The second former PPV now TV special is now in the record books—Hardcore Justice. The event was built around Bully Ray attempting to regain his TNA World Heavyweight Title against the new champ, Chris Sabin. In addition, 20 point BFG series gimmick matches were a major part of the evening.
Kazarian vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries was a great way to start the program. These four had great chemistry together, and the ladder match to give 20 BFG points. Kazarian was the best choice to win the match. It makes the series more interesting if there are a cluster of people who have around the same point total. It makes the outcome far less predictable, which makes for good TV.
And still undefeated in ladder matches, and 20 points in the bag...this guy! This happened. Such a classy award huh? pic.twitter.com/1XnVNvgtiE— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) August 16, 2013
It was a bit surprising that Dixie Carter and the MEM broke kayfabe to announce Kurt Angle's recent unfortunate occurences, but I can respect that. It shows that pro wrestlers have real lives and issues to overcome just like anyone else. The fans rallied behind her speech as well, and Angle, similar to Hardy, will undoubtedly have immense crowd support when he returns.
ODB vs. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James was not a good match. A bit slow at times, and nothing to really enthuse the live crowd or the home audience. A broomstick was used, which was called by the announce team a kendo stick. This may have been an indicator of their true interest of this match.
When Rampage got on the mic to bring out Tito Ortiz, I started to cringe. However, I also had a tiny moment of relief when he eventually calmed his jitters. I am shocked to say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Him dressing up in the army fatigue was also a good idea. On the contrast, Ortiz's intimidation factor decreases every time he utters a syllable, so he needs to be far away from a mic. I hope he understands that "LOUD...AND...CLEAR."
Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe vs. Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson was a decent match. Made sense for Bobby Roode to win, as it makes the overall point total tighter. The alliance of Roode, Kazarian and Daniels is still a bit puzzling, but it does make sense to give each of them a better chance to win the series. Maybe add Aries in the mix for a new Fortune faction? I'd be in favor of it. Far more than I am of Aces and Eights.
Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin was slightly below the expectation, and the outcome was predictable (minus the Ortiz part). Sabin beating Bully twice was simply used to make him less of an underdog before the cage match. There were some decent spots, but nothing spectacular.
As for as the Tito Ortiz swerve, I give it a thumbs up. Ortiz in the MEM would have been just awful, and would have lessened the meaning of the group even more. Aligning with Bully Ray fits his career heel UFC gimmick much more, and he does not have to be thrown into a wrestling role. I am still not sold on him being in TNA, but at least this is a positive step.
Thumps up or down on the Ortiz swerve? Sound off below.