Live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Fla. at the Impact Zone
The show opened with a video that recapped Jeff Hardy's 2012 and hyped his title defense against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode... There was a pyro display on the stage and above the ring. Todd Keneley, Taz, and Mike Tenay checked in from the announcers' perch on the stage. Tenay explained the elimination rules of the main event...
1. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan for the TNA Tag Titles. Morgan wore Hulk Hogan's robe for his entrance, while Ryan wore a Hawaiian shirt and not quite matching tights. Morgan had a bandaid on his back. Ryan sold for the champions to start the match.
Ryan caught Chavo with a forearm shot and made the tag. Morgan whipped Guerrero into the corner aggressively and then tagged Ryan back into the match. Ryan dropkicked Chavo and posed for the camera. "Cover him, you moron," Morgan yelled from the corner. Funny.
Chavo tagged Hernandez, who hit a series of power moves. Ryan crawled to the corner and Morgan tagged himself in for a big man showdown. Taz pointed out they are former tag partners. Ryan distracted Hernandez by raking his fingers across his back. Taz said Ryan tagged himself into the match even though he touched Hernandez rather than his partner. Morgan tagged Ryan in without doing much again.
Morgan tagged in again, delivered a headbutt, and tagged out again. The heels isolated Hernandez in their corner and continued to make quick tags. Hernandez tried to fight his way out of the corner, but Morgan caught him with a discus clothesline. Ryan checked in and Hernandez eventually made the tag, but the referee didn't see it. The referee was consistent, as he refused to count a pin by Morgan because he didn't see him tag in.
Chavo finally took the hot tag around 10;30 and worked over Ryan. He did the Eddie shimmy (drink) and then performed the Three Amigos (drink). Chavo went to the top rope, pointed to the sky (drink again), and set up for the the Frogsplash, but Morgan got in his way. Morgan failed to chokeslam both opponents and they eventually double dropkicked him.
Hernandez picked up Ryan for a powerbomb and we saw way more of his thong than we needed to. Hernandez performed a brutal powerbomb on Ryan, who landed awkwardly. Chavo followed up with a frogsplash (drink) and got the pin for his team...
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 12:30.
Powell's POV: Hernandez has a reputation for hurting opponents and this won't help matters. That powerbomb was as sloppy as it gets. The match was fine until then. They did a good job of building up to the hot tag that Chavo took, and, as much as I find it tacky, the crowd responded to his usual Eddie Guerrero tribute.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash spoke about the Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson match that was added to the show today. Anderson appeared on the set and said he was just hanging out with Aces & 8's. He said the same thing that was going to happen to Kurt Angle is going to happen to Joe.
2. Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson. Anderson did his usual entrance schtick on the stage. Joe and Anderson had a big staredown after Joe knocked Anderson's hat off. Anderson took his shirt off, threw it at Joe, and attacked him to start the match. Joe came right back and had the first offensive flurry. Taz defended Anderson by talking about how he's doing what he wants an doesn't need anyone's permission.
Joe went on a roll with his signature offense late, including a suicide dive. He came up holding his knee. Joe followed up with an inverted atomic drop and a big kick followed by a senton. Anderson came back briefly, but Joe caught him with the one-armed slam in the corner. Mike Knox walked to ringside and distracted Joe. Anderson hit the Mic Check and pinned Joe...
Mr. Anderson defeated Samoa Joe in 9:40.
Powell's POV: They can't call him Mike Knox apparently, as Taz referred to him as "that big, nasty member of Aces & 8's." Joe and Anderson haven't always had good in-ring chemistry in the past, but this was solid with Joe hitting his signature moves, and the finish was logical given the current storyline with Anderson and Aces & 8's.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Kenny King, who said Rob Van Dam has gone soft. He said he's not the same guy who was kicking Sabu in the face ten years ago or who almost killed Jerry Lynn. King said he's going to step over Christian York and then put RVD out to the pasture...
Powell's POV: Nice mic work from King. He covered the basics of his issues with Van Dam and acted like York is beneath him.
3. Kenny King vs. Christian York in the X Division tournament finals. They opened with back and forth action and the simultaneous dropkick spot that got a nice reaction from the crowd. King took control and aggressively slammed the back of York's head into the mat repeatedly. King smiled as the referee scolded him. York came back with a nice side suplex.
Late in the match, King caught York with a double knee strike in the corner, but he only got a two count. King failed on a backslide attempt and then pulled York down by the hair. King went for a pin, but York blocked him and covered him for three in the process. King attacked York after the match and left him lying. King called for Rob Van Dam...
Christian York pinned Kenny King in 10:10 to win the X Division tournament.
Rob Van Dam's music played as King was leaving the ring. Christy Hemme went right into the ring announcements...
Powell's POV: King lost the match, yet he was the focus of the match. His heel antics stood out and his bitter attack on York helped further establish his character. From a storyline standpoint, how is it fair that the guy who wins the tournament has to immediately wrestle RVD for the title?
4. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian York for the X Division Title. RVD and the referee showed concern for York, who eventually fought. Van Dam caught him with Rolling Thunder for a two count. The announcers put over the fact that York has been working for a long time to get an opportunity like this and he wasn't going to throw in the towel.
Van Dam controlled early, but York came back with a bit of offense. Van Dam slowed him down with a kick. Van Dam did the thumb point nonsense and was rolled up for a two count. That's right, babyface RVD almost lost the X Division Title because he was pointing at himself.
Van Dam missed a frogsplash. York rolled him up quickly for a two count. Van Dam recovered and went right back on the offensive. Van Dam hit the Five Star Frogsplash and scored the clean pin. Van Dam helped York get to his feet afterwards and applauded his effort before going to the corner and pointing at himself again...
Rob Van Dam defeated Christian York to retain the X Division Title in 5:30.
Powell's POV: Creative did a good job of protecting York via the King attack, and the announcers were effective in putting the heat on King for it. I remain hopeful that King will take the X Division Title and RVD will go back to the heavyweight division. His star power has overshadowed the other wrestlers more than helped them at this point.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Joseph Park, who said he was there to fight. Borash asked him his strategy. He said he didn't want to "kayfab" Borash and noted that he's still a "green hornet" in wrestling. He recalled being held hostage by Aces & 8's. He said tonight he gets his retribution as a trained wrestler who is ready to do battle...
A video recapped Joseph Park's recent history...
5. TNA TV Champion Devon vs. Joseph Park in a non-title match. "Here comes the green hornet," Taz said of Park. Tenay said it will be an uphill battle for Park against Devon due to the experience factor. The crowd came to life with "Let's Go Joseph" chants. Believe it or not, a rival "Let's Go Devon" chant could also be heard.
Devon out-wrestled Park early on. Tenay questioned whether Park wanted to wrestle Devon or fight him. Taz pointed out that Devon is quite a brawler. Devon got down on all fours. Park got the better of this exchange and Devon fled the ring. The crowd roared in approval.
Park got bloodied up when his head was slammed into an exposed turnbuckle. Park channeled Abyss again upon seeing his own blood. Park performed the Black Hole Slam, but then came to as he was setting up for a chokeslam. Park dropped Devon, who rolled him up and got the pin...
Devon pinned Joseph Park in 11:30.
Powell's POV: I believe the story they were trying to tell here is that the Team 3D Academy is better than Ohio Valley Wrestling. Okay, probably not. The match was entertaining as Park continues to be highly entertaining in his role. It was cool to see the crowd rally behind the character.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Austin Aries, who said he and Bobby Roode have agreed to destroy Jeff Hardy and take him out of the picture. He said they know they deserve to be the TNA Champion more than Hardy. He said they will eliminate Hardy and then find out who the greatest professional wrestler is...
Powell's POV: I wish we would have had a lot more talk about the heels working together to take Hardy out of the match in the weeks leading up to this show. They spent most of their time hamming it up and being comedy heels. They never created a sense that Hardy's title reign was at risk despite the fact that he's working with two heels.
6. Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James in a Knockouts Gauntlet match to become No. 1 contender. Taryn Terrell was the referee. Kim and Tessmacher started the match. Kim eliminated Tessmacher in 2:35. ODB was the next entrant. ODB had a good offensive run, but Kim caught her on the ropes, pulled her down, hooked "the bloomers," and pinned her.
Mickie James was out next. James dominated the action. However, Kim rolled through a Mickie rollup attempt and held the shorts for the pin. Taz noted that Mickie's hand appeared to be on the bottom rope during the pin as well. Velvet Sky was the final entrant. Gail attacked Velvet before she could get to the ring and threw her into the ring steps.
Kim went for another cover and held the ropes for leverage. Terrell finally caught her and stopped her count. Velvet came back with a Facebuster and got the pin even though Kim's leg was under the bottom rope. "Turnabout is fair play, good for Velvet," Taz said. Tenay said it's win at all costs...
Velvet Sky won a gauntlet match in 11:55 to become No. 1 contender to the TNA Knockouts Title.
Powell's POV: The story told during this match was that Taryn Terrell is the most incompetent referee in the history of professional wrestling. Somehow, I don't think that's what they were going for. I'm not sure why they felt the need to protect Gail Kim. Sadly, I just assume it's to set up a rematch on Impact that they could have had even without the cheap finish in this match.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Daniels called Borash "Jerome" and said it must be nice to finally have a high class interviewee. He mocked Storm and noted that "Francois" will be his manager for one night. They also played up that the winner of the match will receive a TNA Title match on the January 24 Impact. Daniels said his game plan is to finish his drink, shake his glorious ass in the ring, and kick Storm's horse riding ass...
7. James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels (w/Kazarian) for a TNA Title shot. Daniels targeted Storm's arm consistently throughout the match. Storm made quick comebacks for two counts, including after he hit the Eye of the Storm. He did a good job of counting out the pin to help sell it as a potential finisher.
Storm followed up with his finishing sequence and went for the Last Call superkick, but Daniels ducked it. Daniels hit the Angel's Wings suplex and went for a cover, but Storm kicked out. Daniels went for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Storm put his knees up.
Storm hit Closing Time twice. Storm set up for the Last Call, but Kazarian climbed onto the ring apron. Daniels caught Storm with a urinage and put his feet on the ropes while getting the pin. Daniels ran to ringside and yelled, "I did it!" Daniels kissed a young female fan on the cheek as part of his celebration. Funny...
Christopher Daniels defeated James Storm in 13:25 to earn a TNA Title shot on the January 24 edition of TNA Impact television show.
Powell's POV: Wait, is Storm the guy who is down on his luck or is that A.J. Styles? It's hard to keep track. Does this finish foreshadow Jeff Hardy winning the main event? I guess it doesn't have to. It would be fitting if Storm talked Daniels into putting his title match on the line this week since he's been duped into doing that a couple times now. Daniels continues to be one of the most entertaining acts in the industry.
A video recapped the Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray engagement...
Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan walked to the ring. Bully told Brooke that she looks hot. He said they are getting married Thursday night on Impact on Spike TV. He asked Brooke who she thought they should invite to the wedding. He mentioned the Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga. She whispered into his ear. "She just said we should invite every single one of you in the Impact Zone," Ray said.
Powell's POV: Were they going to have the first ever empty arena wedding?
Ray asked the fans if they are going to the wedding and then recorded them cheering for his Twittah Machine. "Awesome," he said. "Seriously, like I said I'm not much for this feelings crap and all of this emotional stuff, but thank you for saying yes. You make me very happy. Thank you guys for having our back on this whole situation." Ray and Brooke left the ring...
Powell's POV: Bully managed to work up the crowd by recording them, but he let it end on such a flat note. That felt like a commercial for Impact, which I have to think people watching the pay-per-view will be watching anyway.
A video recapped the Sting and Aces & 8's drama...
8. Sting vs. DOC. Sting and DOC fought at ringside and into the crowd area before the match. Sting got the better of the brawl, but two members of Aces & 8's came out and put the boots to him. DOC brought Sting to the ring and the other Aces & 8's members left. DOC rolled Sting inside the ring and the bell rang to start the match.
They fought to ringside and DOC got the better of it and mocked the fans. Sting fought back and they went back inside the ring. A "Let's Go Sting" chant started and faded because DOC was on the offensive. Sting eventually came back with repeated clotheslines and punches. He followed up with the Stinger Splash and the Scorpion Death Drop for the clean pin.
After the match, members of Aces & 8's came out and were about to go after Sting. Bully Ray ran out with a chain and scared them off. Ray entered the ring and shook Sting's hand. Ray pointed to Sting as he played to the crowd...
Sting pinned DOC in 5:50.
Powell's POV: Not a good performance from Sting. His punches looked soft and the big one at the end was the worst of the bunch. The crowd was still responsive, but it wasn't much fun to watch at home. Ray running off Aces & 8's and continuing to earn Sting's trust has to make you think he's going to be revealed as an Aces & 8's member on Thursday. I think it would be fun if Brooke was actually with him rather than Hulk's poor gullible daughter.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Bobby Roode and asked him about possible collusion between he and Austin Aries. Roode said the answer is yes. He said he and Aries haven't seen eye to eye, but they agree that Jeff Hardy does not deserve to be TNA Champion. Roode said when you think of a World Champion, you think of men like Aries and "the man." Roode said the match will come down to the two greatest wrestlers today. He said Aries has scored fluke victories over him before, but tonight is different because he's taking home the TNA Championship...
Powell's POV: A good promo from Roode. He came off confident in what he was saying, not like a guy who was struggling to remember his lines. I still wish they would have played up this collusion storyline on television rather than have Roode and Aries bumble around like the Keystone Cops and look completely inferior to Hardy even in two-on-one situations.
A video set up the main event... Tenay ran through the tale of the tape, which once again had nothing to do with measurements... Ring entrances took place with Aries, Roode, and Hardy entering in that order. Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match...
9. Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode in a three-way elimination match for the TNA Title. Brian Hebner was the referee for the match. The heels made good on their threat to double up on Hardy, but it wasn't very effective out of the gate, as Hardy got the better of them. Tenay or Keneley said Hardy was taking a "divide and conquer" approach.
The heels made a comeback. Hardy took his shirt off and set them up for a double Swanton, but they caught him on the ropes and put the boots to him. There were chants for Aries and Hardy, but Roode didn't get any love from the chanting members of the live crowd. Roode covered Hardy, but he kicked out. Aries immediately covered Hardy, but he kicked out.
At 8:00, Roode and Aries set Hardy on the top rope and took turns hitting him. Aries went to the ropes for a move, but Roode pulled him down and said he had it. Roode performed a superplex on Hardy and covered him, but Hardy kicked out. Aries and Roode bickered a bit.
At 9:15, Roode put Aries on his shoulders. They went to the corner where Hardy was seated on the ropes and set up for a "super duper plex" as Taz called it, but Hardy fought them off. Hardy performed a Twist of Fate onto Aries while Aries was on Roode's shoulders. "That was frickin' awesome," Taz said.
At 11:00, Roode held Hardy at ringside. Aries went for a suicide dive. Hardy broke free, and Aries ended up diving onto Roode. Hardy followed up by springboarding off the ring steps and crashing into Hardy. Hardy went up top for a Swanton on Roode, but Aries recovered and knocked him off. Hardy front suplexed Aries onto Roode. Hardy performed a second rope splash on Roode for a two count at 12:45.
Roode and Aries came back and Roode directed Aries to go for his finisher at 15:30. Aries went to the top rope and performed the 450 splash while Roode held Hardy's legs. However, Roode moved Hardy out of the way. Roode performed a fisherman's suplex on Aries for a two count to end their run as a team.
At 16:50, Roode charged at Aries, who blocked him and applied the Last Chancery. Roode poked Austin's eyes to break the hold. Roode applied the Crossface. Aries rolled over and turned it into a pin to break it up. Aries and Roode continued to trade offense while Hardy remained outside the ring.
At 18:10, Aries nailed a missile dropkick on Roode and followed up with a dropkick in the corner. Aries caught Roode in a backslide and Hardy reentered the ring and put his legs on Roode's for leverage to eliminate Roode at 18:50.
The match came down to Hardy and Aries. Hardy kicked Aries and performed the Twist of Fate. He went for the move a second time, but Aries blocked it. Hardy came right back with the move while standing on the ring apron, causing Aries to take the move through the ropes and (barely) on the ring apron. Hardy followed up with a Swanton Bomb and scored the pin to win the match. Tenay put it over as one of the gutsiest and most courageous performances ever...
Jeff Hardy defeated Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in a three-way elimination match to retain the TNA Title in 20:20.
Powell's POV: A very good main event and easily the best match of the night. I was surprised to see Roode and Aries both stay in the match as long as they did. TNA did themselves a big time disservice by not portraying Roode and Aries as serious contenders going into the match. I just can't get over the way they made Hardy look so dominate over two bumbling heels. They had to cost themselves some pay-per-view buys by taking that approach.
Overall, the main event must have felt big time to those who didn't catch the television show hype. The rest of the show felt like a B-Show. Hopefully this will be the last time a TNA event feels that way now that TNA is scaling back to four live pay-per-view events per year. I'll have more to say about TNA Genesis in tonight's member exclusive audio review and in tomorrow's TNA Genesis Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me.