This week TNA has been getting more and more confusing. Every time TNA seems to take a couple steps forward they end up doing things that further make them look like they haven't a clue what they're doing. TNA going on the road was a wonderful thing, and the shows have been getting better for it. There have been some serious issues since they went on the road, and one of the biggest for me is that every X Division Match is a Triple Threat Match, and that makes for no space for feuds and storylines. Doug Williams hit it on in our interview, that there's no time for anything to build, and no place to put the focus, when every X Division Match has three people in it.
They're on the road, all is well and good, but then there's suddenly money issues, so a number of Gut Check wrestlers are released. I can understand that there's too many people on TNA's roster, and something had to give, but certain people, specifically Christian York, didn't make a lot of sense. Cutting costs since going on the road is something TNA very obviously needs to do, but cutting Tara loose makes no sense to me. Okay, maybe she wanted freedom, but after the way she's been used, and how well her new restaurant is going, I don't blame her if she wanted out.
I guess the things that bother me the most about all this is that TNA is restructuring and letting people go due to financial issues, yet they're keeping around someone who I think it too large of a financial burden for what he brings to the company. This is my largest battle with Alex, and we both look at Hogan from very different view points. Possibly it's the difference in our age, but there are many other factors, and something maybe he and I should look at more closely in the future, but right now I think keeping Hogan on when they're restructuring to save money is not the smartest business move. Then again, almost anyone would have be let go for the verbal under-minding of Dixie and TNA that Hogan has done publicly since joining the company, would have be let go long before. I'm shocked that Dixie and TNA have put up with all Hogan has said, but I guess that just further proved what I've been saying for a very long time, that Dixie is not suited for running a wrestling company.
But then another huge and oddly shaped piece of this absurd puzzle came out today with the new X Division Championship belt. TNA releases 11 people over the past couple weeks, all the while talking about money, and then Dixie takes to Twitter to show off the new X Division Title belt? Nothing like kicking each and every person released in the slats! That was low down and dirty! I know that it really is the perfect time of the year to debut a new belt, but with the releases it was just daft. TNA basically said they don't have the money to pay these people, but they have the money to spend on a big chunk of metal and leather than no one really needed in the first place. Further, Dixie made a huge deal about this belt on Twitter two days after people were released, and then it wasn't even shown live on the Destination X episode of Impact! I don't know whose fantastic idea all of this was, but maybe they should be the ones who should be worried about their paychecks. Wait a minute, that would have to be Dixie, and I'm sure she's about the only one who doesn't worry where her next paycheck is coming from with her parents footing the bill.
Destination X Starts
Video > B+
Solid video for Sabin. They really built him and his match up in a huge way. There was almost no way Sabin could lose to Bully and save face in any way. If I'd paid close enough attention to this video when it first aired (had to go back and re-watch the opening of the show as I wasn't paying close enough attention), I'd have called Sabin the winner of the main event just from this opening video.
In Ring Segment > B
Those fans are wild and Bully brought them up to an even high frenzy! Twittuh! I know Bully is from New York, but when he said Twittuh, all I hear is a Maine-uh saying Twitter. But then he really stepped it up when he worked with Brooke. He was all sad and pathetic, then turned total jerk on Brooke. They still work so well together. I guess with Brooke getting engaged, she won't be turning heel and joining A&8's, and that really bums me out. I'd have loved to see what she could do as a heel.
I will give Hogan props for keeping things short, or at least seeming like he was trying to keep things short. He handled that quite well. MEM did the same – short, sweet and to the point.
Backstage Segment > B
Roode came off strong here, but not his best. He did set up well for what was to come in his match.
BFG Series – Roode vs Aries > A-
Roode versus Aries? That automatically puts stars in my eyes and causes me to drool a tiny bit. Those two men should be in the main event, and they will be again, but until then, I cannot wait to see what they will do to everyone else in the BFG Series.
Every moment of this match, each move they hit, was made that much greater by that wild crowd in Kentucky! I would have loved to have been in that arena for Destination X! That Aries defeated Roode two years in a row. That Roode is 0-4 is one thing, but how he reacted was another. I though Roode did a solid job of showing his ire over his 4th loss in a row, and his second Destination X loss to Aries, in a row. Crappy loss for Roode, but what a stellar match!
Winner – Aries +7=14 (11:56)
Backstage Segment > C
Lucky us, Homicide is back. At least there's no cage he can't pull his ass out of this time! Sad to say, but this was terribly clichéd. WWE is blamed for that type of crap, but TNA is as bad, or worse!
X Division Qualifying Match – Homicide vs Petey Williams vs Sonjay Dutt > B+
I would have loved to see Dutt and Williams go at it one on one. Homicide had some solid moves in this match, but Williams and Dutt are two of the best, and should have been allowed to go at it full boar! This was a really good match, but imagine four minutes (or more, as they should have had) of Williams and Dutt going all out on each other. To me that is some of the best the X Division has to offer. These Triple Threat Matches are hurting the X Division more than helping them in my book. Hopefully TNA will see the light before it's too late for the X Division – again.
I have to give huge props to Dutt for working this match after the way he popped his own shoulder back in after his last match. That's old school toughness that isn't seen as much as we used to. Not saying it's a good thing – like Sabu gluing his face together – but it shows a level of dedication, heart and toughness that too many are missing these days.
Winner – Sonjay Dutt (4:04)
X Division Qualifying Match – Chavo vs King vs Manik > B+
Borash talked up the Triple Threat Matches of the X Division, and if he has to talk it up the way he does, then there's a problem. Manik looked like he carried this match from the opening bell. I don't know why they wouldn't let TJ work without the hood. We know it's him, and he's awe inspiring, but we're missing so much by not seeing his face. Normally that doesn't bother me with masked wrestlers, but with TJ is bothers me a lot.
Chavo looked like he was struggling through those amigos on both Manik and King. King, on the other hand, looked sick working that corner just before Manik took the win. Manik deserved that win, and I cannot wait to see what he will do next. That man could become the shining star of the X Division!
Winner – Manik (4:34)
Backstage Segment > B
I'm not thrilled with Rampage in MEM, but that's my own personal problem. He's never been a wrestling Champ, therefore shouldn't be part of the team. I know, Magnus hasn't either, but Magnus will. We have no clue what will happen with Rampage.
Video > C-
Recap of Sabin's opening video, only shortened, and without much of what made it great originally.
Backstage Segment > B+
Hogan was pretty cool talking up Sabin the way he did. Short, sweet and to the point. Hogan was great there.
In Ring Segment > B
Rampage looks so out of place surrounded by those suits who are so well spoken. MEM came off great in that segment. Or they did until they walked into a trap and Angle was kidnapped. Then things got a bit rough for the group.
X Division Qualifying Match – Rubix vs Rockstar Spud vs Greg Marasciulo > B
Not the X Division match that the other two were, but we've also never seen these two together in the ring, and it was obvious that there were some little issues. Things just looked slightly off through much of it, but then I actually yelled, 'Where the $^&# did he come from?' when Marasciulo flew onto Spud out of nowhere. Luckily Sam wasn't in the room, but Marasciulo shocked the heck out of me when he flew into the ring, and I think the colors he was wearing added to the shock of him flying in. Then the way he flew out on Spud was great, but it was his finisher that sealed the deal for me. Why did we have to wait for him to be on Impact to see that type of ring work from him? As soon as the match started, I knew he would win it, and not because someone spoiled it for me, because I threatened everyone, but because he looked like a serious wrestler compared to the other two he was in the ring with. He looks big time compared to Rubix and Spud.
Winner – Marasciulo (6:26)
Backstage Segment > B
Bully on his cell, most likely with Taz, talking about how great they screwed over Angle and MEM. An offer Angle can't refuse? I don't think A&8's has that much money!
Backstage Segment > B
Angle's back? Now that's a swerve!
In Ring Segment > C+
So Mickie goes heel and turns trashy? I'm saying it seems to suit her, but it's not a good look for her. Kim, on the other hand, really seems to be classing things up since she got married. She looked lovely out there. I honestly don't think I can be unbiased about Mickie, and I'm still not sure why that is exactly. What do you guys think about Mickie and her heel turn these days?
Backstage Segment > A-
Aries was really great here with Sabin. That man is so well rounded, and it drives me crazy that he's not Champ right now!
Backstage Segment > D
AJ just didn't pull that off in any way, shape or form.
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Bully Ray (c) vs Chris Sabin > A-
The chops to Sabin, the kicks to Bully – they were sick. Bully's hand was red, but the broken blood vessels in Sabin's chest in the shape of Bully's hand was just crazy! At one point it looked as though Sabin looked as though he was trying not to blow chunks. As conditioned as you are for all of that, chops like that have to hurt.
Watching this match, the fans were all into it live. When they started to quiet down, something else big happened. From A&8's and MEM coming out, to Bully putting his hand to his ear like Hogan. Then when the hammer came in and the brawl broke out. They booked this match really well for everyone but Sabin. Sabin had been built up in a huge way going into this match, but after the chops, he looked like a total mess. I cannot remember the last tine I saw a fully naked leg in the ring. Now, Sabin has one nice leg to look at, but the beat down he took from Bully made him look quite weak. Don't get me wrong, Sabin deserves to be WHC, he's put in the time, pain, sweat, blood, and tears, it was the booking in this match that didn't do him any favors.
There was a lot of talk in the Open Thread Party about whether it was the right time to take the strap off Bully. As much as I ripped on the booking for making Sabin looking weaker than he really is, I do think this was the right move. First off, it validated Sabin and everything he's put in to get to this point. Secondly, like MITB, if Sabin had lost, Option C would have looked like something that was good for Aries, but not for the X Division wrestlers as a whole. Sabin made the X Division look that much stronger for his winning. Third, this was TNA's version of Destination X this year, how better than have a true X Division wrestler beat the likes of Bully for the WHC? Fourth, they needed to shake things up, and taking the strap off Bully will do that, especially since Sabin used Bully's own hammer to do it. Bully will be fuming about that, and claiming that Sabin cheated, even though Bully took the first swing, but with Hogan as GM, Bully won't get anywhere with that complaint. I'm not sure that Bully won't win it back in his rematch, but for tonight, Sabin winning was the right way to go.
Winner and new TNA WHC – Chris Sabin (18:42)
I have to say that TNA rocked Destination X tonight. I wasn't sure if they would be able to pull things off, because taking one of my favorite PPVs and shoving it into a two hour televised show could have been a bad move, but they handled it pretty well. There's spots that I wish had been cleaned up, other spots that the flow was off. They didn't do anything with Angle returning by himself, and that was a HUGE drop of the ball. I know they will address it later, but they should have addressed it during this show, because it was a loose end that was left hanging in a bad way.