TNA Impact returned to Spike TV last night (Jan. 16, 2014) from Huntsville, Alabama, featuring the Genesis event that featured Sting vs. EC3, and some assorted other madness that broke down into complete and utter chaos. And not the good kind.
Check out the live blog with full results right here. Now, let's get to the reactions:
- The opening promo was almost unbearable. There's a difference between a good heel who makes you hate them and want to see bad things happen to them and a heel who just sucks the life out of everything and makes you not want to watch the program. That's Dixie Carter. So to open the show and spend 15 minutes with her putting over a new regime sucked.
- That led us right into a Sting promo that wasn't all that bad, actually, but simply served to bring out a group of babyfaces to oppose the gigantic group of heels in the ring who were participating in the circle jerk of Dixie lauding the new guard. Naturally, a brawl broke out and chaos ensued, but that was okay because it led to Sting and EC3 in the ring for their big one-on-one showdown. Sting put 3 (calling him this from now on) in the corner and blasted his gut with the black baseball bat. Suddenly, they go to commercial and when they come back both Sting and 3 are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. In fact, Samoa Joe has the mic and he's calling out the rule breakers who are outside the ring. Zero explanation was given as to what happened to Sting and 3.
- We get an impromptu 12-man tag match that was only actually a tag match for about two whole minutes. Really, it was just a lot of bodies flying around looking for someone to brawl with on the outside, totally out of view of the cameras. They switched off with guys battling in the ring one-on-one, then Joe gets up on the apron and takes his place near the turnbuckle while ODB and Lei'D Tapa were in ring. But NO ONE ELSE did the same. So here's Joe just standing there looking around at everyone confused as to why no one else was acting like a tag match was supposed to be happening. This got so ridiculous it became hilarious but was ultimately just sad.
- Then we get to the incredibly sexist nonsense with Chris Sabin and Austin Aries fighting over Velvet Sky, who has been reduced to being a "hot piece of ass". And, yeah, okay, sure, a big part of her character is her sex appeal, but this felt creepy crawly. You can have sex appeal without being reduced to a piece of meat. Like, Aries was the good guy here and he literally knocked her down to being nothing more than an object we should all get to admire without Sabin being jealous of it. So what do they do next? Book a match between Aries and Sabin for next week with Sky ringside ... IN A CAGE. You can't make this stuff up. The reason? So she won't interfere. You know, because she can't just think and speak for herself and just like, not show up to the match. The idea, I guess, is that Sabin would make her interfere because she's in an emotionally abusive relationship. But then she gets the mic, agrees to the stipulation, and goes on to say if Sabin loses his title, she'll probably leave him for someone else. I just can't with this.
- Then we get a pre-tape of a psychotic Samuel Shaw beating up random producers but stopping long enough to smell their shoes. Literally. I really just can't even.
- This was the worst first hour of wrestling television I've seen in a long, long time.
- The second hour provided some relief from the pain. Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson went out and had one hell of a match, a solid brawl with the right mix of big spots and a good finish. I feel like Ray's piledriver has been booked as strong as any finish out there and it's not even his finish.
- The next segment, with Kurt Angle running down Al Snow and knocking him out before calling out Dixie Carter for going after his family last week, was also good. Angle played the role of righteous anger to perfection here while Carter was shockingly brilliant as the overbearing manipulative evil overlord trying to convince Angle she's doing what's best for him while doing the exact opposite. She's that sociopathic control freak you know who always turns it around on you, even when you know you're right, and makes you doubt yourself. This was actually good, and a solid story continuing his issue with Bobby Roode, who was the beneficiary here by sneak attacking and facing no repercussion.
- Gail Kim has been really good since coming back to TNA but pairing her with Lei'D Tapa wasn't the right move and I don't understand what the point was of taking the belt off her in favor of Madison Rayne, especially after they booked her like there was no chance she would lose. I guess Rayne can play the underdog returning champion well.
- The American Wolves! Oh, their debut is totally overshadowed by news of a mystery "new investor" for the company? That's so very TNA. And makes absolutely zero sense. This company is totally willing to mix reality and kayfabe but never when it actually makes sense and only when it creates new plot holes.
- Sting vs. EC3 went about as you would expect, what with very little actual wrestling and heavy on angles with special guest referees and all that nonsense. Really, it was all a set up for Sting and Magnus to book a match for next week: Title vs. Contract. So it looks like TNA is going to write out yet another wrestler like this because putting the belt back on Sting right now would be just the dumbest thing in history. Maybe they'll bother to put Magnus over big this time, unlike the overbooked mess that was AJ Styles' final match.
- After watching this, I'm not entirely sure why WWE would even want Sting at this point. The production team would have a field day with him, especially if he was feuding with Undertaker, but unless he went back to the Crow Sting from 1997 and didn't speak, I can't imagine any booking could protect him in his current state. TNA has just beaten all his star power out of him. It's actually sad, really.
This show was awful in the first hour but was better in the second.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?