Friday, 21 January 2011

TNA Genesis - Download Review

It was inevitable. When Extreme Sports didn’t review their contract and Sky purchased and closed down Bravo it meant that there was no TNA programming anywhere on British television.

So instead of paying $35 to watch it online I decided to download the thing instead.

So, later than planned, I’m now going to take a look at TNA’s first pay-per-view of the year, Genesis.

The show began with the first title match of the evening as Frankie Kazarian challenged Jay Lethal for the X Division title.

With Eric Bischoff promising that all the gold would belong to Immortal by the end of the show the pressure was all on Kazarian as he attempted to win the title for a fourth time.

It was a great way to open the show. Lethal and Kazarian were well suited to each other in this fast paced and action packed opener.

There were great sequences throughout, and the pressure came off when Lethal was crotched on the top rope. Moments later Kazarian took Lethal down with a reverse tombstone for the title winning pin.

The title action continued with Mickie James challenging Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title.

Well I guess this is one title Immortal isn’t interested in. As for the match the action was good throughout, although it did seem to drag on for a while.

Just as James was about to put Rayne away none other than Tara made an appearance, causing a momentary distraction. When James returned to the ring Rayne did her best Chris Hero impression and knocked out James with a loaded glove. A three count later and Rayne had retained her title.

The third title match saw Beer Money, Robert Roode and James Storm, challenging the Motor City Machine Guns, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, for the Tag Team titles.

No matter how many times I watch these teams go against each other I never tire of it.

It was another excellent performance from all four men, pitting the Guns’ fast paced attack against Beer Money’s hard hitting tactics. It was an absolute joy to watch.

There were plenty of false finishes, including the breaking up of the Guns’ neck breaker/body block combo and Beer Money’s DUI.

The end came when Sabin inadvertently caught Shelley with a yakuza kick. Moments later Roode got the roll up for the title winning pin.

The battle of the Dudley Boys was next as Bully Ray went up against Brother Devon.

This was just one big fight. They began brawling on the ram and around the ring, with the match eventually starting when they got between the ropes.

The action was mostly what I expected from these two. It was entertaining, but like the Knockouts title match it just seemed to be a little too long.

The Bully came out on top. Devon managed to grab hold of the chain that Ray had brought into the match and clobbered Ray, earning the automatic disqualification.

But the end of the match didn’t stop them from fighting, and it took several staff members to pull them apart.

The fourth title match of the show saw Abyss, replacing the injured A.J. Styles, challenging Doug Williams for the TV title.

This certainly wasn’t the best Doug Williams match I’ve seen. It was okay, with Abyss focusing his attack on Williams’ injured left hand.

The former Anarchist did okay, but there was no way he could have a classic with someone like Abyss.

A new champion was crowned at the end. As the referee tried to stop Abyss from using Janice a heavily limping Styles came into the ring and clobbered Williams with the title belt. One black hole slam later and Abyss had the title winning pin.

The worst kept secret was revealed next as Rob Van Dam found out that his mystery opponent was Matt Hardy.

Hardy certainly looked in better shape than in his final WWE days, and although the action was okay throughout, as were the performances, this was another of those matches that just seemed to drag on and on.

RVD thought he’d got the pin after the frog splash, but the referee stopped his count when he saw Hardy’s hand under the ropes.

A short time later Hardy took RVD down with a twist of hate, and even though his leg was under the rope the referee still counted the pin, giving Hardy the win on his debut.

Then it was on to the MMA exhibition match pitting Jeff Jarrett against Kurt Angle.

This was basically Angle putting on a clinic for the first two rounds as he threw Jarrett around the ring and put on a variety of submission holds.

Then, between rounds, Jarrett invoked the spirit of Sonny Liston when his corner men rubbed a foreign substance on his forearm. Jarrett rubbed his arm across Angle’s eyes, blinding him as he rained down with a torrent of blows, which was actually against the rules of the match. The referee immediately called for the bell as Jarrett left Angle in a pool of his own blood.

Well, it was what it was, and we all remember the last worked MMA match in TNA.

The main event saw Matt Morgan and Mr. Anderson fighting it out for the number one contenders spot.

A good enough match, not overly spectacular, with two good solid performances. The crowd seemed kind of dead for this one though, as if they didn’t really care what happened.

A few false finishes in this one. Both men kicked out after the other’s finisher, before, from out of nowhere, Anderson got the pin with a small package.

But that wasn’t the end of the evening. As Anderson tried to recover Eric Bischoff came down to the ring and praised him for his efforts, before announcing that his title shot against Jeff Hardy would be happening there and then.

As with the previous match it was okay, and even Hardy’s performance was good at times, but overall the match was ludicrously overbooked.

Hardy tried to take Anderson out early with two twist of hates, but the challenger kicked out after each pin.

Hardy was frustrated at his inability to put the weary challenger away as Anderson began to fight his way back.

From there we had cameos from Morgan, Bischoff, Mick Foley, Ric Flair and Matt Hardy before Anderson finally took Hardy down with the microphone check, and a three count later we had a new TNA World Champion.

In conclusion - one year into the Hogan/Bischoff regime and once again TNA have given us a mixed bag.

The show started out really well, and some of the matches were very enjoyable, even if some of them did go on for a while without seeming to go anywhere.

But from the battle of the Dudleys onwards things just seemed to go downhill a little as far as the match quality and crowd reaction were concerned, which was epitomised perfectly by the reaction to Anderson’s title win.

So in all the first wrestling pay-per-view of the year doesn’t get the thumbs up, but it doesn’t get the thumbs down either. It was enjoyable in parts but disappointing overall.