Impact Wrestling
Genesis 2021
January 9, 2021
Skyway Studios
Nashville, Tennessee 

Watch: FITE

Impact Wrestling ran their first monthly Impact Plus special this past Saturday, with Genesis marking the return of the Super X Cup and an ‘I Quit’ match in the main event between Moose and Willie Mack.

Super X Cup First Round Match
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton def. Suicide

To use an incredibly English expression, Ace Austin is different gravy. He’s got great presence, mic skills, is in tremendous shape and is growing in confidence and ability in the ring. This was his first appearance in Impact proper since Bound for Glory and that made him feel like a fresh face. Suicide got a lot in, with Madman Fulton providing distractions if not interference, before Austin nailed him with The Fold around the 10-minute mark to progress. ***

Super X Cup First Round Match
Blake Christian def. KC Navarro

Something the promotion did really well here was running pre-match video packages introducing all of the competitors. It isn’t something they normally do but it did a great job of establishing the new guys like Christian, Navarro and Tre Lamar and explaining everyone’s motives for wanting to win the tournament.

I’ll admit that I’d never seen KC Navarro before Impact this past Tuesday but I’ve been very impressed by his charisma and in-ring work. If I’m Impact management, I’m signing both guys to long-term deals. This was on the spotty side but it was a good showcase for both, with Christian moving forward thanks to the twisting drop from the top rope. ***

Super X Cup First Round Match
Jake Something def. Daivari

Daivari’s pre-match video was probably my favorite of the eight as he explained how opening his own wrestling school had helped him improve his own style. It presented him as an intelligent veteran but in a slightly different way to the norm. Sadly though, this match was the weakest in the opening round. It felt very pedestrian and probably twice as long as it needed to be. Jake got the win with a Black Hole Slam. **1/2

Super X Cup First Round Match
Crazzy Steve def. Tre Lamar

I’m always impressed at how sharp Steve is considering his legit visual impairment and he was strong here in what was a pretty good match. Well, pretty good after they’d got past the early narrative of Steve turning his wackiness up to 11 and Lamar getting freaked out. The pace picked up towards the end with some nice exchanges, Steve sealing the victory with the diving DDT. **3/4

Super X Cup Semi-Final Match
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton def. Jake Something

Jake Something has been crying out for these opportunities in Impact Wrestling and if his alliance with Cody Deaner dissolving means he’ll get more like this, I’m totally on board.

These two meshed very well and I enjoyed that while Madman Fulton remained a factor, they used him in some different ways as a shield for Austin. Something got the big comeback and his power offense looked particularly strong but it was Austin that progressed after he countered Something’s Super Gutwrench attempt into a modified version of The Fold. ***1/4

Super X Cup Semi-Final Match
Blake Christian def. Crazzy Steve

I watched Castaway again over the Christmas period. It’s a great film. Tom Hanks’ descent into madness and relationship with an inanimate Volleyball is genuinely something to behold. Call it the Whisky glasses, but I came dangerously close to ordering a Wilson Volleyball off Amazon after the credits rolled up. Crazzy Steve’s interactions with his monkey reminded me a lot of that film during this match, although I felt no need to seek out replica Phantom of the Opera props after the final bell rang.

Once Christian knocked the monkey out of the ring, the work was very good. It developed into a good back-and-forth with both of them working more offense in than in the previous round. Christian secured his place in the final with a 450 splash to Steve, who was draped over the top rope. ***1/4

Jordynne Grace def. Jazz

Although this started off quite clunky and slow, it developed into a fairly decent match when all was said and done. It was unsurprisingly presented as a battle between two very physical competitors and from Grace’s comeback onwards things really sprang into life. Jazz hit a big Tornado DDT for two and after attempting a rollup, Grace was able to reverse into one of her own for the win. **1/2

Super X Cup Final
Ace Austin def. Blake Christian

Austin sent Fulton to the back before this started, which suggested a clean, fair final, and they absolutely delivered on that, producing my Match of the Night.

To me, it’s the small things that make Austin such a prodigious talent. For example, Crazzy Steve worked over Christian’s ribs in the last round, so Austin ended his nip up sequence with a shot to the ribs. Brava.

For me, this had everything that a standout X-Division match should have. You had flips and kicks, big dives to the outside and both guys trying to one-up each other in the athleticism department. The work to the midsection was never a big focus, the clear story instead being both guys just emptying the tank in an attempt to win the competition.

Christian got a nearfall with a springboard 450 before coming up short on his attempt at the draped 450 that won him his previous match. He came up short with the twisting dive but countered Austin’s first attempt at The Fold into an inside cradle for a nearfall. The finish, with Austin landing The Fold in the midst of both guys exchanging monkey flip holds, was very reminiscent of the way Randy Orton has hit the RKO from various positions over the years. A very good match that makes the notebook. ****

For what it’s worth, I thought all the new guys in the tournament were excellent. More matches like this are a must for Impact this year and the promotion would do well to sign them all up to deals and build around them. Oh, and Lee Moriarty too.

I Quit Match
Willie Mack def. Moose

I know that I’m going to be the low man on this.

I Quit matches aren’t normally my thing. I put that down to my only real exposure to them being the WWE ones where barely a minute seems to go by without the referee poking a microphone in someone’s face. Like a lot of ladder matches and so on, it breaks the natural flow and makes the matches, which in theory are the culmination of a blood feud, clunky.

Early doors, this absolutely lived up to those fears. In the opening five minutes or so, you had Brandon Tolle brandish the microphone 11 times. It was for basic stuff like someone being whipped into the guardrail – a spot that wouldn’t even normally get you a nearfall in a TV match. If you’re the white meat babyface, fuming at this dastardly heel, why wouldn’t you just pile in continually and look for the finish rather than the repeated resets?

After they got through that opening section, the match was actually really good. They beat the pudding out of each other with big strikes and big moves; that table spot on the outside was NASTY. Moose nailed Mack with a belt shot on the outside before landing the mounted elbows, which finished their previous two matches, inside the ring. He lined Mack up for the con-chair-to, threatening to end his career as Mack couldn’t say I Quit while ‘knocked out’, only for Rich Swann to rush out and save his friend. Swann offered Moose a title shot if he left Mack alone, prompting Moose to shout ‘I Quit’ and bailout of the ring.

The match was good, definitely impactful and deserving of the main event slot. However, the opening really dragged me out of it for too long to go more than ***.

Final Thoughts

I was really concerned coming into this show that it’d follow the pattern of recent Impact programming with non-finishes galore. Instead, we got a completely clean show with wrestling that veered from perfectly solid to really good with the final two matches (potentially two **** ones depending on who you ask). The Super X Cup featured some new talent that I’d love the promotion to sign and culminated with a great final between two future stars. I definitely think it’s worth a watch if you’ve got the time before Hard to Kill. The vacuous atmosphere of the Skyway Studios was an issue at times and the show did feel a long three hours but it’s a thumbs up from me.