PPV REPORTS TNA Destination X 3/16 ALT PERSPECTIVE report by Wilkenfeld: A lot of ups and downs, with more downs than ups
Mar 15, 2009 - 11:13:47 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Just for kicks, I'm bringing back my segment by segment interest meter, measuring how much I care about this PPV. It's the best way I can illustrate the roller coaster/cliff fall of the night.
Pre-show: Interest Meter: 7.0
(1) TAYLOR WILDE, ROXXI, & THE GOVERNOR defeat THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
All three women pulled their weight in the ring—I think Velvet Sky has shown some real improvement since her debut. Most of the excitement came from the high risk moves of Taylor Wilde and the high impact moves of Roxxi, but Angelina Love had her moments as well. The other three managed not to look out of place, which is really an accomplishment. Why are none of these women in the title picture? Overall, this was a solid opener, but nothing special. Taylor Wilde picked up the win with a Bridging German Suplex.
Interest Meter: 7.5—they seem to be willing to let their people do what they do.
Lauren interviewed Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley about the title match. They did not come across as unbiased.
Interest Meter: 7.5—nothing big here.
(2) BRUTUS MAGNUS defeated ERIC YOUNG
Magnus is coming along nicely I think. He has no business winning any singles titles in the foreseeable future, but for a 22 year old rookie I think he shows a massive upside. This match had a few sloppy moments, which became a bit of a theme throughout the night. Magnus won by hitting his finisher off the top rope; the crowd seemed into the match the whole time. Interest Meter: 7.0—Magnus isn't very polished, but I think it's reasonable for him to be on my TV.
Sheik Abdul Bashir came out and talked about how we discriminate against brown people, and how the only thing they can do about it is kill innocent people. Wow. He also talked about the American holocaust and how the US is just a big concentration camp. That's not cool either. Jim Cornette came out, said that he didn't like Bashir, and had the local military honoree lead us in a round of America the Beautiful. If you wanted to give the veteran some mic time, there had to be a better way to do it than this mess.
Interest Meter: 6.0—I don't generally mind offensive things, so long as they're entertaining. This was not.
Kurt Angle was in the MEM locker room railing about how Sting has thrown in with Foley and Jarrett. Booker and Steiner just stay the hell out of it. Nash blamed Angle for all the strife. Kurt said he didn't want anyone else out there tonight.
Interest Meter: 6.0
(3) MATT MORGAN defeated ABYSS
This match consisted primarily of Abyss and Morgan slowly but surely setting up a massive pile of tacks and broken glass in the ring…and then ended with Morgan kicking Abyss into another tray elsewhere. Que? What's sad is there was actually some decent in-ring wrestling in the middle, which was sort of wasted. Morgan won with a Carbon Footprint that knocked Abyss into a bed of tacks.
Interest Meter: 5.5—I didn't mind the match, but it's been a while since interesting happened.
Booker T and Sharmell just found out that the contract Booker signed put his Legends' Championship on the line. They tried pleading duress, fraud, and various other things in an attempt to get out of it. Can't Cornette order a title match whenever he wants anyway?
Interest Meter: 5.5—the logic hole of suddenly needing a contract to force someone to defend a title was just about exactly countered by some moderately amusing mic work from Sharmell.
ODB picked the winner of her "spend a night with ODB" contest. First they hyped the contest. Then they brought out ODB and the four finalists. Then she asked them a dating game style question. Then they had a dance off. Then she looked over the contestants one by one. Then she picked. Then on Impact we'll get to follow them on their date. That was thirteen minutes of my life I'll never get back (that's actually a bit of a lie—I had just enough lead time to skip about a minute of the dance off). By my math, I'm pretty sure TNA owes me $2 for what I spent to see that, plus another $41 in pain and suffering.
Interest Meter: 2.0—seriously, how did this ever get green-lit? Someone, somewhere, must have realized that this was a horrible idea. Is TNA sliding into a WWE-like culture of squashing all sensible dissent? At this point I have a slight suspicion that they're just trying to tick us off.
Lauren interviewed Beer Money in the back. They cut a standard heel promo—it was okay.
(4) AWESOME KONG (w/RAESHA SAEED) defeated SOJOURNER BOLT
The major plusses of this match were the fact that the crowd got a nice "Kong is gonna kill you" chant going, and the fact that Rhaka Khan was not involved. That's about it. Kong didn't come off as devastating. Bolt didn't come off as a plausible threat. I like Bolt's character some, but it turns out that she is extremely not-ready for a spot at the top of the division. Taylor Wilde's debut this was not. Kong won when she reversed an attempted Hurricanrana into an Awesome Bomb, which was far and away the best spot of the match anyway.
Interest Meter: 1.5—on a good card this would have been a blip. After ODB's segment it just drained more momentum out of the crowd.
(5) SAMOA JOE defeated SCOTT STEINER
This match started out fairly promisingly. Joe came out strong, busting Steiner open in the first thirty seconds. Then he hit Steiner with a lead pipe and clocked the ref, drawing the DQ. That's okay though—at least it looked like we were going to see a kick ass beat down, which could be good for Joe. Sure enough, he flew out after Steiner with a Suicide Dive, through him into a couple objects, bit him in the head, and carried him out of the Impact Zone. Wait—he's done? We didn't get a match or a brutal beating? Wtf?
Interest Meter: 0.0—so much for the return of Samoa Joe. I honestly don't think that I've cared about a TNA PPV less than I did about this one at this moment, and that includes the old weekly shows.
Lauren interviewed AJ Styles backstage, who thanked Rhino and Team 3D for their help, but said that it's time for the originals to step up on their own. Wait—that sounded almost like a good thing. Maybe we're finally getting a reset in the MEM-Front Line feud, with the hope of doing it right this time.
Interest Meter: 2.0—it's about time AJ stepped up.
(6) AJ STYLES defeated BOOKER T (w/SHARMELL)
This was easily the best match of the night so far, and Booker's best match since Bound for Glory (which also involved AJ). It started with some slow holds, and built up from there. Highlights included AJ hitting a Flying Forearm from the apron, Booker T maintaining a key lock through a Samoan Drop, Booker reversing an attempted Flying Forearm with a Leg Lariat, and the finish where AJ turned an attempted Axe Kick into a Pele and the Styles Clash for the win. AJ took a page from Cena's book and celebrated with the crowd. This wasn't a match anyone will remember in a few months, but it was solidly constructed.
Interest Meter: 3.5
In the back, Samoa Joe apparently killed Scott Steiner. Lauren found him walking around with a bloody knife, and he yelled at her some.
Interest Meter: 1.0 That good will AJ built up really didn't last long, did it?
(7) TEAM 3D defeated BEER MONEY INC. (via count-out)
If you've ever seen a match featuring either of these teams, you can really extrapolate to what happened here. The match was fairly good, and had some amusing shenanigans, but wasn't anything special. After losing the edge Beer Money got themselves intentionally disqualified, so Cornette came out and restarted the match under a no-DQ stipulation. Wouldn't it have been awesome if Cornette restarted the match and one of the members of Team 3D ended up getting fired as a result? As it happens though, Robert Roode noticed a loophole in the rules, so he just took the belts from Don West and walked off. Apparently while Cornette has the authority to restart matches after disqualifications, he's powerless against count-outs. I was not aware.
Interest Meter: 1.0 This would have been a very good Impact match, or an okay PPV match—the ending rendered it tolerable at best.
They spent 8 minutes hyping Ultimate X and doing all three entrances. I'm all for treating Ultimate X as a main event match, but seriously—eight minutes?
(8) SUICIDE defeated ALEX SHELLEY, CHRIS SABIN, JAY LETHAL, and CONSEQUENCES CREED
Whoa. I'm more partial to X Division spot-fests than just about anyone else on this site, and this was the spottiest of fests. It also had some moderately decent storytelling, as The Guns worked seamlessly as a team, Lethal Consequences worked together pretty well, and Suicide baffled them both. The crowd was raucous throughout the match, chanting primarily for TNA and Suicide. The match also built up in a plausible manner, with people scaling the ropes quickly at first and a bit more deliberately as the match went on. I've found a lot of these Ultimate X matches die in the transitions between moves, but that wasn't really a problem here. Everything flowed smoothly. This match was simply jaw dropping, not in the manner of HBK-Taker but just as an amazing athletic spectacle. I also think that if these trends continue, every contender for TNA Match of the Year will end up having Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin in it. The finish came when Shelley, Creed and Lethal all approached the belt from different sides, but Suicide leapt from the top of the scaffolding to the center of the X, knocking everyone else off and grabbing the belt. This isn't everyone's type of match, but it's classic old-school TNA.
Interest Meter: 5.5—I know I'm going to get heat in comments, but to my mind this match really was just that damned good. With Angle-Sting still to come, it was starting to look might TNA might snatch a decent PPV from the jaws of crap.
JB interviewed Sting in the back. He didn't say much.
We get 12 minutes of hype between the end of the interview and the opening bell. That's almost physically painful.
Interest Meter: 4.0—so much for momentum.
(9) STING defeated KURT ANGLE
This match was pretty good, with a lot of very convincing near-falls (I thought it might be over after Foley accidentally nailed Sting with a chair). It was oddly sloppy at a couple of points, and never really picked up the pace. Jarrett called the match down the middle, till after recovering from a ref bump he made a relatively slow count. Angle spat into his face, Jarrett shoved Angle into a waiting Sting, who nailed the Scorpion Death Drop for the win. Kurt wasn't happy. This was a reasonably decent main event, but, in a lineup that became a de facto two match card, this just couldn't pull it through. Interest Meter: 4.0
Star of the Night: Suicide. For those who haven't been tracking, I originally predicted that the gimmick wouldn't last three months. Then I saw the man move, and realized how well amazing talent can overcome a horrendous gimmick. The second call was apparently the correct one, even if it might or might not be the same man behind the mask as it used to be.
Overall: I haven't seen a card bottom out this low since WWE's first attempt at putting on a Great American Bash (for those who have repressed it, think "Concrete Crypt"). Between the awfulness that was ODB, Bolt falling flat against Kong, and Joe killing Steiner, this was about as bad as TNA gets. Moreover, between ODB's segment and the hype for the two last matches alone they blew over 30 min., yet somehow couldn't find a spot for LAX. However, they ended on a relative high note, with one (to my tastes) amazing match and one good match, and I tend to be strongly influenced by final results. D+
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