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Rated R Reviews: TNA Genesis 2013 – 1/13/13

February 15, 2013 | Posted by Mike Campbell
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Rated R Reviews: TNA Genesis 2013 – 1/13/13  

January 13, 2013

I watched this show live and didn’t think very much of it, and said as such. Well, after being asked if I was going to review it, I realized that I had a lot more to say about my distaste for it (especially the booking). Hell, maybe a second viewing will bring out something new, and cause me to not hate it.

Kenny King . . . is everything I hate about modern junior heavyweight wrestling.
Danny Davis . . . proves he can train anyone into a competent worker, even a lawyer by trade, who isn’t exactly a spring chicken.
James Storm . . . continues to be the Tyler Black of TNA by, once again, failing to get into the World Title picture.

The final stretch was fun, especially with Ryan unwittingly giving Chavo and Hernandez the assist to finally take Morgan down, leading to them finishing Ryan with the powerbomb and frog splash. But, the eight or so minutes before that were pretty boring, It didn’t help that it was Hernandez playing the Morton role instead of Chavo. Had they built to Chavo making the hot tag, Morgan could have thrown Chavo around a bit, and then Hernandez done the same to Ryan afterwards. The crowd reaction to the finish is either a tribute to Morgan and Ryan’s ability to be hated or TNA’s ability to manipulate them to get the desired reaction. Sure, their title win was a nice feel good moment, but there are fresher, and more over, acts than them to be tag champions. You’d think that after seven years, there would be something else for Hernandez to do besides be part the tag team division with various Latino partners.

No, this isn’t anything special, but its watchable, mostly thanks to Joe. Joe’s anger and intensity is convincing, and his strikes look as good as ever. When Anderson is working over the leg, Joe puts it over as much as possible. Joe pitching Anderson to the floor and doing the elbow suicida, despite obviously being in pain was probably the best individual moment of the match. It’s nice to see that all the years that Joe has been wallowing in TNA haven’t taken a big toll on his work.

Anderson isn’t too bad himself. He’s smart to try to take out Joe at the knees. Most of Anderson’s stuff could be found in a typical Ric Flair or Jeff Jarrett jobber match, low end offense to build to the figure four, but the low dropkick and chop block were both good spots. Anderson’s jawbreaker escape to the choke was also a nice touch. The finish is somewhat of a downer, although it was necessary to continue the is he/isn’t he question about Anderson and Aces and Eights. But, with Anderson holding own against Joe as well as he had, it’d have been nice to see if he had any other tricks up his sleeve, rather than needing the outside distraction to hit the Mic Check.

CHRISTIAN YORK vs. KENNY KING (#1 Contender’s Match for the X-Division Title)
Keeping in mind that the winner gets his title shot immediately afterwards, and it’s no surprise that this is short, but it’s got problems that aren’t the length. This never picks up like there’s a title shot at stake, there’s no real snap or urgency to what they do, despite York wanting to continue proving himself, and Kenny wanting another shot at dethroning RVD. It feels a lot like a Toryumon/Dragon Gate trios, where the execution is fine, but comes off feeling almost choreographed. Kenny tries to whip York into the apron, only for York to handspring on the apron and rebound to catch Kenny with a flying head scissors. There’s another obvious moment like that later on when they’re both on the top and York shoves King down, but he back flips out of it, and just stands there for York to do a flying body press, so he can roll through. Since the shove off the top didn’t hurt Kenny, why not try to catch York while he’s vulnerable on the top, and hit something big like a superplex or rana?

Kenny’s heel touches are nice, but they’re few and far between, although the finish sees Kenny grab the hair to stop York from doing La Magistral, and then Kenny tries his own and York manages to cleanly counter it and pin Kenny, showing that technical prowess wins over out willingness to fight dirty. Kenny shows his acceptance at losing fair and square by laying out York in the Coronation, which makes one wonder why he didn’t try that during the actual match. It makes sense that King and York don’t want to expend too much energy before challenging a fresh RVD, but the solution would seem to be to try to guzzle the other guy at the bell and finish him off quickly, rather than working ten minutes and half speed and looking like they’re practicing their match before doing it front of the crowd.

ROB VAN DAM © vs. CHRISTIAN YORK (X-Division Title)
Despite going half the length of the previous match, this manages to be much more compelling. RVD doesn’t even want to have the match, with York being hurt, but York can’t turn down the title shot. So we have RVD trying to simply win the match, and nothing more, while York tries to pull off the upset. The only really good shot from York is a jumping knee strike, but RVD put it over as much as possible, and RVD gave York a great near fall on the cradle after he misses the frog splash. RVD tries for pins after spots he’d normally not even bother with, like the rolling senton and stretching York out with the surfboard. But York keeps fighting, and it forces RVD to dig deeper and deeper, until he finally has to do the frog splash to keep York down.

This is just entirely too much time spent on a match like this. The one nice touch to this is Park going crazy at the sight of his own blood, which is something that hasn’t been seen in quite a long time in wrestling, but then they muck it up by having Park just suddenly snap out of it, which lets Devon take advantage and win. This could have probably been cut in half and still gotten from points A to B. Devon takes Park lightly and Park gets to surprise Devon by showing off what he’d learned in OVW, but Devon is too experienced to be beaten by the bare basics. There’s the whole match summed up in a sentence. If anything, this match is a ringing endorsement for OVW, just look how polished Park looks after their training camp.

KNOCKOUTS GAUNTLET MATCH (#1 Contender’s Match for the TNA Knockouts Title)
Gail Kim and Brooke Tessmacher start off by succeeding where York and King failed, they know that they’re in for the long haul by drawing the first two spots, so they try to end things quickly so they can conserve as much energy as possible going forward. Gail dropping down on Brooke’s back while she was straddled on the ropes was a good moment, but Brooke is too fresh for that to keep her down for too long, and she catches Gail on the top and crotches her. Brooke gets a good near fall from a facebuster, but walks herself into Eat Defeat (Sole Food) to let Gail advance. Gail vs. ODB is clearly structured to let Gail get a breather, it’s mostly ODB crowd playing by slapping herself, along with some comedy and a couple of big bumps from Gail. Gail catches ODB sleeping on the top and yanks her down, and then grabs the tights to advance again.

Gail vs. Mickie James is similar to Gail/Brooke, only this time Gail has her back to the wall and it’s Mickie pulling out the big guns to get the quick win. Mickie hits a brutal enzuigiri and a flapjack in quick succession. Gail gets a chance to get her marbles together by grabbing the ref when Mickie is about to come off the top. Mickie rolls her up, but Gail reverses and grabs the tights to go 3-0. The final leg of the match, Gail vs. Velvet Sky isn’t anything special from a work standpoint, but it’s smart for being three minutes long. Gail attacks her early and rams her into the steps to get a breath, and then tries to get a series of quick pins, but Velvet is too fresh and almost beats Gail with an inside cradle. All of Gail’s prior dirty tricks come back to haunt her when she gets caught with the ropes, and Velvet hits the faceplant while Gail is arguing with the ref, and the ref doesn’t notice Gail’s foot under the ropes. This sort of match is better left on TV to set up a PPV title match. It wasn’t used to start any new feuds, or settle any existing feuds within the Knockouts division. It’s not totally worthless, Gail, Brooke, and Mickie all brought some good work to the table. All things considered, it’d have been just as well to spend the eleven minutes on a singles between Gail and Mickie, or Gail and Brooke, instead of a series of three minute sprints.

JAMES STORM vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS (#1 Contender’s Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Title)
One could write a novella on the problems with the booking. It’s yet another example, in a very long list, of TNA not wanting to pull the trigger on Storm as a World Title contender, despite being one of the more popular wrestlers on the roster and one of the few names that doesn’t have an ex-WWE stigma. It may not have been perfect, but Storm’s win over Angle was a great moment for TNA, and they pissed it away in a week, and seem to have decided to not let him get near there again. It’s just like Tenzan in 2004. Daniels and Kazarian are a fun act to watch, but nobody takes Daniels seriously as a World Title threat, and putting Daniels over here pretty much guarantees that Hardy is retaining in the main event.

The match itself isn’t all that good either. It’s fun to watch Daniels shark in on Storm’s arm, especially with some of the submissions he breaks out, but it never feels like Daniels is making great strides toward winning the match by doing so. All Daniels is really accomplishing is eating up time before they go to the finish. It doesn’t help that Storm’s selling wasn’t anything special, and it doesn’t help that when it’s Storm’s turn to go on offense he just starts throwing out his usual spots without any reminder that Daniels had spent a good amount of time working it over. There’s no good reason why Storm couldn’t use his arm as an excuse to not be able to hit the Eye of the Storm or the Tennessee slam, or at the very least, have trouble pulling them off. Storm seems poised to win with the Last Call, but Kazarian provides the distraction and eats the superkick instead, which allows Daniels to steal with the win with his feet on the ropes. It’s bad enough that Storm got the short end of the stick, yet again, but it’s compounded with a poor performance.

STING vs. D.O.C.
The brawl before the match officially started was the best thing to see here. Like Joe, Sting’s anger and intensity is convincing, but after the Aces beat down, and the match officially starting, this takes a nosedive. It’s still a brawl, but not a very good one. Doc doesn’t have the anger or ruthlessness that you’d expect from a Aces member, let alone one who supposedly feels the need to prove himself. The one nice touch is that Sting’s attempt to fight back in the form of leg kicks pays off when Doc misses a knee in the corner, but even that just sets up the Scorpion Death Drop for the quick pin. With Doc having a bad wheel, the Scorpion Deathlock would have been more fitting, and what better way for Sting to really get some good revenge than making him tap out or pass out?

JEFF HARDY © vs. AUSTIN ARIES vs. BOBBY ROODE (TNA World Heavyweight Title)
I’m not personally fond of Hardy as champion, but the crowd reaction to him shows that he’s not the worst person to hold the strap. I also don’t think it’s entirely bad that he goes over here, it’s how he goes about it that I find less than satisfying. This should be a no-win situation for Jeff, it’s an elimination style match and Aries and Roode had already agreed to put their issues aside and worry about beating Jeff to avenge their prior losses to him, and afterwards, they could settle their own score. Had Jeff won by sheer determination and overcoming seemingly impossible odds, it’d be fine, but that’s not how this plays out. The match starts out with Jeff holding his own, despite the fact that it’s a handicap situation, the lariat to Aries while doing the bulldog to Roode is a good example of how Jeff stays ahead. But, once Aries cuts off his attempted dive and allows Aries and Roode to start abusing Jeff, he should be as good as finished. But that’s not what happens, and the reason it doesn’t happen is because Roode does things that are almost incomprehensibly stupid.

One of the biggest spots is the attempted stacked superplex, Jeff fights off Aries and then does the Whisper in the Wind to knock him off Roode’s shoulders. When he saw Jeff fight Aries off, why wouldn’t Roode just back up or put Aries down, and let Jeff crash to the mat? Because Aries is hurt and it makes things easier for Roode? Yes, but that also shies away from their plan to take Jeff out first, and Jeff had shown that he’s capable of beating both of them. It’d have been just as easy for Aries and Roode to try a Doomsday Device and have Jeff avoid it and roll up Roode, to have him get one over on them. It keeps Jeff one step ahead and doesn’t make Roode look like a fool. In fact, Jeff’s win can be directly traced back to Roode’s idiocy, when he rolls Jeff out the way of Aries’ 450. Jeff had barely survived the brainbuster, so the 450 would surely have finished him off. But Roode rolls him away and tries to beat Aries, and that’s when this turns into every other match of this kind.

Roode and Aries have the best exchanges, and the best spot, of the match (Roode’s spear being countered into the Last Chancery), but the internal logic is thrown out the window in the process. Not to mention that Aries hadn’t taken anywhere near the amount of abuse that Hardy had, so it’s that much more work for Roode, and it lets Jeff heal up in the process. Jeff comes back to help Aries eliminate Roode, and then he quickly finishes Aries with a Twist of Fate and Swanton. The Roode turn would be fine if it was setting up a feud between Aries and Roode, while giving Jeff something else to do, but that’s not the case either. Aries and Roode would be positioned as buddies and would win the TNA Tag Titles less than a month later. It’s clear that nobody knew a good way to put Jeff over in the match, so they just went with a copout, and hoped that Jeff winning would distract anyone from noticing. The booking isn’t as bad as what Russo used to do, when it was swerve to not do a swerve, but it’s pretty close.

The 411: A couple of things improved on the second viewing, namely Joe/Anderson and the Knockouts match. But, for the most part, this is the same underwhelming show that I watched live. The first TNA PPV in quite a few months that I didn’t care about at all.
Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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