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TNA Destination X
Show kicks off and we have the return of the six-sided ring, which should be a fun, one-night change. Borash is joining Mike Tenay behind the announce table. Borash is a "Jack of all.." within TNA and very much under-appreciated for all his hard work. He’s one of those guys that every business owner needs to have in order to make it.
Samoa Joe vs Kazarian
Kazarian ended up winning with a quick roll-up after Joe argued with Earl Hebner thinking he had won after his rear naked choke. It was somewhat of an anti-climactic ending, but the match overall was very fun. The crowd was certainly into the match and was behind Joe all the way. Joe and Kazarian know each other well in and out of the ring, so it’s no surprise they had a good opening match. I just think about how far Joe has fallen from a couple of years ago. He’s gone through so many gimmick changes in TNA, it’s hard to say who he even is these days as a character. I like where he is now, which is basically the guy he was in the beginning: a bad ass ass-kicker, plain and simple.
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Doug Williams vs Some UK Wrestler
I don’t know who the kid is, but he’s some nobody from the UK named Mark Haskins or something. Williams held an open challenge and somehow this guy is who got chosen. I like Doug Williams and think he’s great in just about every aspect of the business with the exception of one: personality. Maybe it’s just the fact that he preaches how great a wrestler he is. I’m not sure the typical wrestling fan cares if someone is a great wrestler "technically" or not. They want to be entertained. Williams isn’t that entertaining, in my opinion and his in-ring style is purposely slow and methodical. As a package, it’s all rather boring. Anyway, Williams pinned Haskins after Haskins missed a shooting star press. Haskins botched a couple of moves during the match and while he showed some good stuff, his nerves may have gotten the best of him. It’s all moot though – we weren’t ever going to see him again after tonight anyway.
Eric Young/Shark Boy vs Generation Me
Fun match with TNA’s version of Santino and Stone Cold Shark Boy getting the win. It was a fun match and right now, I’m getting a ton of feedback on Twitter about who is funnier: Santino or EY. What do you think?
Alex Shelley vs Amazing Red vs Robbie E. vs Shannon Moore
I’m not a huge fan of the Ultimate X match overall. It makes for too many awkward moments when they’re trying to work off the cables. it’s too dangerous to do a lot of risky stuff, so they are limited to simple drop downs, drop kicks to people on the cables and straight back bumps. It leaves fans a little disappointed most of the time and the only moves you typically pop about are moves they can do without the Ultimate X gimmick attached.
Either way, Amazing Red stole the show during this match. Alex Shelley won it. Shannon Moore went higher than everyone else, but it took forever for him to get across the steel structure above the cables. And Robbie E taught everyone a lesson in how to oversell in cheesy, hokey ways.
There were a lot of good spots and it was a fun, entertaining match overall, but again, it seems like a let down at the end because there’s just not many "new" moves they can do in that match without risking, you know, death and stuff.
RVD vs Jerry Lynn
Really fun nostalgic match between these two. RVD got busted open the hard way after a legdrop by Lynn on to a chair. Jerry Lynn did a sweet sunset flip off the second rope and threw RVD about 7 feet across the ring on to the chair. A lot of their typical stuff and simply a fun match for two people who have a lot of history with one another.
Low-Ki vs Jack Evans vs Zema Ion vs Austin Aries
This is honestly my most anticipated match. Really looking forward to it.
Austin Aries picked up the win and the TNA contract, but the crowd absolutely said it best as they chanted "Sign them all!" throughout the match. The four absolutely delivered and each had moments of greatness. I had a guy tweet me during the match saying that Austin Aries reminded him of CM Punk and in a lot of ways, he’s right. He simply has that believability factor and he can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the ring.
This match may not have been worth the $45 price tag by itself, but it certainly was an excellent match and if you’re into those fast-paced, high flying matches, go out of your way to see this match.
Abyss (c) vs Brian Kendrick
The match was rather boring overall, in my opinion and all in one swoop, Gunner, Steiner and Bully Ray come down and destroy 5 or 6 of the X Division guys. Horrible booking when you’re trying to build up a division again and it truly shows how TNA execs feel about it. That’s why Abyss should have never been made Champion. There’s no way you can have a guy a third of his size beat him clean and that doesn’t help anyone. I know they say the X Division isn’t about weight limits, but it damn well should be.
A.J. Styles vs Christopher Daniels
Let’s get it on! Styles picked up the win after a Spiral Tap off the top rope. Both men kicked out of the other’s finisher once in the match and it was a lot of back-and-forth between the two.
Overall, it was a great match that may get a little criticism from some simply due to the slow build and methodical approach to the match. To me, it was clear they were given a lot of time to try and steal the show and expectations were very high. Some could look at this as a disappointment or a let down. Like going to a movie when all your friends say it was the best thing ever. Your expectations of what the match "should" be sometimes blinds you and prohibits you from sitting back and enjoying the match.
This match on this pay per view with that much hype and expectation is only setting them up to leave people disappointed. Almost every other match on the card was fast-paced, high flying, nonstop action. These two – veterans and simply unbelievable – took a different approach to the match, rather than going out there and doing what they’ve done in the past. Did they tear the house down? No, not like in years past. But they were given more time tonight and they slowed things down and worked a more "wrestling" style match.
Some people might not have liked it and arguably so. It was definitely a different match than what we’re used to by these two and it’s simply hard to compare. It wasn’t their best match ever, but their worst match is still going to be head and shoulders above what most workers can do.
TNA’s Destination X was a solid show with some great moments. The filler matches ruined what could have been a constant flow of energy and momentum, but overall, it was a much better offering than what TNA has in recent months (hell, years).
It had that old-school feel to it like TNA used to have almost every pay per view three or four years ago. Kudos to TNA management for allowing the X Division guys to go out there and do what they do. There was very little involvement from any of the "main event" guys outside of one run-in during the X Division Championship match. The crowd was very hot for the most part and that makes all the difference in the world. They were truly invested nearly all night and that makes it easier for those at home to get behind it as well.
My match of the night: TNA contract match.
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