Live Report from TNA Hardcore Justice
Dec 29, 2013 - by Mike McMahon
Note: There are many photos from Sunday’s event on my Twitter feed @MackWrestling
TNA invaded the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Sunday night to tape its “One Night Only, Hardcore Justice PPV.”
The venue is a classic wrestling venue, which for years hosted WWE television tapings, including Superstars, Wrestling Challenge and a lot of mid-90’s Monday Night Raws.
The Auditorium was infamously home to “Thursday Raw Thursday,” where Shawn Michaels “lost his smile” and relinquished the WWF Championships. It’s also the place where Triple H “won” the European Championship from Michaels as a finger poke on a holiday edition of Raw in 1997 – the duo criss-crossed 9 or 10 times before the pin
Marco Mero made Sable wear a potato sack in this building, and recently on his podcast, Steve Austin revealed it was in this building back in 1996 that Vince McMahon first pulled him aside to tell him he was winning the 1996 King of the Ring.
The Rock also won his first WWE gold in this building, beating Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship in 1997.
The venue holds about 2,500 people, with about 2,000 in attendance. WWF sellouts were around 2,500 here back in the day, and the only empty seats were in the upper corners of the balcony. The crowd was blazing hot all night.
Match 1: Ethan Carter III vs. Tommy Dreamer (Tables Match)
Solid opening match. EC3 opened with a promo running down the TNA fans, talking about how his aunt, Dixie Carter, invented hardcore wrestling. His promo drew a lot of heat from a hot crowd.
Dreamer and Carter brawled in and out of the ring, flirting numerous times with the table coming into play to end the match. Dreamer was wearing a House of Hardcore t-shirt.
The finish came with the table propped up in the corner. Dreamer went to suplex Carter through the table, but he blocked it and sent Dreamer crashing through the table with a spinebuster to pickup the win.
After the match, Dreamer received a nice ovation from the crowd. As he backed up the ramp, he blew the fans a kiss and said, “thank you.”
Winner: Ethan Carter III via table
Promo: BroMans beat up Dewey
The BroMans are out next to say that they are in the Lethal Lockdown main event later on, but Team Angle is missing a fourth member, so they call out Dewey Barnes from the merch stand to see if he can fill the void. They run him through a variety of tests — a pose off, a dance off — and finish with a pushup contest to see if he can do 10. After nine, Jesse Godderz drops an elbow on Barnes’ back and BroMans give him the boots and leave him laying.
Match 2: Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe
The winner of this match would give his team the man-advantage in the Lethal Lockdown main event.
Good physical match. It was not a hardcore match — the only one of the night that wasn’t — and the finish came after a ref bump. With the ref down, Roode brought a trash can into the ring and went to go hit Joe. But instead, he slammed the can on the ground and threw it at Joe, who caught it. Roode then hit the canvas as the ref came to, and he called for the bell after seeing Roode down and Joe with the trash can.
Winner: Bobby Roode via disqualification
Match 3: Velvet Sky vs. Lei’D Tapa (Street Fight)
Sky and Tapa battle all around the ringside area, including Sky taking a nice bump off the steps after being whipped into them by Tapa. Sky found a chair and was chopping away at Tapa’s legs and back. The finish came after Tapa managed to gain possession of the chair and finished off Sky.
Winner: Lei’D Tapa via pinfall
Match 4: Joseph Park & Eric Young vs. Bad Influence (Full Metal Mayhem)
Prior to the match, Eric Young and Park cut a promo where Young again tried to convince Park that he was Abyss. During the promo, Young said, “We’re in New York!” which drew a big boo from the crowd. He whispered in Park’s ear and quickly said, “That was a test, and you all passed it.”
Really, really good match here. Some good spots with the ladders and just a fun match to watch. Park took a huge bump on the ladder where he looked like he mangled his leg.
The finish came after Young and Kazarian were on top of a ladder and Young tossed Kaz off the top to the canvas. He then stood on top of the ladder — the very top rung — and dropped a HUGE elbow to pickup in the win.
Winner: Eric Young & Joseph Park via pinfall
Match 5: Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson (Last Man Standing Match)
Prior to the match, Anderson cut a promo where he said he didn’t want the match to be a stretcher match, because as soon as he won, if Bully were on a stretcher he’d receive proper medical treatment. Anderson said he wanted to hurt Bully Ray, and convinced “the office” to make it a Last Man Standing Match.
Anderson gets bloodied fairly early in the match. Really physical match where these two beat the crap out of each other. They went under the ring and grabbed an extra section of guard rail. As Anderson charged Bully, he stuck out his foot with actually dislodged one of the vertical pieces of the rail and slammed Anderson in the face.
By the time these two were done with the rail, it looked like a truck ran it over.
Bully Ray superplexes Anderson off the turnbuckle on to the steel rail and gets the 10 count after barely making it back to his feet himself, with help from the ropes.
Winner: Bully Ray via 10 count
Match 6: Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin (X-Scape Match)
A lot of what you would expect here. Good action and a lot of good wrestling and aerial moves. At one point Sabin took the rope from his tights and tied Aries’ ankles to the bottom rope and went for the escape, but Aries was able to free himself in time to block Sabin’s attempt to climb out.
A lot of crotch shots in this match, with both guys crotching the ropes and turnbuckle. With Aries upside down in the corner, Sabin stood on his crotch and bounced up and down.
Finish came after Sabin was crotched on the top rope and Aries jumped up and down 6 or 7 times. Aries also hit Sabin with a hurricanrana from almost the top of the cage, which might have been the spot of the night.
Winner: Austin Aries via cage escape
Match 7: Kurt Angle, James Storm, Samoa Joe & Mystery Partner vs. Bobby Roode, Magus, The Bromans (Lethal Lockdown)
James Storm and Jesse Godderz start things off. Storm was upset Jesse wasn’t getting in the ring, so he leaves the cage and chases him around ringside, asking fans in the front row to put their feet up on the rail and he’d smash Jesse’s head into them.
Those two finally get in the ring.
Next entrant – Robbie E
Typical double-team from The BroMans on Storm.
Next entrant – Samoa Joe
Joe evens the score.
Next entrant – Bobby Roode
Team Roode gets the man-advantage back and starts to clearly take control.
Next entrant – Kurt Angle
Place explodes for Angle. He’s staring down Roode and those two are going at it.
Next entrant – Magnus
Magnus brings with him a barrel full of weapons, including a kendo stick and a cheese grater.
Next entrant and Angle’s mystery partner – ABYSS!!
The roof nearly blew off the joint for Abyss’ return, who came to the ring with Eric Young. Abyss brought with him a barbed wire board.
The finish came when Abyss chokeslammed Robbie E on the barbered wire board and scored the pin.
Winner: Team Angle via pinfall
After the match, Team Angle celebrated. TNA staff came to the ring with a towel to pry Robbie E off the barbed wire and immediately covered his back in the towel. It must have gotten his back pretty good as blood was visible on the towel.
Overall a really fun show. There weren’t any angles, but no one in attendance expected any. It was a night full of good, hard-hitting wrestling matches and the crowd was very appreciative all night.
1. Abyss return
2. Kurt Angle
3. Tommy Dreamer
4. Mr. Anderson
5. Eric Young
1. Bully Ray
3. EC3’s promo
5. Bad Influence