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Heavy Impact (6/10/15): The Destination X Report

Hi, I’m Marie and it’s my pleasure to review a special edition of Impact Wrestling, Destination X. Traditionally, Destination X is an event that focuses on the TNA X Division. And this year’s event is no different (more or less).

** We start off with a hyperventilating EC3, with Tyrus on his heels. Fuming that he’s not in any of the two TNA World Heavyweight Championship matches slated for that night, EC3 took a chair and proceeded to do a sit-down strike. From the back comes TNA World Champion Kurt Angle and yells at EC3 to get out of the ring or he’ll snap his ankle off. Wisely, EC3 & Tyrus went back to the locker room.

Match 1: Rockstar Spud vs Kurt Angle (c) for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Rockstar Spud had chosen Option C, meaning he exchanged his X Division Championship for a World Title opportunity. That sacrifice means a serious Rockstar Spud today. Maybe it’s just me but I find serious Spud to be strangely cool.

Why is Kurt Angle alarmingly reddish purple, though? I hope it’s just a case of bad skin reaction to cheap tanning lotion, and not some serious health issue.

Angle started by throwing Spud around, ending with Spud in a headlock. Relying on speed and agility, Rockstar Spud dropkicks Angle, and quickly puts him in a tilt-a-whirl scissors throw. Kurt Angle responds with an overhead suplex to Spud, sending him flying to the outside. Angle brings Spud back inside and attempts an Angle Slam, which Spud quickly avoids and responds with an enziguri, sending Angle falling outside the ring. Rockstar Spud quickly follows with a diving moonsault from the top rope, hitting Kurt Angle on the head, and more importantly, on the neck.

Angle goes back inside the ring, and chases Spud up to the top rope for a humongous belly-to-belly suplex to Spud. Spud then dropkicks Angle on his previously injured leg. Suddenly, Angle puts an ankle lock on Spud but Spud rolls, sending Kurt to the corner. Spud hits the Underdog on Angle and covers him, but Kurt kicks out at two. Kurt Angle then quickly puts another ankle lock on Spud, and laid on his back for the grapevine. Spud had no choice but to tap out.

Better luck next time, kid.

Overall, it was a good, entertaining match. Rockstar Spud is obviously quite used to being the underdog who relies mostly on his determination and spunk to win. He is talented enough for the audience to cheer, but it’s a bit hard to take him seriously being a possible heavyweight championship competitor. But this is a start, since there was a clear glimpse of that possibility in the last few seconds of the match. Besides, it’s not as if smaller men haven’t become heavyweight champions, right?

** A brief intermission of Taryn Tarrell with the Dollhouse challenging Awesome Kong to a lingerie and pillow match. They had even brought lingerie for Kong to wear on that match. Oh-kay, moving on.

Match 2: Low Ki (of The Beat Down Clan) vs Manik (The Revolution) vs Crazzy Steve in an X Division Championship Qualifying Match

There will be three 3-way matches to determine who will be in the final 3-way match for the now-vacant X Division Championship. The next match is the first of these three.

Low-Ki is cool, Crazzy Steve is a crazy clown, and Manik is… Spiderman?

Fast and furious wrestling all around. Manik stops himself from spilling to the outside by sticking to the ropes, because he’s Spiderman. Crazzy Steve apes Manik’s spidey rope move, well, I guess just because. Low-Ki hits Manik with forearm uppercuts and whips, and Manik responds with a submission hold ala AJ Lee’s Black Widow (because, you know, Spiderman). Then Low-Ki shoots a nice springboard kick on Crazzy Steve, who is held on top by Manik.

AJ Lee, is that you?

Low-Ki hits Warrior's Way on Manik for the three count. And we have Low-Ki as the first competitor for the X-Division Championship!

Why is Crazzy Steve in this match? He is doing practically nothing, except being fodder to Manik and Low-Ki.

It was the worst match of the night for me. Manik was just bouncing around trying to sell his Spiderman shtick. Low-Ki is the babysitter of the match, trying to ground Manik down. And Crazzy Steve is just freaking annoying. I guess with the first match being this terrible, the only way for the other two matches is to be better.

** We now have the first Grado skit of the night. He is in one of the qualifying X-Division matches and had been training, jobbing, and even doing parkour for his match. He then shows his, um, parkour moves.

** A repeat of last week’s controversial Mickie James angle is shown. To recap: James Storm had been recruiting Mickie (and her toddler son) for The Revolution. She vehemently refuses. They go out of the building and on to a train station. Storm then shoves Mickie from the platform to the tracks. He then calls Magnus, Mickie James' fiancé while we hear a train starting to roll.

Cut to Pope & Matthews. It is decent for TNA to say that Mickie was not physically harmed. She had suffered significant emotional damage though, and Magnus will be coming to Impact Wrestling next for a confrontation with James Storm.

Match 3: DJ-Z vs Mark Andrews vs Tigre Uno in an X Division Championship Qualifying Match

We start with a double chokehold from Tigre Uno to DJ-Z to Mark Andrews. A kick then throws Andrews outside. Tigre Uno and DJ-Z the do some nifty back and forth lucha libre moves. Tigre is kicked outside, meaning it’s time for DJ-Z and Andrews to spar, ending in a standing moonsault to DJ-Z. DJ-Z hits offensive strikes on Mandrews, ending with an upward dropkick (what?).  First cover of the match was done by DJ-Z, with Andrews kicking out at two.

Out of a corner, Tigre Uno shoots a missile dropkick to both Mandrew & DJ-Z. Tigre then deflects a jump by Mandrew and onto DJ-Z instead. Tigre keeps the offense with a dive from the top rope by Tigre, and then a cover to DJ-Z almost ends the match except for save by Andrews.  Andrews puts a quick tornado DDT on Tigre Uno. Tigre escapes to the outside but Andrews follows with a splendid hurricana from the top rope onto Uno. Not wanting to miss the action, DJ-Z somersaults to the others outside, laying siege to everyone, including himself.

A second later, DJ-Z picks Mandrew and throws him inside the ring then gives him a DDT, and goes to the top rope, probably for a moonsault. But  Tigre Uno runs inside, pushes DJ-Z outside, and then a corkscrew 450 splash to Mandrew! A cover, one two three, and then a win by Tigre Uno!

This is a way better match than the first qualifying round, although the lack of in-match story cohesion (it is, more or less, a five-minute spotfest) weakened it significantly.

After the match, Jessie Godderz suddenly runs from the back to destroy DJ-Z. Well, I guess that really means the end of BroMans.

** Another skit from Grado, who is now prepping up for his match, wearing... a garbage bag? He asks the passing Tigre Uno for some advice. Tigre Uno just stares at him so Grado figures that there must be a language barrier. Grado leaves and Tigre calls him a jackass. Hm.

Match 4 (?): Taryn Terrell vs Awesome Kong

We hear Courtney Love. Taryn Tarrell then sashays from the back, followed by Marti & Jade. She then proceeds to the stage which has a nice bed with some pillows in it. Taryn proceeds to prattle on how she has promised everyone that they are going to see her in lingerie.

Kong’s entrance music and the awesome one (not the Miz) shows up looking mighty pissed... and definitely not wearing lingerie. The Dollhouse runs interference and Kong began bashing Marti & Jade up. Taryn was more annoyed that Kong wasn't in the lingerie she picked and that Kong is "ruining playtime” that with Kong dismantling her posse. She says that because Kong didn’t follow the stipulations (because really, Kong in sexy lingerie?) Christy should announce her as the winner of the match. Christy pointedly ignores her.

Brooke Tessmacher then shows up and saying that she has no problem fighting her instead. Taryn of course laughs her off, but Brooke says that she did promise the people they are going to see her in lingerie. She then beats up Taryn on the bed, and then forcibly disrobes her.

Personally, I don’t see any difference, as if their usual gear doesn’t show as much skin as when wearing lingerie. The result is a no contest, and thankfully, we move onto…

** Bobby Roode, who drops by a prepping Ausin Aries. Booby says he got Aries’ back tonight, and that The Dirty Heels are back and gunning for the tag team championship. But first, Roode make Aries promises that when he gets the belt, Bobby gets the first title shot, okay buddy? Rofl! Nice frenemies, these two are. I love it!

** Cut back to Grado. He's with Jeremy Borash, a ref, and a weighing scale. Grado wants to prove he has the has the weight that will qualify him to compete tonight. Jeremy assures him there's no weight limit for the X Division. Borash says Grado ought to go now because his match is next.

Match 5: Kenny King (of The Beat Down Clan) vs Cruz vs Grado in an X Division Championship Qualifying Match

Cruz starts the match with some lucha libre flippy stuff. A kick by Kenny King sends Cruz to outside. He turns to Grado and dominates him with aggressive kicks, and then to the hapless Cruz, who was back in the ring.

A missed charge sends King to a corner. Then a funny spot with Cruz trying to do a german suplex on Grado but Grado was just too heavy. Grado then cartwheels and moonwalks away. Funny stuff, which is ended by a boot to Grado’s face by King.

Some good flippy stuff yet again from Cruz but a takedown by Kenny King ended that. King tried to do a fireman’s carry on Grado but again Grado’s weight is proving to be Grado’ most valuable asset tonight. King ended up hurting his back, distracting him. Grado takes this opportunity to put King down with a Roll n’ Slice. Grado covers King, one two three, and Grado wins! He advances to the X Division Championship!

A good match, and was better than the other two qualifying rounds. Grado’s comedy gave it a semblance of a story, and nice spots from everybody.

I realized that Grado’s talent lies in in-ring comedy wrestling. It’s a God-given talent that no booking can provide. They shouldn’t force him to do fully scripted comedy skits because he is terrible at them. Scripts are making him look and sound stilted. TNA needs to let Grado be Grado.

** Cut to somewhere outside. Bram had attacked a cameraman & is ranting about how he hates Destination X. So logically, he's going to the ring to rant some more.

After the commercial break, we see Bram pacing around. He rants about how he hates history, the past, and Slammiversary (which is in almost two weeks’ time, by the way). Does that mean we won’t see Bram there?  So anyway, he then rants that he also hates past TNA stars, and that the past, present, and future will be rewritten by him.

Cue in a past TNA star, the returning Crimson.

Match 6: Crimson vs Bram

Crimson proceeds to take down Bram. Bram quickly rolls to the outside to take a breather. Crimson follows him but gets ambushed by Bram and thrown to the barricade. Both men roll back into the ring. Crimson is holding up to the assault with a suplex to Bran, and then the Rings of Saturn. Bram fortunately hangs on to the ropes. Crimson tries on another submission maneuver, but Bram bites hard on C's right hand! Bram takes Crimson down with the Brighter Side of Suffering, a three-count, and Bram wins!

More of a brawl than a match, it was decent. But it is out of place in an event that is supposedly for the X Division.

** A backstage interview shows Kurt Angle saying that while the ultimate underdog Rockstar Spud took him to the limit (really?), he's ready to beat Austin Aries. He's sure that this match is going to be the match of the year (oh-kay).

Match 7: Austin Aries (cashing in his Feast or Fired briefcase) vs Kurt Angle (c) for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

We start off with a flurry of offenses and locks from both. Austin Aries escapes German suplexes and submission holds one after the other with his usual blend of quick reflexes and agility. Aries finally manages to dominate Kurt Angle, focusing on his problematic neck. Angle escapes a brainbuster attempt by Aries and responds with a big suplex. He goes on attack mode with three back-to-back German suplexes to Austin Aries. Angle goes for a powerslam but Aries turns it into a DDT. A pin by Aries is only good for a two-count.

Aries locks in Last Chancery but Angle escapes and quickly locks in an ankle lock. Aries escapes, shakes the effects off, and hits a missile dropkick from the top rope. Angle, in response, puts Aries in another ankle lock. He escapes briefly, but Angle throws an Angle Slam on Aries. A pin but Aries kicks out at two.

Angle climbs on the top turnbuckle to hit a moonsault on Aries but he misses, falling flat on his face. Aries uses the Last Chancery again on a dazed Kurt Angle. "KA's face is purple," says Josh, but his face is purple to begin with so I don’t know.

Angle manages to drag themselves to the bottom rope, so Aries has to release the hold. Aries goes to the top rope. Angle follows. Aries fights him until Kurt tumbles down. This goes on for a second time. After Angle is sprawled on the mat, Aries hits a 450 splash on Angle! A cover, but Kurt Angle kicks out at two.

Exchange of forearms. Angle attempts for a carry but Aries escapes. Two discus elbows from Aries and then a running dropkick to Angle. And to seal the deal, a brainbuster! Pin to Angle but Kurt manages to place his foot on the bottom rope. Annoyed, Aries puts an ankle lock on Angle.

A taste of Angle's own medicine

Angle reverse rolls Aries around to escape, and then puts his own anklelock on Aries. Aries reverse rolls and throws Angle out of the ring. Aries goes for a suicide dive, but Angle quickly moves out of the way, and Aries hits his head violently on the steel railings! Angle rolls the seemingly unconscious Aries back to the ring. But Aries is playing possum and rolls Angle for a win. Angle kicks out at two.

Angle suddenly puts the ankle lock yet again on Aries, but this time he grapevines it, just like he did with Rockstar Spud. This time, Austin Aries taps out. Kurt Angle wins!

This is a decent match. Austin Aries is excellent as always, and Kurt Angle is not so bad in this one.  Except maybe overusing the ankle lock, but that can be expected from Kurt Angle.

** After the match, EC3 runs in & attacks Angle. Standing tall, he grabs the title & raises it to clearly signify his intention: to become the next TNA World Champion.

Overall, it was a decent Destination X. A lot of matches needed better booking, and they could have trimmed the event down to a fewer matches so that they can allot more time, especially to the qualifying matches. The X Division clearly has a long way to go to bring back its former glory.


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