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TonyPulis'Cap

[2004-11-07-TNA-Victory Road] Jeff Jarrett vs Jeff Hardy (Ladder)

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This was the main event for TNA's first 3 hour Sunday PPV, so of course it has Jarrett in it, and while it made sense to have Hardy in terms of his profile, this was during his initial post WWE run where he was pretty dreadful in the ring, probably not helped of course by what he might be doing outside of it. Hardy as a singles guy can be really hit and miss, but when he came back to WWE in 2006 through to the end of the Punk run I thought he was really good. Again, back in TNA you get the infamous Sting match where he's in no position to perform, but overall there was a lot of good stuff, particularly his matches with Austin Aries. Anyway, that's a lot of digressing - bottom line, is that Hardy is all over the place in this match.

The storyline going in is that the ladder match stipulation favours Hardy, and that's shown by him dominating the early stages, which makes good sense. Hardy shows good fire. and you can't fault the effort of both guys, it's just they are on different pages. Hardy is trying to run through a greatest hits package of some of the moves he would do in the big tag ladder matches in the WWE while you get all the Jarrett NWA Title match tropes of refs being knocked out and outside interference. Hardy's had some great singles ladder matches, but just like someone like Sabu, that relies on him being on his game and hitting his spots. Here, there are not massive botches, although they mess up a sunset flip powerbomb twice in quick succession, but everything looks a bit odd. Jarrett for the most part's role in the match is just to stagger around and try to be vaguely in the right place while Hardy is throwing himself around. Most of the damage Hardy sustains is by missing big moves rather than anything Jarrett does, although that does play into a narrative of Hardy being a risk taker and Jarrett being a smart veteran.   

The other storyline going into the match was The Outsiders were in different corners; Hall with Jarrett and Nash with Hardy, although the pre-match video package makes it absolutely certain that Nash is going to turn on Hardy. Hall is fairly heavily involved throughout the match, at various times preventing Hardy from climbing and he actually takes some of the worst punishment in this. The match sort of meanders to the point where Nash comes out with two guitars, telegraphing what the finish from a million miles away. Hardy gets taken out by all three hitting him with guitars and Jarrett retains in the standard TNA way at this point. Post match we see what would soon to be named as the nWo Kings of Wrestling taking out a load of  babyfaces, incl. AJ Styles until you get the bizarre and probably forgotten arrival of Randy Savage into TNA, for what would ultimately be one match where he would barely take part. 

Overall then, this is pretty poor - for a ladder match there are no memorable moments, and it suffers from one having one guy (Jarrett) who isn't natural in this type of match, one guy (Hardy) who is all over the place, and a heavily telegraphed and cliched turn that everyone would've seen coming. Not good (** 1/4)      

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