PPV REPORTS TNA DESTINATION X RESULTS 3/21: Keller's complete "virtual time" PPV report
Mar 21, 2010 - 10:13:46 PM
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TNA DESTINATION X
MARCH 21, 2010
AIRED LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
-There was a lot of lip service in the pre-PPV show about this being a show all about the X Division. Amazing Red, Brian Kendrick, and Daniels presented themselves in a way that felt real and grounded, not cartoonish and put on. However, hearing Dixie talk about insisting this be a show built around the X Division, but having witnessed nothing close to that message being sent to viewers of Impact in the last month, it feels as empty as ever. Hearing Daniels say the X Division has been heart and spine of TNA and it's the lifeblood of TNA is fine, but marketing the X Division as an entity unto itself instead of selling the actual wrestlers in it and the feuds between them dooms it to an opening match novelty slot. Dixie said something about this being the show where the X Division headlines. We'll see.
-In the PPV opening video, the focus was not on X Division wrestlers, but on Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan talking in generalities that sounded important but really meant nothing. "Don't go where the path may lead," said the screen. "Go where there is no path and leave a trail." Okay, I can buy those phrases at that mall store with framed inspirational messages, but how does that resonate with viewers and get them excited about this show in particular or it's wrestlers? If everything else was in place, this would be fine, but it's just a highfalutin mask over a weak core message. It looks and sounds pretty and sets a certain mood, but it could be put before any sporting event or any wrestling show.
-Mike Tenay introduced the show as pyro blasted.
1 -- BRIAN KENDRICK vs. AMAZING RED vs. DANIELS vs. KAZARIAN -- No. 1 Contender's X Division Match
Red dove onto Daniels and Kaz in the opening minute with a wild mid-air twist. Kaz brought a ladder into the ring. Kendrick stopped him and tried to climb it. Kaz yanked him to the floor. The crowd chanted, "X Division! X Division!" TNA's goal should be to get fans to chant the name of X Division wrestlers at some point. "It's like watching a video game here. It's awesome!" said Taz. That's part of the appeal of the X Division, but also most of the problem. If you can create a highspot filled match on a computer, that's cool, but it has no ramifications in the real world and nothing is really learned about the wrestlers themselves. You're not really rooting for a video game wrestler to win or lose because they're not real. The X Division wrestlers are treated like video game characters who are there to do cool spots, but afterward it's quickly forgotten because once it's over, it's over. Combine these crazy spots with stories about people that fans remember and care about after they're done chanting "This is awesome!" and "Holy sh--!" and TNA will make some real money off of these athletes. Other than some big highspots, it was a lot of people yanking someone else off of a ladder. Way too much punishment was endured by these guys for the short-term chant followed by an expectations immediately of "top that" with no resonance. Red clutched his right knee after being backdropped to the floor by Kaz. A minute later Kaz caught Red with a stunner as he dove into the ring. Kendrick jumped Kaz. Daniels jumped Kendrick. Daniels climbed the ladder. Red set up one beside it and climbed it, too. Daniels slammed Red to the mat. Kaz and Daniels met atop the ladder. Kaz backdropped Daniels off the top of the ladder in one of those "5 percent chance someone ends up paralyzed spots." Kendrick climbed the ladder next to Kaz. Kaz shoved Kendrick to the mat and Kaz grabbed the clipboard to win.
WINNER: Kazarian in 13:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Exciting, action-packed, thrilling match. But Taz said it well: "This takes years off your career, as exciting as it is." Usually that's hyperbole, but not in this case. They could get so much more mileage out of these bumps if they were positioned to mean something other than get a quick "Holy sh--!" chant. If they're investing in Kaz, they have to make him interesting. He's not. We know nothing about him other than he quit TNA because he felt they let TNA down in the World Cup. That's it.
-They went to Tenay and Taz at ringside who talked about the A.J. Styles vs. Abyss match later. Tenay said the Abyss that Styles faced in the past is nothing compared to what Abyss has evolved into. Ric Flair's music interrupted them and Chelsea rolled Flair to the ring in a wheel chair. He was bug-eyed and calm, then exploded into: "I am not a happy camper!" He told fans to bow down to him, don't "whoo!" him. He said he is 16 times the greatest world champion of all time, but now he's in a wheel chair. "Look at me now! Not funny! Not funny!" He said he didn't come to TNA to be immobilized, he came to TNA for action, but now he's not getting a lot of action. He said, "Let's get one thing straight. You don't talk to me, I talk to you." He said Hogan and "the Abyss" are responsible for him being in a wheelchair. Tenay brought up that the Black Hole Slam on Impact was what put him in a wheelchair. Nice of them to finally get around to letting viewers know that's why he's in a wheelchair. Chelsea wheeled him away as Flair "whoo'd!"
-Backstage Hulk Hogan told Abyss he's never seen a wrestler in the business with the momentum he has. Eric Bischoff walked in wearing a baseball cap to cover his hair. Abyss asked if he had a baseball game and laughed. Bischoff groaned, but Hogan said it was pretty funny. Bischoff took off his hat and showed that he hadn't fixed what Foley did to him by just shaving his head evenly everywhere. Hogan told Bischoff to take the personal out of the agenda. "You're supposed to be leading this thing with me," Hogan said. Bischoff gave him his word that he'd wrap up his issues with Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley by the end of the week. Bischoff left. Hogan laughed and said, "He's got a Hulk Hogan haircut!"
2 -- TARA vs. DAFFNEY -- TNA Knockouts Title Match
Daffney dominated the early minutes including a figure-four style of leglock from a sitting position. Tara made a comeback and scored a near fall. The crowd seemed split, as some liked Daffney's off-beat personality. Daffney scored a very near fall at 5:00. She screamed after the kickout and the ref clutched his ear in pain. Daffney brought the Knockouts Title belt into the ring and swung it at Tara. Tara ducked and gave Daffney her Widow's Peak for the win. Daffney stole Tara's spider afterward.
WINNER: Tara in 6:00 to retain the Knockouts Title.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Solid action. Not a classic, but good to see a straight-up title defense where the champion beats the challenger clean without all kinds of other stuff going on. It sets that baseline so something else later not so clear-cut seems novel and controversial and not just par for the course.
-Christy interviewed Brutus Magnus backstage. He said from now on his name is just Magnus. He said he brought Terry in to TNA to wash his boots, get him coffee, and watch his back. "But no, now you have to go off and win a belt," he said. He said he's ready to pop that overinflated ego of his because he's in over his head. "Like Dr. Frankenstein, I'm now going to destroy the monster I created." He said unlike the doctor, he's going to enjoy it.
3 -- ROB TERRY vs. MAGNUS -- Global Title Match
Terry marched to the ring with determination and intensity. He locked up with Magnus and tossed him across the ring, then hit him with two clotheslines that I've seen every muscle-bound indy show rookie throw due to a lack of other options. Magnus came back with some punches. Tenay said TNA management sees the Global Title as a stepping-stone to the World Title. Terry came back with a powerslam. "You should show a movie on this guy's back," said Taz regarding Terry. Terry hit a jump spin wheel kick and a chokeslam for the win.
WINNER: Terry at 2:00 to retain the title. This might be the push in pro wrestling in the last ten years I disagree with most, and that includes Heidenreich and Kenzo Suzuki. Terry just shouts "muscle-bound clumsy rookie being over pushed with little or no charisma." He's so 1980s, it just sends the message that TNA is even more out of touch than anyone realized. The idea that any braintrust in pro wrestling in 2010 would see more money in Terry than Magnus at this point is just jaw-dropping. If he was over, there'd still be compelling reasons not to push him, but he's not over at all.
-A video package aired on the X Division with Bischoff talking about all of the risk-taking and bar-raising. Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle also chimed in with more lip service.
-Christy interviewed Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. Sabin said Generation Me have more balls than brains. He said they are nothing but children trying to compete on a man's level. "So tonight when your mommy lays you two in bed and you lay there asleep spooning each other, dry humping your SpongeBob Squarepants blanket, you'll be having nightmares about the beating the Motor City Machine Guns will inflict on you tonight," said Sabin. Shelley said they have a chip on their shoulders because they worked hard to become the best tag team in the industry, but can't reach their full potential because of circumstances out of their control. "We've been in TNA longer than you've even owned your Hardy Boyz starter kits," said Shelley.
-They went to Tenay and Taz to talk about the Ultimate X match as workers finished setting it up.
4 -- GENERATION ME vs. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS
The crowd chanted "Motor City! Motor City!" early. A few shot back with "Generation Me!" chants. Fast action early with GenMe scoring the early advantage. A few early attempts to grab the "X" hanging over the ring were thwarted. After a dive on the floor, Max got close to the X in the ring. Sabin dove to stop him, but missed. Shelley did stop him, but he got speared seconds later. Max tried to get to the X as Jeremy defended territory around it, but Sabin managed to get past Jeremy and knock Max to the mat. A "TNA! TNA!" chant broke out. Shelley, Max, Jeremy, and Sabin all converted at once in the middle by the "X". It came dwon to Sabin, but he dropped down to help Shelley. All four traded sidekicks against each other in a cool sequence. More "TNA!" chants. At 11:00 Sabin and Jeremy met at the "X." Sabin kicked Jeremy to the floor and then grabbed the "X" and dropped to win.
WINNERS: Machine Guns in 11:00.
STAR RATING: *** -- The wrestlers packed these moves in like they were paid by the move. It's not sustainable over time and there's a better way to utilize their incredible skillsets in a match that tells more of a story, but it was undeniably an exciting mid-card match. It's all about turning these moves collectively into something that fans are invested in emotionally because they care who wins.
-A video package aired on the Kevin Nash & Eric Young vs. Syxx Pac & Scott Hall feud.
-Borash interviewed Syxx and Hall backstage. Hall took off the t-shirt and felt confident enough to show off his chest. Borash said if they lose they'll be banned for life. Syxx laughed and said it's like he said "band for life." He tried to explain it, but got a bit lost. Hall asked Nash if he trusts his career and life with Young. He said he's got a partner he believes in. Hall called Nash "Big Sellout." Syxx said they're going to get their TNA contracts and then party. "Your ass is grass and then we're going to smoke 'em," he concluded.
5 -- SCOTT HALL & "SYXX-PAC" SEAN WALTMAN vs. KEVINI NASH & ERIC YOUNG
They came out to no music. I suppose no contract yet means they don't get music. Hall sucked in his gut and showed off his Morrison-like abs. Taz put over Syxx's "toxic kicks." Hall said, "Hey yo!" He said he's going retro with the tights. He said he wants to take a survey. He asked the fans if they want to see Syxx and Hall with big money contracts. The crowd gave them a mixed response. The ref showed off the contracts awaiting them. Nash and Young then made their ring entrance. Young and Syxx began the match. Hall hit Young from the apron. Syxx hit Young from behind leading to a two count. Syxx tagged in Hall, but not before playing to the heel fans for some cheers. After a dive by Syxx to the floor, Taz said Syxx has been doing that since before there was an X Division. Hall tagged in at 3:00 and applied a sleeper. Nash reached for the hot-tag after Young broke the sleeper. Young tagged Nash in, but the ref didn't see it and thus didn't recognize it.
Syxx went looking for something under the ring. He yelled, "Where the f--- is it?" in frustration. He found it on the other side of the ring - a spray can. Hall had to distract the referee even longer. The ref had to deal with Nash for a ridiculously long time so Syxx and Hall could get their green spray can spot in. Young got up looking like the Missing Link. Taz asked if the ref saw the green paint. Young fought back, though, and hot-tagged Nash. Syxx begged off and offered a mock handshake. Nash instead gave Young a Jackknife. Nash then put Young on the ring apron and tagged Young back in. Syxx gave Young a sitout powerbomb. Hall took his time, but gave the Razor's Edge to Young. Syxx made the cover. Hall stood over Syxx, because that's legal of course, and the ref counted to three. Shouldn't the ref have ordered Hall out of the ring, or legal tags between Syxx and Hall, during that sequence? Utter nonsense. The ref disallowed a Nash tag he didn't see, but then didn't care that Hall and Syxx were in the ring at the same time for over a minute after Nash turned on Young? Syxx went looking for the paint again and couldn't find it right away. He yelled out, "Why'd you have to go hide it?" He then sprayed painted a crime scene outline around Young's KO'd body. Taz and Tenay talked about the Band being back together.
WINNERS: Hall & Syxx in 6:00.
-Borash attempted to interview Angle. Angle respectfully asked Borash to let him do this alone. Borash walked away. Angle held up a picture of Mr. Anderson and set it on fire. He then softly said, "Oh, it's real. It's damn real."
6 -- DOUG WILLIAMS vs. SHANNON MOORE -- X Division Title Match
It's just crazy that these two are in the X Division Title match on the supposed X Division showcase PPV. No angle. No backstory. A gift of a title shot to Moore, last seen jobbing on WWE TV. And Williams, who was recently totally squashed by Rob Terry on Impact. There are times TNA presents a scenario that confirms suspicions that they're clueless, and this is one of them. The outline of Young's body remained center ring, which was a distraction. WWE has multiple ring aprons layered over one another at the start of the night. Maybe TNA wants that to be there the rest of the night, but if not, there's an easy way out of it. Taz said Williams "makes very little mistakes," which is very different than saying he "makes very few mistakes," by the way. But Tenay always says "try and win" instead of "try to win," so they're in good grammatical company. Moore moonsaulted onto Williams on the floor at 3:00, which was pedestrian by this point in the night. Williams KO'd Moore with a brick of some kind for the win.
WINNER: Williams in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Great annual showcase of what the X Division is all about! The culmination of months of forethought, character development, and planning so the two more over, athletic, complete X Division wrestlers could show off what they do so well.
-Afterward Williams said Moore stands for everything he hates about the X Division, "acrobats who call themselves wrestlers." He said the X Division should be catch-as-catch-can and holds and counterholds. Hey, whatever wins matches. He said the acrobatics belongs in the circus with the flowns. He said Moore is a clown, but he doesn't think much of his make-up. He demanded a woman in the crowd give him his purse so he could use her make-up on Moore's face. He drew lipstick all over Moore's face. The crowd chanted, "RVD! RVD!"
7 -- MATT MORGAN & HERNANDEZ vs. BEER MONEY INC. -- TNA Tag Team Title Match
Morgan opened against Roode, but then insisted Hernandez start the match instead. He acted heelish in the process. Roode made a comeback at 2:00, so Morgan told Hernandez to tag him in so he could show him how it's done. Taz welcomed referee Brian Hebner to TNA. Hernandez tagged back a minute later and gave Storm a long delayed vertical suplex. Morgan acted unimpressed. Hernandez offered Morgan a tag, but Morgan said he'd tag in when he wants to. Morgan tagged himself in seconds later. Morgan hit Storm and Roode at once with a big flying bodyblock in mid-ring. He tagged Hernandez in and told him to continue the momentum without any let-up. Hernandez went for a dive on Roode at ringside, but Morgan stood on the ring apron and blocked him for some reason. Storm hit Hernandez from behind as the ref was preoccupied by Morgan. Storm and Roode beat up Hernandez in the corner. Taz said he's trying to figure out Morgan's agenda. The crowd chanted "Morgan sucks! Morgan sucks!" Tenay asked why Morgan would put the tag titles at risk with this type of attitude. Taz agreed.
The newly turned Beer Money played to the crowd when on offense and elicited a "Beer... Money!" chant from the crowd. At 8:00 Morgan hot-tagged into the match and worked over both Roode and Storm. He hit a splash on Storm in the corner. The crowd chanted, "You still suck!" at Morgan. Hernandez dove over the top rope and landed on Roode at ringside. Morgan was upset. He walked up to Hernandez and said, "Are you dumb? You can't win it out here." He threw him into the ring. Storm spit money at Hernandez, but Hernandez ducked and the beer ended up in Morgan's face. Hernandez then flapjacked Storm for the win.
WINNERS: Morgan & Hernandez in 10:00 to retain the TNA Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING: ** -- Morgan is over as a heel, but I don't get matching a newly turned heel Morgan in a tag match against a newly turned heel team in Beer Money, as it's totally getting in the way of Beer Money getting the crowd to turn on them. This is not an unforeseeable situation.
-Afterward, Morgan gave Hernandez the Carbon Footprint. He grabbed both tag title belts and held them in the air. The crowd chanted, "You suck! You suck!" at him. Tenay couldn't imagine how Morgan could blame Hernandez for anything since Hernandez actually won the match for the team.
8 -- KURT ANGLE vs. MR. ANDERSON
Angle opened with a headlock. The Young body outline remained on the ring apron. Slow build, but perhaps needed at this point in the night given the pace of the undercard. Unfortunately, this was billed as a blood feud, and the methodical pacing just didn't fit the tone of the hype. Angle welcomed Anderson to try a headlock on him. Taz said it's a trick and Angle has a counter-hold ready. Anderson took the bait, but Angle tossed him off and into the ropes. Anderson went for another headlock later, but Angle suplexed out of it. Anderson took control and worked over Angle's arm at 8:00. Angle made a comeback, hit an Angle Slam, and scored a near fall. Angle went for an anklelock, but Anderson powered out and knocked Angle into the ref. Anderson then gave Angle a low-blow. He followed up with a Mic Check for a very near fall. Angle came back with a frog splash for a two count at 14:00 after knocking Anderson off the top rope. Angle went for a clothesline, but Anderson ducked and the ref went down when Angle hit him by mistake. Anderson looked around, rolled out of the ring, and began a Syxx-Pac-like hunt for something under the ring. He grabbed a chair from a large fan at ringside. Taz quipped, "That chair might be bent." Anderson brought the chair into the ring and thought of using it against Angle. He tossed the chair out of the ring, though, and instead grabbed the Warrior Medal off of the ringpost. He wrapped it around his fist, took aim, and swung. Angle ducked and then back suplexed Anderson. Angle picked up the medal and then looked at the crowd. He held it up, then carved a slice into Anderson's forehead. Anderson came up bleeding. Angle punched away at Anderson. The ref was still out from the clothesline. Angle applied the anklelock. The ref came to just in time to see Anderso reaching for the bottom rope, coming up short, and then tapping.
WINNER: Angle in 17:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Really slow start and still too methodical throughout most of the match. That sense of urgency given the nature of the feud seemed missing throughout the bulk of the match. It had it's moments, though.
-Angle celebrated and walked toward the back. Anderson called for the mic. It dropped over him. Anderson said Angle isn't a real American hero and probably isn't a real Gold Medalist. He said he's not even a real American. He said he tried to have a straight up match with him, but he resorted to cheap tactics to get a victory. He repeated his last name over and over and said that will be echoing in his head all night. Why, he won? Shouldn't that count for something? Kennedy got his blood all over the mic.
-Tenay and Taz threw to a video preview of the main event TNA Title match.
-Christy excitedly asked Styles how Flair being in a wheelchair will change his gameplan. Her facial expressions were distracting as Styles predicted victory. The Flair robe on him just isn't working.
-Borash interviewed Abyss backstage. He said he has the power of Hulk Hogan and all of the Hulkamaniacs running through his body. What audience are they aiming at? Who's Abyss's target fan base? Kids who magically remember the peak of Hulkamania? Adults who want to relive Hulkamania vicariously through Abyss? Everything is just so bizarre and non-cohesive.
9 -- A.J. STYLES vs. ABYSS -- TNA World Hvt. Title
Jeremy Borash did the ring announcement for this match and only this match. Abyss attacked Styles during the Styles ring intro, so Borash bailed out of the ring. Flair watched from the far end of the ramp in the wheel chair. Abyss beat up Styles early, then walked toward Flair on the ramp. Styles made a comeback after an eye poke, Flair-style. At 4:00 Styles wedged a chair in the corner. The ref saw it and pulled the chair out of the corner. Styles choked Abyss on the middle rope in the mean time.
At 7:00 Abyss caught a flying Styles by the throat. Styles broke free, but Abyss then hit a backdrop and sideslam for a two count. Styles escaped the Shock Treatment and then hit the Pele kick. Styles springboarded at Abyss and landed a forearm for a two count. Abyss catapulted Styles into the chair that was still wedged in the corner. Abyss then gave Styles the Shock Treatment for a two count. Flair applauded the kickout from the ramp. When Abyss set up a top rope move, Styles bit his forehead. He followed up with his Spinal Tap dive off the top rope. It's a cool move. Too cool for a heel to ever do. The crowd chanted, "That was awesome!" Abyss kicked out, so Tenay added, "The kick out was just as awesome."
Styles argued with the ref, giving Abyss time to recover and surprise Styles with a Black Hole Slam for a very near believable fall. Flair pulled the ref toward him and sprayed something in his eyes. Nothing went well tonight as far as gimmicks go, as Flair didn't get it to spray right away and the ref had to act cartoonishly concerned without pulling away for several seconds. Flair then tossed Styles the title belt. Styles used it. Then out came Hogan who brought Earl Hebner withhim to be the replacement referee. Flair was upset and also feared what Hogan would do to him. Hogan sent Chelsea to the back and then wheeled Flair to the back. Styles protested, but then returned to the ring and hit a springboard 450 splash. Abyss kicked out and then Hulked Up. The whole Hogan routine from the 1980s continued leading to Abyss chokeslamming Styles on center-ring where the ring gave out. The ref called for the bell for some reason. "Holy sh--!" chanted the crowd. Tenay said that was a hell of a chokeslam. Hogan brought the TNA Title belt into the ring and handed it to Abyss. The ref yanked it away, though. Chelsea wheeled Flair to ringside. Abyss grabbed him by the throat and dragged him into the ring. Hebner and then Abyss slipped on the edge of the big hole in the ring. Hogan sprayed Flair with whatever it was that Flair used against the ref earlier. Desmond Wolfe ran to the ring and got punched by Abyss, then Hulk, then Abyss, then Hulk in a comedy type of spot. Hogan then sprayed Wolfe, so he staggered around and then tripped backward over Flair. Flair then just dove into the hole. It was a Three Stooges routine as Hogan celebrated with Abyss as "American Made" played in the background.
WINNER: No decision in 17:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- There was some good action between Styles and Abyss, but the finish was just a bad joke.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This in its own special way is in the race for most ridiculous PPV in history. No announced finish in the TNA Title match. A Three Stooges routine Syxx losing the spray can twice in two minutes. Hype that promised an X Division main event and the X Division Title match was buried in the middle between two wrestlers not even close to over. Rob Terry, a Warlord knockoff straight out of the 1980s getting a monster push by squashing Magnus, who actually has an upside. Kurt Angle opening up a blood feud grudge match with a two minute side headlock. I can think of no more fitting symbolism than the body outline in the ring throughout the second half of this show. I'd recommend the replay just so you can see for yourself how clueless this company is and how lacking any cohesive vision this regime has.
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