It’s time to head into the Impact Zone as we take a look at TNA’s first One Night Only show, a showcase of the X Division with X-Travaganza, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.
The show began with the steel cage Xscape match, featuring Matt Bentley, Alex Silva, Lince Dorado, Sam Shaw, Puma, Jimmy Rave and Christian York. This was contested under elimination rules, with pins and submissions the order of the day until the last two remained. Then the winner was the first man to leave the cage.
Back in the day multi-man X Division matches were all the rage, and it was a rare occurrence when a pay per view didn’t feature one of these, so in a way it made sense to kick this thing off with this match.
The action was as expected, fast and furious throughout. The rules borrowed a little from the Lucha Libre style, with one man coming into the match without a tag when another one rolled out of the ring. This little tweak kept the action flowing nicely and was one of the many things that made this an enjoyable encounter.
As for the eliminations Dorado was the first to go, taken out with York’s swinging neck breaker. Puma was next when Shaw pinned him after his backbreaker/neck breaker combination. A few moments later Shaw took Silva down with the same combination, but when he went for the cover Bentley pushed him off so he could take the pin himself.
Shaw was the next man to leave after Rave took him down with a spinning slam thing. He then joined Bentley as they doubled up on York for a few moments until York mounted a comeback and took Bentley down with his neck breaker.
This left York and Rave as the final two, and after much ramming of heads into the fence York took Rave down with a neck breaker off the top rope. York went to climb the fence, and although Rave tried to stop him for a brief moment York kicked him off before dropping to the floor to get the win.
Then it was on to tag team action as Kid Kash and Doug Williams faced Anthony Nese and Rashad Cameron.
Firstly, let’s get it out of the way. It was great to see Williams back on the main stage again. Who knows, maybe Dixie Carter will grant me my wish for Doug to work a high profile series with Kurt Angle soon.
Now, back to the matter at hand. This was good. I really enjoyed everything about this one, from the performances of both teams to the high flying moves of the youngster to everything else that happened. I was even rooting for Nese and Cameron at one point, even though Williams was on the other team.
Speaking of Williams it was the former Anarchist who took the pin for his team after he took Nese down with the Chaos Theory suplex.
The first singles match of the show saw Robbie E taking on Chavo Guerrero, with everyone’s favourite lawyer Joseph Park as the special referee.
This impromptu match came about when E came down to the ring to brag about how he was the greatest X Division wrestler ever. Guerrero then appeared on the scene explaining how had spawned from the cruiserweight and Lucha Libre styles. He then challenged E to a match, revealing Park as the guest referee.
This wasn’t too bad. It was a relatively short encounter with some good exchanges, although for me it was spoiled a little by the refusal of our esteemed commentators to actually commentate on the match. They spent more time arguing with each other than calling the match.
Apart from that gripe it was okay, with Guerrero getting the win after taking E down with the Three Amigos before applying the finishing touches with a Frog Splash.
The Ultimate X match followed, with Zema Ion, Rubix, Kenny King and Mason Andrews.
If you like a match with plenty of high spots then you’ll love this one, but then again that’s what then Ultimate X match is all about. There certainly were a lot of big moves in this one. All four me put in a pretty good effort here, especially with their high flying moves.
We had the obligatory all four men flying sequence, with Rubix taking it up a notch when he came down from one of the support posts. There were also quite a few inventive moves, but surprisingly the tree of woe never happened. I always thought that particular move was used in every match of this kind.
As for the end Rubix did his best Spider-Man impressed as he shimmied along the wires to grab the big X until King appeared to grab the big letter for himself before taking the masked man down with an Electric Chair to win the match.
It was back to tag team action for the next match as the Bad Influence team of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian went up against Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams.
Have I used my now this was good line yet? No matter, because that’s just what this match was.
It was great to see Dutt and Williams back in a TNA ring, and they looked pretty good early on, both individually and as a unit. However, it wasn’t long before the more experienced took control as Daniels and Kazarian put on another good showing. Their double team moves looked as great as ever when they controlled the action, using Williams as their personal punching bag.
Williams eventually got the hot tag to Dutt to signal the start of the all hell breaking loose segment. The babyfaces came close to getting the win on numerous occasions until Kazarian took Dutt down with the Fade to Black, with Daniels following up with the BME to seal the win.
That wasn’t the end of the action though. Daniels and Kazarian wanted to inflict further damage on Dutt, but when the man from Mumbai ducked and Kazarian accidentally clobbered his partner Williams came back in to take Kazarian down with the move everyone wanted to see, the Canadian Destroyer.
The penultimate match was the renewal of the old rivalry with a disqualification match between Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam.
These two certainly rolled back the years and brought back a lot of good memories in the process. From start to finish these two put on a match worthy of their large body of work together, and as many have said before they were made for each other.
All of the big sequences and moves were there. They could have just gone through the motions, but that was probably the farthest thing from their minds.
There were plenty of chair shots in this one, and both men went through tables when Lynn speared RVD through one in the corner before RVD returned the compliment by kicking Lynn off the top rope and through one at ringside.
The match ended the only way it could have, with RVD flying more than halfway across the ring to connect with a Five Star Frog Splash for the winning pin.
Afterwards RVD helped Lynn to his feet and raised his hand as the roster filled the stage to pay tribute to the man on his retirement tour.
The main event saw Austin Aries taking on Samoa Joe.
Like Lynn and RVD before them these two have had a great rivalry over the past few years, and while it hasn’t been as storied as those two this was still a great addition to that rivalry.
In an en evening dedicated to the X Division this one didn’t really feel like an X Division encounter, and it was only when our esteemed announcer Mike Tenay mentioned their Ring of Honor rivalry that I realised this could have come right off an old ROH DVD.
It was a great piece of storytelling with plenty of back and forth action as Aries worked over Joe’s leg, with Joe basically beating the hell out of Aries in reply.
All of the big moves were they as they tried to put each other away, but in the end it was a counter move that brought an end to the proceedings when Aries countered Joe’s Muscle Buster attempt with a schoolboy roll-up for the winning pin.
In conclusion - so what are my feelings about the first of TNA’s One Night Only shows?
Well, it’s simple. I really enjoyed this one. It was great to see some of the stars of the past and present come together to pay tribute to TNA’s greatest creation. There were fine performances all round, but despite all of this I couldn’t help but think that there was one thing missing, and that was the division’s first ever champion, A.J. Styles. Okay, I know he was featured in a talking head segment, but it would have been a lot better seeing him in the ring.
Also, am I the only one who found Taz’s commentary really annoying? Where’s Don West when you need him? Hang on, did I just wish Don West on a wrestling show?
Apart from those two gripes I must say that X-Travaganza was a great show, and that’s why I’m giving this the big thumbs up.
As for today’s plug The Two Sheds Review is bow being seen on the website of my local newspaper. Head over to www.edp24.co.uk and click on the Columnists link.