TNA Hardcore Justice hit the Spike TV airwaves last night (Aug. 15, 2013) from Norfolk, Virginia, as a special episode of Impact featuring Bully Ray winning back the heavyweight title, Tito Ortiz joining Aces and 8s, and much, much more.
Click here to get full results and to check out the live blog. Now let's get right to reactions:
- Does what Tito Ortiz did qualify as a heel turn? I guess he sort of sided with Rampage Jackson early in the show, united against a tough talking Bully Ray, but was that just to set up the swerve later? It wasn't very effective either way for a few reasons: 1) Tito is the most awkward moving person I've ever seen. 2) Rampage did such a terrible job tossing Mr. Anderson off the entrance ramp. 3) No one cares about either of these two in pro wrestling.
- Here's the biggest problem with the Ortiz-Rampage stuff. In order to really enjoy it, you have to also be a fan of MMA and there are quite a few pro wrestling fans who couldn't care about it at all. Not only that, fans of MMA no longer care about Ortiz or Jackson because they're both irrelevant in that sport thanks to lengthy losing streaks to close out their respective UFC runs. It just doesn't work from any angle.
- To be nicer, they were both about as good as could be expected considering the time they've put in. Jackson was awful on the microphone but he could have been worse.
- Bully Ray winning back the heavyweight title was expected but it still made Chris Sabin's run with the belt feel cheap and mostly meaningless. You get the feeling the only reason he won is because they wanted to pay off the Destination X gimmick that they started last year with Austin Aries creating "Option C." I never felt great about Sabin as champion and the ratings weren't exactly exploding with him holding the belt anyway, so whatever.
- So when we vote for "Prop of the Year" this year, does Christopher Daniels' Appletini have a good shot of winning now that it decided two matches in one night? Both Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy were felled by it leading to Kazarian and Bobby Roode each earning 20 points in the Bound for Glory Series. So far, it definitely has my vote.
- Speaking of Roode, his shouting "OH GOD" as loud as he could before running into an atomic drop was just the best thing. He consistently does little things like this, just a little touch of genius here and there, that adds up to his being one of the best in the business.
- Both the tables match and the ladder match were highly entertaining. There really isn't much to say other than kudos to all involved for doing their best to get the matches over. Whole lot of fun to be had.
- The Knockouts Tornado tag match, on the other hand, underwhelmed. It had potential but the chaos wasn't as controlled as it should have been and the finish didn't come off very well on TV.
- One thing TNA deserves a lot of credit for is how they handled the Kurt Angle situation. Having Dixie Carter come out and show a public display of support for him while also being honest with the fan base about his situation was refreshing. He's in rehab and getting better and the company wishes him well. Simple, straight forward, and no mincing facts.
This was your typical TNA effort. The wrestling was really good, the action intense, but the angles were so-so, and the booking left a lot to be desired.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. What did you think?