Impact Wrestling Review: Hardcore Justice Next To Be On Free TV, Title Match Set
Main Event Mafia is now in the Hulk Hogan/Aces and Eights rotation of opening the show, as they once again cut a promo to start the night. The members claim that one of the two missions they are geared to accomplish has been done, that being Bully Ray no longer having the title. This promotes an introduction of Chris Sabin who shows his will to be a fighting champion by issuing a champion vs. champion match on the next Impact Wrestling show. Of course, Bully Ray had something to say about his loss, bringing an attorney to corner TNA to give him his title back to prevent getting sued. Honestly, the best part of this segment was that Bully's attorney looked remarkably like Kevin Nash.
The Ultimate X match to determine the new champion was very good, and Manik was a good choice to have to title. He is the most marketable person to hold that belt right now, and I must say that the TJ Perkins vignette to explain why he is the Manik character was a good way to salvage the damage that came with his identity being revealed. Perkins is a very good wrestler, and it is good that he has a firm spot on the TNA roster.
Mr. Anderson vs. Hernandez was a very subpar match, and the crowd just was not into it. Maybe it was the placing of the match being right after the Ultimate X contest, or it could have been the long hours of taping that drains the live crowd's energy. Regardless of the reason, it just did not deliver, and both wrestlers are capable of putting on an above average match.
Mickie James vs. Gail Kim was decent, but lacked energy from the crowd. Maybe the heel vs. heel bout hurt because it did not give the audience someone to root for, especially since both of them were still acting heelish. Mickie retaining the title was a good idea, because her current persona is the best thing going in the division right now. Good to see ODB back in a wrestler role, because she is clearly the most over babyface Knockout, which was showed by the fan reaction after the match. Hopefully she is on deck for a title shot soon.
Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe was a great match, and it definitely lived up to the hype. There was an interesting stat that was said, being Daniels never defeating Samoa Joe in singles competition in TNA. That was broken with two BMEs, due to Joe being distracted by Mr. Anderson. Good way to keep the dignity of Joe and the Main Event Mafia, losing as a result of interference and kicking out of a finisher.
AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy was also a good match, with Hardy taking a rare tapout loss. Styles need to be built up as much as possible, because although his "No One" gimmick is a good way the freshen his character, it needs to be a bit more polished in order to not get stale. It is already heavily being compared to Sting's 1997 Crow days, so it needs to be more distinguished. Stylesówith this gimmickóshould get to the finals of the BFG series, especially since he has not been world champ in nearly four years.
The final segment featuring Chris Sabin, Hulk Hogan, and Bully Ray was lackluster, with the primary focus being to promote another television special. Interestingly enough, it will continue with the normal August PPV name Hardcore Justice, which was also a One Night Only PPV last month. This seems to be the end of Chris Sabin's title run. It is a very slim possibility that he will have it all the way to Bound to Glory, but we may be surprised. We shall see how his title run holds up.
Should Chris Sabin have the title at Bound for Glory? Sound off below.