Countdown to TNA Destination X
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
I'll give TNA credit -- they've done a really good job of promoting tonight's pay-per-view on Impact while also building their featured episode later this week.
The true test for TNA, however, will be whether or not they can keep the momentum going with the X division after the PPV, or, more appropriately, if they will want to.
D-X (yeah, I went there) has been hyped so beautifully, but the problem is that they have almost shot themselves in the foot by showing how good and respected the division once was, that the roster now looks weak by comparison.
I suspect that this PPV will get the most number of watches (either by PPV or the more nefarious means) for TNA/Impact this year, so hopefully that will spur TNA management into giving the X division a more prominent position on the show and give viewers more, overall, to see from the wrestlers.
Here's tonight's card:
TNA/Impact X-Division Championship - Brian Kendrick vs. Abyss
Of all the matches on tonight's card, this is the one that I'm looking forward to the least. I get where TNA was trying to go with this storyline, but Kendrick is not the right guy for the position given that his character has not gotten over whatsoever and has done more to make Kendrick look like a joke than a legit contender. I suspect, however, that Kendrick will take the belt, but hopefully whoever wins Ultimate X will quickly take it from him.
Grudge Match - AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
The way Daniels talks about his life of constant pain and given his age, you almost wish this was his retirement match. Daniels still has a ton to offer backstage and I honestly think he'd be one of the best agents in TNA, but I'm getting worried about the guy's future. This should be a match for the ages and I would not be surprised if it's an MOTY candidate. I suspect AJ goes over.
Grudge Match - Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian
Many were stunned and disappointed when we found out Joe was not going to be in the AJ/Daniels match, and even more were disappointed when we found out Joe was battling Kazarian. I can't recall, offhand, if the two have ever faced off (in TNA at least), but we should get a fun match. Given how Joe's been buried I don't expect him to get the duke.
Grudge Match - Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
If more ECW fans were still watching wrestling (and if TNA hadn't made a joke of a "tribute" PPV last year) this would be the most anticipated match of the card. Lynn showed that he's still got it this past week on Impact, but unless he's coming back in any sort of capacity I can't see him going over RVD.
TNA/Impact Contract Match - Austin Aries vs. Low Ki vs. Jack Evans vs. Zema Ion
I'm really looking forward to this match because there's no way to tell who's going to win. Low Ki and Aries would be great roster additions since they can really elevate the division and Evans brings something fresh to the table. Ion's qualifying match was the first time I saw him in action, and while he's good, I feel that a more well-known name is needed in the division. Ultimately, I think Evans takes the bout but all four make it into the company.
Number One Contender's Match -- Ultimate X -- Alex Shelley vs. Robbie E vs. Shannon Moore vs. Amazing Red
See what I was talking about folks? Red's become a jobber, Moore and Shelley have been well branded as tag team wrestlers and Robbie ... well, he's Robbie. I suspect Shelley gets the nod.
Open Challenge Match -- Doug Williams vs. ???
This should be the standard "welcome to the company" win for Williams' opponent. Had Shane Helms not been injured I'd put him in here. I could see it being Chavo Guerrero Jr., 90-day clause be damned, or an RoH talent. Heck, it could be Sonjay Dutt for all we know. End result is Williams loses.
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