We're on the verge of TNA's 11th birthday and the ninth annual Slammiversary pay-per-view, and we're running down some of the biggest hits and misses of the 2012/13 wrestling "season".
In PART ONE, we talked about the success of Austin Aries, the missed potential of Matt Morgan and the highly controversial Aces & Eights faction and/or biker fantasy. Now, get ready for the abysmal year of AJ Styles, Joe Park's character reinvention, and more.
The X-Division – Hit
The past year of X-Division action started off with a big shake-up, as Austin Aries cashed in his title to become World Champion. The "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" left a giant gap in the roster, and TNA has since compensated by bringing in a ton of new (and old) talent to freshen things up.
Current X-Division Champion Kenny King has done a great job holding the title, although I do wish TNA would invest in more committed storylines on a week-by-week basis. It's kind of like the title has devolved to being around just to fill gaps in the Impact programming. We have a ten minute hole next week? I guess we better utilize Kenny King…
I do enjoy that TNA has made a bigger deal of the returning talent. The recent Suicide videos promoting his return were great, and fans received him pretty well. Chris Sabin had a series of good packages, and has been pretty hot since coming back from his myriad of injuries. Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, and the rest of the part-time fillers have been fun as well.
But that's just it, most of the X-Division talent coming in have felt like current flavors of the month. Find a new person, throw him in a 3-way match, and keep repeating the cycle. Whatever happened to feuds and angles that didn't involve champions, or when the championship feuds were about more than just the titles? Remember Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal's blood feud over SoCal Val? That spanned several months, didn't involve the X-Division Championship, and was – all things considered – good television.
AJ Styles got over by being booked all the time, at every TNA event, no matter what he was doing or who he was up against. Kenny King isn't going to get to that level if they just continue to trot him out once a month for a title defense. Especially if it's more about showcasing the revolving door of talent.
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