Monday, January 14, 2013

1/13/13 Genesis

TNA is down to four live PPVs a year now. Makes my life a heck of a lot easier. Yay. I'm very impressed with Todd Keneley's chemistry with Tenay and Taz on the announcing duties. Initially, I wasn't sure of the abrupt introduction to Todd's work late last year, but he's grown on me.

Tag Title match starts the show. Woulda thought the X-Division tournament finals would, frankly.

Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan (Tag Team Titles): Champs Guerrero and Hernandez with solid, aggressive tag wrestling to start. Poor Joey got tossed around for a few minutes at the start. Morgan, who has grown a huge thick beard, booked strong again. Chavo gets the hot tag. Hernandez with a sick-looking powerbomb to Joey. Mr. Sleazy landed hard on his neck. Chavo frog splash gets three and the champs retain. Hoped to see Joey and Morgan get the titles here, but they should get it soon enough. **

Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe: Sucks that Anderson's Green Bay Packers lost on Saturday to the 49ers in the NFL playoffs. Joe talking trash and nuking Anderson early on. Anderson does get his moves in, focusing on Joe's left knee. Joe still does his suicide dive even after all that. Joe's choke countered with a jawbreaker. Joe goes for Muscle Buster on Anderson. The yet-to-be-named Aces & Eights member (Mike Knox) shows up to distract Joe. Anderson capitalizes and hits the Mic Check for three. **

Christian York vs. Kenny King: Finals of the X-Division Tournament. King, in a promo right before the match, is confident he'll be the next champ. Quick pace to start, trading counters. No denying King's athleticism, but York continues to impress me with his agility and vast moveset, even in his mid-30s. Fast forward to last few minutes of match. York double stomp off the top for a close two. King fights back and hits a swinging uranagi for two. York crossbody, King rolls through and tries to use the ropes, but ref catches it. York with a standing switch into a half-nelson suplex, but misses the somersault splash in the corner. Double knees from King get two. King looking for a cradle rollup but York counters into a pin for three. Loved this one. ***1/2

King is pissed and delivers a Burning Hammer to York, then walks away. RVD's music plays. WTF, no break for York? Thought that was a crappy booking move, but whatever.

Rob Van Dam vs. Christian York (X-Division Title): RVD checks on York to see if he wants to go. York responds with a right hand, so the ref starts the match. Strikes and kicks from RVD, then Rolling Thunder. Surfboard from RVD, looks like champ's shoulders are also down but impressive strength nonetheless. Somehow, York landed a couple of knees to RVD. RVD comes back and showboats, so York rolls RVD up for two. RVD misses the five-star frog splash and York with another rollup for a close near fall. York crotched on the top and RVD with another thrust kick. Five-star hits and RVD retains. A much more competitive match than I woulda imagined, but still wanted York to get a little rest before the title match. If anything, it shows York is in amazing shape. *3/4

Devon vs. Joseph Park: Still not solidly behind this Joseph Park attorney gimmick, but it's fun to see him do Abyss moves. Now Park even has a generic regal-sounding entrance theme and a simple lawyer-like entrance video. Split chants from the crowd. Mostly a basic wrestling match. Crowd erupts whenever Park gets any type of offense in. Not bad, but really now, it's simple moves. Devon removes the turnbuckle pad. Devon eventually knocks Park into the exposed buckle and Park's nose bloodies. Transformation time! Park goes for a chokeslam and all of a sudden the transformation wears off. Park in a confused state, so Devon rolls him up for three. Well, that's just lovely. Didn't really care for this one. Devon gets another cheap shot in after the match. *

Knockouts Gauntlet Match: This is to determine the #1 contender for the Knockouts Title. Gail Kim starts against Tessmacher. Nice of Tenay to remind us that Gail became the first Knockouts champ at BFG 2007 by winning a gauntlet match. After about two and a half minutes, Gail pins Tessmacher with Eat Defeat. ODB is next for Gail. Gail runs up the ramp and gets hurt from ODB's...chest. Oh, that's just fun. ODB with her usual gyrations and slaps. Gail knocks ODB off the second rope and pins her using the bloomers. That one probably rook another three minutes. Mickie James is next. Tenay notes that Mickie's also won a gauntlet match before. Can always count on Gail and Mickie to pull off some entertaining wrestling segments. Gail did some of the same moves from earlier in the gauntlet match, with Mickie countering to address the "scouting your opponent" aspect. Mickie with the rollup on Gail, but Gail counters into a rollup of her own. Gail looks like she had the tights and Mickie's foot appeared to be on the ropes. Taryn Terrell didn't care about either one. Velvet Sky comes out last in a bunch of makeup and a catsuit. Gail again with the veteran heel sneak attack to seize control at the start. Gail more relaxed in this one. Gail tries to cheat on a rollup again...oh, Taryn noticed this time! How appropriate. Gail has words with the ref. Velvet with In Yo Face (facebuster). Gail appears to get her foot under the bottom rope (which should stop the count), but ref counts three anyway. Gail clearly the MVP of the gauntlet match; she's a true workhorse. Based on the finish to the match, I'd consider triple threat between Tara, Velvet, and Gail next. *3/4

Writers may have felt compelled to book the Gauntlet Match this way with four babyface Knockouts, but it was probably one of the best choices. Knockouts roster is very thin, but a great move to have two of the veterans (Gail and Tara) as heels.

Christopher Daniels vs. James Storm: Daniels finishes off his low-calorie apple-tini before facing Storm. Storm on fire in the early stages of the match. Not long before Kaz gets involved. Daniels focuses on Storm's left arm. Last few minutes of the match predictably competitive. Storm with Closing Time to set up Last Call. Last Call misses. Angel's Wings from Daniels! Haven't seen that in a while...only two?!?! BME misses. Backstabber and Closing Time from Storm. Kaz hops on the apron and he eats the Last Call. Daniels takes advantage and gets three with the feet on the ropes. It's pretty much what I expected from stars of this caliber. If given more time in a true one-on-one setting, the match could easily eclipse four stars. ***

After we get the Bully video recap from Impact, Bully Ray comes down with Brooke Hogan. I seriously haven't seen Bully smile so much before. Yes, the wedding is in a few days and we're all invited. Bully records a video of the crowd. Short promo, to the point.

Sting vs. Doc: Sting looks for revenge on A&E after the attack many weeks ago. Fighting on the outside to start. They go into the crowd, but then two A&E guys attack Sting. Hebner basically shoos them off because he didn't ring the bell yet. Doc wears Sting down for a bit, then Sting attacks the legs. Stinger Splash and Scorpion Death Drop get three. Wasn't the best match, but you'd figure Sting would get the win here to get some revenge. *

A&E surrounds the ring and Bully Ray comes down to scare them off. The Bully storyline continues in trying to win Hulk Hogan's trust. Might as well make friends with one of Hogan's best pals.

Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode (Elimination; World Title): Main event intros. Match should get at least 20 minutes because it's an elimination match. Aries and Roode gang up on Hardy to start. Hardy tries to divide and conquer, with some success. Roode and Aries take turns teeing off on Hardy for several minutes. Hardy drops both guys and goes for the Swanton, but Roode knocks Hardy off the top. More 2-on-1 stuff. Roode picks Aries up so AA can do a superplex/Tower of Doom spot, but Hardy with Whisper in the Wind to Aries in a cool spot. Roode then holds Hardy for Aries' suicide dive -- and Hardy moves so AA crashes into RR. Hardy setting up RR for Swanton. AA stops that, but Hardy suplexes AA onto RR. I sense a recurring theme here. Poetry in Motion attempt again, but RR uses AA as a launching pad to spear Hardy. RR holds Hardy's legs in the corner. AA with the running dropkick and brainbuster, and ONLY TWO?! Aries and Roode in disbelief. Aries tries the the 450 and misses. Hardy appeared to pull him and Roode out of the area. RR with a fisherman's to AA for two. Collusion's over! AA with a discus forearm to RR for two. RR goes for the spear and AA counters into Last Chancery. RR rakes the eyes to get out. RR with crossface to AA. AA counters into a rollup for two. Aries missile dropkick to Roode. Dropkick in corner. AA brainbuster countered, but AA gets a backslide on RR. Hardy pins the legs and RR is eliminated. Real great spot there. Took about 18 minutes just to get one elimination. Ref telling Aries he didn't get credit for the pin (because of how the ref positioned himself). Aries going on an ego trip and Hardy takes advantage. Twist of Fate to Aries on the ropes! Hung Aries out to dry there, real cool variation on the finisher. I don't think I've seen that one before. Swanton to Aries and Hardy retains. A fine title match to end the show. ***3/4

Aaron's Ramblings:
The PPV was pretty much what I thought it'd be. I'd give it around **1/2.

The X-Division tournament finals and the World Title match stood out from the rest. I have high hopes for the X-Division. I didn't like that Christian York had to work back-to-back matches with virtually zero downtime. On the positive side, the two matches still made him look like a star ready to wear the strap. York is full of resilience, and I enjoy his moveset. York and Kenny King should each hold the X-Division Title by the end of 2013.

As I noted above, Gail Kim also deserves a lot of credit for going the entire way in the Knockouts Gauntlet Match. Gail brought something different in each match she had with the other four Knockouts. I personally enjoyed the sneak attack on Velvet. Simple, yes, but shows the heel experience factor. The whole foot-under-the-ropes finish should eventually land Gail a spot in a future title match. Still thinking triple threat is logical. Gail's had on-screen words for Tara in the past about wanting the gold.

It sucks not having Kurt Angle or AJ Styles on the PPV, but I understand they probably wanted or needed time off. Angle also recently became a father again, so why not spend time at home? If there are any two wrestlers in the company that I really have major respect for, Angle and Styles would be at the top of that list.

Good energy from the crowd on this PPV. Always a positive.

This whole Bully Ray/Hogan storyline irks me just a tad just because of the whole wedding fiasco. History of wedding ceremonies has shown things generally aren't straightforward anyway. While people are also complaining that the product focuses too much on the Hogans (two people who can't wrestle -- Hulk's back is royally messed up), the long-term effect is likely to give more credibility to Aces & Eights.

I'm hoping that somewhere down the line, Brooke Hogan ends up as an A&E member. Shouldn't be right away; let things stay dormant for a while. I'd book it for Lockdown in March. Hulk's gonna go ballistic, Bully Ray -- still a face -- is gonna be in disbelief. Hulk will naturally blame Bully for all this, but over time, could still ultimately win over Hulk's trust by continuing to feud with A&E members. A&E would have tremendous clout with a Hogan in the stable. If you've thought of this already, awesome.

Next TNA PPV is Lockdown on March 10 in San Antonio. I'm glad TNA finally realized that doing 12 live PPVs a year was not gonna bring them a lot of money. They weren't selling out every show and literally had to give away tickets in just about every situation. Heck, I think they still do that for Impact shows. This move should also cut a lot of costs. There will be taped PPV-caliber events as well, but I don't remember if they will be on PPV or free TV. Frankly, just put it on free TV. Taped PPVs don't usually work out well with people able to post spoilers on the internet.

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