TNA Genesis PPV
November 11, 2007
Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Report by Dan Wilkenfeld, PWTorch contributor
Abyss defeated Black Reign
I was relatively shocked by how watch-able this was. The highlight of the match was Abyss Choke Slamming Reign from the stage to the concrete floor below, which is a spot that turns out to look a whole lot more brutal when there's no table to break the fall. Mitchell's interference was countered by Abyss putting Reign's rat into his shirt, and in a spot that probably looked much better on paper than it looked in execution, Abyss was driven face first into a board covered with rattraps. After the match, Abyss opened a mysterious black box Reign had at ringside, only to be ambushed by someone inside who for all intents and purposes looked like a lamer version of The Boogeyman. He and Reign locked Abyss in the box and knocked it off the stage.
This was probably Black Reign's best match in TNA to date, which admittedly says fairly little. He showed some willingness to take a serious bump, but I'm still not quite sure why he got on a card that couldn't make time for LAX. As has been the case in recent months, Reign's post-match shenanigans soured the quality of the segment somewhat.
Borash tried to find out who was in a mysterious limo in the back, but was stopped by security. He said he was doing it for Angle, which could suggest some interesting storyline possibilities down the road.
The Motor City Machine Guns cut a promo in the back, talking about how they could say something witty if it weren't time to get so serious. They say they're fighting for the evolution of pro wrestling, since they are the future. Man, Kazarian would be ticked that someone took his gimmick if he weren't having a fairly good night himself.
The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Team 3D
The Guns took it to 3D immediately and dominated the opening minutes of the match. 3D started to walk off, but realized they'd look pathetic and came back to the ring. Eventually they gained control for a bit and were able to work over Shelley, but a hot tag to Sabin gave the Guns back the momentum. After Shelley was taken out 3D tried to whip Sabin through a table in the corner, but Sabin ran up the table, flipped over, took out Devon, and then (along with a returning Shelley) nailed a stereo Ensuguri for the win. Mike Tenay yelled out "Holy crap!" and he was right.
With the big stories of the night being Booker T's debut and Kaz's breaking the glass ceiling, this match could get lost. That being said, I think the Guns' first big win is going to prove more important than the former and almost as big as the latter. Shelley and Sabin said that they were the future of TNA, and they were right. The finish to this match was probably the most exciting event of the night.
Kurt was hanging in the back with Nash and his wife, and he was seriously flipping out regarding the mystery partner. He and Nash got at each other's throats, but Nash calmed himself down.
Gail Kim defeated Roxxi Leveaux, Angel Williams, and ODB
This match didn't really click for the first few minutes, but eventually the four women were able to sync up somewhat. Angel Williams and Roxxi Leveaux both proved competent. ODB tried really hard to establish personality, but by the time you get to the match it's probably a bit late for that. Not surprisingly, Gail Kim was the highlight of this particular outing. After the match Awesome Kong came down and looked scary.
Overall, this was a serviceable four-way match - there was nothing particularly special, but nothing overly offensive either. I assume the point was to legitimate Gail Kim's title reign before the big showdown with Kong, and I suppose this might have helped somewhat towards doing so. However, this came off as filler in a card that really didn't have enough time to waste on any.
Karen Angle finally got into the mystery limo, only to discover that it was really just there for the World Drinking Champion James Storm, along with Jackie Moore and Eric Young. Apparently the guards were standing by the wrong limo.
Jay Lethal defeated Sonjay Dutt
I'm not going to be able to come close to hitting all the high spots, since these two just do so much so fast. Probably the best spot of the match was Sonjay going for a Moonsault off the top rope such that when Jay Lethal rolled further away he just fluidly hit another Moonsault onto him. There was also a fairly elaborate story working through the match, as the two started friendly, but Sonjay got progressively more annoyed as Lethal toyed with him. The finish came when Lethal caught Sonjay in mid-air and nailed him with the Lethal Combo and an Elbow Drop for the win. After the match Sonjay and Lethal shared a hug, but then Team 3D came out and demolished both competitors. They announced that since the Motor City Machine Guns screwed them earlier in the night they were taking the X Division Title hostage.
There was a lot of story behind this match, and it's a shame that they waited till the match itself to tell any of it. I'm not sure how wise it will prove that 3D were able to so totally dominate the X Division Champion and former number one contender after having just been beaten by two other X Division wrestlers, as it seems to cheapen the championship a bit. Anyway, the match itself was a great contest, and Sonjay Dutt was the star. Jay Lethal kept pace, and provided most of the personality, but Dutt can just wow you with every move.
Crystal interviewed Nash in the back, who said that he was going to win the title. She then stumbled across Storm and Young starting a drinking contest. James Storm busted out a title belt with a spinning beer bottle, in what I can only assume was a not so subtle shot at the WWE Spinner Title. Young proved himself able to go drink for drink with Storm, if at a slightly slower pace.
Tomko & AJ Styles defeated the Steiner Bros.
The match was about what you would expect, with the Steiners overpowering Styles and getting into strong man contests with Tomko. Much of the end of the match was spent with Tomko and Scott brawling on the outside, which provided enough of a distraction for AJ to nail Rick with a chair shot for the win.
I'm working on a theory which states that every match Scott Steiner has had in TNA is better than every match he had in WWE. So far I can't think of any counterexamples. He and Rick continue to impress me every month - they obviously aren't as fast as they once were, but they can still work a big match with the best of them. Styles is of course Phenomenal, and I've said before how good Tomko is at his role. This match isn't likely to make it onto any "Best of" DVDs, but it was fun for what it was.
Robert Roode talked in the back about how he's going to make Joe cry.
Samoa Joe defeated Robert Roode
The main story of the match was Ms. Brooks staring down Robert Roode's "#1 Fan" and then mysteriously falling unconscious in the middle of the match. The match itself was a whole lot of adequate. There was just tons of old school wrestling between Joe and Roode, and nothing we haven't seen before. Joe won with a particularly brutal looking Muscle Buster.
Lately Robert Roode's been growing on me a bit, but this match was a serious step backwards. He didn't do anything wrong, and his move set seems fine, and yet he and Joe managed to bore me; something tells me the problem wasn't with Joe. In a way, Roode reminds me a lot of Val Venis - he has the moves, and the look, and can talk, but whatever "it" is that sets the Triple H's in the world apart from the Val Venises, he doesn't have it. I think putting Roode in this high profile a spot just shined a bright light on how not-ready he is. I have no idea if he'll be a huge star someday, but I do know that that day is not today.
Despite Karen's assurances that everything was under control Angle flipped out and tried to find out who was in the limo. Sting and security fought him off.
Christian tells AJ and Tomko to stay in the back. Styles thought he was just maintaining plausible deniability, but Tomko thought he was serious.
Kaz defeated Christian Cage
This was again about what I expected, which in this case is saying something since I expected a whole lot. There wasn't really anything new, but all of your favorite ladder spots were there. The highlights were a Frogsplash by Christian onto Kaz on a ladder-bridge, a Reverse DDT from the top of the ladder, an attempted Leg Drop by Kaz onto the ladder, a Springboard Dropkick to knock Christian off the ladder, and the final spot. The finish came when AJ Styles unintentionally distracted Christian, who was on a ladder with Kaz - the ladder started to fall, and while Christian fell off, Kaz was able to catch the rope with his foot and push the ladder upright again (that's actually the move that put Senshi on the map as a mainstay of the X Division).
Well I'm in a bad mood, because I had picked Kaz to win this match before deleting that pick and changing it. I'll try to put that aside for the moment though. The match itself was a spot-fest, with just a bit of story at the end. The final spot was incredible, if a little less thrilling than the finish of Team 3D vs. The MCMG. Of course the big story is Kaz's breaking through to the main-event level, though I'll believe it a little more when I see his title shot headline a PPV. I think he definitely has the moves and the mic skills to make a go of it, and now more than ever TNA needs someone home grown in the main-event picture to stave off WWE cast-off fatigue. I'm not sure I would have given Kaz the nod before Eric Young, James Storm, Hernandez, Christopher Daniels, or return runs for AJ Styles or Ron Killings (in fact I'm sure I wouldn't have), but he's not a totally absurd choice either. I'll withhold judgment till I see how it plays out. I'm seriously never changing a pick again though.
Borash found Storm and Young in the back, and they're now drinking out of a funnel. After a few rounds of beer, Storm decided to funnel some of what appeared to be whiskey, and then announced that the winner would be the first person to make it to the door. He then fell through the table, which led Young to claim the beer-bottle-belt for himself.
Kurt Angle & Kevin Nash defeated Sting & Booker T (with Angle getting the pinfall)
The opening bell rang at 10:42, which was a good sign that this either wasn't going to be a long battle or that my DVR was going to screw me out of seeing the end. Thankfully it was the former. The story of the match was that Angle was thrown off his game by Booker's appearance, leaving Nash to do a lot of the heavy lifting. Nash and Angle prevented each other from getting covers, whereas Sting and Booker both seemed willing to let the other score the win (though neither ever came close enough to truly put that to the test). Karen Angle's trump card turned out to be AJ Styles and Tomko, who came out and ambushed Booker T. Sharmell appeared to fight off Karen Angle, but in the chaos Kurt was able to nail Nash with the title belt and plant Sting with an Olympic Slam for the win. After the match, Christian Cage appeared on the stage, looking less than thrilled that his Coalition had been making new friends.
Much to my chagrin, the crowd seemed really psyched to see Booker T. As I mentioned in this past week's review of Impact, I think having another WWE cast-off in the main-event is going to be bad for TNA's growth, and I don't even want to think about the potential consequences of bringing in another main-eventer with possible substance abuse issues. That being said, TNA seems to have correctly gauged their audience, as Booker T most definitely received the "Sting treatment" (as opposed to the "Steiner treatment"). Humbug. Well, time will tell who's right on that one. The match itself was a bit of a mess - Nash was okay, but really just didn't seem up for a main-event anymore. There were some timing problems with the finish, as Nash had Sting set up for a Jacknife for about 20 seconds before Angle came in, but that's a relatively minor gripe. Really this was less a match and more a storyline segment, as it introduced Booker T and the Styles/Tomko/Angle alliance. On that front it was a success.
Overall: This month was a marked step down from last month's Bound for Glory, but with the wrestling talent on the roster I really think TNA would have a hard time putting on a bad PPV if they tried. Christian vs. Kaz and (at least the end of) 3D vs. MCMG were the only things that really rose above standard fare, but standard fare for TNA is pretty good. B
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