TNA Destination X – June 10th, 2015
With the X Division Championship left vacant, the field is set for extreme warfare. It all begins on Wednesday night at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Two TNA World Heavyweight Championship matches take place, as Rockstar Spud uses “Option C” to challenge Kurt Angle for the crown. Austin Aries cashes in his “Feast or Fired” contract for a chance to meet the winner of that match in the main event. Also, Taryn Terrell calls out Awesome Kong to come and play, but it won’t be an ordinary match. The X-Division competitors go head to head in three Triple Threat matches to determine who will go for the championship in a future match. All this, and Bram too!
- Ethan Carter III comes out. Angry about others competing for Kurt Angle’s belt, he has a sit-down protest until Angle comes out. The two have an intense face-off until EC3 backs down.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Rockstar Spud vs Kurt Angle (c): despite a courageous rally by the challenger, Angle taps Spud out with ankle lock.
- Taryn Terrell stipulates that match with Awesome Kong has to be a lingerie pillow fight.
- X-Division Triple Threat – Low Ki vs Manik vs Crazzy Steve: Low Ki hits Warrior’s Way on Manik for a three-count.
- backstage: Grado talks parkour, exercise, making the X Division weight limit.
- replay of Mickie James & James Storm segment in Nashville. Josh Mathews informs us Mickie is not physically hurt.
- X-Division Triple Threat – DJ Z vs Mandrews vs Tigre Uno: Uno hits 450 splash on Mandrews for the pin. Post-match, Jesse Godderz attacks DJ Z.
- backstage: Grado wearing trash bag, desperately trying to lose weight.
- Knockout Championship Lingerie Pillow Fight – Awesome Kong vs Taryn Terrell (c): Kong refuses to play along, fights with Dollhouse instead. Brooke challenges Terrell, brawls and strips off her robe.
- backstage: Roode and Aries discuss Heavyweight Championship.
- backstage: Grado weighs in, but is informed there is no weight limit.
- X-Division Triple Threat – Kenny King vs Cruz vs Grado: cannonball lands on Cruz in corner, Grado lands the win.
- backstage: Bram beats up cameraman/”producer”.
- Bram challenges any past TNA wrestler to a fight. Crimson answers challenge. Bram wins by pin-fall after hitting Brighter Side of Suffering.
- backstage: Kurt Angle promises match of the year candidate.
- backstage: EC3 is still fuming.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Austin Aries vs Kurt Angle (c): Angle wins with ankle lock submission. EC3 attacks Angle post-match, stands holding title belt to close show.
- The opening segment was not incredibly original, nor did it build to any exciting or revolutionary conclusion, but was nonetheless effective because of Carter’s intensity and conviction. Particularly intriguing was the energy shared between Carter and the champ. Angle is an intense guy, and these two together makes for instant and explosive volatility. The fact that it ended on such a flat note left the matter open and unresolved and left audiences wondering when the other shoe would drop.
- The first Heavyweight Championship match of the night was a surprisingly even contest between accomplished veteran and plucky underdog. It was a story adequately played by the two wrestlers, with Spud gaining an impressive amount of fan support despite the popularity of Angle. The enthusiasm of said crowd made this match exciting, even though it was booked unevenly. It remains to be seen what will be next for Rockstar Spud, and where he fits in now that he is essentially back to the bottom of the ladder.
- The negative reaction by the crowd (and, thankfully, Josh Mathews) to Taryn Terrell’s lingerie pillow fight challenge is a sign that we are no longer in the shallow age of cat-fights and cheap gimmick matches.
- Low Ki was the star of the this match as far as how it was booked and how it ended, and the announce team built him up to be a consummate warrior, but in terms of in-ring performance and dominance in the match it was Manik who really stood out. His style is innovative and original, and it mimics the superhero/Spiderman theme his costume suggests, and he is a really enjoyable superstar to watch work. It is a shame that they didn’t protect him more in this match by Low Ki getting the pin on Crazzy Steve instead. I can’t be certain, but I’m going to guess that there are no major pushes coming up for Crazzy Steve in the near future.
- Josh Mathews informs us that Mickie James was not physically hurt at all in Nashville. That fact takes so much away from the impact of that segment last week. Whatever suspense and intrigue that was caused is now wiped away, and not having any statements this week from Magnus, Mickie or Storm runs the risk of this storyline losing momentum and dramatic tension.
- Like in the previous triple threat, the stand out star of this contest was DJ Z, who did a superb job of rallying the crowd into the match. Unlike the last triple threat, they protected DJ Z by giving Tigre Uno the pin-fall on Mandrews, who was not much more than fodder in the match. There was a lot of good work in this match. All three combatants used the lucha libre style to create eye-catching chain and tandem spots, making this the high light of the night. Tigre Uno winning did little to move the crowd, and the beat-down by Jesse Godderz garnered muddled heat. Being an impressive physical specimen and showing great rage and intensity not withstanding, you get the impression the crowd still takes him as a bit of a joke.
- Taryn Terrell is exploiting a unique type of heel heat in the Knockout division and it deserves a kudo. While the world is trending towards more physical, involved and legitimate competition for and between female wrestlers, she is pushing sexy lingerie and pillow fights. The crowd is having none of it, and neither are the other Knockouts. Brooke, not exactly the poster child against female exploitation (during the segment she couldn’t resist complimenting her own “cute booty”), provided exposition by telling the champ that she was “disgracing” the women’s division with her antics. This stance would have held more clout had it come from the mouth of a Gail Kim, but Brooke could earn some legitimacy by spear-heading this attack on Terrell.
- (Sidenote: Brooke also has a beef with the Dollhouse, though it was not mentioned at all. Last week’s vicious attack on Rebel backstage seems to have evaporated from memory, and should have played a more prominent part in motivating Brooke’s involvement in this segment.)
- Kenny King dominated the final triple threat and looked to have the whole match well in the bag. Cruz was not only outclassed by King, but by Grado as well, who was the focus of this contest. The Brit, in true “mark made wrestler” fashion, channeled The Rock on his entrance and the late (though not at the time it was taped) Dusty Rhodes as he embarrassed the former X-Division champion and the enmascarado with atomic forearms and fists of fury. Although not exactly the best of the three triple threats seen on the card, it did contain the best story. King looked destined to walk through both his opponents and stroll right into the X-Division Championship contention, but the spunky underdog pulled off the surprise feel-good win.
- So, it comes down to Low Ki, Tigre Uno and Grado for the championship. I smell another X-Division title belt going to the Beat Down Clan.
- Bram said that he hates “history” and he also hates “the past”. Hmmm, makes you stop and think.
- Crimson’s entrance didn’t elicit any strong reaction from the announce team or the crowd, and I was left wondering if I should even feel excited about this match. Christi Hemme also wasted no time in introducing him as Bram’s opponent, which gave the whole segment a very scripted feel. The match itself wasn’t bad, although Bram dragged the action out with retreats and regrouping. The outcome took me by surprise. I was under the impression this match was a way of hyping the return of Crimson, but Bram’s decisive victory makes me think differently. This appears to be the start of a new “legend killer”-esque gimmick for Bram, challenging past stars to fight in an attempt to re-write history in his image. It could work, and it would be a great opportunity for the promotion to pay homage to former talent as we head towards Slammiversary.
- The main event was a great match. Kurt Angle didn’t rely too heavily on suplexes for offense, and in fact the match hinged mostly on Aries’s ability to escape most of Angle’s typical arsenal. Aries got over as determined, accomplished and hungry. He fought like this was his last chance at the title, and that’s exactly the way he should have behaved. Before the contest, backstage, Bobby Roode mentioned sticking around to make sure Eric Young wouldn’t interfere, and I was surprised to see that no interference or screwy finish occurred. It was a straight wrestling match, with Aries not even dipping into his heelish bag of tricks. A good show by both competitors.
- Carter stealing all the heat back post-match resolved the tension left from the show’s opening. With Spud and Aries out of the way, there is nothing stopping a full-blown championship rivalry between Angle and the #1 Contender.
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