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   Mon, March 10, 2008



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SCOREBOARD
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COMMENT





Destination X spotty at best
By JASON CLEVETT - SLAM! Wrestling


I should preface this review by saying I have been following TNA since the weekly pay per view days in 2003. Time commitments lead me to pass the regular review torch on to Chris Sokol, and as of late I haven’t caught a lot of TNA. Judging by TNA’s latest pay per view offering Destination X, I haven’t missed much.

Destination X was not a bad pay per view. But it wasn’t particularly good or memorable despite a strong start. Pay per views are supposed to be something special. TNA has an incredibly loaded roster of talent who could do so much more if given the chance. TNA cannot compete with WWE at sports entertainment, and need to provide an exciting alternative. Six-man tag matches should be saved for Impact and not headline pay per views. Your champions should be defending their belts on the event people are paying money to see. Show-long angles should be saved for Impact and let the pay per views focus on wrestling. While my friends and I had a good time wasting a few hours watching this show, that is not the praise you want for a pay per view. Anyone who plunked down their money to see this show did not get their monies worth.

The show, from long time WCW stronghold The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia, was headlined by a six-man tag match featuring the Angle Alliance of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and Tomko against Samoa Joe, Christian Cage and Kevin Nash. Throughout the entire show vignettes ran where Angle disputed the decision in the steel cage match on Thursday’s impact, saying that the replay showed his feet touch first (it did). All of this was over who would have a 3-on-2 advantage for the first five minutes -- totally meaningless. It also appeared the show ran long, as soon as Kurt Angle hit the ring, everyone in the match started hitting finishing sequences, leading to Joe trapping Tomko in the choke and making him tap out.

Prior to the main event TNA held its second Elevation X match, a scaffold match on an X. Last year at the same pay per view Rhino and AJ Styles faced off in the match, which should have taught TNA to never, ever subject us to one again. The match is both highly dangerous and incredibly boring. This go round featured Rhino and James Storm. After brawling in the ring, Rhino chased Jackie Moore up the scaffold. Storm followed Rhino up, at which point they sat down and punched each other. Storm tried to hide on scaffolding, but Rhino found him and tore the platform off. He kicked Storm until he fell off through a table.

Earlier in the night, Rhino had a pretaped promo on the X, speaking directly and intensely into the camera. As the promo, PRETAPED, faded away, the audience clearly heard Rhino say "How was that." TNA has been around six years; there is absolutely zero excuse for glitches like this to happen, especially on a segment that was pretaped!

Destination X would have been a decent edition of Impact. It had some good wrestling, but was not worth paying for. Granted, a lot of WWE pay per views aren’t worth paying for either, but WWE has a much larger fanbase who will continue to order shows. TNA does not have that, and if they want to get some of those people to spend their money with them, they need to make some major changes.

The next TNA pay per view is Lockdown on April 13th.

TNA Destination X 2008 results

Match 1: LAX vs. The Rock and Rave Infection vs. The Motor City Machineguns.

A fast-paced, great opener and one of the highlights of the show. The Motor City Machineguns and LAX are two of the best teams in the business, and while many probably would have rather just seen those two teams against each other, Jimmy Rave and Lance Hoyt held their own. Homicide took out Hoyt, Sabin and Shelley with a tope con hilo, allowing Hernandez to hit Rave with the border toss to score the pin, and the #1 contenders status.

Winners: LAX
Rating: 8/10

They showed Survivor castaways Johnny Fairplay and Joel at ringside. Jeremy Borash in back spoke to Jim Cornette regarding the controversy from Impact's six sides of steel match between Christian Cage and Kurt Angle. They pushed a fan poll as to whether or not the decision should be overturned.

Match 2: X-Division Championship -- “The Black Machismo” Jay Lethal (Champion) vs. “The Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams (Challenger)

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of TNA Destination X?
It was great - 12%
It was okay - 12%
It sucked - 24%
Didn't see it - 51%
Things continued on a good trend with the X-Division championship match. I thought Petey would get squashed but was happy to see a fairly competitive match. Lethal successfully hit the Lethal combination and went to the top for an elbowdrop, but Scott Steiner ran to ringside and shoved him off, allowing Petey to hit the Canadian Destroyer. So Cal Val, building up to be the Elizabeth to Lethal, pulled the referee to stop the count. Williams sent Rhaka Khan after Val, but Sonjay Dutt stepped in. Williams was caught in a surprise small package for the win.

Winner: ... and still X-division champion ... Jay Lethal.
Rating: 7/10

Backstage interviewer Crystal, who makes me long for Goldilocks, spoke to Joe, Nash and Cage.

Match 3: Kaz & Eric Young vs. Black Reign and Rellik.

Eric Young is hysterical, falling down in terror from his own pyro. The storyline leading to and included in this match was that Young was afraid of monsters, and Kaz was trying to convince him that Rellik and Reign are just wrestlers playing monsters. After taking a beating, Kaz made the tag to Young, who stopped short at seeing the monsters and then ran from the ring. Where he should have been counted out. But as I was reminded all night, I shouldn’t try to use logic in TNA. After a few minutes, music hit and SUPER ERIC, complete with cape and mask, hit the ring, taking it to the evildoers and scoring with a Death Valley Driver with both Reign and Rellik on his shoulders. On just about anyone else, the gimmick would be terrible, but Young can make it work. Match was nothing special.

Winners: Kaz and Super Eric Young
Rating: 4/10

Backstage, Jim Cornette was again harassed by Team Angle. Fed up, Cornette left the room only to run into Team 3D and Johnny Devine. Brother Ray told Cornette that with the decisions he had been making, he should be the one who is drug tested. Cornette replied that if he had a drug that would make them all disappear he would take it. Why go there?

Match 4: TNA Knockout Championship -- Awesome Kong (Champion) vs. Gail Kim (Challenger) vs. ODB (Challenger)

I give TNA a ton of credit for doing this division right, making it something special and really blowing away the WWE Divas. Now if only they could do that with the X and Tag Divisions and the rest of the roster. ODB was sporting a Sanjaya Mohawk. ODB and Kim teamed up to take out Kong, and then went at each other. Kong destroyed Kim with a splash off the ropes, but ODB broke it up. Kong retaliated with the implant buster and tried to splash ODB, who moved, but was tripped by Kong’s adviser Raiessa Saied which distracted her long enough for Kong to hit a powerbomb for the win.

Winner: ... and still Knockout champion ... Awesome Kong Rating: 8/10

In the ring, Cornette announced that Angle’s feet had touched the floor first, but he was not going to set precedence for video replay, and asked the fans their opinion -- and the decision remained the same. He also advised Team 3D that if they made it under 275 pounds for weigh in, they would not have to weigh in again, but if they failed they would be terminated. There was then a video package with pizza.

Match 5: Fish Market Street Fight -- Sharkboy and Curry Man vs. Team 3D

Team 3D both made weight and tried to celebrate with food but were attacked. Some will love this match, some will hate it, I found it an okay way to waste 15 minutes. I did cringe at the large fish being slammed into the wrestlers, as that has to hurt. In a moment of pure stupidity, Curry Man put a ding-dong on a fishing line and dangled it over the top rope, and Brother Ray attacked it and got hooked. Sigh. Devine wrapped Sharkboy in a net, giving him crabs. There has to be a joke in there somewhere. Curry Man took a backdrop into a fish cart filled with ice and fish, which did not look comfortable. Brother Ray threw fish into the audience and at the broadcast booth. Devine tried to throw powder at Curry Man, who ducked and blinded Ray. Devine went through a table at ringside, Curry Man reversed a whip on D-von, and lifted him so a blinded Ray could accidentally 3D his own partner, allowing curried shark to take the win. As 3D left the ring, Ray got into a shoving match with Survivor Joel at ringside.

Winners: Shark Boy and Curry Man

Rating: 4/10

Match 6: Stand By Your Man Strap Match: Booker T vs. Robert Roode

Roode was seconded by Payton Banks, and Booker by Traci Brooks. The winner's girl got to lash the loser's girl ten times. I hate strap matches in general, so this did nothing for me. Banks had handcuffs, which Tracy took and tried to toss to Booker, but Roode intercepted and hit Booker with them for the win. Things did get better after the match, as Brooks made a fantastic sympathetic babyface in being lashed, and Roode as a character is a great heel. Then Sharmell hit the ring and whipped everyone from Banks to ring announcer Dave Penzer to Jim Cornette. Why, if Sharmell was in the building, was SHE not standing by her husband??? Oh, right, logic.

Winner: Robert Roode
Rating: 3/10

Match 7: Elevation X Match -- Rhino vs. James Storm

Winner: Rhino
Rating: 0/10

Match 8: Christian Cage, Samoa Joe & Kevin Nash vs. TNA Champion Kurt Angle and TNA Tag Team Champions AJ Styles & Tomko

Winners: Christian Cage, Samoa Joe & Kevin Nash
Rating: 5/10

Overall event rating 6/10

Jason Clevett is from Calgary ... Alberta ... Canada.