This weekend's TNA pay-per-view Destination X is one of my favourite ideas for a PPV ever. The innovation of the Ultimate X match has added something to wrestling that I believe has been sorely lacking on TV for some time -- originality!
The Ultimate X match is what I consider to be the cage match of this millennium. In the '80s, the cage match was the rage. Ric Flair and the Horsemen versus The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff in War Games. Hulk Hogan
versus King Kong Bundy. These were the built up blowoffs to huge feuds that lasted months and we so anticipated that people knew that at the end of the cage match that there WAS going to be a winner and end to the feud. In the '90s it was the TLC match. That to me is what the Ultimate X has become for the new millennium.
This Sunday's Ultimate X promises to be one of those epic blowoff matches. Samoa Joe, the undefeated X division champion, has been nothing short of absolutely brilliant in his title reign. From top to bottom Joe has been one of TNA's crown jewels on Spike TV. But then again the same can be said for both Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles!
Daniels, the journeyman wrestler who's finally getting his due as a national level main eventer and top star, has been slogging away on the indies for so long that it's almost tragic that he's not the "best wrestler you've never heard of" anymore! ;) But seriously, the man is a fantastic performer with the world ahead of him and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Well except for maybe A.J. Styles.
Styles, TNA's golden boy, is perhaps the nicest person walking God's green Earth. That's why it's so sickening that he's also one of the most humble and honest people in a business so full of egos and A-holes! And anyone doubting his skill need only ask any wrestling fan of the last four years and they will happily fill you in on his long list of accomplishments and accolades. It kinda makes me want to puke, he's so good and so nice. You can't dislike him and that's really irritating!
The Ultimate X between these three promises to be an epic if given time, and it is pretty assured these guys will get all the time they need to try to put on a match of the year. My money is on Joe, as he has been an unstoppable force in the X division and will adapt his huge frame to the Ultimate X cables with ease. He's too proud to let something like being 280 pounds stop him from remaining champion. But I have been known to be wrong before.
Christian Cage is also a guy who never ceases to amaze me. With his win at last month's PPV of the NWA World Championship from Jeff Jarrett (also vastly underrated) he has cemented his legacy as one of the top performers in our business and proved that he's a main event guy when given the chance. For those of us who have known this for some time, it's a vindication that you don't have to be the biggest, you just have to be the best. And right now Captain Charisma is the best. Just look at his performance on The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD -- he was priceless!
Cage will face stiff competition this Sunday from "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown, himself another guy with a lot to prove. Monty has come a long way in a short time in wrestling and is trying very hard to prove he's world champion material. He's a former Super Bowl champion, so it is not too much of a stretch, but is it too much too soon? That's the real question?
I don't understand why people give Jeff Jarrett the hard time he's gotten. People are constantly ragging on the guy for being the Triple H of TNA -- like that's an insult. But correct me if I am wrong, but isn't HHH one of -- if not the best -- wrestler in the world right now? Does he not sell out buildings and up buyrates with his appearances? So how is this comparison a bad thing? People have told me the heat that Jarrett (and Trips) get is "the wrong kind of heat." Excuse me, but what is the wrong kind of heat? "Well," I am told, "people really hate him and don't want him to be champion or on their TVs anymore." Ummm? Isn't that the point of being a bad guy? As far as I am concerned that's awesome because it is accomplishing the goal! But then what do I know, I'm just some jabroni from Canada.
This Sunday's Destination X PPV has some fantastic matches on it and promises to be one of the best PPVs, or at least most compelling, of the year. I hope it can live up to expectations.
I love this business of wrestling. I love it more than anything else in the world. Hell I gave up a fiancee for it! And nothing in the world makes me happier than going to or working a wrestling show. And with my recovery almost over, I am like a thoroughbred waiting at the starting gate for a race! I have been watching from the sidelines for too long and my wait is almost over. Two more weeks. In two weeks I will be back at 100% health and working shows again.
In April, I will be moving from Winnipeg back east and starting the road back to TNA. Gotta work off the rust and stuff. My focus is laser-like. My determination unshakeable. At the end of March I have two shows in Winnipeg before I go, and then it's off to the races! I hope those of you who are HJD fans are looking forward to it as much as I am. And I hope that those of you who aren't Johnny Devine fans will still come to shows and be converted. Two weeks people. God, I can hardly wait.
As always any questions or feedback please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and for training questions or concerns email the same. I look forward to seeing you all at shows in the near future! Support your local indies! And if you don't like it! Learn to love it! Cause I'm Canadian and proud of it!
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays (or whenever he delivers) on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!
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