THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s the time of the month again where the great and good of Total Non-Stop Action gather in the Impact Zone in Florida for their latest pay-per-view, Hard Justice, shown on a three day delay here in Britain on Bravo 2, with Kurt Angle defending the TNA World Championship against Matt Morgan and Sting.
The show began with the obligatory multi-man match, the Steel Asylum, with the winner get a shot at the X Division title. This one featured Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Amazing Red, Christopher Daniels, Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Suicide, and new boy D’Angelo Dinero, aka former WWECW star Elijah Burke. It’s the usual X Division fare here, with plenty of fast paced high spot action, and it’s great to watch. Once again the Motor City Machine Guns proved what a great team they are, and they were probably the best thing about this match. Suicide looked like he was going to win, but as he climbed to the roof Dinero followed him up and threw him down to the mat. This have Daniels the chance to snatch the win. After he’d helped stop Red from getting to the top, he hung by one leg from the cage ceiling. It wasn’t long before he regained his composure and position and managed to climb the roof and through the hole at the top of the cage, earning himself an X Division title match at the next show.
Next up, Jethro Holliday trying to take Dr. Stevie’s bounty on the monster Abyss. I always like the former Trevor Murdoch when he was in WWE, and I thought it was a great shame when he was let go, so I’m more than pleased to see him back on pay-per-view. As for the match, very entertaining, and Murdoch….I mean Holliday was a great opponent for Abyss, who got the win by countering Holliday’s attempted brass knuckles attack by taking him down with the black hole slam. Afterwards, Stevie got into the ring to lambaste Holliday, only to find himself on the receiving end of a big right hand, much to the delight of the crowd. Nice match here.
Sadly, I can’t review the next two matches, Rob Terry v Hernandez in a briefcase match and Beer Money challenging the British Invasion for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. This is because they both involve Nick Aldis, the man behind the Brutus Magnus gimmick. As you may know Mr. Aldis has threatened me with legal action if I say anything negative against him on the internet, and this is the reason I can’t review these two matches. I would be more than happy to review any match that Mr. Aldis is involved in if he were to withdraw his threat, and while I’m not going to get in touch with him asking him to do so, I’m not going to stop anyone else who wants to give him a try.
So, having been unable to review the two previous matches, it’s on to the second title match of the evening, a tag team match pitting The Beautiful People against ODB and Cody Deaner, with Angelina Love’s Knockouts Championship on the line. Yep, you read that right, a man is wrestling for a women’s title. Where the creatives smoking skunk when they came up with this idea? It saddens me that a division that set the world on fire a couple of years ago has gone downhill in the way that it has. Angelina and ODB could have put on a great match by themselves, but the addition of the increasingly annoying Cody Deaner cheapened everything, and it got a whole lot worse when Deaner pinned Velvet after Madison Rayne accidentally sprayed her in the eyes. Thankfully, Deaner wasn’t declared the new Knockouts Champion, because the rules of this match meant that only ODB could win the title, although Deaner grabbed the title from ODB and stormed away. Frankly, this sucks.
The title action continued with Samoa Joe, accompanied by Taz, challenging Homicide for the X Division Championship. These two had a great match in Ring of Honor a few years ago, and while this didn’t have the drama of that particular encounter, the action here wasn’t that bad. Homicide and Joe showed great chemistry in the ring, putting together a strong match, although it was obvious from the outset that this was just a way of getting the X Division title into the Main Event Mafia, and this they did, with Joe getting the submission win with the kokina clutch. Not bad, but it would have been nice to see Homicide get a longer title reign.
Then it was on to Team 3D challenging Booker T & Scott Steiner for the TNA World Tag Team Championship in a no disqualification falls count anywhere match. This is definitely not one for the wrestling purists out there. This was little more than a fight, with the obligatory brawl through the crowd coupled with plenty of chair shots, before they eventually made it back to the ring, with an interesting finish because of the two referees involved in this match, with both teams getting pins at the same time. With both men claiming that both teams had won, they went to review the video, with Booker and Steiner declared the winners. An interesting match, and an ending I’ve never seen before, but do you think we could have at least one pay-per-view that doesn’t have a brawl through the crowd.
Up next was what looked like a very interesting match on paper, with Kevin Nash challenging Mick Foley for the Legends Championship. This was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. Slow to start off with, but it finally got some momentum after Nash countered Foley’s elbow from the apron to the floor with a steel chair. It wasn’t long before both men began to wear crimson masks. Attempted interference from the Mafia’s chosen one Traci Brooks saw Nash push Foley into here, before Big Sexy took Foley down with a move that was missed by the cameras to get the title winning pin. Nash then went to use the barb wire baseball bat that Foley had brought into the ring, before the monster Abyss came down to the ring with a barb wire baseball bat of his own to make the save. Not bad, but given what had gone before, the ending seemed a bit screwy.
Main event time, with Sting and Matt Morgan challenging Kurt Angle for the TNA World Championship, and if you’re looking for cheap jokes about stalking and arrests, you won’t get them here. As far as the match goes, the best way to describe it would be disappointing. When all three men were in the ring, and Angle and Morgan were doubling up on Sting, all it seemed to be was Angle clobbers Sting, then Morgan clobbers Sting. It wasn’t riveting viewing, and it wasn’t what you expected of a pay-per-view main event. The ending saw Angle do the old fake injury bit, claiming injury after Morgan took him down on the floor with his big boot. While the referee was checking to see if Angle was okay, the referee missed pin attempts for both men, but when it looked like Morgan had got the winning pin after taking Sting down with the big boot, Angle suddenly sprung to his feet, pulled the referee out, and then clobbered Morgan with a chair. When the referee came to, all he could see was Angle covering Morgan, and a three count later, Angle was still the champion. You know, this match could have been so much better.
In conclusion – it’s another mixed bag from TNA. If you take out the two matches I can’t review for legal reasons, then Hard Justice had it’s good and bad points. Samoa Joe/Homicide was a good X Division match, while Abyss/Holliday was also worth watching. Nash/Foley was good, but was ruined by it’s ending, while the main event was just all wrong. And let’s not mention the Knockouts title match.
So once again TNA have disappointed many wrestling fans, myself included. This is definitely one show that I couldn’t recommend for further viewing.