TNA Destination X 2012: What Worked & What Didn't
Welcome, boys and girls, to my review for Destination X. This was always going to be an interesting pay-per-view because we didn't know over half the matches on the card. This was D-day not only for Austin Aries, but also for (perennial loser to AJ) Christopher Daniels and every member of the X-Division tournament.
Holy crap, that was a fantastic PPV; every match worked, the crowd was insane (proving you can have a great atmosphere in the Impact Zone) and every wrestler worked their asses off.
To quote CM Punk: "Congrats to Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, and Zema Ion. Looks like somebody finally gets it."
~Note~ I know this is late and I blame the idiotic internet connection that decided halfway through the Samoa Joe/Kurt Angle match is a great time to cut out and not respond for the rest of the day. I apologize that this is late (even if it's not my fault,) and I hope you still enjoy it.
Last Chance Four Way: Rubix vs. Mason Andrews vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow—Very nice opening match that really set the tempo for the show and got the crowd super into it. Rubix and Andrews were the clear standouts for me, but Darsow and Only also did good jobs and they could be solid competitors in a year or two. The entire idea that the winner had to face Kid Kash immediately was brilliant.
Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews—Mason Andrews may be the better wrestler, but it was Kid Kash that made this match great. Kash is a fantastic heel and part of me really wanted him to win the match, but Andrews lends himself better to Ultimate X, so it makes sense.
Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King—King showcased some of his fantastic athleticism in this match, but because he was facing a less than athletic opponent, it didn't always work perfectly. The mat/chain wrestling though was fantastic. Willams seems to drift between heel and face a lot, so it's nice to see him play up the "English gentleman" heel act.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron—This was the first (and only) match in the series of X-Division qualifiers I couldn't pick. Sonjay is the veteran, but after getting two faces into the Ultimate X match, a heel would be a very smart choice. Neither man really stood above the other and this was close the whole way.
Jesse Sorenson—TNA is slowly but surely turning Jesse Sorenson into a real Cinderella story. Jesse may not be great on the mic, but he did a good enough job tonight. Having Zema Ion was a logical move and it paid off.
Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova—Zema seems to be coming into his own and his performance against the surprisingly dangerous wrestler (it has to be said) we know as Flip Casanova really helped cement his place in the company as a top X-Division guy. Flip was good, but still needs some polish before we can really expect him to do anything.
BFG Series Match, Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe—Joe and Angle know each other so well that it was never going to be a bad match. Joe seems to have revived his old tenacity and his moves looked crisper tonight than I have seen in years (the fact that we actually saw a Muscle Buster helped.)
Last Man Standing: Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles—My only complaint in the whole show happened in this match (to find out what it was, turn the page,) but that didn't stop it from being another fantastic installment in AJ/Daniels saga. Both men were great, and while the appearance of Kaz made a lot of sense, I would have loved it to be just AJ and Daniels.
Ultimate X Match: Mason Andrews vs. Zema Ion vs. Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt—Okay, I have to admit that this result caught me with my pants down. I never would have tipped Zema over Kenny King and Sonjay Dutt, I know that I gave him credit just a bit earlier, but I really had my money on Dutt and King. I love a solid Ultimate X match and this was just that. It's not going down as one of the all time great matches,but it was a good enough crowd pleaser leading into the main event.
Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries—Holy crap. These two men are the best at what they do right now. There is no heel in TNA or WWE that was as hot as Bobby Roode and the list of men as good as Austina Aries can be counted on one hand. Match of the Year favorite—not candidate—favorite.
Christopher Daniels Losing—This has gotten stupid. My big problem with the AJ/Daniels fued is not that it's been done so many times before, it's that Daniels never wins. Daniels has been on fire lately and has put forth some of his best work in the ring and on the mic, but he still loses to AJ. At this point, Daniels isn't a wrestler, he is AJ's enhancement talent, and until he actually beats AJ one on one, that will never change.
If other big names can beat AJ, why can't Daniels?
-Welcome to Destination X!
-And Lars Only has already botched a move. He tried to tackle Darsow through the ropes and both men screwed it. I really hope neither win the match.
-Which Andrews and Rubix follow up with great leaping over the ropes spots, guess who my favorites are.
-Winner automatically meets Kid Kash? That's brutal and fits in perfectly with Kash's style.
-The crowd is so in to this, I have never heard this kind of reaction for an opening match in TNA.
-I always forget how much of a bad ass Kid Kash can be. He was fantastic in his match.
-Mason Andrews killed Kash with that high knee. It sounded like one of Big Show's slaps.
-I like Douglas Williams' new tights and music he came to the ring with.
-There is a "Respect Earl" chant going, that's brilliant.
-The Sonjay Cutter followed by a Moonsault Foot Stomp—that may be the best 1-2 punch in wrestling.
-Jesse Sorenson looks pretty good and I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back in three months.
-Zema Ion looks like he stole the hairdo of a bad anime character.
-Kurt Angle has his kids at ringside, so that makes him the favorite to win the match.
-I can't remember the last time I saw the Muscle Buster actually get hit.
-Can't remember the last time I saw Joe literally choke someone out either.
-Daniels vs. AJ, I wonder who is going to win (sarcasm).
-AJ is busted open, that looks nasty.
-When is Kaz going to make an appearance? Oh, here he is now and he does so little.
-Styles crashed through the table. That's it, the match is over.
-HOLY CRAP! Mason Andrews just gave Kenny King a neckbracker from on top of the cable!
-Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode. I'm actually salivating waiting for the bell.
-ARIES WON!!! I didn't type anything during the match because I was afraid I would miss something awesome, but I can't believe he actually did it!