“The End Of The Beginning/The Beginning Of The End” ~Or~ “You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello”
Greetings, “True-Believers!” Let me start off my first Impact recap by paying homage to Brother Steve for all of his hard work (and Lord knows watching this show can be hard work sometimes) … I’ll try to keep up the standard he set. For those of you that don’t know me, well allow me to reintroduce myself … My name is Hov! Actually it’s not, but I couldn’t pass up the easy joke. My name is Nate Milton, AKA “The Godfather,” AKA “TNAte.” I’m ⅓ of The Kings Of Sport Podcast (available on this very site) and I’m a lifelong wrestling fan. Growing up in the south, I was never a huge fan of the WWF/WWE. Of course I watched their programming … but I was always partial to promotions like WCCW, the USWA and of course, NWA/WCW. So when that company went under, it just seemed natural to become a fan of Jeff Jarrett’s fledgling TNA promotion. Flash-forward 11 years and it seems that I’ve become an unlikely advocate (some would say apologist) for this company. And that brings us to my new role as your weekly Impact recapper. So without any further ado, let’s get to it!
This week TNA presented night two of its Genesis “PPV on TV” from Huntsville, Alabama. To bring everyone up to speed, here’s the quick results of night one last week:
— We saw the debut of The
American Wolves in a backstage segment that also introduced the impending arrival of a mysterious new “Investor.” (Is it that Nathan Favel guy from Indiegogo???)
— Team Sting (Samoa Joe, James Storm, Gunner, Joe Park, Eric Young & ODB) Def. Team Dixie (Bad Influence, The Bro-Mans, DJ Zema Ion, & Lei’D Tapa) in a 12-person tag match.
— Bully Ray Def. Ken Anderson in a surprisingly good No DQ match.
— Madison Rayne Def. Gail Kim (w/Lei’D Tapa) to win the Knockouts Title.
— Ethan Carter III Def. Sting to set up Sting vs. Magnus this week.
And now, let’s get into this week’s thrilling conclusion to “Genesis”…
Week two in Huntsville opens up with a backstage segment shot earlier in the day with Dixie Carter, Rockstar Spud, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus and Dixie’s lawyer (was anyone else hoping her lawyer was going to be Clarence Mason?). Basically they talk about the new investor and what avenues they have to fight him/her. They also state that the investor has asked that Sting be allowed someone in his corner tonight during his match with Magnus.
Magnus then appears in the ring with Spud and Ethan Carter III. The three of them ran down “The Man Called” Sting until said man made his way to the ring. Magnus accused Sting of being the investor, insulted his manhood and brought up their match at Bound For Glory 2013. Sting replied that he didn’t know who the investor was and while he did lose the match at BFG, he got back on his feet like a man. The crowd chantd “Paper Champion” at Magnus, who responded by slapping The Stinger. Sting laughed before punching Magnus into the corner. ECIII and Spud jumped Sting which brought out Samoa Joe as the man in Sting’s corner.
We go to a video package setting up James Storm vs. Gunner tonight with the TNA Title shot on a pole (Is Russo back?). Then we head backstage where Dixie sets up a match between Rockstar Spud & Samoa Joe for later tonight.
Our first match of the night is Gunner vs. “The Cowboy” James Storm in match #151 in the feud that will not die. Tonight’s match is a briefcase on a pole match with the winner getting a TNA Title shot. Gunner and Storm spend most of the match brawling. Both men attempt to climb the pole with little success. At the 5-minute mark, Storm climbs to the top rope and grabs the briefcase, but Gunner hit him with the Electric Chair, and Storm dropped the case as both men hit the mat. Taz & Mike Tenay explained to us that since Storm lost possession of the case on the way down. It was now a “live ball” and the first man to retrieve the case would win the match. Storm got one hand on the case before Gunner hit him with a headbutt and grabbed the case to win the match and retain his title shot. Winner: Gunner at 5:43
Thoughts: All I could think about during this match was how cold James Storm is right now. This is a guy that has all the talent in the world and should be presented as one of the company’s top stars. IMO, Storm should have won the match setting up a Magnus/Storm program. Gunner’s a solid worker, but he has no business being in the main event picture right now.
Up next, we get a promo for the Angle-Roode cage match later tonight. Angle must win in order to be inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame. Then we go to an Impact 24/7/365 piece featuring Velvet Sky. Vel-Vel gets a package from Chris Sabin “apologizing” for his actions the previous week. Sabin says he knows Velvet will do the right thing tonight during his X-Division Title match against Austin Aries. Velvet opens the package and finds a Teddy Bear … and a lead pipe.
That bit of drama takes us to Match #2 – Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries for the X-Division Title. Velvet Sky comes out with Sabin’s package (minds out of the gutter, people!), then she gets into the ringside cage. Some good action early on, as you’d expect from these two. After A-Double gets the advantage, Sabin rolls outside and grabs the gift bag from Velvet. But instead of the pipe … it’s the teddy bear! Sabin freaks out, takes a double axe handle from Aries, followed by his dropkick/brainbuster finishing combo.
Winner: Austin Aries at 5:10 to capture the X-Division Title and presumably this feud continues.
Thoughts: A solid match for what it was … but everything about the X-Division right now feels flat and playing hot potato with the belt isn’t helping.
Next up was maybe my favorite non-cage match segment of the night. The
American Wolves promo video. Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards asked why Dixie would ask them to dance for their meal when she knows what they are capable of. Richards said they don’t dance for their food … they hunt and they dominate their prey. Edwards said TNA’s new investor signed them. He also said they are just the start of a change. Edwards said the investor will be revealed next week in Glasgow, Scotland.
After the break we come back to our third match of the night (and the real main event, IMO) … Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode in a steel cage match with Angle’s TNA legacy on the line. This was a very physical match with a lot of the typical cage match spots thrown in. That’s not a slam, though … tropes are not always bad and just because a spot is familiar, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not effective. Roode was on offense for most of the early portion of the match before Kurt came back and hit his German suplex. Both men then made their way to the top rope where they jockeyed for position. Angle smashed Roode’s head into the side of the cage which sent Roode down to the mat. Angle climbed up the cage and sat on top of the wall. But instead of climbing out for the win, Kurt went to the corner, climbed onto the top of the cage and went for his moonsault off the top of the cage! Roode moved out of the way and Angle crashed down to the mat as the crowd went nuts. Roode tries to take advantage of Kurt’s mistake and made his way towards the cage door. Roode was halfway out of the cage before Angle grabbed his leg and pulled him back in with the ankle lock. Roode reversed the ankle lock and hit a Roode-Bomb. Roode then tried to climb out of the cage, but Angle stopped him with a top-rope Angle Slam. Angle covered him for the win, but Roode kicked out at two. Angle tried to climb out of the cage, but Roode stopped him and both men exchanged punches while standing on the ropes. Angle hit Roode with a punch to the gut, which led to Roode crotching himself on the ropes. Angle then climbs out of the cage while Roode crawled towards the cage door. Angle climbed down halfway before jumping down to the floor for the win. Winner: Kurt Angle at 14:50.
Thoughts: I loved that they gave this match plenty of time to develop. Not only did they give them time, but they didn’t interrupt the flow of the match with a commercial break. Angle & Roode have fantastic chemistry together and this match was another in a long line of good matches between the two.
The announcers played up the magnitude (pop-pop!) of Angle’s win as we went to the back to find ECIII giving Spud a pep talk. I love these two together. They’re quite possibly my favorite mid-card act in all of wrestling right now. After the greatness of Spud & ECIII, we return to the ring for one of the most annoying promos in recent memory. The Bro-Mans and DJ Zema are running down Eric Young & Joseph Park when EY comes to the ring and delivers a dropkick to DJ Zema. Mike Tenay hypes the Tag Title match next week in Scotland as the heels get the numbers advantage. Abyss’ music hits and he comes down and clears the ring of the Bro-Mans before hitting DJ Zema with the Shock Treatment. Abyss then grabs EY by the throat before letting him go and this angle rolls on. (do you realize it’s been nearly 2 years since they started the Joe Park character?)
Up next, more backstage fun as Samoa Joe cuts a very good promo on Spud & the Carters. Then the cameras catch up to Kurt Angle who gives a heartfelt goodbye to Sting that felt pretty real (damn real).
Then we head to the ring for our next match, Samoa Joe vs. Rockstar Spud. Some nice comedy early on with Spud showing plenty of fire. But soon Joe takes over and hits him with the Musclebuster followed by the Kokina Clutch for the quick submission win. Winner: Samoa Joe in 2:27. Joe then grabbed the mic and told Dixie that if they wanted to get to Sting, they had to go through him tonight.
Thoughts: Although this was a squash match, it did serve the purpose of continuing the story of Samoa Joe’s renewed passion and his hatred for The Carter regime. It also made great use of Rockstar Spud’s comedic talents.
Back from the break, Tenay & Taz stressed the importance of the main event. They said there would either be a new champion or Sting’s TNA contract would be ripped up tonight. And that leads us to the main event of “Genesis”… Magnus vs. Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Jeremy Borash started things off with his former ring introduction as the camera zoomed in on a sign that read “Magnus Wears Panties.” I don’t know which is more upsetting, the fact that someone actually spent time making that sign, or that someone in the production truck felt the need to show that sign and hold that shot for 10-15 seconds. Anyway, the match between the Man Called Sting and the man who wears women’s drawers begins with Sting staying one step ahead of his former protege’. Both men brawl for a bit before hitting each other with a double-clothesline. This brings out ECIII and his Aunt Dixie. ECIII started walking down the ramp before Samoa Joe cut him off as they went to a commercial. Back from break, Sting teased the Scorpion Deathlock, but Bad Influence came down to ringside to attack Joe, allowing ECIII to go after Sting. But, Joe entered the ring and cleared heels to the outside. Sting and Joe stood tall in the ring then Joe delivered his flying elbow through the ropes to the heels on the floor.
Back in the ring, Sting hit Magnus with the Scorpion Deathdrop. Sting had the pin, but DJ Zema pulled the ref out of the ring. Joe attacked DJ Zema, but the Bro-Mans came out and slammed Jo into the ring steps. The heels then dog-piled on Sting before Kurt Angle ran out to save his former MEM brother. Sting got the advantage on Magnus before Bobby Roode came out and clotheslined The Icon from behind. Magnus then hit his finisher on Sting as Dixie forced Earl Hebner to come out and make the three-count. Winner: Magnus at 13:21 to retain the World Title and end Sting’s TNA career. After the match, Dixie did some sort of happy-dance and tore up Sting’s contract. Tenay & Taz sold shock and plugged next week’s show and the reveal of the secret investor.
Thoughts: Where do I begin? Not only was this virtually a carbon copy of AJ Styles final match with TNA, but it simultaneously de-valued your babyface roster while making Magnus look weak as a champion. They also didn’t allow the moment time to breathe. As a longtime fan of Sting & TNA, I would have liked to have seen them take a break and then come back with Sting shaking hands with Kurt & Joe while the fans show their appreciation for a guy that has given 7+ years of his life to this promotion. Oh well. Vaya Con Dios Brother Borden ….good luck in, Stamford (allegedly)!
Final Thoughts: I thought this show was a bit of a mess overall. Outside of the Angle-Roode cage match, there wasn’t a lot to sink your teeth into this week. Sting losing didn’t feel like a huge deal, Magnus didn’t feel like the top heel and I’m not looking forward to the secret investor reveal. This was a 4/10 show in my book. Not terrible, but not really good either. I’m looking forward to Impact in the UK, as the product always feels fresher and more important over there. If MVP is the secret investor as has been rumored, I don’t look forward to it. I think MVP is a fantastic worker who got royally screwed in the WWE … but that doesn’t mean he’ll make a good authority figure. If anything, MVP should be the new investor’s top guy and build towards a feud with Magnus. But what do I know? I’m not a booker … I’m just a passionate fan that does weekly TNA recaps on the internet. And on that note, I hope you enjoyed my first TNA Impact recap. Any feedback/constructive criticism is certainly welcome. I’ll see you back here next week as we talk Impact Wrestling from Glasgow, Scotland!