Yes, the poster for upcoming Destination X PPV from
TNA Hulk Hogan's Retirement Fund Impact Wrestling does look suspiciously like the X-factor logo, doesn't it? Perhaps Vince Russo will come out to perform a version of "(And I Am Telling You), I'm Not Going." Maybe the frustrated TNA accounting department will sing a rendition of Babylon Zoo's "All the Money's Gone." I'd also like to suggest Matt Hardy returns from his suspension on the show and sings Electric Six's "Danger! High Voltage!" Then, for an encore, treat the live audience to his version of Demitri Martin's ""The Grapes Song".
But enough of the fantasy booking.
Yes, Impact Wrestling have a PPV coming up. But this isn't just your normal TNA PPV (you know, the ones with run-ins galore, countless swerves, and a completely drugged up Jeff Hardy staggering to the ring, putting in his attempt at being nominated for "Father of the Year." ) No: this is one dedicated to showcasing the best of TNA's long-suffering X-division. They've been maligned, stomped on, forgotten by head writer Vince Russo (who is too busy booking Emmy-Award winning storylines like the Winter/Angelina saga to give a crap about all these little guys) , branded "vanilla midgets" and told they can't draw by Eric Bischoff, the undisputed expert of who can or cannot draw in wrestling, of course. But now they have seemingly been extended an olive branch by management, and given their own PPV.
Interestingly, a few months ago Bischoff was even telling the disgruntled X division wrestlers that TNA were planning to revamp the flailing X division. Yeah...not even a stoned Brian Kendrick bought that one (he threatened to leave soon after but was talked into it, presumably with the promise of more food stamps at the end of the month) . But perhaps the Powers-That-Be at Impact Wrestling feel that after a botched attempt at rebranding (and sending out Karen Jarrett, of all people, to defend the company's creative direction), it might finally be time to prove that wrestling really does matter. Maybe Bischoff is beginning to realize that physical wrecks like Sting and Hogan can't carry the show forever (Okay, who are we kidding on that one? Bischoff will still be promoting Hogan vs Sting for years and decades to come, even if it means wheeling out their coffins and putting the pine boxes in the main event of Bound For Glory.)
Or is there something more sinister going on here? One TNA wrestler told me that this current PPV, rather than being a reward or a show of good faith, is actually a test. And a chance for the 90s nostalgia crew to prove once and for all these younger guys with all the fancy moves can't draw, and TNA are better sticking with the relics and woefully untalented bodybuilders like Crimson. They noted: "The anti-X-Division proponents in the company are looking to prove the X Division can't draw interest, money or buyrates, and if Destination X performs at the same level or worse than any other PPV, I think it will seriously hurt the future of the division." Eh, no pressure then guys.
The storylines in the build-up, as is always the case with Impact Wrestling, have been unspiring; the ring action, however, has been outstanding. Indeed, one of the few brights spots of Impact these days- amongst the clutter of lesbian zombies, insane Sting, and the achingly bland Gunner trying desperately to come off like a top star and failing miserably- has been the X division matches. Featuring the return of some long-gone performers (Low Ki, Matt Bentley, Austin Aries, Kid Kash) and some new faces (Shiima Xion) these exciting, jaw dropping displays have reminded fans just what made TNA a cult favourite in its earlier years, before the company simply abandoned it all to become it all to become WCW Nitro Mark II.
The current line-up from Impact Wrestling's website:
Brian Kendrick vs Abyss (c)
Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles
The Return of the Ultimate X Match
Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn
Samoa Joe vs Kazarian
The X-Division Contract Match
No-one is quite sure who the participants are for The Ultimate X match are. Yesterday, a fan asked Max Buck on his Twitter if him or his brother were included in the match. He replied: "Truthfully, I wish I knew." (wrestling may matter in TNA these days, but it seems organization still doesn't); Robbie E claimed on his Twitter the participants will be announced on tomorrow's Impact. Regardless, TNA's Ultimate X matches are usually good, assuming they stick a few of the current crop of guys in there.
Of the rest of the card, which looks promising: Joe vs Kazarian should be a decent bout, and Joe often steps up his game when put in there with someone good. Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn had some spectacular matches in the past, but with Lynn only recently recovering from back surgery, it remains uncertain if the two can put on anything on par with their previous classics. Styles vs Daniels will no doubt be great. Only way these two could have a bad match was if they took some of Jeff Hardy's secret stash beforehand. In the X division contract bout, Low Ki, Jack Evans, Zema Ion, and Austin Aries will fight it out in a bid to
qualify for food stamps win a TNA contract. Finally Brian Kendrick will take a break from spinning wild conspiracy theories and attempt to win back the honor of the X division by defeating Abyss. Who may also be a member of the Illuminati and one of the people who faked Osama's death. Possibly.