Cage turns on Sting at fiery Hard Justice
By CHRIS SOKOL -- SLAM! Wrestling
Justice was served hard for Sting, as Christian Cage "shocked" TNA and turned on his "friend," allowing "The King of the Mountain" to retain his gold and walk out of TNA's latest PPV, champion. Cage's turn wasn't the only interesting moment on the PPV, as a small fire caused some unrest and some interesting situations.
That's right, a small fire broke out in the Impact Zone following the opening pyro, that forced the building to evacuate just one match into the PPV. TNA didn't panic too much, instead moving the show outside and having wrestlers walk by Mike Tenay, Don West and Jeremy Borash to cut promos on their PPV matches, good idea and a great way to change the situation from bad to better.
The PPV resumed and the main event was on. Sting had one last opportunity to capture gold in TNA, as he set to face off against Jeff Jarrett. The match was very entertaining, with several near finishes. The match started off in the crowd, with both combatants fighting up and down the asile ways.
Christian Cage and Scott Steiner didn't stay quiet on the outside, both got involved and caused severe momentum shifts. Eventually, Cage was sent to the back as per orders of TNA Senior official, Rudy Charles. Steiner tried to intervene in the match after bring tossed, coming back with a guitar. Cage returned right behind him and fended off Steiner and Jarrett with Sting's bat.
Jarrett went to the top, but was shoved off by Cage. Sting went to the top and when he came down, Cage wacked him with the guitar. Cage smirked and walked off as Jarrett recovered and made the pin in complete shock. Cage walked off as Jarrett sat in utter disbelief of Cage's actions. Predictable ending to a good PPV.
Match One - Ron "The Truth" Killings vs. A-1
A recap was shown prior to the match of Killings' victory of A-1 on Xplosion. They also played A-1's return victory on Killings. This match was considered the rubber match. Good start, one of A-1's better matches in TNA. Killings hit the Axe Kick and picked up the win in a decent opener.
Winner Via Pinfall - Ron "The Truth" Killings
Match Rating - 5/10
Match Two - Sonjay Dutt and Cassidy Riley vs. Jimmy Jacobs and El Diablo
Good idea to showcase new faces on the PPV pre-show. Good back and forth action used to hype the X Division and its apparent re-surgence. Dutt and Riley pick up the win after Dutt hit his standing shooting star press.
Winners Via Pinfall - Sonjay Dutt and Cassidy Riley
Match Rating - 5/10
TNA HARD JUSTICE RESULTS:
The show had the traditional hype opening, which turned into much more than that...
Match One - "Showtime" Eric Young vs. "Hotshot" Johnny Devine
Much more than that in the form of a fire breaking out courtesy of the pyro. The match was contested amidst the fog of fire extinguishers. Great job from these two, going through with the match and making it look good. Devine attempted some cheap trickery to attain the win, but Young countered and hit a neckbreaker for the win, saving his job in the process.
Winner Via Pinfall - "Showtime" Eric Young
Match Rating - 6/10 (They wrestled through the unexpected elements.)
Post Match- Earl Hebner, who apparently is homeless, jumped the guardrail and attacked Mark "Slick" Johnson, choking him out. Security pulled him away as he screamed that Johnson and Larry Zbyzsko were going down with him. He wasn't taking the fall alone.
The building was evacuated, which led to the Sting/Jarrett hype a bunch of times and then outside interviews with Eric Young, who pleaded that he didn't start the fire. The Naturals and Shane Douglas walked by and talked about triumph over tradgedy and Monty Brown came by to run down his opponents. Don West joined Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash and announced that they were going back into the building. Very interesting, but handled well by TNA.
Back in the arena, Jeremy Borash talked with Alex Shelley who during the Pre-Show announced that Kevin Nash had a neck injury. Devine wheeled in Nash who was in a brace. Shelley said this was a dark moment, but he was going to defeat Chris Sabin and become the new number one contender to the TNA X Division championship.
Match Two - Number One Contender Match for a shot at the TNA X Division Championship - Alex Shelley w/ "Hotshot" Johnny Devine and Kevin Nash vs. Chris Sabin
Sabin went through his usual set of moves including the always inspiring hesistation dropkick in the corner. It really comes off good. Tons of interference, as Devine distracted the ref on several occasions. Nash slid a chair into the ring, but Sabin dropkicked it into the face of Shelley and then hit the Cradle Shock for the win.
Winner Via Pinfall and NEW Number One Contender to the TNA X Division Championship - Chris Sabin
Match Rating - 6/10
In a dark area of the Impact Zone, Borash interviewed James Mitchell and "The Monster" Abyss. He did his usual promo on how Brother Runt was going to be destroyed. Mitchell really does an excellent job.
A hype package led to...
Match Three - "The Monster" Abyss w/ Father James Mitchell vs. Brother Runt
Runt came out with a mohawk and a new look. Runt got in some good offense, using his quickness to his advantage. However, Abyss overpowered his advesary, breaking out the thumbtacks and dropping Runt face first on them and then hitting the Black Hole Slam on them. Vicious beating. After the match, Raven was shown in the crowd with his arms extended in his traditional pose.
Winner Via Pinfall - "The Monster" Abyss
Match Rating - 7/10
In the back, JB spoke with "The War Machine" Rhino who promised destruction and chaos.
Match Four - Falls Count Anywhere Match - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe vs. "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown vs. "The War Machine" Rhino
This was an absolute brawl that nearly tore apart the Impact Zone. The Gore was countered by Joe with a kick to the head. The brawl went up and down the asile ways, with all three competitors ripping apart each section they passed. Rhino gave Joe a sick spinebuster on a chair for a near fall. The end came when Rhino went to Gore Brown off the stage through a table, but was side-stepped. Joe then hit an STO on Brown through a table for the pinfall victory. After the match, Joe said that he got the fight he wanted and he was willing to do it again.
Winner Via Pinfall - "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe
Match Rating - 8/10
Jeremy Borash caught up with Zbyzsko and asked about the Hebner situation. Mark "Slick" Johnson ran in and said he believed Hebner. Zbyzsko said he was going to try and get Johson fired. Okay, when's their match for real?
Match Five - Sirelda vs. Gail Kim
Ugh. At least put Traci Brooks in this match, Sirelda has nothing to offer so please drop her. Kim got the victory after a neckbreaker, no cheating involved. Guess Sirelda wasn't the best investment to make, as Kim defeats her clean once again.
Winner Via Pinfall - Gail Kim
Match Rating - 3/10
Borash spoke with "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner who put down Christian Cage and promised fireworks later on. Steiner has been cutting some good promos.
Match Six - Three Way TNA X Division Championship Match - Senshi (C) vs. Jay Lethal vs. "The Canadian Destroyer" Petey Williams
Great X Division action. Senshi was an absolute machine, taking it to Williams and Lethal with some hard hitting chops. Williams went for the Canadian Destroyer on Lethal, but it was blocked, resulting in a near pinfall for Lethal. Lethal missed his trademark headbutt and was hit with the Canadian Destroyer, but before Williams could get the pin, Senshi kicked him off and made the cover himself for the win. Ugh, give Lethal an opportunity with gold.
Winner Via Pinfall and STILL TNA X Division Champion - Senshi
Match Rating - 8/10
JB caught up with LAX who promised victory. Great faction, bottom line.
Match Seven - NWA World Tag Team Championship Match - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles and "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels (C) vs. LAX ("The Notorious 187" Homicide and Hernandez) w/ Konnan
LAX found an opportunity to gain the upper hand, bringing Styles to their side of the ring and working him over. The match eventually broke down, with Hernandez hitting the Crackerjack on Styles. Homicide was nearly put away, but Hernandez stopped Styles from using the top rope to his advantage. Hernandez was then double teamed by Styles and Daniels, allowing them to retain the titles.
Winners Via Pinfall and STILL NWA World Tag Team Champions - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles and "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
Match Rating - 8/10
Mike Tenay and Don West talked about the main event and sent it to the back with JB.
Borash interviewed Christian Cage who said that a new era was about to begin.
Another Sting/Jeff Jarrett hype package led to...
Match Eight - NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match - "The King of the Mountain" Jeff Jarrett w/ "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (C) vs. Sting w/ "Captain Charisma" Christian Cage
Winner Via Pinfall and STILL NWA World Heavyweight Champion - "The King of the Mountain" Jeff Jarrett
Match Rating - 7/10
Overall PPV Rating - 7/10
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Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and can't believe what has happened to Earl Hebner, guess WWE shirts aren't going like they used to.