Full Credit: Wade Keller, PWTorch.com
KELLER’S TNA GENESIS PPV REPORT
JANUARY 11, 2009
LIVE ON PPV
-After the introductory video, Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the program. They announced quickly Christy Hemme’s injury. They also said Rhino, the challenger to Sting’s World Title, hadn’t arrived at the arena yet. They said the mystery of his whereabouts would be followed throughout the show.
1 — SONJAY DUTT & JIMMY RAVE & KIYOSHI vs. LAX & HERNANDEZ & ERIC YOUNG – Six-Man Elimination Tag Team Match
During ring intros, Tenay said TNA management had tried to reach Rhino and hadn’t been able to reach him. They hoped he was okay. Did they check the hotel stairwells? West said it must be serious if a World Title challenger no-shows. They wrestled several minutes without an elimination, but lots of X Division style spots. They cut to Jim Cornette and Jeremy Borash outside of the Main Event Mafia locker room, knocking on the door to see if they know anything about Rhino going MIA. At 7:00 Homicide dove onto Rave and Kiyoshi. Then Dutt dove onto all three. Then Heranandez flip dove onto the crowd, leading to a big “Unbelievable!” by West. Young scored a near fall on Rave right afterward. They went back to Borash with Cornette outside of the MEM locker room. Doesn’t he have a key or something? At 10:00 Young and Homicide were eliminated one after another. That left Hernandez alone against three heels. At 11:00 Hernandez eliminated Kiyoshi. Seconds later he powerbombed Dutt for a pin. That left Rave, whom Hernandez finished off a minute later with a top rope splash (which Rave was nice enough to shift himself into position for).
WINNER: Hernandez in 13:00.
STAR RATING: ** — A spotfest, but fine for the target audience who likes their monthly X Division spotfest fix.
-They went back to Cornette. Scott Steiner opened the door and yelled at him for interrupting his match prep. Cornette said Rhino has never been late for anything, and now the night of his biggest match ever, he’s missing. Steiner said he’s a drunk and go check the plentiful gutters in Charlotte for him.
2 — ALEX SHELLEY vs. CHRIS SABIN — X Division Championship Tournament Finals
West and Tenay talked about how this was Shelley’s quest to win the X Title for the first time, while Sabin feels a sense of ownership for that title he’s held before in past years. Tenay wondered who the fans would root for. West said they make you so mad with their attitudes, but you’re always impressed with their in-ring work. Some of the fans stood and applauded their early exchanges. West said it’s to be expected that some fans in their early-20s when a lot of people are “brash and cocky” would cheer for them. West said they’re “so fun to watch.” At 5:00 Shelley hit a somersault legdrop to the back Sabin’s neck as he was draped over the middle rope. West said that would deserve a 9.7, 9.8 difficulty rating. Apparently director Keith Mitchell doesn’t like West calling for replays because West began to ask for a replay, he stopped short, then Tenay called attention to it and said Mitchell and Dave Sahadi “Trust me, they can do their job in the truck just fine without your help, buddy.” West said, “I guess those guys aren’t buying me a beer after work.” Tenay said, “It looks like I got my first two rounds taken care of.” Okay, seriously, are West and Tenay so on guard with the fragile egos of Mitchell and Sahadi that the color commentator isn’t allowed to request a replay of a big move? Wow. At 10:00 Sabin scored a realistic near fall after a tornado DDT off the ropes. Tenay called it “poetry in motion.” Shelley caught Sabin coming off the ropes and applied a crossface armbar. He floated over into a double underhook. They went into reversals. West said they’re putting on a clinic. West said this was reminiscent of the early days of the X Division with Jerry Lynn and A.J. Styles. Sabin scored another very near fall with a double underhook suplex into a bridge. Shelley came back with a near fall of his own at 12:00. They had the crowd with them during these near falls. Shelley signaled for a top rope move and got a mixed reaction. Shelley blocked a huracanrana attempt off the ropes and then went for a frog splash, but Sabin lifted his knees. Shelley hit a frog splash to Sabin’s back a minute, moving much quicker this time. He then hit a regular frog splash seconds later for another near fall. The crowd began a “This is awesome!” chant. Sabin nailed Shelley with a hard Clothesline from Hell style blow. He followed with Cradle Shock for the super-extreme-near-fall. The crowd popped. Sabin lifted Shelley onto the top rope for a Cradle Shock. Shelley escaped and superkicked Sabin, then hit Sliced Bread for believable super-extreme-near-fall. A chant of “TNA, TNA” rang out. West said, “The crowd knows they’re watching something special.” He said they needed this to get their minds off of the Rhino situation. Tenay said it felt like the beginning of a resurgence for the X Division. When Shelley went for Sliced Bread, Sabin escaped and Shelley landed awkwardly. He began pulling off his boot. Sabin looked concerned. Shelley then schoolboyed Sabin for the three count. “He tricked his partner,” declared West. “I told you, Mike, one of them was going to cross the line. It was all about the belt in the end.” He added that it was worth the price of admission. Shelley stared at the belt like a newborn as it was presented to him. Sabin accepted a hug from his partner, realizing he was outsmarted by one of his own tricks.
WINNER: Shelley in 17:00.
STAR RATING: ****1/4 — That was a really special match. It was interesting start to finish with a real mix of mat work and highspots. The crowd was into the super near falls. The finish worked and played into their characters.
-Borash asked Cornette for an update on Rhino. He said he had no news on him, but he got an update on Kevin Nash, who got a staph infection on his arm in Japan and he’s been admitted to the hospital. He said his doctor says he’s risking death if he wrestles tonight. This is presumably a work since Nash was fine as of yesterday. Mick Foley walked in. Cornette gave him the Nash news. Foley said they promised fans a six-man tag, so they need to deliver on that. He told him to forget for a second that he’s wrestling, and go over there and tell the Mafia they have until the bell to find a suitable replacement. Otherwise, he said, it’ll be a handicapped match.
-Tenay and West were shown on camera reacting to the news. They previewed the rest of the line-up for the PPV.
3 — SHEIK ADBUL BASHIR vs. SHANE SEWELL
Sewell went right after Bashir to jump-start the match. When it went to ringside a minute into the match, West it wasn’t a wrestling match, it was a fight and a war. Referee Earl Hebner scolded Sewell for ignoring him. Sewell threw Bashir into the ringside steps. They brawled up the aisle onto the ramp. Bashir crotched Sewell on the guard rail to change momentum at 4:00. Bashir ran back into the ring and told the ref to begin counting Sewell out. Hebner began his count, but went slowly once he got to four. West pointed that out, saying he was giving Sewell every opportunity to get back into the ring to continue the match. Bashir stomped away at Sewell as soon as he got back into the ring. Bashir beat him down for several minutes. Sewell made a comeback at 7:00. He hit a bulldog leading to a near fall. At 9:00 Bashir applied the figure-four. Bashir reached the bottom rope to force a break. A minute later Bashir got upset with Bashir for punching Sewell and not breaking. Bashir shoved Hebner. Hebner shoved Bashir. Bashir then chased him around the ring. Sewell caught Bashir with a clothesline, ripped off his shirt, and sunset flipped Bashir for a three count. Hebner counted twice as fast as usual. In a nice touch, TNA’s other three referees ran out and patted Sewell on the back for his win and revenge against Bashir.
WINNER: Sewell in 11:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 — Solid mid-card grudge match.
-They cut to Borash holding the mic as Sharmell chewed out Cornette for bothering Booker T about the Rhino situation. Booker T told Cornette to watch how he talks to his wife. Cornette told Booker not to “try to big dog me.” Booker grabbed him by the lapes. Sharmell yelled. Sewell and the TNA referees walked up to Booker and pulled him off of Cornette. Booker told him not to put his hands on him. He promised to wax his punk ass and bury him.
4 — CONSEQUENCES CREED & “BLACK MACHISMO” JAY LETHAL vs. BEER MONEY INC. (James Storm & Chris Harris w/Jacqueline) vs. ABYSS & MATT MORGAN — TNA Tag Team Title match
West said Roode believes he can go nearly 100 percent with just a slight sprained ankle. Storm rode a beer cooler on wheels to the ring, with a signed taped on the handle bars that said, “Boozer Cruiser.” Tenay said it was ridiculous. West said he liked it. Lots of tags and action early. At 6:00 Morgan dove onto all four of his opponents at ringside. Morgan hot-tagged in at 14:00, but soon Roode caught him with a neckbreaker off the second rope for a near fall. Jackie distracted the ref. Storm threw the belt to Roode, but Abyss caught it. Abyss swung the belt, but Roode ducked and he KO’d Morgan by mistake. Abyss was stunned. Storm yanked Abyss out of the ring. Lethal hit a top rope elbow, but Jackie again distracted the ref, who ordered her to return to the back. Storm superkicked a distracted Lethal, and then draped Roode’s arm over Morgan’s chest. The ref returned and counted to three. Afterward Morgan and Abyss went chest-to-chest and exchanged some heated words. Abyss slapped Morgan’s finger away as he poked at his chest. Morgan backed out of the ring.
WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. in 15:00 to regain the TNA Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING: *1/4 — With three teams, it never really gained traction in telling a story. Pretty nondescript until the finishing sequence, which was pretty convoluted but got them where they wanted which was a chest-to-chest confrontation between Abyss and Morgan afterward.
-Borash caught up to Kurt Angle in the reception area of the arena. Angle didn’t like the way the woman behind the desk looked at him, so he threatened to hit her and knock her around like the Panthers got slapped around yesterday. The women’s reaction was funny. Angle then barged into Cornette’s office and told him not to bother others in MEM, come to him with questions. Cornette asked for answers. Angle said he should be worried about Jeff Jarrett. Cornette said Jarrett is in the building, but Rhino’s not. Angle said he knows and Cornette won’t like it. Angle said they went to Rhino’s hotel room and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. He said he refused that offer, so they beat him up in the aisle and left him cap fare. He said Rhino isn’t coming tonight.
5 — ODB & ROXXI & TAYLOR WILDE vs. SOJOURNER BOLT & RHAKA KHAN & RAISHA SAEED — Winner gets Knockouts Title match
Tenay commended Cornette for making the women earn their title shots, not just hand them to them. In the end, chaos broke out in the ring with six-way action. Taylor dove onto Khan and Bolt at ringside as Roxxi held them in place and took a blow herself. ODB then small packaged Saeed center ring for the win.
WINNERS: ODB & Roxxi & Wilde in 7:00 so ODB earned a title shot.
STAR RATING: 3/4* — Pretty sloppy.
-Afterward, Awesome Kong walked out and confronted ODB. The heels attacked ODB, and then the babyfaces made the save. Khan comically rocked her upper body as she choked Taylor in the ring. Kong ended up chokeslammed ODB as an exclamation point on the brawl.
-Cornette demanded Sting tell him how he can stand by as his goons take out his top challenge the day of a PPV title match and rough him up. “Who said I condone it, Jimmy?” Sting said. “Who said I had anything to do with it.” He said he hasn’t been to Charlotte in 15 years and he’s there to defend his title against whomever shows up as his challenger.
6 — JEFF JARRETT vs. KURT ANGLE
Good for TNA for booking this third from the top rather than last. Jarrett opened with a barrage of his signature side-swipe punches to the jaw. His intensity at the start of the match matches the intensity and backstory of this feud. A minute into the match they showed Rhino arriving at the arena throwing things around his locker room, looking like he had been beaten down in an alley. After a brawl at ringside, Angle kicked Jarrett into the security railing and took over extended control. He applied a long chinlock center ring. At 7:00 he went for an Angle slam, but Jarrett countered with a deep armdrag. Then he backdropped a charging Angle to the floor. On the floor, Jarrett flew over the top rope and came up a bit short with his back foot caught the top rope. He went pretty hard face and shulder first to the floor. Angle whipped Jarrett onto the announce table. Angle hit him in the face with the time keeper’s bell. Jarrett came up bleeding from his forehead. They brawled up otno the stage. Angle gave Jarrett an Angle slam off the stage onto the edge of a table below at 11:00. They missed most of the table and landed awkwardly, but both got up. Jarrett’s face was covered in blood. They both crawled back to the ring where they exchanged punches. Jarrett was unsteady on his feet, but relentless. He got the better of Angle and sorta popped the crowd. He hit three clotheslines and then a double under hook faceplant for a nearfall. Angle applied the anklelock center-ring at 13:00. Jarrett rolled through and sent Angle through the ropes to the floor. Jarrett ducked a swing of a chair by Angle and then dropkicked the chair into Angle’s face. He followed with The Stroke for a very near fall at 15:00. Jarrett set up a superplex, but Angle blocked it and then hit a top rope dropkick seconds later. West called it a “glancing blow.” Angle hit an Angle slam for a near fall, but extended both arms upward to lift both shoulders a tiny bit, which was enough to stop the count. You don’t see that often. Angle pulled his straps down and applied the anklelock again. Jarrett immediately kicked out of it. Angle charged him in the corner but Jarrett moved and Angle hit his shoulder on the post. Jarrett pulled out his magic guitar. Angle kicked him between the legs before he could use it. Angle then swung and nailed Jarrett with a side swiping chairshot to the skull. Jarrett kicked out right before three. Angle took out his frustration by grabbing the ref. Jarrett went for an enzuigiri, but Angle ducked and applied a third anklelock at 19:00. Tenay and West wondered if Jarrett would tap out or even pass out from the pain. Jarrett shook his arms and tried to muster the strength to kick out. This didn’t seem like Jarrett’s town as the crowd wasn’t really behind him. They did pop when Jarrett rolled through for a leverage near fall on Angle. Angle set up an Angle slam, but Jarrett turned it into a DDT. With Angle down, Jarrett fired himself up and reached for his guitar again. Jarrett picked up his guitar, but the arm on it was broken. He grabbed a chair instead, while limping badly on his ankle. When Angle pulled himself up by the ropes, Jarrett hit him across the forehead with a chairshot (Angle had his arms up to try to blunt the blow slightly and protect himself). Angle went down. The crowd chanted, “TNA, TNA.” Jarrett leaned back on Angle’s chest for a pin attempt, but Angle hooked his arm and rolled Jarrett onto his shoulders for the three count.
WINNER: Angle in 22:00.
STAR RATING: **** — Really good match from two veterans who know how to tell a story. The early long chinlocks can be forgiven due to the 20-plus minute length of the match, although it’s never exciting to fill time early with that rudimentary of a move.
-After the match, Angle hadn’t had enough, so he went after Jarrett again. He spit on him, stomped his already injured ankle repeatedly, and then pounded away at his bloodied face. Tenay said Angle had snapped again. Angle put Jarrett’s ankle in a chair and stomped on it repeatedly. Jarrett was take out on a stretcher. In a hostile move by the crowd, they began a “Na na na na, good bye” chant for Jarrett. Ouch. I don’t think even fans would do that to John Cena.
-Cornette told Rhino he might not want to wrestle. He told him it’s stupid to wrestle with his back out and his head busted open. He said they can delay the title match. Rhino insisted he was going to wrestle and warned Cornette not to get in his way. Cornette told him to do what he had to do.
-They went back to ringside where Jarrett was being stretchered. The chant had stopped. Tenay called it a very serious situation. Boy did one angle of Jarrett being stretchered out show how empty a big part of that arena is. Tenay was shown on camera getting all dramatic on us, showing a bloody towel and shaking as he spoke of his disgust for Angle’s actions. A red-faced West said, “A victory wasn’t enough for Angle.” Tenay threw to a video package on the World Title match.
7 — STING vs. RHINO – TNA World Hvt. Title match
Rhino went after Sting at the bell. They took it to ringside early. Rhino had his forehead taped and blood seeping down his face. West said Rhino is working on instinct, not even thinking about the pain in his back from the attack earlier. Rhino missed a charge into the railing, giving Sting a chance to take control. At 8:00, Rhino went to the top rope and came off with a splash, but Sting moved. Sting then took over again with a Scorpion Deathlock. Rhino reached the ropes to force a break. Rhino blocked a second Scorpion attempt. He hit a belly-to-belly. Rhino went for a Gore next, but Sting moved and then hit a Scorpion Death Drop for the win.
WINNER: Sting in 10:00 to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: *1/4 — Pretty much par for Sting, with a largely phoned in ten minute performance with some stand-up brawling, with Rhino’s injury a backstory to explain why he was able to beat him clean in a short match. All in all, it’ll be forgotten among the better action elsewhere on this show.
-Borash interviewed A.J. Styles and Devon backstage. Styles said this was for Samoa Joe and his newborn son. Devon said Brother Ray wasn’t his friend, he was his brother, and he feels his pain. He said he promised him a few minutes ago on the phone that he’ll keep his promise and take care of business. Foley then said there’s a big question on his mind: which Foley will show up? He tried to break free form his cloying curmudgeon character, but even when he got serious, it’s now hard to take him seriously.
8 — BOOKER T & KIP JAMES & SCOTT STEINER vs. BROTHER DEVON & A.J. STYLES & MICK FOLEY
Kip explained that he’s a fitting replacement for Nash. “Don’t let the Cute Kip thing throw you off, I am a true Bad Ass,” he said, explaining his credentials. He said his partners can count on him, unlike the Carolina Panthers “because they absolutely suck.” This playing to the local sports team on a national PPV comes off as about as cheap and desperate and pathetic as it gets to get fans to care about you. The build-up for Foley’s return to the ring has been so underwhelming, even throughout this show. You’d hardly realize a legend of the last generation was making a big return to action in a PPV main event while watching this event. Foley did get the final ring intro at least. Foley opened with some punches on Kip, and then clotheslined him over the top rope. Not a pretty sight. Foley set up his signature second rope elbow dive at ringside, but the heels scattered to avoid it. The heels regrouped. I half expected a commercial break at this point. At 4:00, after Styles and Devon softened Booker, Foley hit a running knee and almost fell over afterward. Foley tagged Styles in shortly thereafter. It’s almost sad watching this version of Foley. The heels got heat on Styles for a few minutes. Foley then got a hot-tag at 7:00. He woddled to Kip in the corner and threw some terrible looking punches. he did his “bang bang” to almost no audible crowd pop. Kip then blind-sided Foley. Everyone brawled at ringside at 8:00. The ref called for the bell, declaring it a massive countout. The ring announcer said there was no winner in this match. Cornette walked out and said, “Not so fast.” He said he’s been coming to Charlotte, N.C. for 25 years “and we don’t do things like this down here.” He said by the power vested in him as part of TNA management, he told the referee to re-start the match. The crowd cheered. Booker said, “By the power vested in me, it’s over.” He explained that Cornette doesn’t have the power to overrule him. Foley spoke up and said as executive shareholder, he does have the power to restart it. Foley said it was now an extreme hardcore rules match. A trash can immediately got injected into the match. Foley beat on Kip on the stage as Styles and Booker battled in the ring. Booker dumped Foley onto the announce table as Styles hit Steiner with a trash can. Back at ringside, Foley stood on the announce table and set up an elbow drop on Kip on a table, but Booker gave him a low-blow from behind. Styles, though, frog splashed Kip through a table at ringside, leaping off the top rope to do it. The crowd chanted “TNA.” Back in the ring Devon hit a diving headbutt. Foley then gave Booker the Mandible Claw with the sock formerly known as Mr. Socko. Steiner hit Foley with a chair. Booker went for an axe kick, but Foley avoided it and then hit Steiner and Booker with a chair. Foley then DDT’d Steiner onto a chair and scored the pin.
WINNERS: Foley & Styles & Devon in 16:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 — Just enough of Foley to make it worth it for those who bought it to see him again, but not impressive at all in terms of what he could still deliver. He looked like his body is really badly beaten down from years of bumps.