DATE: January 9, 2021
VENUE: Skyway Studios (Nashville, TN)
COMMENTATORS: Josh Matthews & Madison Rayne
One week out from Hard to KIll, Impact Wrestling presents its first Impact Plus special of the year, Genesis, featuring a one-night Super X Cup Tournament and an I Quit Match between Willie Mack and Moose.
- IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION: Rich Swann
- IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION: “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo
- IMPACT X-DIVISION CHAMPION: Manik
- IMPACT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson)
- SUPER X CUP FIRST ROUND: Suicide vs. Ace Austin (**1/2)
- SUPER X CUP FIRST ROUND: Blake Christian vs. KC Navarro (***1/4)
- SUPER X CUP FIRST ROUND: Cousin Jake vs. Daivari (**)
- SUPER X CUP FIRST ROUND: Crazzy Steve vs. Tre’ Lamar (**1/2)
- SUPER X CUP SEMI-FINALS (***)
- SUPER X-CUP SEMI-FINALS (***1/4)
- Jordynne Grace vs. Jazz (**3/4)
- SUPER X CUP FINALS (***3/4)
- I QUIT MATCH: Willie Mack vs. Moose (****)
SUPER X CUP: FIRST ROUND
Ace Austin [w/ Madman Fulton] defeated Suicide via pinfall (10:04)
Suicide controlled early with a wristlock, Austin caught him off-guard with an armdrag and armbar leaving him open to a PAPERCUT, the rudest move in pro wrestling. Suicide fought through the pain and regained control, putting Austin through a world of hurt including a surfboard and a cannonball from the apron. Fulton provided some distraction, including hopping on the apron, allowing Austin to pick up the win after The Fold.
- Good opening match. I’ve got a soft spot for the Suicide character being as I’m a BIG TIME defender of the TNA Midway game (seriously it’s at least better than the last couple of 2K entries), so I’m always happy to see him pop up. Austin is one of the best on the Impact Wrestling roster and the odds-on favorite to win this one, so his win wasn’t in doubt but I liked how hyped up his Fold finisher was by commentary. Lots of talk about how it was a true match-ender and could come out of nowhere. Really helped put that over. (**1/2)
SUPER X CUP: FIRST ROUND
Blake Christian defeated KC Navarro via pinfall (9:03)
Navarro entered the match FULL of swagger and confidence, and had a great “THIS BITCH” smile to frown reaction when he saw Christian during his entrance. Navarro continued the attitude, grabbing a side headlock and laughing at Christian, even tussling his hair a little bit for added insult. The two tried to one-up each other, Christian hopping over Navarro with a handspring and Navarro responding by flipping over Christian. Christian caught a stomp then nipped up and immediately launched into a spinning heel kick, then hit the first of many snapmare into a dropkick to the back of the head combos he’d utilize throughout the night. Navarro pulled Christian out to the floor and flattened him with a tope suicida between the middle and bottom ropes, then went rapid-fire with a European uppercut, forearm, snapmare, and a double stomp but couldn’t put him away. Christian connected with a rolling Death Valley Driver and a Sunset Bomb with a snap that I thought was going to put Navarro right through the canvas, and finished things off with a twisting splash to get the win and move on.
- My first experience with Christian and Navarro was on Impact Wrestling earlier in the week but it was enough for me to get excited about Genesis and they did not disappoint. Both men were impossibly fast in their moves, snapping things off so quickly that I’m pretty sure I missed a few things just by blinking. The Sunset Bomb at the end made me yell at how HARD that landed. Great match, I’m on board for these guys being on the show more, or just on wrestling shows in general. (***1/4)
SUPER X CUP: FIRST ROUND
Cousin Jake defeated Daivari via pinfall (10:36)
Jake overpowered Daivari early, bowling him over and throwing him around. Daivari went on the offensive after Jake missed a crossbody against the ropes, connecting with a series of knees to the spine and a dropkick that got him a two-count. Jake escaped a bodyscissors and mounted a comeback, connecting with a running corner spear and a sit-out slam but Daivari kicked out of the pinfall attempt. Daivari swung around Jake, connecting with DDT for a two-count, then went after the big man’s leg with a shinbreaker and Figure Four. Jake managed to fight out and hit his swinging side slam to get the pin.
- Jake & Daivari had a much different match than the two Super X Cup contests before them, slower and more power-based (especially on Jake’s end). Not a bad thing as this match was still pretty good, Daivari hasn’t lost a step and is somehow even MORE in shape than he used to be, and behind the goofy gimmick of Cousin Jake lies one of the best big men in the game. I hope Cousin Jake gets to showcase it more once his spat with Cody Deaner is done, he deserves a higher-profile spot. (**)
SUPER X CUP: FIRST ROUND
Crazzy Steve defeated Tre’ Lamar via pinfall (9:17)
As one would assume based on his name, Steve is not a very sane dude and Lamar was off his game almost from the outside, begging his opponent to be normal and recoiling in fear after running into Steve’s stuffed monkey friend Kevin. Lamar started to get some offense going after a while, connecting with a Pele Kick out of an O’Connor Roll and using the five count BEAUTIFULLY to use the ropes for leverage. Steve caught Lamar with a super-Russian Legsweep from the middle buckle and the two traded chops and strikes. Steve grabbed a chinlock, Lamar escaped with a jawbreaker but missed a crossbody and Steve hit a diving DDT to pick up the victory.
- Steve surprisingly won the Super X Cup preview match on Impact Wrestling and followed it up with another surprising victory here. Good match overall though, Lamar played off of Steve wonderfully here and Steve got to actually wrestle for once instead of be in a backstage skit/comedy match. Also side note I miss The Menagerie. Am I alone on this? Maybe. (**1/4)
–Gia Miller interviewed Moose, who said he was going to use the I Quit Match tonight to send a message to Rich Swann and looked forward to sending Willie Mack to the hospital.
SUPER X CUP: SEMI-FINALS
Ace Austin [w/ Madman Fulton] defeated Cousin Jake via pinfall (10:34)
Much like his 1st round match Jake started things off overpowering his opponent, hip tossing Austin right into the arms of Fulton on the floor then flattening both with a splash, finally taking flight as teased earlier. Fulton dared Jake to hit him, his hands behind his back, and Jake obliged but this left him open to a baseball slide from Austin, sending him into the guardrail. Austin escaped a suplex with a series of knee strikes and connecting with a running kick but only got a two-count. Jake sent Austin crashing face-first into the canvas and went for a deadlift slam but Austin countered with a crucifix and near-fall. Jake connected with a buckle bomb and corner splash followed by a spinning sit-out slam but Austin managed to kick out, surprising everybody. Jake went for a super gutwrench suplex but Austin escaped and caught him with a SUPER FOLD from outta nowhere for the 1…2…3.
- Another good showing from Cousin Jake, even better than his last match as Austin did a great job selling for him and playing off the big man/little man dynamic. Dug this one a lot and once again the Fold was put over as a big-time finisher, hitting it from a different position than against Suicide. (***)
–Rich Swann caught up with Willie Mack backstage, telling his friend that he knows he’s not going to quit tonight. Mack vowed to prove that he’s nobody’s stepping stone.
SUPER X CUP: SEMI-FINALS
Blake Christian defeated Crazzy Steve via pinfall (12:12)
Steve didn’t take things super seriously at the start, hugging Christian and laughing along as they jockeyed for position but after Christian accidentally knocked his monkey off the apron he kicked it into another gear. Engulfed in rage Steve pummeled Christian with forearms, backrakes, and a butterfly suplex. Christian bounced back, hitting a running dropkick and a split-legged moonsault for a two-count. Steve countered Christian with a pair of knees and followed up with a running senton for a two-count of his own. Action moved to the floor and both men almost lost via countout thanks to a double clothesline but they managed to beat the count. Christian caught Steve with a kick and rolled through a wheelbarrow into a standing Frog Splash for the near-fall, a movement so fluid it took me back a bit. I can barely get out of bed most mornings and these MFers gotta rub it in! Steve trapped Christian in the Upside Down, Christian draped Steve over the top rope and connected with a 450 Splash TO THE BACK to pick up the win and punch his ticket to the finals.
- In SUPER PROFESSIONAL CRITIC terms this match kicked all kinds of ass. Once Steve’s monkey got disrespected he channeled into a whole lot of rage he didn’t really show before in the previous match, once again getting to actually WRESTLE for once. Christian, as before, was the ultimate highlight and that 450 at the end was NAS-TAY. What a goddamn talent this guy is. (***1/4)
–Gia Miller interviewed Jazz, who said “the bitch is back”. For some reason they played mood music behind this segment which was goofy.
Jordynne Grace defeated Jazz via pinfall (12:07)
Grace and Jazz lost their bid to be Knockouts Tag Team Champions this past Thursday on Impact Wrestling and Grace challenged her to a singles match after. No malice intended though as both ladies shared THE FOREARM BUMP OF RESPECT at the sound of the bell. Things got heated and a shoving match broke out, then they ran at each other trying to bowl the other over to little effect. Grace took offensive control, connecting with a pair of suplexes into a Fisherman’s Suplex and almost picking up the win. Jazz muscled Grace into a stun gun and dropped her with one HELL of a spin kick, followed by some nasty headbutts to the spine. Grace came back with corner double knees, a running elbow, and a Vader Bomb but could only get a two-count. Jazz slung Grace into the corner and connected with a series of jabs. Jazz attempted to get the win with an O’Connor Roll but Grace rolled through and reversed for the 1…2..3.
- Good match between two bombers. I forgot just how much I love Jazz; from her entrance (the music, the mask, the “I’m gonna eff you up” stride) to her brutal offense she feels like a breath of fresh air in 2021-era pro wrestling. Grace, having not had much to do for the past few months, got to shine here as well and pick up a win over a respected veteran which was cool to see. Beats half-assed attempts to stick her in multi-person title matches. (***)
Jazz raised Grace’s hand in victory, the respect still there.
–Gia Miller interviewed Blake Christian, who said people were about to find out why he’s nicknamed “All Heart”. I assume it’s because he’s 100% heart, but I could be wrong.
-Before the match Ace Austin sent Madman Fulton to the back, wanting to do this one on his own. Was it confidence or stupidity? Let’s find out!
SUPER X CUP: FINALS
Ace Austin defeated Blake Christian via pinfall (19:54)
Austin controlled early, stopping a nip-up with a chop and getting in a PAPERCUT. Both men nipped up at once, Christian connected with a dropkick, and Austin scurried to the floor to gather his bearings. Christian tried a moonsault to the floor but Austin dodged; Christian landed on his feet but got sent into the barricade for his troubles. Christian blocked a drop toehold into the steps, Austin previously doing this to Suicide in the opening round, then launched off the steps into senton. Austin cartwheeled over a trip attempt on the apron and connected with a superkick, regaining control. Austin peppered Christian with boots and connected with a Fosbury Flop to the floor, clearing the top rope with ease. Christian sent Austin crashing head-first into the buckles and hit a sunset bomb but Austin kicked out of the pinfall attempt. Christian keps the aerial moves coming, this time connecting with the moonsault to the floor and hitting a springboard 450 but couldn’t get the pin. Christian draped Austin over the top rope but missed the follow up 450 Splash (the move he beat Crazzy Steve with), Austin connected with a springboard spin kick but only got a two-count. Both men connect with heel kicks at the same time, Austin countered a back handspring with a kick but Christian came back with a standing Spanish Fly. Christian sent Austin to the floor and connected with a Fosbury Flop of his own into an Eye of the Hurricane-like move on the ramp. Austin and Christian got into a roll-up war, each one almost getting the win, then traded forearms. They locked knuckles, Austin popped Christian up then caught him with a Fold from out of nowhere and the 1…2…3.
- EXCELLENT match here. The best possible Super X Cup finals given the participants involved. Lots of cool moves and callbacks to each’s previous matches in the tournament, plus a fun roll-up war near the end. Blake Christian may not have won the tournament but he definitely made a name for himself among the Impact faithful (and hopefully a larger audience) with his showing tonight. Austin is a great choice for Super X Cup winner and had a great night as well, and I hope he can parlay that into something bigger in the company. Not sure WHAT as the World Title picture has a clear path but something. (***3/4)
Scott D’Amore handed the Cup to Austin, who celebrated with Madman Fulton.
I QUIT MATCH
Willie Mack defeated Moose (26:29)
Mack drove Moose to the mat and laid into him with strikes. Moose bailed to the floor, Mack connected with a pump kick and a swinging slam on the ramp. Ref repeatedly asked Moose if he wanted to quit, he very much did not want to. Mack missed a kick and got hung up on the top rope, leaving him open to a running dropkick from Moose. Moose told the ref he didn’t want him to ask Mack if he quit because he wanted to hurt him some more, and sent him flying OVER the guardrail, landing with a sickening thud. Moose set up a table but Mack blocked a powerbomb attempt and laid in more forearms. Mack grabbed a chair and repeatedly whacked Moose with the steel; the ref asked if Moose wanted to quit but instead of a defiant no all he could do was shove the mic away. Mack hit two 6-Star Frog Splashes, one to the front and another more devastating one to the back, but still Moose would not quit. Mack laid a chair over Moose and headed back to the top, Moose popped up and connected with a right hand. Moose moved to the apron and traded blows with Mack, then dug his thumbs into his eyes and PUT THE BOTH OF THEM THROUGH THE TABLE ON THE FLOOR WITH GO TO HELL WITH AN IMPACT SO STRONG THEY F’ING BOUNCED. Jesus.
Mack and Moose somehow found the will to continue and traded shots in the ring; Mack hit the Stunner, Moose responded with a headbutt, and Mack connected with a lariat. Moose connected with three Urinages but Mack refused to quit. Moose threw more chairs into the ring and went to the top, chair in hand. Mack threw a different chair at his skull, piled up the remaining steel nicely and CONNECTED WITH A TOP ROPE SUPERPLEX RIGHT ON TOP OF THEM. Action moved back to the floor as Mack hit Moose with a chair some more, Moose blindsided him with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and connected with vicious elbows to the head in the center of the ring, the same way he beat Mack at Turning Point. Mack was out cold and couldn’t quit, so Moose wrapped his head in a chair and prepared to smash it with ANOTHER chair until Rich Swann ran out to try and save his friend. Swann agreed to give Moose a shot at the Impact World Championship if he stopped, Moose got on the mic and said “Thank you…I quit” and that was that!
- An absolutely BRUTAL main event. I didn’t have any expectations going in, Moose & Willie Mack have had some okay matches but not to the level of where I thought this was going to be fire, but THIS WAS VERY MUCH FIRE. Just a real war with two of the craziest spots I’ve seen in awhile (Go to Hell through the table, the superplex onto the chairs), with the only real hindrance being the ref getting too involved asking if people quit. Yes that’s the point of the match but it bordered on obtrusive in some places. And man, MAN OH MAN, did I love that ending. Moose held Willie Mack’s career hostage to get the World Title match he wanted from Rich Swann, and once he got the okay immediately quit because ultimately the match didn’t matter to him. What a cool f’n way to conclude the match and a great twist on the formula. I am SO HYPED for Swann/Moose to finally happen, y’all. I know the AEW stuff is too good to pass up so it couldn’t happen at Hard to Kill but THAT’S the program I want to see. (****)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Genesis is a damn fine show, with every match delivering in one former or another, especially the Super X Cup Final and the main event. Despite having a PPV they should arguably care more about next weekend, Impact Wrestling did not slum it here and presented its Impact Plus subscribers (and randos on Fite TV who wanted to pay 10 bucks for just this show instead) with a high-quality show worth the viewers’ time. Also seriously I really loved that ending to the I Quit match, what a good bit of storytelling. And props to Ace Austin for getting the spotlight he deserves, Blake Christian for making a BIG statement in this tournament and becoming one of the must-watch stars of 2021, and Crazzy Steve for finally being allowed to wrestle for once in his damn life.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Willie Mack vs. Moose
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Moose’s Go to Hell on Willie Mack through the table. GODDAMN. GODDDDDDDDAAAAAMMMMN.