January 13, 2013
The current TNA champs are as follows:
TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy (10/14/2012)
TNA Television Champion: Devon (12/6/2012)
TNA X-Division Champion: Rob Van Dam (10/14/2012)
TNA World Tag Team Champions: Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez (10/14/2012)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Tara (10/14/2012)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Eric Young & ODB (2/28/2012)
Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Tazz.
- TNA World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan
I do like Matt Morgan doing the Hulk Hogan circa 1980 gimmick. He’s got the chest hair trimmed just right and the gigantic golden robe. All he needs is Freddie Blassie in his corner. Although when you think about it, isn’t that just like Hulk Hogan to have someone in a fed that he carries a lot of influence in to look and act JUST like he did at one point? The first part of this match is all tag champs. Joey Ryan takes all their best double-teams. Chavo finally makes a mistake as Joey puts on the brakes and avoids a dropkick. Joey catapults Chavo into Morgan for a forearm. I always thought the Steiners should have done a version of that with the Steinerline. Morgan tags in for a few seconds before letting Joey back inside the ring, which causes an issue. Chavo catches himself in the corner, moonsaults back over Joey, and Ricky Morton rolls over for the hot tag. Hernandez avalanches and backdrops Joey. With the whole operation in shambles, Morgan tags himself in and suckers Hernandez back into his corner. Joey slaps him from the apron to draw his attention, which allows Morgan to run him over. Why does a seven-foot tall heel need to work so deviously? Anyways, they work over Hernandez with stomps and clotheslines for a while. Eventually, Joey runs at Hernandez and gets caught with a hotshot in the corner. Morgan prevents the ref from seeing the tag by sticking his leg through the ropes to draw the ref. When they switch behind the ref’s back, Morgan gets put back on the apron because the ref didn’t SEE their tag either. That proves to be very disconcerting due to Morgan thinking he had the pin, too. Hernandez fights out of a neck wrench and catches Joey with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. HOT TAG TO CHAVO! Edouard Carpentier roll, headscissors, and the Three Amigos to Joey. He wants the FROG SPLASH, but Morgan stands in his way with his arms crossed. A shoulderblock by Hernandez and a missile dropkick from Chavo won’t take Morgan off his feet. The tag champs charge into a double goozle, avoid the chokeslam, and DOUBLE DROPKICK Morgan over Joey for the school boy effect. Morgan bails out, leaving Joey to take a bad looking powerbomb by Hernandez, followed by a FROG SPLASH from Chavo for the win. (11:32) Nothing new here, just the standard formula tag stuff we’ve seen since Bound for Glory. I really wanted to see Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan get the tag titles here though. **¼
- Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson
Mr. Anderson had nothing to do with the Aces & 8’s attack on Angle. Honest! I really enjoy Anderson’s theme music, by the way. Not sure why. They exchange words to start, and then Anderson throws his t-shirt in Joe’s face to get an advantage. Joe quickly turns the tables on Anderson by unloading on him in the corner, followed by a jumping enziguri. Snapmare, stiff kick, and the jumping knee drop continues the offense. On the floor, Joe gets yanked into the steps knees first. Back inside, Anderson lands a CM Punk-style swinging neckbreaker for two. Joe jabs back, but takes a dropkick to the knee, and then receives a chopblock for good measure. There’s another dropkick on the knee as Anderson takes Joe to school. WOO! He sits down on the knee one time too many as Joe kicks him out, and still delivers the Elbow Suicida. Oh, but he still sells the knee. Back in, Joe mounts his comeback with the inverted atomic drop, the jumping kick, and the running senton splash for two. Powerslam by Joe gets two, but Anderson goes back to the knee. Anderson picks him up for the Fireman’s Carry Slam, but Joe slips off his back and clamps on the COQUINA CLUTCH. Anderson drops down into a jawbreaker though, but charges into STJoe. He looks for the Muscle Buster as Mike Knox shows up holding a ball-peen hammer. That distracts Joe an awful lot. He turns back around to Anderson only to be met with the MIC CHECK for the 1-2-3. (10:45) And again, questions are left unanswered with the Aces & 8’s angle. **
- Kenny King vs. Christian York – #1 Contender to the X-Division Title Tournament Final
So it was Tyler Reks then who took a look at Christian York and went, “That’s the look for me.” As far as I’m concerned, Christian York is best known for working as a team with Joey Matthews on the tail end of ECW, and that’s about it. He was on the first TNA PPV, so there’s that too. KK already has a non-title victory over Rob Van Dam on Impact, so can he capitalize tonight and get another title shot? Shouldn’t he just get another title shot since he’s already beaten RVD – even though his feet were on the ropes when he won? That’s really anyone’s guess. Feeling-out process to start leads to a stalemate. In an X-Division match? NO WAY. Dropkicks and knee strikes from York follow. King dumps out York and wants the corkscrew pescado, but York moves and KK lands on his feet. York lands a headscissors off the apron, and we head back inside the ring. King counters a tornado DDT and kicks York off the apron to the floor. After slamming York’s face off the steps, he gets a two-count. King poses a little too much instead of going for the pin attempt. Tenay brings up Kenny King is a Chippendales dancer in Las Vegas. Keneley reminds everyone that Tenay is from Las Vegas as a jab. Now THAT would be interesting. Tenay reveals himself as a homosexual and joins forces with Kenny King much like Michael Cole and the Miz in 2010. I don’t know what this is called, but York hits a variation of a neckbreaker and a legsweep. They fight over a suplex that puts them both on the apron. York blocks the Handstand Kick and nails King with a rolling kick of his own. Back in, a Flying Double Stomp to the back of King gets 1-2-NO! King fires back with a spinning heel kick and lands the ROYAL FLUSH for 1-2-NO! York shoves off a superplex and delivers a flying bodypress, but King rolls through and gets his feet on the ropes for two! Ref sees what King is doing and stops the count. As King staggers into the corner after a Half-Nelson Suplex, he steps out of the way of the Dreamscape cannonball. Elijah Burke-style double knees to the chest of York gets two. They trade cradle pin attempts, but York blocks the La Magistral and gets the 1-2-3. (10:11) Hey, so far the most interesting match of the night. I liked the story in some places, at other times it seemed like they weren’t sure where they were going with it. Afterwards, King leaves York laying with the KING’S CORONATION, because his X-Division title match is next! **½
- TNA X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Christian York
RVD is all like, we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, bro. York slaps him across the face all the same. Alright, it is GO TIME. Van Dam kicks him down for Rolling Thunder, but York kicks out at two. RVD applies the surfboard and then punishes York with a headscissors down on the mat. With York draped on the apron, RVD lands a slingshot legdrop. This is looking like a squash until York fires back with a flying knee strike. Springboard kick by RVD, but York sneaks a rollup for two. Stepover heel kick puts York back down for the FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH, but he moves out of the way. Oklahoma roll by York gets 1-2-NO! RVD makes him pay as he staggers back into a crescent kick. RVD avoids a Half-Nelson Suplex and tries to crotch York on the top rope for a flying kick. I can’t believe it, but they go for it anyway even though it fails. FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH, and they call it a night. (5:30) When will they get the belts off these old-timers? Not saying York is young, but he’s certainly not as stale since he’s had less TV exposure than RVD has over the last fifteen years. *
- Devon vs. Joseph Park
Not a TV title match since he doesn’t technically have a performer’s contract. Despite wrestling on the last six months of PPVs. This is Joseph Park’s first match as a WRESTLER, not as a LAWYER. Although he isn’t signed yet. I’m excited. I love the saxophone in Park’s music. Reminds me of Night Court. Devon uses verbal psychology and the most basic wrestling moves to try and shatter Park’s confidence to start. Devon even goes as far as to sitout with Park. As Devon gets to his feet, Park does a standing switch out of a headlock and throws Devon down. So Devon bails and freaks out. Back in, Devon settles for punches and kicks. Crowd is 90% behind Park. There is always that 10% there just to screw things up. Devon comes off the ropes and gets caught with a hiptoss and then an armdrag. He wants a splash, but Devon moves and takes the action to the floor as Park eats the steps. Back in, Devon exposes the turnbuckle. It doesn’t show that metal ring like you see in WCW or WWE though. Looks like just another turnbuckle pad underneath. Park avoids the turnbuckle smash, but takes a spinning back elbow instead. Devon misses a headbutt and takes a flying splash (awkwardly from the second rope) from Park for 1-2-NO! Park looks for an avalanche, but Devon brings up an elbow to block and smashes Park’s face on the “exposed” turnbuckle. That supposedly busts open Joseph’s nose, but you can’t really tell. There’s a little blood on his hands. He tries to make it flow, but it just won’t. Anyways, Park goes into ABYSS MODE and hits Devon with the BLACK HOLE SLAM. He wants the Chokeslam, but that’s when he snaps out of ABYSS MODE. Now he doesn’t even seem to know where he is. Devon runs up behind him and O’Connor rolls him for the 1-2-3. (11:17) I said it all last year – I love the Joseph Park character. I think it’s brilliant in many ways. They always manage to add something new to each of his matches and it keeps my attention. Who would have thought Abyss could get this over (with the TNA audience, that is) under any different type of character AND as a very sympathetic babyface? Not me, says I. Afterwards, Devon nails Park from behind. TESTIFY! **½
- #1 Contender to the TNA Knockouts Title Gauntlet Match
First up is Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher. Pretty competitive start as Tessmacher wants to quickly put away Gail. Tenay and Keneley bring up the history of these two. They also mention how Gail is undefeated in gauntlet matches here in TNA. Meanwhile, Taz wonders if Tessmacher doesn’t use propane to power up her tushie shaking. Very insightful commentary from that guy, I tell ya. Yes, Brooke is hot. I cannot stand her offense, however. She gets a face slam out of the corner, but then Gail makes her EAT DEFEAT to send her to the showers at 2:43.
ODB is your next contestant. Gail meets her on the ramp only to get knocked down. Into the ring, ODB spanks Gail and avalanches her to set up the Bronco Muncher. She tries coming back with a crossbody block, but ODB catches her for a Fallaway Slam and the kip-up. Gail avoids the BAM before yanking ODB off the second rope. With ODB knocked silly, Gail rolls her up with an unnecessary handful of panties to advance at 5:54.
Two down, two to go for Kim. Here comes Mickie James. Gail is there to meet her with stomps, but Mickie fires back. She wants the Mickie-DT, but Gail shoves her back into the corner. Gail follows her in with a crossbody. They fight on the apron, but Mickie slings her back inside, and delivers a reverse neckbreaker. Enziguri by Mickie! She follows up with a Flapjack and a kip-up. Mickie heads up top, but Gail sees what’s happening and bails. Mickie goes over to meet her and delivers a headscissors from the apron. Back in, Gail grabs hold of ref Taryn Terrell to prevent Mickie from flying off the top. Once Taryn breaks free, Mickie sneaks a rollup on Gail, which Gail rolls through into her own pin with a handful of Daisy Dukes for another win at 9:03!
The final opponent is Velvet Sky wearing a super-hot cat suit. Like a boss, Gail Kim hides by the side of the ring to Pearl Harbor Velvet! She isn’t even done as Velvet gets thrown into the steps. Gail wants the countout win here. Reason #133 as to why she’s the best chick on the national scene today. This gets by our esteemed commentators , but Velvet is back in at the NINE count. Lots of back and forth nearfalls between these two. Gail even tries to steal the win, but Taryn is catching on. They get into a little argument, which allows Velvet some recovery time. IN YO FACE! So Velvet wins. (11:47) So after all that, Gail doesn’t win. This was entertaining, kept my attention, and they accomplished showing off all the differences among the Knockouts. **½
- James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels (w/Kazarian)
Winner of this one gets a TNA world title shot on the January 24 Impact. Perhaps I’ve just been watching entirely too much It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia lately now that the show is on Netflix, but Daniels and Kazarian definitely remind me of Dennis and Mac. By the way, Kazarian has an official manager’s license to be in Daniels corner. I for one, LOVE that. When was the last time you heard of anybody having a manager’s license? Probably not since the Gorilla Monsoon days of commentary. Speaking of commentary, Tenay mentions how this is the first 1-on-1 PPV meeting between these two, which Keneley finds fascinating considering how many years they have been in the company. Storm is all about the headlock to start. Daniels bails out, but Storm meets him for some guardrail action. Back in, Daniels begs off. That proves futile as Storm whips him in the corner and delivers a backdrop. Knowing he’s in trouble, Daniels grabs hold of Storm and backs him into the ropes so Kazarian can distract. While Storm is looking at Kazarian, Daniels snaps one of Storm’s arms on the top rope. He then knees Storm off the apron for the nice Pillman guardrail bump. Kaz seizes the moment and puts the boots to him. Back in, Daniels hammerlocks the arm and runs Storm into the corner. On the mat, Daniels stays on the arm. Storm punches back, but ultimately Daniels cranks on the arm, and then sends him down with a nice shoulderblock. Usually thought of just a knockdown move, but here it does extra damage to an already hurting arm. Daniels works an armbar in a couple different ways. Storm knees (yes, knees) his way out and blasts Daniels with a Russian legsweep. Now Storm wins a slugfest and delivers a reverse neckbreaker. Again, Kaz causes the distraction. Flying elbow connects for 1-2-NO! Just as things are looking up for Storm, Daniels grabs the arm for a stunner! Jumping clothesline gets two. However, Storm avoids a corner charge and hits the EYE OF THE STORM! Cover, 1-2-NO! Looks like Daniels tries a floatover out of the corner, but gets caught for an Alabama Slam, and then takes Closing Time! Storm looks for the Last Call, but Daniels ducks and lands the ANGEL’S WINGS for 1-2-NO! BME, but Storm brings up the foot to block. He delivers the backcracker and Closing Time once again to stun Daniels. Now he wants the Last Call, but has to settle for a LAST CALL to Kazarian! Next thing you know, Daniels runs over and hits the STO on Storm to get the win with his feet on the ropes! (13:24) I didn’t think this match would disappoint. Good effort from both guys. With that kind of cheap finish though, I don’t believe anybody thought he was exactly going to be any threat to Jeff Hardy on January 24. ***¼
Let Us Take You Back to Impact Wrestling on January 10. Bully Ray proposes to Brooke Hogan. I gotta say, when I saw her on Hogan Knows Best five years ago, I never thought she would be kissing – much less marrying – one of the Dudley Boyz. Needless to say, Daddy Hulk was less than pleased about this. The way their relationship appears to be, the guy probably wishes it was him.
Back to live action, Bully Ray and the soon-to-be Brooke Ray (?) head down to the ring. They invite everybody to watch them getting married Thursday night right there in the Impact Zone on Spike TV. This couldn’t possibly end badly.
- Sting vs. DOC
STING IS BACK! AGAIN! Oh boy! Big fight at ringside to start, which ends up going into the crowd where a couple Aces & Eights guys beat down Sting to turn the tide. Blind Earl Hebner is getting old and is even more blind than ever. You can’t expect this man to see what happens probably 20-30 feet away from him. Back to the ring, the match officially starts. Since DOC can’t get the immediate pin, he beats Sting back out to ringside for a ride into the steps. Inside the ring, Sting tries to kick down DOC at the knees. DOC makes him pay with a right hand and clamps on a chinlock. Sting fights out, but DOC decides to choke the man instead. When Hebner has enough, that allows Sting to chopblock DOC from behind. DOC tries to fight off the Scorpion Deathdrop, but it happens anyways. That gets two. Sting punches back and lands the Stinger Splash. Another SCORPION DEATHDROP gets the win. (5:53) Apparently the only people this crew can beat is Joseph Park, which isn’t really an accomplishment since he’s “not really a wrestler”. Aces & Eights surround the ring, but Bully Ray runs down with his chain wallet to scare them all away to show his continued support for Hogan’s buddies. This was not very good. You’re not getting anything new out of Sting anyways. *
- TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode – Triple Threat Elimination Match
Is it just me, or does it feel like Bobby Roode is kind of in the way in the main event scene? They don’t really know what to do with them, but they don’t want to drop him down to semi-main event. Roode and Aries work together to start as they BUM RUSH THE SHOW on Jeff Hardy. He stops the double-team and legdrops the groin on both guys. Eventually, Roode stops Jeff and slams his head back onto the mat. Even so, they telegraph a backdrop, allowing Roode to get dumped, and Aries to take the Reverse Powerbomb. Hardy brings Roode back inside for the Twist of Fate, but Roode shoves him off into the ropes, and lands the Double-R Spinebuster for two. Roode pounds away on Jeff. He runs into an elbow in the corner though. Hardy heads up top, but here comes Aries to trip him. Quick cover by Aries gets two. He wants rid of Hardy NOW. Aries delivers the flying European uppercut to Hardy’s back for two. In comes Roode, Hardy avoids a corner charge from Aries and whips Roode into him to set up Poetry in Motion for giggles. Off comes the shirt! The girls still squeal for this freak. Roode crotches Jeff up top as they return to the double-team game plan. However, they seem to be unsure of exactly who should dishing out the most damage on Jeff. Roode hits a superplex for two. After that, he puts Jeff up in the corner, then puts Aries on his shoulders for a possible Tower of Doom spot. Jeff fires back on Aries and knocks him off Roode’s shoulders with Whisper in the Wind! That actually looked really good. Fire up the Jeff Hardy comeback. He lays waste to both guys, but then tries a pescado on Roode that gets shoved by Aries, causing Jeff to crash and burn. Roode grabs hold of Jeff, but Jeff moves right as Aries delivers the Heat Seeking Missile to Roode!
Now Jeff is incensed! He runs Aries into the ringpost and the steps. With Aries up against the guardrail, Jeff jumps off the steps for Poetry in Motion. VINTAGE HARDY! Back on the other side, Hardy wipes out Roode with a pescado. Back inside, Aries cuts off the Swanton Bomb intended for Roode. He wants a suplex to the floor, but Hardy counters and drops Aries on top of Roode. Again, Hardy runs these two into each other. He wants Poetry in Motion again, but Roode counters that with the SPEAR. Cover, 1-2-NO! Rolling elbow by Aries gets two. Roode grabs hold of Jeff’s legs from the floor while Aries lands the IED! BRAINBUSTER to Hardy, 1-2-NO! Neither man can believe he kicked out. Roode wants Aries to hit the 450 Splash. Even with Roode holding his legs, Jeff spins out of the way of the splash. Roode decides to abandon the plan as he dumps Hardy and hits Aries with the PAYOFF for 1-2-NO! Aries starts unloading on Roode with elbow smashes, culminating with a rolling elbow for 1-2-NO! Roode prevents the Brainbuster and goes for the Spear, but Aries catches him running and hooks the LAST CHANCERY! Roode rakes the eyes and grabs the Crippler Crossface. Aries escapes and goes for the IED on Roode, but gets caught and placed up in the corner. Roode wants a superplex, but Aries claps the ears and delivers a missile dropkick. IED connects, but Roode flips out of the Brainbuster, and O’Connor rolls Aries for 1-2-NO! Aries backslides Roode while Hardy assists in the pin to eliminate Roode at 18:50. Aries is a little too slow with Jeff as the Twist of Fates just keep on coming. He hits one on Aries inside the ring and one through the ropes on the apron, which sacrifices himself as Jeff goes crashing on the floor. SWANTON BOMB to Aries is enough to give Hardy the win to retain the title. (20:21) Hardy got WAY too much offense in this one. For most of the match, Roode and Aries were on the same page, too. You know what would be interesting and different, TNA? Two heels ganging up on one babyface and they actually succeed in getting rid of him. In this day and age, the fans do like one of the heels more than the other, so most people would still go home happy. The match was pretty good, but Jeff Hardy looked way too strong and much smarter than the heels, which made them ultimately look weak. ***½
Final Thoughts: There was nothing really outright bad to point to here, but nothing really stands out. A couple good matches in the last hour kept this from being a total dud, so I’ll go with a solid ‘thumbs in the middle’ for Genesis 2013.