Impromptu TNA Heavyweight Championship match: [C] Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
Still reeling over what just occurred at TNA Genesis. TNA just crowned a new TNA Heavyweight Champion and his name is Mr. Anderson. Anderson… Just seconds after Anderson defeated Matt Morgan in a number one contenders’ match billed as the pay-per-view’s main-event, Eric Bischoff showed up with a steel chair (perceived as a weapon) to take a seat in the ring and announce to a worn-out Anderson that his championship match would begin immediately.
Jeff Hardy, methodically walking and stretching down the ramp, made it loud and clear that he had the advantage over Mr. Anderson. Within a few seconds he struck with the Twist of “Hate” but only got a two count. So… another Twist of “Hate,” right? Wrong. Mr. Anderson had the fortitude, the resiliency, and the tenacity to kick out of each Twist of “Hate” and fight back. And why shouldn’t he? It was Jeff Hardy that struck Anderson with the steel chair that almost ended his career.
Yet, the match was still in Hardy’s control, a few more Twist of “Hates,” maybe a Swanton Bomb, should’ve gotten the job done. But unfortunately, Anderson wasn’t the only guy that Hardy pist off. Matt Morgan struck Hardy with a discus clothesline on the outside, and Rob Van Dam rushed to the ring to stop Matt Hardy from interfering. Even legends Mick Foley and Ric Flair came in to intervene on their own behalf. During the distraction, Bischoff rolled into the ring with the steel chair from earlier and went to strike Anderson who countered with a mic check.
After nine minutes of extended wrestling, Mr. Anderson put Hardy away with the mic check to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. The intensity of this match, coupled with his fifteen-minute contender’s match, made those three seconds that Earl Hebner counted a mark-out moment for all of Anderson’s A–holes. Post-match, Anderson proclaimed that, as predicted, he is the new Total Nonstop Action, Total Nonstop Champion.
No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan
Matt Morgan did not hesitate whatsoever to strike down Mr. Anderson with the Carbon Footprint, but Anderson was not so quick to accept defeat, either. Throughout the contest, strikes to the head, side-slams, and even the carbon footprint was not enough to keep Anderson down, yet, the mic check was not enough to bring down the 7ft Matt Morgan. The collective crowd reaction was that Morgan and Anderson really delivered with fifteen minutes of intense action from bell to bell. Anderson was able to pick up the upset with a small package roll up.
Mixed Martial Arts match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle
Jeff Jarrett opted for a Mixed Martial Arts match over the Exhibition, in order to methodically pick apart Kurt Angle in three rounds. However, Round 1 and 2 ended with Angle locking Jarrett in a rear naked choke, and the Ankle Lock, respectively. The third round ended abruptly after Jarrett maliciously cut open Angle with a concealed razor in his forearm padding. Thankfully, Jarrett has decided to end his pretend run as an MMA fighter, and return back to wrestling. And his target, Kurt Angle.
Rob Van Dam vs. Matt Hardy
When Eric Bischoff promised Rob Van Dam that he would get to face Hardy, it confirmed the obvious that Matt Hardy jumped to TNA. There were mixed reactions from the crowd, some were happy that Matt made the jump, and some were just chanting “Hardy sucks!” Matt came out to generic heavy metal music, and had his hair braided a la Awesome Kong. Though, understandably, he is still out of shape, his in-ring work was sloppy. And, for the most part, fans were turned off by this match. Matt Hardy defeated RVD in his debut match thanks to referee Jackson James’ spotty officiating. He failed to see Van Dam kick his foot underneath the ropes in order to break the three-count.
TNA Television Championship match: [C] Douglas Williams vs. Abyss
Originally, AJ Styles was set to contend for the TNA Television title with the stipulation that if he lost, he’d be out of Fortune and Immortal. But a torn hip flexor and hip labrum, kept him from competing. Instead, Eric Bischoff, pist off at Styles, inserted Abyss to take his place. And the result, a brand new Television champion thanks to AJ Styles. As Abyss argued with the referee over use of “Janice,” Styles slipped into the ring and struck Douglas Williams with the title belt, for Abyss to pick up the victory.
Bully Ray vs. Brother Devon
The grudge match between Bully Ray and Brother Devon mostly occurred before the bell rung. The two knowing each other so well, put on one hell of a brawl. There was no wrestling in this match, no grappling of any kind. This match was simply pure striking and punishment. The match ended in Bully Ray’s favor when Devon whipped his former brother with a steel chain. Fans wanted to see more of these two fight, so they must’ve did something right.
TNA World Tag Team Championship match: [C] Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) vs. Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode)
The match started off slow, almost a feeling out process for the two teams. As James Storm and Robert Roode have been out of in-ring competition for several months since joining Immortal, and Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin desperately trying to hold on to their reign as TNA Tag Team champions. Before long, the match picked up in intensity that only fans knew would happen, and witnessed a great Tag Team match. But it was luck on part of a miss communication between The Guns that allowed Beer Money to pick up their fourth TNA Tag Team titles. The match would have been better if Guns and Beer Money had built up some pre-match intensity from their Best of Five Series matches towards this title match, where Immortal placed a bounty on all TNA (men’s) gold.
TNA Women’s Knockout Championship match: [C] Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James
This was truly a night of crappy officiating, as referee Andrew Thomas was unaware of the loaded knockout punch by Madison Rayne to retain the TNA Knockout title over Mickie James. At first, the match appeared to be a fair fight, as Tara was not in Madison’s corner as usual but that changed towards the end of the match when she came out to confront Mickie James. The distraction allowed ample time for Rayne to slip on the obviously loaded glove to strike down James. The fans, in unison, chanted “You can’t wrestle!” Very true for Madison Rayne, but what about Ashley Lane?
TNA X Division Championship match: [C] Jay Lethal vs. Kazarian
Great opening contest between two top-notch competitors. Kazarian, much like Beer Money and their Tag reign, earned his fourth X-Division championship after putting away the defending champion, Jay Lethal, with the reverse tombstone. Eric Bischoff claimed that Kazarian won the X title by the skin of his teeth, but it was always in the challenger’s favor. Though Lethal is now a former six-time X champion, his last few title reigns were nothing short of disappointing.
Final Thoughts: The concept of having a figure head announce such an unfair advantage has been seen several times with WWE’s Money in the Bank contract matches. Except in this case, then-Champion Jeff Hardy had the advantage over the challenger, Mr. Anderson.
Have to admit, WWE really dropped the ball when they released Ken Anderson from his WWE contract. The man is golden on the mic, and can put on one hell of a match.
When it comes to TNA Mystery Opponents, it automatically means a WWE Reject was signed. Last year at Genesis, the rejects were Brian Kendrick and Mr. Anderson. And this year it was Matt Hardy. Out of Kendrick and Anderson, only Anderson made it to the top of TNA’s low mountain top.
It’s funny: Back in 2005, when Matt Hardy was released from WWE, he had no problem getting a pop from independent wrestling fans. Turn the clock to 2011, a couple of drunken YouTube videos complaining about WWE, and lack of in-ring shape, get’s him booed from TNA, of all places.
Throughout the Television Championship match, fans chanted “We want AJ!” and I couldn’t agree more. Real life injuries kept us from what should have been the show-stealing match.