Thursday, 26 October 2017

PPV REVIEW: TNA Hard Justice 2009

TNA Hard Justice 2009 Review
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
Orlando, Florida

With the Main Event Mafia’s stranglehold on the company still as strong as ever, Eric Young’s World Elite faction adding further dissension amongst the roster and The Blueprint Matt Morgan heading to the main event, the stars of TNA look to settle scores and end wars as Hard Justice comes live from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida.

(NOTE: This review was originally written at the time that TNA: Hard Justice originally aired in August, 2009. I found a bunch of my old TNA reviews in my archives recently and wanted to share them on RPW, so here we are.) 

Here’s how this one went down:


X-Division #1 Contender's Steel Asylum Match: Suicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Amazing Red vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Daniels vs. Consequences Creed vs. Dinero

The good thing about these multi-man X-Division matches is that you always know more or less what to expect; a bunch of crazy spots strung together some exciting aerial action all set to the usual soundtrack of ‘This is Awesome!’ chants.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that; there are very few better ways to get a crowd pumped up and ready for the show by throwing together your most innovative-yet-underutilized wrestlers into a thrilling spotfest.

And that’s exactly what this is; a fun and exciting spotfest which comes to a close when Daniels escapes the confines of the cage to win the contest.

Oh, and for those of you paying attention at home, Dinero is none other than former WWE could-have-been, Elijah Burke.
Your Winner: Daniels

In the post-match, Daniels gives a strong performance on the microphone as he makes his intentions clear; he’s coming after that X belt.

Cameras then head backstage, where Matt Morgan vows to capture the TNA World Heavyweight Title in his triple threat match against Sting and reigning champion Kurt Angle.


Bounty Match: Jethro Holiday vs. Abyss

JethroRemember when I used to be called Trevor Murdoch in WWEHoliday looks to claim the big reward offered by Dr. Stevie for the total annihilation of The Monster Abyss in a mediocre match.

Not surprisingly, he fails.

After several minutes of average action which really struggles to really crank it up a gear, Abyss lands the Black Hole Slam for the one, two and three.
Your Winner: Abyss

After the match, Holiday receives a telling off from Dr. Stevie, and responds in kind by decking him.

Battle for the Feast or Fired Brief Case: Rob Terry vs. Hernandez

Britain’s own Rob Terry puts the Feast or Fired briefcase containing a World Heavyweight Title shot on the line against crowd favourite Hernandez in a short and sweet squash match.

Prior to the opening bell, Hernandez takes to the mic to remind everyone of his Latin American heritage. Then, he takes out Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams and pins Big Rob in about two seconds.
Your Winner: Hernandez

Backstage, Lauren interviews Beer Money Inc. James Storm and Bobby Roode promise to halt the British Invasion.

IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: Beer Money Inc. vs. British Invasion (champions)

It’s always a pleasure to watch Robert Roode and James Storm compete, and tonight is no different as they challenge the team of Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s version of the tag team titles.

With World Elite leader, Eric Young, on commentary and a brilliant chant from the crowd aimed at the Brits (which sadly can’t be printed!), the four men enter into a spirited performance before Young assists his stablemates in picking up the win.
Your Winners and Still IWGP Tag Team Champions: British Invasion

Feeling somewhat annoyed by all this, Beer Money beat everyone up in the post-match.

Backstage, Cody Deaner and ODB hype the next contest with a forgettable turn on the microphone.

   

TNA Knockouts Championship: ODB w/ Cody Deaner vs. Angelina Love (champion) w/ Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne

There probably isn’t a wrestling fan in the world who doesn’t enjoy watching the TNA Knockouts going at it in the six-sided ring.

Since the formation of the division, the likes of ODB, Awesome Kong and, of course, The Beautiful People have proven to be a breath of fresh air when it comes to women’s wrestling in the states; providing a viable alternative to the ‘smart, sexy and powerful’ (similarly, there probably isn’t a wrestling fan in the world who thinks that is a good strap-line) Divas of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Yet your writer is fairly confident that people would like them even more if they were just allowed to go at it in straight, no-nonsense wrestling matches without any complications or confusions.

As it is, this match is full of both, and it really detracts from an otherwise enjoyable spot of wrestling.

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been paying much attention to Impact lately and have lost some of the story along the way, but it never seems to be made clear whether this is actually supposed to be a tag match, or whether it just happens to descend into one by way default.

Either way, some bodged interference from Madison Rayne allows Cody Deaner to get the roll up on Velvet Sky and we have a new Knockouts champion. Is it Deaner? Is it ODB? I honestly couldn’t tell you.
Your Winner and New TNA Knockouts Champion: Either Cody Deaner or ODB

Afterwards, the Beautiful People argue about who’s to blame for the loss. Love and Sky apparently decide it’s all Rayne’s fault.

X-Division Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Homicide (champion) 

TNA Hard Justice 2009 Review: Samoe Joe vs. Homicide - X Division Title
These two have had some tremendous battles back in their Ring of Honor days, and not surprisingly they put on one of the best matches of the card thus far.

That’s not to say this a classic by any means, but it’s certainly an engrossing contest in which the smaller champion does his best to avoid being destroyed by his much larger challenger.

He doesn’t succeed, however, and Samoa Joe leaves the Impact Zone as your new TNA X-Division Champion.
Your Winner and New X-Division Champion: Samoa Joe.

Backstage, Kurt Angle invites himself into Matt Morgan’s dressing room. The Blueprint is less than thrilled about this, though when Angle promises him a spot in the Main Event Mafia on the provision that one of the two of them leaves with the strap, he seems happy enough.

TNA Tag Team Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match: Team 3D vs. Scott Steiner & Booker T

TNA Hard Justice 2009 Review: Team 3D vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner - TNA Tag Titles
On paper, this match has everything you could ask for; four of the most celebrated tag team wrestlers going at it in a wild, arena-wild brawl for the gold.

In practice, however, it sadly fails to live up to expectations.

Sure, things start off strong, and it looks to be an exciting contest, but it just seems as though they were given too much time to kill and, as such, it’s very easy to lose interest about halfway through.

Things pick up towards the finish though, and following a double-pin, a look the video footage gives the nod to the Main Event Mafia boys.
Your Winners and Still TNA Tag Team Champions: Scott Steiner and Booker T. 

Backstage, TNA Legends Champion, Mick Foley, runs down the differences between himself and challenger, Kevin Nash.

TNA Legends Championship: Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley (champion)

TNA Hard Justice 2009 Review: Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley -TNA Legends Title
Given the advancing years of a champion and challenger who are both more or less past their prime, it’s surprising that this hard-hitting contest is much better than expected.

In a brutal bout with blood, barbed wire and chair-bashing galore, the two veterans battle back and forth before interference from Main Event Mafia girl, Traci Brooks helps Kevin Nash regain the gold.
Your Winner and New TNA Legends Champion: Kevin Nash 

In the post-match, the new champion continues his assault on Foley until, in a bizarre twist, Abyss runs out for the save.

Afterwards, in the back, Lauren interviews Sting, who hypes tonight’s main event.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Matt Morgan vs. Sting vs. Kurt Angle

TNA Hard Justice 2009 Review: Sting vs. Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan -TNA World Title
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the main event of the evening as young up-and-comer, Matt Morgan tries to overthrow the two veterans en route to being crowned new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

Yet after battling his way through a good, but not great, match and working hard to prove that he deserves to be on the same level as Angle and Sting, The Blueprint, unfortunately, comes a cropper on the wrong side of a Kurt Angle chair shot and takes the pin from the Olympic Gold Medallist.
Your Winner and Still TNA World Heavyweight Champion:  Kurt Angle

Despite all the criticisms levelled at TNA’s product, you have to give the group credit for knowing how to present a pay per view. 

A stacked card with a solid match-promo-match structure helps TNA’s PPV offerings to come across as big events which are above and beyond merely an extended edition of their Impact TV show. 

Yet all the wonderful presentation in the world can’t distract from the fairly lacklustre action. 

None of the matches on tonight’s show were particularly bad, and even the confuddling Knockouts Championship match was saved by the fact that, well, it’s the Knockouts (seriously, devote the first hour of Impact to the Beautiful People playing chess, and your reporter would be just as happy), but almost all of them seemed to be lacking that certain special something you’d expect from a pay per view event. 

Which is a shame, because TNA really are not quite as bad as everyone makes out. Then again, they could be so much better. 


I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.