It's TNA's first pay per view offering of 2013, known as Genesis. Jeff Hardy is set to defend his title, Joseph Park gets his first match since going away for "training," we get a new #1 Contender to Tara's Knockout Championship and RVD will defend his title against one of two men. The card looks like this:
Join us starting at 8 p.m. EST for ongoing results and thoughts on tonight's pay per view event.
Live from the iMPACT Zone in Orlando, Fla.
The opening video recaps Hardy's year last year and sells the triple-threat title match for the main event against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode.
Pyro goes off and our announce team checks in. It's Taz, Mike Tenay, and Todd Keneley tonight. Tenay explains the elimination rules of the main event for us.
Match #1 - Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (c) vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan; TNA Tag Team Championship
Morgan's still sporting Hulk's old robe, while Ryan takes a more Hawaiian approach to his get-up. Ryan sells early for the champions. Ryan gets a forearm shot in and makes a tag. Morgan throws Guerrero to the corner hard, then tags Ryan back in.
Ryan hits a dropkick and poses. Morgan yells at him from the corner: "cover him, you moron!" Kind of a funny moment. Chavo tags out to Hernandez, who hits some power spots.
Ryan drags himself to the corner to get the tag to Morgan. The two big men engage in a show-down. Taz points out that the two men used to be tag partners. Ryan distracts Hernandez with the fingernails to the back.
Taz points out that Ryan tagged himself back in even though he touched Hernandez rather than his partner. Morgan tags Ryan back in after a quick set of offense.
Morgan tags in long enough to hit a headbutt and tags back out. The heels isolate Hernandez and work him over with quick tags in and out. Hernandez makes an effort to fight out but eats a discus clothesline from Morgan.
Ryan checks in and Hernandez makes a tag that the official doesn't see. The official was at least consistent, as he refused to count a cover Morgan makes because he didn't see Morgan tag in, either.
Chavo gets the hot tag and works on Ryan.
Fun Drinking Game coming up - take a shot every time Chavo does an Eddie move...
He does the Eddie shimmy (take a shot). Then he works through the Three Amigos suplexes (another shot). Chavo goes up top and points to the sky (third shot) and teases the frog splash, but Morgan intercepts. Morgan tries a double choke slam but fails. The champs hit a double drop kick.
Hernandez picks Ryan up for a powerbomb and nearly pantses him. Hernandez hits the powerbomb, which looks like Ryan took a bit awkwardly. Chavo hits the frog splash (take another shot) for the win.
Winner - Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez to retain the TNA Tag Team Championship
A decent opening affair. They did a good job building to the hot tag to Chavo, and the fans ate up the Eddie tribute offense. Hernandez's reputation of hurting people won't die with that powerbomb - it was UGLY.
JB talks about the Samoa Joe vs. Anderson match that got added to the card today. Anderson walks out and says he was just hanging out with Aces. He says that the same thing that happened to Kurt Angle will happen to Samoa Joe tonight.
Match #2 - Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson does his entrance thing at the stage. Joe and Anderson have a staredown after Joe knocks Anderson's hat off his head. Anderson throws his shirt at Joe and attacks to kick the match off.
Joe battles back and controls the offense for a few moments. Taz defends Anderson, saying that Anderson is doing what he wants to do and doesn't need to ask permission to do it.
Joe runs through his signature offense, including hitting a suicide dive. He holds his knee after the dive, though. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop and a big kick that he follows with a senton. Anderson mounts a brief comeback, but eats a one-armed slam in the corner.
Knox makes his way to ringside, which creates a distraction. That allows Anderson to hit the Mic Check for the win.
Winner - Mr. Anderson
Taz called him the "big nasty member of Aces and Eights" so maybe they can't call him Knox. The match was solid enough even though Joe and Anderson haven't had good ring chemistry over their past. The finish was logical given Anderson's involvement with Aces.
JB interviews Kenny King. King says Rob Van Dam has gone soft and isn't the same guy who almost killed Jerry Lynn or kicked Sabu in the face. He says he'll step over Christian York and put RVD out to pasture tonight.
Good mic work from King to cover the basics. He acted like York is below him and outlined his issues with RVD.
Match #3 - Kenny King vs. Christian York; Final of the X-Division Contender Tournament
The two men go back and forth in the early going. They hit a simultaneous drop kick spot that gets a good reaction. King takes control and slams York's head to the mat continuously. The official scolds King, who smiles. York hits a nice side suplex.
Late in this one, King hits a double knee strike in the corner but only gets two out of it. King tries a backslide but fails. He follows it up with a pull of the hair and tries a pin. York blocks it and rolls King up for the win instead. King attacks York afterward and leaves him lying then calls for Rob Van Dam.
Winner - Christian York
RVD's music hits as King leaves the ring. Christy Hemme goes with the ring announcements.
York won, but King was the focus. His heel antics helped establish him as a character going forward. Not sure I agree with going right at the title match though.
Match #4 - Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Christian York; TNA X-Division Championship
RVD and the official check on York, who is still laid out. York eventually gets to his feet to fight. RVD catches him with Rolling Thunder for a near fall. The announcers sell how York has been working for a long time to get this opportunity and wasn't going to quit.
RVD controls the early going, but York mounts some offense. Van Dam slows him with a kick and does his thumb point routine. York uses that as an opening to roll RVD up for a near fall. Yes, again the thumb-point face routine nearly cost RVD.
RVD misses the Five Star, which allows York to roll him up for a near fall. RVD goes back on offense though and hits the Five-Star this time for the win. Afterward, he helps York to his feet and applauds his effort, then celebrates on the ropes.
Winner - Rob Van Dam to retain the X-Division Championship
They did a nice job protecting York here by having King attack him, and the announcers did a good job of putting heat on King for the same reason. So it effectively moved King's character forward. The work in the ring was a bit so-so. I keep hoping they'll move the title off of RVD, preferably to King, because I think RVD is starting to overshadow the other talent in the X-Division now.
JB interviews Joseph Park. Park says he's there to fight tonight. JB asks if he has a strategy and Park says he doesn't want to kayfabe and admits to being very green in wrestling. He talks about when he was held hostage by Aces and says tonight he gets a chance to get some retribution as a trained wrestler ready to do battle.
They give us a video package highlighting Park's recent training and storyline.
Match #5 - Devon (TV champion) vs. Joseph Park; Non-Title Match
Taz tells us that "here comes the green hornet." when Park comes out. Tenay puts over Park's inexperience and says he has an uphill battle against Devon. The crowd actually starts chanting for him with "let's go Joseph" chants, but you can also hear some support for Devon.
Devon out-wrestles Park in the early going. Tenay asks if Park wants to fight or wrestle Devon. Taz says that Devon is quite the brawler. Devon gets down on all fours and Park actually gets the better of the exchange. Devon ducks out for a breather and the fans cheer for Park.
Park eats an exposed turnbuckle, which bloodies him up. Park channels his best Abyss and goes nuts. He hits the Black Hole Slam on Devon, then goes for the chokeslam but comes to. Devon escapes the chokeslam hold and rolls Park up for the win.
Winner - Devon
This was more entertaining than I thought it would be. Park is good in this role and the fan support was cool to see also.
JB interviews Austin Aries. He says that he and Roode have struck a deal to destroy Hardy and take him out of the picture tonight. He says the two of them know they deserve to be TNA Champion more than Jeff Hardy does. Aries says they'll eliminate Hardy, then find out who the best professional wrestler is.
Where was this in the build weeks prior? They've spent so much time being comedy heels that I can't imagine things will go down this way tonight...
Match #6 - Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky; Gauntlet Match to determine the #1 Contender to Tara's Knockouts Championship
Taryn Terrell is the official for this one. Gail Kim and Tessmacher start things off. At about 2:30 in, Kim is able to eliminate Tessmacher. ODB is the next woman out. She gets a bunch of offense in. Kim catches her on the ropes though, yanks her down and pins her with an assist from pulling the "bloomers."
Mickie is up next. She dominates Gail for a a bit. Mickie tries to roll up Gail, but Kim is able to roll it through and again, hooks the shorts to get the win. Taz points out that Mickie got her hand under/on the ropes as well.
Velvet is last out. Gail attacks her before Velvet can even get in the ring, and throws her to the ring steps. Kim tries a cover and holds the ropes, but the official catches her and stops the count. Velvet hits the butterfly facebuster to get the win, even though Kim's leg is under the bottom rope.
Winner - Velvet Sky to become the new #1 Contender
For the life of me, can't figure out why they were trying to protect Gail Kim. I guess they set up a story now where Velvet and Gail have a rematch for the slot on iMPACT? That could have happened even without the cheap finish.....
JB is with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Daniels refers to Borash as "Jerome" and tells him it must be nice to have a high class interviewee. He mocks Storm, and says that "Francois" will be his manager for a night. They also play up that the winner of this match will get a title shot on Jan. 24. Daniels says his plan is to finish his drink, shake his glorious ass in the ring, and kick Storm's horse-riding ass.
Daniels is such a great interview.
Match #7 - James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels (w/Kazarian); Title shot on Jan. 24 on the line
Daniels works the arm throughout the match. Storm gets some comeback spots and gets near falls. He hits Eye of the Storm for one of them, and counts along with the pin to sell it as a finish.
Storm goes for the finish and sets up Last Call, but Daniels ducks. Daniels follows with Angel's Wings and covers but Storm kicks out. Daniels tries the BME, but Storm gets his knees up for the crash landing.
Storm hits Closing Time two times. Storm sets up for the Last Call, but Kazarian gets up on the apron for the distraction. Daniels hits a uranage and covers, using the ropes for leverage. Daniels runs to ringside and yells "I DID IT!" and kisses a female fan afterward.
Winner - Christopher Daniels to get a title shot on Jan. 24.
Are they foreshadowing the title match finish tonight in the main event? What would be fitting is if Storm came back and challenged Daniels this week on iMPACT since Daniels used the ropes for leverage - and the times he's been duped the same way. Daniels is a great act right now.
We get a recap of the Brooke Hogan/Bully Ray engagement segment from iMPACT.
Bully Ray and Brooke come to the ring, and Bully tells her she looks hot. He tells us they're getting married this Thursday on iMPACT. He asks Brooke who she thinks they should invite to the ceremony, mentioning Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones. She whispers in his ear. Ray repeats it: "she just said we should invite every single one of you in the iMPACT Zone."
Ray asks if the fans are going to the wedding and records them cheering on his "twittah machine." He says it's awesome and he's not much for the feelings crap but thanks the fans for saying yes. He says it makes him happy and he thanks the fans for having their back in the situation. The happy couple leaves the ring.
This was really an iMPACT segment, not a pay per view segment. Ray got the fans worked up, but then it fell flat.
They recap the Sting and Aces and Eights drama going into our next match.
Match #8 - Sting vs. DOC
Sting and DOC don't even get in the ring to kick this one off. They fight at ringside and into the crowd. Sting's getting the better of it but two masked members of Aces come out and put the boots to Sting. DOC brings Sting back to the ring and the other guys leave. DOC rolls Sting in and the bell rings to kick it off.
They fight to ringside again, with DOC getting the better of it. He mocks the fans at ringside. Sting fights back and the fight moves back into the ring. The fans start chanting for Sting but it fades as DOC keeps up the offense.
Sting throws repeated punches and clotheslines to take charge. He hits the Stinger Splash and the Scorpion Death Drop to get the win.
Winner - Sting
Afterward, other members of Aces and Eights come out, and they circle the ring looking to gang up on Sting. Bully Ray runs out with his chain and scares them off. Ray gets in the ring and shakes Sting's hand and points at him as Sting plays to the crowd.
Not Sting's best work - and it wasn't fun to watch. The fans ate it up live though. Ray coming out and running off Aces and earning Sting's trust makes you think he will make the big turn and be involved with Aces come Thursday or in the not-to-distant future.
JB interviews Bobby Roode and asks about the collusion between he and Aries. Roode says the answer is yes. He and Aries don't see eye to eye but they agree that Hardy does not deserve to be champion. Roode says when you think of a world champion, you think of men like Aries and "the man." Roode says the match will come down to the two greatest wrestlers today. Aries has scored fluke wins over Roode before, but tonight is different because he's taking home the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Again, where was this prior to tonight? This was a good, confident promo from Roode. They needed to play this collusion angle up rather than have Roode and Aries look like the Keystone Kops doing comedy bits.
They run a video package to set up the main event, and Mike Tenay gives us the rundown of the "tale of the tape."
Match #9 - Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries; TNA World Heavyweight Championship under Elimination Triple Threat Rules
Aries, then Roode, then Hardy enter for the main event. JB handles the main event introductions for the match. Brian Hebner is the official.
The heels make good on their threat to gang up on Hardy, but it's not working. Hardy gets the better of them in the early going. One of the announcers says that Hardy is taking a "divide and conquer" approach.
The heels make a comeback. Hardy sets them up for a double Swanton Bomb but they catch him on the ropes and put the boots to him. The fans chant for Hardy and Aries, but Roode's not getting any fan love that can be heard. Roode covers Hardy but he kicks out. Aries repeats, but Hardy kicks out from that also.
About eight minutes in, Roode and Aries put Hardy on the top rope, then take turns hitting him. Aries goes for a move off the ropes but Roode pulls him down and says he has it. Roode hits a superplex and covers, but Hardy kicks out. Aries and Roode end up bickering.
Roode puts Aries up on his shoulders. They go to the corner where Hardy is up on and set up for a "superduperplex" (as Taz refers to it). Hardy fights his way out of that and hits a Twist of Fate on Aries from Roode's shoulders. Neat spot. Taz calls it "frickin' awesome."
Eleven minutes in, Roode holds on to Hardy at ringside while Aries tries a suicide dive. Hardy breaks free, which means Aries takes out Roode. Hardy springboards off the ring steps on Aries. Hardy goes up top for the Swanton, but Aries comes back and knocks Hardy from the ropes. Hardy hits a front suplex on Aries onto Roode then splashes Roode from the second rope to score a near fall.
Roode and Aries come back and Roode tells Aries to hit his finisher. Aries goes up and hits a 450 splash while Roode holds Hardy's legs. Roode moves Hardy out of the way though, then hits a fisherman's suplex on Aries for a two count. They're done teaming.
Roode charges Aries, who blocks the charge then locks on the Last Chancery. Roode pokes at Aries' eyes to break that. Roode locks on a crossface that Aries rolls over into a pin attempt to break it up. Aries and Roode trade moves while Hardy sells outside.
Aries hits a missile drop kick and follows it with a drop kick in the corner. Aries catches Roode with a backslide. Hardy gets in the ring and puts his legs on Roode's to add to leverage so that Roode is eliminated.
It's down to Hardy and Aries. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and goes for a second but Aries blocks it. Hardy hits it again while standing on the apron. Aries ends up taking it through the ropes and at the apron. Hardy follows up with the Swanton to get the win. Tenay sells it as one of the gutsiest performances he's seen.
Winner - Jeff Hardy to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
This was easily the match of the night. Very good main event. I was surprised that they left both heels in the match as long as they did. From a storyline standpoint, they really needed to make Roode and Aries look like serious contenders going into this rather than play their Keystone Kops routine. They made Hardy look so dominant over the two of them and I can't help but wonder if it burned them in terms of pay per view buys.
I am sure the main event felt big-time to those who may not have seen or followed up on TV hype for this event. The show otherwise felt very much like a "B" show...very, very lackluster.
With TNA scaling their pay per view events back to only four live events per year, perhaps this will be the last time we get an event that feels like this.
Be sure to join us Thursday night for all the fallout of this show when we bring you the iMPACT Wrestling Reaction and Report here on Ring-Rap.com. Thanks for following along tonight.