Destination X Exemplifies Weakness of Impact Booking

Joe Johnson@@JoeJohnsonREALSenior Writer IIJuly 10, 2011

Destination X, which airs Sunday night pay-per-view, may be one of the most ill-conceived wrestling shows of the last decade, and yes, I’m including the unfortunate ECW December to Dismember abomination.

Many within the IWC are frothing at the mouth to see this show, but honestly, it doesn’t appear to me as anything more than a glorified Indy card with a fancy wrapper. Few of the matches have any heat, opting instead for generic matchups, that while well-booked, carry nothing other than one-night interest.

The fact that the biggest names in the company, the focal points of the last few weeks of booking, are being ignored, so a PPV can “highlight” a poorly defined “division” of competition within the company is mind-boggling.

Destination X is intended to showcase the X Division. First, let’s define the X Division. OK, somebody in the comments please help me with this because I’m at a loss for words.

At its onset, the division appeared to be a rebranding of what we’ve known for a long time as cruiserweights, light heavyweights and even lucha. Then Samoa Joe hit the scene, and before pushing him into the main event, they wisely let him work his way through the midcard.

Due to the lack of a midcard title the equivalent of the Intercontinental or U.S. championships, the X Division belt became the de facto midcard strap.

Since X-Division legends AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe have moved on for better or worse, the belt has languished among a sea of characterless spot monkeys without direction.

The truly innovative Ultimate X match that served as an annual storyline ender has been used repeatedly as filler to cram as many guys on the show as possible. Tonight, it features four guys, one of which can claim any accomplishment with the company.

Robbie E is a joke. Red is a glorified jobber. Shannon Moore is a tag-along from the Hardys trying to get over as part of a tag team and finally you have Alex Shelley, who is only there because Chris Sabin is injured.

The match, while earning the winner a title shot at the X Division champ, doesn’t hold much intrigue.

Joe and Kazarian, the match that will open the show, demonstrates just how hopeless their career prospects are with Impact. Joe was the future, Kaz was at least an upper mid-carder, and now neither has any real storyline, so hell, let’s face each others.

Sad state for Joe, most of all.

The novelty of four Indy guys battling for a contract is nice, but two of the guys in the match have already been on the roster and even competed for titles. The other team seem like also-rans in comparison to Loki/Kaval and Austin Aries/Starr.

As I previously described the manner in which Samoa Joe broke the mold for an X Division competitor, he was still a work rate star that could be relied on to keep up with the high flyers. Abyss is a failed experiment by Hogan and Bischoff that is on its last legs.

The Monster didn’t catch on with fans, so now, he’s going to crush Brian Kendrick in a poor storyline that is supposed to be the main event of the show.

Styles and Daniels will undoubtedly put on a great match. Can’t say enough about the two guys and their ability to entertain, but the fact they are on this show in this match proves how little creative cares about either.

RVD and Jerry Lynn will be the reason most people buy the show, but even at that, a nostalgia tour will only get you so far. And don’t kid yourselves, WWE-haters, Taker, Austin, HHH and Rock brought big buys for Wrestlemania this year and that can be credited to nostalgia.

Simply put, Jerry Lynn couldn’t hold the jock of any four of those men.

Impact has been built for weeks around Sting, Anderson, Hogan, Angle, Jarrett, Gunner, Crimson, Bully Ray and, hell, even Mexican America, Beer Money and Devon to a lesser extent. None of these guys, though, are on the show.

The Knockouts they parade around in risky storylines aren’t involved. They are more or less taking their extra parts and calling them a PPV card.

If this show draws better than your standard Impact PPV, it will be because the rest of the shows have been poorly booked, not because the X Division is particularly strong.