Frankie Kazarian made waves when he won the X-Division Championship at Bound For Glory. He made even bigger waves when he declared his desire to exercise Option C and cash in for an Impact world title shot against Josh Alexander. Kaz now has a date for his match, and the X-Division moves on with a tournament to crown the next titleholder.
Kazarian officially relinquished the X-Division Championship on Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling. Scott D’Amore oversaw the proceedings to make it official. The head honcho explained that there was no turning back on this decision once Kaz hands over the belt. Kaz will receive his shot at Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship at Over Drive on November 18. An eight-man tournament will determine the next X-Division champion with the final also at Over Drive. D’Amore asked if Kaz was sure this is what he wanted?
Kazarian passed the title to D’Amore without hesitation. He’s never been more certain in his life. Kaz reflected on the success and failure in his wrestling career. All the sacrifices were worth it, however, he’s not that proud of himself. Kaz is happy but not fulfilled. He’s never won the big one to become a world champion. That eats away at him. All the blood, sweat, and tears will be for nothing if he never wins the world title. That is why Kaz is exercising Option C.
At the end of Kaz’s speech, Steve Maclin attacked from behind to hit a spear in the Tree of Woe. Josh Alexander made the save as Maclin retreated.
There have been six Option C cash-ins since the concept was introduced by Austin Aries in 2012. The list includes Aries twice, Chris Sabin, Rockstar Spud, Brian Cage, and Alexander. Three of those six times resulted in success with Aries, Sabin, and Alexander winning the Impact World Championship. Kaz looks to add his name to that exclusive list.
That takes care of one piece of business for the X-Division. The second piece was the reveal of the tournament participants.
The matchups include:
- Black Taurus vs. Laredo Kid
- Yuya Uemura vs. PJ Black
- Alan Angels vs. Trey Miguel
- Kenny King vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey
Two names that stick out to my eye are PJ Black and Alan Angels. Black (fka Justin Gabriel in WWE) has been on the back-burner of wrestling since ROH went on hiatus prior to being purchased by Tony Khan. Angels (aka 5 from the Dark Order in AEW) debuted in Impact in July in a losing effort to champion Bailey. This will be Angels’ return to the Impact Zone.
The tournament starts next week with Taurus versus Laredo on the BTI pre-show and Angels versus Trey on the proper Impact broadcast.
What odds do you give Frankie Kazarian of beating Josh Alexander for the Impact World Championship? Who is your pick to win the X-Division Championship tournament?