Welcome cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the Golden Globe winningest (as if anybody cares) review blog in all the land, Cewsh Reviews! We’ve got a special treat for you tonight, as on the heels of that electric Monday night at the beginning of the month where TNA and WWE did battle head to head, TNA will try to capitalize on that momentum tonight with their first PPV of the year, TNA Genesis 2010. Now we here at Cewsh Reviews were pretty hard on their Monday Night offering, thinking it was pretty much an unqualified mess all around, but TNA does still have a streak of two phenomenal pay per views in a row to build on, and excitement remains high for the first show of the Hogan administration. Will they be able to keep up their incredible momentum? Will Hogan put his stamp on this show in some definitive way? Will anybody actually do any wrestling this time? There’s only one way to find out.
Cewsh: We start off the first PPV of the new regime in TNA with probably TNA’s greatest ever opening video. It has everything, from the chanting, to the random shots of space stations, to voice overs of the wrestlers talking about how they live to be champions as they do their thing. It may not sound by much, but I’m not joking when I say that it is phenomenal and has me more hyped up for this show than I, perhaps, reasonably should be.
Vice: The opening video to this show is just all kinds of great. Over the years, I’ve come to really anticipate Genesis videos because they are always epic in their own way, using all kinds of great stock footage and telling a good story with excellent music selections.
Cewsh: To start the show, out to the ring come Hogan and Bischoff, and they’re coming down the ramp of the brand new TNA set, which looks fantastic. The ramp leads directly to the ring apron, like a Japanese ramp, and they have returned to a four sided ring setup, and man am I hyped about that. It’s not that the 6 sided ring was bad or anything, but it’s just so much more comforting to see people wrestling in a four sided ring in an American promotion, and it fills the space so much better, that it just looks like a hugely bigger ring altogether.
Vice: I fucking LOVE the new set.
While I had no real complaints about the six sided ring, the new four sided ring just looks spectacular. It’s not as big as WWE’s, but not one of the tiny WCW/indy rings either. It’s pretty much perfect. The ramp/platform that goes all the way to the ring is fucking fabulous. I’ve always been a fan of them and was dying to see TNA adopt it. I think I may have bitched about wanting them to do that in a previous review, so it’s good to know that TNA reads Cewsh Reviews err…ahem..I mean is smart. Bravo.
I was a fan of them having two tunnels for people to come out of back when they were across the arena from each other, as if to keep the faces and heels separated, and it wasn’t so bad when the two tunnels were next to each other on the same entrance ramp, but now they have one and it’s beautiful. I still like how it’s a ramp leading up to the top of the stage, so you can see people emerge from the back. It’s all a nice touch. And I may be wrong, but did TNA ditch the green lasers after I shat on them endlessly? I also noticed they signed the Young Bucks and put them right up against the Machine Guns, two things I also bitched about. Hmm. How about giving Desmond Wolfe some gold? Eh? Eh? Eh?
Cewsh: Keep dreaming, Viceroy. Anyhow, Bischoff and Hogan come down and Hogan gets about 3 words out of his mouth before the Impact Zone starts booing him to death and chanting about how they want the six sided ring back. Yeah? Well I want some new goddamn TNA fans who aren’t so fucking obnoxious, but if wishes were fishes, my cat would die happy. So there. Hogan seems more than a little taken aback by this and blatantly reverts back to being Hollywood Hogan for a few minutes, telling the crowd to deal with it.
That’s one of my favorite things about Hogan, actually. He doesn’t really seem to know anything except for being Hollywood Hogan, the super duper heel, or The Real American, the super duper face. So he’s either good hearted and nice to a fault, or an enormous smarky douche, and he slips back and forth between them mid sentence sometimes. But since both characters are so awesome, it’s actually really fun to see.
Hogan and Bischoff are only here to tell us that the show is going to be good and that we’ll probably like it. Segment lasts all of a minute. Or roughly 25 seconds for every paragraph that I wrote about it.
Vice: Hogan and Bischoff kicking the show off made it feel a bit like Impact, but you can’t just change everything around with zero explanation. So it made sense for Hogan to come out like he did. The douchebag fans are as smarky as ever, chanting “WE WANT SIX SIDES”, but are promptly, and thoroughly, destroyed by Hogan. Greatness.
Cewsh: Before this match, there were all sorts of thoughts as to who the mystery guy might be. People suggested Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, and I even heard one suggestion that it might be Bryan Danielson, but I think that was Gabe Sapolsky saying it in between meatball subs. Red comes to the ring first, with all of the pride of a champion that nobody remembers still works here, and then we all wait in hushed anticipation for the revealing of the mystery man who will have his first match be an X Division championship match.
HOLY SHIT IT’S BRIAN KENDRICK!
That’s right, dancing out to some over the top epic classical music is THE Brian Kendrick, formerly of WWE, who instantly looks totally at home in the Impact Zone. Some guys look odd when they come to TNA (Team 3D, Hulk Hogan, Rikishi), some would be at home anywhere (Kurt Angle, Booker T, Scott Steiner), but Kendrick looks like he’s been working there for years. It just makes sense.
The match gets going, and it isn’t a disappointment in the slightest as Kendrick, the bigger man for the first time in years, wears down Red with submission moves and vicious kicks, as Red tries his best to stay ahead with his daredevil antics and high flying recklessness. It doesn’t really work, as Kendrick bullies him all over the ring, not letting up in the slightest despite Red’s best attempts to get out of danger, until finally Red throws Kendrick to the outside and performs a sky high Swanton Bomb on him from the top turnbuckle, over rotating so much that he actually winds up leg dropping Kendrick right in the eye, in a scary moment for both guys. Though obviously scarier to Kendrick who just got an eye exam from Red’s backside.
Hey, maybe it’ll reveal that he has ASStigmatism. Right? Right?
Undaunted though, Kendrick goes back to his mat domination, staying on Red and seeking his very first taste of TNA gold, but before he gets the chance to put him away with some patented Sliced Bread Number 2, Red surprises him by springing over the ropes to the apron, bending Kendrick over, and nailing a Sunset Flip Code Red that has to be seen to be believed. Just an astonishing end to a great match.
This match was fantastic, and maybe the best of Red’s career, as Kendrick guided him to a fantastic little match, and an incredibly strong debut for Mr. Kendrick. He already seems like a perfect fit for the X Division, and if this is his last shot at gold in TNA, I’ll eat my hat. Assuming he doesn’t go insane like his former tag team partner, the Dolphin Master.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: It’s great seeing Kendrick in a TNA ring. He just looks so natural inside of a TNA ring, and he and Red put on a hell of a match. Five stars? Not close. But at the same time, it was perfect for what it was. It was everything it needed to be without being too much. Perfect debut for Kendrick. Glad to see Red retain the title here, showing that TNA champions aren’t slouches. Sure things would be a bit more fresh if Kendrick had won, but it put Red over pretty damn well, which he desperately needed.
Kendrick also has really awesome, fitting music. It’s very unique, which is also nice.
Cewsh: The GANG (formerly the Kliq, the nWo, and the starting pitching rotation for the Bad News Bears), are backstage talking with Hogan and Bischoff, and Bisch is hyping them up to go out there and prove themselves. Waltman is pissed because Hall and Nash have a tag match against Beer Money and he wants to prove himself by being on the card. Hall relents and agrees to go Rock, paper, Scissors to decide which of them will team wish Nash, which is how I assume most booking decisions used to get made in TNA anyway. Waltman wins, so he’ll be joining Nash in the ring, which means that they advertised Hall and Nash to get some buys, but had no intention of letting Hall work just yet.
Dickish but clever. Welcome back Uncle Eric.
Cewsh: The feud between these two was touched off on the last Impact before this show, where Morely was giving a promo about how he plans to direct lots of movies (he means porn, boys and girls), and he was interrupted by Daniels who said he had a movie pitch to give to Morely. His pitch was apparently kicking the shit out of him, which is a questionable choice for a movie, but certainly makes for an interesting matchup here.
Morely is out first to the awesomest music I’ve ever heard (and it’s basically what I hear in my head while I’m walking around all day), looking exactly like Val Venis and being summarily SHAT UPON by the Impact Zone. I was under the impression that Morely was a favorite amongst smarks, but apparently they didn’t get the memo as they get on his back and stay there all match long. Daniels is out next, blessedly wearing some goddamn pants instead of the latex diapers he was wearing previously which made me nervous about his sex life. The bell rings and they get the party started.
Of course, by party I mean that it’s one of those parties where you invite everyone you’ve ever met and get super super excited about it, and then like 10 people show up and you play a game of strip Scrabble. While that could be fun, it’s just not what you were expecting and there’s no way it can live up to your expectations. So it is here, as Daniels does his best to walk Morely through a decent little match, and Morely does his best to keep up. Morely doesn’t appear to be in the best of ring shape, and I can hardly blame him since he really hasn’t worked full time since WWE let him go a few years back, and it shows at times here, as he seems slow to react to certain things, and had trouble positioning himself on the top rope for the finish. It wasn’t really super detrimental to the match or anything, but it was a factor.
As Vice and I were watching the match, he warned me to be careful because he thought I’d go insane if I found out that Morely wins this match clean over Daniels with the Money Shot, but when it happened, it really didn’t bother me too much. Maybe it’s because I like Morely, maybe it’s because Daniels loses to everybody, or maybe it’s because SOMEBODY from the new arrivals needs to win their debut match or they’ll all wind up looking like nobodies, but for whatever the reason I have no real issue with the finish, just like I have no real issue with the match. They were fine. Not great, not bad. Just fine.
70 out of 100.
Vice: I really enjoyed seeing Morley get a nice, long match and being able to do what he does great; wrestle. Something that he rarely got to do in WWE over the past few years. He’s getting old, but he’s still a solid talent, and putting him up with Daniels is a good way of letting him unwind and establish himself as a serious wrestler.
I’m not sure exactly how I feel about him going over Daniels, but the way it came to be, it was fairly believable. TNA is also really good at presenting their product as a promotion where anyone can beat anyone on any given night. Being a fan of MMA where there are a lot of legitimate upsets in a real combat sport, TNA just seems a bit more “realistic” in a way, as crazy as it sounds. I like it.
Vice: There’s not much to say about this match, but I did like how it played out with Tara sweeping ODB with two straight falls. And last month, Wolfe got the first fall against Angle but then lost two back to back. I like what TNA has done here, in that anything can happen in a 2/3 falls match. I’ve gotten really sick of seeing the person who got the first fall losing the second fall, and then finally getting the third fall. It’s boring and how it usually plays out. Sure the next 2/3 falls match mind be that formula next time, but history shows that it can be unpredictable.
And since Hero! wanted to see Tara’s ass, and me being quite the large fan of it myself….
Cewsh: This is a two out of three falls match.
Tara won with two falls in a row.
Let’s move on.
32 out of 100.
Cewsh: D’Angelo Dinero is backstage and he cuts a promo on Desmond Wolfe, who he faces later tonight. At least I think that’s what he does, because as usual he pretty much just rambles about whatever comes to mind, fills it with 7,000,000,000 catchphrases, and conducts the whole thing while staring directly at Christy Hemme’s tits.
And yet, despite this sounding terrible on paper, there is no more entertaining promo in wrestling today. It’s like 2 + 2 equaling an ice cream sandwich, but hey, I’m not complaining.
Cewsh: I would tell you the back story to this match, but there really, really isn’t one. The Brits have been holding down the tag division while all the other teams have been distracted with other things, and as a result here they get stuck with Morgan and Hernandez who are as much a team as I am with that hobo on the street that I gave a quarter to. I think we spent more time together than these two have.
This is actually quite a good match, a fact which I will completely neglect while I spend the next few minutes ranting. Let’s go to Vice for a second, because this made me fucking angry and I don’t want to hurt you all.
Vice: Morgan and Hernandez winning here is a bit surprising, but I’m okay with the Invasion losing, because it spices things up. And it’s not like they’re going anywhere.
Also it goes well with the story of the match. The British Invasion are a much smaller team, but they’re very intelligent and work well as a team. Morgan and Hernandez are not that intelligent, nor do they work like an actual team, but they both have unrivaled power and agility. The Invasion worked well together and smartly tried to wear their opponents down and take advantage of mistakes they made, but in the end, sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do to truly counter brute force and lots of it. It will be interesting to see how their rematch will go if they get one, because the Invasion needs to find a way to use the size and strengths of their opponents against them. I look forward to it.
Decent match, too.
Cewsh: WHY THE FUCK DID MORGAN AND HERNANDEZ WIN THIS MATCH?
I can’t wrap my head around the logic. A team which shows hardly any teamwork whatsoever, and have no real reason to be teaming aside from having nothing better to do right now win the titles from the most rapidly improving tag team in wrestling right now, who had been single handedly supporting the whole division on their shoulders for the past several months. To have them just decimated and beaten cleanly here like this, with no fanfare, and not even any advance notice shows how highly they’re probably thought of by management, which is fucking sad, because they were truly getting to be great, and this is not the shake they deserved.
Fucking bullshit. That’s all there is to it. Fucking bullshit.
77 out of 100.
Cewsh: Abyss is talking to Bischoff in his office. (Bischoff’s, not Abyss’. That would be weird.)Lashley rushes into the office bent on beating the shit out of Bischoff, and Abyss accidentally, kinda sorta bashes him over the head with a monitor, knocking him the fuck out. Completely irrationally, Bischoff gets super pissed off at Abyss for doing this since it ruined the Abyss/Lashley match that was scheduled for later tonight, and then Hogan walks in and tries to convince Abyss to not be crazy for 5 seconds, and tells him that he’ll still have a match and that it will be against a mystery partner.
I have a bad feeling about this.
Cewsh: These two have been having a feud recently that is more of a competitive rivalry between two guys looking for their break into the main event. They’ve been firing barbs back and forth, and Dinero especially has been rambling in Wolfe’s direction for a few weeks now after pinning him in their hilariously short 4 minute match on Monday Night Impact.
Wolfe is down to the ring first, in some fancy new silver pajamas and with a charming young lady (read: huge cans) on his arm. He gets in the ring and Dinero follows, only for the match to be delayed as Wolfe makes his lady friend strip him of his pajamas, and then for Dinero to mack on her as the fans chant “Pope is pimpin’”.
The match gets started, and it’s a doozy, as these guys absolutely bring their A games to the mat, and go all out for considerably more than 4 minutes. Wolfe brings every bit of his technical skill as he viciously attacks the legs of Dinero, shredding them like cheese in something that grates cheese. Dinero fights back in his charismatic way time after time, but the real beauty of this match is the finish. Dinero nails Wolfe with an enormous spinebuster powerbomb, and Wolfe wanders to the turnbuckle, setting him up perfectly for Dinero’s finisher, but as Dinero goes to sprint to him to deliver it, he can’t get any momentum with his legs as hurt as they are, giving Wolfe time to see him, and deliver a DEVASTATING lariat to pick up the pinfall. Imagine that for a second. A guy worked over a body part on his opponent and it actually helped him win the match! An astonishing twist!
This was a really great match, and probably Dinero’s best match ever that I’ve seen (funny how I’m saying that so much tonight). Both guys brought something different to the equation that served to make it a very dynamic and interesting match to watch, and take it from me. These guys are huge stars in the making. It is only a matter of time.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: This was a fucking fantastic match. Everything about it was great. I’d say this is easily Pope’s best match of his career from what I’ve seen, and shows that Desmond can work great matches with people lower on the card than guys like Angle. Wolfe’s wrestling isn’t exactly the most exciting, edge of your seat style, but it’s very unique and extremely credible. He knows three bajillion holds and if he decides to work a body part, he will bend it in directions I didn’t even know were possible.
Of course, if you’re like John Cena and shrug 5 minutes of getting your limb worked because you don’t know how to sell, then such offense is meaningless. However, Dinero sold his leg/knee to absolute perfection. It had such a subtle build to it all as well. From the time when he initially crashed down onto his leg, you could tell that he tweaked it slightly. He didn’t look like he was in any sort of pain, but he knew something just happened to his knee. Then he crashes down on it again and gives it a quick rub, showing that it’s starting to weaken. Once more and it’s noticeable that it’s beginning to hurt. Wolfe smells the blood and immediately goes after it and never once takes his attention off of it when he has control. To make the finish of the match amazing, yes, all of the work pays off in a completely credible way, with Dinero having Wolfe set up for his finisher, but not being able to run and hit it, giving Wolfe just enough time to recover and hit his own finisher.
It was just.. great. I loved the match, and shows just how well Dinero can go if given a good chunk of time and an opponent who knows how to work. It’s good to see Wolfe get his win back, too.
Cewsh: Jeremy Borash is backstage getting ready for an interview, and Bichoff comes over to him, takes the mic away and informs him that he’s been compromised by the whole Mick Foley thing, so he’s being taken off of tv and replaced by Christy Hemme. Just as Bisch is smiling triumphantly, though, Ric Flair strolls up and stares him down. Hemme asks him why he’s in TNA, and Flair doesn’t give her any worthwhile answer.
Poor Borash. There is no TNA without JB, and he’s been stringing the segments together for so long that I don’t remember what TNA was like without him doing that.
Oh right, that’s because HE’S ALWAYS DONE IT. Assholes.
Cewsh: First of all, I like the Band. I like the nickname, I like that they’re back, and I like that they aren’t be presented as the top guys simply because of who they were. They’re just some dudes who were big, big names, who are trying to prove themselves like everyone else. It gives them credibility, and it gives the whole new era of TNA more credibility.
Second of all, Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash are in fantastic shape for their age. And Scott Hall isn’t.
These 4 men get down to business quickly, and from the get go, this match is mostly Waltman as the face in peril as he gets picked apart by Beer Money, with Nash making saves whenever necessary. After working a fine match for a few minutes, Hall wanders down to ringside, grabs a fan who is heckling him, and punches that motherfucker right in the face. Of course I instantly leap to my feet cheering because Scott Hall beating up the Impact Zone immediately makes him the biggest face in the universe by my thinking, but of course it’s supposed to be a heel move or whatever. Bah.
Anyway, this allows Beer Money to take advantage and pin Nash for the victory, and run off in celebration as the Band looks in disapproval at Hall for fucking things up. I do wonder where they’re eventually going with this whole thing, but that’s the idea. They’re making me wonder. So it must be working.
69 out of 100.
Vice: Letting Waltman do the wrestling instead of Hall was a brilliant move. I can’t imagine how bad that match could have been without him in there doing the majority of the work. Hall is great and is still a good personality, but wrestling is not something he should be doing right now.
Cewsh: Yeah, it’s Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Anderson, formerly Mr. Kennedy in the WWE, shows up (in an admittedly rad to death entrance) and introduces himself for a really long time, basically using the exact same character he had in WWE, as all of the other new signings have. After his 3 hour introduction of himself, he walks to the ring and wrestles a ho hum match against Abyss.
There are a lot of things wrong with this. I’ll start with TNA signing Anderson at all. He broke the Wellness Policy, injured himself and others in matches far more often than normal, and then was pretty much a bitter twat about the whole thing, denying any fault on his part in his release. A lot of people will tell you that he never got a fair shake in WWE, and that he had the potential to be a top star. These people apparently weren’t watching him from week to week as the man simply is not entertaining in the long term, and might very well wrestle the most boring style of anyone WWE has pushed since the 80s.
Secondly, debuting a guy like Anderson against Abyss is incredibly odd, as Abyss is not the kind of guy who makes people look good in their debut matches. He can have good matches, and even great ones under the right circumstances, but he’s not a bumping machine or anything, and he works a slow paced, violent style more suited to feuds than to jobbing to some new comer.
So all around this whole match was ill conceived, poorly executed, and designed to put over a man who I truly believe has little to no long term value.
But hey! He said his name twice! YAY!
51 out of 100.
Vice: Mr. Anderson can fuck right off. Ugh. Him being the mystery person is a major disappointment, even though I was expecting him. He’s just not very good and wasn’t even a big name before getting sacked. The dude is the very definition of a bust. What are you thinking, TNA?
It also didn’t help that his first opponent was Abyss. I like Abyss and think he’s an underappreciated talent, but a lot of people don’t have good chemistry with him. Anderson is no exception, as they went on to have an atrocious match.
Cewsh: Alright, now let’s get down to it. Angle vs. Styles, Best Wrestler in the World vs. Best Wrestler In The World, Best Entrance In Wrestling vs. Best Entrance In Wrestling. The battle for all the marbles. The most hyped match, possibly in all of TNA’s history. This is it. This is the main event. This is history.
This…is kind of boring.
If you were to ask me which two wrestlers would be physically incapable of having a spectacular match together, these two names would fly off of my tongue. Yet here they are having a 30 minute match that just isn’t all that fun to watch. It’s GOOD, don’t get me wrong. It’s almost impossible for these two men to enter a ring and have a BAD match these days. But until the last 2 minutes, this match really isn’t worth writing home about.
Of course, the last two minutes change everything.
Styles and Angle fight their way to a standstill with Ric Flair outside the ring cheering on AJ. Angle finally hits the Styles Clash on AJ and locks him in the Anklelock with the grapevine, leaving Styles with nowhere to go. Finally, after nearly a minute trapped in the Anklelock, he taps out. But nobody calls for the bell. This would be because Ric Flair has dragged the referee out of the ring, stopping Angle from winning the match. Angle chases Flair in a burst of righteous indignation, but as Flair runs back through the ring, Styles clotheslines him. Then Flair throws Styles the belt. And now AJ Styles, the golden boy of TNA, the hero to anyone who loves wrestling the way it should be done, symbol of all that is good and pure in the wrestling industry, takes the title belt and knocks the fuck out of Kurt Angle with it.
Flair rolls the ref back in. 1…2…3. The champion retains, and that’s the only thing that stays the same.
In case that was hard to process, here it is in pictures:
Flair: HIT HIM WITH IT OR I WILL RAPE YOUR CHILDREN AND SET THEM ON FIRE
Nick Hogan: That Reminds Me Of Prison!
I don’t know how I feel about AJ as a heel. I’m not entirely confidant in his ability to BE a main event heel. However with Flair on his side, and this happening at the very height of TNA’s visibility is the best possible way that it could happen. Who knows where it will go from here? All I know is that yet again, I’m looking forward to the next TNA show, even as I completely forget the previous one. This match isn’t one you’ll remember. This moment may be one that will be hard to forget.
79 out of 100.
Vice: Maybe I actually bought into the hype around this match that TNA was trying to shove down my throat (in a good way), but I was pretty underwhelmed by this match. I was expecting something huge, but it was fairly.. basic. Up until the end of course, which is very intriguing.
I don’t know where this is going, but I’m very curious. Though of course, it is TNA, so I am also rather terrified.
Cewsh: This was an interesting show. When viewed after the fact it lines up pretty clearly as a company wide battle between the old and the new. Neither side truly won out in the end, and I feel that this show displayed a much more coherent vision for TNA than Monday Night Impact did. They seem to be heading in what I assume is the right direction, but things like Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy and heel Styles have the potential to veer them considerably off track if things go wrong.
Still though, TNA is trying, that much is clear. And the formula is the strongest TNA has ever had it. I’m optimistic going forward. And this being TNA, that’s a miracle in and of itself.
Vice: Overall it was a pretty good show. Ups and downs, but there is a new set and a lot of questions that make me want to tune into Impact to find out what happens next. Not exactly the best PPV they could have put on for the potential new Hogan-era crowd, but it was very far from a flop.
So until then, be sure as always to keep reading and be good to one another.