I’ll give them a pass on this. We are also told that Runt has brought a mystery partner. Twenty bucks says it’s Tommy Dreamer, seeing as how 1) it would make storyline sense because they both have the same motivation for revenge 2) this is TNA, and their mystery partners have always been painfully obvious, and 3) it’s an all-hardcore show that is kinda-sorta an ECW reunion. Of course Tommy is going to be involved.
More exciting than that was the news that James Mitchell will indeed be here tonight. Exciting news, but I’m a bit annoyed that they spoiled it like this, robbing us fans watching at home of the surprise pop. I’m not sure why he’s not managing the New Church here, but at least he’ll be here, and he’ll be managing his kayfabe son Judas Mesias. Maybe this means actually we’ll get some sort of clarification about Abyss’ family tree. Anyway, on to the next match…
NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH: ODB vs. Jackie Moore- DUD!
We started off with a lame backstage interview with ODB, then we got a video package putting over how hardcore these two women were… but it quickly became apparent that all of the clips that they showed were only from one match. All this video package did was make me wish Gail Kim was in this match instead.
This match was painful to watch. After some lame eh back and forth offense ODB went to look for weapons under the ring and didn’t find any. Come on! It’s a show called Hardcore Justice and she couldn’t find any weapons under the ring on that side? That’s just poor preparation TNA.
Jackie actually managed to find some… well, weapons would be a bit of stretch. She found a broom, a jar of Vaseline, and some spray cans of one sort or another. She hit ODB with one, then ODB picked up one of the spray cans and started to shake it up. If you can say one thing about ODB, it is that she is dedicated, because she continued to shake this can up EVEN AS JACKIE WAS STOMPING HER! ODB finally went to spray the contents of the can at Jackie, but all that came out was an impotent flow of shaving cream, which ODB sprayed on Jackie’s back and down her pants. Yeah. Really hardcore stuff going on right here.
ODB went to get some more weapons, and found other feminine products, such as lipstick, hairspray, a latex boot, and one or other articles of clothing that I couldn’t identify. Then Tenay said “see the weapons all over the ring” and I burst out laughing. Jackie then picked up the only item in the ring that looks like it would make an adequate weapon, the broom, and started to hit ODB… with the bristles, rather than the wooden handle. Jackie also through powder in ODB’s eyes, but ODB washed the powder out of her eyes… with whiskey from her flask. Yeah.
Between the lame offense (about 80% of Jackie’s offense was just trying to choke ODB), lame weapons, and the total stupidity in their use that I only gave you a sample of above, this match bordered on embarrassing.
BAD INFLUENCE PROMO- Kaz was great, Daniels was okay. JB had to run to the back to do this interview. I guess Val was in the bathroom or something.
LADDER MATCH FOR $20,000: Bad Influence vs. Generation Me- 7.25/10
GREAT match! Lots of great offense with the ladder in this one. Kaz in particular took some brutal-looking bumps onto the ladder.
JOESPEH PARK, JAMES MITHCELL, & JUDAS MESSIAS SEGMENT- Mitchell tells Joseph that he “has a blood dept that needs to be repaid with your family.” Yes, that’s right. “Your” family. Abyss and Joseph are brothers, and Abyss is James Mitchell’s son… but apparently Mitchell and Joseph are not related in any way. And before anyone starts to go on about Joseph being from a different marriage, Abyss’ name was revealed to be “Chris Park” back in 2007, and if I remember correctly, the reason given that he didn’t go by his father’s last name was because he hated his father and so decided to go by his mother’s name instead… which would make his mother’s last name Park. Thus, either Abyss’ mother remarried someone whose last name was also Park ( which seems unlikely, based on the physical similarities between Joseph and Abyss), or Joseph also took their mother’s name… which would make him James Mitchell’s son as well. Anyway, Mithcell says that Mesias has a Monster’s Ball with Abyss later tonight, but if Abyss doesn’t show, they will come after Joseph instead.
BAD INFLUENCE PROMO-The tone that Tenay told us that Bad Influence has “demanded their own interview time” in made it seemed like he was somehow shocked by this. The promo itself was entirely pointless.
HARDCORE GAUNTLET BATTLE ROYALE- 4.5/10
JB was also the ring announcer for this match (where the f*ck did Christy go?), and before each entrant, Tenay would say something along the lines of “tell us who it is, JB.” It was SOOOO annoying.
This match featured such hardcore greats as Gunner, Crimson, Funaki, and Sam Shaw. Yup. Sam Shaw. Because when I think of hardcore wrestling, I think of Sam Shaw (you know, about as much as I think of Sam Shaw when I think of the X-Division). The gimmick here was that each person was allowed to bring a weapon to the ring with them. Sam Shaw brought a walking cane with him, and on his way down to the ring, he pretended to limp. The next man out, Johnny Swinger, brought a crutch with him, and did THE SAME EXACT THING. Shark Boy brought a bag with a mystery item inside of it, and towards the end, when Gunner and Crimson look inside the bag, they were terrified of whatever was inside it. This allowed Shark Boy to recover and give them both Chummers… and in my favorite moment of the entire show, Crimson sold it like Rock, winding up with his upper body on the canvas but with his feet draped across the top rope. BRILLIANT!
Shark Boy then opened the bag and brought out… a fish (I was really hoping it would be some sea shells or something they could do a Los Ice Creams-esque sprinkles spot with… I miss CHIKARA). They did some comedy spots and I really tried to be amused by this, but I wasn’t. You don’t do stupid comedy with two guys you are trying to get over a big, tough, intense badasses.
Scorpio got a big pop and Funaki, Guido, and Crimson all got decent pops. Johnny Singer got ECW chants. Yes. Johnny Swinger. Scorpio looked great here, and the other guys were all fine. Crimson did one or two cool things. Shaw was unimpressive, as always.
ACES & EIGHTS PROMO- bad. Doc’s did all of the talking here (aside from Knux doing Storm’s catchphrase), and it sucked. Doc’s comments about the time Magnus had been out revealed that this was taped months ago. Up until this point, TNA had been doing a good job of keeping these current.
After this, we got a FIVE AND A HALF MINUTE LONG video package recapping the entire Aces & Eights angle (one of the ones from that episode of Impact where Bully explained his whole evil plan), filled with information that was almost entirely irrelevant to this match. Doc’s promo, crappy as it was, told us everything we needed to know about this match: Aces & Eights don’t like Storm, they injured Magnus and he wants revenged, and the babyfaces have a mystery partner. Rather than give us wrestling, though, TNA decided to waste our time with an irrelevant video package that we already saw a few months ago.
HARDCORE SIX MAN ELIMINATION TAG TEAM MATCH: Aces & Eights (Doc, Knux, & Wes Briscoe) vs. James Storm, Magnus, & Bob Holly- 4.5/10
The mystery partner was Bob Holly. I’m so excited I could get up and go check my e-mail. Holly got a good pop, but the pop might have actually been for his ugly new tattoos (they look like one of the generic swirly patterns that used to be in the Smackdown vs. Raw games).
This was a pretty standard tag team match. Despite my joke above, Holly actually looked very good here. Wes Brisco, on the other hand, took a horridly ugly phantom bump on Storm’s bulldog. We got four eliminations one right after another, in about thirty seconds, leaving the last two, who wrestled for about another minute until we got the finish. Why even have an elimination tag team match if you’re not going to do anything with the numbers game? They then wasted a minute showing us highlights of this match, (including highlights of the entrances!) culminating in showing us the eliminations that we just saw in real-time a few minutes ago. Yeah, it was only a minute, but I wouldn’t be complaining about it if they hadn’t wasted so much time with pointless video packages already tonight. We don’t need you to show us cool clips of ladder matches because WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE A LADDER MATCH! They must have spent at least fifteen minutes of this show with video packages and highlight clips.
ABYSS VS. JUDAS MESIAS VIDEO PACKAGE- yeah, I’m pretty sure they just recycled the video package from Against All Odds 2008. And to make matters worse, this video package explicitly stated the familial relationship between Abyss and James Mitchell (and Mesias), which everyone had been ignoring the whole show (and which everyone would continue to ignore after this as well.
After that we got a backstage segment establishing that no one has seen Abyss tonight. Then we got YET ANOTHER video package hyping up the Monsters’ Ball match, showing clips of guys like Rhino, Sabu, Raven, and Mick Foley (also, just for laughs, they had Black Reign, too!). This video package did two things: 1) annoy me for wasting even more time, and 2) make me wish that those guys were on this show instead of the not-even-softcore scrubs we got. It’s Hardcore Justice II! You couldn’t have just had Abyss show up instead of giving us Joseph Park?
MONSTERS’ BALL MATCH: Joseph Park vs. Judas Mesias (w/James Mitchell)- 5.25/10
Christy mispronounces Mesisas’ name. Either no one in the company made sure she knew how to pronounce it, which makes TNA dumb, or Christy managed to screw up the easiest job in the world.
The match was really just a bunch of weapons spots with a finisher or two thrown in. Joseph was entertaining, though. I really didn’t like the fact that Joseph Park won immediately after Abyss-ing up. As the announcers constantly reminded us, Abyss and Mesias have had many epic, violent battles… but just a minute of being Abyss is enough to put Mesias down here?
After the match Mitchell hit Joseph from behind, but Joseph no-sold it. He grabbed Mitchell and went to chokeslam him but un-Abyssed before he could deliver the move.
TEAM 3-D PROMO- decent.
Just like the ladder match, they wasted a minute and a half showing us random clips of table bumps… you know, to desensitize us to table bumps, because that’s a good idea.
TEAM 3-D IN-RING PROMO- Just to remind us that they are heels, Devon harasses SoCal Val while Bully tells Earl Hebner he is so old he should be dead. Bully then cuts a promo saying that they put out an open challenge but no one answered it until Spike did at the last minute. What does that say about all of the babyfaces? Nobody wanted to take the leaders of Aces & Eights and aybe earn a World Heavyweight Title match? Not Joe, not Angle, not Sting… really? Bubba then proceeded to repeat his jokes from his earlier promo, making this a huge waste of time. Then Spike came out and cut a lame promo introducing Jeff Hardy as his tag team partner.
Okay, so I was wrong. Tommy Dreamer wasn’t the mystery partner. Seeing as how Jeff is a huge star, you would think that TNA would actually hype up his presence here, rather than have him be a mystery partner. That might actually get people to buy this show (although it’s probably a lot better that they didn’t. The less people who have to sit through this crappy show, the better). Anyway, on to the main event…
TABLES MATCH: Team 3-D vs. Spike Dudley & Jeff Hardy- 4.75/10
Totally unacceptable for any big match, never mind a PPV main event. It went less than ten minutes, only had one or two teases before the finish, and felt completely unimportant. Oh, and during this match, the big, bad, uber-heel World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray backed down from A SEVENTY YEAR OLD REFEREE. A unacceptably poor main event on an unacceptably poor PPV.
Yeah… this show sucked. Hard. I haven’t seen Jokers Wild, yet, but I’m pretty sure this will still be my Worst Show of the Year. It failed as a wrestling show, and it failed as a “Hardcore Justice” event. Where were the real hardcore legends? Guys like Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu? If you want to do an event whose theme is hardcore wrestling, you can’t give us this vanilla sh*t. No one wants to see f*cking Sam Shaw. Go out and bring in a guy like Ian Rotten or Necro Butcher or Masada or Matt Tremont or someone who is actually hardcore.
Most of the matches barely made use of the hardcore rules. Aside from the Battle Royale, the Ladder match, and the Monsters’ Ball, these were all just regular matches with one or two weapon shots thrown in. This show was a complete and total disappointment on all fronts. Everything was just ten minute of eh wrestling with a few weapon shots mixed in just for fun, then a finish, then on to the next match which is exactly the same thing. It felt like a was watching f*cking 3PW. That’s how bad this was. The only thing that even comes close to making this show watchable was the ladder match between Bad Influence and the Young Bucks.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Tenay- “It was last year when Sam Shaw earned a TNA contract by being victorious in terms of the judges’ minds in Gut Check competition.”
This, more than anything else, is why I absolutely HATE Mike Tenay. Look at this ridiculous f*cking sentence! Who the hell talks like that? Not only is it unnatural, but it is impossible to follow and makes a lot less sense than just a simple “Sam Shaw was awarded a TNA contract last year after he impressed the judges with his Gut Check tryout.”
2. JB calls the match between Judas Mesias and Joseph Park a match that has been “years in the making.” That’s pretty impressive, seeing as how Joseph has only been fully trained for about eight months now.
3. JB also called James Mitchell the “antithesis of evil.” Wrong word there, buddy. That is exactly pretty much the opposite of what you meant to say.