By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Solid segment to kick off the show featuring TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. It was reminiscent of the Slammy Award segment featuring CM Punk and John Cena, but that didn't necessarily make this promo bad by any means. I would've preferred Roode or Aries win TNA Wrestler of the Year after all they accomplished in 2012, but Hardy was a logical choice given his popularity with the fans. Hardy's announcement of the Triple Threat title match at the Genesis pay-per-view next Sunday felt a bit underwhelming, but at least it was done effectively.
Great match with James Storm defeating Kazarian. It easily could've gone longer, but it involved some fun action while it lasted. The finish was fantastically done and the crowd was certainly hot for it. These two work very well together and I'd love to see the feud continue beyond this point. Also, their pre-match backstage segment was brilliant and undoubtedly the highlight of the night.
Fine match with Christian York defeating Kid Kash to advance in the X-Division title tournament. This match was all about York and his flurry of offense throughout, but he looked a bit clunky at points. That aside, I'm glad to see York pick up his first victory here and I look forward to him compete in his first pay-per-view match at Genesis.
Brief match with World Tag Team Champion Hernandez defeating Joey Ryan via disqualification. It lasted a mere minute, so this entire bout felt pointless. Sure, it furthered the tag team feud, but it was rushed and done so poorly that it felt completely forgettable.
Strange segment featuring Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan. I haven't been a major fan of this angle since its start, but I will admit that Hogan's impromptu suspension of Ray has me intrigued. The story-line has some potential, but they need to continue to keep things interesting and not just ridiculous.
Good tag team match with Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher defeating Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Tara. It received great time and the action seemed to flow very well. Every competitor in this bout shined at one point or another and it was easily one of the better Knockouts matches in recent memory.
Standard Steel Cage match with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe defeating Aces and 8s. It was pretty much what you'd expect with Angle fending off D.O.C. at ringside and making his way back into the ring before getting the pin-fall victory for his team. As fine as the match was, I'm only issue with this was the fact Aces and 8s lost yet again. Not only that, but Sting's return fell flat and was incredibly lame, so his attack on the villainous stable was meaningless. Unveiling the masked member of Aces and 8s as Mike Knox was a smart move, but the group needs to start winning more matches if they expect to stick around long.
Overall, a pretty good show that featured some entertaining action and nice story-line progression. Of course, Impact Wrestling is almost always more enjoyable during its live format, but they made the most of it and put forth a solid effort with this show. This was a great way to kick off the year for TNA and here's hoping it's a sign of things to come. Not much was advertised for next week's Impact Wrestling, but expect that to feature some last minute additions to the Genesis card.
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