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7/10 TNA Destination X PPV results and review: A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam, Low-Ki vs. Austin Aries vs. Jack Evans vs. Zema Ion for a TNA contract
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to Chris Shore's brief interview with former ROH owner Cary Silkin regarding his current rule, C.M. Punk, Claudio Castagnoli, and more. They can look forward to Jason Powell's exclusive audio review of TNA Destination X later tonight. You can score ad-free access right now and correspond with other members in the Dot Net Members' Forum by signing up via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
Live from Orlando, Fla.
At Universal Studios
The show opened with a video that focussed on Abyss reading from "The Art of War." The video concluded with Abyss stating, "The X Division is dead"... James Earl Jones voiceover guy said it was time for Destination X...
Powell's POV: Well, Abyss was the last person I wanted to hear from to start the X Division pay-per-view, but he is the X Division Champion.
Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash checked in from the announcers' table and hyped the main event and the return of the six-sided ring. Tenay said Taz is "on assignment"...
Powell's POV: For those who missed it, Taz stated on Twitter that he would not be at the show due to a family commitment. I guess TNA decided "on assignment" sounded better.
1. Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe in 11:15. Christy Hemme handled the ring introductions. Joe jumped out to the early advantage and took the action to ringside. Back inside the ring, Joe caught Kazarian with a big kick to the head in the corner. A loud "Joe" chant broke out. Joe continued with the crowd pleasing offense.
Joe went for the rear naked choke, but Kazarian slipped away. A "Joe's gonna kill you" chant broke out as Joe continued to dominate the offense. Joe went for the Muscle Buster, but Kazarian fought him off and then hit a springboard drop kick. There were some boos for Kazarian's offense from the Joe fans.
Kazarian and Joe did the "yeah" and "boo" punches and the crowd was definitely pro-Joe. Kazarian caught Joe coming off the ropes with a body slam. A loud "Let's go Joe" chant started. Kazarian came back with a slingshot DDT for a near fall. Joe went to the second rope and was caught with a kick.
With Kazarian at ringside, Joe dove through the ropes with a suicide dive and capped it off with a flying forearm. The fans chanted "this is awesome." Back inside the ring, Joe avoided Kazarian's finisher and powerbombed him for a good near fall. Joe applied the STF. Kazarian bit Joe's finger to break it up.
Kazarian ran toward Joe in the corner, but Joe caught him with a one-armed slam. Joe applied the rear naked choke in mid-ring. Kazarian eventually reached the ropes. Joe and referee Earl Hebner argued. Joe eventually went for the rear naked choke, but Kazarian had time to recover and caught him with a roll up for the win. Joe flashed a look of astonishment afterward...
Powell's POV: Very good match with a ho-hum finish. They gave Joe the out for losing, but a no nonsense pin would have been preferred by this viewer. I'd definitely like to see more from Joe and Kazarian. Joe was the star here. The fans warmed up to Kazarian, but they loved Joe from the start and he did a good job of playing to them throughout the match. Kazarian still has to improve in that area, as he flashed the Fortune hand sign at one point and that was about it.
Highlights aired of A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe from Unbreakable 2005...
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Eric Young approaching a table where Sangriento, Curry Man, and Suicide were signing autographs. Young was looking for a partner. Curry Man said something about wrestling in Japan. Shark Boy showed up in Stone Cole mode and said he'd team with Young...
2. Douglas Williams pinned Mark Haskins in 7:45. A "who are you?" chant broke out from the crowd. The announcers said he worked for the company on their last European tour. Williams took the mic and said it was one thing to work in front of the hometown fans, but another to wrestle on pay-per-view. He said he hope Haskins brought his A-game because he's going to need it. Williams sent Magnus and Rob Terry to the back.
Haskins slipped a bit while going for a move off the second rope. He recovered nicely and hit a flurry of offense on Williams that resulted in a near fall. Haskins missed a Shooting Star Press off the top rope and Williams immediately pinned him. Williams raised Haskins' hand afterward, and then shook his hand...
Powell's POV: Nothing special. I didn't care for the way Haskins was introduced. They set him up or failure with fans who don't know him by teasing the open challenge. Granted, they never said it would be a name from the past, but they have to know people would get their hopes up for a known name. They would have been better off showing a highlight package on Impact or having Williams cut a promo about him.
Backstage, Austin Aries told So Cal Val that he just need an opportunity and that's what he has. He said he's not a vanilla midget or a spot monkey. He said his opponents are good, but they're not great like he is...
Powell's POV: Very good promo. Aries was confident and poised throughout. He's a better talk than probably 95 percent of the guys on this show.
3. Eric Young and Shark Boy defeated Generation Me in 7:20. The announcers touted this as an unadvertised tag match. Generation Me worked as the heels. The faces did a lot of comedy spots, though Young worked in some offense we normally don't see from him. Generation Me ripped off some flashy offensive moves. In the end, Shark Boy hit the Stunner and then Young finished off Max Buck with a wheel barrow into a neckbreaker for the win...
Powell's POV: Cool finishing sequence even though I hate the outcome of the match. TNA continues to miss the boat with Generation Me.
Highlights aired from TNA Slammiversary 2006 of Daniels and Styles defeating America's Most Wanted to win the TNA Tag Titles...
Backstage, Daniels was talking with a crew member when A.J. Styles arrived. They exchanged friendly words and shook hands. Styles jokingly told Daniels not to mess him up too badly...
So Cal Val interviewed Zema Ion, who says he has his "eye on" (get it?) the TNA contract. He said he's honored to be in the ring with his three opponents. He said no one thinks he has a chance, but he's doing this prove himself right. He said he'll be damned if anyone is going to make him feel like he doesn't deserve what he wants...
Powell's POV: Zema can talk. It wasn't a memorable promo in any way, but he did a nice job with the material he had to work with.
A video package previewed the X Division No. 1 contenders match. Yes, Shannon Moore is still talking about the stupid Book of DILLIGAF. Alex Shelley said he's wrestling the match for his tag partner Chris Sabin...
The announcers spoke at their desk about the Ultimate X match. Borash did a nice job of making the match feel dangerous by talking about how you see wrestlers praying backstage before competing in an Ultimate X match more than any other match. Tenay said this is the eighth time Shelley has worked an Ultimate X match...
4. Alex Shelley defeated Shannon Moore, Robbie E (w/Cookie), and Amazing Red in an Ultimate X match to become No. 1 contender to the X Division Title in 10:35. Tenay said Red has competed in five Ultimate X matches and was victorious in one. Red went on the offensive early, but Shelley ended up stopping him from climbing the structure.
Shelley seemed to show some heel tendencies while working with Amazing Red. Cookie screeched obnoxiously at ringside. Moore had a moment to shine at 5:00 when he hit an Asai moonsault on Robbie and then posed with the fans on the floor. He had to race back inside the ring to stop Red from grabbing the X symbol that was hanging above the ring.
Red hit a wild plancha onto Moore and Shelley on the floor, which really popped the crowd. Robbie made a play for the belt, but Red cut him off with a springboard dropkick. At 8:45, had a chance to make a play for the X symbol by climbing the wires. However, he opted to climb to the top of the structure instead.
Meanwhile, Red climbed the wire while making a play for the belt. Red arrived first, but Moore kicked him down. Shelley also got there and managed to kick Moore to the ground. Shelley unhooked the X and fell to the mat to win the match. Afterward, Chris Sabin walked down the ramp and held up Shelley's hand. They posed with the X symbol and Shelley flashed a cheesy smile...
Powell's POV: Hard work from everyone involved, but that was not a memorable Ultimate X match in any way. Borash, who has been doing a solid job, lost some credibility by raving about it too much. The wrestlers just didn't utilize the structure enough. Red really had a good night. Here's hoping they give up on the lucha character they had him playing and stick with Amazing Red. It was nice to see Sabin, who is still recovering from knee surgery.
Backstage, Val interviewed Low-Ki, who said he's made a career out of proving that he belongs and that he's not too small. He stressed that pro wrestling still matters in TNA...
A highlight package focussed on the Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn match. RVD delivered a lousy promo while talking about pleasing himself first because when he's pleased with his in-ring performances the fans are too.
Powell's POV: Um, how about talking about your opponent and the long-term rivalry?. Why is this match on so early in the show? This is the semi-main event as far as I'm concerned.
5. Rob Van Dam defeated Jerry Lynn in 16:30. There were dueling chants for both wrestlers. The RVD fans were louder. Lynn controlled the early portion of the match. Van Dam had his share of offense as the match went on. At 14:00, Lynn brought a chair inside the ring with him. The referee warned him against using it.
Van Dam tried to kick the chair into Lynn. Jerry avoided the kick and then jumped another as Van Dam tried to sweep his legs. As Lynn as coming down, he leg dropped Van Dam onto the chair that was lying on the mat. Van Dam came up bleeding near the eye. Moments later, Lynn powerbombed RVD off the ropes and onto the chair in the middle of the ring for a good near fall.
Van Dam ended up catching Lynn with a kick. He followed up with a Five Star Frogsplash and scored the clean pin. They cut to replays of the action rather than focus on the post-match interaction...
Powell's POV: Great action down the stretch. I would have preferred a few more near falls and more storytelling with Lynn getting frustrated that he couldn't put his longtime rival away, but I really enjoyed the last five minutes. I was hoping that Lynn was going to win the match or beat the hell out of RVD afterward to set up a rematch at Hardcore Justice, but no such luck. Am I the only person surprised that RVD is the one leaving bloody?
Backstage, Val interviewed Jack Evans, who said he'd bring home the contract by hook or by crook...
6. Austin Aries defeated Low-Ki, Jack Evans, and Zema Ion to win a TNA contract in 13:30. Hemme messed up the intros by saying "All the way from... it's Austin Aries." Oops. Five minutes of nonstop action to start. Aries and Low-Ki locked in simultaneous submission holds and jawed at one another.
When Evans and Ion took a powder at ringside, Aries and Low-Ki exchanged words again and had a brief exchange that was broken up when Evans springboarded into the ring to break up a cover. At 9:00, Aries was lightning fast while running the ropes, but when he was about to dive, Low-Ki caught him with a kick and got a good near fall that the crowd bought into.
The fans chanted "this is awesome" and then followed up with a loud "sign them all" chant. At 11:25, Aries went to the top rope. Low-Ki performed a cartwheel and caught Aries with a kick on the ropes before getting a throwaway near fall that the fans didn't buy into. Low-Ki went to the top rope, but Evans recovered with a top rope huracanrana.
Evans went for a cover, but Low-Ki kicked out. Mike Tenay was in total half-assed mode by saying, "Here's one, here's two..." for back to back near falls. Evans caught Ki with a great top rope hurcanrana. In the end, Aries caught Low-Ki with a brainbuster and scored the clean pin.
After the match, a smiling Val interviewed Austin Aries and asked him how it felt to win the TNA contract. "Are you surprised?" Aries asked. He said he's the greatest man that ever lived...
Powell's POV: A wild spot-fest. There was no way to keep up with all that action, so I just enjoyed the match and touched on the key moments. By the way, Borash really outshined Tenay in the RVD vs. Lynn match. He added some historical perspective and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the match, which was quite the contrast from Tenay down the stretch in the four-way. Tenay sounded like he just didn't care. I'm not saying that he didn't, but that's how it sounded. Fun promo from Aries afterward. It was brief, yet effective.
Backstage, Abyss cut a promo about his match with Brian Kendrick. He said he was going to make it quick, but not too quick... A video package focussed on the Abyss vs. Kendrick match...
7. Brian Kendrick beat Abyss for the X Division Title in 10:15. Kendrick showed fire right from the start. Abyss was in control around 5:00 and stopped to read his stupid book. Kendrick came back with a flurry and Abyss came up bleeding. Kendrick caught Abyss with a missile dropkick at 6:45 and got a throwaway near fall that the fans didn't believe in.
Kendrick with for Sliced Bread, but Abyss blocked it and hit the Shock Treatment. Abyss went for a cover and Kendrick kicked out. At 8:30, Kendrick hit Sliced Bread, but the referee had been bumped and couldn't make the count. Eric Bischoff walked to the ring to a lot of booing.
Bischoff entered the ring and yelled at Kendrick, who eventually fired back with a punch that floored Bischoff. Bully Ray, Gunner, and Scott Steiner hit the ring. Amazing Red, Shark Boy, and Generation Me ran out for the save, but Immortal got rid of them quickly. A group of additional X Division wrestlers ran out and cleared Immortal.
Kendrick jumped off the top rope, but Abyss caught him in chokeslam position. Kendrick rolled Abyss up. Earl Hebner made the three count while standing on the floor. The rest of the X Division wrestlers entered the ring and hoisted Kendrick onto their shoulders.
Confetti fell from the ceiling as the announcers spoke about how Kendrick had done the unthinkable. When Abyss got to the top of the ramp, Bully Ray scolded him. Abyss shoved Ray down before heading backstage...
Powell's POV: It started slow and boring. They picked up the pace and things were just getting interesting when Bischoff and company ran out. The live crowd seemed pleased by the finish. I can't say I'm all that excited about this particular Kendrick character holding the X Division Title, but it does beat the hell out of Abyss wearing the title. Is Abyss turning face? I'd be okay with that as long as he's not going into Dave Sullivan mode again to coincide with the Hogan face turn.
A video showcased the main event and touted that the match will determine the greatest X Division wrestler in history... Tenay and Borash spoke at the table. Tenay recapped A.J. announcing that he was returning to the X Division for one night, only to have Daniels challenge him. Borash said this match is about competition and legacy for Daniels in that he wants his name one notch above A.J. when the book on the X Division is written...
8. A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels in 28:30. Hemme handled the in-ring introductions for the main event. Daniels let out a "You know it" to the fans, who gave him a polite reaction. Styles only received a slightly better reaction. The fans got into the dueling chants a moment later. Styles and Daniels slapped hands before the match. Brian Hebner (and his obnoxious shoes) served as the referee.
Just enough fans continued with the dueling chants to be annoying even though there was nothing to really cheer for happening in the ring at the time.
The first ten minutes of the match were fairly slow, presumably because they were setting up for a long match. Around 15:00 when Daniels tripped Styles as he was going for a springboard move. A few minutes later, Daniels hit a Death Valley Driver for a near fall that a few people in the crowd believed.
At 18:45, Styles and Daniels traded chops. Styles won the battle by blasting Daniels with a kick to the head. The announcers sold it as Styles was too drained to follow up. Styles went for a springboard move and slipped on the top rope. He landed awkwardly and Daniels went for a quick cover, but Styles kicked out. Fortunately, there were no "you f'd up" chants.
Daniels was losing his wrist tape throughout the match and he finally removed it all about 23 minutes in. Daniels went for repeated pin attempts, but Styles kept kicking out as they headed into 25 minutes. Styles came back with the Styles Clash and this time Daniels kicked out. Tenay made a nice call when he said we've seen everything but a three count from Styles and Daniels thus far.
At 28:00, Daniels was going for the Angel's Wings Suplex off the top rope, but Styles back body dropped him to the floor. Styles followed up with the Spiral Tap on Daniels and got the 1-2-3. Borash quickly pointed out that it was the same move that Styles used to become the first X Division Champion.
The announcers narrated footage of the main event. Back live, Styles offered Daniels his hand. Daniels turned his back and looked anguished. He turned around and shook A.J.'s hand. They hugged in the middle of the ring and then Tenay told viewers good night from Orlando...
A video focussed on Abyss to hype the TNA Hardcore Justice pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: A very good match to close the show. I still wish the outcome would have been built up in a way so that it felt more meaningful. They spent too much time talking about having a good match rather than providing viewers with a reason to care about who won and who lost. Nevertheless, they paced themselves nicely early on and built to a good finish.
Overall, the show lived up to my expectations. There were some spot-happy matches that people who don't like the X Division can mock, but there was also some damn good wrestling on the show from Lynn vs. RVD, and Daniels vs. Styles just to name a couple. Here's hoping the online buzz regarding this show led to more buys than usual, as that would send a message to TNA officials. I'll have a lot more to say about the show in my members' exclusive audio review later tonight. Join us on the ad-free site by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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