Genesis: Hardy wins match but not title
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling
"And on the seventh day... He rested." (Genesis: 2-1). The same might be said about the booker of TNA Wrestling's first pay-per-view event, Genesis, which took place Sunday night. Either that, or it was sheer laziness that resulted in two title matches ending in lame DQ finishes, including the main event which saw Bobby Roode lose to challenger Jeff Hardy, but still keep his TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
It's too bad, since the build-up to the match had been done quite well, with Hardy looking for redemption, after a tumultuous year in 2011 that saw him face personal and professional demons. Several wrestling critics questioned why the company would bring back Hardy after 2011's Victory Road where his main event match ended up being an embarrassment for all concerned due to Hardy's condition. But Hardy has apparently righted his path and found forgiveness from the company, and his fans whom he refers to as the Creatures of the Night. The Creatures packed the Impact Zone in Orlando to see Hardy capture the belt, and at numerous times in the match, it looked like he would.
Roode started off with a very deliberate pace, so as to not let Hardy use his flurrious speed and aerial attacks. But Jeff was able to eventually pick up the pace, and hit a series of rapid moves, including a flying clothesline from the apron. He followed that up by using the ring steps as a launchpad to leg bomb Roode against the guardrail. Back in the ring, Roode took control, working over Hardy's knee and keeping him grounded. The champ got a bit overconfident, though, and when he tried for a move off the ropes, Hardy caught him with a boot to the head. Hardy poured on the offense, and twice had to catch Roode who tried to head for the hills. His escape plan thwarted, Roode took to more desperate measures, blatantly kicking the ref in the crotchel area, just before winding up on the receiving end of a Twist of Fate. Hardy covered Roode, but the ref instead called for the bell, disqualifying the champ. Hardy would get a measure of revenge by hitting the Swanton, but that’s all that he and the Creatures (and people who bought the PPV) were going to get on this night.
TNA Genesis -- Full Results
Match 1: Zema Ion vs Kid Kash vs Jesse Sorensen vs Austin Aries (c) -- Four-Corner Elimination Match for the X-Division Championship
A very good opening match, reminiscent of TNA's early days, thanks to a renewed focus on the X-Division. Some very quick action, with numerous pinfall attempts early. Aries played the coward, spending as little time in the ring early, and picking his spots when the others were hurt, like after a nice Tower of Doom spot, and after Ion and Sorensen hit some tremendous attacks from the top rope to the floor. Ion and Aries played a game of one-upsmanship, with Ion eliminating Kash with a 450 splash, but Aries unable to pin Sorensen after one of his own. Ion ultimately paid the price for it, when he broke up a Sorensen pinfall attempt on Aries, only to get rolled up himself by the man he saved. Sorensen was going to put away Aries, but as he climbed the ropes, he was pushed off by Ion, who was hiding ringside after his elimination. Aries hit the prone Sorensen with a super-brainbuster to get the pin and keep his belt.
Winner and still X-Division Champion: Austin Aries
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Jeremy Borash talked with Devon’s sons who looked stylish in Pope sunglasses. They were joined by Pope D’Angelo Dinero who said they wouldn’t have to deal with Devon after tonight, before calling himself Pope Daddy.
Match 2: “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero vs Devon
Devon was fired up for this one, punishing the man who had been trying to steal away Devon's kids' affections. But Pope's sneaky ways soon had Devon in pain, after smashing him into the ringside barrier. Pope called in Devon's sons and ordered them to put a beating on their father. They hesitated, and then full-out resisted it, so an angry Pope put a beat-down on both of them instead. Seeing this enraged Devon, who fired up and put Pope down for the count with a reverse suplex drop. After the match, Devon and his sons put aside the months of family dysfunction, and hugged in the centre of the ring.
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Jeremy Borash was going to interview Sting, but Velvet McIntyre interrupted him to petition Sting for the job of VP of the Knockout division. Velvet proposed an idea for the Knockout Championship match later on, to which Sting agreed. Sting then said that Jeff Hardy has climbed his way up and has headed down the path to redemption.
Match 3: Gunner w/ Ric Flair vs Rob Van Dam
RVD was able to out-quick Gunner, who was unable to use his power advantage. Frustrated, he sought advice from Flair on the outside, and it must have helped, because soon afterwards, he took control. Gunner exposed the ringside concrete, but the ref stopped him before his evil intentions could be realized. RVD fought off a superplex attempt, and then hit Gunner with some kicks off the top, and his patented Rolling Thunder. Again, Gunner went outside, where Flair saved him from a flying dive. As the ref admonished Flair, Gunner picked up the hurting RVD and DDT’d him on the concrete, rolled him back into the ring and got the pinfall victory. After the match, medics and TNA officials stretchered RVD to the back, and possibly right out of the company.
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Jeremy Borash spoke with Jeff Hardy. Hardy said that he had been resurrected, and that he would win the title tonight.
Match 4: Mickie James vs Gail Kim (c) – Knockouts Championship
Before the match, Velvet’s surprise was revealed to be a shark-cage into which Madison Raine, who had accompanied Gail to the ring, was locked, and that was then elevated high above the ring. Gail hit Mickie with several big moves, including some well-placed kicks and a nice running body block, but the challenger fought back, finally reversing submission attempt and dropping Gail hard to the mat. After a flying Thesz Press by James and some punches, a hurting Gail asked Madison to throw her down some brass knuckles. The first set bounced off the mat, sending the ref scurrying. Raine then threw down a second set, which Mickie intercepted. She put them on and socked Gail with them, right in front of the referee who had turned around by that time, and he had no choice but to disqualify her.
Winner, and still Knockout Champion: Gail Kim
Match Rating: 6/10
Backstage, JB interviewed Bully Ray who said that he was the king of hardcore, and would do whatever he had to do to beat Abyss in the Monster’s Ball match, thereby forcing Abyss to re-join Immortal.
Match 5: Bully Ray vs Abyss – Monster’s Ball match
This wasn't the best Monster's Ball match, but was still pretty good for hardcore wrestling fans. The weapons came out early in this one, with dueling chairs to start the match, followed by a garbage can punch to the face by Abyss. The match spilled to the floor, where Ray used a barbed wire board, that cut open Abyss' arm. Back in the ring, Abyss used a cheese grater creatively, crotching Bully Ray with it, and then shredding up little Bubba. Other action included Bully Ray getting chokeslammed through a table and then onto a pile of tacks. Later, Bubba got revenge, by slamming Abyss onto a barbed wire board, putting the other one on top, and hitting a splash to make a pain sammich. After hitting Abyss repeatedly with a Singapore cane, Ray charged to hit the final blow. But Abyss caught him, and hit the Black Hole Slam, spinning Ray and dropping him onto a barbed wire board for the pin.
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed the tag team champions Crimson and Matt Morgan. They gave credit to their opponents, Samoa Joe and Magnus for winning the Wild Card tag team tournament to earn a title, but that their momentum will stop tonight.
Match 6: Samoa Joe & Magnus vs Crimson & Matt Morgan (c)
The story here was whether the make-shift team of Joe and Magnus could withstand the power advantage of the champs. Some good exchanges early on, with Joe and Magnus holding their own. During the match, they cut away to a scene backstage where Bully Ray was attacking Abyss - not good. Meanwhile, the challengers picked apart Crimson for several minutes, until he hit a desperate spear on Joe and made the hot tag to Morgan. After several near falls by both teams, Joe hit a flying dive to the floor to take down Crimson. But Crimson recovered, and sent Joe face first into the ring steps. Then he joined Morgan in the ring, in time to hit Magnus with a double chokeslam and get the pin.
Winners and still Tag Team Champions: Matt Morgan and Crimson
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, JB interviewed James Storm who said he believed he could beat Kurt Angle for a third time.
Match 7: Kurt Angle vs James Storm
Angle’s strategy for this match was to stick to traditional wrestling, and avoid Storm’s street/bar fighting style. Storm tried for the Last Call superkick early, but Angle was on the lookout for the move, and kept sliding out of the ring to halt Storm’s momentum. Storm was in control with punches in the corner, but Angle hit a Hotshot, and then a belly-to-belly suplex to ground the Cowboy. He then clamped on a headlock and sapped the energy of Storm, and used some classic mat-based moves to keep him down. Storm caught his second wind, and out of nowhere, hit a Russian Leg Sweep and some other moves, but his comeback was only temporary. Angle eventually caught him with his triple German suplexes and followed that up with a moonsault. Storm recovered, but after an exchange of moves and counters, he was dropped with the Angle Slam. A confident Angle set up for a superkick of his own, but ended up eating a cutter for his troubles. With Angle down, Storm hit a top rope elbow for two. Storm went for a superkick, but Angle pulled the referee in the way. As the ref tried to get out of the middle of the fray, Angle kicked Storm low and then hit him with a running kick to the head to get the pin.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Bully Ray was washing Abyss’ blood off of his hands. Someone (Gunner?) questioned him as to Abyss’ whereabouts, but Bully Ray said he didn’t know where Abyss had gone.
Elsewhere, JB interviewed the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode. Roode told the “creatures of the night” that Jeff Hardy would not get redemption at his expense, and that he would remain the champion, whatever it takes.
Match 8: Jeff Hardy vs Bobby Roode (c) – TNA World Heavyweight Championship match
Winner by DQ: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: 8/10 (up to the lame ending/)
Overall Show Rating: 7/10
Countdown to TNA Genesis
Bob Kapur hasn't made any new year's resolutions. E-mail him your suggesions at email@example.com.