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X-Division Championship Match
Two weeks ago the X-Division title was defended in the main event of Impact Wrestling, and until the final minutes of the show I was excited that for a brief moment the division might be relevant again. By no fault of the current reigning champion, Rob Van Dam, no forward progress has been made to that belt since Austin Aries gave it up at the Destination X pay-per-view earlier this year. And that moment will go down in TNA history, as will Aries winning the World Heavyweight title later that same evening. But for the gain of one magical moment, TNA sacrificed the division's best and most key player, while simultaneously making it very clear that it's no more than a stepping stone to the "big time".
There's one glaring problem with that. Well, two really, if you count that the X-Division used to be the company's biggest selling point, and it's now been reduced to a not-so-glorified curtain-jerker. The issue is TNA has a mid-card title, and it's just about as valuable. That is to say, it's not. With so many talented guys on the roster, why are there no creative juice flowing into this division, or any of its matches? Why is the most action RVD gets all year just another pawn for a cheap Austin Aries plug at the end of Impact?
This match should be good, and by all means it needs to be. If TNA isn't going to do anything for the X-Division, the roster needs to do something for itself. Rob Van Dam is a great veteran, and a great face to put on this branch of the product. Beating him means something. Kenny King is a great up-and-coming talent, with all the athletic ability in the world. They've been given an opportunity to do something for their own sake, and for the longevity of the Impact product I sincerely hope they deliver. Step up: the X-Division needs you, boys!
Prediction: Rob Van Dam retains
TNA Knockouts Championship Match
Are there two better talents in the female locker room of TNA than these two? Gail Kim should be a part of the conversation as well, but James and Tara are two of the best. And for what it's worth, I haven't absolutely hated Tara's absurd associated with Jesse What's-His-Name from Big Brother. The return of Eric Young and ODB's comedic presence helped their angle get over as much as it was ever going to.
My fear is that TNA will pull the plug on yet another angle before it has the chance to get going. Earl Hebner was drawn into the story several months back to draw interest to Madison Rayne; that never played out, and instead she flipped the belt right back to Tessmacher four days later. Mickie James made her much-anticipated return, but before she could even wrestle her title match, TNA rushed Velvet Sky's return and stood her right between the champion and her contender. Where is the logic in that?
EARTH TO TNA: You have a women's tag team division; either use it, or lose it. At this rate, it's the only way they're ever going to get more than one person over at a time. Last month it was Tara, but for awhile in there it was ODB as well. It may have actually been EY for about 10 minutes at the last PPV, I don't know. Now it's Mickie James. Next week it'll be back to Velvet Sky, then maybe Madison or Gail can wrestle a match for a change. My point is simple: you have talent on your roster, and the women bring in the best ratings of the night; why in the hell is using them such a complicated issue?
And yes, if you're keeping track at home, I did just advocate for MORE women's wrestling.
Prediction: Mickie James wins