It was a long-awaited match-up between two respected veterans of the business. Kurt Angle (WWF) and Sting (WCW) have battled each other before, and were even leaders of The Main Event Mafia, but Kurt had never picked up a pinfall over “The Icon” without some underhanded outside help. With Sting as the TNA World Heavyweight champion, Kurt wanted his next TNA World title to mean that he beat the best the business had to offer. Sting’s goal as the World champ was to restore order back in TNA, which requires driving out Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan (if he doesn’t turn) out of TNA so Dixie Carter can regain control. Both Kurt and Sting respected each other, but obviously had different agendas going into this match. And it showed throughout the World title bout as both men put everything on the line. Angle kicked out of a Scorpion Death Drop, connected with the German trifecta, and attempted to go high risk with a moonsault off the top turnbuckle. But after he crash landed, Sting connected Kurt with his own Angle Slam for a two-count. Sting immediately followed with the Scorpion Death Lock, but Angle struggled to the ropes, who then connected with the real Angle Slam. Then it was a battle of submissions as Sting trapped Kurt Angle’s leg into the Ankle Lock submission, then Angle wrapped Sting’s legs into a Scorpion Death Lock. Then when that didn’t work, Angle went for his patent Ankle Lock, which Sting countered into a roll through. Then as luck would have it, a misplaced kick knocked out referee Brian Hebner, which queued in Hulkster introducing a steel chair. Hogan attempted to use the steel chair on Sting, but Angle pried it out of Hogan’s hands and used it against Sting himself. Next Angle woke up the referee, connected with a final Angle Slam to get the pinfall and his fifth TNA World Heavyweight title.
If there was one thing that Kurt Angle kept saying that he wanted from this match was a clear decisive victory over Sting without outside interference. But when Hogan brought in that steel chair, Kurt could not help his old veteran instincts: win at all costs. Does this mean that Kurt Angle will now join Immortal as its new leader, since it’s obviously in need of an overhaul? You decide.
The war between Immortal and Fortune raged on in a six-man match-up. Representing Immortal: Gunner, Scott Steiner, and “The Monster” Abyss; and representing Fortune: AJ Styles, Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels. With the in-fighting within Immortal — Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson scheduled to meet in a grudge match, and Immortal upset over Abyss’s failure to destroy the X division — Fortune was able to capitalize on their weaknesses. AJ Styles and Kazarian worked Abyss with pele kicks, and a Tornado DDT. Then when Christopher Daniels was sent through a table by Gunner (earlier set up by Gunner and Steiner on the outside), AJ Styles struck Abyss with an incredible springboard into a pele kick for the pinfall.
Gunner and Steiner naturally blamed Abyss for their loss, and left him standing alone in the ring. The situation with Immortal didn’t get any better as the night when on. In the match between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson, Anderson attempted to use Bully Ray’s chain against him, but the referee took the chain away from Anderson. The momentary distraction permitted Bully Ray to go for a low blow followed through into a roll-up.
The second Bound for Glory Series match at Hardcore Justice pitted Rob Van Dam (2) against Crimson (1) for the top spot. The match was a contrasts of styles, and a contrasts of size. With 35 points, Rob Van Dam was outpacing Crimson with his quickness and speed, and connected with his famous array of high-flying moves. But Crimson, with 40 points, easily outmatched RVD in terms of strength, kicking out of a number of Rolling Thunders and overpowering him with a running lariat takedown, and connecting with suplexes. Within the first few minutes of the match, Crimson attempted four pin attempts because the longer the match rolled on, the more it would have favored Rob Van Dam. In mid Red Sky finisher, RVD countered with a heel kick to Crimson’s chest. He then landed the Five-Star Frog Splash — a finisher that has yielded many victories — only gave Van Dam a 2-count. Crimson connected with Red Sky and covered RVD for a guaranteed pinfall victory (7 points), but Jerry Lynn, sitting at ringside, broke the cover. The outside interference resulted in a disqualification victory for Crimson (advancing only 3 points), while RVD was deducted 10 points dropping him down to number 8 with 25 points.
In order for Rob Van Dam to win back his number 2 spot, his next B4G series match must be won via submission (10 points). Yet with Jerry Lynn emerging backstage during Rob’s interview with Jeremy Borash, insisting that he sit in his corner during his match, and then costing Van Dam the victory, Rob’s attention may be compromised.
In the early goings of the match, Winter went for a quick roll up as Mickie James was distracted by Angelina Love on the outside. Mickie caught Winter’s leg in mid-thrust, followed through with a Dragon Screw leg whip, and then, with one foot between the shoulder blades of Winter’s back, Mickie went for a modified half-Boston Crab. She then attempted a sit-out pin, and then connected with a flurry of forearm strikes. But Mickie’s preoccupation with Angelina, granted Winter the opening to land some vicious strikes. Mickie chopped Winter down to size with a drop kick to the knee, followed by a drop kick to the face. Winter lured Mickie to chase her outside the ring, utilizing the distraction from Angelina, she whips Mickie over the steel guard rail, and waits for referee Earl Hebner to call the 10-count. However, in order for the TNA Knockouts Title to switch hands, Winter had to win by either pinfall, or submission. Back inside the ring, Mickie went for a Jackknife pin for only a two-count. Winter then drove Mickie with a back breaker over the knee, but Mickie freed herself and went for a leg scissors take down. Mickie then connected with a Thesz press off the top, but as Hebner’s attention was diverted to an “injured” Winter, Angelina entered the ring and dropped Mickie with the Break a Bitch inverted facelock finisher. Yet the assist only got Winter a near fall. Mickie then spiked Winter’s head with a tornado DDT, who rolled out of the ring. Angelina then attempted a second Break a Bitch, but was struck with an arm trap neckbreaker. Mickie appeared to have the match won until Angelina distracted Hebner to allow Winter to spray mist in her eyes. Unable to see as the mist stung her eyes shut, Mickie was pinned and lost the TNA Knockouts title.
In other bouts at Hardcore Justice, Brian Kendrick pinned Alex Shelley to retain the TNA X Division title in a 3-way match, also included Austin Aries … Tara and Miss Tessmacher remained the TNA Knockouts Tag Team champions against Mexican America (Sarita & Rosita) … “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero rolled up Brother Devon to advance 7 points in the Bound for Glory Series tournament … Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode) defeated Mexican America (Hernandez & Anarquia) to retain the TNA World Tag Team titles.
As far as this pay-per-view was concerned, it delivered a lot of wrestling action, it crowned two new champions, but the main event World championship swerve has been done to death. How many times must Hulk Hogan come down the ramp with a foreign object (crutches, steel pipe, steel chairs?) at the very end of hard-fought, hard-hitting bouts?
It will be interesting to see if Brian Kendrick decides to accept Austin Aries’s challenge to a one-on-one X Division title match, and to see what Mickie James’s next course of action is after losing the Knockouts title to Winter.
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