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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA DESTINATION X
APRIL 24, 2005
ORLANDO, FLA. AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
-Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show. They touted that it was a turnaway crowd. West said the fans locked out might be better because once they're locked in, anything can happen.
-They showed Kevin Nash backstage peeling away the bandage from the staph infection on his leg. Tenay said doctors wouldn't allow him to wrestle, so Dusty Rhodes was currently addressing the situation. On the pregame show Jeremy Borash said they would have word after the PPV started whether Nash could wrestle, although the website had already reported Nash would be replaced more than 24 hours ago.
1 -- LANCE HOYT & CHRIS CANDIDO vs. SONNY SIAKI & APOLLO - Six-Sides of Steel Cage Match
This was changed from a singles match between Hoyt and Apollo to a tag match. In the opening two minutes, Candido suffered a leg injury and was helped to the back, leaving Hoyt alone to battle two men. Hoyt hit Saiki with a moonsault at 3:15, which was impressive. Siaki release back suplexed Hoyt off the top rope. Hoyt flipped before landing. The crowd chanted "Holy Sh--!" Apollo sidekicked Hoyt in the face and scored a near fall. Tenay reported that Candido suffered a broken leg. Siaki hit a frog splash on Hoyt for the three count. Afterward, The Naturals attacked Hoyt and threw him into the side of the cage.
WINNER: Siaki & Apollo at 6:58.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Some nice moves, but Candido's injury limited the match to Hoyt taking a beating for the most part.
-Dusty Rhodes picked names for the Lethal Lockdown match later. He drew the names Jeff Jarrett (heels always come first) and Sean Waltman.
2 -- BOBBY ROODE vs. DUSTIN RHODES - Best of Three Falls Cage Match with the Third Fall Being a Prince of Darkness Blindfold Match.
Roode rolled up Dustin for a quick three count in the opening minute. There's one of those low-IQ booking moves because it defies common sense that a match would end that quickly if it weren't a best of three falls situation, so it seems so contrived and lazy to book it that way. Dustin then did the crotch kick, another ridiculous looking move placed where it was in the match. The move should only be done when the opponent is badly beaten so it makes sense that he doesn't escape the predicament. Even worse, Dustin played to the crowd for several seconds, drawing out the ridiculousness of the situation. He kicked Roode and then catapulted him into the cage and followed up with a near fall. Dustin followed up with a powerslam for a near fall. The pacing was pretty good for the next several minutes. Roode hit a knee drive off the ropes to Dustin's chest. Roode then settled into an upperbody chinlock. Dustin stood up and dropped back. Both men were down on their backs as the ref began counting. Dustin threw Roode into the cage door, which wasn't especially bright since the door swung open. The name of the PPV is "Lockdown" implying once you're in the cage, there's no getting out, and due to Dustin not thinking through which wall he threw Roode into and the cage not being secured (two careless mistakes), that selling point was exposed. They both climbed to the top rope. Roode tried to suplex Dustin to the mat. Dustin elbowed out of it. They exchanged punches on the top rope. Dustin then hit a bulldog off the top rope for the pin. That evened the match one fall each. Dustin's pinfall loss early was such a cheap way out of doing an actual meaningful loss. The ref then put both men in black hoods so they "couldn't see each other." Because putting every match inside a cage wasn't enough, they drew this random lame stipulation out of the bad booker's gimmick grab bag. After lame stalling for a couple of minutes, Dustin mistakenly hit the ref. With the ref down, D'Amore threw a chair into the ring, then they chased away the gaatekeeper and opened the cage, rendering the "Lockdown" gimmick even more meaningless in just the second match. The booking of this match may be worse than the Monty Brown vs. Trytan match last month. Roode mistakenly hit D'Amore. West laughed that the interference attempt backfired. Rhodes then hit Roode with a chair to win.
WINNER: Dustin at 15:20.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- There was more than a star's worth of action, but the lame early fall, the pointless Prince of Darkness black hood gimmick, and the complete destruction of one of the main selling points of the PPV by exposing how easy it is to get in and out of the cage, the grade gets knocked down to a generous quarter-star.
-Shane Douglas interviewed Christopher Daniels. Primetime interrupted and told him the world is watching and the time is right. Douglas then closed with his signature cartoon laugh.
3 -- CHRIS SABIN vs. SONJAY DUTT vs. MICHAEL SHANE vs. SHOCKER -- Four-Way Cage Match
Lots of okay spots early with Shane, Sabin, and Dutt tagging in and out against each other. A few minutes into the match, as Shane had Dutt in a chinlock, West and Tenay raved about the innovation of cutting a small 12 inch open space in the cage for the ringside cameraman to shoot. They said that's an example of what separates TNA from the competition. Shocked tagged in at 8:00 and worked over Shane with some crisp spots. They went into a four-way submission hold. Tenay said again that's what separates TNA from the others. Dutt executed his twisting corkscrew moonsault splash for a near fall. A minute later Shocker eliminated Dutt at 10:45. Trinity climbed the side of the cage. Tracy tried to yank her down, but Trinity knocked her to the floor. She sold an injured ankle. Trinity then flipped off the top of the cage with a moonsault onto the three men below who caught her. The crowd popped for it. Tracy then broke into the cage and clotheslined Trinity. As cool as the moonsault was, here were two more incidents that made a farce out of the concept that Lockdown meant wrestlers were locked inside the cage. Sabin pinned Shane after the chaos with the women. That left Shocker vs. Sabin as the final two at 14:00. Shocker and Sabin then climbed over the cage and Shocker landed a split second sooner to win.
WINNER: Shocker at 15:42.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- About a half a dozen or so nice spots, but somehow it ended up feeling lackluster most of the time. The flippancy of interference in two of the first three matches is baffling. It's like the bookers - in this case mainly Dusty - don't even understand the selling point of their own gimmicks or the need to protect the concepts.
-They replayed Chris Candido breaking his leg in the opener. It was just short of Joe Theisman and Sid Vicious in terms of being an obvious full snapping of his ankle bone. Absolutely brutal looking. The fact that Tenay and West tried to put it over as a by-product of the "all cage" format was lame since Candido simply landed awkwardly and was landed on after a dropkick.
4 -- JEFF HARDY vs. RAVEN - Tables and Chairs Cage Match
The ring was filled with several tables and chairs. Hardy got early advantage, throwing Raven into a table leaning against the top rope. The ref and Hardy stood back for a few seconds as Raven bladed. Hardy followed up with a legdrop with a chair in hand. They both flew off the top rope and seemed to have different things in mind and it didn't look good at all. West obliviously called for a replay so they could see it again. Instead, they wisely went to a crowd shot of some New York Mets in attendance. Hardy set up a table in center ring. Then he climbed to the top of the cage - and didn't seem comfortable up there at all - and flipped toward Raven. Raven moved at the last second and Hardy crashed through the table. The crowd chanted "holy sh--." Tenay's voice gave out as he talked about how lucky Raven was to move out of the way. Hardy didn't move, selling the impact. Raven climbed to the top rope. Hardy leaped up and knocked Raven to the mat, but then was slow to get up afterward. Raven rubbed the edge of a cookie sheet into Hardy's forehead. Both Hardy and Raven were bleeding from the forehead for a while at this point. Hardy climbed to the top of the cage and was going to climb down, but Raven opened the door. Just as Hardy dropped, Raven swung the cage door open so Hardy got crotched. Hardy, though, managed to slam the door on Raven's face to stop him from escaping. Hardy went back to the top of the cage and leaped off toward the mat. Raven lifted his boot. The crowd booed, and the camera didn't show it, but it must've missed. Raven then set up to two tables next to each other and then stacked two more tables on top of them. Hardy climbed toward the top rope. Raven met him up there. Hardy knocked Raven onto the tables, then he lay there as Hardy leaped off the cage onto him with a legdrop, breaking three of the four tables. That gave Hardy the win. West said Raven's creation came back to haunt him. They showed a close-up of a bug-eyed and bloody Raven on the mat.
WINNER: Hardy at 11:51.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Solid stunt match, but it felt like everything was working toward the next stunt and some of the big spots were contrived looking.
5 -- AMERICA'S MOST WANTED vs. TEAM CANADA (Eric Young & Petey Williams w/Scott D'Amore) - Strap Cage Match
Harris was knocked out at ringside early in the match due to a pre-match attack. Team Canada used a U.S. flag as a weapon. Storm took a two-on-one beating inside of the cage for several minutes. Petey Williams scored a near fall on Storm at 6:00, but the ref stopped the count because his feet were on the ropes for leverage. Harris finally fended off Team Canada's A1 and climbed into the cage. He gave Team Canada a clothesline off the top rope. Harris lifted Williams for a vertical suplex and then rammed him into the side of the cage twice before dropping him. AMW hit Young with the Hart Attack clothesline for a near fall at 9:00. Williams had a sharpshooter on Storm as Young dropped an elbow off the top rope for a nearfall. Williams couldn't believe it. When Williams set up the Canadian Destroyer, Harris broke it up with a flying clothesline and scored a near fall. Harris blocked a Young superkick and then Storm superkicked Young. AMW then set up Young for the Death Sentence, but Williams yanked Young out of the path of Harris. Williams then hit Harris with the hockey stick for another near fall at 12:30. Williams then poured a baggy full of white powder into his hand. Storm kicked the powder into his face. Who could have imagined that coming? Petey then kicked Young by mistake and set up a Canadian Destroyer on his own partner. Harris and Storm then hit the Death Sentence for the win.
WINNERS: AMW at 14:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- The bag-o-tricks booking of all of Team Canada's matches are overdone to the point of being predictable, not surprising or ironic as intended. The match itself was the best of a disappointing night so far.
6 -- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. PRIMETIME -- X Division Title in a Cage
Daniels said before the match he'd know everything Primetime was going to do before he did it. They established in the opening minutes that Daniels indeed did have a lot of counters for Priemtime's moves. Primetime, though, eventually got sustainted offense against Daniels with some two counts. Daniels took over by 5:00 and worked over Primetime for several minutes with methodical offense. Daniels applied a cross armbreaker that ends UFC matches. Daniels released it after a few seconds in favor of choking Primetime in the ropes. Although they touted the opening in the cage as a way to see the matches without the cage getting in the way, a lot of the action was filmed through the cage anyway in order to get the best angle on the action. Daniels applied a hammerlock, then nailed Primetime with a roundhouse kick. Primetime came back at 11:00 and hit a spinning hook kick to the head followed by a roundhouse kick to the back. Then he hit a belly-to-belly followed by a top rope legdrop that showed some light. He scored a two count. Daniels countered a Primetime move and hit his BME for a near fall at 13:00. Daniels pointed to the top of the cage. Primetime knocked him off balance, then met him at the top of the cage. Primetime dove off the top of the cage onto Daniels with a forearm to the back of Daniels's head. Primetime only got a two count by the time he got around to draping his arm over Daniels's chest. Daniels came back with an Angle's Wings attempt, but Primetime countered. Daniels, though, forced the move and hit the Angel's Wings for the win.
WINNER: Daniels at 15:28.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Good match. Not a show-stealer on a typical PPV, although that may be the case this time.
-Dusty drew the third name for the six-man tag. It was The Outlaw.
7 -- JEFF JARRETT & THE OUTLAW (a/k/a Billy Gunn) & MONTY BROWN vs. DALLAS PAGE & SEAN WALTMAN & B.G. JAMES
Waltman jump-started the match by brawling with Jarrett through the crowd. So much for not being able to fall back on that signature tired shortcut of every Jarrett match - the brawl through the stands. The fans within ten feet of it loved it, but Tenay had to point out how their cameras weren't able to catch some of the action. Jarrett took control and whacked Waltman with the dreaded cookie sheet. Tenay said, "It's a cookie pan or something." Waltman came back and spin kicked Jarrett off of the table. Then he dove onto Jarrett at ringside. He nailed Jarrett with a bullrope, then swung a chair at him. Jarrett ducked and punched Waltman. Jarrett threw Waltman into the ring. Waltman took over control inside the cage, giving Jarrett a trash can shot ot the head followed by a Bronco Buster attempt. Jarrett moved. At 5:00 The Outlaw then entered the match making it two-on-one. Waltman, still in street clothes, took initial control with two spin hook kicks. He was soon overwhelmed by the two heels, though. Dallas Page saved the day with a cane. Page hit both Jarrett and Outlaw with a double clothesline. A mule kick by Outlaw stopped Page. Then came Monty Brown's entrance. The three heels beat on the two fallen babyfaces as if they were just waiting for the final surprise member to come out to the ring. Brown gave Waltman an overhead suplex into the side of the cage. Then James came out. Jarrett met James at ringside and took a cameraman out. In the ring, James KO'd the ref with a cookie sheet. James was about to hit Outlaw, ut stopped and the former partners had a staredown. Waltman then kicked Outlaw. West wondered why James hesitated to hit Outlaw. Waltman gave Brown a Bronco Buster on a trash can in the corner. Brown speared Waltman from behind. Then he gave James a Pounce with the trash can for a near fall. Jarrrett then hit Page with a trash can followed by a Stroke attempt. Page countered and hit the Diamond Cutter for a two count. Outlaw broke up the pin attempt. It became a six-way chaotic mess with trash can shots and blindsided kicks. The babyfaces took control and set up Brown, but Brown reversed both James and Page and gave them a double-Pounce in a nice spot. Brown then set up Waltman for a press slam. A move got botched as Waltman went for Brown's arm but Brown didn't go down. They went into the sequence again and hit a huracanrana on Brown for the three count. The finish didn't even feel like a finish and the crowd didn't pop at all.
WINNER: Waltman & Page & James at 15:35.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Okay match, but nothing better than three stars overall. It felt rushed, yet at times they seemed to run out of things to do. With Outlaw and Jarrett inside the ring, why did Brown do the job? Where was Kevin Nash?
8 -- A.J. STYLES vs. ABYSS -- Winner gets NWA Title match at next PPV
Styles dove out of the cage onto Abyss at the start of the match. Styles within 90 seconds was already the highlight of the entire PPV. He springboarded ito the crowd and then dove back out of the crowd onto Abyss with a flying forearm. They moved into the ring after a couple of minutes of ringside brawling. Abyss dominated, bloodying Styles in the process. Styles hit some nice counters after a few minutes and teased some comebacks and scored some leverage two counts, but never got sustained offense. At 12:00 Abyss poured thumbtacks all over the mat. Styles gave Abyss the Styles Clash on the tacks and scored a near fall. Tacks were stuck to Abyss's outfit. The crowd popped big for the move, but TNA has to be careful not to keep doing the tack gimmick every month and render fans numb to it. Styles climbed to the top of the cage at 16:00. Abyss threw the ref into the side of the cage, which knocked Styles off balance. Styles hung from the top of the cage. Abyss ran into the side of the cage, trying to knock Styles to the floor. Abyss then grabbed his chain and climbed to the top rope. Abyss wrapped the chain around Styles's neck. Styles bit Abyss's thumb and then powerbombed him offf of the top rope onto the tacks on the mat. The camera was inexcusibly in a bad spot to catch the move. Styles then scored the pin. Styles, with blood trickling from his forehead, stood in the ring and celebrated, playing to the crowd. They didn't even show a replay of the finisher before going off the air.
WINNER: Styles at 18:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- A bit formula with Styles taking such a sustained beating early. Not bad at all, but not quite at a four-star level, either. If you tacked this match onto the end of a PPV without any other cage matches or stunt bumps, it might have been four-stars-plus. In context, though, it just wasn't different enough from the rest of the card to stand out.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this PPV event. To contribute your thoughts on TNA Destination X, click here.
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