TNA One Night Only: X-Travaganza came to us live on pay-per-view (PPV) last night (April 5, 2013) from the Impact Wrestling Zone in Orlando, Florida. It was a salute to the history of one of the greatest aspects of professional wrestling.
TNA's X Division.
It was a fun show, although it could have used some tightening up here and there.
To the reactions!
χ‣ In what was an outstanding effort, TNA showcased the X Division and how it helped the promotion become what it is today. Throughout the night, it played the top ten moments of the X Division in history, such as Samoa Joe's first X Division title, a montage of the craziest moves -- set to dubstep, of course -- a video history of the Ultimate X Match, and AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe in their Triple Threat Match at Unbreakable 2005. It was a wonderful look back, especially for someone -- such as myself -- who has not followed TNA for its entire ten-year history.
The X Division holds a special place in the heart of many pro wrestling fans, and it was these moments that made it great. The risks these men took, the damage they have done to their bodies, is mind-boggling. It was a fitting salute to everyone who has been involved in the division over the years.
That being said, how the [explicit] do you get away without using the six-sided ring? It is, quite frankly, unacceptable. TNA used it for Destination X. I know they still have it around somewhere. Bring the damn thing out! At least it went back to the old red TNA iMPACT logo. So much cleaner than the blue Impact Wrestling one.
χ‣ The main event featured Samoa Joe and Austin Aries. It was a fantastic match with a weak finish. These two are money together. I could watch them go for hours. I truly hope Joe gets a legit shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the near future. The guy is shy of three bills and is flying around the ring like a damn X Divisioner. Poetry in motion. Aries, of course, was his brilliant self. No one has a dazed look quite like him.
As I said, a great match. However, ending on a Muscle Buster reversed into an Aries rollup just felt flat. The crowd was loving Joe, hating Aries, and deserved to go home happy; not a great way to end the card.
χ‣ Christian York outlasted, Matt Bentley, Alex Silva, Lince Dorado, Sam Shaw, Puma, Jimmy Rave in the Xscape Match to open the show. For those unsure of the rules, the match begins under standard one-fall rules:
Two wrestlers are in the ring, and everyone else stands between the ropes and the cage. Once someone rolls outside the ropes, someone new jumps in. Of course the entire thing broke down into an all out brawl at times, because pro wrestlers have never been known to follow rules. Once a wrestler is pinned or submitted, they leave the cage. When there are two left, the first one over the top wins.
TNA enjoys making things confusing.
It followed the traditional cage principal where gravity is much stronger at the top of the cage than inside the ring. Because how else can you explain a wrestler being able to fly across the ring in a second, but they can't manage to get their second leg over the top without such exertion?
But then again, everyone certainly made it work. The action was constant, the pace upbeat, and the flow of talent in and out of the ring kept the match moving forward. Shaw in particular, looked like a man who's going to be a damn star one of these days. If this is where the X-Division is headed, I'm all for it.
χ‣ Line of the night, said by Taz, presented without comment: "That's going to pus up an areola quick"
χ‣ Kenny King, Rubix -- known as Jigsaw in CHIKARA -- Zema Ion, and Mason Andrews competed in an Ultimate X Match, which saw King win after Rubix grabbed the big red X, but had it pulled away before his feet touched the mat. It was a cute little ending for a fun match that stuck to the Ultimate X formula. A slow, deliberate beginning, and then becoming a spot fest with bodies flying left and right. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, since the formula has worked so often before.
TNA, though, really kicked the legs out from the competitors by showing the best Ultimate X spots directly before this match. It was almost impossible to live up to the expectations of the past. When you see someone getting leg dropped from the wires, pulling someone down by the ankle looks a little weak. It was a fun match in and of itself, but it's unlikely it will be seen in any highlight reels.
χ‣ Bad Influence took on Petey Williams & Sonjay Dutt in a tag team match that was not nearly as good as the promos that preceded it. That's not to say the match was bad, because it wasn't at all. In fact, it was pretty damn good. But Christopher Daniels & Kazarian messing with SoCal Val -- which, holy crap why has she not been on my television? -- was wonderful, and Williams & Dutt came back almost as strong. Daniels picked up the victory via BFG, which the crowd did not appreciate at all. Then Williams delivered a post-match CANADIAN DESTROYAAHH, and everything was okay.
χ‣ Kid Kash & Doug Williams and Anthony Nese & Rashad Cameron faced off in an "Old School vs. New School" tag team match. It was solid overall, but just went on way too long. With no storyline coming into the night, the matches themselves needed to be top shelf. This...was lacking. Nese & Cameron didn't seem to bring it, either in the ring or in the pre-match promo. I get the feeling this went longer than it should have, just to fill up time.
χ‣ Rob Van Dam went over Jerry Lynn in a No Disqualification Match, a match which just should not of happened. This is part of Lynn's "retirement tour" after 25 years in the business. And each and every single one of those twenty five years showed. I know Lynn is a big part of the X Division's history, and I can respect TNA wanting to give him respect. But it was just so damn slow. Both men were crawling to their spots and just did not have any sort of intensity. This match did not deserve to be on the card. After the match, the locker room came out to give Lynn an ovation, which was sweet. I just didn't care. I know I'm a young kid with no sense of history, but I'm not going to get misty-eyed over someone who stuck around far too long.
χ‣ Chavo Guerrero and Robbie E had a match. Robbie E claimed to be the greatest X Division Champion ever. Chavo hyped up his family history to build himself up. Joseph Park was the ref, because his "brother" Abyss was X Division Champion. Because of course nepotism played a role. Really, the less said about this, the better.
χ‣ Taz and Mike Tenay actually showed they can be good announcers when they try. Both were calling moves and were engaged with the action. They were dropping "factoids" that pertained to the contestants and not going on irrelevant side rants. Taz was especially in full form, keeping away from the Aces & 8s storyline and didn't venture too far into his traditional mind numbingly stupid banter. His bit on why he knows Rubix is from Israel was a little outrageous, but I actually found myself laughing. These guys are actually really good at their jobs. I don't understand why they aren't doing this all the time.
χ‣ Is it bad that I've become sort of nostalgic for the Impact Zone? There's a certain unique character the building holds. I know most people hate it, but I always had a fondness for TNA's Orlando home. Eh, maybe it's just me being weird.
Overall, a fun show that really should have only been two hours. It's going to be tough for fans to be engaged without any advancement in angle unless every single match is killing it. Filler will not cut it for future One Night Only PPV's, and there simply was a little too much of it last night.
I'm very intrigued to how this formula works moving forward. TNA went up against some very stiff competition, so I'm not sure if X-Travaganza is going to be as successful as it should have been.
What say you, CageSiders? How many managed to catch the show, and what did you think? Let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments.