The Smark’s Remarks: TNA Hardcore Justice 2012 Predictions

Welcome to the Smark’s Remarks TNA Harcore Justice predictions! I’ll have an updated score for the contest between Mike Lightning and myself after this show, but for now let’s take a look at our predictions! We are joined this month by Jace D. Ace, and we are hoping to have KP back for Summerslam to share his thoughts as well!

Kid Kash and Gunner vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez

Ace: Chavo & Hernandez, only because Chavo’s new to TNA and has a storied history and legacy with the Guerrero’s family name. I don’t think TNA plans to book him the same way WWE did.

Thunder: Chavo has made a splash in TNA, but I wonder how long before he becomes just another backstage segment like the Knockouts Tag Champs. I’ll pick Chavo and Hernandez to win this match and continue the run as the new Mexican America. Confidence points: 5

Lightning: All the hype being built up for Chavo’s debut in TNA came crashing down when the fans barely reacted to his promo. Then it came further crashing down on it’s head when they decided to put Gunner and Kid Kash, two of the more boring and uncharismatic wrestlers on the TNA roster, into a feud with him. And in an almost predictable turn, Hernandez came to Chavo’s rescue(Mexican America 2.0, anyone?). The biggest problem with this feud was the underwhelming response Chavo received from the crowd. Kid Kash and Gunner never have any reaction, because nobody cares. And when you add those two elements together it makes for a snoozefest of a feud. Even Chavo’s one-on-one match with Kid Kash, he didn’t receive much of a pop.

Prediction: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez
Confidence Points: 4

QuickNote: They have to do something with Chavo and try to have him win over the crowd, otherwise hyping him up the way they did will be the second worst fail since WWE’s hyping of Tensai.

Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher (champ)

Ace: Miss Tessmacher FTW. I don’t expect another title change yet here.

Thunder: Some might expect Earl Hebner to continue his streak of helping Madison win matches, but I’m willing to bet that Tessmacher and Madison have a solid match that ends in a clean decision. I predict Miss Tessmacher to hold onto her Knocksouts Title. Confidence Points: 5

Lightning: I’m expecting Earl Hebner to be the referee in this one, especially considering the way the last two Knockout matches ended with Madison Rayne being a participant. Does this mean that Madison Rayne will become the new Knockouts Champion? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve seen Madison’s in-ring workrate drop significantly since she has become friends with Gail Kim. During the tag match a few weeks, she botched pretty big against Tara and tried covering it up and it was a HUGE eyesore. The Fatal Four Way match, she was hands down the worst performer. Miss Tessmacher has had a solid run as KO’s champion, but it hasn’t been memorable. It’s sort of been down the middle in terms of title reigns is concerned. Maybe a win over Rayne will change that?

Prediction: Miss Tessmacher to retain the Knockouts Championship
Confidence Points: 1

QuickNote: We could see Gail Kim interfere and cost Rayne the title somehow, I’m suspecting with this Hebner crush storyline that Rayne could turn face at any moment. What better way to accomplish that than have Gail turn on her?

AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle vs Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe

Ace: A lot of good talent. Kinda unclear with TNA’s booking, but I’m gonna give this one for AJ Styles. He just seems like the kind to really excel in a ladder match.

Thunder: This match will probably be the big highlight/spotfest/quality wrestling match combination of the night. I predict that the overlooked Samoa Joe will come out on top and win this match. Confidence Points: 3

Lightning: Styles and Angle were a short-lived tag team, and even tag team champions. Daniels has this on-going(what? 10 years now) feud with Styles, and this Claire storyline is killing viewers off each week. Samoa Joe has become rather impressive again, which is good to see from him. In a ladder match, featuring these four guys, I would have to say that Angle and Joe are the front-runners. I suspect that Kazarian should get involved somehow and cancel AJ out of the match, in which, Daniels will get himself distracted from winning because of his personal feud with Styles. I imagine with Joe and Angle hovering around the top 3, that one of them will be the winner, especially if James Storm wins his BFGS match.

Prediction: Samoa Joe
Confidence Points: 1

Jeff Hardy vs James Storm vs Bully Ray vs Robbie E

Ace:The obvious pick in this one is Bully Ray, and that’s who I’m picking. While I’m a Hardy mark, I just don’t see the popular guy winning the match. My “upset” pick will be Robbie E. It’s impossible to even see this guy winning, but he’s been drumming up some buzz lately and he could stand a chance of winning (now if only WWE would give Ryder the same shot.)

Thunder: With the losing streak that Bully Ray has been on for some time now, I expect it to continue. Hardy and Robbie will put on a spotfest show to continue what they started on Impact that results in Jeff Hardy knocking himself and E out of the match after some ridiculous stunt. Robbie E is totally boring to me, and I don’t see TNA doing much with him right now. Ray’s losing streak will also continue because of the involvement of Aces and Eights, so I’m picking James Storm to win this match. Confidence Points: 1

Lightning: A tables match featuring two of the greastest gimmick wrestlers of all-time, especially with tables? Yes, please. Hardy and Bully Ray have the HUGE experience factor in this match and they should outperform Storm and Robbie. Speaking of fillers, Robbie E., why were you even allowed to compete in this series? They should have replaced you with Kazarian. James Storm has been a roll and before the BFGS started everyone said Storm was penciled in to be the winner. Well, I think things have changed when Aries won the title from Roode. And with the current Aces & Eights storyline, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Storm actually to lose this series now. TNA officials said they were impressed with Bully Ray prior to the BFGS, so they made him a jobber, basically. That works. And with BR’s contract hanging in the balance and negotiations not going so good, I can’t imagine they would book him for the victory to get back into the thick of things.

Prediction: James Storm w/ help from Aces & Eights
Confidence Points: 1

QuickNote: Despite what I believe is a change in the booking process, Aces & Eights helping Storm here would continue to progress that storyline. It would give Storm a huge lead, but I believe Storm will be back into the World Title hunt sometime this year. Even if that means that TNA stays predictable.

Mr. Anderson vs Rob Van Dam vs The Pope vs Magnus

Ace: I’d really like to see RVD take this one, but I have a feeling that Mr. Anderson will extend what lead he has over the rest with this one.

Thunder: Magnus and the Pope have done very little to highlight this challenge, and I don’t think this match will be any different. Anderson and RVD have teetered between the main event and upper mid card scene, but I’m not sure either one of them is going to come out on top in this tournament. I’m picking RVD to get the win in this match. Confidence Points: 3

Lightning: The Pope and Magnus are sort of fillers in this series. I highly doubt either one of them will end up winning the series or too many matches for that matter. I’m assuming TNA is using them in the series to see how they perform with a possibility of having a turn-around(like Samoa Joe) next year. It’ll be interesting to see what this series does for both of them. Mr. Anderson and RVD have both been in the middle of the pack, Anderson was around the Top 4 at one point, but that has dipped off. And unless TNA wants to book Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and James Storm as the forever front runners, I don’t see any surprise winners in this match. RVD and Mr. Anderson both have the opportunity to move into the top three with a win and the other leaders lose.

Prediction: RVD
Confidence Points: 1

Kenny King vs. Zema Ion

Ace: K2, just because I can’t stand Zema Ion (seriously, for a dude with a cool name, he just really sucks IMO.)

Thunder: Kenny King has been moving on the fast track since he arrived in TNA, and he’s been quite the standout. Unfortunately for King, I don’t see Ion losing the title anytime soon and I don’t think it’s quite yet time for King to hold the X-Division Title. Ion will retain in this match. Confidence Points: 5

Lightning: Since the Destination X PPV, Zema Ion’s title run as been a little lackluster and strangely booked. He won his only title defense against Kenny King with interference from Bobby Roode and then he got pinned by Kenny King in a tag team match. He was shown as dominate in his first match since becoming champ when he crushed Dakota Darsow. Kenny King has been on a hot streak, and I believe TNA was lucky to have signed him. He’s a pure athlete who can outwrestle a majority of their roster. It’ll be interesting to see if TNA is using Ion as a transitional champion, or if he’ll receive a legitimate run.

Prediction: Zema Ion to retain the X-Division Title
Confidence Points: 2

Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

Ace: It’s much too soon for a title change on this one, so I’m calling it for Double A.

Thunder: These two put on a classic that I’m willing to bet a lot of people missed at Destination X, so hopefully more people order the show and check this match out. I don’t think Aries will dropt he title just yet, but I do think the booking could go in almost any direction for this match and that Aces and Eights could be involved in the finish. I predict that Aries will retain the title in this one. Confidence Points: 5

Lightning: It’s the first PPV in almost 9 months that I have had to talk about someone else being World Champion. I love the idea of Aries being champion and feel it’a well deserved. I absolutely loved Bobby Roode’s title run, but towards the end it felt like TNA only cared about him breaking AJ Styles’ longest reign record and immediately after they were like “with that out of the way, how do we book him to lose the title?” I don’t believe they have Aries as a transitional champion and that they’re going to have Roode win the title back immediately. I suspect that Roode and Storm’s continuing feud will begin to focus on becoming the Number 1 contender for the World Title.

Prediction: Austin Aries to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Title
Confidence Points: 3

QuickNote: If TNA officials decide to have Aries lose, the best way, in my opinion, would be to have Aces & Eights attack Aries again and then have it revealed that Roode is actually the leader. That would add major heat to the Storm and Roode feud(of course, I have something planned for this as well) and would ultimately lead to Aries and Roode feuding further. I doubt this is going to happen, but I would love to see it.

Closing Thoughts:

Thunder: Hardcore Justice has had some solid effort put into it ever since it went from Hard Justice to “Hardcore” Justice a couple years ago. I expect this ppv to be another sound effort from TNA and I think any TNA will be happy with paying for this show. The show feels very predictable overall, but I expect it to standout nonetheless. Lightning has a lot more to say than I do. See below and enjoy the show!

Lightning: TNA’s PPV quality has improved with each PPV. They have really taken the time to focus on putting on entertaining matches and storylines which overall has lead to a better product. The Claire storyline needs to go, and the booking of Styles and Daniels together in a match, only means they plan on furthering the storyline, which is awful. I’m guessing the storyline will end with yet another Daniels and Styles match. The Aces & Eights storyline should be able to become fully enhanced with this PPV being about Hardcore matches in the Bound For Glory Series, especially since a majority of the targets have been in the Series(minus Sam Shaw). And if Bully Ray and Devon don’t figure out their contract situations soon, we could see a departure from TNA for both of them in the upcoming three weeks or so. Overall, this PPV has the makings of enhancement of storylines, and the pieces in place for a really good PPV. Hopefully, TNA can deliver like they have been on a consistent basis as of late.

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