In the past, when Impact Wrestling ran its One Night Only shows, they were typically standalone events that had no connection to the ongoing storylines. When their strategy shifted to instead hold monthly special events on its Impact+ subscription streaming platform, that formula changed, and now these shows are integrated into – and can be integral parts of those threads. Saturday night’s Genesis show was a good example of that, featuring a single night tournament for the Super-X Cup and ending with an intense “I Quit” match that ended up having world title implications.
Match 1: Suicide vs. Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton) – Super-X Cup Tournament – First Round match
In a preview video before the match, Austin said his win was “Inevitable,” and Scott D’Amore and the Motor City Machine Guns talked about the history of the Suicide character, noting that it could be anyone under the mask, so that unknown factor could make it difficult for Austin.
Within five seconds of the opening bell, the feed quit and by the time I was able to reconnect, several minutes had gone by. When it resumed, Suicide was in control. The company did some interesting camera work in this one, using elevated camera angles when the match went to the floor – nice touch. Suicide used a number of power moves on Austin, wrestling at a deliberate pace. At one point, he hit a Brain-Buster DDT that looked simultaneously ugly and awesome. As Suicide looked to end things, Fulton jumped on the apron to distract him. This was enough to let Austin connect with The Fold to get the win.
This match was more slowly-paced than one might have expected from an X-Division match. It was fine, but not particularly the most exciting way to kick off the show.
Winner: Ace Austin
Match 2: KC Navarro vs. Blake Christian – Super-X Cup Tournament – First Round match
Before the match, they showed promo videos where Christian comes across like a humble white-bread babyface like ’70s Bob Backlund, while Navarro was a cocky, flashy personality.
This one started off pretty evenly, but picked up as it went along. Navarro hit the first high spot of the night, with a flying dive to the floor on Christian. Later, Christian topped that with a big leap from the top to the floor. Navarro was able to take over, though, and nearly got the win after a Running Neckbreaker. He tried for another, but Christian reversed it and hit a Death Valley Driver and a Standing Moonsault for a near-fall. They went up top, and Christian dropped Navarro with a big Somersault Powerbomb, and then went back up top to finish things with a Twisting Elbow Splash off the top.
This was a bit more exciting than the first match, but again nothing dazzling enough to write home about. It didn’t help matters that this was only the second time either of these two had been on Impact, so it was a bit hard to get invested in either of them.
Winner: Blake Christian
Match 3: Shawn Daivari vs. Cousin Jake – Super-X Cup Tournament – First Round match
In the preview video, Daivari said that his veteran status should give him the edge, while Cousin Jake said he was going to win in order to break out under the shadow of his turncoat cousin Cody Deaner and prove that he can make it on his own.
Jake used his size advantage to good effect, knocking Daivari down with authority and whipping him from pillar to post, both inside the ring and on the floor. Deaner went for a strange running dive to Daivari on the apron, but Daivari moved and Jake snapped his face and neck on the bottom rope. Daivari took over after that, working over a weakened Jake. Daivari then used his ground skills to wrap up Jake and try to squeeze him into submission. But Deaner powered up and flattened Daivari with a series of big country-strong Clotheslines. He nearly got the pin after a big Powerbomb, but Daivari kicked out. After some jockeying, Jake planted Daivari with a Boss Man Slam to get the win.
This was a pretty by-the-book match with not a lot of flash. Not sure this was enough to skyrocket Jake to singles stardom, but the strong win was a good way to move him away from the pure comedy stuff that he had been doing.
Winner: Cousin Jake
Match 4: Tre Lamar vs. Crazzy Steve – Super-X Cup Tournament – First Round match
In the opening video, Lamar said that he would earn an Impact contract when he wins the Super-X tournament, starting with beating Steve. Steve, for his part, predicted in his crazy way that he would beat Lamar.
There were some good dynamics early on, with Lamar creeped out by Steve’s antics which included breaking a hold with an uncomfortable lick of Tre’s face. Tre used his speed and agility to hit moves but still keep his distance, and there were a couple of flashes of the classic X-Division style of days gone by. Lamar went for a Spanish Fly, but Steve reversed it and dropped Lamar with a Side Russian Leg Sweep off the top. Tre hit some of the weakest forearm shots ever (seriously, he should never do those), but fared better using the ropes to dizzying effect. Until he didn’t, and was caught by Steve who put him down for the count with a Diving DDT.
This was a bit better than the first couple of tournament matches, and that was largely driven by Steve’s character work and Tre’s reactions.
Winner: Crazzy Steve
Backstage, Moose told Gia Miller that he was going to use his I Quit match with Willie Mack to send a message to Rich Swann, and that message was that Moose was coming for Swann’s World Championship.
Match 5: Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton) vs. Cousin Jake – Super-X Cup Tournament – Semi-Final match
Jake outmuscled Austin early on, sending Austin to the floor a couple of times, where he used Fulton as a shield to avoid any attempts by Jake to fly. Finally, Jake had enough, and decided to fly over the top anyway, landing on Fulton. He then went face-to-face with Fulton, but this let Austin recover long enough to sail over the top and blast Jake with a flying somersault dive. They exchanged the advantage back and forth, with Austin striking with some hit-and-move offense, and Jake going more with smashmouth power. Austin hit a huge Roundhouse Superkick, but got caught in a top rope follow-up attack and Jake hit him with a big Buckle Bomb. Jake hit a Boss Man Slam, but Austin kicked out. Jake pulled Austin to the top , but Austin used his fancy feet to kick Jake in the head and knock him down. Austin hit a beautiful Fold off the top rope to get the win.
This was a good clash of styles and probably the best match of the tournament so far. It also opened up a possible fight between Fulton and Jake, and that could be a good big man battle to keep an eye out for.
Winner: Ace Austin
Rich Swann visited Willie Mack in the lounge, and gave him a pep talk. Willie said that he was not going to be Moose’s stepping stone, and was mentally preparing for the fight.
Match 6: Crazzy Steve vs. Blake Christian – Super-X Cup Tournament – Semi-Final match
Early on, Christian seemed amused by Steve, who kept talking with the stuffed monkey in his corner. Steve started off affably enough, even giving Christian a friendly hug to start the match. But when Christian accidentally kicked the monkey and sent it tumbling to the floor, a switch went off in Steve’s head, and he went into berserker mode, attacking Christian viciously. When he had Christian down, Steve went and checked on the monkey. This breather let Christian recover, and he went on the attack, hitting Steve with a series of running attacks, fiery feet, and a nice Split-Legged Moonsault. He went for another, but Steve got his knees up, hurting Christian. The fight spilled to the floor where they knocked each other down with Double Clotheslines. Back in the ring, Christian took the advantage, nearly getting the win after a nifty Float-Over Splash, but Steve turned him inside-out with a Clothesline and took him to the Upside Down. As they unlocked each other from that, Christian got Steve tied up in the ropes and then hit a beautiful 450 Splash, landing hard on Steve’s back, which was enough to get the pin.
This was a good showcase for both guys. Christian looked like he belonged in the X-Division here, much more than in his earlier match. Still not enough that he would seem to have a chance in the finals. But it does bode well for a good final.
Winner: Blake Christian
Backstage, Jazz told Gia Miller that she was looking forward to having a chance to compete against Jordynne Grace despite being in the twilight of her career, and she was going to make the most of it.
Match 7: Jordynne Grace vs. Jazz
The two started off with some mutual respect in the form of an elbow bump. But both of them were looking to get physical, and they came to blows early on. Grace got the edge early on, with a trifecta of Suplexes. But Jazz simply picked her up and slingshot slammed her on the top rope, which looked nasty. Jazz then snapped her neck on the bottom rope and further used it as a weapon to punish Grace. Jazz hit a big kick to the face and then a few headbutts to weaken Grace. But Grace used pure power to throw Jazz with a big Back Body Drop, and slowed down Jazz. They got into a slugfest in the middle of the ring, and Grace got the better of it before dropping Jazz with a Spinebuster. She followed that up with a couple of running corner attacks and a Vader Bomb, but Jazz kicked out.
An angry Jazz hit a Jazz Buster and locked on a body lock, but Grace got to the ropes to break it. Grace got the better of a fisticuff exchange, but couldn’t follow it up with a top rope attack, and instead got Tornado DDTd for her troubles. Jazz tried to roll up Grace for the pin, but Grace reversed it and (a bit sloppily) rolled Jazz up for the tight pinfall.
This was a good match between two hard-hitters. The ending wasn’t perfectly-executed, but as neither of these women are known for their finesse, it actually worked. They didn’t say that this was definitely Jazz’s final match, but if so, it was a decent way to go out.
Backstage, Blake Christian said that he was nervous, but knew what he would have to do to get the win over Ace Austin to win the Super-X Cup.
Match 8: Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian – Super-X Cup Final match
Mad Man Fulton wasn’t at ringside for this one, which was odd. This one started off a little more like a traditional X-Division match, with some speed and flash. Austin slowed things down and grounded Blake with some stomps and kicks. Blake avoided some shots on the floor, including avoiding eating the steel steps, but got caught with a big Superkick that dazed him, and Austin followed that up shortly thereafter with a big flying flop over the top and onto Blake on the floor.
Back in the ring, and the pace quickened considerably, with Blake in particular putting together blink-and-you-miss-them sequences. He nearly got the win after a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, but Austin kicked out at the last second. Blake followed that up with a Springboard 450 Splash, which was really nice, but again Austin kicked out. He went for another, but Austin moved and Blake’s head hit the mat hard. Austin hit a Twisting Back Suplex and a flying splash, but Christian kicked out. Austin went to neutralize Blake’s aerial arsenal by working over his legs with a big submission lock, forcing Blake to reach the ropes. The leg work didn’t seem to have much effect, though, as Christian was able to hit Austin with a big kick and then a Standing Spanish Fly. Austin tried to retreat, but Austin hit a huge dive to the floor which he held onto into a Reverse DDT. Blake threw Austin back in the ring and went for a Twisting Elbow Splash, but Austin moved. They rapidly exchanged cradle pin attempts which flowed into an exchange of jumping attacks, which ended when Austin was able to drop Blake for good with The Fold.
After the match, Mad Man Fulton came to the ring to celebrate with Austin, and then Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore came out and presented the Super-X Cup to Ace and congratulated him on the win.
This was the match of the night so far, and the right one to have to end the tournament. The match started off pretty hot and got quite exciting as it progressed. Out of every match on the show so far, this one would have benefitted most from having a live crowd. Blake in particular hit some really impressive moves that would have had the crowd on their feet. Hopefully that day will come, because he could really become a fan favourite star. Austin was one of 2020’s revelations, so hopefully he can continue his momentum this year – the win tonight would suggest that’s in the cards (pun intended).
Winner of the Super-X Cup Tournament: Ace Austin
Match 8: Willie Mack vs. Moose – I Quit match
Willie started off aggressively, bashing Moose with fists, and after shoulder-blocking him out of the ring, threw him into the ringside barriers. Moose charged, and Willie powerslammed him onto the steel entrance ramp. After every shot, Willie would ask the ref to check if Moose quit, but Moose defiantly refused. In the ring, Moose sidestepped a running kick, and Willie got hung up in the rope, allowing Moose to take over. Moose put the hurt on Willie with submissions and strikes, but Willie refused to submit. Moose used the top rope to wrench Willie’s arm, and then made Willie feel the steel of the guardrails. But instead of telling the ref to check if Willie would submit, Moose ordered him to stand down, saying he wanted to punish Willie some more.
With Mack down, Moose had time to go under the ring and get some weapons, namely a chair and a table. He tried to Powerbomb Willie through the table, but Willie fought his way out. Willie then used the chair to batter Moose, but Moose still refused to give up, despite being hurt.
Mack wedged the chair in the corner, and drove Moose’s shoulder into the chair, but Moose waved off the ref’s question. Mack then hit a pair of Six-Star Frog Splashes, one on Moose’s front and one on his back. Both times, Moose waved off the ref, though he couldn’t verbalize his refusal to quit, as he was trying to simply breathe. Willie lay a chair on top of Moose and went back up for another Six-Star, but Moose popped up and crotched Willie on the top. Willie climbed back up , but was caught by Moose. Moose raked Willie’s eyes, and in the spot of the night, hit a huge Go To Hell off the top, driving Willie off the top through the table on the floor – that looked tremendous.
Willie’s head looked like it smacked right off the floor on the landing, though fortunately it was only his elbow that got split open.
They dragged themselves back in the ring, with Mack convulsing in pain, and a confident Moose laughing at Mack’s pain. They traded big kicks and big moves, with Moose dropping Mack with a variety of slams. But a gutsy Mack still would not quit.
With Mack helpless, Moose went outside and got a bunch of chairs which he piled up in the ring. He went back up to set up Mack for the endgame, but Mack threw a chair into his face, and then Superplexed Moose onto the pile of chairs. They both went outside again, and Willie stalked Moose with a chair. Moose grabbed his TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt and desperately rushed Mack, clocking him in the face with the belt. He rolled Mack back in the ring, climbed on top of him, and drove a series of elbows into Willie’s head, knocking him unconscious. But Moose wasn’t satisfied. He sandwiched Willie’s head in a chair and prepared to Pillmanize him with another chair. Rich Swann came running to the ring out of concern for his friend. He pleaded with Moose to stop the beating and said if Moose wanted a title match that badly, he would grant him one. This was exactly Moose’s plan, so he accepted Swann’s concession, said “I Quit” and left. A worried Swann checked on Mack’s condition as the show came to an end.
This was really good closer and really made Moose look like a terrorizing threat. The table spot was amazing, but even the rest of the match made both he and Willie seem double-tough. The ending was a smart continuation of the Moose-Swann storyline, showing how Moose’s only concern is the championship, while Rich is ready to sacrifice his own good for his friends. It will be interesting to see if Moose gets involved in the Hard To Kill main event and insert himself into the AEW crossover stuff, which could elevate both him and that storyline.
Winner: Willie Mack
Impact Wrestling: Genesis - January 9th, 2021
Impact Zone - Nashville, TN
This was almost like two shows in one, with the first half underdelivering, and the last three being really strong. Some people will likely criticize the ending of the main event, but it was a good match and it helped drive the plot. And, in the end, that’s what these Impact+ specials should be doing – supplementing the weekly TV shows to further angles rather than substituting for PPVs, which should be used for ending them. From that standpoint, it worked well.