Friday, 14 September 2007

TNA Destination X 2006 - TV Review

It’s that time of the month again as we fans here in Britain get to sample TNA’s latest pay-per-view offering, Destination X, shown on a one-week delay on The Wrestling Channel.

We begin with what is possibly one of the greatest PPV opening segments for years. Set to the music of Bizet’s Carmen, the opening montage features black and white footage of a man in a Sting mask, eventually revealed to be Team Canada’s Eric Young, as he watches a preview of the show in a small, old-style television set. It really shows just how far the production values in TNA have come in the past year or so.

The first bout of the evening sees fan-cam man Alex Shelley taking on Jay Lethal. Although good for an opening match, some of the early matt exchanges just seemed to lack intensity, as if both men were just going through the motions. Things went up a gear later on though, as Shelley got the pin after Sliced Bread#2.

We’re then taken to your announcers Mike Tenay and Don West, as they run down the card, before Jeremy Borash interviews Team Canada about their upcoming match against the Naturals.

The second bout sees Lance Hoyt take on Maverick Matt, the man of a hundred names. Makes you wonder what name Bentley will go under next week. Sadly, the Bentley Bounce is no longer available for our viewing enjoyment, as out boy is a heel now. During the bout, Eric Young throws down flyers from the rafters, which carry photos of Sting, which not only detracts from a good match, but causes Bentley’s downfall as Hoyt wins after a big boot.

Backstage, Borash talks to Rhino, Ron Killings and the former Dudleys, as they hype the upcoming eight man tag bout. Testify!

Tag action follows, as Eric Young puts thoughts of Sting behind him and teams with Team Canada buddy Bobby Roode against the Naturals. A good showing and good examples of team work from both tandems which sees Roode get the pin on Andy Douglas after Young broke Scott D’Amore’s hockey stick over his skull.

More tag action of the six man variety as the Latin American Exchange take on the aged Bob Armstrong and the James Gang. The former Road Dogg takes a pounding early on, before all hell breaks loose, and the old guy clobbers Konnan. Soon, Kip gets the pin on Machete after a cobra clutch slam.

Backstage, Young and Shelley go looking for Sting again, but only find A.J. Styles taking a leak in the men’s room.

Four way X-Division action next, involving Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, and New Japan star Puma. As is the norm with the X-Division, there’s tons of great action, so fast at times it’s hard to follow. After what seemed like an age of great action, Sabin got the pin on Puma after the cradle shock. Great stuff here.

Backstage, Borash chats with Abyss, America’s Most Wanted, Jeff Jarrett, and their various hangers-on about the upcoming eight man tag. Despite a small interruption from Shelley and Young, Jarrett calls out Sting, before me move on to a video package documenting the rivalry between the two teams.

Then it’s on to the match, as Ron Killings, Rhino and Team 3-D take on Jeff Jarrett, Abyss and America’s Most Wanted. It starts off with an arena wide brawl before settling down into a regular tag match, and Rhino taking a beating from all four of his opponents, before Killings tags in and all hell breaks loose again. Eventually, after Chris Harris gets accidentally handcuffed to the ropes, Jarrett gets the pin on Killings after taking him down with the stroke.

After a hype video for next month’s Lockdown pay-per-view, Jarrett returns to the ring and calls out Sting again, but the face-painted one again pulls a no-show. Then it’s time for another video package looking back at the X-title situation, before Borash interviews a rather intense Samoa Joe.

Then it’s time for the Ultimate X match, as Samoa Joe defends his X-Division title against A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels. To say that these three have put on some great matches in the past few months would be an understatement, and once again they put in a show stealing performance, even though Joe seemed somewhat hampered by the stipulations. After tons of great action, Daniels managed to climb along the cables to claim his second X-Division title, while Samoa Joe still remains undefeated.

Backstage, Borash interviews Christian Cage, who tells everyone how he’s going to win the main event bout, before we see the video package looking back at this main event feud.

Then it’s time for the main event, as Christian Cage makes the first defence of his NWA World title against the Alpha Male himself, Monty Brown. After the excitement of the two previous bouts, this match was something of a letdown, even though it was good in it’s own way, making this another good example of how the positioning of a bout on a card can affect the crowd reaction it gets. Brown spent the majority of the match working over Cage’s injured ribs, until the champion came back with the un-prettier from out of nowhere to get the title retaining win. Sadly, a main event match lacking the main event atmosphere.

Cage’s celebrations are then halted by the arrival of Jeff Jarrett, who, along with his cronies, attack Cage and handcuff him to the ropes. Cage then gets whipped for good measure. This brings out a certain Mr. Borden, who proceeds to clear the ring until Double J’s secret weapon is revealed, none other than the man who stunk up the WWE a couple of years ago, Scott Steiner, who proceeds to beat the hell out of Sting. Let’s hope Big Poppa Pump does better in a six-sided ring than he did in a four-sided one.

In conclusion - another good pay-per-view outing from TNA here, with the excitement building up nicely throughout the card, although things got a little deflated by the time the World title match came around. Although TNA must be commended for keeping the title bout as the main event and final match, it may have been best to move things around a little.