Where’s The Grave For TNA Wrestling’s X-Division?

One of the things people who cover the wrestling business have to deal with is acceptance. Acceptance in terms of “accepting the fact”. Old time fans have to accept the fact that Hulk Hogan can’t wrestle like he used to. The 90s wrestling fans have to realize that WWE is not like The Attitude Era anymore. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of statements and facts that we have to accept. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s something we don’t want to acknowledge, but we have to. One of the topics I just learned to accept is that TNA Wrestling‘s X-Division is not what it used to be in a number of ways.

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The X-Division is a sad state of affairs. In fact, to reiterate the title, where did TNA Wrestling bury the X-Division? I surely want to know because I will go to the grave with a shovel and spend my entire night shoveling 6 feet of dirt to get to the X-Division!

I have been watching The Best of the X-Division vol. 1 in the past week and it has inspired me a couple of ways. Not only did it make me love watching high flying and back and forth wrestling matches again, but it also inspired me to write this article. I am not even done with watching volume 1 and the DVD told me so much.

During a match on the DVD Mike Tenay stated, “If you want to watch alternative wrestling that you won’t see anywhere else then you are at the right place.” That single quote from Mike explained so much. It explained TNA Wrestling. It explained their philosophy. It explained what they were trying to prove. They wanted to be the alternative wrestling company. A synonym for alternative is different. They wanted everyone to know that TNA was different than the competition. TNA Wrestling had that feeling from the very beginning. TNA really started pushing that alternative phrase in 2004 though. TNA was different from then to 2009, in my opinion. However, when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came into TNA, they were able to tell everyone that they were just like WWE. In fact, they were probably telling others they were better than WWE. Right then and there ruined the foundation… the philosophy… TNA was gearing towards. They were no longer different. They were no longer the alternative. They made TNA WWE. Trying new things is never bad. I actually praise TNA and everyone involved taking TNA to WWE on Monday nights; however, they did it in the sense of being the same. Why watch the competition if it’s the same?

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Mike’s quote also told us something. Not only did it tell us that TNA is different but it also told us that they have wrestling we won’t see anywhere else. Simply put, he meant the X-Division. Watching matches from 2004 and 2005, so far, made me realize how important the division actually was. The division main evented Impact. The division had continuous stories every single week. It went from AJ Styles to Jerry Lynn to Low Ki to Kid Kash to Amazing Red to AJ Styles to Christopher Daniels to Samoa Joe. Those names not only made the X-Division famous but the X-Division made them famous. They were the pioneers of the division. We had matches like AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels in a 30 minute Ironman match. We had AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe for the X-Division Title in what has been considered one of the best matches of all-time! There has been countless X-Division matches that lasted 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and more!

Using a ladder in Ultimate X is a disgrace to the X-Division. Who is writing this stuff?

Using a ladder in Ultimate X is a disgrace to the X-Division. Who is writing this stuff?

I don’t want to take away from any of the X-Division stars now. They don’t deserve it. Austin Aries is one of the best performers in TNA Wrestling today! Chris Sabin is a tremendous in-ring competitor and deserves respect for all of the injuries he has been through and his return after each. I do want to blame TNA Wrestling though. I want to blame the writers. I want to call them out and ask them about the X-Division. There is no way anyone can say there is a major focus on the division. Honestly, it feels like the X-Division is only a division where they plug into the show to fill up the remaining time. It’s sad. It’s depressing. It hurts.

We saw last week’s X-Division segment consist of Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky. The segment was about how Chris wants Sky’s help in his rematch next week. Sabin said he would just have to find a new gal if Sky won’t help. You guessed it, that is it! We didn’t see the X-Division Champion in two weeks. We get a X-Division Title match without any build. What is that? Does TNA really care? The philosophy of being different and having wrestling we won’t see anywhere else was so surreal. It made sense. I understood it. What’s TNA’s philosophy now? I honestly don’t even know. I asked Dixie Carter what makes TNA different from the competition. She didn’t answer. Does she even know?

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Every time there was a X-Division match from 2004 to 2009 the crowd woke up. The crowd stood to their feet. We saw amazing moments and moves from unbelievable talent! The crowd went crazy. They were waiting for a X-Division match. So was I! Stories were progressed. Characters were developed and memories were made.

Is there any hope for the X-Division? Absolutely! There’s always hope! I actually think the division could be as great as it was in the past… maybe even greater! There has been articles about rebuilding the X-Division on here like Christopher’s one at this link. Most points I do agree with, but there are some things I want to point out!

First, TNA has the talent! TNA Wrestling knows they have a great roster. Dixie Carter knows it! She always praises it! Use the talent! They have Kenny King and Manik! They have Zema Ion. They also have Hernandez who does have some impressive high flying maneuvers! Don’t forget Austin Aries and Chris Sabin. Don’t forget about Daniels and Kazarian. We can’t forget Samoa Joe! These stars held the X-Division Title before. Jeff Hardy can be thrown into the mix! The company could reach out to Petey Williams. They could also get Sonjay Dutt!

I am not afraid to say that the X-Division is dead. I am not scared to say that TNA Wrestling ruined the division. The division fell when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came but officials from Dixie Carter to the writers let it happen! However, it can be reborn. It could be better than ever, but TNA needs to spend time on it! They can’t focus on it for 3 months and then make it disappear. People have been stating that Jeff Jarrett is the foundation of TNA Wrestling. They also say AJ Styles is the face of TNA. Well, we can say that the X-Division made people love TNA. The philosophy: “Alternative wrestling that you won’t see anywhere else” was so powerful! It was so effective! It worked! Now, it would just be a lie!

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  • lord of honor

    thanks for another great article Alex, and mentioning hernandez in there made me realise the whole philosophy of the x division- it's not about weight limits, it's about no limits. Have hernandez win the title, and then fued with someone like kenny king, with king arguing that hernandez is not a real x division competetor, and hernandez reminding him and the fans if that very philosophy. Also, i agree that using a ladder i the ultimate x match was unforgiveable, and whoever thought of that should not have anything to do with the creative side of things

    • Alex Barie

      Thank you! I was looking through their roster and Hernandez stuck out to me. Not only has TNA used him horribly in the past 6 months but we barely saw him. I feel, since Chavo is finished with TNA, they could really start to push Hernandez. I am a fan of his work and he is actually quite impressive.

  • Ultimate X

    The X-Division was definitely something unique you felt it was completely different even to TNA itself but having degraded it's value to being a midcard title through the third way cash in made it look weak before that it was equal in value to the World Championship but in recent years TNA has lost its identity the 6 sided ring, X-Division, Knockouts. You can blame Hogan and Bischoff all you want (and I do) but now that they are gone TNA has done nothing to right these wrongs.

  • Charlie

    They even stole WWE's old intercontinental title and put and X on it.