September 8, 2012
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

TNA: Hardcore Justice
August 12, 2012
Orlando, FL
Impact Zone

The current TNA champs are as follows:
TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Austin Aries (7/8/2012)
TNA Television Champion: Devon (3/18/2012)
TNA X-Division Champion: Zema Ion (7/8/2012)
TNA World Tag Team Champions: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (6/28/2012)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Miss Tessmacher (6/10/2012)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Eric Young & ODB (2/28/2012)

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Tazz.

Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Kid Kash & Gunner
The heels start with a Pearl Harbor job, but Chavo looks like the hero and cleans house. Three Amigos on Kash, but Gunner stops the Frog Splash. Thank God. Chavo becomes the Latino-in-peril for a VERY extended of time in this day and age. I donít really need to go into that much detail because itís standard stuff, but still fun to watch at the same time. Hot tag to Hernandez. He knocks and throws Gunner and Kash around. A cutter off the shoulders to Kash gets two. Double-clothesline to Hernandez fails and he clotheslines them back. With Gunner rolling out to the floor, Hernandez makes him pay with the Big Man Dive. Hernandez then slingshot shoulderblocks Kash on the way in for the FROG SPLASH by Chavo for the win. (9:36) Just a fun match to get the PPV going. It also doesnít hurt that Iím a mark for Hernandez. **Ĺ

Mr. Anderson vs. Magnus vs. Rob Van Dam Ė Falls Count Anywhere
This one is for 20 BFG Series points. Unless Iím just completely slow and that most fans have already figured this out, but did TNA just take what NASCAR does and apply some of the same principles of the NASCAR point system to their own programming because most southern wrestling fans also probably watch NASCAR? In other news (or just an update if the TNA/NASCAR thought bubble isnít really news), the Pope is no longer the fourth participant as he is attacked by Aces and 8's right before his entrance and will not wrestle tonight, so they three-way this thing instead. They even step on his sunglasses! Is it weird that I love that Dinero is selling this beating with the Jake Roberts breathing noises? You know what Iím talking about. Thereís the bell. RVD poses up in the corner like a MORON and gets shoved out to the floor. He must be on drugs or something. Magnus and Anderson try for a quick pin on each other, but that gets stopped once RVD arrives back on the scene with the same offense heís been doing for over fifteen years now. He drops Magnus on the guardrail and tries for his spinning kick off the apron, but Anderson runs him down. Magnus gets his head bounced off the steps a few times for a nearfall. Now he tries a whip, but Magnus reverses and Anderson goes shoulder-first into the steps. Out comes a chair. A swing by Magnus misses. Anderson attempts a DDT, but Magnus shoves him down onto the chair instead. Over to the staging area, Magnus drops Anderson on the guardrail. Here comes RVD to throw a chair at Magnus so he can nail Anderson with that spinning kick he wanted earlier. Once again, RVD gets caught posing like an idiot and gets stuck in the Texas Cloverleaf. Anderson puts a stop to that and takes Magnus back to the ring for a double-KO. In comes RVD. They tease a tower of DOOOOM spot. Magnus gets eliminated to the floor by Anderson. He wants a superplex, but RVD shoves him down for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH. Magnus yanks out RVD before he can cover Anderson and gives him a suplex on the ramp. As RVD crawls up the ramp, Magnus brings a chair with him. That goes completely south for Magnus as he eats a Van Daminator for the 1-2-3. (9:04) Van Dam got a little blood running there on his elbow. Another acceptable match. It didnít go too far and didnít need to especially when weíre only at the second match of the night for crying out loud. RVD now goes to second place one point behind James Storm in the BFG rankings. **Ĺ

Jeremy Borash says that security has done a complete sweep of the building and that Aces and 8's are nowhere to be found. Well, I think they ought to check again. Now Madison Rayne walks over and tells us that she doesnít need any help from referees to win titles because sheís won so many already. Tessmacher will NOT beat her tonight. Just as soon as those words are spoken, she blows a kiss intended for Earl Hebner. That might work, but she might have to give a little more than that. I heard somewhere that HBK gave Earl a reach-around in Montreal once.

TNA Television Champion Devon vs. Kazarian
So Kazarian cheated to beat Devon in a non-title match last Thursday. Letís see if that turns into a title victory. Kaz gets scared out to the floor and plays a little Michael Hayes before getting flipped into the ring. Something goes weird with the feed as we lose sound. Anyways, Devon beats Kazarian to the floor and hits him with a water bottle that splashes all over one of the ringside camera lenses. Those HD cameras arenít that expensive anyways. This is just one big beat-em-up for Devon wanting revenge from last week. TESTIFY! Kaz gets sneaky though to take control and snaps Devonís neck off the top rope. A couple springboard moves and Kaz gets a nearfall. Kazarian works the chinlock and they come up fighting. Kazarian wins the slugfest via poking Devon in the eyes. He tries another springboard, but Devon sees it coming and blasts Kaz with a Spear. HERE COMES DEVON! Jumping shoulderblock gets two. Kaz misses a corner charge and takes a neckbreaker out of the corner. Cover, 1-2-NO! Kaz counters the FAAROOQ SPINEBUSTER with the crucifix for two. However, Devon avoids FADE TO BLACK and hits the spinebuster after all to retain his TV title. (8:31) I understand heís a veteran and all, but where are they going with this title run? Is he the new Arn Anderson? You just put a belt on this guy and give him nothing, yet have him hold the title seemingly forever? **

TNA Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne
This is brilliant. A hot chick mildly whoring herself out to the ref to win matches. WWE has to be pissed they didnít think of it first. Earl is the ref too, by the way. Tessmacher tries for a quick pin to start. Nothing doing. Rayne smashes Tessmacherís face on the turnbuckle from the apron to take control. A few hope spots by Tessmacher, but Rayne cuts her off with a back elbow. Nice Northern Lights suplex by Rayne gets two. The Scissor Stomp is quite effective and the crowd goes wild. That scores a nearfall. Rayne gets a little pissed at Earlís count. That allows Tessmacher to deliver a jawbreaker and mount her comeback. TESS-SHOCKER is blocked, but she nails a face slam out of the corner. Flying Elbow Drop, but Tessmacher canít cover. Even so, Rayne rolls to the ropes and prevents the three-count. As Tessmacher walks away to yell at Earl, Rayne rolls her up and grabs the ropes for the win and her FOURTH TNA Knockouts championship. (5:28) Hebner wasnít in a spot where he could have seen Rayne grab the ropes, so the ruse continues! *Ĺ

In the back, Bully Ray says tonight he will keep his back against the wall so Aces and 8's canít jump him while heís talking to of all people Jeremy Borash. Apparently, thereís a hit taken out for Bully Ray. He knows heís tough, but still heís obviously outnumbered. Come find him, guys. His future is so bright, heís going to Phoenix to win the TNA world title! Yeah!

In a video package, we see what the Aces and 8's have been up to for the past couple months. I like it.

James Storm vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E Ė Tables Match
Another 20 points up for grabs here. Robbie E gets dumped immediately so the real men can fight it out. Bully Ray owns the ring though. Robbie slides a table into the ring and Bully nearly takes a double-team suplex through the table, but Robbie makes sure that doesnít happen. Bully actually takes out the corner of the table and appears to have hurt his shoulder. Now Robbie E takes over and wants to put Hardy through a table, but takes too long posing like a fool up in the corner. Storm kicks him in the head and over comes Jeff for the Tower of DOOOOOM, but Bully moves the table. Bully tries to backdrop Jeff through a table, but now Storm intercepts and hits Closing Time to send Bully to the floor. Hardy delivers the sitout gourdbuster on Robbie E. To the floor, Hardy wants to put Robbie E through the table by diving off the top rope, but his bouncer Robbie T comes down and provides the distraction as Hardy leaps on top of him. Now Robbie E seizes the moment and runs Hardy into the guardrail so he can elbow drop Jeff through a table, but Hardy moves at the last second. Meanwhile in the ring, Bully Ray looks to run Storm through a table in the corner. Just as things look golden for him, Aces and 8's show up around ringside. With that distraction, Storm hits the LAST CALL that sends Bully Ray to the floor. Here comes Jeff to take on Storm. Whisper in the Wind connects and so does the Twist of Fate. He puts Storm on the table and heads up top, but Aces and 8's distracts again. Storm nails Jeff with the LAST CALL and attempts the EYE OF THE STORM through the table, but Bully interrupts and dumps Storm out so he can powerbomb Jeff on the table to call it a night. (13:47) Knowing he just stole this one and that Aces and 8's are still at ringside, Bully jumps the rope and heads up the ramp grabbing his arm he hurt earlier. Liked the psychology in that they simply wanted to put people through tables. Nothing more, nothing less. ***

Backstage, Austin Aries answers Twitter questions. Tonight he will prove to the world that his title victory last month was not a fluke.

TNA X-Division Champion Zema Ion vs. Kenny King
Kenny King feels Ion out to start. They head to the floor where KK somersault planchas off the apron. Back in, Zema cuts off a springboard try and snaps KKís neck on the top rope. Back to the floor, Zema shows off his somersault plancha skills. Back in for real this time, Ion catches Kenny with a neckbreaker for two. Some stomping and choking ensues. King mounts a comeback and delivers the jumping heel kick for a nearfall. Nasty exploder suplex lands Zema in the corner. Back on the floor, KK knocks Zema over with a corkscrew plancha. Now they head in the ring as Kenny hits the Springboard Blockbuster for 1-2-NO! Zema avoids the Royal Flush, but KK ducks a quick kick and trips up Ion for a half crab. Zema escapes and hits the Hostile Makeover. Thatíll do wonders for your neck. Cover, 1-2-NO! Nothing is settled up top, as KK flips down and nails Zema with a jumping enziguri. That gets two. Now a cartwheel kick from King scores another nearfall. King wants a Booker T scissor rollup, but Zema blocks and delivers a GORY BOMB for the win. (11:06) Seems like they could have gone another five minutes with that finishing sequence. Anyways, no chance of anybody getting the X-Division title until Jesse Sorenson returns. That is, unless TNA decides to swerve us for the sake of swerving Ė AGAIN. **Ĺ

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe Ė Ladder Match
Yep, 20 points on the line here. If either Joe or Angle win, they take the lead in the BFG series. Daniels is the proverbial punching bag for the other three to start. Eventually, Styles just dumps him out and Joe controls the ring. Daniels interrupts the face wash to Angle and yanks Joe out to the floor. He tries a pescado, but Joe catches him in mid-air, then allowing AJ to bowl them both over with a pescado of his own. Back in, Styles waits on the apron to try a springboard move, but Daniels jabs him in the knee with the ladder. Inside the ring, Daniels pins Joe in the corner and charges, but Joe pushes the ladder aside onto the bottom rope and gives Daniels STJoe on the ladder. AJ dropkicks Joe out, but then takes a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Angle. He wants the ANGLE SLAM, but Daniels low blows Angle with the ladder and throws him to the floor. Daniels makes the first climb for the clipboard, but Joe buckle bombs him down. Angle stops Joe from reaching the top and delivers an overhead belly to belly suplex. USA! USA! USA! In comes AJ who shoves the ladder all awkwardly into Angleís face as he comes off the ropes. Pele Kick to Joe! That is one thing that I miss about Don West Ė his unabashed marking out for the Pele kick. Daniels brings in another ladder and gets beaten down in the corner for his troubles by Styles. Now Joe backdrops AJ out and blasts him with the Elbow Suicida. He attacks Angle on the floor, but pays with another overhead suplex. Daniels brings Joe and AJ back in the ring for some reason. It ends with Joe ruling the ring and giving Daniels an overhead suplex into the corner. Joe grabs Styles for the MUSCLE BUSTER, but Angle tries to make this look cooler with a release German suplex! Oh, AJ gets loose. It didnít end too well. Cool idea though. Daniels armdrags away the Angle Slam and gives him an STO. Now he heads up for the clipboard, but Angle pulls him down into the ANKLELOCK. Daniels kicks him away and then again runs Angleís face into the ladder. Here comes Styles with his signature springboard clothesline. Now he takes his turn to climb the ladder, but Daniels turns it over and AJ lands on the floor. Daniels makes another climb, but Joe and Angle shove the ladder over. They take turns giving him suplex after suplex hoping to eliminate him from being any kind of threat from now on. With the ladder standing, they stick Daniels on the middle rungs. Joe falls to the floor allowing Angle to climb. Daniels grabs hold of Angleís legs while Joe makes it back inside and onto the second ladder. He headbutts Angle down. In the meantime, AJ springboards onto the ladders and grabs the clipboard to earn 20 more points. (16:22) Good match, but it just didnít reach that epic encounter that you know they all could have had without the ladder. AJ is still 30 points behind Storm, so I wouldnít be too excited for him, folks. ***ľ

Borash meets with Bobby Roode one last time. Austin Aries is a F-L-U-K-E champion.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode Ė Last Chance Match
No matter who wins, this is the last time these two will face each other. Well, at least until TNA changes their minds. Big staredown followed by a big spit take by Aries. SNAP! He tries for the LAST CHANCERY several times right from the start, but Roode though makes sure he escapes to the floor before the hold is locked on. Once Roode stops stalling, Aries hits him with the IED. The BRAINBUSTER follows, but Roode again bails to the floor. Aries catches him not looking with a pescado and brings Roode into the ring. When he rolls out to the other side, Aries blasts him again with a pescado. You would think he would have seen that coming. In the ring, Aries snapmares Roode and dropkicks the neck from the second rope. Roode telegraphs a backdrop, gets punted in the chest, and rolls out again. Aries takes a dive, but Roode moves and Aries eats the guardrail. Some more guardrail action occurs for two. Roode hangs Aries out to dry and gives him a suplex back on the mat. Knee drop gets two. Roode tries to wear Aries down with a waistlock for a while. Aries tries to come back with a Crucifix Driver, but Roode puts the brakes on that and gives him a gutbuster instead for another nearfall. He cuts off Aries again with a kitchen sink and applies a body scissors. Aries fights out, but Roode runs him into the corner and puts him in the tree of woe to stomp the midsection some more. In a fashion that only Aries could, he comes out of the tree of woe into an Acid Drop on Roode. Inverted atomic drop and clothesline follows. As Roode rolls to the floor, Aries wants the Heat Seeking Missile. Roode knows itís coming and walks away, but Aries still nails him with a Randy Savage double sledge off the top. That puts Roode in a chair at ringside, so Aries delivers an IED just for fun.

Back in, that gets two. LAST CHANCERY! Roode goes to the eyes to break loose. Now the Crippler Crossface, but Roode stands up with Aries in his arms and drops him with a backbreaker. Roode grabs the Crippler Crossface, but Aries makes the ropes. He tries to dump Aries out, but he lands on the apron and delivers a missile dropkick. Another IED, but the BRAINBUSTER gets countered to the Double-R Spinebuster. Cover, 1-2-NO! Up top, Aries earclaps Roode to send him down. He tries to land the 450 SPLASH, but Roode brings up the knees! Here comes the SPEAR, but Aries sidesteps and Roode nails the Hebner. Aries tries the Rolling Elbow, but Roode cuts him off with the SPEAR. No ref, naturally. Another ref runs in and counts 1-2-NO! Neither one can hit their finish and the new ref gets squashed in the corner. Now Aries punts Roode in the head and delivers the BRAINBUSTER. The Hebner slow counts 1-2-NO! Roode stops the 450 SPLASH up top and brings him down with a superplex. Once they hit the mat, itís an inside cradle with both menís shoulders pinned to the mat for the double-pin at 22:56. The bald ref is in favor of Aries while the Hebner favors Roode. Being the senior ref, Earl heads down and orders the match to be restarted. Roode grabs the belt and calls Earlís decision BS. Aries goes to nail him with the Heat Seeking Missile, but Roode blocks that using the belt knocking him out. He rolls Aries back inside and covers 1-2-NO! In a way similar to Bret beating Diesel at Survivor Series 1995, Roode picks up a limp Aries only to be pinned with a surprise cradle seconds later. (26:36) While this didnít have the anticipation of the first match, itís still a great match. I donít think you can really ask for more from these two. They have given us over 45 minutes of solid wrestling on the last PPVs. The finish seemed a little screwy, but even so it ended up working out quite logically. You donít need to have a completely clean finish every match in southern wrestling. Thatís just not what it is all about. With that said, Austin Aries is still the man. ****

Final Thoughts: TNA continues their hot streak with another solid PPV. Not brimming with tons of asterisks and MOTYCs, but this show had a nice pace and left you feeling satisfied and wanting more. Iím interested in seeing where the Aries title reign goes, where the Aces and 8's angle is headed, and of course seeing the great matches they keep putting out from pretty much everyone on the roster. Slight thumbs up for Hardcore Justice 2012.

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