TNA could not have come up with a more appropriate title for this pay per view than Genesis. There were plenty of new beginnings this night — new feuds, new talent and a new cause for excitement among TNA fans.
The exhilaration peaked with an absolutely chaotic main event with Jeff Jarrett and America’s Most Wanted (AMW) facing off against Rhino and Team 3D.
Jarrett and AMW made their way into the audience and waited out Rhino and Team 3D. Rest assured, they didn’t wait long; Rhino is after Jarrett, Brother Ray is after James Storm and Brother Devon is on Chris Harris. They are brawling all over the place and the fans are eating it up; Rhino presses Jarrett overhead, then drops him into some steel chairs. Brother Ray throws Storm into the broadcast booth while Brother Devon is choking out Harris over the guard rail. All this and I’m out of Doritos too! Aaarrrgh! Jarrett low blows Rhino and sends him tumbling down the bleachers. Storm is now choking out Brother Ray, Rhino suplexes Jarrett onto a chair, Brother Devon hits Harris with the bell. In ring now and Brother Ray busts open Harris with a cheese grater and the fans are going ape s**t! Ah hell, I’m going ape s**t! Crowd calls for a table, 3D complies. 3D attempts to suplex Storm through the table, but Harris moves the table. Advantage swings back to AMW as Harris drives the cheese grater between the legs of Brother Ray. Outside, Rhino nails Jarret with a trash can, then piledrives Jarrett into the ramp. Crowd is absolutely rabid now. Rhino tries to gore Jarrett through a table at the entrance way, but Storm stops him cold with a super kick. Flurry of pin attempts in the ring, no one gets the three. Rhino finally gets the Gore on Jarrett, but the referee gets pulled away from making the three count. AMW gang up on Rhino and send him into the steel post, legs spread. AMW is back in ring, taking names and kicking ass. AMW sets up a table for the Death Sentence. 3D reverses this and gets the pinfall with the 3D finisher.
The match is over and Jarrett hits the ring, clobbering Rhino with the guitar. 3D goes after Jarrett and they get a table. Gail Kim intervenes and it looks like she’s going through the table, along with Jarrett. Team Canada shows up and the beat down is on. It is then that TNA’s new acquisition arrives and … well, read on and you’ll see what happens.
Match 1: Shark Boy vs Nigel McGuiness
British grappler McGuiness makes his debut in TNA against the promotion’s resident amphibious carnivore, Shark Boy. McGuiness shows off some very unique British grappling offence, focusing on the left of his opponent. But Shark Boy is far from being intimidated by his larger opponent and mounts a brave comeback, eventually scoring the pinfall via small package. Fans of Ring of Honor know that McGuiness can deliver the goods. Didn’t quite see it in this one, but still… sign this guy TNA.
Match Rating: 5
Match 2: The Naturals/Lance Hoyt vs The Diamonds in the Rough
Hoyt and Skipper start this one, with the big man gaining the upper hand over Skipper initially. The Naturals enter the fray and take the action outside of the ring, even using Hoyt as a human projectile. The momentum swings back in favor of the Diamonds, isolating Chase Stevens and showing off some impressive tag team tactics. Stevens reverses his fortunes with a Hurracanrana and makes the hot tag to Hoyt who cleans house. Hoyt delivers the double choke slam on Skipper and Young. Stevens gets isolated in the ring where Skipper and Young deliver the forward Suplex Flatliner to score the victory.
Match Rating: 6
Match: Raven vs PJ Polaco
Larry Zbyszko is in the ring and gives Raven an ultimatum ? sign a release form and depart TNA, or stay, and Zbyszko vows to make Raven’s life miserable. Raven goes after Zbyszko.
With Raven having apparently made his decision to stay, Zbyszko announces Raven’s opponent who is none other than the wrestler formerly known as Justin Credible, PJ Polaco. Match ensues, or should I say… brawl ensues, with Polaco getting the advantage with a knee to Ravens’ royal jewels. Raven flees the ring, Polaco pursues, throwing Raven into the guardrail. Back in the ring and Polaco continues to dish out the punishment and promptly sends his opponent back outside. Polaco has the Singapore cane, but Cassidy Riley shows up and saves Raven by taking the cane shot. Polaco swings for Raven but misses. Inside the ring, and it’s Raven fighting back now, trapping Polaco in an ankle lock. Polaco rolls out of the hold, delivering a DDT on Raven, but no three count. Raven shows us how it’s done with the Raven Effect and gets the win. Both of these guys can do better. Let’s hope TNA gives them another chance to take it to the next level, ECW style.
Match Rating: 4.5
Match: 3 Live Kru vs Team Canada in a Hockey Stick Fight
Special guest referee is Kip James. There are six hockey sticks positioned at each corner of the ring. Only the legal men in the ring may take a stick.
Team Canada goes for the hockey sticks, but the Kru intercepts. Eric Young manages to get a stick, but he’s not the legal man, so Kip takes the stick away. Meanwhile, Bobby Roode and BG James are slugging it out in the ring. James goes for the stick, but tags Ron Killings in. Killings gets his hands on a stick, but Roode intercepts before he can use it. Young is in now; Konnan enters the maelstrom and snags a stick. Konnan goes to town on Team Canada and draws a major for high sticking. James is back in, gets a stick, but Roode stops him cold. Team Canada has James isolated. Young back in, gets a stick and goes after James, who stops Young. Roode enters the ring and has a stick, but Killings steals it away. James makes the hot tag to Killings and this one breaks down into a free for all. Hockey stick fight ensues, with the Kru clearing the ring. Killings goes upstairs and plants the big leg drop across a hockey stick, strategically placed across the groin of a prone Young. He ain’t getting up from that (and he ain’t reproducing any time soon) and the Kru takes the victory. The hockey stick gimmick didn’t really work out, best that TNA not revisit it.
Match Rating: 5
TNA’s New Acquisition: King Kong Bundy
Actually, the new acquisition is Christian (Cage).
Big pop from the crowd as the TNA faithful welcome Christian Cage (that’s Christian, real name Jay Reso, formerly of WWE). On the mic, Cage tells us why he came to TNA: not to hear the same people say the same thing on the microphone time and time again, and not to watch someone pull objects out of someone’s ass (God that must of felt good to say and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it Vince). Cage advises he didn’t get fired, nor was he offered a low ball contract from the Fed. He came to TNA because he loves wrestling and hates egos and politics. Cage remarks on how WWE is old, boring and lacks direction (oh there’s a revelation) and that his role in TNA is to get his hands on the NWA championship title currently held by Jeff Jarrett.
With that, Coach Scott D’Amore and Bobby Roode come to the ring. D’Amore is happy to see Cage and reminisces on their days on the Canadian indy circuit, even throws in a Stu Hart impersonation. D’Amore wants Cage to join his faction and help take control of TNA. Cage is non-committal which infuriates Roode. Roode demands Cage give an answer now. D’Amore intercedes and tells Cage to take his time making a decision. Cage departs the ring.
Promo Rating: 8
Stu Hart Impersonation Rating: 6.5 (nice effort, Scott, but Ruffy Silverstein’s is better)
Match: Jeff Hardy vs Monty Brown
It’s Hardy taking it to Brown at the start. His momentum is interrupted via a brief seizure (don’t ask). Brown turns it around and sends Hardy to the mat via a fallaway slam. Brown charges the prone Hardy, who side steps out of the way and it’s The Alpha Male taking a trip to the outside of the ring. Brown takes charge on the floor, pummeling Hardy into the guardrails, then gets thrown into the ringside crowd. Hardy charges back and leaps over the crowd and dives into Brown. Match continues inside the ring, with Brown continuing the offence on Hardy. Both competitors nail each other with a clothesline and it’s a race to see who will get to their feet first. Both men are standing, exchanging blows, but it’s Hardy who takes control by nailing a corkscrew plancha off the top rope. Neckbreaker by Hardy, pin attempt and it’s only a two count. Hardy goes upstairs again and lifts off with the Swanton, but eats nothing but mat. Brown seizes the opportunity and plants the Pounce on Hardy, sending him into orbit and at last report, was seen flying somewhere over North Dakota. Brown is your winner.
Match Rating: 6
Elimination X Match ? Christopher Daniels/Samoa Joe/Alex Shelley/ Roderick Strong vs Chris Sabin/Matt Bentley/Sonjay Dutt/Austin Aries
I could write an entire report on this match, but God knows how many times I’d have to review the match to document every single move that was done. All eight athletes were really on the ball with this one, easily making it the match of the night. It was faced paced, innovative action as only the X Division can deliver. Score the PPV replay on this match alone.
Order of elimination is as follows:
Austin Aries pinned Roderick Strong with a 450 splash
Christopher Daniels pinned Austin Aries with a roll-up and hand full of tights
Alex Shelley submitted Sonjay Dutt with a modified cross face
Matt Bentley pinned Alex Shelley with a super kick
Samoa Joe submits Matt Bentley with the Samoan Clutch
Christopher Daniels pinned Chris Sabin with the Angels’ Wings
Samoa Joe was about to move in for the kill on Sabin, but Bentley tripped up Joe, leaving the door wide open for Daniels to secure the win for his team. Joe is upset, but Daniels pleads that their team won and that’s what counts. Joe agrees… not. Joe attacks Daniels, busting him open with a steel chair, and then driving his head into the steel guardrails. Joe takes Daniels back into the ring and executes the Muscle Buster, then again, driving Daniels into a steel chair. Daniels does the stretcher job, while the crowd is split on whether to cheer or boo Joe.
Match Rating: 9
Abyss vs Sabu
Sabu throws a chair at Abyss and the big man tumbles to the outside. Sabu goes airborne and plows into his opponent. Abyss wants payback and sends Sabu into the guardrails. Sabu returns the favor, reverses, and sends Abyss into the guardrails. Abyss hammers on Sabu, followed up by a big splash into Sabu in the turnbuckle. Abyss climbs to the top corner turnbuckle, but Sabu intercepts and takes him over via springboard huracanrana. Abyss is back to his feet and connects with a chair shot, then sets the steel chair between the rolls in the corner. Abyss charges towards Sabu, who gets away, leaving the behemoth to plow into the chair head first. Sabu goes for the three step moonsault and almost botches the landing by nailing Abyss in the head with his legs. Abyss roles to the outside and Sabu pursues, somersaulting over the top rope and leg dropping the head of Abyss through a table. Abyss shakes it off and goes for his bag of tacks. Sabu has a chair wrapped in barbed wire and is about to strike, when James Mitchell interferes. The tacks are laid out on the mat as the two battle on. Abyss finally chokeslams Sabu into the pile of tacks. Pin attempt on Sabu, but he kicks out.
Abyss goes for the splash and misses, eating the pile of tacks. Camel clutch by Sabu, Abyss makes it to the ropes. Black hole slam by Abyss on Sabu, planting him into the barbed wire chair and collects the win. Yes, much rejoicing from the hardcore wrestling faithful.
Match Rating: 7.5
Match: X Division Title Match ? Petey Williams vs AJ Styles
Feeling out process begins via a series of arms drags and pin attempts to start things off. Off the ropes goes Williams and is nailed with a textbook drop kick from Styles, followed by a body slam and two knee drops. Styles goes for the Styles Clash, but Williams scrambles away and out of the ring. Styles pursues and grabs some air, somersaulting over the top rope, hitting Williams, then flying into the ringside audience. Stellar! Styles is distracted by A1 and then finds himself fighting off Williams on the ring apron. German suplex by Williams off the ring apron sends Styles into the guardrail. Just sick! A1 gets booted from ringside, while Williams works over the back of Styles, who fights back and almost nails a springboard maneuver. But Williams trips him up, sending Styles crashing down onto the top rope. Styles is hanging upside down in the corner while Williams stands on his prone opponents’ gonads, Oh Canada follows. Styles mounts a comeback with a Pele kick to Williams. Styles hits a clothesline, spin kick and an assortment of high impact moves. Pin attempt made by Styles, only two. Neck breaker by Styles, pin attempt again, still only two. Huracanrana by Williams, but Styles rolls out of it and into a pin, no three count. Spiked DDT by Williams, goes for the pin on Styles, denied. Russian leg sweep by Williams, who then applies the Sharp Shooter. Styles makes it to the ropes, then goes airborne again, hammering Williams with a springboard elbow strike. Both men are battling it out on the top rope in the corner. Williams goes for the Canadian Destroyer, but it’s Styles who executes the Clash Style and scores the victory. Great stuff.
Match Rating: 9
Match: Six Man Tag ? Jeff Jarrett/America’s Most Wanted vs Rhino/Team 3D
Match Rating: 8
Yes, it’s Christian Cage who runs into the ring after the main event while Rhino and 3D are being assaulted. He removes his jacket and displays his TNA Team Canada T-Shirt. D’Amore rejoices as Cage is now a member of Team Canada.
Cage nails the Unprettier on D’Amore. 3D plant Jarrett through a table, while Cage removes the Team Canada shirt, showing off his TNA shirt.
Christian Cage is TNA (God that feels good to say).
Overall Event Rating: 8
The early bouts were nothing to write home about, but no stinkers either. This PPV definitely had that ECW mayhem feel to it via the Abyss/Sabu match and the main event. The X Division matches were stellar as always.
TNA handled the debut of Christian Cage very well. They teased the possibility of him going heel and turned it around when they needed to. The fans were on their feet at the end of the PPV, a good sign of their approval of how the promotion wrapped up the show. No doubt Cage is doing to only enhance the TNA product with his presence and attract more fans.
With the new additions to TNA comes an abundance of material for new feuds. The only note of caution is this: there was a lot of talent in the early matches that seem to be lost in the shuffle (Lance Hoyt, The Naturals, Raven). All have proven more than capable to deliver great in-ring performances and deserve reinvestment from the company.
Corey David Lacroix can be emailed at [email protected].