TNA Wrestling‘s Destination X will be held this Thursday, July 18th and it will be on Spike TV. Usually this was a PPV show for TNA, but since they cut their PPVs down to four a year, they decided to make this one free for everyone. Certainly I am not complaining and neither should anyone. We do know that more people will watch the show this year than the previous years while it was on PPV.
The show will have Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin for the TNA World Title as the main event. Sabin cashed the X-Division Title in to get a World Title shot. It worked last year for Austin Aries, but will it work for Chris? You will have to watch on Thursday! Also on the show, TNA will bring some past X-Division stars and they will showcase the current stars as well. It looks like it is going to be an entertaining show.
I asked the writers for TNANews.com about their thoughts on the X-Division as we head into Destination X. I will be giving my thoughts on the division as well as Jason Franklin and Ric Santos! Be sure to sound off on your thoughts on the division and the Destination X show that will be on Thursday!
When I heard Hulk Hogan announce that Chris Sabin could cash in the X-Division Title in at Destination X on Slammiversary, I was quite shocked. I quickly thought, “Wait, there’s going to be Destination X?” TNA started their new PPV model this year where they are only having 4 live PPVs in a year. Destination X wasn’t one of those. So, how in the world are we going to have this? I wrote an article about it (found here) where I try to pinpoint when this show will air and how it will air. Honestly, it seems like TNA just thought of this idea a week or even a couple days before Slammiversary. It really came out of nowhere. After weeks of speculation, TNA announced they will have it on television and it will be right in the middle of the build to Bound for Glory. Honestly, this is a great idea!
While Slammiversary was in June, Bound for Glory is in October. 4 months is quite awhile. Building a PPV for four months can be tricky, but TNA threw Destination X in July and, surprisingly, it worked! They really only started to build this PPV three weeks ago and I really think they did a great job with it. They had some unpredictable swerves like Chris losing the title and Austin Aries winning it because he stole the Suicide costume. Chris retained the title and will now face Bully. Three weeks and the major story was built perfectly. It really had people talking!
The X-Division isn’t the same as it was in 2005 or 2007. The thing is, nothing lasts forever. There’s always going to be change. We all love the old X-Division, but that is the past. We got to look at the present and the future. That is really what matters. Divisions in the wrestling business and superstars never last. They change and they dissolve. Is the X-Division coming back? Yes! Can it be like it once was in 2007? Yes! Will it? Time will tell. Certainly TNA Wrestling has a lot going for them through expanding their company as well as dealing with their television shows. TNA is doing a great job juggling the X-Division, Knockout division, and the main event story with Aces & 8s and Main Event Mafia. We really should appreciate what’s going on right now.
Let’s be honest here and admit that the de-elevation of the X-Division in the Hogan/Bischoff era has hurt the company on a pure wrestling level. On television, the announcers and Hogan himself speak of the X-Division and the talent highly, though they are often relegated to the same Triple-Threat matches with the same talent, i.e. Kenny King and Chris Sabin. The angle with Rob Van Dam and Kenny King was an obvious ploy to keep Van Dam from jumping ship before his contract was up. When he did, they jobbed him out to King in a terrible title loss. The Austin Aries/Suicide/Manik angle was great, however brief, although I thought strapping the belt back on Sabin was the right choice leading into Destination X. Chris Sabin and Bully Ray have had epic battles in the past (Motorcity Machineguns vs. Team 3D were TNA classics), and Destination X will prove to be no exception. Look for Austin Aries at the top of the leaderboard in the Bound For Glory Series.
The X-Division is not what it once was, with viable contenders sitting on the sidelines. Why is it that we are not seeing future stars Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff in the X-Division, relegating them only to character status in the Aces & Eights? One of the drawing factors of TNA Wrestling has been the X-Division, with such classic matches as the Ultimate X, the Steel Asylum and the Xscape matches. They also had quality non-main eventers in the division, including Lo Ki, Jerry Lynn, Alex Shelley, Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt. The X-Division is also what made stars out of current top-carders such as AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe. Even Abyss had time with the belt. While Sting, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle traded the NWA/TNA World Title, all eyes were on the X-Division. It was reminiscent of the Cruiserweight division in WCW, which made household names out of the likes of Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho.
My hopes for the X-Division match at Destination X are dashed everytime I see the new participants for the ROH World Title Tournament with former X-Division Champs Brian Kendrick, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt in the picture, all but ruling them out of a potential X-Division return. To re-ignite the X-Division, elevate Wes and Garrett, bring back Kaz and Daniels, while including current roster talent Chavo Guerrerro, Sam Shaw and Robbie E.
The X-Division in 2013 has gone through a facelift in comparison with its past format. Is this new format, three men competing in a one fall bout to qualify for a threeway X-Division championship match, simply better? Yes.
With a threeway dance situation, no one can take a moment of rest. Hesitation leads to a loss so the action is fast paced and continually back and forth between the competitors throughout the bout. This also leads to great high spots and moments, such as the already classic Tower of Doom maneuver. There is excitement when the X-Division stars let loose; pulling out all of the stops to get the win for a shot at the X-Division gold. Another positive is exposure for more talent within TNA to spice up the division.
The few areas in question, playing into the shuffling TNA is known for at times, were displayed within the X-Division match between Austin Aries, Chris Sabin and Manik. The bout became a one on one contest after Manik was eliminated due to injury by the Aces & 8’s. Could this be a sign of future bouts returning to a one on one format? Also, if an X-Division champion can “cash in” his title for a shot at the heavyweight title, does a weight limit make sense?
The X-Division has been a changing staple of TNA Wrestling and there should be a solid/constant design. However, there is a sense that it will revert back to its past format: TNA will become indifferent in its presentation. TNA needs someone to head the X-Division and work with the writers and creative big wigs to have the it stand out as it should have. The X-Division can become its own animal once again if given the right amount of time and care from TNA. The talent is there but the commitment may need to be established again.