Saturday, 14 January 2012

TNA Genesis on Challenge - TV Review

It’s time to step into the Impact Zone for the first time this year as we take a look at TNA’s first pay per view of the year, with Jeff Hardy challenging Bobby Roode for the World title in the main event of Genesis, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.

The show began with the first title match of the evening as Zema Ion, Kid Kash and Jesse Sorensen challenged Austin Aries for the X Division title in a four way elimination match.

This was a pretty good match, another example of what the rejuvenated X Division is all about these days. It was an encounter full of fast paced action, with all four men going for pins within the opening few minutes.

Kash was the first man eliminated, taken out by Ion’s 450 splash from the top rope. A few minutes later Ion followed him, courtesy of a small package from Sorensen.

Both Austin and Sorensen both then had pin attempts which weren’t counted because the referee was arguing with Ion, who hid by the ring when the referee returned his attention back to the action.

Both champion and challenger came close to getting the win, but when Ion crotched Sorensen as he stood on the top rope Austin sealed the win a few moments later when he took his man down with a brain buster from the second rope.

Grudge match action followed as D’Angelo Dinero, accompanied by Terrence and Tyrell, who were dressed like rejects from a 90’s boy band, went up against Devon.

This was a highly charged affair, with Devon attacking the Pope before the bell rang and beating the hell out of him, until Dinero eventually managed to make his way back into the match.

Dinero then sought to humiliate his man, and he did a good job in doing so. When he had him down and out in the middle of the ring he ordered the kids to get in the ring to attack their old man. But when they refused Dinero attacked them before throwing them out of the ring.

This inspired Devon, and after some great back and forth action Devon took the pin after his Saving Grace finisher, reuniting with his kids seconds later.

Next up we saw Gunner, accompanied by Ric Flair, taking on Rob Van Dam.

This wasn’t too bad, and it was certainly better than some of RVD’s early TNA matches. Okay, it won’t go down as an early match of the year candidate but it achieved what it set out to do.

Both men acquitted themselves well and put together some nice sequences. Even the obligatory face off between Earl Hebner and Ric Flair added to the match, mainly because it gave Gunner the chance to DDT RVD on the concrete floor.

After Hebner and Flair had finished their argument Gunner pushed Van Dam into the ring, and three seconds later it was all over as Gunner took the win, with the whole f’n show being carried away on a big f’n stretcher.

The second title match of the show saw Mickie James challenging Gail Kim, accompanied by Madison Rayne, for the Knockouts title.

Earlier in the show Velvet Sky made a suggestion to Sting for an added stipulation, and before the match began Madison was put into a cage at ringside and hoisted into the air so she couldn’t interfere.

Another of those matches that fits into the not bad category. Both girls had a good outing here, although they were somewhat over shadowed by the crew focusing their attention on young Madison in the cage early on.

When they finally turned their attention to the match we saw an entertaining back and forth affair with neither girl holding anything back, with both champion and challenger coming close to getting the win.

Then came the expected interference from up on high when Rayne dropped a pair of brass knuckles down, which bounced on the mat a couple of times before falling out of the ring. The referee went out to retrieve the offending item and chastised Kim for it.

But while this was happening Rayne dropped another pair of knuckles into the ring. This time around though they ended up in Mickie’s hands as she clobbered the champion. All this achieved was her immediate disqualification, meaning that Kim was still the champion.

Then it was on to the Monster’s Ball as Bully Ray faced Abyss, with Abyss having to rejoin Immortal if he lost.

It took a while to get going, but when it did it proved to be a highly charged brawl between two men well suited to this sort of environment.

These two beat the hell out of each other with anything they could get their hands on, chairs, rubbish bins, rubbish bin lids, chains and more. We even saw Abyss use a cheese grater on Ray’s gentlemen vegetables before Ray went through a table and Abyss was in between two barbed wire boards when Ray came off the second rope with a back splash.

And they still couldn’t put each other away, not even after Abyss choke slammed Ray onto a pile of thumb tacks and Ray repeatedly clobbered the monster with a kendo stick.

Eventually the end came when Abyss, his arm covered in blood, took Ray out with a black hole slam on one of the barbed wire boards. Nice brawling here.

The penultimate title match saw Samoa Joe and Magnus challenging Crimson and Matt Morgan for the Tag Team titles. This is one match I won’t be reviewing, and if you don’t know why click here.

The penultimate match saw Kurt Angle and James Storm going at it again.

Another of those that fit into the quite entertaining bracket. Angle put in his usual solid performance, while Storm again showed that he’s definitely got a bright future for himself in the singles ranks.

Plenty of back and forth action in this one, and plenty of false finishes as Storm threatened to take his man out with his super kick a few times. Angle, as is his way, looked for the win with his patented ankle lock, which Storm easily kicked out of.

Underhanded tactics led to Angle’s victory. As Storm went for the super kick again Angle pulled the referee in front of him. Storm hesitated, and after shoving the official out of the way Angle connected with a low blow while the ref’s back was turned. A boot to the head later and our Olympic hero had finally beaten the Cowboy.

The main event saw Jeff Hardy challenging Bobby Roode for the World title.

For me this match proved two things. The first is that Jeff Hardy is slowly but surely getting back to his best. He hasn’t hit the heights of his prime WWE years yet, but his performance here showed once again that he’s still on the road to redemption.

The second is that Roode is really starting to come into his own as the cowardly heel champion. While his mannerisms may not be obvious to most he’s starting to build on the kind of character that many have perfected over the years.

These two ingredients made for a very enjoyable match. Hardy went all out to achieve victory, pulling off his usual high flying moves to take it to the champion, while Roode was the perfect foil, growing increasingly frustrated at his inability to put the charismatic enigma away, and seeing only one way out of his predicament.

Having failed in two attempts to get himself counted out, Roode took the next best option. Hardy had thrown him back into the ring while his was still clutching his title belt and had ducked when Roode tried to use the belt as a weapon.

But as it lay on the mat Hardy looked to take Roode down with the Twist of Fate, only for the referee to stop the move so Hardy couldn’t use the belt for added impact.

Roode then struck, delivering a low kick to the referee, earning himself a disqualification, losing the match but saving his title. It didn’t stop Hardy though as he soon climbed to the top and took the champion out with the swanton.

In conclusion - as is my custom I didn’t read any of the online reviews before compiling my own.

TNA’s first show of 2012 proved to be an entertaining affair. Okay, there wasn’t any five star classics, and most of these matches will probably be forgotten in a year or so, but overall I enjoyed the show, which in my opinion is all that counts.

So while Genesis doesn’t get the big thumbs up, it gets a thumbs up nonetheless.