Dr. Wrestling:Can the X Division rebuild TNA?
It was nearly a decade ago that a new and innovative style of wrestling would emerge that put TNA on the map. The matches were mostly aerial spectacles and would be known as the X Division. Certainly, the division had peaks and valleys, with AJ vs. Daniels vs. Joe five years ago being an example of the former, while the booking disaster of making the division almost irrelevant a few years ago being an example of the latter. However, despite any typical TNA booking, the X Division is without a doubt one of the reasons that TNA is in existence today. There has been some well deserved criticism of lack of psychology in high spot matches in any company, but things seem to be improving somewhat and while I could continue about the psychology aspect of things, that’s another column for another time.
This column is going to discuss the Destination X PPV next month and how it could help rebuild the company. A vital piece of the puzzle is also the Bound for Glory series, which I will post a column about later this week. However, for it’s part, the Destination X PPV could help reestablish the division that brought TNA notoriety and also showcase past stars as well as potential future stars.
While the card is still being booked, the matches that are already scheduled could be an opportunity for stars that have been lost in the shuffle to reestablish themselves as some of the top talent in the company. A prime example of this is AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, a match that has been seen before, but considering Daniels spent some time away from the company, a great match could put him back on track as one of the mainstays of the division. While Daniels is without a doubt one of the most graceful competitors to step into the ring, for whatever reason he doesn’t exactly work the crowd during matches. Ironically, it was when Daniels used the Curry Man gimmick that he interacted with the crowd during matches. While the moves he does in the ring are tremendous, Daniels lack of crowd interaction somewhat limits the storylines he could be used for in TNA. That being said, I think a great match with AJ puts Daniels back on track in TNA.
The next match I want to discuss is Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian and the question that needs to be asked here is why isn’t Samoa Joe more of a star? The short answer to that is a series of booking fumbles from the TNA writing team, which had Joe floundering the past few years. While the spotlight on the X Division for the PPV, TNA should start to rebuild Samoa Joe with a push he deserves and in my view, he has all the skills to be a major star for the promotion. With TNA rebranding themselves as “Impact Wrestling,” it seems that Joe would do well in the role of the submission machine that he was pushed as upon his arrival in TNA. The lack luster attempt to push the “nation of violence” gimmick flopped, but Samoa Joe could still be a main event performer for the company. It will be interesting to see if Joe wins the Bound for Glory series to get a title shot.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn, a match originally scheduled for the Hardcore Justice PPV, but was canceled due to an injury will take place at the Destination X PPV. While these two had a memorable feud in the original ECW, considering RVD’s less than stellar performances in TNA, I don’t expect much from RVD vs. Lynn at the PPV. The once innovative RVD seems to only be there for a paycheck so I wouldn’t expect the match to steal the show, especially considering some of he other talent on the card.
Speaking of other talent, some qualifying matches took place on Impact and former Ring of Honor champion, Austin Aries will wrestle at the PPV, which is a good decision because it seems as though Aries was being underutilized since his departure from ROH, which doesn’t make sense to me considering that Aries is solid in the ring so it seems like a mistake for ROH to not include Aries in their upcoming expansion, but at least there’s an opportunity for Aries in TNA. A lesser known, but extremely talented competitor, Zema Ion, made his TNA debut on Impact and will also be wrestling at the PPV. Shima, as he is known on the north east independent circuit has wrestled in Mexico and he could be a great addition to the TNA roster.
Destination X could reestablish older stars and make new stars, which could really help TNA push the wrestling aspect of the company and could provide a solid foundation for the company to continue to expand, while some of the older stars could be used for some name value for the company. We’ve all heard the “things are changing” in TNA before and the ratings have basically remained the same if “Impact Wrestling” boosts ratings remains to be seen, but if TNA gets better than it will improve the entire wrestling industry.
Until next week
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It