TNA Wrestling held their Destination X pay-per-view last night from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Aside from the return of TNA’s Ultimate X structure, every title in the company was on the line. Could TNA deliver a quality pay-per-view before one of their biggest events of the year next month? Below are my thoughts on a match by match basis in the order in which they occurred.
The show opened with Madison Rayne, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky taking on Roxxi, Taylor Wilde and The Governor. The match was your basic Knockout match that was too short to be good or bad. Everyone hit their basic spots before Wilde cleaned house, Rayne hit a high cross-body off the top rope and The Governor dove to the outside. Wilde was left alone in the ring where she hit her bridging suplex on Rayne to get the pinfall victory.
Up next was an unannounced match as Brutus Magnus continued his open challenge. The thing about Magnus is he is still really green and I’m unsure if he is ready for the push he is receiving. Nonetheless Eric Young came out to accept the challenge and worked good enough to save the match from being bad. Magnus kicked out of a pinfall attempt after EY hit the Death Valley Driver only to hit his finisher and get the win. Magnus is still good on his challenge without making Young look bad.
Sheik Abdul Bashir came out for an in-ring promo while the ring crew was setting up for the match of 10,000 tacks. This was one of many weird moments on the pay-per-view as basically he cut his normal heel promo about being discriminated against only for Jim Cornette to come out and tell him no one likes him. Really, who cares? This was obviously done to kill time but it could have been scrapped and more time could have been added to the matches. Bashir insulted the Navy veteran that was the guest ring announcer for Eric Young which was done to draw cheap heat.
The Match of 10,000 Tacks was your basic Abyss gimmick match. It was short, to the point and Abyss ended up being the one bloodied and through the tacks. Everyone knows gimmick matches do not do much for me and this was no different. Abyss did hit the Black Hole Slam and dumped out a bag of broken glass which I thought was going to be interesting, but it ended up being a non-factor as Morgan finished the match out of the ring.
The Finals for “One Night Out” with ODB was one of the worst segments I have ever seen. It was done to debut Cody Deaner, but it was one of those segments where I felt embarrassed to be watching. This is one of the reasons why so many people look at pro wrestling like a joke. I will say Jeremy Borash made a great game show host and if he ever decides to move on from wrestling, he might give Howie Mandel a run for his money.
Sojourner Bolt looked terrible in her match last night for the TNA Knockout Women’s Championship against Awesome Kong. The match was literally Botchomania and is the early favorite for Worst Match of the Year. Bolt botched everything and to try and look competitive with Kong you have to be on point. She wasn’t and the match was a disaster.
Samoa Joe made his return to TNA last night with his match against Scott Steiner. Joe wore new ring attire which made him look minor league but his work was still as good as ever. Steiner was busted open early and in typical TNA fashion, Joe got disqualified early and the match was thrown out. Joe was booked to be psychotic as he bit Steiner where he was busted open and took him out of the Impact Zone. They teased in a segment later in the night that Joe had done something terrible to Steiner.
AJ Styles and Booker T had a good match to try and salvage what had been a forgettable pay-per-view up until this point. For the past several months Booker T has look lethargic in his work, literally just going through the motions and not putting out a lot of effort. Last night was different as he worked the hardest he has in awhile and AJ performed at 110% as he is known for. The go-home sequence was great as Styles was on the apron, springboarded off the top rope onto Booker ended up hitting the Pele followed by the Styles Clash for the win. Styles is the new TNA Legends Champion and is one of the best things going right now in professional wrestling.
It was time for some overbooking with the next match as Beer Money, Inc. held their “Off the Wagon” Challenge, putting their belts on the line up against the jobs of Team 3D. Storm got Beer Money disqualified when he landed a chair shot on Brother Ray but Jim Cornette came out to restart the match. Cornette said this time it will be a no disqualification match. In typical TNA booking fashion, they had Roode pull out the referee when Brother Ray had the three count on Storm, only for Rood to take Storm to the back with the belts. Beer Money was counted out giving Team 3D the win, but making the match pointless. The work wasn’t bad but the booking made no sense. Go figure.
The match of the night was the Ultimate X Match featuring Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Suicide, Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed all battling for the X Division Championship which was held by Alex Shelley. Spot fest throughout in a very entertaining match that I highly recommend you see. Suicide ended up pulling out the win in an incredible go-home sequence where Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin and Consequences Creed were all on the structure before Suicide dove from the top in a very risky spot to capture the title. Excellent, excellent work by everyone involved.
Any match involving Kurt Angle is going to special; there is just no disputing the fact that the guy can out work anyone in the business. I don’t know how he does it, especially given his health, but last night was everything I have come to expect from Kurt Angle. He and Sting had a very good match until the gimmicky finish where Angle accidentally took out Jarrett only for Mick Foley (the Special Enforcer) to become the referee. Jarrett ended up coming too, Angle spit in his face, and Jarrett took out Angle which allowed Sting to his the Scorpion Death Drop and retain the title. What did you expect with Jarrett and Foley both involved? Somehow TNA is expected to build to Foley vs. Sting at Lockdown and it looks like another grudge match between Angle and Jarrett.
TNA Destination X was almost painful to watch until Booker T vs. AJ Styles. They worked hard and started to salvage the pay-per-view only for the Ultimate X Match and the main event to turn the show into a respectable effort. The Ultimate X Match was as good as anything you’ll see in the business and I highly recommend you check it out. Two titles changed hands as Styles is the new Legends Champion and Suicide is the new X Division Champion. Here’s to Suicide resurrecting the X Division to what it used to be. My hat goes off to AJ Styles and Kurt Angle who were awesome last night. Booker T and Sting worked like the capable veterans they are and salvaged Destination X.
Richard can be contacted at richard [at] grayinternet.com
Richard Gray is a professional wrestling journalist and frequent contributor to Rajah.com. He has been covering the world of professional wrestling since 1999 and has had the opportunity to cover ground breaking stories such as the demise of ECW, the WCW buyout, the Benoit tragedy, Bobby Lashley leaving WWE, and more. For more on Richard check out his web site, Wrestling News World.
– “Richard Reacts” Archive By WrestlingNewsWorld.com’s Richard Gray