We crowned a new TNA World Heavyweight Champion in the “Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, who defeated AJ Styles after Hulk Hogan got involved. However, the controversial nature of the win infuriated the former champion AJ. AJ called for Hogan to resign as TNA commissioner claiming that him, Sting and Jeff were in cahoots. Hulk responded by announcing that AJ would get his rematch for the TNA World Title on Impact!… in a LADDER MATCH! In what would be the feud-ending match, Jeff and AJ put on a clinic. However, as Jeff and AJ were getting up from a hard bump, Sting appeared out of nowhere. He pointed the baseball bat at AJ… but clobbered Jeff! AJ and the rest of the fans are in shock as Sting seems to have turned heel. Sting drops Jeff with the Scorpion Deathdrop and leaves. AJ capitalizes on this to bring down the title and regain the TNA World Title.
The next Impact, “Bad Influence” Christopher Daniels and Kazarian came out to question AJ’s legitimacy as champion. AJ responds by saying neither of them could beat him, even on his worst day. AJ would team with the NEW X-Division Champion TAKA Michinoku to lose to the duo on Impact, with Daniels getting the pin. Kaz would later beat AJ one-one-one in a non-title match. Following this, Hogan announced that AJ would defend the TNA World Title at Hard Justice against both Kaz and Daniels in a triple threat match.
Sting came out to explain his actions during the ladder match by stating that he loved TNA. It is because he loves it so much that he needs to make the tough decisions to save TNA. Sting says that Jeff winning the title following Hogan’s interference was an injustice to professional wrestling and that Jeff and Hogan had diminished the title’s prestige. As much as he didn’t like AJ, AJ was a victim of the conspiracy in TNA that revolves around Hulk Hogan being ruler of all with Jeff Hardy being the corporate champion. The champion that all the kids can rally behind, a popular “hero” that was nothing more than a corporate puppet. Sting says Jeff was one of the diseases that Hogan brought into this company, and the Stinger vows to bring him out of it. Hogan cuts him off, saying that Sting crossed the line interfering in the TNA World Title match. Hogan says Jeff is a little banged up, but he’ll be ready to fight at Hard Justice. Hogan tells Sting he will meet Jeff Hardy in the ring. Not for a match, but for a fight!
Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe have had a heck of a rivalry consisting of their matches at Slammiversary and Victory Road. However, neither match was able to determine a clear winner. Hogan decided to end it all at Hard Justice. And to make sure… Hogan was going to referee it! There will be a clear winner at Hard Justice.
So…. Hard Justice.
Pre-Show – “British Invasion” Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus def. Brother Ray and Scott Hall in a tables match
I got a 57% for this match! Alright, Scott Hall was not exactly the greatest worker back then and Magnus wasn’t much better around this time either. However, how did this match garner a 57% overall? We have four superstars that are over… at least like 70-75 over each. It’s a tables match. We have Doug Williams and Brother Ray also in the mix who can put together some pretty cool stuff. So I figured this would have been a decent tag match that would have gotten an alright rating. But somehow I ended up with 57%! I really don’t understand. I expected this to be a lot better!
Match 1 – “Deadly Sin” Raven (c) and Rhino (c) def. Tyler Black and Jerry Lynn to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I’m not sure how long this tag team of Tyler Black (a.k.a Seth Rollins) and Jerry Lynn is going to last, but I figured they would have made decent opponents for Raven and Rhino. Having said that, a 79% rating is a little annoying to me. I really wanted this to be in the 80s. I was kinda leaning towards having Black and Lynn win the belts, but they’re not really near Rhino and Raven as far as overness. Rhino/Raven are both at like 95 while Tyler and Jerry were in the 80s. So Deadly Sin retain… for now.
Match 2 – Kevin Nash def. Brother Devon in a First Blood match
This match ended after Brother Ray came out and accidentally blasted Devon with a chair! Devon bleed, causing the ref to ring the bell. Nash is your winner. Again, not going to be a great technical match but these two are a bit over. So… yeah.
Match 3 – Matt Morgan def. Mr Anderson in a Street Fight
Morgan goes over after hitting a blue-print through the chair into Anderson. I’d hate to have Anderson jobbing out in these feuds but Morgan was wanting a bit of a push so I put him over. Anderson had a temper tantrum afterwards. Not really sure what’s going to happen with him!
Match 4 – Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett def. Bobby Lashley and Abyss in a Steel Cage match
I have no idea how this match was worse than Morgan/Anderson and Devon/Nash. I love this game, but this match should have gotten a MUCH better rating. Lethal and Jarrett go over after Lethal hits the elbow drop from the top. A big OMG moment to end the short feud between these two. I really want to push Lethal, which is why they went over. Lethal is still pretty much over, so I did what I set out to do with him. Even if he is no longer the X-Division Champion, I think Lethal is ready to step it up to the big time!
Angle 1 (5) – Sting Pillmanizes Jeff Hardy
Again… NO idea why this segment was not rewarded a better mark. These two are insanely over right now and pillmanizing segments normally get great ratings on this game. Jeff Hardy called out Sting and the Stinger showed up on the stage. The two start to brawl up there and it spills out into the crowd. They have a couple of cool spots and then Jeff throws Sting over the barricade. Sting blasts Jeff with a number of chair shots on the outside. He grabs a second chair and performs the conchairto onto Jeff. Sting leaves when Jeff gets up with assistance of the ropes. Sting knocks him goofy and wraps the chair around Jeff’s leg. He jumps of the turnbuckle, pillmanizing Jeff Hardy.
Match 5 – “Beer Money Inc” Bobby Roode and James Storm def. “Motor City Machine Guns” Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley in a No Disqualification match to become number one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I’m giving these four great talents the means to do pretty much anything! In the feud-ending match, Roode and Storm won in the No DQ match. The tag team match types are very limited in this game which is why it’s another No DQ match. If it was possible, this would have been 2 out of 3 falls. I was expecting this to be in the 90s but it was not to be. Maybe the rest of the show caused it to be down-graded a bit. I’m very sure. But Roode and Storm go over… I have big plans for these two.
Match 6 – Kurt Angle def. Samoa Joe with Hulk Hogan as the guest referee
Angle finally wins the feud with Joe. At the end, Angle hits the Angle Slam from the top. He crawls to make the cover and Hogan counts to three. Joe’s foot was under the bottom rope though. Joe gets pissed at Hogan and spits in his face post-match. Not exactly the way either man wanted the feud to end really. Again… a controversial finish. Perhaps in the future…
Match 7 – AJ Styles (c) def. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a triple threat match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
How on earth did this do worse than Matt Morgan vs Mr Anderson? How? It’s AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a triple threat! If you were to ask me what I thought was the best triple threat match I’ve ever watched, I’d tell it was Styles, Daniels and Samoa Joe at Unbreakable 2005. Two of those guys have been feuding with each other for years. Ironman matches, last man standing matches… Daniels and AJ have INSANE chemistry together. You throw Kaz into the mix, who’s had great matches with both of them in the past, you’ve got a heck of a triple threat match. But yet this game thinks that this match was WORSE than Anderson vs Morgan? AJ is 100 overness, Daniels is in the 90s and Kaz is just behind him. So how did they get that bad of a rating? GOD!
I don’t think I’ve been ever this disgruntled at writing an EWR post. I mean I love EWR to death. I play it all the time. But PPVs like this drive me up the wall. I have to admit, I put on a lot of shit matches on this PPV. Devon vs Nash isn’t exactly the biggest appealing match in the world. But surely the overness of these guys make up for in ring work? In the WCW series, crowd reaction was my saving grace when it came to booking the likes of Hogan and Ric Flair. The match quality for these two in a match was DREADFUL but the fans were into them! I figured that would work here for a couple of matches but it wasn’t to be.
Before I do more stuff on the TNA series, I do have a WCW PPV in the books that I will be blogging about before the end of the week I believe. It is Souled Out… 2000! We started in 1998 and now we’re in 2000 of WCW. I think you’re going to like this PPV! It takes place just a couple of weeks before Starrcade and I did a lot better than I was expecting! I’m might just keep going back and forth from one game to another from now one but I’ll let you know in a future update post. Be sure to check out that…
In the mean time, give this PPV a rating below, check out the other posts on the blog, comment, share, all that jazz. Have a great day EWR fans!