It’s time to step into the Impact Zone for the first time this year as TNA kicks off their new pay per view schedule with Genesis, shown this past Wednesday on Challenge here in Britain.
The show began with the first title match of the evening as Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan challenged Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez for the Tag Team titles.
I really enjoyed this one. Guerrero and Hernandez looked great early on as they pulled off some well-executed double team moves when they took Ryan apart early on.
Then came the surprise because this time around Hernandez got the punching bag treatment as Morgan barked orders at his partner from the apron, tagging in for brief moments before sending the sleazy one back in for another shift.
The mass brawl proved to be quite entertaining as the champs doubled up to take Morgan out of the equation. Hernandez then took Ryan down with a powerbomb that looked like Ryan didn’t go with properly before Guerrero sealed the deal with a top rope frog splash.
The singles action began with Samoa Joe taking on Mr. Anderson.
What we had here was two guys beating the hell out of each other as Joe tried to find out more about Anderson’s apparent Aces & Eights leanings.
Joe looked good early on, but a meeting between his knee and the ring steps saw Anderson up his game as he targeted the limb.
It was a well played out encounter with both guys putting in good performances, but when Joe took the advantage as he was about to take Anderson out with the Muscle Buster the bearded hammer wielding Aces & Eights guy appeared. The now-distracted Joe soon fell prey to the now-recovered Anderson, who took the win after taking Joe down with the Mic Check.
Then it was on to the final of the X Division tournament between Christian York and Kenny King, with the winner getting an immediate shot at Rob Van Dam’s title.
Now this was good. It brought back fond memories of what this division was all about a few years ago.
This was the first time in ages that I’d seen York in action, and as wrestling fans tend to say these days he’s still got it, and then some.
These two matched each other step for step in an encounter that was the polar opposite of the previous match. Both guys turned it up to 11 as they put together some great sequences. King seemed a lot more comfortable as the heel and he was the perfect foil for York.
The end came when King looked like he was going for a roll-up, only for York to counter with a pin of his own. King was none too happy with his loss and left York laying in the ring after hoisting him onto his shoulders and slamming him down to the mat.
Rob Van Dam then came down to defend his X Division title. At first it looked like there wasn’t going to be a match when RVD and the referee pleaded with York, but when the new challenger clobbered the champion with a big right it was an obvious declaration of intent.
RVD proceeded to take York down time and time again, but no matter what he did York kept kicking out of the pins until he found a burst of energy and began to fight back.
For a few moments it looked like there could be an upset, but it was not to be. York tried his best, but RVD eventually connected with the Five Star Frog Splash for the winning pin.
Non-title action followed as Aces & Eights leader and TV Champion Devon faced Joseph Park.
Joseph Park has to be the most over guy in TNA at the moment, and also the most entertaining. This was another great development in his character as he slowly moves from bumbling lawyer to wrestler.
Devon tried to take him to school early on, out wrestling him with ease until Park took him down with his newly-acquired skills.
As with Park’s other matches it was a perfect piece of storytelling and a very enjoyable encounter, and when Park saw his own blood when he invoked the spirit of his missing brother it looked like we could get an upset.
But when Park’s senses returned to normal Devon pushed him into the corner and rolled him up for the three count.
It wasn’t enough for Devon though as he sought more satisfaction by attacking his man and leaving him laying in the ring.
The Knockouts were up next for their gauntlet match, with the winner getting a shot at Tara’s title. This one featured Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Mickie James & Velvet Sky.
This was better than most of the Knockouts title matches have been recently, and for me it was all about Gail Kim. She put in a near flawless performance to last the entire match, putting on great sequences with all of her opponents.
First to go was Tessmacher after the Eat Defeat, then ODB with a roll-up and a handful of tights and panties, then James with another roll-up, although James’ foot was on the rope.
Sky was the last one to enter the fray, and after Kim rammed her into the ring steps Sky soon came back and took Kim down with a face buster for the winning pin.
The battle of the former Fortune buddies was next as Christopher Daniels, accompanied by Frankie Kazarian, went up against James Storm, with the winner getting a shot at the World title.
For me this was the sleeper match on the card, the first time singles encounter that looked as if it could steal the show.
It certainly lived up to my expectations as a very entertaining encounter full of great back and forth exchanges.
With Kazarian providing occasional interference Daniels showed once again how adept he is in the singles ranks, while Storm showed that he’s one of those guys who can have a good match with anyone.
It really was that good, the only down point for me being Daniels’ dancing. Who does he think he is, Curry Man?
Kazarian proved his worth in his new managerial role towards the end. Just when it looked like Storm was going to put Daniels away he jumped onto the ring apron. Storm took him down with his Last Call Superkick before Daniels sneaked in and took him down with his stepover/slam thing, taking the pin with his foot on the ropes and earning a shot at the title.
After an in-ring segment with Bully Ray and his beloved the Aces & Eights were out again as DOC went up against Sting.
This wasn’t too bad, but it won’t go down in history as one of Sting’s best matches.
It began with a ringside brawl which took them into the crowd for a few moments, and after a brief attack from a couple of the masked guys they eventually made it to the ring.
Sting had very few moments of offence as DOC dominated the action with his brawling. The icon looked to target the big man’s legs a couple of times, but that was about it.
The Stinger had more success towards the end, and after taking DOC down with a Stinger splash in the corner he finished his man off with the Scorpion Deathdrop.
More of the masked guys then appeared on the scene, but just when it looked like they were going to attack Bully Ray made his second appearance of the evening as he chased the bad guys away with a steel chain in hand.
The main event saw Austin Aries and Bobby Roode challenging Jeff Hardy for the World title in a three-way elimination match.
This certainly proved to be value for money and featured great performances from the top guys in the company at the moment.
The match centred around the teamwork of Aries and Roode as they sought to put Hardy away, and even though they doubled up to good effect on numerous occasions they couldn’t get the job done as their frustration grew and grew as time went on.
Hardy took no end of punishment and kept coming back, but when it looked like our hated heels were about to finish him off for good Roode decided to change tactics and went after Aries instead.
Ultimately this led to Roode’s downfall, but not at the hands of Aries. As A-Double went to pin Roode with a backslide Hardy, having spent some time recovering at ringside, came in and used his legs to pin Roode himself.
This left Hardy alone with Aries, and the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived was rather annoyed that he hadn’t been credited with the pin. Some brief exchanges between the two followed before Hardy took his man with a Twist of Fate through the ropes and a swanton from the top rope for the winning pin.
In conclusion - TNA certainly kicked off the new year in style, didn’t they?
Genesis proved to be a very enjoyable show packed with good matches throughout. I really couldn’t think of one bad or annoying moment in this show, and I think I know the reason for that.
With TNA’s live pay per view schedule now drastically cut the talent seemed to up their game. It’s as if they realised this could be their last chance to shine on the big stage for a few months, their last chance to put on some really memorable performances. If that’s the case then TNA should be commended for their decision.
As for my match of the night I’m going for the main event and the three-way between Hardy, Aries and Roode, although the stellar encounter between James Storm and Christopher Daniels ran it close.
So with all of that out of the way let’s wrap this thing up by giving Genesis the big thumbs up.