In a matter of hours, TNA's best and brightest will go to war at the pay-per-view special, Hardcore Justice. While not quite the celebration of all things hardcore, as previous years were, the tradition is still alive and well. This year taking the form of three brutal Bound for Glory series matches involving all twelve of the title contenders. Who will walk out of the Impact Zone with those precious points. More importantly, who will walk out, at all...
TNA X Division Championship
Zema Ion (C) vs Kenny King
The X-Division seems to have floundered in the wake of losing their crown jewel, Austin Aries, to the main event scene. Zema Ion, while being the next obvious choice for champion, still hasn't displayed a natural ability for the role. Infact, he's pretty much been coasting on the fact he broke Jesse Sorensen's neck back in February and that was a horrible accident! Kenny King, on the other hand, I've been rather impressed by. He has a certain charm and charisma that I think could benefit the division hugely. Also, after his very public firing by Ring of Honor after appearing on an episode of Impact Wrestling, his profile is sky high. While I'd prefer for TNA to try King out as X Division Champion, that'll probably have to wait a few months. In my opinion, Ion will keep the title until Jesse Sorensen is ready to come back. Look for the hairspray to come into play.
Prediction - Zema Ion defeats Kenny King via pinfall to retain the X Division Championship.
Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs Kid Kash & Gunner
I'm astounded by the hype TNA are putting Chavo's way. You'd genuinely think having him on the roster was a big deal. I know he comes from the prestigious Guerrero wrestling family, but no matter the company, whether it be WCW or WWE, Chavo has been a midcarder through and through. Hell, even in TNA's own Ring Ka King sister promotion, Chavo was merely a Tag Team Champion. Unfortunately, ever since the passing of the late, great Eddie Guerrero, bookers have grown confused and treat Chavo as if he's the second coming, which he is clearly not. Don't get me wrong, Chavo has a lot to offer and will put on awesome matches, but a draw he is not. This match shouldn't be a long affair, it's mostly about feeding Gunner and Kash to the new Guerrero in town. Hernandez is there...just because.
Prediction - Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez defeat Kid Kash & Gunner via pinfall.
TNA Knockouts Championship
Miss Tessmacher (C) vs Madison Rayne
Usually, you can predict a victor through observing either competitor's momentum going into the match, but this one has me stumped. TNA have been putting serious work into making Miss Tessmacher (never call her Brooke, because two Brooke's on the same roster would blow our minds or...you know...we'd deal with it) the new face of the Knockouts division (while the real face, Velvet Sky, gets quietly released). However, Madison Rayne has been the centre of almost every Knockouts segment in the past month. She's been inexplicably partnered with referee, Earl Hebner, resulting in her winning matches where her shoulders were clearly pinned to the mat for the three count. While I prefer Madison as a legitimate champion, this current gimmick of hers with Earl is so counter to logical thought, it hurts my brain. I don't think TNA are quite done with Miss Tessmacher as Knockouts Champion, so she'll get the nod. Earl is sure to get a post-match tongue-lashing for his ineptitude.
Prediction - Miss Tessmacher defeats Madison Rayne via pinfall to retain the Knockouts Championship.
Falls Count Anywhere
Rob Van Dam vs Mr Anderson vs The Pope vs Magnus
The first of three random Bound for Glory series matches. None of the competitors have a grudge against each other and the stipulation doesn't really make much sense either. The easy bet would be Rob Van Dam for the win. He's the highest profile competitor in the match and it'd make perfect sense for him to walk away with the points. Which is exactly why he doesn't need them in the first place. Same goes for Mr Anderson to an extent. Considering this is the least of the three BFG gimmick matches tonight, I say surprise everyone and have Magnus walk away the victor. He's never been truly validated on the Impact Wrestling roster (Ring Ka King Championship reign not withstanding), so maybe it's time to put him over. It'd be a talking point for a match that doesn't have many.
Prediction - Magnus defeats Rob Van Dam, Mr Anderson and The Pope via pinfall.
Jeff Hardy vs James Storm vs Bully Ray vs Robbie E
A big step up from the initial BFG series match, as this one features arguably TNA's biggest star, Jeff Hardy, and the current main feud of Impact Wrestling, James Storm vs Bully Ray. We'll just pretend Robbie E isn't also in the ring, as I'm sure the other competitors will too. This match will very quickly come down to two classes - the feud and the spot monkeys. The majority will focus upon the tremendous work of Storm and Ray, who I'm sure will work stiff as a board and take literal strips off each other. Meanwhile, Jeff and Robbie will be bouncing all over the place taking a series of ridiculous bumps, never really threatening to win the match though. I suspect this feud between Storm and Ray is far from over and the conclusion certainly won't come tonight as they're sharing the ring with two other men. Look for a surprise fluke win from Bully Ray, leaving Storm pissed off and baying for his blood.
Prediction - Bully Ray puts James Storm through a table to win the match.
Kurt Angle vs AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe
Prediction - Samoa Joe climbs the ladder and grabs...something...to win the match.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Austin Aries (C) vs Bobby Roode
A rematch from last month's Destination X pay-per-view. While I'm a huge Austin Aries fan and want to see him carrying that World Heavyweight Championship for years to come, I think it's the end of the line for this particular title reign. Last month's win was more about establishing the credibility of the Destination X title-shot and capitalising on Aries' phenomenal popularity. However, in the month since then, he hasn't been given much of anything to do. For the most part, he's been placed in segments with several larger names and gotten lost in the shuffle. Most tellingly was the week where he was placed in a room with the rest of the X Division for an entire show. It was almost as if TNA were saying "you can't cut it with the big guys, so here, go back where you belong". This isn't any fault on Aries part, it's more to do with TNA not knowing what the hell to do with him. He got this far on popularity and workrate, it was never to do with a story he'd been given. As such, I think the booking committee will look at his short reign as a nod to the smart fans, make the quick switch back to Bobby Roode as Champion and continue on as if the last month never happened.
Prediction - Bobby Roode defeats Austin Aries via pinfall to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion.