Tito Ortiz. (Photo credit: Impact! Wrestling)
The Thursday, August 15 edition of TNA Impact! Wrestling, which aired a special Hardcore Justice event live from Norfolk, Va., opened with all the contestants coming out to the ring in the Bound For Glory Series Ladder Match.
Match No. 1: Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles vs. Kazarian vs. Jeff Hardy
Your winner via pinfall: Kazarian
The hard-fought win gives Kazarian 20 points in the Bound For Glory Series, bringing his total to 22 overall. Impressive opening match, with tons of eye-popping and risky maneuvers. TNA booking Kazarian to win was also unexpected, as he ranked much lower in the Bound For Glory Series. Good start to Hardcore Justice.
Match Rating: 4/5
TNA president Dixie Carter, who was in the ring with the Main Event Mafia group, announced that Kurt Angle had entered a rehab facility and wished him well in his return to the company. Suddenly, Aces & Eights interrupted Carter's speech and entered the ring.
Mr. Anderson spoke first, taunting the Main Event Mafia. After Magnus fired back to Mr. Anderson with more taunting, Aces & Eights quickly took out the Main Event Mafia before a commercial break.
Match No. 2: Gail Kim vs. Mickie James vs. ODB
Your winner via pinfall: ODB
Another stunning victory, with ODB coming out on top. It was rather interesting to see on television a shot of both Kim and James looking for weapons under the ring, which was completely empty. Outside of this minor flaw, this was a pretty decent Knockouts no-disqualification match.
Match Rating: 3/5
Backstage, Sting sat down with Aries and offered him a spot on the Main Event Mafia team. After Bobby Roode discussed his Tables match later on Hardcore Justice, Sting informed the Main Event Mafia that Aries rejected the offer.
Rampage Jackson came out to the ring and expressed his happiness at TNA. Jackson called out Tito Ortiz to the ring and asked him to join the Main Event Mafia. Afterwards, Bully Ray stormed out to the ring and angered Ortiz, who needed to be restrained by Jackson and Joe.
Match No. 3: Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe vs. Magnus vs. Bobby Roode
Your winner: Bobby Roode
Thanks to an interference by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, Roode was able to not only slam Magnus through a table for the win, but also pick up 20 points to get into second place in the Bound For Glory Series. This was a very entertaining Tables match, even with an interference ending by Daniels and Kazarian. Once again, the crowd showed their appreciation and remained loud throughout the whole match.
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Match No. 4: Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Your winner via pinfall and new TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bully Ray
During the final moments of the match, Ortiz and Rampage came out to the ring to help Sabin. Suddenly, Ortiz hit Jackson with a sledgehammer, allowing Ray to score the victory. Good main event, as the cage match picked up nicely at the very tail end of it despite a minor botch by Sabin and Ray. Unfortunately, Sabin's title reign was short-lived, but a loss was predictable, as Ray needed to regain control of the belt heading into Bound For Glory.
Match Rating: 3.5/5