Impact Wrestling brought a mix of pain and pleasure for their Genesis special event last night (Jan. 9, 2021). The show featured a one-night X-Division tournament, a Knockouts dream match, and Moose battling Willie Mack in an I Quit match.
Moose quits to earn a world title shot
The main event of the evening saw Moose and Willie Mack settle their bad blood in an I Quit match. Moose was looking forward to hurting Mack and viewed this bout as a method to send a message to Impact World Champ Rich Swann. The action was hard-hitting, but the stipulation was executed to a very annoying level.
Within the first few minutes, Mack tossed Moose into the guardrail and told the referee to ask if Moose wanted to quit. Of course, Moose declined. The referee kept asking after every instance of rough contact, such as a body slam by Mack onto the entrance ramp. Excuse me, but what? These blows wouldn’t even finish a regular match let alone drive someone to quit.
The referee’s persistence did set up part of the story when Moose demanded the referee stay away, so he could continue to inflict pain. Once Mack took charge, the referee was back at it. Thankfully, the referee’s involvement tapered off as the bout progressed.
Overall, the action was enjoyable. Mack shifted into high gear for a frog splash then a second frog splash onto Moose’s back. Mack tenderized his opponent with a chair before a third splash attempt, but Moose popped up to hit a sitdown powerbomb off the turnbuckles through a table on the floor.
Back in the ring, Mack was in pain and fought on autopilot before a boost of adrenaline kicked in. He was trading heavy blows with Moose then hit a stunner. Moose rallied back with three Rock Bottoms. Moose allowed Mack the opportunity to quit before more punishment. As Moose climbed the corner, Mack sprang up for a superplex onto a pile of chairs.
Moose slowly rolled out of the ring. Mack gave chase with chair shots to Moose’s back. Moose took the TNA Heavyweight Championship belt to crack Mack in the head. That was the turning point of the match.
Moose violently rained down ground and pound elbows. Mack was out cold. Moose set up a chair around Mack’s neck and wound up with another chair. At that point, Rich Swann ran in to save his friend. He offered a title shot for the Impact World Championship in exchange for a ceasefire. Moose accepted, “Thank you. I quit.”
Technically, the win goes to Mack, but Moose got what he wanted in the end.
The high spots of the bout were intense. The table spot and the superplex were set up for maximum reaction. I winced when the two crashed on top of the chairs. The result went an interesting route as a deviation from the norm. It made Mack look strong in “defeat” by refusing to quit. Moose appeared as a mastermind since his plan came together perfectly to reach the end goal of a title shot. Best of all, it set Moose up as an unstoppable force for the underdog Swann to try and topple down the line.
Knockouts dream match
Jordynne Grace battled Jazz in a dream hoss fight for the Knockouts. It began with tests of power. Grace scored the first high impact moves with a trio of suplexes.
Physical blows were exchanged. Jazz secured a double underhook suplex. She went for a second suplex, but Grace swept the foot to escape with a back body drop. A series of forearm blasts led to a spinebuster by Grace. Big Mama Pump had momentum on a running double knees in the corner, running elbow smash in the corner, and a Vader Bomb, but Jazz kicked out. Jazz turned the tide with a chicken wing facebuster then an STF submission. Grace inched toward the bottom rope for the break.
Grace slingshot Jazz into the turnbuckles then followed with more hammering. Jazz responded with a tornado DDT. Both women charged into the ropes. Jazz used the motion for a roll-up, but Grace kept it moving for top position on a roll-up of her own to win. Good sportsmanship was displayed after the bell.
That hoss fight delivered on power and intensity. I felt satiated of my hoss fight appetite. The surprise nature of the finish was nice, but I was a little disappointed it didn’t end with a power move. Perhaps that will lead to a rematch down the line. If so, then I’ll happily accept more hossing.
Ace Austin wins the Super X Cup tournament
Eight wrestlers vied for the honor of winning the Super X Cup tournament. The first-round bouts of the one-night competition ran about 10 minutes each.
- Ace Austin defeated Suicide. Madman Fulton was ringside and paid dividends. When Austin was in serious trouble, Fulton caused a distraction. That allowed Austin to hit The Fold neckbreaker for victory.
- Blake Christian defeated KC Navarro. Christian seized the win after a sunset flip powerbomb off the turnbuckles then a slow motion flying corkscrew splash.
- Cousin Jake defeated Daivari with a spinning sidewalk slam.
- Crazzy Steve defeated Tre Lamar. Steve capitalized off a missed high risk maneuver from Lamar for a flying DDT for the 1, 2, 3. Steve was presented more as a creepy oddball than the comical outcast he has become on recent episodes of Impact Wrestling.
Both semifinal bouts were in the 12-15 minute range.
- Ace Austin defeated Cousin Jake. Fulton provided timely distractions whenever Jake picked up momentum. Jake cinched in a gutwrench hold on the turnbuckles, but Austin kicked Jake in the head to send him crashing to the mat. Austin hit a springboard Fold to win.
- Blake Christian defeated Crazzy Steve. The crazy man kept talking to his stuffed toy monkey. When Christian accidentally knocked it off the apron, Steve exploded with rage. Christian weathered the storm to earn victory on a flying 450 smash as Steve was hung over the ropes.
The final between Ace Austin and Blake Christian was about 18 minutes of pure action. Interesting to note, Madman Fulton was not present ringside. The contest was classic X-Division speed with fanciful flips galore.
Christian almost took victory early with a chain of moves culminating in a 450 splash.
Austin went on the offensive after Christian missed a high-risk attack. Austin worked the legs, but it didn’t take long for the flips to start flying again. Christian hit a Fosbury flop then an inverted facelock elbow drop on the entrance ramp.
More speedy fisticuffs led to monkey flip counters. The two men teetered to and fro leading to a surprise Fold finisher by Austin to win.
Overall, the Super X Cup tournament was solid from top to bottom. It had all the flippy stuff viewers could want, but it did lack that one signature crazy moment of insane athleticism. The newcomers performed well and would fit right in on the Impact roster as the next generation of X-Division talent.
Blake Christian was the star of the tournament. He came out of relative obscurity to take Ace Austin to the limit. I was actually surprised Christian upset Crazzy Steve. Due to Steve’s character work focusing more on creepy than comedy, it felt like he was being set up to advance to the finals.
As expected, Austin won the Super X Cup tournament. He was the biggest star in the field by far, and he performed up to expectations. I like the touch of Madman Fulton remaining in the back for the finals. After assisting Austin in the first two bouts, the solo victory was important to show Austin actually earning it. Too bad the trophy is some rinky-dink piece of tin. That leads to wondering who will be bashed in the head with the trophy in the near future.
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