Sunday, 16 September 2007

TNA Genesis 2006 on TWC - TV Review

Continuing with the busy pay-per-view review season, this time we’re looking back at Total Non-Stop Action’s most recent pay-0er-view effort, Genesis, shown on a one week delay on The Wrestling Channel in
Britain, a show which features the dream match, Kurt Angle versus Samoa Joe, and Sting defending his NWA World title against the monster Abyss. Our hosts for the evening are Mike Tenay and Don West.

We begin the show with tag action, as Maverick Matt, Johnny Devine and Frankie Kazarian, complete with a weird new look, take on the newly
named Voodoo Kin Mafia, B.G. and Kip James. This new image for the heels is a bit off-putting, and makes them look right idiots in my opinion. It’s a quick one here, as VKM make quick work of their opponents, and after using his version of the Pedigree on Matt, Kip takes down Devine with a cobra clutch slam to get the winning fall. Afterwards, B.G, grabs the microphone and promises more in his “war” with the other VKM. Not bad I suppose, at least it did the job of getting the former James Gang and their new attitude off to a good start.

After the Professor and Big Don run down the rest of the card, Kazarian and Matt lead a blindfolded Devine back down to the ring, before Raven, decked out in a white suit, comes down to the ring. Raven then proceeds to attack Devine with a kendo stick, while Devine just kneels there in the ring, taking his punishment, before Raven marches back up the ramp.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviews Shane Douglas and the Naturals, talking about how the Naturals put Team 3D through a table, and how they’re going to take care of their opponents for the evening, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt.

Then it’s on to the aforementioned tag match, as the Naturals take on Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal. After what seemed like an eternity, I’m finally starting to warm to the Naturals, and their relationship with the Franchise has definitely been a good career move for them. This match is very much in the style of the X Division, which means fast-paced action and high risk moves aplenty between two teams who worked well with each other, and the end was a fine example of this. While Dutt was perched on the shoulders of one of the Naturals (I still can’t remember which one is which), the other one came off the rope, and in what looked like a slightly botched move, drop-kicked the knee of his partner. It got me thinking that he was actually meant to be drop-kicking Dutt. But anyway, a three count later, and the Naturals had their win in a very enjoyable encounter.

Backstage, Borash catches up with Konnan and tag champs LAX. It’s the usual anti-American stuff from the Hispanics here, before promising to take out America’s Most Wanted in their upcoming match.

After West and Tenay give their opinions of LAX’s current stance, we return backstage as Borash interviews new X Division champion Christopher Daniels. The new champ talks about Chris Sabin’s change of attitude, and how he’s going to deal with him in their upcoming match.

Time for the first title match of the evening, as Christopher Daniels defends his newly won crown against Chris Sabin, a man who seems to have had as many attitude changes in as many months. Oh well, at least he’s not doing the awful Jackass gimmick anymore. So what was expected from the two Christopher’s here? Sabin’s cocky attitude was the perfect foil for Daniels. Mind you, given the type of wrestler Daniels is, anyone or anything would be a perfect foil for him. It’s X Division action at it’s best, with two athletes at the top of their games going at it in a top notch encounter, and after what seemed like an eternity of great action, Daniels got the simple win by reversing what looked like a Sabin power bomb attempt into a roll-up, a perfect example that a match doesn’t need a flashy ending to make it enthralling. Afterwards, Sabin tried to attack Daniels with a chair, only for Jerry Lynn to run out from the back to stop him. Lynn insisted that Sabin shake Daniels’ hand, which he did, only for him to take him down with the cradleshock moments later.

Backstage, Kevin Nash, now sans Grecian 2000, gives a talk to his charges about their upcoming match, telling them they needed a win. We then move onto the match itself, as Austin Starr and Alex Shelley take on Ron Killings and Lance Hoyt. So Hoyt has now gone from a Kid Kash clone to a Kevin Nash wannabe to a dancing fool. The TNA booking team just don’t seem to know how to handle Hoyt, or Killings for that matter. This was one of those times when a match suffers from poor positioning on the card. After the great X Division title match, I found myself not really caring who won this won, even though, for the most part, I couldn’t find anything wrong with the efforts of those involved. The end came when Hoyt pinned Shelley with a roll-up while Starr and Shelley were trying to organise something with their video camera, leaving their mentor Big Sexy in a rather unhappy frame of mind. Wait a minute! Two matches in a row ending with the winner getting the pin with a roll-up. Pretty poor booking here.

Backstage, Borash chats with Christian Cage. Cage reminds JB that he is actually undefeated in TNA, and gets annoyed when Borash rolls his eye at him during the interview. Once again he proves that he is currently one of the best promo guys in the business.

Dream match-up time, as, for the first time ever, A.J. Styles faces Christian Cage. What could have been a distinct clash of styles turned out to be a very enjoyable encounter, with Cage’s solid wrestling style mixing well with A.J.’s X Division leanings, with Styles’ tag-team partner inadvertently costing him victory. When Cage tried to use a steel chair, Daniels, just as Styles had done during his match, came down to the ring to stop him. It turned into a tug-of-war between Cage and Daniels as Styles went for a sunset flip, but the move backfired as Cage reversed the move and got the winning pin. Styles and Daniels then got into a shoving contest, which was interrupted by none other than Rhino, who asked the two of them to shake hands and resolve the situation, something which Styles refused to day as he left the ring in a storm.

Backstage, Borash interviews America’s Most Wanted and Gail Kim about their upcoming title match with LAX. So I guess AMW are now fully-fledged baby faces again, as they promise victory in their upcoming match, and promising to stop Konnan from burning the American flag.

It’s on to the second title match of the evening, as the LAX team of Homicide and Hernandez defend the NWA Tag-Team titles against America’s Most Wanted. Although a little messy at times, this proved to be a great contest with an intensity we rarely see in professional wrestling these days. Once again Hernandez impressed me a great deal with his size and power, and once again LAX used underhanded tactics to get the win. As Konnan chased Gail Kim around ringside, Homicide clobbered Storm with a blowtorch while the referee’s back was turned, with Hernandez getting the winning pin seconds later. Then the post-match activities began, as LAX threatened to take out Gail Kim, until Canadian Petey Williams ran down to the ring to clean house and to save the day. Boss man Jim Cornette then came down to the ring to make an important announcement, stripping LAX of the tag-team titles because of their actions, saying that their contracts will be terminated if they fail to hand over the title belts the following Thursday.

In a dark room somewhere, the best talker in the business, James Mitchell, talks about Abyss’ upcoming NWA title match, again proving that he is the best promo guy in the business right now. He could be talking about the latest NASDAQ figures and you’d suddenly get interested, he’s that good.

The third and final title bout of the evening, but not the main event, sees Sting defend the NWA World title against the monster Abyss, who, as always, has James Mitchell leading him down to the ring. It’s the kind of match we used to see the Stinger in years ago, when he went up against the likes of Vader, Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher and more, but now he’s taking on TNA’s monster. The match starts of with a Jarrett-like brawl around the arena, in which Abyss threatens to power bomb the champ off the stage and through two tables covered in barbed wire. When it eventually gets to the ring, it’s not the most technically sound match in the world, but it’s an enjoyable one, with both wrestlers putting on a good display, Sting getting choke-slammed onto the thumbtacks and kicking out of the ensuing cover, both Abyss and Mitchell going down to the Scorpion Deathlock, before the champ hangs the monster upside down from the ceiling and clobbers him with a chair. He then dragged Abyss up the ramp, and pushed him through the barb wired table. Finally, the referee disqualified Sting for his actions, which meant that under TNA rules, Abyss was declared the new champion.

Main event time, as Kurt Angle makes his in-ring TNA pay-per-view debut against Samoa Joe. Given the current physical state of the Olympic gold medallist, I always fear for Kurt whenever he steps into the ring these days. At lot was expected of this match, and while it may not have been the technical classic we were all expecting, it was still a damn good match. Angle got busted open early after Joe slammed his head into the ring steps, but Joe was able to come back strongly, eventually taking down Angle with the muscle buster, and although this would normally be enough to get the pin, Angle was able to kick out. Now getting a second wind, Angle synched in the ankle lock, before Joe countered with the rear
naked choke, which Angle managed to counter with a second ankle lock. Joe countered by pushing Angle into the ropes, but missed the follow-up attack as he went crashing into the ring post. Angle then applied the ankle lock again, and Joe finally tapped, ending what was a tremendous match and Joe’s eighteen month unbeaten streak in TNA. Afterwards, Joe asked for the microphone, and challenged Angle to a re-match, which Angle refused, and walked up the ramp. Joe then said that he would get his re-match with Angle the hard way.

In conclusion - finally, a TNA card where I enjoyed the majority of the matches. The Sting/Abyss match had great intensity, and the Angle/Joe bout may not have delivered what it promised, but it was still a fine encounter, while, for me, LAX continue to be the biggest heat magnets in TNA at the moment.

But one thing I must criticise is The Wrestling Channel’s continued treatment of TNA pay-per-views. While I can understand that they need to get advertising revenue, I do wish they would schedule their advertisement breaks a lot better than they have been. It’s very annoying when you’re just about to go to the finish of the match and we suddenly get an ad break. This is something that’s been happening for a fair few months now, and I really wish TWC would do something about it.

And finally, before I get a stack of e-mails telling me how late this review is, please remember that I now have a full-time job, and that my time is now somewhat limited.