Date: November 11, 2007
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West
Continuing our trip through 2007 TNA we have Genesis. The main event is one of TNA’s favorites: a tag match with the world title on the line. There isn’t much else here other than the final of a tournament with perhaps the most complicated stipulations that have ever existed in a wrestling tournament, and when you think about it that covers A LOT of ground. Let’s get to it.
We open with the National Anthem. I don’t know if this was held on a holiday or what.
The opening video talks about a new beginning and being in a brand new world. Sting’s partner in the main event is a mystery partner which was mostly spoiled before this show.
A limo is outside.
Black Reign vs. Abyss
No DQ of course since it’s an Abyss match. Reign is Goldust and has a workshop of horrors or some jazz like that. They start brawling in the aisle with Abyss taking over to start. Into the ring and they slug it out a bit. Ok forget about that as we’re back on the floor again. Abyss breaks a piece of wood or plaster over Reign’s head. Into the crowd as I lay corrected: this isn’t No DQ. It’s a Black Reign Shop of Horrors match. How clumsy of me.
They fight up the ramp where there’s a big box standing up. Reign pulls out a key but can’t get inside. Instead he sends Abyss down the ramp and into the ring again. Reign takes over with some clotheslines and now it’s time to go hardcore. Abyss takes over and pulls out the barbed wire bat. They go up the ramp again and Abyss grabs a chokeslam to put Reign through a table off the stage.
Back to the ring and Abyss grabs a board covered in mouse traps. Did we teleport into a Japanese death match? Now Abyss puts Reign’s hands into a vice to injure the fingers. Instead Abyss grabs Reign’s rat but James Mitchell saves it from a PETA assault. The rat goes into Mitchell’s shirt but Abyss is sent into the traps….for two. There are some kendo stick shots and Reign loads up brass knuckles. He walks into a Black Hole Slam and gets pinned for his efforts though.
Rating: C-. This match had rat traps, a rat, and vices. What does this have to do with wrestling again? Another thing: how exactly can this be Reign’s specialty match if it’s never happened before? Apparently he’s not that good at it as he’s lost the only one that has ever existed. Never let it be said Russo didn’t have 1000 names for a hardcore match.
Post match Abyss opens up the box from earlier and finds the debuting Rellik. They beat Abyss down and lock him in the box. The box is shoved off the stage and that’s it. Did this whole segment really warrant the first 20 minutes of a PPV? Seriously?
Jeremy can’t find out who is in the limo even though Kurt asked him to.
We run down the card that the fans already paid for. I still don’t get that.
We recap Team 3D vs. the Guns. The idea here is that the Dudleys hate the small guys that fly around all over the place. They would go to war with it for months which resulted in very little although the matches weren’t that bad.
The Guns say this is about taking their rightful place on the list of great teams.
Team 3D vs. Motor City Machine Guns
It’s the second brawl on the ramp to start the match tonight. The Guns take over with their speed early on and bust out some nifty double teaming stuff. The Dudleys start to walk off and then go after the announcers for a bit. Ok back to the match with Bubba vs. Sabin in the first official pairing of the match. A slick hurricanrana sends Ray into Shelley and Ray is frustrated. Off to D-Von who gets two off a side slam/legdrop combo.
Sabin literally dives into a tag to Shelley who fires off some strikes to take over. Ray breaks up some double teaming and D-Von takes over on Alex for a bit. Some chinlocking is broken up by an enziguri but he can’t make the tag. Ray comes in and the guy is pretty awesome as an evil jerk. Ray challenges D-Von to see who can hit Shelley harder. Now that’s just mean.
Back to that chinlock which D-Von could at least flex on. Shelley gets a big old kick in and both guys are down. There’s your hot tag and Sabin cleans at least the basement and ground floor. Tornado DDT gets two on D-Von. As the Guns double team D-Von, Ray shouts in encouragement. “Come on D-Von! Come on! OH MY GOD!” That last part was when the Guns hit a dropkick to send him to the floor.
This actually is pretty solid stuff, mainly as the Guns are very exciting to watch. A rana sets up a frog splash for two. Ray comes back in and kills both of them with a double clothesline. Hey Alex, What’s Up? It’s Table Time and I don’t get why. Do they think they’ll get away with it? Even the Dudleys aren’t that stupid. The Guns take over again and the High Low gets two. Ray grabs his belt and whips Sabin with it a little.
Dudleyville Device gets two. A table is set up in the corner but Sabin walks up the table and backflips to the ring (think Bryan in the corner but much faster and impressive looking). D-Von is sent through the table but that isn’t a DQ for no apparent reason. The Guns hit their series of kicks to Ray and we’re done.
Rating: B. Entertaining match here, odd rule choices aside. This was power vs. speed and you really don’t need to do much more than that most of the time. The matches are almost always fun and this was exactly that. This would lead into a months long feud which eventually incorporated Johnny Devine and Jay Lethal over the X-Title. It would also result in a fish market street fight but we’ve covered that before.
Angle yells at JB for not being able to find out who is in the limo. Angle is paranoid and accuses Nash, his partner later on, of being in on this. Nash chokes him against the wall and says they can fight after they get rid of Sting and the mystery partner.
We recap the Knockout Title match. Basically, Kim won the first title at BFG and is in a four way for her first title defense.
Knockout Title: Angel Williams vs. Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Roxxi Laveux
Williams is Angelina Love before she meant anything other than a good looking blonde. She doesn’t have those ugly arm tattoos either. This might be ODB’s debut match. Actually she was at BFG. Good enough. Gail says she isn’t losing the title after a month. The New Age Outlaws (Voodoo Kin Mafia here) are at ringside for Roxxi. Gail fights off all three of them to start and does it pretty easily. One of the Outlaws tries to interfere and they’re out of here.
Now Roxxi is hypnotizing the referee. Gail is taken down on the floor as Love is beaten down. We get the required spanking as my eyes roll. Roxxi and ODB have something like a dance off and ODB rams Roxxi’s head into her crotch. A bicycle kick by Love takes Roxxi down and thank goodness Gail is back. There’s a cross body to the floor to take out Roxxi. ODB beats on Angelina a bit but the blonde gets a pretty sweet counter into a DDT for two.
The Tower of Doom puts out every non-champion. Scratch that idea as Gail hits a missile dropkick to Roxxi and everyone is down. Now they slug it out and I think we’re wrapping things up. A dropkick puts Roxxi down and a middle rope leg lariat gets two. Roxxi spits something in ODB’s eyes and gets speared down. Gail hits a Regal Cutter on ODB to retain.
Rating: C-. This was as plain and basic of a four way match as you could ask for. That being said it’s pretty entertaining and things worked out fairly well here to leg Kim have her first title defense. That being said, any match where we can look at Kim in tiny white shorts for about ten minutes makes it good to me.
Post match Kong comes out to stare down Kim, setting up their eventual feud.
Karen boobs her way into the limo but finds Eric Young and James Storm trying to have a drinking contest. Storm as a comedy character isn’t bad.
X-Division Title: Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
They’re partners who are having a face vs. face match. Lethal is champion and is dating So Cal Val here. Scratch that as they haven’t hooked up yet. Dutt and Jay hug pre-match but in a manly way. Things start fast and it’s a stalemate. They botch something but try to turn it into a backslide by Jay. They reverse some pinfalls and Sonjay slaps him to tense things up a bit.
There’s a harder slap and Lethal fires back. Now he offers a hug as we’re playing some mind games. Dutt throws him to the floor and there’s a HUGE flip dive by Sonjay. There’s something cool about just whipping one of those out. The fans are split now. Dutt takes over and hits a double knee to the chest for two. Lethal tries to get something going but jumps into a dropkick for two.
Dutt seems to be questioning his mid-match heel turn and the delay lets Lethal get a middle rope leg lariat to put both of them down. Moonsault press gets two for the champion. Springboard missile dropkick sends Dutt to the floor and there’s a suicide dive as Lethal is in control. Back inside they speed things up and exchange some counters until Jay gets in a solid kick for two.
Dutt goes up for a moonsault but Jay rolls away. Dutt doesn’t miss a beat and lands on his feet where he hits a standing moonsault for two. Lethal shoves him off so Dutt hits a running standing shooting star press for two. The fans say that was awesome and for once they’re right. Dutt plays possum and grabs a cutter but doesn’t let go and rolls back into a his camel clutch finisher. Lethal grabs the rope quickly as this has to be close to finished. Lethal is all ticked off and fires off punches in the corner but charges into a pendulum kick. Dutt tries to get too fancy and walks into the Lethal Combination. The big elbow retains the title.
Rating: B. Where did this come from??? This was a very fun match with them cranking it up time after time. I can see why this feud went on forever as they kept trying to hit this level again or even top it. This is what the smaller guys are all about: having a fast paced match to entertain the crowd and it worked very well here. Fun match.
They hug post match. Val is called into the ring and Dutt throws his flowers around. Cue Team 3D for the big heel beatdown and Dutt takes a big 3D. Here’s one for Lethal as well. Ray says the Guns cheated so they’re taking the title belt hostage.
Nash says the mystery partner is not Scott Hall. Nash leaves and we hear Storm and Young having the drinking contest again. Young stays in it and Storm is ticked off. More in 20 minutes.
Tag Titles: AJ Styles/Tomko vs. Steiner Brothers
Yes, those Steiner Brothers. In 2007. They’re faces here and AJ set this up by challenging Scott to a takedown contest. Rick is in a Steiner Brothers t-shirt and workout pants. I think that’s better for everyone. Scott vs. AJ starts us off and AJ’s luck isn’t very good here. Scott beats AJ like he stole something but Tomko’s distraction lets AJ hit a jumping enziguri (not the Pele) and a dive over the top to take over.
Steiner grabs the spinning belly to belly and it’s off to Rick vs. Tomko. At least the workout pants have bulldogs on them. A Death Valley Driver puts Tomko down but the champs take over and make him the face in peril. And scratch that as a Steiner Line brings in Scott. Tomko grabs a powerbomb and AJ adds a splash for two. Scott has a chain hanging from his beard. That can’t be a good idea.
Rick comes in off the not very hot tag and cleans house on the champions. The Steiners load up the Steiner Bulldog to AJ and I shudder with Rick on top for a big move. It actually doesn’t kill Styles but Tomko has to make the save anyway. Scott and Tomko have a brawl on the floor as Rick powerbombs AJ. The referee is down on the floor thanks to the brawl so Rick’s cover doesn’t matter. Somehow a chair gets into the ring and Styles kicks Rick low and a chair shot ends this.
Rating: D+. I have no idea what the point of this was. The Steiners hadn’t meant anything in about 12 years at this point but it’s the TNA attitude of once a draw, always a draw. This was nothing to see at all and the match was pretty weak, especially with the champs having to cheat to win. They would hold the titles for a then record 6 months.
We recap Joe vs. Roode. Roode jumped Joe to save Christian for no apparent reason so Joe knocked Roode out of the Fight for the Right Tournament. Miss Brooks cost Roode….something so he yelled at her even more. This gets the music video treatment.
Roode says he isn’t afraid of Joe. Ms. Brooks wants to know who Roode’s stalker fan is.
Robert Roode vs. Samoa Joe
Joe gets the full Samoan dancers entrance. Roode runs away immediately but doesn’t get far. Joe runs quickly for a fat boy. We get into the usual stuff and Joe fires off the suicide elbow to the floor. Roode is sat in a chair as the fans call for the Ole Kick. The kick is caught and Roode slams the foot into the chair instead as he takes over. The brawl goes both ways for a bit until Joe sends him into the steps and into the ring we go.
The Samoan chops on Roode’s chest while he’s sat on the ropes but Roode snaps off a Blockbuster for two. Roode chokes away but HE HAS TIL FIVE! There’s a Hennig neck snap and Roode slaps him around a little bit. A clothesline gets two. Time for a long chinlock as this feels like one of those matches that gets way too much time. Of course it could be just that Roode is dull in the ring but who knows?
Now it’s a sleeper as the time waster of choice. Roode is sent to the apron for a bit and jumps back into a cutter in a pretty cool looking counter. Joe takes over with his running strikes….and Miss Brooks is out cold. This was a “legit” fainting but after it was called legit, reports came out that said Russo told her to do it and didn’t tell anyone else.
Joe hits a snap powerslam for two, followed by the powerbomb-Boston crab-STF sequence. Roode escapes the Clutch and manages to sneak in a low blow as well. There’s the release Rock Bottom but Roode hits the northern lariat for two. Roode was in that bad spot a heel gets into at times where he didn’t have a solid enough finisher so he’ll try whatever he can, like that piledriver which gets two. Fisherman’s suplex is countered though and a MuscleBuster ends this clean.
Rating: C. Like I said earlier, the problem here is that the match ran too long. It wasn’t bad but Roode wasn’t worth watching at all around this point and it was pretty clear that was the case. Joe would move on to a long feud with Angle where he would eventually win the title while Roode would eventually feud with Sting’s mystery partner.
Kurt is worried about the main event while Karen says chill. They get into a huge argument and leave. They go out to the limo as Karen says chill. Kurt goes after the security guards but Sting comes in to beat him back.
We recap the Fight for the Right Tournament. Oh boy explaining the Fight for the Right Tournament. This is like the teenage wet dream of a young Vince Russo that adult Vince Russo would smile at and say “if only…if only.” Then imagine if that actually happened. There were only two. Here’s the format for the second year (this one) which is actually less insane.
This is where the legendarily bad reverse battle royal began. Well, it began in the 2006 version but it was in Fight for the Right. So you have 16 people start on the floor. The first 8 people that can get into the ring advance to part two. The other 8 are eliminated. The other 8 will be placed into a single elimination tournament.
The seeds for that tournament (a tournament inside of a tournament remember) will be determined by the order of elimination (first out is the 8 seed, second is the 7 seed, winner is the 1 seed etc). Since it’s TNA, the #1 seed (Eric Young) lost. There was a first round draw so two people never involved (Christian and Joe) were inserted into a one-on-one match because a bye just couldn’t happen.
Junior Fatu (Rikishi) won in the first round but was also injured so Chris Harris somehow took his place. The finals were Christian vs. Kaz and it took place on Impact. However there was interference so the solution: HAVE THE FINAL AGAIN! This time it’s a ladder match because a gimmick match on PPV wasn’t in the original plans or something.
Just for fun, here’s the design of the original (2006) tournament which thankfully was all on TV.
This one also started with the reverse battle royal, because a regular one, as in a match that has gone on for years, wasn’t good enough for Old Vinny Ru. This time you had 18 people start and the first seven in had a regular battle royal. Once we got down to two people, they had a regular match. The winner of that (Abyss) advanced to a triple threat which served as the finals.
The man who lost the one on one match (Lance Hoyt) was the #1 seed (lost in the first round) in a six man tournament. There were three singles matches (one was somehow for the X-Division Title which AJ won) and the winners went on to a triple threat final of the tournament. The winner of that tournament went on to face Abyss in the final of the tournament (not the tournament within a tournament mind you. The tournament that the tournament inside the tournament is inside of) which Abyss won (he also won the title from Sting).
Got all that?
Christian says Kaz isn’t going to use him as a stepping stone. He tells AJ and Tomko to stay in the back.
Christian vs. Kaz
Winner gets a shot at the champion at some point in the future. Remember that it’s a ladder match. Kaz hammers away with some kicks and there’s the first ladder. Christian picks it up so Kaz hits a spinning dive over the top onto said ladder which hurts him more than the Canadian. Christian is bleeding right around the eye. Here’s ladder junior and it’s bridged between the ring and the barricade.
Kaz gets laid out on it and Christian goes up top. He drops a frog splash on Kaz, but the ladder is all like IS THAT ALL YOU GOT? THAT AIN’T GONNA BREAK ME BOY! That eye of Christian looks bad. Kaz moves out of the way and spins Christian into the ladder in the corner. He sandwiches Christian behind a ladder in the corner but on a charge Christian PELTS the ladder at Kaz, sending him down. The crowd is already way into this.
Christian does a few more painful things to Kaz but his attempt at the contract doesn’t work. Kaz gets in a nice looking shot as he swings the ladder like a bat. They both go up ladders and Christian manages to hit a reverse DDT off the top. Kaz gets up again and puts Christian on the ladder with a backdrop and then the spinning legdrop that he uses. The fans think it’s awesome and I can’t really disagree.
Kaz suplexes the ladder onto Christian and then goes up for the scary spot of the matc. He climbs to the very top of the ladder and drops a leg on Christian onto the ladder, but the middle part moves so Kaz’s leg hits the ladder square on. FREAKING OW MAN!!! Christian goes up so Kaz hits a springboard dropkick into the ladder which knocks the ladder into the ropes, knocking the cameraman off the apron.
AJ and Tomko come out but Christian calls them off. Both guys go up the ladder but it topples over. Christian goes flying down to the floor where he lands on the tag champions. The look on his face is great as it says “I just want to go home and have a grilled cheese.” Kaz was able to get his foot onto the rope to stop the fall and shove himself back up. He pulls down the contract to win it.
Rating: A-. Now THIS was fun. This is the third time tonight that the X-Division guys have been allowed to go out there and have fun and it’s the third very good match they’ve had. What else can you ask for other than that? Great match here with both guys beating each other up and taking some HARD shots.
Back to the drinking contest. JB is told both guys are drunk and he walks in on them. For some reason they both have their shirts off so JB gets a drink as well. They keep trying to outdrink each other but settle with the first man out the door wins. They get up and James passes out, making Young World Drinking Champion.
We recap the main event. Nash helped Angle get the title by beating Sting but wouldn’t help him after that. Sting has a mystery partner for the tag match which is for the world title. I’m not sure how that works but I don’t think TNA did either.
TNA World Title: Kurt Angle/Kevin Nash vs. Sting/???
First person to get a fall wins, making it more or less a fatal fourway or four corners match. The mystery partner is the debuting Booker T which was spoiled by the time it happened. They had a graphic with various clues (they were trying to do their own SAVE US thing) but it said Huffman which gave things away. One day someone will have to explain to me how you can be returning to the ring after months off (Nash) or debut like Booker and be in a title match.
Sting vs. Angle gets us going and Sting takes over with some speed stuff. Well, speed for a guy in his late 40s. The fans chant “tag in Booker”. Instead it’s off to Nash and the fans still want Booker. It looks like we’re saving him for the big hot tag which isn’t a horrible idea. Or not as when I flip back to the video player Booker is legal. Booker takes over on Kurt with a side slam for two.
Nash comes back in and hooks a side slam for two on Booker. Booker fires off a spin kick and brings back Sting who goes nuts on everyone. Everything breaks down and Kurt hits a snap German on Sting. We’re running through the time in this match quickly running down. Off to a rest hold but they get up and Sting counters the Angle Slam into a DDT to put them both down again.
There’s the moderately warm tag to Booker and he beats down the heels. Spinarooni is debuted in TNA but a Book End only gets two. Booker totally messes up a spin kick on Nash for two. It was more or less a back shot to Nash. A Jackknife puts down Booker but Sting grabs the Death Drop on Nash. Here’s AJ who is sent right back out but Tomko takes out Sting. It’s implied that Karen brought them in. Sharmell, Booker’s wife, debuts and gets in a fight with Karen. Nash takes forever to load up a Jackknife on Sting so Kurt hits Nash with the belt and pins Sting after an Angle Slam to retain.
Rating: C. We’ve seen this a dozen times before which is what’s holding this back. It’s not a bad match or anything but how many times do you remember hearing about something like this? Booker’s debut was cool but it was pretty flat after the initial pop. The turn by the tag champs wasn’t bad either.
Overall Rating: B. With three very good (one great) matches and nothing being totally bad, you’ve got a pretty awesome show here. How many times do you remember a 9 match card having three very good matches on it? It’s very rare and this was a pretty shocking surprise. Good show and actually worth checking out, but you may want to cut it off before the main event as it’s pretty weak by comparison.
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