TNA Genesis 2011 PPV Flashback - Matt Morgan vs. Mr. Anderson to become No. 1 contender to the TNA Title, Rob Van Dam vs. an opponent of Jeff Hardy's choosing, Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money for the TNA Tag Titles
The following is a flashback to Jason Powell's live coverage review of the January 9, 2011 TNA Genesis pay-per-view. Check back tonight for his live coverage of the 2013 TNA Genesis. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive audio review of the show later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Live from Orlando, Fla.
The Impact Zone at Universal Studios
The show opened with a video package that focussed on the Matt Morgan vs. Mr. Anderson match. Both men stated that they will be the next TNA Champion. Jeff Hardy was shown saying that he doesn't care what either one of them say. Morgan said he had Hardy pinned in one of their title matches. Hardy said he will lead TNA in the future...
Mike Tenay and Taz checked in on commentary. A fan held up a sign that stated they travelled 5,000 miles for TNA...
1. Kazarian defeated Jay Lethal to win the X Division Title in 11:45. The announcers discussed Immortal's goal of capturing all of the gold in TNA. Taz noted that Eric Bischoff has guaranteed that Immortal will possess every title in the company. Kazarian was on the offensive for a good portion of the match. Lethal blocked a move while both men were on the top rope and hit a powerbomb for a near fall.
Lethal came back with the Lethal Combination, but Kazarian kicked out at 8:10. Lethal showed frustration. Kazarian came back with a slingshot into a DDT. He covered Lethal and used the ropes for leverage, but Lethal still broke the pin. Later, Lethal played to the crowd before going to the top rope. Kazarian caught him with a kick. Taz said he was surprised Lethal did that.
Kazarian went for the reverse Tombsone piledriver off the ropes, but Lethal fought it off, but knocked Kazarian into the referee. Kazarian fell into the ropes, causing Lethal to fall. Kazarian hit the reverse Tombstone piledriver and got the pin to become the new X Division Champion...
Powell's POV: Very good spot-heavy opening match. The story obviously is that Immortal is out to hold all the title belts and they couldn't have continued to tell that story without Kazarian winning here. The only real negative is that the X Title is losing whatever value it had with all these rapid fire title changes.
The announcers spoke at ringside about the No. 1 contender match. Taz questioned whether Immortal would rather see Anderson or Morgan win the match to earn the right to face Jeff Hardy...
Backstage, Ric Flair informed Eric Bischoff that A.J. Styles is unable to wrestle tonight due to an injury. Bischoff got upset and pointed out that Hulk Hogan had back surgeries, while Styles can't compete because he has "a limp." Styles, who as in the room, said he injured it at home while checking on one of his kids.
Bischoff got pissed. Flair tried to be the voice of reason. Styles got pissed and whipped something off Bischoff's desk. "How about that?" Styles asked before leaving the room. Flair remained calm and told Bischoff that he's a bright guy and will come up with something...
Powell's POV: Styles is out of the match due to a legit injury. Obviously, the injury sucks for him and it's disappointing that we won't see the match on tonight's show, but it still works from a storyline standpoint if he's turning babyface. It would have been nice if TNA had announced this news prior to the pay-per-view.
A video package chronicled the Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne feud...
2. Madison Rayne defeated Mickie James to retain the TNA Knockouts Title in 10:30. Madison came out alone. No sign of Tara. Mickie worked the match in Daisy Duke shorts and pair of boots that only Bruiser Brody and John Nord could love. Mickie went on the offensive early and scored some near falls.
Madison came back. With Mickie on the mat, she jumped into the air and looked like she aborted a move. Taz mocked her by saying it looked like she was having a fit. Odd moment, but nothing big. Madison used heel tactics while working over Mickie, who did a nice job of selling.
Mickie made her comeback by blocking Madison's face driver. Moments later, Mickie spanked Madison in the corner of the ring. Mickie was about to go for her finisher when Tara's music played and distracted her. Tara ran out and Mickie ran to ringside. The ref stood between them.
Inside the ring, Madison stood up and loaded the glove she was wearing on her left hand. She laid back down and pretended she was still out. Once Mickie returned to the ring, Madison punched her with the loaded glove, made the cover, and got the pin. Madison and Tara celebrated together after the match...
Powell's POV: Decent action, but nothing memorable about the match. I'm still waiting for Mickie to deliver the type of performance we came to expect from her in WWE. Her brawls with Tara were fun at times. Perhaps she just needs the right opponent. Either way, I'm happy they kept the title belt on Madison. It was too soon for Mickie to win.
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed Ric Flair and Beer Money briefly. They headed to the ring for the tag title match, leaving Eric Bischoff and Kazarian with Hemme. Bischoff announced that Abyss would challenge Douglas Williams for the TNA TV Title. Bischoff said he would not reveal RVD's opponent (we already did, check the main page for the spoiler) and guaranteed that they would win all of the gold tonight...
A video previewed the tag title match...
Powell's POV: I hate seeing the tag title match on this early in the show. TNA has a great tag division. It's time to showcase it properly. Talking about how great the division is is a good start, but they need to feature the tag title matches as semi-main events. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt this time around because they may need to hold this match before the TV Title match for storyline reasons.
3. Beer Money defeated The Motor City Machine Guns to win the TNA Tag Titles in 17:55. Beer Money worked over Alex Shelley for several minutes as the announcers did a good job of stressing the need for him to make a tag. Chris Sabin pounded on the turnbuckle in hopes of getting the crowd involved at 9:45.
James Storm and Robert Roode performed a double suplex at 10:00 and then did the Beer Money dance routine, which I always get a kick out of. Shelley made his comeback at 11:30 and eventually tagged in Sabin, who delivered a nice flurry of offense on the heels. The Guns performed a double team move that led to Shelley DDT'ing Roode and going for a cover only to have Storm break it up.
Beer Money came back when Storm spat beer in the face of Sabin. Roode followed up with a spinebuster. However, the Guns came back with their cross-body and neckbreaker combo on Roode. They had the win, but Storm pulled the referee out of the ring at 16:10.
Sabin went for a tornado DDT off the ropes, but Roode countered with a great Northern Lights Suplex for a strong near fall. A short time later, Beer Money hit their finisher, but Sabin kicked out. Taz said Bischoff had to be ripping the hair out of his head watching this match. In the end, Sabin accidentally kicked Shelley in the corner, and then Roode rolled up Sabin and got the pin to win the tag titles for his team...
Powell's POV: Very good tag match. Just imagine how over these teams could be if the company dedicated more time and effort to their feud. Yes, they showcased their best of series, but not as main event material. Strong first hour of the pay-per-view so far.
Backstage, Hemme interviewed Devon. The fans could be heard chanting "Motor City" from inside the studio. Devon delivered a short promo about his match and concluded with his usual "Oh my brother..." He waited for the fans to yell "testify" and then said the line himself...
A video package set up the Bully Ray vs. Devon feud...
Powell's POV: A disappointing video package that focussed on the recent storyline rather than the history between Ray and Devon.
4. Bully Ray beat Brother Devon by DQ in 8:45. Before the bell, Ray grabbed SoCal Val and brought her onto the stage. She apparently slapped him and the production team missed the shot. Devon attacked Ray and brought him to ringside. The fans chanted for tables.
Devon roughed up Ray on the floor for a few minutes and then threw him inside the ring. Referee Jackson James called for the bell to officially start the match. Ray was on his knees begging for mercy. Devon looked to the crowd. Ray went for a low blow, but Devon blocked it.
They fought into the crowd where Devon slammed a fan's shoe over the head of Ray for a big pop. The fans were loving the brawl. Back inside the ring, Ray went on the offensive and played his part nicely by slapping and taunting Devon. Moments later, Devon leapt off the ropes, but Ray caught him with his end of 3D for a good near fall.
Ray caught Devon on the top rope a short time later and chopped him twice. Ray tried to use a chain as a weapon, but Devon stopped him with punches. Devon picked up the chain and the referee warned him. Devon slammed the chain over the back of Ray and was disqualified.
Devon continued to slam the chain on Ray. A loud "Let them fight" chant broke out. Two more referees ran down. They eventually pulled Devon off of Ray. As they held him, Ray recovered and took a cheap shot at his former partner. They brawled in the corner until security and agents ran out to stop them. Ray broke free and caught Devon with a low below. Ray raised his hands as he walked to the back...
Powell's POV: A good brawl. Much like many of their tag matches, they were able to rev up the live crowd with their brawling. The crowd was hotter during parts of that match than they were for any of the earlier matches. The feud will obviously continue. They should get as much out of this one as they can.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett was interviewed by Christy Hemme. He said there would be no punching, eye gouging, or striking. He implied that it would be a three-fall match. He said he would feel out Angle in the first fall, put him in submissions in the second match, and then leave it up to Angle's imagination. Jarrett said he was taking out Angle once and for all...
5. Abyss defeated Douglas Williams to win TNA TV Title in 9:50. The wrestlers fought in and out of the ring early. Abyss grabbed the title belt off the table at ringside and tried to hit Williams with it and missed. The belt ended up sitting in the corner of the ring underneath one of the bottom turnbuckles. The ref just left it there.
Williams fired away with European uppercuts. North America really needs its own uppercut. The story was that Williams would hit flurries of offense, but Abyss would eventually fire back with a power move.
At 8:50, Abyss went to ringside and grabbed Janice from underneath the ring. While the referee was dealing with Abyss, A.J. Styles limped to ringside, grabbed the belt, and struck Williams with it. Abyss head back inside the ring and hit the Black Hole Slam for the win. The announcers noted that Bischoff's guarantee had come to fruition, as Immortal possessed all of the title belts...
Powell's POV: Immortal holds all the titles, thus the story is that they possess the power in the company regardless of what happens with Dixie Carter's lawsuit. The match was a big step down from Williams vs. Styles, but it was an understandable decision given A.J.'s injury.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff celebrated the title belt sweep by bickering with Rob Van Dam, who said he knows Hardy is in the building and he wants him. Bischoff said that if RVD wants Hardy, he gets Hardy in the ring...
Powell's POV: Well, he's getting a Hardy. Clever twist for those who didn't know. We broke the news that Matt Hardy was backstage earlier today. Thanks to the sites that did the right thing and provided fair credit.
Jeremy Borash introduced the mystery opponent. Generic intro music played and Matt Hardy walked out with a Raven-like look and a black jacket on. Matt was unshaven and never cracked a smile nor played to the live crowd...
6. Matt Hardy defeated Rob Van Dam in 11:10. Hardy and RVD stood in the middle of the ring and talked. Hardy punched RVD and the referee called for the bell to start the match. Tenay said TNA Genesis was trending on Twitter because word was spreading that Matt Hardy was in the Impact Zone.
Hardy mocked Van Dam by doing the thumb bit when he went on the offensive at 5:15. Hardy went to the corner and stumbled a bit while standing on the second rope. He did his usual play to the crowd and then jumped only to take a kick from Van Dam.
At 9:50, Van Dam leapt off the top rope and caught Hardy with a kick. He followed up with Rolling Thunder and the Five Star Frogsplash. Van Dam covered Hardy and had him pinned, but referee Jackson James ruled that Hardy's hand was just under the bottom rope. A short time later, Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and went for the cover. RVD's leg was clearly under the bottom rope, but the referee made the three count...
Powell's POV: Hardy looks rough. Part of it is the new look, but he appears to be softer around the midsection than he was during his final WWE appearances. Overall, Van Dam landed some good kicks and the finish plays into Jackson James eventually being revealed as a heel ref. You had to know Hardy was going to win on his first night in and this sets up a potential rematch. Not a strong debut for Hardy, though.
Backstage, Kurt Angle told Christy Hemme that if Jeff Jarrett wants to know what kind of shape he's in he should ask his wife. Angle said he's going to have a great time kicking Jarrett's ass... A video recapped the Jarrett MMA challenge...
7. Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle in an MMA exhibition. Before the match, Angle told "any of you sons of bitches" from Jarrett's posse that he would break their neck if they entered the ring. There was a clock in the corner of the screen for the MMA rules. Unfortunately, the TNA Genesis logo blocked the first number on the clock. Yes, really.
Angle had Jarrett in a submission hold, but the clock expired to end the two-minute round. Angle let Jarrett come at him to start the second round. Angle came back with another submission hold. Jarrett reached the ropes. Angle held up three fingers to point out the times he had Jarrett in submission holds. Tenay said Angle is sending Jarrett a message.
Angle continued to apply submission holds. He concluded with the Ankle Lock, but time expired to end the second round. Jarrett stood up and spat at Angle's back before toppling over while holding his ankle in pain. While Jarrett was in the corner, the announcers noted that Gunner or Murphy (does it matter?) put a substance on Jarrett's arm.
In the third round, Jarrett rubbed his forearm in Angle's eyes. He punched Angle, who could could be clearly seen pulling out the blade. Angle bled heavily. Jarrett punched Angle repeatedly after the match and then played to the crowd for good heat while the camera focussed on the blood dripping from Angle's head. Jarrett leaned in and told Angle that he's retiring his MMA boots.
Jarrett said he was having a retirement party. He said Jarrett, Angle, and "you know who else" is coming to the party. Tenay said he has a funny feeling that he knows who Jarrett means. Before Jarrett headed backstage, he told the announcers that he was going to have a retirement party on Impact and "all three of us" would be there...
Powell's POV: One can only assume that the other person is Karen Jarrett (formerly Karen Angle). The live crowd had to be completely lost when Jarrett got the better of Angle. I guess the MMA bit was short lived. I'm fine with that because it was so comedy heavy and the feud with Angle will be much more serious. The MMA stuff was fun while it lasted. This particular match was more of an angle to set up the next phase of their feud.
Backstage, Hemme interviewed Jeff Hardy, who said he'd be watching the main event extremely close. "Welcome to chapter Genesis where anything can happen," Hardy said... A video package set up the main event...
Entrances for the main event took place. Matt Morgan entered first. Mr. Anderson came out and did his mic work on the stage. He introduced himself as the next TNA Champion. Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the main event...
Powell's POV: Boy, I hope Hardy's promo wasn't foreshadowing that one of these guys is going to turn heel.
8. Mr. Anderson defeated Matt Morgan in 15:10 to become No. 1 contender to the TNA Title. They opened up with wrestling rather than punching and kicking since it's a face vs. face match. Anderson took the first cheap shot when he punched Morgan in the corner. Morgan acted surprised and pissed by the punch.
Anderson ended up on the ring apron. Morgan stomped his foot as if he were tuning up the band. He went for the big boot when Anderson stood up, but Anderson ducked the boot and Morgan toppled to the floor. Anderson ended up jumping at Morgan, who caught him and then ran him back first into the ring post.
Morgan was on the offensive at 11:00. He went for a discuss clothesline, but Anderson countered with his Mic Check finisher for a really good near fall with Morgan kicking out at the last possible moment. At 13:00, the wrestlers traded punches in the middle of the ring. Morgan ended up bouncing off the ropes and blasting Anderson with the Carbon Footprint for another good nearfall with Anderson kicking out at the last moment.
Morgan was talking to himself in the corner and indicated that it would take one more Carbon Footprint. He went for the move, but Anderson avoided it and hit another Mic Check. It took Anderson some time to cover Morgan, who kicked out.
Anderson went for another Mic Check, but Morgan elbowed his way out. Anderson caught Morgan with a flying elbow or forearm that made Morgan woozy. Morgan leaned down to pick up Anderson, who caught him with an inside cradle to get the pin. Taz pointed out that after all the high powered offense, it was an inside cradle that won the match for Anderson.
After the match, the wannabe NWO music played. Eric Bischoff came out with a chair in hand and didn't get much of a crowd reaction. Bischoff set up the chair in the middle of the ring and said it wasn't what Anderson was thinking. Bischoff said he wasn't going to make Anderson wait for his title shot. Bischoff introduced Jeff Hardy while Anderson sold the after effects of his match in the corner.
Jeff Hardy came out dressed in non-wrestling gear with a cigarette in his mouth. He stopped on the ramp and lit the cigarette. He took a few puffs as he slowly made his way to the ring. He eventually put out the cigarette on the floor...
Powell's POV: Obviously, the idea is that Bischoff wants Hardy to get Anderson while he's beaten down from his previous match.
9. Mr. Anderson pinned Jeff Hardy to win the TNA Title. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate, but Anderson kicked out 30 seconds into the match. Hardy worked the match in his clothes, which included a tie. He picked up Anderson again and hit another Twist of Fate. Anderson kicked out again.
Hardy got Anderson up to his knees and then Anderson flung Hardy to the floor. Matt Morgan was still at ringside. Morgan hit Hardy with a discuss clothesline and rolled him back inside the ring. Anderson made the cover, but Hardy kicked out this time. Anderson and Hardy traded punches.
Anderson hit a neckbreaker and went for a cover, but Hardy kicked out at 4:15. Hardy got the better of Anderson again and grabbed a chair at ringside. Mick Foley ran out and took the chair from Hardy. Ric Flair walked down the ramp and wanted to go after Foley, but security stood between them.
Hardy went to the top rope with Anderson down in the ring. Anderson stood up and crotched Hardy on the top rope. Hardy ended up pushing Anderson off and then hit him with the Swanton, but Anderson kicked out again. He came up bleeding from the forehead.
Later, Hardy called for his brother to come out. Matt ran down to help, but Rob Van Dam came out and cut him off. Bischoff climbed inside the ring and wound up to hit Anderson with a chair, but Anderson kicked him and then hit the Mic Check. Jeff entered the ring and went for the Twist of Hate, but Anderson countered with the Mic Check and got the clean pin.
After the match, Anderson celebrated and called for a fan to join him in the ring. The fan complied, but he didn't last long in the ring. Anderson called for his mic and introduced himself as the new TNA Champion. He did his "Mr. Anderson" routine, which the crowd wasn't very hot for despite the fact that they were hot for Anderson winning the title...
Powell's POV: A logical move given Jeff Hardy's court hearing January 20. Of course, that doesn't justify the decision to put the title on him in the first place with the court case looming, but that's another story. The title change played out nicely and Anderson looked really strong by kicking out so frequently.
Overall, this turned out to be a strong show. Anderson and Morgan was a good match, and the title change at the end of the night was a big bonus for a show that didn't even have a TNA Title match advertised. Unfortunately, TNA left a lot of chips on the table by not building up Matt Hardy's debut, nor did potential pay-per-view buyers have any clue that a TNA Title change would take place. It was a strong and newsworthy show for those of us who did watch it.
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