TNA Genesis 2012
January 8th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 800-1400 +/-
January 8th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 800-1400 +/-
Well I was all set to do the 411 report for this show but because of a dead router, I wound up with no internet access during the actual event. So here we are the next day, new router and a new attitude about TNA going into this new year of 2012. I was once a diehard fan of the promotion, singing their praises as recently as the fall of the 2009 when a string of excellent PPVs centered around feuds involving the likes of AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, and Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness) gave me hope that this company could actually be a viable alternative to the WWE. Enter Hogan and Bischoff, and things went to hell in a handbasket rather quickly. Well, it seems like Hogan and Bischoff have finally realized that they needed a lot less camera time and things are looking up as we start this new year, we have a young and talented homegrown World champion in Bobby Roode, a solid core of new young talent in the X-Division with the likes of Zema Ion, Tony Nese, and Jesse Sorensen alongside respected vets like Austin Aries and Kid Kash, and even the Knockouts seem to be newly refocused since the return of Gail Kim to the company. I'm willing to give TNA a clean slate for the new year because of all of these things, now, let's just hope they don't manage to fuck that up. End of rant, on with the show!
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open the show with footage of Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy separately arriving to the Impact Zone arena earlier in the day before going to the usual cold open with Taz and Tenay to run down the card.
TNA X-Division Title Four Corner Elimination Match
Austin Aries © vs. Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen
Rapper Rick Ross (EVERY DAY I'M HUSTLIN') of all people is in the front row for tonight's show and leaves Zema hanging when he offers a high five. Safe to say this is not how I expected the show to start. Aries exits the ring at the bell to let his three challengers do battle first. They trade quick pin attempts and Zema and Jesse square off as Kash is tossed out of the ring. Big hurricanrana from Jesse followed by a bridging northern lights suplex for a quick two count. Aries decides to sneak back in with at tope on Jesse, followed by quebrada, but Zema and the others take turns rolling Aries up instead. Aries is tossed out and Kash follows with a pescado. Zema goes to the top with Kash and Jesse sneaks up behind them to help out with a nifty Tower of Doom powerbomb/inverted suplex combo spot. Aries goes to the top but Zema tosses him off onto Kash on the floor and then wipes the both of them out with a spinning corkscrew moonsault! Ion is flashy in all the right ways. Sorensen follows him with a big springboard somersault senton that wipes everyone out again and the crowd is loving the action so far. All four men return to the ring where Kash looks to superplex Zema but is interrupted by Jesse tossing Aries into Kash. Zema comes off the top with a 450 splash and that eliminates Kash at 6:05. Aries hits a 450 splash of his own onto Jesse, but Sorensen kicks out and inspires a big "Jesse!" chant from the crowd. Wow, had no idea Sorensen was actually over. Aries hits Ion with an STO takedown but turns around into a flying cross-body from Sorensen for a close two count. He follows with a suplex/ace cutter combo. but Zema breaks the pin up, so Jesse rolls Ion up and is able to eliminate him at 8:03. Zema bitches at the ref a bit while Sorensen hits a sweet floatover swinging DDT on Aries that only nets him another close two count. Aries runs face-first into a sick boot from Sorensen, who goes to the top rope only to have Ion trip him up from the outside. Aries follows with a dropkick and then delivers a sick brainbuster from the second rope to eliminate Jesse and retain the title at 10:49 total. Excellent little X-Division match to open up the PPV the right way, this felt like a step above the usual Impact stuff these guys do which is usually pretty good in itself. Some creative spots and a good finish made this a great opener. ***1/4
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with D-Von's kids (I still can't remember their names) who are now dressed up and acting like the Pope. What the fuck am I watching right now? Pope enters to call Jeremy "BJ" as well as wax philosophic on the new year and toss out generic threats to D-Von. This whole angle kind of reminds me of the plot of the movie South Central, only with less murder and PCP.
Pope D'Angelo Dinero vs. Devon
Devon is all fired up to start of course which might be thrilling if he were ten years younger or more than average in the ring. Elbow and a clothesline sends Pope out of the ring where Devon slams him into the steps and then tosses him back in. Lou Thesz press and a diving headbutt from Devon, and he actually goes to the top rope, but Pope sends the ref into the top rope to trip him up. Pope dropkicks Devon in mid-air on top of the top rope, which is actually kind of cool and briefly makes me remember the hot talent Pope used to be. Something about Mike Tenay talking about pimping is just funny. Pope delivers a double-axe handle off the apron onto Devon right in front of Rick Ross and then tosses the vet back into the ring and applies a chinlock. Dueling chants start up despite this match being pretty much dogshit. Pope delivers a lazy DDT and then tells Devon's kids to enter the ring. He tells them to beat on his dad (which they did on Impact already), but now suddenly they have a change of heart. Why? When they don't beat down their father, Pope attacks the both of them and tosses them out of the ring. Of course this all gives Devon enough time to start his comeback FOR THE CHILDREN! Powerslam and a flying shoulder-block won't put Pope down and he responds with a nasty neckbreaker from the second rope. Pope goes for the DDE, but Devon catches him with an inverted DDT slam for the clean win at 10:18. Devon and the kids hug it out afterwards to complete the heart-wrenching story that no one gives a shit about. I'm sure some comedian will tell me this match had a great "story" to it and in a respect it did, but the actual wrestling action involved Devon Dudley going clean over a guy half his age with twice his talent. If we never see Devon's kids on TV again it will be too soon. *3/4
Backstage Jeremy Borash hypes the main event involving Jeff Hardy when Velvet Sky interrupts to confront Sting during his allotted interview time here about the open Knockouts authority figure role. She whispers something into Sting's ear about a way to prevent Madison Rayne from interfering in the Mickie/Gail match later and then takes off so Sting can talk up Jeff Hardy to Borash. I really hope Jeff has actually gotten clean, otherwise this is all really hollow and second-rate stuff.
Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
Gunner is with the man Ric Flair himself! I'm not about to propose Ric get back in the ring or anything but couldn't we make better use of him than as the valet for Gunner McBlanderson? RVD seems to be on auto-pilot even more than usual the last few months, just miring away in the midcard doing nothing. I wouldn't be shocked if he was headed back to the WWE in the next year. Gunner starts off with spears in the corner but Rob responds with some signature footwork and a near fall cradle attempt. RVD tries a crucifix but Gunner rolls through so he dropkicks him. Gunner hits a clothesline in the corner and follows up with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Rob exits the ring and Gunner follows him out, delivering a scoop slam on the floor. Gunner exposes some of the concrete floor underneath the ring mats but RVD has recovered by now and hits a dropkick. Gunner tries a superplex back in the ring but Rob slams him down and hits a springboard thrust kick followed by the Rolling Thunder. Gunner exits the ring again and RVD slingshots after him, but Flair moves him out of the way. Flair argues with the ref while Gunner DDTs Rob on the concrete. Rob is out and Gunner pins him easily back in the ring at 6:50. This was about as "meh" and average as it gets. Not bad or anything, but just not interesting at all. After the match RVD is stretchered out while Gunner walks away slapping himself in the face and chanting "DIE!" at the camera on his way out. That was unintentionally hilarious. **
Backstage Jeff Hardy tells his "creatures of the night" to "mount up" for his title win tonight.
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Gail Kim © vs. Mickie James
These two actually had a great match on Impact a week or two ago so this could be good for once. "Velvet's Touch" is a cage at ringside with some purple and pink bars, apparently to hold Madison Rayne inside during the match. Velvet comes down to ringside to force her in so we can still get our T&A while having an actual "wrestling match". Gail chokes Mickie in the corner at the bell and takes her down with a running knee. Mickie fires back with a snapmare and a dropkick for a two count. You know what this match needs? Madison Rayne shrilly screams. Oh wait, we've got that covered. Gail lays in some weak kicks and knee shots and it seems like the girls are wrestling at half-speed here. Mickie catches Gail coming off the ropes with a kick but Gail grabs her into a dragon sleeper. Mickie counters with a flapjack and kips up, but Gail puts her into the Octopus submission back on her feet briefly until Mickie just slams Gail down for a near fall. Mickie tosses Gail out of the ring where she pushes Velvet. Mickie delivers a half-asses hurricanrana on the floor then hits a top rope Lou Thesz press for another two count. Madison tosses a pair of brass knucks down to Gail from the cage above the ring but the ref intercepts it and gives it to Christy Hemme at ringside. But apparently Madison saw this coming and throws down a second pair of knucks, but Mickie catches them this time and nails Gail with it for the dumb DQ finish at 6:19. This wasn't even on the same planet as the solid match they had on Impact, no this was just sloppy and stupid to be honest. *1/2
Backstage Bully Ray cuts a typically amusing pre-match promo with Jeremy Borash about his upcoming Monster's Ball match with Abyss.
Monster's Ball Match
Abyss vs. Bully Ray
If Abyss loses here he has to re-join Immortal, which apparently still exists despite not being mentioned or involved in any of the angles for the last month or so. This is going to be a violent, hardcore brawl. There are tables and barbed wire boards surrounding the ring for goodness sake. Ray does a lot of stalling to start before grabbing a steel chair. Abyss grabs a chair of his own and they do a bit of dueling, which Ray momentarily wins. Abyss gives Ray a choke-slam and he just no-sells it, getting right back up and booting Abyss in the face. Ray produces a steel chain from his pants (what you don't carry steel bike chains in your pants?) but Abyss just waffles him with the chair. Abyss tosses a plethora of weapons into the ring but eats a lariat and some chain shots from Ray when he returns. Ray grabs a kendo stick but Abyss goes for...Janice! Yes, his combination 2 x 4 full of nails/love partner is back and Ray wants nothing to do with the lady, taking off up the ramp to just desert the match. Abyss follows him up the ramp and leads him back to the ringside area, where Ray grabs some nearby aluminum pans to slam over Abyss' back. Ray irish whips him shoulder-first into one of the set-up barbed wire boards and Ray just slams the board onto Abyss a second time for good measure. Abyss counters with a shot into the steel steps, but Abyss is cut up in nasty fashion on his arm and shoulder. Abyss grabs two small sacks from under the ring and then delivers the devastating cheese grater-to-scrotum hold. Very scientific stuff here. And he grates the balls! Can't believe I just wrote that. Abyss dumps one of the sacks out, which is full of thumbtacks. Ray cuts off a possible slam onto the tacks and then proceeds to go for a table underneath the ring while simultaneously doing an awkward jig, holding his crotch and shouting "Oh my balls! Motherfucker got my balls!". This has suddenly become hilarious. Ray sets up a table in the ring and of course is then promptly choke-slammed right through it for a two count. Abyss tosses two of the barbed wire boards into the ring and sets up the bigger, table-sized one in the corner only to turn around and receive a ura-nage right onto the smaller barbed wire board! Ray tosses the other board on top of Abyss and then sandwiches him bewtween the two with a back senton splash from the second rope! That was cringe-worthy. Ray goes to use Janice on Abyss, but he walks right into a choke-slam onto the tacks! Somehow Ray kicks out and the crowd starts up a big "This is awesome" chant. Ray grabs a kendo stick and just canes the hell out of Abyss in the ropes like his name was Tommy Dreamer. Ray gloats too much though and gives Abyss enough time to recover and deliver the Black Hole Slam to Ray onto another barbed wire board for the three count and the win at 15:28. This was an over-the-top modern hardcore match, with all of the positive and negatives that come with that formula. Lots of sickening hardcore spots with the wire and a fun change of pace from anything else we're bound to see tonight. Stuff like this is important for TNA to continue doing because lord knows you won't see anything like this in the WWE these days because of the PG era. That's offering an actual alternative to the big dog, something the other company can't give you, and that's what makes a good "number two" company in my eyes. ***1/4
Matt Morgan and Crimson join Jeremy Borash backstage to cut a cringe-worthy promo on their opponents Samoa Joe and Magnus tonight. Get these guys any kind of unique characterization whatsoever, stat.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Matt Morgan/Crimson © vs. Samoa Joe/Magnus
Joe and Magnus earned this title shot from winning the random deuces wild mini-tournament TNA held on Impact over the last month. Morgan no sells most of Joe's offense to start. Oh, fun. Crimson and Magnus tag in so Crimson can work in one of the moves he can actually deliver competently. Crimson suplexes Magnus for a two count and Joe tags back in to deliver a ura-nage in the corner. The heels (Joe and Magnus) try the isolation game with Crimson in their corner, trading quick tags and over-powering the fiery ginger. To emphasize how little even TNA cares about this match, we get a split-screen of Bully Ray attacking Abyss somewhere in the backstage area. Yeah, this seems like the designated "go get snacks at the concession stand" match. In a gut-bustingly hilarious moment the crowd starts dueling chants of "We want Morgan!" and "No we don't!" Oh man, take a hint TNA. Taz informs us that Bully Ray is trending on Twitter. Riveting. Morgan tags in for his lame babyface comeback sequence, cleaning house on Magnus and Joe. A suplex-sideslam combo from Morgan is broken up by Joe and the heels manage to hit a few double-team strikes on Morgan. Crimson drags Magnus off and Joe comes flying out after him with a tope suicida onto Crimson. Magnus avoids a chokeslam attempt but a double-team chokeslam from both of the faces is enough to put him away at 9:25. So utterly boring and bland was this match that even the Impact Zone didn't care. And they'll cheer anything. *1/2
Backstage James Storm seems offended by Jeremy Borash's interview process and decides to give JB a make-over with his cowboy hat, shades, and a bottle of beer. Borash actually looks older than fourteen for once!
Kurt Angle vs. James Storm
Some chef from the Food Network is in the front row, which isn't nearly as cool as Rick Ross. Angle is wary to lock up at first and Storm hip-tosses him when he does, looking for the superkick early only for Angle to slide out and avoid it. Back inside Storm delivers a swinging neckbreaker and again looks for the Last Call superkick, but again Angle avoids. Storm takes out Angle with a half-hearted pescado and lands on his feet. Back in the ring he counts off ten punches to Kurt in the corner and spouts off his catch phrase, but that just gives Angle enough time to recover and deliver an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle follows up with some forearm shots and a snap suplex before slapping a chinlock onto Storm that he grinds on for several minutes until Storm fires off a Russian leg-sweep and starts his comeback, taking down Angle with several forearms and lariats. He delivers a big lung-blower to Kurt for a two count. Back on their feet Angle counters Storm into a trio of rolling German suplexes. Angle hits the top-rope moonsault (and it actually lands for once!) but Storm kicks out at two. Storm counters an ankle lock attempt and delivers a DDT, but Angle kicks out this time. Angle avoids another superkick attempt and tries unsuccessfully for the Angle slam, so Storm kicks Angle in the back of the head but winds up taking the Angle slam anyways on his way back into the ring for another near fall. Big ace crusher from Storm won't put Angle away, and neither will the top rope elbow drop. Storm looks to finish Angle off with the superkick, but Angle grabs Earl Hebner and uses him as a human shield. This provides the distraction so Angle can kick Storm low and then finish him off with a lazy and completely anti-climactic running boot at 13:42. This was a weird match, it took awhile to get going but it was getting into a nice groove in the last few minutes only for an incredibly lame finish to end it and make Storm look pretty bad in the process. That boot from Angle was just sad, it's like he meant to do a superkick but he couldn't be bothered to fully extend his leg so he just did a lazy running boot. Some good stuff in this one but it took too long to get going and the finish sucked. **3/4
Bobby Roode cuts a pretty solid heel promo before the main event backstage with Jeremy Borash, taking shots at the "creatures of the night" and referring to Jeff as an embarrassment to the company.
TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Robert Roode © vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff's new shirt gives me weird Brady Bunch vibes. Usual feeling out process to start with both men locking up and trading basic holds. Roode gets tossed to the floor and Jeff takes him out with a running clothesline off the apron. Jeff tosses Bobby into the steel steps, then sets it up as a launching pad to hit a flying dropkick on Roode against the steel guard-rail. Back in the ring Jeff gets hung up in the tree of woe and Bobby takes the boots to him. Roode follows up with a suplex and a diving knee from the second rope for a two count. Jeff gets tossed nastily to the floor but is rolled right back by Roode, who applies a chinlock. Roode transitions from the chinlock into a crossface submission, but Hardy won't quit. Roode goes to the top rope but takes too long mocking Jeff and is met with a boot to the face on his way down. Hardy starts his usual comeback stuff, hitting a Russian leg-sweep and a leg-drop into a cradle. He follows with a jawbreaker but Roode counters with a spine-buster. Jeff mounts some more minor offense and then looks for the Swanton Bomb, but Roode exits the ring and grabs his title, ready to walk out on the match. Jeff grabs him halfway up the ramp though and tosses him back inside. Roode catches him with a kick on his way back into the ring and follows with a Fisherman's suplex, but Hardy kicks out and manages to hit the Twist of Fate back on his feet! Whisper in the Wind gets him a close near fall. He tries for another Twist of Fate but Bobby tries to walk out again and is again tossed back inside, with the title belt this time. Jeff tries for a Twist of Fate on the title belt, but the ref snatches the belt out of the way and Roode nearly steals it by rolling up Hardy with his feet on the ropes. The ref sees this though and stops the count. Roode punts the ref right in the crotch and that causes the incredibly lame DQ at 19:42. This match was already a bit slow and sluggish, but to add a bullshit DQ finish on top of it takes even more points away. These two are capable of so much more and even without the DQ, this just wasn't very good or interesting at all. Hardy looked blown up within two minutes and I'm never a fan of that finish on a PPV. **1/4
After the match Jeff hits Roode with the Swanton Bomb and celebrates with the title before tossing it onto Roode's prone body. We go off the air with a shot of Jeff on the rampway.
Bottom Line: Well, 2012 starts off for TNA like most years have---a bit of good wrestling thrown in with some head-scratching booking decisions and a few lame performances from guys you really expect more out of in the ring. There was certainly some good stuff here, mainly the X-Division and Monster's Ball matches, but everything else was the usual mediocre, bland, and forgettable stuff. I really wanted to give this show a Thumbs Up and while it wasn't a particularly bad show there also really isn't enough here to warrant the $35 PPV price, so I'm going to go with a very subtle Thumbs Down. There's definitely some stuff worth checking out, but overall as a show, I can't fully recommend it.