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Impact Wrestling: Hardcore Justice
by Samoa Rowe
April 10, 2021
From Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, behind closed doors. Our hosts are Matt Striker and D'Lo Brown.
Opening video package features Eric Young telling Tommy Dreamer that he's now the monster he always knew he'd someday become.
X-Division Champion Ace Austin and Madman Fulton vs. TJP and Fallah Bahh vs. Josh Alexander and Petey Williams
Good to know that Petey is still kicking around and he looks to be in pretty good shape. Bahh starts with a scoop slam on Alexander. Bahh no sells a series of blows and shoulder tackles Alexander through the ropes. Bahh's hot start ends when Alexander trips him for an ankle lock. Williams and TJP tag in and the fake crowd noise is really excited for their exchange. Austin tags himself in so he can attack hated rival, TJP, but he gets snapped in a bow and arrow position. Fulton saves Austin from a 2 on 1 situation and they get their heat on Bahh. Williams hot tags himself in and runs wild through Austin. Petey hits Austin with a Codebreaker and Alexander nails a crushing German suplex. Ace grabs Alexander's head gear for an advantage, and tags in Fulton for a wild power slam for 2. Fulton hits Alexander with Snake Eyes onto Ace's knees and hits another slam for a good nearfall. Austin hits a slick flying scissors kick on Alexander, but gets distracted by Petey. Alexander power slams Austin, but then gets caught with a unique top rope head scissors. TJP hot tags himself in and hits Austin with a tornado DDT. TJP and Bahh clean house, but Alexander blind tags in to steal TJP's nearfall on Ace after a frog splash. Petey puts Austin into a sharpshooter while Alexander puts Fulton into an ankle lock. TJP interrupts Petey with an octopus, but Bahh knocks Alexander into them. Petey powerbombs Ace, but Fulton prevents a Canadian Destroyer. Fulton chokeslams two men despite having TJP on his back, and everyone goes down. TJP is up and rides Bahh's back for a splash onto Ace. Bahh Samoan Drops Alexander, but Petey is back for a Canadian Destroyer! Bahh blocks a second Destroyer but misses the Banzai bomb. Alexander finishes Bahh with the ankle lock at 13:38, ending a tremendously fun and well constructed spotfest. They didn't need to have a **** match, but they did anyway.
Winners: Josh Alexander and Petey Williams
Chairly Legal Match:
Shera vs. Hernandez
Don't look at me, they're calling this "Chairly Legal", not me. They aggressively lock up and both go for shoulder blocks. Shera hits a running tackle and introduces Hernandez' skull to the buckles. Hernandez hangs Shera on the ropes and fetches a chair. Shera cuts him off and hits a body slam onto the chair. Hernandez lures Shera to ringside for a chair shot, and then stands chairs by the ramp, and conveniently sits down for Shera to boot him over. Back to the ring, Hernandez hits a body slam through two standing chairs. Hernendez sets Shera in the buckles for an inside kick to the thigh. Shera fires back with a spinebuster for 2. Hernandez grumpily fills the ring with chairs. Shera makes him pay with a superplex onto the pile. Shera props a chair in the buckles but Hernandez shoves him through it. Rohit Raju runs in and smashes a chair over Hernandez, allowing Shera to win at 9:03. Looks like Shera and Raju are still in kahoots afterall. For an undercard weapons match, this was perfectly fine, **½.
James Storm and Chris Sabin are hanging out in Johnny Swinger's casino when they're confronted by XXXL. Storm is only interested in a drinking games match. Matt Cardona arrives and is confused about what's going on. Swinger insults Cardona, and they're interrupted by singing Tommy Dreamer, who is in charge of Hardcore Justice, and he books Cardona vs. Swinger in a Great American Bash. I feel like I missed about a half dozen inside jokes here, but that's okay, because I am capable of making inferences.
Doc Gallows (with Karl Anderson) vs. Black Taurus (with Crazzy Steve and Rosemary)
The Good Brothers continue to look naked without tag team gold, so I find myself oddly hoping that these obnoxious heels get a title opportunity soon. Black Taurus is basically Mantaur, if he was completely terrifying, and I kind of love it. Bell rings and Taurus ducks a big boot and hits a dragon screw in the ropes. Taurus misses a flying crossbody, and Gallows nails a timely clothesline. Gallows gets his heat with clubbing offense. Taurus takes a prolonged beating until he counters with a springboard flying head butt. 619 by Taurus and a missile dropkick gets a nice nearfall. Anderson hops on the apron for a distraction, but Steve pulls him down. It's too late though, as Gallows hits a spinebuster to win at 9:00. Decent match, just very one sided in Gallows' favor, **¼.
Winner: Doc Gallows
Violent by Design video package. Eric Young is leading the troops into a war against Team Dreamer later on.
Johnny Swinger (with some ladies) vs. Matt Cardona
Pimpin' ain't easy, and neither is swingin'. Or so I assume. I only bring that up because Swinger looks like he's slowly morphing into the Godfather. Cardona is sporting bitchin' new music (well, new to me anyway). There are wooden boxes attached to the ring posts for reasons that escape me. Cardona rolls Swinger up and pulls the tights for an early nearfall. Cardona breaks a Full Nelson and flexes. Swinger retreats into the ropes and hits a blind low blow. Swinger gleefully takes control and retrieves a framed photo (of Scott Hall?) from a box. Cardona cuts him off with a dropkick , but Swinger comes back with choking. Swinger opens another crate and finds a mouse trap. Cardona takes advantage with a flurry of offense, including a missile dropkick. Cardona opens another crate, smiles, but then leaves it. Swinger digs through the last crate and finds brass knuckles. Swinger misses a loaded punch and Cardona finishes with the Rough Ryder at 7:54. This was goofy and kind of boring, *½.
Winner: Matt Cardona
Cardona takes the amusing crate with him, maybe it's full of action figures.
Flashback to Hardcore Justice 2010, featuring Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu in front of real live fans chanting "You've still got it." They show enough of the match that I hit the fast-forward button.
Back to Swinger's casino, Sabin and Storm are making some money at XXXL's expense.
Sami Callihan vs. Sam Beale
Sami has new metalcore music and it's an immediate guilty pleasure. Again, new to me, I can't keep up with weekly television. Sami cuts a condescending promo about trying to teach Trey Miguel some unwanted lessons about passion. He issues an open challenge and Beale answers the call. Sami casually sidesteps a dropkick and takes control, hitting a Cross Rhodes into the ropes. Sami contorts Beale's fingers into an armbar. Beale scores a token roll up, but Sami shakes him off with a clothesline. Sami's package piledriver ends it at 4:01. Total squash that was extended by Sami toying with his prey.
Winner: Sami Callihan
Hardcore Blindfold Match:
Brian Myers vs. Jake Something
There are weapons scattered all over the place and the competitors are blindfolded, surely this won't suck. They put their hoods on and pretend that they don't know where they are, and I already want this to end. Jake nearly attacks the ref by accident while Myers tumbles to the floor and finds a can lid for a clean shot to the head. Myers pummels Jake with a rod and chokes him. Myers tries to pin Jake on his stomach, lulz. Something counters with a sitout powerbomb for 2. Jake controls the wrist and hits a series of clotheslines. Brian pulls up his hood for a blatant ref bump and thrust kick. Matt Cardona arrives with his crate, and passes it to Jake for a weapons shot and Black Hole Slam to win at 5:20. This was bad, but in a funny sort of way, *.
Winner: Jake Something
Turns out the crate was full of action figures afterall, I swear I was only kidding earlier.
Tommy Dreamer rallies Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack, and Impact World Champion Rich Swann for war against VBD. Swann knows he should be looking ahead to Kenny Omega at Rebellion, but he could not leave Dreamer hanging.
Knockouts Championship #1 Contendership (Weapons Match):
Rosemary vs. Tenille Dashwood (with Kaleb with a K) vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Jessica Havok vs. Susan, er, Su Yung
Rosemary enters first and appears to become increasingly disgusted with her competition as the entrances linger on. Susan morphs into Su Yung behind a cloud of fog and spooky lights and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it. Rosemary and Havok are pleased to see Yung's transformation and they brawl while Grace pounds Alisha. Yung slips away, leaving Havok and Rosemary to collide. Tenille interrupts Grace and Kaleb misses a frying pan swing, but Tenille drop toe holds her into the steps. Everyone surrounds Tenille, who surrenders on her knees, but Kaleb runs in to play hero, and Alisha gets him with a staple gun. Grace hits Tenille with a spinebuster for 2. Alisha hits Kaleb with a Tornado DDT, and he's removed by Havok and Rosemary. Havok leg drops Alisha, but Grace saves the match. Grace takes a trash can from Alisha and scoops slams her. Grace puts Alisha through the can with a sidewalk slam. Yung returns and head scissors Grace into a propped chair. Rosemary attacks Yung with a rope and their tug of war leads to a literal clothesline on Havok. Rosemary spears Havok and puts Grace into the Tarantula. Rosemary pours THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF THUMB TACKS onto the floor and hauls Alisha over. Alisha hits Rosemary with a reverse DDT onto the tacks and hits a kendo shot. Yung ambushes Alisha and drags her out of the room. Meanwhile, Grace and Havok duke it out in the ring. Nevaeh runs in to throw powder into Havok's face, and Grace hits a Vader Bomb, but Kaleb breaks the cover, allowing Tenille to steal the pinfall at 9:30. Highly entertaining and lively spotfest that completely overdelivered, ***¼.
Winner: Tenille Dashwood
Back at Swinger's casino, Acey Romero is so drunk that he slumps into his chair. Larry D. wants to know when they'll get their match with Storm and Sabin. Swinger's ladies open a box of ping pong balls for some Beer Pong. Sabin doesn't understand the rules and pelts the cup with a ball. Storm throws a ball into Larry's face, sparking a drunken brawl. Sabin and Storm stand tall and are clearly enjoying themselves way too much.
Impact Knockouts Championship (Title vs. Career):
Deonna Purrazzo © vs. Jazz
The stakes are high for Jazz and she takes it to Purrazzo early on. Deonna targets the arm, but Jazz hits a clothesline. Deonna takes a timeout and lures Jazz in to snap her arm into the ropes. Jazz fights out of an armbar, but Purrazzo answers with a DDT for 2 and resumes dissecting the arm. Purrazzo puts Jazz into a variation of the Paradise Lock in the ropes for an easy dropkick. Jazz scratches and claws into a comeback, pulling the ropes to send Purrazzo crashing to ringside. Jazz' momentum ends when Purrazzo leg sweeps her into a deep armbar. Jazz escapes and retaliates with chair shots. DDT onto a chair by Jazz but Purrazzo kicks out! Purrazzo hits an exploder suplex and finishes with a Styles Clash at 12:46. That's apparently a wrap for Jazz as an in-ring competitor, and if so, not a bad way to go out, ***.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Deonna Purrazzo
Jordynne Grace runs in to embrace Jazz to give some warmth to what might have been a depressing moment.
Matt Striker explains that the 8 man tag team main event has some War Games-esque rules, with competitors entering every 2 minutes, and no one can win until everyone is in the match.
Someone has assaulted Tommy Dreamer and he's apparently out of the main event.
Hardcore War Match:
Team Dreamer (Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack, Impact World Champion Rich Swann, and ???) vs. Violent by Design (Eric Young, Cody Deaner, Joe Doering, and Rhino)
Edwards and Deaner start the match for their respective teams. Eddie ambushes to prevent Deaner from using a kendo stick, but Deaner chokes with his t-shirt. Eddie responds with an atomic drop and overhead belly to belly suplex. Deaner blocks a chair shot and nails a body slam. Eddie blocks a flying chair shot and builds momentum with quick shots and a backpack stunner. A demented looking Rhino joins the match, and helps Deaner put the boots to Eddie. Willie Mack is next and helps Edwards drive a chain into Deaner's chest. Edwards savors the opportunity to light Deaner up with a kendo stick. Willie sets a toaster against Deaner's groin and whips it with a chain. Joe Doering joins the match to create a 3 on 2 situation. He runs through a kendo stick and hits a double clothesline. Deaner puts Willie into a toaster-assisted armbar, and now I've seen everything. Rich Swann joins the match with a handicap parking sign in hand and cleans house. Edwards and Swann set up a table by the ramp, but Eric Young enters with a hockey stick (nice nod to his Team Canada run). VBD enjoy their 4 on 3 advantage until Trey Miguel
joins the match in Tommy Dreamer's place. Miguel hits some scorpion kicks and drops Young with a DDT. Doering cuts Miguel off with a crossbody block and brings in a table. Edwards interrupts with a kendo stick, but Young catches him with a neckbreaker. Deaner DDT's Mack, and Swann puts him down with a cutter. Rhino GORES Swann through the table for only 2. Young tries to superplex Swann over the ring post, but it's interrupted with a cool Tower of Doom spot. Doering sets Edwards onto the ringside table, but Miguel interrupts with a Meteora through Edwards and the table! Meanwhile, Willie finds himself in a 3 on 1 situation but catches Deaner into a pop up DDT. Willie counters Young's powerbomb, but then eats a Piledriver and gets pinned at 20:31. I wasn't expecting much, but this kept a lively pace and was never boring, ***.
Winners: Violent by Design
Final Thoughts: This was a gimmick pay-per-view held in the middle of the afternoon on Wrestlemania weekend, which means they would have been excused for phoning it in. Instead, they delivered a highly entertaining show that simply breezed by. I smiled through most of this, give Hardcore Justice 2021 a chance.
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