Monday, July 9, 2012

7/8/12 Destination X

Mason Andrews vs. Rubix vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow: ***

Mason Andrews vs. Kid Kash: **1/2

Kenny King vs. Douglas Williams: ***1/2

Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron: ***1/4

Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova: **3/4

Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle: ***3/4

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels (Last Man Standing): ****

Zema Ion vs. Mason Andrews vs. Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt (Ultimate X; X-Division Title): ***1/4

Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode (World Title): ****1/4

Borash on color tonight. JB mentions Aries got his big break here at Destination X last year, grabbing that contract to launch his X-Division career. My, how it comes full circle tonight.

We start off with a four-way X-Division bout with the losers from those qualifying matches. But the winner here must immediately face Kid Kash. I'd still say it's a pretty good consolation prize if you still make it to the PPV. Basically, don't blink on this one. Insane pace at the start. Even the slower-paced stuff had quickness to it. These guys can all fly, and you knew there would be a few aerial spots. Short spotfest of a match. Crowd really behind Rubix. Lars with a sweet facebuster using his feet. Mason with a TKO on Andrews for three. Very nice opener.

Kash comes right out and here we go with the opening match in the X-Division title tournament. Kash great at getting the heel heat. Mason with some offense, but Kash controls most of the action. Kash can still fly even after all these years. Nice running knee by Mason for two. Mason gets the nice rollup for three to advance to Ultimate X later tonight. Another solid showing.

More X-Division action with Douglas Williams and Kenny King. Willaims now in black tights...remember he wore red or blue pants before? Lots of mat wrestling from Williams, the usual old school stuff. King with the acrobatics to get the crowd riled up. Crowd does get behind KK. Williams looks like he put on weight. Doesn't stop Williams from going airborne. Real good match here, despite the contrasting styles. Just tons of near falls, back-and-forth stuff. Huge win for Kenny to advance to Ultimate X. Ultimate X shaping up to be incredible.

Next X-Division match with Sonjay and Rashad. Very quick start, Rashad still looks like Kofi Kingston -- and has the mad hops to prove it. Crowd seems to favor Sonjay, but they still cheer for Rashad's agility. Yes, Sonjay's still got it. Seamless transition for each Cameron move, rolling into the cross armbreaker was pretty sweet. Crowd now deciding to tell Earl Hebner that he screwed Bret. Sonjay with the backflip double foot stomp from the top for three. Another PPV-worthy match. Why the HELL did TNA move away from this in the first place?!?!

Tenay and Borash talk about Jesse Sorensen and the broken neck (perhaps career-ending) that he suffered at Against All Odds when facing Zema Ion. Ion just happens to be participating in the final qualifying match. Thanks to medical technology and knowledge, Jesse appears headed for a full recovery.

Sorensen comes out to a nice ovation. Certainly one of the more feel-good moments of the show. He wants Zema Ion to win the X-Division Title. Jesse vows to win the X-Division Title next year at Destination X and go on to become world champ. That would undoubtedly be one of the best moments in TNA history.

On cue, Zema Ion comes out for his match. Staredown between Sorensen and Ion. Ion faces Flip Cassanova in the final qualifying match. More great agility from both guys, and of course, Ion has to stop to spray his hair. Springboard corkscrew from Flip for two. 450 shooting star senton misses for Flip. Facebuster and a Gory Bomb wins it for Zema. Solid, felt it wasn't as good as some of the others on the card.

Bobby Roode interrupts the other three X-Division stars going to Ultimate X. Roode says all the X-Division stars will fail and he will walk out still the champ.

Must be nice when the middle of the card features Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle. Crowd is just bonkers for this one. And who am I to argue? BFG Series match here. Joe with a nice mohawk as usual.

Want a wrestling clinic? Watch Angle and Joe go at it. Angle with a missile dropkick from the second rope, not a usual thing for him. Joe with a leg lariat of his own from the second rope, gets two. Counters out of submissions. Suplexes from Angle. Joe with the Muscle Buster...two! Joe rear naked choke, but Angle counters into the ankle lock! Back into the choke for Joe! Angle counters into an Angle Slam for only two! Woohoo, awesome. Angle Slam countered, choke by Joe! Counter doesn't work for Angle. Angle looks like he passes out from the choke. Hebner stops the match, and Joe gets 10 points. Excellent stuff, my friends. Samoa Joe takes the lead in the BFG series.

Did you really think AJ and Daniels could have a bad match if given time? Damn great stuff. Two real-life friends have faced each other so many times, it'd really be impossible to have anything but a good bout. Physical encounter, with tons of wrestling. Chair introduced. AJ slammed on that chair, Rock Bottom style. Action spills to the floor for more punishment. AJ busted open. What a spot with AJ basically sending Daniels headfirst into the steps; that busts Daniels open. Daniels backs up the ramp. Double KO spot on the stage. Sick vintage Styles backflip into reverse DDT on Daniels on the stage. At 8 count, Kaz finally makes his cameo to shove AJ off the stage. Good time for a run-in. AJ gets up at 8. Table! Angel's Wings to table? Nope, countered! AJ runs Daniels into Kaz. Styles with the Clash on Daniels...AND THROUGH TABLE YES! Absolutely sweet. Crowd going nuts. Both try to get up, but AJ barely makes it to win! Match of the night so far.

Not surprisingly, Twitter poll overwhelmingly showing Aries the favorite to win.

Time for Ultimate X. Sonjay hit that running shooting star splash and his head hit the bottom rope. That basically took him out for a bit. (Note: Sonjay suffered a dislocated shoulder and re-set it himself backstage, then returned to the ring.) Everyone is flying for more spotfest fun, albeit on a less consistent basis. King with a great springboardspear catching Mason on the crossing X ropes. Sonjay comes back and scales the scaffolding. King and Mason meet at the title belt and hit neckbreakers on each other. Sonjay AND Zema go to the top of the STRUCTURE. WTF. Sonjay and Zema drop down to the ropes holding the title. Hair spray to Sonjay, and Zema takes the title. Good stuff. Very consistent (and great) matches so far. Good heel promo aimed at Sorensen on the way out.

No Knockouts tonight, we go straight to the World Title match! Roode has been an amazing heel champ. Main event intros from Borash. Brian Hebner is the ref. Main event will be given some serious airtime.

Mind games from Roode. Borash mentions Aries is vegetarian. I guess this whole non-meat thing is the way champs go nowadays? Right, Daniel Bryan the vegan? Roode "scouted" Aries well, dodging or countering several signature moves in the early going. "Let's go Aries" and "Bobby sucks" from the crowd. Action becomes more methodical as Roode gets on the offensive. Huge comeback from Aries, who apparently hasa cut now on his nose. Roode spear countered into Last Chancery! Roode counters out into a crossface. Then back into Chancery! Nice balance on the superplex. Aries counters with knees. 450 misses, Aries lands on his feet, rolls through, into RR spinebuster for two. Aries into ringpost, crossface by Roode. Roll-through multiple times doesn't work. Aries to ropes. You'd think Roode would get himself intentionally DQ'd by holding on tothe crossface past 5, but he doesn't. Roode then grabs title belt. Love the logic! Low blow behind ref's back, but Roode only gets two. Ref bump. Roode grabs title. Roode decks Aries. Groggy Hebner counts slow. TWO! Woohoo! Fisherman's by Roode blocked. Victory roll by Aries for two. Aries kicks Roode in the head. BRAINBUSTER! NEW CHAMP! YES! Big markout there.

Nice way to end the show with confetti and celebrating.

This was a phenomenal show. Every single match delivered in some fashion. Aries provided a huge win not just for the X-Division, but for the entire organization. I have ZERO clue why TNA had moved away so much from the X-Division the last few years -- or at least reduced it to a shell of its former self. It's very clear now that the cornerstone of the company, the very thing that separated TNA from WWE and all other promotions, is back in on center stage. I certainly hope this TNA stays the course on this one, because this was magical stuff. If this wasn't the best PPV of the year, it was definitely close. Easily TNA's best showing of 2012. ****

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