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[2009-01-11-TNA-Genesis] Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin

Superstar Sleeze

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Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin - TNA Genesis 2009 Vacant X Division Championship

Very innovative layout for an American match no classical heat segment or comeback. To my surprise, I thought these two made it work and they put on a terrific match. It was an interesting blend of lucha, NOAH juniors and American Indy wrestling. I am not a proponent that this style become the norm, but if one wanted to live in a post-babyface/heel world I would say this is the blueprint to make it work. I always think it is funny when people say there are not babyfaces and heels anymore in wrestling. If that was the case, there would not be heat segments and comebacks. Yet every match on the RAW I just watched had a heat segment where the heel dominated the babyface followed by a comeback from the babyface. Babyfaces and heels are very real, folks. Now this match tosses it out the window. It very easily could have devolved into a spotfest so why didnt it? Urgency and investment. I hesitate to use the word "struggle" there were still too many things that were easy. However, you could feel that these two men were invested in winning the match. It was not about showing off. It was about winning. There was also no walking through sequences. Everything felt urgent and nothing felt taken for granted. I thought they did a great job establishing that they were tag partners and friends with the mirroring and symmetry. The lucha mat work, arm drags, single leg scoops were great. I loved how they created that Sabin dive to the outside. It was a series of counters and all of sudden Sabin sees an opening and dives out. I was not a huge fan of the setup but Shelley's somersault legdrop was cool. They also added in stiff strikes. There was some great KENTA offense. The Tiger Suplex block and then hit was great. The nearfalls had bite. The spots were impressive and not just modified slams or overly choreographed floor exercise routines.  I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this and really thought it was not just neat from a MOVEZ perspective, but I thought it was unique psychology. I think my favorite part of the whole thing is how post-modern it feels with no heat segment or comeback, but then they end with such a glorious heel finish. Shelley feigns an ankle injury. His tag partner and best friend is concerned only to be hoodwinked and rolled up for the loss. Just like that it is back to Pro Wrestling 101. Genius. I looked up to see what these two are doing now and saw Shelley just recently retired due to injury. All the best to him and good luck! Avant-garde pro wrestling again from TNA that really did not have much influence. ****1/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2009-01-11-TNA-Genesis] Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin
  • 2 months later...

Agreed, thought this was really good. Like the way it built to the near falls and didn't overuse them. They basically established that these two guys were equals, and then Shelley used the deceit to get the win. I feel like 80s Dave Meltzer saying this, but this felt very Japanese style in the way things were structured and worked. Probably the best match I've seen from these two outside of a couple of spectacular spotfests with the Young Bucks.


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