July 10, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

TNA Hard Justice
May 15, 2005
Orlando, FL
Universal Studios

The current NWA & TNA Champs were as follows:
NWA World Champion: Jeff Jarrett (6/2/2004)
NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Naturals (4/29/2005)
TNA X-Division Champion: Christopher Daniels (3/13/2005)

Chris Candido gets a nice ten bell salute in the Impact Zone before anything else happens. He died on April 28 2005 due to complications with a blood clot in his broken leg after surgery.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West.

Petey Williams & Eric Young (w/Scott D’Amore) vs. Sonny Siaki & Apolo
Apolo is a big Puerto Rican guy while Sonny Siaki is one of the few Samoan wrestlers who isn’t part of that huge massive wrestling family. They clean house on Team Canada to start. Back in, Williams tries to run Apolo down and that just won’t work. Young doesn’t even want a tag. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two and Siaki tags in for an armbar. EY nails Siaki from the apron and tags in, but runs into an armdrag. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Chops abound and Young takes a HUUUGE back body drop. Young tries to get the upper hand with a Flair Flip, but Apolo runs him off the apron onto the guardrail. In comes Petey to slingshot legdrop Apolo while he reaches through the ropes. Team Canada keeps Apolo on their side of the ring until Young gets nailed with a superkick. HOT TAG TO SIAKI! Clotheslines everywhere for Williams. Young runs in and gets launched into the air for a Samoan drop. Press powerslam on Petey gets 1-2-NO! As Petey rolls to the apron, Siaki tries bringing him in with a suplex and D’Amore trips him up for 1-2-NO! THAT FAT LOAD! EY nails Siaki with a jawbreaker, but Apolo wipes him out with a spear. Meanwhile, Petey fights off a superplex and then gives Apolo a flying headscissors. It doesn’t look so good. Nevertheless, that takes out Apolo. Petey goes to draw Siaki in for the CANADIAN DESTROYER. Siaki escapes and hits Williams with the Rolling Neckbreaker. Now D’Amore is on the apron to prevent a cover. While he’s with the ref, fellow Team Canada member A-1 pops up in the ring. He gives Siaki a Jackhammer and puts Petey on top for the 1-2-3. (8:08) The finish was pretty typical of Team Canada. I’m not even Canadian and those guys are my favorite stable TNA has ever produced. *½

Earlier today, everybody involved in the main event showed up at the building on time! That is something you would want the audience to know, TNA!

Matt Bentley & Trinity vs. Chris Sabin & Traci Brooks
Wonder why they went back and changed the commentary for Michael Shane’s matches. All that effort just to get over the Matt Bentley name? Can anyone shed some light on this? Traci is wearing some furry Bezerker boots which gets a HUSS chant going before the bell. Trinity SLAPS Traci to start and that sends Traci chasing after her. Bentley cuts her off and in comes Sabin. He delivers a springboard back elbow and flips all around Bentley to snap off a rana for 1-2-NO! Bentley escapes to the floor and lets Traci flip Trinity into the ring for a small package that takes them all around the ring. Monkey flip by Traci, but Trinity hits a springboard crossbody which Traci rolls through for two. Trinity hits a swinging neckbreaker, but misses a standing moonsault. She just can’t get it right today. Trinity tags out as Bentley stalks Traci, but she’s setting him up for a missile dropkick from Sabin. How did he not see that coming? Bentley shoves off the CRADLE SHOCK, but takes the reverse kick to the gut. Sabin heads up top, but Bentley brings him down with a SUPER HIP TOSS! Bentley and Trinity take turns choking Sabin in the ropes, but he comes back with a roll up on Bentley for two. Trinity trips up Sabin from the floor and hits him with a missile dropkick. Sabin fights out of a chinlock and fires back on Bentley. Bentley shoves off the Tornado DDT, but gets hit with the enziguri. HOT TAG TO TRACI! Flying Face Slam on Trinity gets 1-2-NO! She tries another, but Trinity shoves Traci off to the floor. That triggers an estrogen brawl on the ramp way. Meanwhile, Sabin runs down Bentley on the floor and takes him out with a springboard plancha. Back in, Sabin saves Traci from a FLYING HURRACANRANA by Trinity and takes the move himself. Haha, there’s a Lita chant. Trinity DOES remind me of Lita. Sabin fights off a double-team and stalks Trinity back into the corner, but then TRACI gives him a low blow! Now Traci is reminding me of Chyna! Bentley SUPERKICKS Trinity away and gives one to Sabin as well for the 1-2-3. (10:21) SWERVE~! Bentley and Traci are back together. Who really cares though? **

Slammiversary ad is shown. June 19! Live on PPV!

In the back, Terry Taylor meets with Team Canada. Later on in the night, all four members of Team Canada will be involved in the 20-Man ‘Gauntlet for the Gold’ match where the winner gets an NWA world title shot. The chances of someone in Team Canada winning this match are pretty high, I must say.

Elsewhere, TNA Director of Authority Dusty Rhodes gives Tito Ortiz the permission to ‘take care of bidness’ by any means necessary in the main event tonight. Tito says that if Jeff Jarrett gets out of line, hard justice will be served Tito Ortiz-style.

And now BACK over to Terry Taylor who is standing by with Raven. Turns out that Jeff Hardy didn’t have the guts or possibly the mental capacity to get an airplane ticket, drive to the nearest airport, and make it to the PPV on time. Sean Waltman will be replacing him tonight. For not showing up at the Hard Justice PPV, Jeff Hardy was suspended for three months. First of all, how bad is it that SEAN WALTMAN is replacing you on a PPV? Hardy would no-show another PPV AGAIN only four months later in December 2005 and blamed the tardiness AGAIN on traveling difficulties. And second of all, TNA REHIRED this guy in 2010.

Raven vs. Sean Waltman – Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match
The ‘Clockwork Orange’ House of Fun match is basically a weapons match with cyclone fencing up against only one side of the ring and falls count anywhere. Seems like a pretty heavy match to go into when you’re not even the guy who has a beef with Raven. Waltman attacks Raven from behind to start. Raven takes a trash can shot to the skull and rolls out to the floor where Waltman rakes Raven’s face across the fencing to bust him open. Back inside, Waltman drop toe holds Raven into the trash can, but Raven blocks the Bronco Buster with the very same trash can. More trash can violence ensues. Both men are bloody, but Raven is just a MESS. Waltman sidesteps the drop toe hold on the chair and throws the chair back at Raven. A couple spin kicks from Waltman and now he can hit the Bronco Buster. He follows up with the X FACTOR to literally no crowd response. To the floor, Waltman splashes Raven through a table for 1-2-NO! Back inside, Raven drops Waltman with the RAVEN EFFECT for 1-2-NO! Since that didn’t finish him off, Raven takes Waltman to the floor and throws him off the ramp through a table. Cover, 1-2-NO! Back to ringside, Raven handcuffs Waltman around the ringpost and beats him with a kendo stick. He asks Waltman if he wants to give up, but Waltman tells him to piss off. Dusty Rhodes and an extra ref comes down to unlock the cuffs. Apparently they have the SKELETON KEY~! It unlocks everything! Once Waltman is free, he ducks a chairshot and VAN DAMINATORS Raven away. Back inside the ring, Waltman makes Raven pay by beating him some more with the kendo stick. Waltman finds a STAPLE GUN and staples Raven a few times on the forehead. As Waltman charges off the ropes, Raven backdrops him into the fencing to knock it over. Raven runs over and pins Waltman for the 1-2-3. (13:04) Pretty slow and boring brawl, but it reminded me at least of Raven’s character as a guy who will HURT people to an excessive degree even when there’s no real justification. I mean, he had no issue with Sean Waltman prior to this match. **

They show Tito Ortiz talking to AJ Styles in the locker room.

In the back, Diamond Dallas Page shows Terry Taylor a text he got from BG James. Now they don’t show us what it said on the PPV, but my super secret TNA sources showed me what it really said.

Anyways, Ron Killings comes by and says he’ll be DDP’s partner. And just like that, DDP and Ron Killings are a tag team.

Monty Brown & The Outlaw vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Ron Killings
So I believe this is DDP’s final TNA appearance as he left wrestling to work on his acting career and to sell his own line of yoga DVDs. This match is like two feuds mixed into one match. The Outlaw has been screwing with 3 Live Kru since he came into TNA making them think that the New Age Outlaws are getting back together. Meanwhile, Monty Brown turned on DDP back at Destination X to join up with Jeff Jarrett. Monty Brown shoves DDP around all over the place to start. DDP gets off one armdrag and starts mocking Monty Brown’s shtick by wiping his head on the top rope. Real cute. They trade headlocks and trip each other, but then DDP hits Brown with a swinging neckbreaker for two. In comes Killings and the Outlaw. Killings is all hiptosses and armdrags until he gives Outlaw a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. A tilt-a-whirl slam stops Killings as he takes a bad landing. Killings becomes *your* face in peril for a while. Eventually, Outlaw goes for the FAMOUSER and Killings cuts him off with a jumping heel kick. HOT TAG TO DDP! He goes DISCUS CLOTHESLINE CRAZY! Sitout powerbomb on Brown gets two. He dumps out Monty and goes to stomping on the Outlaw when Phi Delta Slam comes out and starts beating up DDP! Umm, DQ? I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THESE FATTIES? DDP fights them off with DIAMOND CUTTERS. Outlaw tries to catch him with the Cobra Clutch Slam, but he elbows out and hits Outlaw with the DIAMOND CUTTER. And just as DDP gets to his feet, Brown runs in and drills him with the POUNCE! Cover, 1-2-3. (8:57) Well, DDP did the right thing doing the job on his way out. Unless Monty Brown did something wrong, TNA should REALLY resign him and get rid of some other dead weight. *

Earlier today, Mike Tenay interviewed the new NWA world tag champs Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens: The Naturals. They put Chris Candido over as a big inspiration in their careers. Since they have regained the NWA world tag titles, they have received particularly a lot of support from a true legend that otherwise wouldn’t have given them the time of day. Who are you talking about, Andy? They can’t go into details right now because it’s just too personal. We’ll find out soon enough.

NWA World Tag Team Champions The Naturals vs. America’s Most Wanted
Chris Candido gets a big chant right at the bell. Stevens and Storm trade wristlocks and armdrags galore. Inverted atomic drop sets up a Russian legsweep from AMW to Stevens for two. In comes Douglas, AMW give him a double powerbomb for two. Douglas comes back with a reverse neckbreaker on Storm and tags in Stevens for a face slam on his knee. Storm rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Stevens in the head to take back control. Harris tags in, whips Storm into Stevens in the corner, and then drops Stevens with a bulldog. To the floor we go! The typical ringside TNA brawl ensues. This goes on for a GOOD five minutes. Back inside, Harris catches Douglas coming off the top for an inverted atomic drop. Stevens saves his partner by nailing Harris with a flying forearm and a kip up. Who is he, Shawn Michaels all of a sudden? Storm stops Stevens with the EYE OF THE STORM! Douglas wipes out Storm with a crossbody block and everybody’s down. Once everybody is back up, they do a TOWER OF DOOM spot where Stevens gets the worst of it. This is TNA! They all stand up swinging at each other. Storm catches Douglas with the Swinging Noose for 1-2-NO! Stevens gets Harris with the DEATH VALLEY DRIVER for 1-2-NO! NATURAL DISASTER on Storm? No! Harris spears Douglas away and Storm shoves Stevens off into the ropes for a Superkick! AMW wants to put away Stevens with the DEATH SENTENCE, but Douglas pushes Harris off the top rope down onto the guardrail. As Storm shoves Douglas off the apron, Stevens rolls up Storm with his feet on the ropes and gets the 1-2-3. (15:01) Hardly a tag match at all with all four men in the ring at the same time for about the last ten minutes or so. Decent enough action and just slightly better than the tag title change. While there were some high risk moves here, they were just too contrived for me to really get behind them. **½

In the back, some guy tries to keep Tito Ortiz out of Jeff Jarrett’s dressing room. He gets choked down just as Jeff Jarrett opens the door. Monty Brown walks out and Jarrett introduces Brown to Ortiz. Monty walks away seemingly unimpressed. Jarrett welcomes Tito into his room and shuts the door behind him.

TNA X-Division Champion Christopher Daniels vs. Shocker
Tenay says Shocker turned down a chance to be at AAA’s TripleMania show to be here at Hard Justice. It’s got the word ‘Mania’ in the title so you know it’s a big deal in wrestling. Quick feeling out process to start. They head to the apron where Shocker tilt-a-whirl headscissors Daniels to the floor. Shocker teases a plancha of sorts and somersaults over the top rope to the floor landing on his feet. Daniels tries the split-legged moonsault, but Shocker moves and Daniels lands on his feet, but tweaks his ankle. That allows Shocker enough time to wipe Daniels out with a suicide dive. Back in, Daniels gives Shocker a swinging neckbreaker through the ropes and goes to work on the neck. STO gets two and then Daniels changes over to a Koji Clutch. Daniels cranks on the neck and tries a rana, but Shocker blocks with a powerbomb. Shocker wins a chop fest and unloads with clotheslines. He hits a Frog Splash for 1-2-NO! Shocker lifts Daniels off the mat, but he’s suckering Shocker into a reverse STO. Daniels wants the BME, but Shocker moves too close to the corner and Daniels COMPLETELY misses. No worries, he pops right back up and hits Shocker with a split-legged moonsault for 1-2-NO! Ehh, I don’t care for that. If you miss a move even if its not intentional, SELL IT. Shocker elbows out of a waistlock and delivers a wheelbarrow into a small package for two. Daniels tries for the ANGELS WINGS, but Shocker backdrops out and rolls through very slowly for a dropkick on Daniels. Shocker looks for a Tornado DDT, but Daniels palm strikes him to stop that. Nevertheless, Shocker blocks a superplex and brings Daniels down with a SUPER FRONT SUPLEX! Instead of going for the cover, Shocker grabs an STF. Daniels bites his way out with a smile on his face. He does the same with a camel clutch. Shocker sets Daniels up top, but he lifts Shocker up and drops him on the top rope. Somehow, Daniels manages the SUPER ANGELS WINGS out of that for the 1-2-3. (12:00) Kind of had an awkward feel to it with a few too many missed spots and screw-ups. They just didn’t seem to have too much chemistry together. Thus ends Shocker’s TNA push. **½

20-Man ‘Gauntlet for the Gold’ Match
A new wrestler enters the match at the end of every minute. Battle royal rules are in effect until there are only two men left in the ring – then it becomes pinfall or submission to find the winner. Bobby Roode and Zach Gowen are the first two entrants. Roode steals Gowen’s prosthetic leg just for the fun of it. Gowen battles back with a dropkick and a moonsault from the second rope. In comes Eric Young to make this 2-on-1. They stomp on his leg until Cassidy Riley comes out as the fourth entrant. He handsprings all over Team Canada, but Roode stops him from eliminating Young. Elix Skipper is the fifth guy in the ring. He shoots in with a slingshot somersault clothesline on Young. Springboard moonsault from Skipper wipes out Roode. Team Canada is finally outnumbered for a while. Shark Boy comes in and bites Gowen on his butt to send him flying over the top rope. Makes sense that the one-legged man would have the absolute WORST equilibrium. Shark Boy continues to dominate as A-1 – the third of four members of Team Canada – enters the match at #7. That temporarily evens the playing field for Team Canada. Here comes Chris Sabin at #8. He does that spot where he swinging DDTs a guy and kicks everybody down around him. I LOVE IT! In comes Petey Williams as the ninth man in the match. Now ALL FOUR Team Canada members are in the match. He goes for a CANADIAN DESTROYER on Shark Boy, but he’s nearly eliminated as Shark Boy backdrops to the apron. A-1 saves Petey by dumping Shark Boy out. Cassidy Riley tries to clothesline Young out. Both men are hanging onto the top rope, but Riley skins-the-cat back in and takes a headscissors from EY to send Riley out for real this time. Sonny Siaki is the #10 guy and he goes right after A-1 for costing him his match in the PPV opener. Skipper tries to walk across the ropes and hurracanrana Petey down, but Skipper nearly looses his balance and Roode charges them both. He was supposed to shove Skipper to the floor and ends up just taking him out with a clothesline instead. Lance Hoyt enters the match at #11. People in Orlando LOVED this guy and they never really took him very far. He does everybody a favor and tosses out Eric Young. Meanwhile, Sabin tries his best to get rid of Petey Williams, but that guy hangs onto the bottom rope like a spider monkey. Matt Bentley runs down as the #12 guy. Within the first minute, Sabin and Bentley crash and burn out to the floor. It’s getting personal! Meanwhile, Williams and Roode knock Siaki off the apron to eliminate him. Jerrelle Clark flies into the match at #13. Again, Team Canada is still ruling the ring so Clark has no chance. A-1 and Roode help slam dunk Clark as Petey gives him the CANADIAN DESTROYER. The impact flips Clark back over again and out over the top rope. HA! I liked how it looked realistic too. We’re down to just Team Canada (minus EY) and Lance Hoyt. Mikey Batts enters the match at #14. Hoyt launches Batts onto Team Canada to take them down at least for the time being. Here comes the Outlaw at #15. He’s got TWO Cobra Clutch Slams for Mikey Batts before tossing him out. That eats up a good minute. In comes Trytan at #16. OVW fans might remember him as Jacob Duncan. The man’s got Chokeslams. Ron Killings enters the ring at #17 and fires away on everybody, but Trytan stops him with a press powerslam. Once Trytan looks the other way, Team Canada runs over and shoves him out to eliminate him. Apolo is the #18 entrant. He superkicks some people, but misses a charge on the Outlaw and flies over the top rope. BG James enters the match at #19. Hey I thought you were getting high with Jeff Hardy! BG and the Outlaw lock eyes immediately and everybody beats them down. Meanwhile, Hoyt boots out Roode, but then A-1 dumps out Hoyt with some help from Roode. BG hits Petey with the PUMPHANDLE SLAM while Outlaw gives A-1 the FAMOUSER. They dump out Team Canada while STILL just looking at one another. That’s when the #20 ABYSS runs in and clotheslines them out.

That leaves Abyss vs. Ron Killings – pinfall or submission. Apparently that dude’s been on the floor. Well, back to the floor they go as Abyss tries to have some fun and the ref won’t let him. Back in, Killings comes back with his splits and stuff until he runs into a boot. Abyss pulls out his chain right in front of the ref to distract him while he uses a chair. The ref is fiddling with the chain FOREVER while Killings fights off the chair shot, gives Abyss a LOUD chair shot to the face, and then flies at him with the chair. With the chair still in the ring, the ref finally comes over and counts 1-2-NO! Just for that, Abyss avalanches the ref in the corner. That gets the biggest pop of the night. Killings SUPER AX KICKS Abyss down onto a chair. Cover, but there’s no ref. As Killings walks away to check on the ref, he turns back around into a CHOKESLAM on the chair! Cover, 1-2-NO! Abyss goes to splash the chair on Killings and Killings was supposed to turn the chair vertical so it would harm some testicles, but they have to do the spot over and this time they get it right. Killings comes off the second rope, but flies down into the BLACK HOLE SLAM for the 1-2-3. (26:51) So even though Abyss lost a #1 contender’s match at Lockdown, he’s still getting an NWA world title shot. They seem to just have fun with these gauntlet matches and nothing is taken too seriously. The booking was pretty good for the most part and I liked the finish having a former NWA world champ taking on Abyss. What they could have done better on was the eliminations of Team Canada – especially Petey and A-1's eliminations at the end which were REALLY weak when you consider they were the whole story of the match up to that point. Other than that, a pretty fun match that allows everybody to see their cool moves. ***¼

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles – Special Referee: Tito Ortiz
Like with most special referee bouts where the guest is a professional fighter, Tito shows who’s the boss in this match by pulling Jeff Jarrett away from AJ whenever Tito thinks its necessary. AJ is all headlocks and hammerlocks once they get going. Once Styles gets moving, Jarrett bails and hurries back in as Ortiz starts up the ten count. Jarrett goes low to take control, but AJ hits Jarrett with a dropkick followed by the jumping knee drop for two. Jarrett comes back with a gutbuster and starts taking Styles to school. WOO! This leads to the FIGURE-FOUR! AJ can’t make the ropes so he turns the hold over to gain the break. In the corner, AJ catches Jarrett with a boot and hits him with a flying tornado DDT! Jarrett bails again and trips AJ up on the apron. Jarrett knocks Styles off the apron to the guardrail and tries it again, but Ortiz stands in his way and CHOKES Jarrett back! Now AJ pulls Jarrett out, but he misses a clothesline and gets run into the ringpost. Jarrett finds his GEETAR and Ortiz stands in his way. AJ steals the guitar away from Jarrett and goes to whack him, but Tito stops him from doing it as well. If nobody can use it, AJ breaks the guitar into pieces on the ramp way. Back in, AJ hits Jarrett with a springboard forearm smash! Spinning heel kick connects and then AJ sells the leg. He hits a Quebrada DDT anyway for 1-2-NO! Jarrett avoids the STYLES CLASH and blocks a rana with a powerbomb for two. AJ counters the STROKE, but runs into a powerslam for two. AJ hits the PELE KICK, but Jarrett goes the STROKE again. AJ shoves him off and gets caught with a sunset flip. Instead of going for the three-count, Jarrett pulls AJ up into his own version of the STYLES CLASH! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now Styles hits Jarrett with the STROKE! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jarrett rolls away from the 450 Splash, but Jarrett rolls through and goes for the STYLES CLASH. Just before he lifts him up, Styles spots MONTY BROWN in the corner of his eye and moves out of the way as Monty hits Jarrett with the POUNCE! Whoops. Now Ortiz and Brown get into a confrontation. Meanwhile, ref Rudy Charles runs in to count for AJ as he’s got Jarrett covered for 1-2-NO! Ortiz yanks out ref Rudy Charles because he’s in charge! AJ gets up to question Ortiz, but takes a low blow by Jarrett. He sets up Styles up in the corner and begins to punch away. Meanwhile, Ortiz is trying to get Jarrett’s attention and he’s just ignoring him. Finally, Tito yanks him down to the mat. Jarrett shoves Tito back and then takes a knockout blow right across the chops for that. Styles brings back the SPIRAL TAP for the win and his third NWA world title. (19:33) This was quite enjoyable for the first ten minutes. From there, it just turned into your typical TNA overbooked main event finish. Then again, I always mark out for the Tyson-HBK knockout blow at WrestleMania 14 when I see it. Of course this is on a much smaller scale than the Tyson-HBK moment, but I still enjoyed seeing Jarrett get punched down by Ortiz here. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Despite the big moment at least at the time for AJ Styles, TNA just had an off-night here. Either that or they just didn’t have a lot to work with on this PPV offering. Slight ‘thumbs in the middle’ only for the long-time fans of AJ Styles, but otherwise you can completely skip this show.

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