Well, you know the rules by now: when TNA Wrestling scraps their usual formatting in favor of an all X-Division three hour PPV, punctuated with past rivalries and stars of TNA yesteryear, then it’s the right time to bust out a review of the proceedings. Here now, a look at TNA Destination X, and the night the X Division, and its devoted fans, strike back!
KAZARIAN DEF. SAMOA JOE IN 11:19
For once, Samoa Joe looked like his old self, hitting his trademark X Division offense (corner uranage, hard chops, headfirst plancha) while Kazarian took a hellacious beating. Kazarian ran though his typical offense as well, but mostly served as Joe’s punching bag. Joe was the recipient of chants he hasn’t received in ages (“JOE IS GONNA KILLLLLL YOOOOOOOU”), before the abrupt ending where Kazarian countered a Cocquina Clutch into a front roll-up. Crowd seemed a bit disappointed that Joe continues to lose, but it was still a damn good match.
SMARK RATING: ***1/4
[adinserter block=”2″]OPEN CHALLENGE: DOUGLAS WILLIAMS DEF. MARK HASKINS IN 7:42
Haskins was unknown by the crowd, but Williams filled in the blanks by stating that Haskins impressed on TNA’s European tour earlier this year. A fellow Brit, Haskins seemed nervous, hitting generic offense, and even slipped off the ropes on a shooting star attempt. Williams finished with a simple roll-up, and put him over with an arm raise, but the crowd didn’t seem to buy it.
SMARK RATING: **
SHARK BOY/ERIC YOUNG DEF. GENERATION ME IN 7:22
I was worried Young was going to simply run through his comedy cache, but he went old school, busting his ass for the first time in a long time. G-Me looked impressive, save for a botched kick combo on the floor on Shark Boy. In the end, Shark and Eric prevailed after Sharky hit the “Chummer” on Max Buck, and Young hit his wheelbarrow neckbreaker (to a huge pop, from many fans who booed him out of disgust earlier) for the win.
SMARK RATING: **1/4
ULTIMATE X: ALEX SHELLEY DEF. AMAZING RED, SHANNON MOORE, AND ROBBIE E TO BECOME #1 CONTENDER IN 10:37
The crazy spotfest that we all know and love. The highlight was Shannon Moore climbing above the X itself, and instead to the top of the steel structure, crawling across 15 feet over the ring while Red and Shelley went across the wires. Moore managed to stomp Red off the wires, but Shelley knocked Moore off to claim the red X. Amazing Red was the most impressive, wearing his old indies attire (sans skull cap), and throwing caution to the wind like it was 2002 again. Some Ultimate X matches have been better, but this one was still good, and it’s also good to see Shelley in the mix again.
SMARK RATING: ***1/4
ROB VAN DAM DEF. JERRY LYNN IN 16:52
Wow. Just wow. For a little while, it truly felt like 1999 again, as RVD and Lynn took the Whole/New F’N Show rivalry into a new decade, clichés be ignored. RVD opened up a gusher after being legdropped onto a chair, and took an even sicker bump when Lynn powerbombed him off the top onto said chair (with RVD FLYING across the ring). Van Dam, for his part, tried harder than he has in a while, bringing out some ECW offense, like his counters for Lynn’s offense, as well as the spinning legdrop off the apron onto a prone opponent on the rail. In the end, RVD got the Van Daminator, followed by the Five Star for the win. You need to see this match, yeah.
SMARK RATING: ***3/4
FOR AN IMPACT WRESTLING CONTRACT: AUSTIN ARIES DEF. LOW KI, JACK EVANS, AND ZEMA ION IN 13:32
HOLY……THAT was a spotfest! The action almost literally never stopped, thus living up to the company name. Evans and Ion went all out with flips and dives, while Ki looked like the Low Ki from 2002 that helped usher in the now-popular indy style. Aries added character to the match, heeling it up with arrogance and subtle mannerisms. The crowd was right to chant “SIGN THEM ALL”, and here’s hoping that all four men find their way onto the roster again at some point, but having Aries here and now is a welcome addition.
SMARK RATING: ****
X DIVISION TITLE: BRIAN KENDRICK DEF. ABYSS IN 10:16 TO WIN THE TITLE
As a match, it wasn’t much. In fact, it worked better as a “come-down” off of the fast paced previous match. Kendrick and Abyss had a David and Goliath story that led to Kendrick busting Abyss open and slowly gaining the edge. After Earl Hebner was bumped, Eric Bischoff came out, only to be slugged by Kendrick. Then Immortal ran out, only to be countered by the majority of the X Division roster. In the end, Abyss had a chokeslam countered by Kendrick into a front cradle to give Kendrick the title. It wasn’t much of a match, but it was a fun spectacle to add a special feel to the show.
SMARK RATING: **1/2
MAIN EVENT: AJ STYLES DEF. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS IN 28:28
Just a long, tremendous, old-school, well-worked match between two best friends and professional rivals. Daniels, for having so many injuries in recent years, held up his end in a true classic. The match was a bit slow, but that helped in telling the story of the build with two competitors who know each other. Some parts had the Bret Hart/British Bulldog Summerslam 1992 vibe, albeit with more modern offense and more high flying, as you’d expect. In the end, Daniels’ attempt at a top rope Angel’s Wings led to Styles’ backdropping him off, and hitting the Spiral Tap. A great ending to a great PPV.
SMARK RATING: ****1/2
[adinserter block=”1″]OVERALL: Well, the show delivered what it promised. It was a night of X Division action, and we got just that. Some parts weren’t as frenzied as they could have been, but it takes a lot of the performers to bring out that kind of wrestling, especially ones that have done slower TV matches over the last few years. Overall, the show worked, and I hope it does a million buys and everyone watches it and it revolutionizes the biz, blah blah blah….
In other words, if you haven’t seen it, GET IT.
TNA Destination X full match results…
Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe
Douglas Williams defeated Mark Haskins
Eric Young and Shark Boy defeated Generation Me (Max and Jeremy Buck)
Alex Shelley defeated Robbie E, Shannon Moore and Amazing Red in an Ultimate X match to determine the number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship
Rob Van Dam defeated Jerry Lynn
Austin Aries defeated Zema Ion, Low Ki and Jack Evans to win a TNA Wrestling contract
Brian Kendrick defeated Abyss to win the TNA X Division Championship
A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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