TNA Destination X
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at the Impact Zone
The show opened with a video that focussed on Bobby Roode and Austin Aries... Pyro shot off above the ring and then on the stage inside the Impact Zone. Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash introduced the show from their perch on the stage. Tenay noted that Borash was filling in for Taz. They ran through some of the top matches.
Borash said it's hard to believe that it was a year ago that Aries won a contract now he's in the main event. Borash shifted the focus to hyping the opening match by saying that Dixie Carter was so impressed that she set up the Last Chance Four Way... Christy Hemme handled the ring introductions...
1. Rubix vs. Mason Andrews vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow in a Last Chance Four Way. Rubix and Andrews squared off early while Only and Darsow were on the floor. Only wore a headband and ended up returning to the ring and then squaring off with Darsow while the other two were on the floor. Darsow took advantage and knocked the others off the ring apron before getting a two count on Only.
Rubix (a/k/a Jigsaw) had a vocal group of fans chanting his name. The first big spot of the match came when Andrews (a/k/a Scorpio Sky) dove onto Only and Darsow. Rubix followed up with a big dive of his own onto Andrews and Darsow, which drew the obligatory "Holy Shit" chant.
A shot aired of Kid Kash watching the the match on a backstage monitor. The announcers explained that the winner of the match would immediately face Kash in a tournament match. There was another big spot with Darsow powerbombing Andrews, who suplexed Only simultaneously. Rubix followed that up with a great springboard dropkick on Darsow, which got more fans on his side.
The four wrestlers traded shots in the ring. Only used a cool head scissors move to drive his opponent's face into the mat. Andrews drilled Only with a high knee and followed up with a Diamond Cutter for the clean pin...
Mason Andrews defeated Rubix, Lars Only, and Dakota Darsow in 8:20 to enter the X Division Title tournament.
Powell's POV: A good train wreck style four-way match with plenty of crowd pleasing high spots. Only redeemed himself with a better outing than he had on Thursday. I prefer it when we have some incentive to cheer or boo wrestlers, but this was fine for what it was.
2. Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews in an Ultimate X qualifier. Kash ran out and attacked Andrews to start the match. Andrews came back with a pair of dropkicks and caught Kash in a crucifix pin for a nice, early near fall. Kash pretended to crank up his middle finger while staring into the camera, which got a laugh out of the live crowd.
Later, Kash went for a moonsault off the ropes, but Andrews put his knees up. Andrews threw a missile dropkick that didn't connect (due to Kash moving out of the way) for a near fall. He came back with a high knee that looked great for another near fall. A short time later, Kash went for a knee shot, but Andrews avoided it and rolled him up for the clean pin...
Mason Andrews defeated Kid Kash in an Ultimate X qualifier in 8:10.
Powell's POV: A decent match that would have been more entertaining had we been given a Kash promo to turn the crowd against him. Nevertheless, I like the story they told with Andrews winning both matches.
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed Samoa Joe, who picked Austin Aries to win the TNA Title. They reviewed the Bound For Glory leader board. Joe said his strategy last year was to "hurt, kill, and maim" everyone involved. He said he's seen the light and he sees the opportunity it presents. Joe said Angle isn't a gold medalist, he sees him as ten points. He said Angle is an ends to a means. Joe vowed to beat Angle by any means necessary...
Powell's POV: Um, Joe, if you hurt and kill someone, then you don't need to maim them after they're already dead. I'm fine with the hurt and kill, but I feel the line has to be drawn somewhere.
The announcers encouraged Twitter followers to vote for the main event winner...
3. Kenny King vs. Douglas Williams in an Ultimate X qualifier. Borash recalled meeting King years ago at an NWA Wildside event and spoke about how far King has come since then. King got the better of Williams early. Williams offered a handshake and then took a cheap shot. King came back moments later with a twisting dive onto Williams on the floor.
King scored a series of near falls on Williams around 8:00. King caught Williams on the ropes and threw a couple of lazy forearms to his back. Williams tossed King to the floor and then followed up with a knee off the ropes. King came back with a great springboard neckbreaker for a good near fall.
Williams came back with a high knee in the corner. King pushed Williams off the ropes and then leapfrogged him. King hit his finisher and scored the clean pin. The fans chanted "Yes!" after the finish...
Kenny King defeated Douglas Williams in 10:35 to qualify for Ultimate X.
Powell's POV: A forgettable match. There were some flash spots from King, but it felt disjointed. It didn't feel like there was a story being told aside from King scoring repeated near falls.
Backstage, Hemme interviewed Daniels, who talked about his "I Quit" match with Styles at last year's Destination X. He said he was more concerned with being a friend than winning. He said Styles is the type of man who takes advantage of a helpless alcoholic and impregnates her. He said Styles isn't the type of man who will win a Last Man Standing match, and everyone now has his permission to drink to that.
4. Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron in an Ultimate X qualifier. Borash said Dutt couldn't walk the streets in India because he's so loved by the locals. Cameron did the big dive over the top rope onto Dutt on the floor early, so they filled their quota for the night.
Sonjay hit a good series of moves that included a legdrop through the ropes and a springboard splash for a near fall. Later, Cameron applied an arm bar on Dutt, who reached the ropes. Cameron complained when Hebner made him release the hold. Dutt came back with the backflip into a double foot stomp and scored the clean pin...
Sonjay Dutt defeated Rashad Cameron in 7:00 to qualify for Ultimate X.
Powell's POV: This was the most entertaining match of the qualifiers so far. Both wrestlers had their moments to shine and Dutt's finisher is amazing. The crowd got behind Sonjay from the start. I just wish TNA was doing more to give viewers some reason to root for one wrestler over the other.
The announcers narrated footage of Jesse Sorensen breaking his neck in the Against All Odds match against Zema Ion. They set up a video feature on Sorensen's rehab, which featured comments from Sorensen and his mother. They flashed forward five months and included footage of Sorensen's doctor discussing his rehab. The doctor said he believes Sorensen will have a long, successful career. Sorensen said he's going to make a full recovery, so all he can do is stay positive...
Christy Hemme asked the crowd to give a warm welcome back to Jesse Sorensen. A football themed opening video package aired. Sorensen walked to the ring wearing his neck brace. He stopped to hug his mother and girlfriend at ringside. The fans gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name.
The crowd chanted "welcome back" as Sorensen took the mic. He said Dixie Carter asked him if he was nervous before he came out. He told her it was good to feel anything. He said the last time he was in the arena, he couldn't feel anything from the neck down. He said he laid in an intensive care unit starting at the ceiling for days and not knowing whether he would be able to walk again.
He said the last thing he heard before he left the arena was the sound of the fans chanting his name. The fans chanted "Jesse" again. He said God put him on the earth to be a professional wrestler. "That is what I am and that is what I always will be," Sorensen said. "So to everyone in the back, my family, and to each and every one of you who has stuck by me and supported me through all of this, thank you so much," Sorensen said. The fans chanted, "Thank you, Jesse."
Sorensen turned his attention to Zema Ion. He said he knows he's listening and he hasn't forgotten about him. He said he hopes Ion wins the title tonight because he's coming back to take the title from him. Sorensen said that at this time next year, he will be the X Division Champion and he will cash in the title to go on to become the TNA Champion.
After Sorensen left the ring and high-fived some fans, Zema Ion made his way to the ring and as as cocky as ever as he walked down the ramp. He and Sorensen exchanged a look, but Ion headed to the ring for his match. Borash said that was the first interaction the two have had since then. He said Ion never bothered to call Sorensen...
Powell's POV: A cool moment and it was great to see the fans give him the hero's welcome. Obviously, Borash's claim that Ion never bothered to call Sorensen is playing into the long term storyline. I wish they would have put Sorensen's return on free television. A similar bit with Ion walking past him would have made Ion a huge heel heading into the pay-per-view.
5. Zema Ion vs. Flip Casanova in an Ultimate X qualifier. Ion heeled it up by spraying his hair. It backfired at one point, as Casanova avoided one of his moves and went on the offensive. Ion came back with a couple of innovative moves and scored the clean pin. The announcers noted that it will be Ion vs. Dutt vs. Andrews vs. King in the Ultimate X match later tonight...
Zema Ion defeated Flip Casanova in 3:50 to qualify for the Ultimate X match.
Powell's POV: Ion continues to be the most charismatic wrestler in the X Division (now that Aries has moved up). I really hope they go with him as the X Division Champion tonight. He's the breakout star of the division.
Backstage, Hemme interviewed Andrews, Dutt, and King about the Ultimate X match. Bobby Roode walked onto the set and said this is his moment and his show. "Big whoopee!" he said regarding their X Division Title match. He said he's going to destroy their "little poser boy" Austin Aries. He said the X Division and Aries will fail, and he will leave with his TNA Championship...
The announcers discussed the BFG Series leader board...
6. Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle in a Bound For Glory Series match. Tenay said Joe vs. Angle is the best rivalry he has seen in ten years of TNA. Angle stopped to kiss his children at ringside before entering the ring for the match. The crowd was split with "Let's Go Angle" and "Let's Go Joe" chants from the start.
Joe performed a big suicide dive at 3:40. However, Angle took control of the offense once they returned to the ring. Joe came back a short time later with a leg lariat for a two count. Joe showed frustration with his inability to put Angle away. He came right back with a power slam for another two count. Joe locked in an arm bar on Joe, but Angle countered it into an ankle lock. Joe kicked him off.
Angle followed up with three German suplexes as a fan held up a "Joe vs. Angle VIII" sign. Joe went for a Muscle Buster, but Angle avoided it and reapplied the ankle lock. Joe kicked him off once again. Angle charged at Joe in the corner and ended up on the receiving end of a one-armed slam. Joe hit the Muscle Buster for another two count at 10:40.
Joe went for a sleeper, but Kurt slipped out and applied the ankle lock for the third time. Joe reached for the ropes, but Angle pulled him back inside the ring. Joe rolled out and then pulled Angle down for a rear naked choke. Earl Hebner did a good job of showing he was on the verge of calling for the bell if Angle tapped or went out.
Angle got to his feet to break the choke and then hit the Angle Slam for a two count of his own at 12:40. Angle took the straps of his singlet down, but Joe caught him with a kick to the face. Angle went for the Angle Slam, but Joe slipped under and applied the choke again. Hebner called for the bell to end the match. Angle protested afterwards by saying he never tapped...
Samoa Joe defeated Kurt Angle via ref stoppage in 14:00 to earn ten points in the BFG Series.
Powell's POV: I assume the ref stoppage counts as ten points just as a submission would. The BFG Series matches have 15-minute time limits, so I was concerned that we were going to get a draw. I like the finish. Angle saves face by not tapping, yet Joe gets a needed win. The usual strong match from these two, though it needed more time than the BFG Series allows to be special.
The announcers discussed the updated BFG Series leader board. Joe has jumped to the lead with 37 points. He's ahead of James Storm at 36 points, Jeff Hardy with 21 points, Angle with 20 points, Magnus with 14, and the rest of the field has single digits...
A video recapped the Daniels, Kazarian, Dixie Carter, Crack Whore Claire, and Serg drama...
7. Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles in a Last Man Standing match. Daniels took a powder to ringside as Borash gushed over Styles being the face of the company for the last ten years. Styles eventually chased Daniels around and then in the ring. Daniels spat at Styles, who then threw a series of right hands at him.
Later, Daniels took control of the match and jawed with the fans at ringside. He slammed Styles face off the ring steps and went back to jawing with the fans. Daniels heeled it up by taking bows at ringside. When Styles emerged, he was bleeding. Daniels remained on the offensive as they headed back to the ring.
Daniels tried to hit Styles with a chair at 9:10, but Styles kicked his leg. Styles performed a springboard forearm that knocked the chair into Daniels, who tumbled to ringside. Styles rammed Daniels into the ring steps, which Daniels had set on their side earlier. Daniels came up bleeding.
Daniels begged off as he backed his way up the ramp in a seated position. Daniels got to his feet and tried to leave, but Styles caught him on the stage and punched him. Styles walked toward the video screen and they charged at one another and performed simultaneous clotheslines. The referee counted, but they both got back to their feet at the same time.
Styles got the better of the exchange with a kick to the head. He told the ref not to bother counting Daniels down because he wasn't finished with him. Styles set up Daniels for the Styles Clash on the stage, but Daniels backdropped him. Styles performed a flip off a small railing on the stage and dropped Daniels with a reverse DDT.
Daniels was down as the referee counted to seven. Kazarian came out and shoved Styles off the ramp and onto the floor. Referee Brian Hebner stopped the count with Daniels to scold Kazarian. Hebner turned his attention to Styles, who used the fan barricade to beat the count. Daniels grabbed a chair and dragged it over to where Styles was located as Kazarian watched from the stage.
Daniels threw Styles onto the entrance ramp and took attempted the Angle's Wings, but Styles pushed forward and knocked Daniels into Kazarian. Styles performed the Pele Kick on Daniels. Styles performed the Styles Clash on Daniels off the ramp and through the table in a true "Holy Shit" moment. Hebner counted for both men. Styles got to his feet at nine, while Daniels tried and failed to answer the ten count...
A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels in a Last Man Standing match in 17:45.
Powell's POV: That was a hell of a match. They finally delivered a good gimmick match. I love the way they kept the ref counts to a minimum rather than go with a bunch of crowd killing segments with the aggressor stopping his attack to have the referee count even though everyone in the building knows it's not the finish. Both men worked their asses off and the tone of the match was perfect for their bitter feud. Daniels didn't lose anything given the way he nearly got to his feet Apollo Creed style. Best match of the night and it's not even close.
The announcers ran through a list of main event predictions from Twitter. They announced that 71 percent of their fans believe Aries will leave with the TNA Title...
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed Austin Aries, who received a good reaction from the live crowd when he entered the interview area. He wished the Ultimate X competitors good luck. He said the X Division is in his rearview mirror. He said he's looking at what's in front of him, which is Bobby Roode and the TNA Title.
Aries said Roode has been calling himself the It Factor and the most dominant champion in TNA. He said we'll find out whether that's true. He said Roode has been winning his matches with beer bottles and belt shots, whereas he's been winning with Brainbuster. He said he wants to give everyone in the Impact Zone and watching on pay-per-view "including my mother" a champion they can be proud of...
The announcers narrated highlights of the earlier X Division action to show how each wrestler qualified for Ultimate X...
8. Sonjay Dutt vs. Zema Ion vs. Kenny King vs. Mason Andrews in an Ultimate X match for the vacant X Division Title. Ion sprayed his hair and immediately went to his corner to make a run for the belt, but the others stopped him. He tried to jump off the ropes at them, only to take a triple dropkick from his opponents.
There was a cool spot early with King cartwheel kicking Dutt off the ring apron. King made the first climb of the wire toward the title belt, but Sonjay recovered and cut him off. Ion climbed the wire and made a run at the title belt, but King and Sky pulled him down at 3:40.
Footage aired of Sonjay performing a running moonsault and catching his head on the middle rope. The announcers noted that Sonjay needed medical attention and was being helped to the back. Dutt was actually holding his arm as he rolled out of the ring.
Andrews performed the obligatory dive onto his opponents and then climbed toward the title belt that was hanging on the cables above the ring. Kenny King speared Andrews to end his pursuit. Later, Sonjay returned to ringside and climbed the metal part of the Ultimate X structure.
King and Andrews scaled opposite wires and met in the middle, where Andrews performed a neckbreaker on King. Dutt and Ion both climbed to the very top of the metal structure and met in the middle. Dutt threw punches at him. Ion pulled a spray can out of his pants and sprayed the substance near his face (not really into his eyes). Ion pulled the belt off the wire and got the win...
Zema Ion defeated Sonjay Dutt, Mason Andrews, and Kenny King in an Ultimate X match to win the X Division Title in 8:50.
Powell's POV: I hated the spray can finish, but I'm happy with the end result of the match. Borash was quick to play up the fact that Ion won on the same night that Sorensen returned. I thought the Ultimate X winner had to pull the belt down and then touch the mat while possessing the title. They gave it to Ion as soon as he pulled the belt off the cables. Perhaps I'm getting my gimmick matches confused. It was a good match and I assume we'll get Ion vs. Dutt for a while. Overall, a mildly disappointing match thanks in part to the finish.
After the match, Hemme interviewed Ion at ringside. Ion told the fans to show some respect. He dedicated the win to Jesse Sorensen. He said that if he hadn't broke Sorensen's neck, he may not have realized how dangerous he is. He said he is now the greatest X Division Champion of all time...
Powell's POV: A solid promo, but the live crowd near Ion was too busy trying to have their chant heard to pay attention. The Sorensen line should have gotten more heat than it did. Obviously, that's going to be a big X Division feud once Sorensen returns to the ring next year.
The announcers set up a video that set the stage for the main event... Tenay ran through the Tale of the Tape, which is back to making no sense since it's more bullet points than tape measure material...
9. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries for the TNA Title. Jeremy Borash left the broadcast table to handle the in-ring introductions for the main event. The crowd was tame early on as the wrestlers took turns teasing tests of strength and acting cocky. Aries went n the offensive until he missed a missile dropkick at 5:20.
Later, Aries missed a suicide dive attempt when Roode moved, causing Aries to crash into the guardrail. Roode took control of the match and cut off Austin's hope spots quickly. Aries bled from what appeared to be a scratch on his nose. Aries made his comeback by no-selling Roode's shots while he was on his knees. Aries got to his feet and they traded shots.
Aries ducked a Roode clothesline and hit him with a spinning forearm. Aries clotheslined Roode over the top rope and followed up with a suicide dive. Aries looked to the disappointingly quiet crowd and got a decent reaction out of them. Aries followed up with a missile dropkick at 15:10. He went for what appeared to be another running dropkick, but Roode caught him and slammed him down for a near fall.
Roode dove at Aries legs. It was an awkward spot, but Austin locked in Last Chancery. Roode escaped quickly and applied the Crossface. Aries rolled out of the Crossface and applied Last Chancery again. Roode broke it up by raking the eyes of Aries. They fought on the ropes. Roode went for a superplex, but Aries kneed him in the head and knocked him off the ropes.
Aries went for the 450 splash. Roode moved, but Aries landed on his feet. Aries charged at Roode, who drilled him with a spinebuster for a near fall. A short time later, Roode whipped Austin through the ropes and into the ring post. Roode applied the Crossface in the middle of the ring. Aries struggled to reach the ropes and eventually did so to break the hold.
Roode went to ringside and grabbed the title belt. He brought it back inside the ring and wound up to hit Aries with it, but referee Brian Hebner stopped him. As Hebner was bringing the belt to ringside, Roode low-blowed Aries and went for a cover, but Aries kicked out. Roode shoved the referee. The referee shoved Roode back. Aries hit a running dropkick in the corner.
Roode shoved Aries into the referee. Ref bump!!! Aries tried to wake up the referee. When he turned around, Roode blasted him with the title belt. Roode dragged the referee to the middle of the ring and he covered Aries, but Austin kicked out at two. The crowd popped big for Aries kicking out.
Roode took off his elbow pads and went for the fisherman's suplex, but Aries caught him in an inside cradle for a good near fall. Aries caught a fallen Roode with a kick to the head and then followed up with the Brainbuster for the 1-2-3. The crowd popped big for the title change and chanted "Aries" as he celebrated with the title belt. Confetti shot off as Aries stood in the ring with his belt...
Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode to win the TNA Title in 22:40.
An ad aired for TNA Hardcore Justice, which takes place on August 12...
Powell's POV: A very surprising finish if only because all signs pointed to Roode vs. James Storm at the pay-per-view. It's a hell of a finish for tonight, but I hope it looks like a good move a few months from now. The live crowd was flat early on, which was surprising. Fortunately, they got into the match as it went on and they loved the main event outcome. My guess is Roode gets the belt back in the near future, but I'll definitely enjoy the Aries title reign while it lasts.
Overall, this was a better than average show. The undercard was filled with too many matches that felt like they were more about high spots than storytelling. I know that works for some fans, but I'm not one of them. Styles vs. Daniels was the match of the night, and the main event title change surprise was obviously the most notable aspect of the show. If you enjoyed the undercard more than I did then you obviously enjoyed the show more than I did. Again, it was a better than average show with a surprise title change and strong work rate from start to finish. I'll have more to say tonight in Dot Net Members' Audio, and in the TNA Destination X Hitlist on Monday. Thanks for watching along with me.