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Countdown to TNA Hard Justice
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Questions surround tonight's Hard Justice Pay-Per-View.

Those questions include: Will PacMan Jones have the Mike Tyson effect that TNA is hoping for? Will TNA really allow one man to carry all their belts? Will certain feuds finally end? Will others begin?

All these and more will be answered in a few short hours. Let's go to the preview of Hard Justice.

 
MAIN EVENT: WINNER TAKE ALL MATCH

Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
 

SLAM! Predictions

Andy McNamara

I think this is Samoa Joe's time to shine and bask in all the glory. He's been denied the TNA championship forever, but here, it's the right time in my opinion. I see Angle's wife somehow getting involved and costing him the match. Or, and think about this, maybe her tiff with Kurt has all been a ruse and she pulls a Vickie Guerrero chair shot out of nowhere and KO's Joe a la her heel turn on Rey Mysterio last fall. Which way do we go? I like Joe loading up on gold.

Matt Mackinder

The divorce angle means Joe should beat Kurt at his weakest ebb. With the fine TNA tradition of ignoring what's best, they'll find a way to a no decision to build for a blowoff in Atlanta.

Jon Waldman

A number of wrestling purists are wagging their fingers at TNA for putting all the gold in one pot. While I don't believe the tag belts serve any useful purpose here, especially given the amount of teams in the tag ranks who could easily carry the belts with pride, World vs. secondary belt is always a fun confrontation. Throwing in Karen Angle makes absolutely no sense to this feud, as it is hot enough as is, but it's a classic case of Vince Russo - that being that a match between two great combatants can't sell a PPV on its own. I expect the screwjob here, giving Angle all the marbles.

John Clapp

If a five title belt stipulation doesn't warrant a blow-off to a feud, I don't know what would. It's time for Joe to one-up Angle on PPV - I just hope the estranged Mrs. Angle, Team 3D and the Steiners are all kept out of the picture Sunday. The crowd should be hot, as TNA did a good job of portraying Angle as a jerk (until his show-closing smackdown of Joe on Impact, I was afraid TNA would further push Angle as a vulnerable, downtrodden figure, which would only result in a deflated victory for Joe). If nothing else, the in-ring work should be entertaining.

Marty Goldstein

The divorce angle means Joe should beat Kurt at his weakest ebb. With the fine TNA tradition of ignoring what's best, they'll find a way to a no decision to build for a blowoff in Atlanta.

Jason Clevett

It could be too late to give Joe the elevation he needed to have a year ago. Still I am hoping Joe takes this and TNA finally gives a homegrown talent a run at the top - and I also hope for longer than abyss.


GRUDGE MATCH

Team 3D vs. The Steiner Brothers


SLAM! Predictions

Andy McNamara

This has also been another strong storyline build being built around the dream match of which team is the best of all time.There will be a mixed crowd reaction from Scott's recent injury return. I believe the Dudley's win by cheating and the feud will continue w/ a tables or no DQ match of some sort down the road.

Matt Mackinder

Both teams are past their prime, but can pretty much still go. It's good to see Rick and Scott together again, even if it's just for a short run here in TNA. Team 3D has worked their heel role very effectively, and as champions to boot. My old-school mentality has the Steiners getting one last run as tag champs, but realistically, I see the Dudleys moving towards the straps.

Jon Waldman

Some call it a dream match. Me, I call it TNA's attempt to solidify Team 3D as the greatest tag team in wrestling by having them beat legendary duos. I half expect the Rock and Roll Express, or the Midnight Express even, to be the next opponents for Ray and Devon. Team 3D wins handily here.

John Clapp

Again, props to TNA for a patiently-booked feud (even if Scott's injury was the reason for delaying this so-called dream match). I haven't cared much about either team for the better part of the last decade, but I am interested in this match. 3D has found new life in their old heel form, and this match is equal parts intriguing and fresh. Because it's somewhat new, I expect TNA to continue the feud by way of a 3D win here.

Marty Goldstein

Steiners over 3D somehow. Given their uncertain contract status, I can't see 3D winning.

Jason Clevett

Ohh to see these two square off in their prime. I really wasn't that impressed with Team 3D vs Rick Steiner and Animal a few months ago, and I don't blame Animal entirely for that, so I think this match will be more for nostalgia then in ring action. I'd say Team 3D takes it and heads towards a rematch.


  BAR ROOM BRAWL

Rhino vs. James Storm
 


SLAM! Predictions

Andy McNamara

Obviously lots of plunder, however, these two have worked well in the past together and will lay it all on the line. This is where Rhino finally gets his revenge and will put away Storm in this blood bath.

Matt Mackinder

Storm is a solid heel. Rhino is a sub-par face and would be better off served as a monster heel. Storm has the wrestling skills while Rhino supplies the power. This will be a decent match for the undercard and expect Rhino to juice uncontrollably. He's good for that. A Gore through a wall or something like that gives Rhino the duke.

Jon Waldman

When has an alcohol feud ever gone over with the fans? This is going into places it shouldn't go. Elevate Storm and put this feud to bed already.

John Clapp

Storm is one of the most reliable performers on the TNA roster, and Rhino usually adjusts well to a wide variety of opponents, so this has the potential to be good, especially given the match's saloon-inspired gimmick. It's not that I'm a fan of involving alcoholism into storylines (although I'll switch my stance if Rhino enters the ring in an absinthe-induced trance), but the "personal nature" of this angle should result in a good brawl between two good brawlers. Expect blood, maybe a smashed beer bottle, and Rhino's revenge.

Jason Clevett

This should be a pretty fun brawl. Storm continues to grow in his role and I think should take this to continue to elevate him.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Andy McNamara

LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - The winner of this bout will most likely be next in line to face the winner of Team 3D and Steiners feud. Might as well push the youngsters, give it to LAX.
PacMan Jones' Debut -
Jones will get a nice response and be interrupted by someone to start a feud...but who? My pick is Robert Roode.

Matt Mackinder

Sting/Abyss/Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko (Doomsday Chamber of Blood) - Wow, guys like Chris Daniels and Senshi and Robert Rood still float around in the midcard, and Andrew Martin shows up and is within 2 weeks headlining a ppv? That's wonderful. Sting, Abyss and Martin take it.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode (Ultimate Humiliation) -
Please end this feud. Young wins..
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign -
Hard one to pick. Will Rhodes even show up for the booking? Lets hope Harris.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt vs. XXX - This should be a showstealer. MCM are so awesome. They take the match.
Raven vs. Kaz - Kaz needs to win this. We need to start elevating talent, people!
LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - Without Konnan, I don't see LAX as a legitimate threat. Even so, they win.
PacMan Jones' Debut - Oh joy. Maybe TNA should film in Cincinnati and get half the Bengals to sign for the duration of their suspensions.

Jon Waldman

Sting/Abyss/Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko (Doomsday Chamber of Blood) - With apologies to Mr. Martin, TNA looks weak when they put a WWE midcarder in a feature feud. I'll say the heels win, with AJ Styles earning the title shot, just for something different.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode (Ultimate Humiliation) -
This feud needs to go bye-bye. Roode wins.
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign -
Having a Rhodes in each promotion means near-weekly Dustyisms! I'll take Rhodes to go to the pay winduh. If you weeeeeeeeeeel.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt vs. XXX - MCMG, from what I've seen on the 'net, look good, but come on - XXX just regrouped. They get the win.
LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - VKM, undeservedly, gets the win.
PacMan Jones' debut - I'll go left-field here and say that PacMan is being used to introduce another football player to the roster - Goldberg!

John Clapp

Sting/Abyss/Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko (Doomsday Chamber of Blood) - Team Reborn, led by Sting, takes this after Martin punishes Cage, leading to the inevitable - and long awaited - Tomko versus Test feud.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode (Ultimate Humiliation) -
Humiliation matches are usually about much-anticipated face revenge, so Young wins this one.
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign -
Rhodes hasn't felt relevant in years, but TNA will put him over the younger Harris because, well, WWE has a Rhodes they're pushing, so why not...
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt vs. XXX - Should be a fun bout - even though it seems like a recycled afterthought - with Shelley and Sabin taking it.
Raven vs. Kaz - I want to say Raven takes this with a Bonzai Drop, but I think it'd be better for Kaz to win and maybe gain some, I don't know, momentum.
LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - In this battle of acronyms, Homicide will run around and bounce off the bigger VKM opponents, only for Hernandez to finish Kip James with the Border Toss.
PacMan Jones' Debut - PacMan Jones, if you didn't see Impact, is a man. I smell a Damaja/Basham run-in.

Marty Goldstein

Sting/Abyss/Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko (Doomsday Chamber of Blood) - If they are smart they'll either turn Test immediately or have him go over. I don't see him drawing a dime without one or the other happening.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode (Ultimate Humiliation) -
The heel must always be the one humiliated. Eric wins.
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign -
Dustin "new colour" Rhodes has to win to get established but I don't think Harris should be sacrificed to do it.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt vs. XXX - 3 Way Tag is Triple xxx all the wa-aa=ay.
Raven vs. Kaz - I have no idea about the Raven match so I'll go for him.
LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - LAX (politics aside) should go over the increasingly useless in the ring VKM, so again, with typical TNA logic, Billy and Roadie will be put over.

Jason Clevett

Sting/Abyss/Andrew Martin vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko (Doomsday Chamber of Blood) - Wow, guys like Chris Daniels and Senshi and Robert Rood still float around in the midcard, and Andrew Martin shows up and is within 2 weeks headlining a ppv? That's wonderful. Sting, Abyss and Martin take it.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode (Ultimate Humiliation) -
Please end this feud. Young wins.
Chris Harris vs. Black Reign -
Hard one to pick. Will Rhodes even show up for the booking? Lets hope Harris.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt vs. XXX - This should be a showstealer. MCM are so awesome. They take the match.
Raven vs. Kaz - Kaz needs to win this. We need to start elevating talent, people!
LAX vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia - Please... please... LAX.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman