PPV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA HARD JUSTICE PPV REPORT 8/13: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage
Aug 13, 2006 - 10:13:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA HARD JUSTICE PPV
AUGUST 13, 2006
LIVE FROM ORLANDO, FLA.
-On the pregame show, Alex Shelley said Kevin Nash injured his neck teaching Tito Ortiz the 840 splash, so he couldn't wrestle as scheduled later. Also on the pregame, Ron Killings beat A1 and Cassidy Riley & Sonjay Dutt beat Jimmy Jacobs & El Diablo.
-After a video preview, the PPV opened with Mike Tenay and Don West introducing the show as the camera panned the crowd.
1 -- "SHOWTIME" ERIC YOUNG vs. JOHNNY DEVINE
Devine told Young before the match that as a former partner, he knows he chokes all the time. Tenay and West talked about how fragile and paranoid Young is. The crowd chanted "Super Eric" early. Devine dominated early. Fire extinguishers were utilized in the rafters as pryo caught something on fire. It created a fog inside the ring. West apologized for the fogged up ring. Tenay said it's live TV. The crowd chanted, "You can't see us!" They get an A for creativity there. Tenay and West bragged that TNA is "literally on fire." Young scored a very near fall at 5:00 after a top rope elbowdrop. Devine went for a quick pin with his foot on the middle rope for leverage. Young hit a neckbreaker a minute later for the clean win. West said Young just saved his job.
WINNER: Young in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *
-After the match, Earl Hebner in street clothes attacked Slick Johnson from behind and choked him. Hebner yelled at Zbyszko that if he goes down, Zbyszko is going down with us.
-Tenay and West were shown on camera and reacted to the return of Hebner. They previewed the rest of the key matches. They said Jarrett and Steiner refused to grant them interviews, but camera caught them arriving at the arena. They also showed Sting arriving in a black Cadillac driven by Christian. After the clip, they showed a new mat being put down because the other was dampened by the extinguishers. They laughed about it being a moment they'll never forget and talk about forever.
-They went to the Sting-Jarrett video package to fill more time.
-At 8:32, they went back live to Tenay and Borash standing outside the Impact Zone. A fire truck was outside the studio. Tenay said the fire marshall has evacuated everyone from the arena to be sure it's safe for everyone. Borash stalled by saying not much of anything. They went to a clip of the fire in the rafters. West joined them and said the fans are being allowed back into the arena. West then went into full hype mode talking about the matches that were coming up. Tenay said he's never seen anything close to this in all of his years of live TV. West said some wrestlers may be affected and the fans may be on edge. Tenay said it was amazing the fans didn't want to leave during the fire in the opening match. Tenay and West kept stalling, talking about how hot and humid it was all day in Orlando. West said they may have to cancel a match, but all of the big matches will be included. At 7:40 Young walked up to Tenay and West and said he wanted Cornette to know this had nothing to do with him. "It wasn't my fault! Jim Cornette has to know this!" he said. It was about time they sent out a wrestler to help fill some TV time. Monty Brown then joined them and had to improvise a promo. He did "Best of Monty" hyping his match against Samoa Joe and Rhino. Meanwhile, they showed the arena actually filling with fans again. Shane Douglas and The Naturals walked up to Tenay. This is a dream situation for Douglas - a chance to cut a promo with no time restraint.
-They cut to Shelley, who said Nash is suffering from a serious neck injury. Borash said, "We've see this before. Do you expect us to believe this?" Shelley said, "I'm face to face with a human who lacks complete empathy, complete compassion for his fellow man." Shelley had Devine wheel Nash into the interview set. Nash said, "This is the darkest day of my life. I was going to leave the ring the number one contender, soon to be the X Division Champion." He said now he only give Alex his morale support. Nash took off his neck brace and offered Shelley his necklace as a good luck charm. Nash's delivery of the "darkest day in my life" line was hilarious.
2 -- CHRIS SABIN vs. ALEX SHELLEY
This, the second match of the show, began at 8:50 p.m. The rest of the event might feel a lot like a regular Impact - frenetic and rushed. Nash was wheeled to ringside after Shelley's ring intro. Tenay said nobody should be to blame for questioning Nash's injury due to his track record. West said fans should be commended since not one left during the fire evacuation. They went to reaction shots by Nash several times during the match. Tenay and West plugged Bound for Glory in Detroit. At 5:00 Shelley applied a groin claw, but Sabin came back immediately with a reverse sidekick, an enzuigiri, a dropkick, and a springboard legdrop for a near fall. Shelley spun around Sabin in mid-air and applied a crossface submission in a nice sequence. Sabin reached the bottom rope to force a break. Tenay noticed Shelley was wearing an armband with "Kev" written on it. Sabin hung Shelley upside down and gave him a hesitation dropkick leading to a near fall. Devine distracted the ref as Shelley worked over Sabin with a back cracker and shellshock. The ref turned around a counted two. Nash slid Shelley a chair, so Devine distracted the ref again. Their timing was off earlier. Sabin dropkicked the chair into Shelley's face, then hit Cradle Shock for the win.
WINNER: Sabin in 8:00 to become no. 1 contender for the X Title.
STAR RATING: ** -- Okay match.
-Borash interviewed Jim Mitchell and Abyss in a dark corner of the backstage area. Mitchell told Runt, "You are a cockroach who doesn't have the sense to scurry out of the way." Mitchell said there is a rumor that Runt is taking advice from Raven. Mitchell said Raven may be telling him stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk and David and Goliath, but those are all fairy tales, just like the chances of Runt beating his Weapon of Mass Destruction.
-Despite the loss of 40 minutes of the show due to the fire, they still aired the preview video package for the match.
3 -- BROTHER RUNT vs. ABYSS
Runt cut his hair into a mohawk and wore a tie-die t-shirt and black pants, changing his look dramatically. He bounced off of Abyss in the first minute. Abyss then pressed and threw Runt into the crowd. The fans threw him back. Runt avoided another toss into the crowd and gave Abyss the Acid Drop into the crowd over the railing. They showed Raven watching from the stands. Tenay said Runt just doesn't know any better that he's not supposed to stand a chance against Abyss. Abyss threw Runt head-first into a chair in the corner, then went on sustained offense. At 5:00 Runt hit Abyss with a chain and then a double foot stomp for a two count. He followed with an Acid Drop for another two count. Abyss squashed the ref by mistake in the corner. Mitchell threw a bag of tacks to Abyss. Abyss dumped them in center ring and shoved Runt's face into them, then stomped his face into them again. Runt used the pain to get fired up, as he went on a barrage of punches and headbutts against Abyss. Abyss, though, lifted and dropped Runt chest-first down onto the tacks. He followed with a Black Hole Slam onto the tacks for a three count. The bell was late in ringing after the three count. West said Runt has to be questioning why he challenged Abyss in the first place. Tenay said his determination and guts have to be admired. They showed Raven again looking on with his arms extended. They replayed the thumb tack spots.
WINNER: Abyss in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- They did an effective job making Runt seem believably competitive, but perhaps too good of a job as it may have hurt Abyss's killer image.
-Borash interviewed Rhino, whose interview style most resembles Road Warrior Animal mixed with Ultimate Warrior (minus the nonsense).
4 -- SAMOA JOE vs. RHINO vs. MONTY BROWN
After a brief three-way scuffle, Rhino dove over the top rope onto Brown on the floor. Joe followed with his running diving elbow through the ropes to Rhino's face at ringside. Joe whipped Rhino into the railing, then Brown attacked Joe. Joe, though, kicked a trash can into Rhino's face. Joe charged at Brown in a chair in the corner with his face buster boot. Rhino tossed Joe into the crowd, then grabbed a baking pan and hit Joe with it. He followed with a cane shot. Joe and Rhino brawled in the crowd for a minute. Brown joined in. They began wrecking the Impact set, throwing each other into the wood panels separating floor seats from the stands. After several minutes of stand-up brawling with weapons in the crowd, at 7:00 they took it to the ramp. Joe kicked Rhino to block a Gore, then Brown suplexed Rhino on the ramp leading to a two count. Brown scored a two count after dropkicking Joe. They returned to the ring at 9:00. Joe sentoned Brown with a trash can lid for extra impact. Rhino gave Joe a spinebuster onto a chair for a near fall. Brown stopped Joe's momentum against Rhino by yanking him out of the ring by his leg. He threw him into the announcers' table. They fought up the ramp away. Rhino attacked Joe on the ramp, then set up two tables against the wall of the entrance stage. Rhino charged at Brown, trying to Gore him off the stage into the tables, but Brown side-stepped Rhino. Joe then STO's Brown off the ramp and through a table for the pin. Tenay said, "If you aren't on your feet at home after that one, then dammit you don't have a pulse." Joe said, "I came here looking for a fight, and whether this son of a bitch burns down or not, I got one. And dammit, we can do it all over again!"
WINNER: Joe in 14:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Above-standard brawling weapons garbage spotfest. Good action for this type of match with a strong finish.
-Borash interviewed Zbyszko about the Hebner attack. Zbyszko said he can't read his mind and doesn't know why he did what he did. Zbyszko denied any involvement in the things Hebner accused him of. Slick Johnson told Zbyszko he believes Hebner's accusation. Too much of this Zbyszko-Johnson storyline in a pay event that is way behind schedule.
5 -- SIRELDA vs. GAIL KIM
Sirelda does that bad indy rookie overacting and reacting to the crowd that doesn't belong on a national PPV. Her wrestling isn't any better at this point, either. She's about as graceful at Ox Baker in his final years in the ring. Kim won clean with a neckbreaker off the ropes.
WINNER: Kim in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- This could have been cut. Shouldn't have been booked in the first place, actually.
-Borash interviewed Steiner. Steiner said Christian says he can't understand him, but he has a high education. He said he dumbs himself down in front of the fans. He then began to prove Christian right with some barely coherent, but entertaining, rambling.
6 -- SENSHI vs. PETEY WILLIAMS vs. JAY LETHAL -- X Title Match
Senshi overshot Lethal and Williams with a dive over the top rope onto the floor, and then landed on his feet after just grazing them. Williams blocked a powerbomb attempt by Lethal off the ring apron and then legdropped his throat. Back in the ring, Senshi chopped Lethal. At 4:00 Petey and Senshi took turns working over Lethal, then went after each other. When Senshi went to the top rope, Lethal caught him and went for a superplex. Senshi blocked it and hung Lethal upside down. He dove at Petey rather than go for his double stomp. Lethal hit both Senshi and Petey with a dropkick off the top rope. Lethal went on sustained offense against Senshi and Lethal, including a near fall on Senshi with a bridge suplex. Petey signalled for the Canadian Destroyer, but Lethal reversed it into a suplex into a bridge. At 8:00 they went into a nice series of pin attempts. Williams applied a sharpshooter on Lethal, but Senshi kicked him. At 10:00 Lethal missed a top rope headbutt, then Williams hit the Canadian Destroyer. Before he could make the cover, Senshi kicked him and made the cover himself.
WINNER: Senshi in 11:00 to retain the X Title.
STAR RATING: *** - Solid three-way X Division match. Not a show-stealing, though.
-Borash interviewed LAX backstage. Konnan did all the talking. They project a convincing image as a faction.
7 -- A.J. STYLES & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ (w/Konnan)
Hernandez overpowered Daniels early. Daniels fired back with a low dropkick. Homicide tagged in. Styles asked for the tag and got it. Some nice exchanges between them. Daniels tagged in and dove onto Hernandez in what appeared to be a botched spot. LAX isolated Styles for a few minutes. At 9:00 Styles hot-tagged Daniels. Daniels did a nice flip moonsault onto Homicide at ringside. Hernandez dove onto both Homicide and Daniels with a leap over the top rope onto the floor. Styles topped him with a springboard flip dive onto all three at 11:00. Styles face planted Homicide in the ring for a two count. Four-way action broke out including a three-way tower suplex out of the corner and then a Crackerjack by Hernandez on Styles. Styles came back with a Pele kick out of nowhere followed by an inverted DDT off the ropes for a two count. More chaos settled into Daniels holding Homicide down with a boot to the throat. Styles was shoved off the top rope by Hernandez before he could leap into Homicide. Styles and Daniels seconds later finished Hernandez with a high-low.
WINNERS: Styles & Daniels in 15:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Some botched or clunky spots, but enough athleticism and excitement to keep it solidly in the above-average range.
-Tenay and West hyped the main event.
-Borash held the mic for Christian backstage as he promo'd his involvement at ringside in the main event.
-They actually aired another video package regarding Sting and Jarrett.
8 -- JEFF JARRETT (w/Scott Steiner) vs. STING (w/Christian) -- NWA World Hvt. Title match
After the initial exchange, Jarrett slapped Sting. Sting went for an early Scorpion. Jarrett escaped and bailed to ringside. Sting threw Jarrett into the announcers' table and then bashed him with a fan. They went into the crowd for the Jeff Jarrett Special match format which Sting is surely happy to settle for. Steiner and Christian followed their men. At 6:00 they returned to the ring. Sting climbed to the top rope. Steiner hit Sting in the leg with a chair. Christian approached Steiner. Steiner gave him a belly-to-belly onto the floor, then did some push-ups. Jarrett worked over Sting's legs and then applied a figure-four. Sting reversed it at 9:00. Sting went for a Stinger Splash at half speed. Jarrett moved, then went for a Stroke. Sting reversed it into a Russian leg sweep. Steiner yanked the ref out of the ring during the count. Christian attacked Steiner. Jarrett lifted his knees as Sting went for a splash. The ref tried to order Christian to the back. The ref argued with Steiner next. Jarrett ran at Sting with the belt. Sting ducked. Christian shoved the belt to Sting, who KO'd Sting with it. The ref broke free from arguing with Steiner and made a count. Jarrett put a leg over the bottom rope at 11:00. Steiner hit Sting in the back with a chair. Sting fell onto Jarrett with a headbutt to his crotch. Both were down. Christian and Steiner both entered the ring. Christian poked Steiner's eye and stomped him in the corner. Christian KO'd Jarrett with a chair in a moment that was supposed to tease a turn. The ref ordered Christian to the back. Meanwhile, Steiner cheered on the decision. The ref then turned and ordered Steiner to the back. Jarrett put Sting in a Scorpion. Sting powered out and put on his own Scorpion. Jarrett reached the bottom rope. Sting went for a corner splash, but he hit the ref by mistake. Jarrett gave Sting a low blow and then a Stroke. Steiner returned to the ring and handed Jarrett a guitar. Christian ran out to stop Jarrett, bashing both Jarrett and Steiner with Sting's baseball bat. Christian slammed Jarrett off the top rope, then told Sting to go to the top rope. Sting flew at Jarrett, but Christian hit Sting with the guitar in mid-flight at 16:00. West shouted, "What did he just do?" Christian let out a cocky laugh and grinned as Jarrett covered Sting and the ref counted to three.
WINNER: Jarrett in 17:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Below average match with a bad finish. Sting looked overweight and lethargic. Jarrett fell back on his formula more than ever. The worst aspect of the finish is that Christian had no way of knowing - from a storyline standpoint - that the match wouldn't have ended by the time he turned on Sting. There also was nothing apparent in the match that would explain why Christian would pass up a chance earlier in the match to turn on Sting and actually helped him. Low IQ booking.
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