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   Fri, May 13, 2005



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Countdown to TNA Hard Justice




Hard Justice hits home this weekend, and this could be the most intriguing PPV TNA puts on this year.

There is a lot of uncertainty going into Sunday's live event, especially in the NWA Heavyweight Title match. There's also the very open 20-man gauntlet, which has left the SLAM! writers with a bunch of differing theories. In any case, here's what we believe will happen at Hard Justice.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH


Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles



SLAM! Predictions

  • Bob Kapur

    This is, what, the third time they've pushed Styles back to the top to feud with Jarrett? Hopefully they'll finally do the right thing and give him the strap. JJ's title reign has more than worn thin, and if he holds it much longer, the company may face a fan revolt. For the good of TNA, I'm picking Styles to win.
    Winner: Styles

  • Jon Waldman

    The x-factor here is Ortiz. I'm expecting that Ortiz will get involved and end up becoming a permanent fixture with the company, but more likely it will be post match a la Mike Tyson at WM14. Jarrett and Ortiz can have a strong feud, and putting the belt on AJ will breathe some new life into the strap.

  • Steve Rennie

    This match boils down to TNA?s faith in Styles as champion. It?s been said before that the company realizes that they need to take the strap off of Jarrett, but the problem is that no one else is over enough to carry TNA?s torch, so to speak. I think Jarrett retains after Tito Ortiz turns on Styles, setting up a program with the former UFC star and allowing Jarrett to move on to a feud with a debuting Matt Hardy.

  • Corey David Lacroix

    Scoff at me if you will, but this time, the belt is changing hands. It's now time for Styles to take his rightful place as the new "king of the mountain" by beating Jarrett for the belt. No doubt Jarrett will have alies lurking about, ready to interfere to save him, but destiny is on the side of the phenomenal one. Styles is the MVP of TNA and will be justly rewarded.

  • Greg Oliver

    I'd like to see Styles as the champ again, but I'm not sure it should be at this show. Have a screwjob finish, but not too elaborate of one setting up a rematch. With a good build up, a title win by Styles will mean more.


    X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH


    Christopher Daniels vs. Shocker
     



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Bob Kapur

    Ooooh, this one should be good - a real spot-fest, with both guys taking bumps galore. Shocker is a real breath of fresh air, but I don't think that they'll put him over Daniels just yet. Look for some controversy to keep this feud alive.
    Winner: Daniels

  • Jon Waldman

    There's no question here - Shocker is fodder for Daniels, who is starting to follow the RVD formula of making the "secondary" title seem as meaningful as the top belt. Good match here.

  • Steve Rennie

    Daniels is in the midst of a big push right now, so it makes sense for him to hand Shocker his first loss in a TNA ring. I think it?s still to soon to take the X-Division title off of Daniels and move him into the main event picture, so I?m going with "The Fallen Angel" in this one.

  • Corey David Lacroix

    Shocker is a welcome addition to the TNA roster. He may be 1000% Guapo, but looks alone won't help against the "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels. This will
    be an interesting contest as I do not believe these two have met in the ring in a one on one contest. As good as Shocker is, it'll be Daniels keeping the gold around his waist.

  • Greg Oliver

    Daniels is the torchbearer for the X Division, and despite Shocker's push, Daniels will walk out as the champion after the pay-per-view


     
    20-MAN GAUNTLET MATCH


     



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Bob Kapur

    This one reeks of desperate booking. Surely with the talent pool the company has, they could have come up with more interesting ways to use the roster instead of rehashing a bunch of feuds and then throwing everyone else into this match. Just because Dusty's on the book, I'm tempted to pick Dustin to win, but I have some faith that they're smarter than that. Elix Skipper would make a good opponent for either Styles or Jarrett, so I'll go with him.
    Winner: Elix Skipper

  • Jon Waldman

    If there was ever a time to bring in one of the WWE stars, this is it. Anything can happen here theoretically, but the best thing to do would be to have a body-suited, masked individual win and flash one of Matt Hardy's hand gestures. Hardy, of course, can't debut for another couple months, but they have a lot of time to build up the unknown winner as either being Hardy, or a tried and true MF'er.

  • Steve Rennie

    I guess this really hinges on whether or not Styles goes over in the main event. If Styles wins, it would make sense for a rulebreaker to win the Gauntlet, maybe someone like Monty Brown. If Jarrett wins, the choices are much more limited, since he?s pretty much faced everyone in TNA at one time or another. I?ll stick with "The Alpha Male" as my pick to win.

  • Corey David Lacroix

    Kinda hard to assess to who will take this one when we don't even have a complete list of participants. I'll say... Bobby Roode. Go Canada Go!

  • Greg Oliver

    The booking of this one depends on who wins between Jarrett and Styles. If Jarrett wins, then I expect The Outlaw or one of 3-Live Kru to come out on top
    here, i.e. somebody he can pseudo-squash next PPV or on Impact. If Styles wins, then I think it'll be Abyss as the victor to resume their feud at the championship level.


    WORLD TAG-TEAM TITLE MATCH


    The Naturals vs. America's Most Wanted



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Bob Kapur

    Haven't we seen this one before? Winner: AMW

  • Jon Waldman

    This is the first match for the Naturals on a live TNA broadcast since Chris Candido's passing. You know who the fans will want to win.

  • Steve Rennie

    The Naturals just won the straps at the last pay-per-view, and I think they?ll keep them for at least one more month.

  • Corey David Lacroix

    The Naturals tenure as champs will be short, compliments of America's Most Wanted.

  • Greg Oliver

    The Naturals should keep the gold.


    CLOCKWORK HOUSE OF FUN MATCH


    Raven vs. Jeff Hardy



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Bob Kapur

    Haven't we seen this one before? Winner: Hardy

  • Jon Waldman

    Raven deserves better.

  • Steve Rennie

    Hardy went over last month, so I think he?ll return the favour. Raven wins, possibly with help from a ?masked man? teased as Jeff?s older, soon-to-be-debuting brother...
  • Corey David Lacroix

    Let's hope this match will in fact be fun to watch. Winner: Raven.

  • Greg Oliver

    Hardy will come out on top, somehow, because a loss doesn't hurt Raven.

    -- compiled by Jon Waldman