The X Review: TNA Destination X 2012

TNA Destination X 2012
July 8th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of the X Review with tonight’s
TNA PPV coverage! I’ll be your host tonight for what looks to
be one of the best TNA PPV offerings in quite some time with a stacked
card focusing on X-Division action and classic TNA rivalries like Kurt
Angle vs. Samoa Joe and AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels. Of course the
big match tonight is the World title match pitting Bobby Roode against
challenger Austin Aries, but the whole show looks solid on paper and
there’s been a great build to the event, so enough with the preambling,
let’s start this bad boy!

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash

Last Chance X-Division Tournament Qualifying Match
Rubix vs. Mason Andrews vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow

Hmm, no Taz on commentary tonight. This match pits all of the guys who
didn’t advance in the last few weeks together in one match for one last
shot at entering tonight’s X-Division tournament to crown a new champ.
Rubix (or Jigsaw as CHIKARA fans know him) starts off snapping a
headscissors on Lars Only before bailing, allowing Lars to work a few
armdrags on Darsow. Darsow smashes Only’s head over his knee and elbows
Rubix off the apron. Minor “We love Jigsaw!” chant from the Orlando
faithful as Rubix hits a cross-body off the top on Darsow. Falcon Arrow
from Darsow is broken up by Only and finally Mason Andrews (Scorpio Sky
to longtime PWG fans) returns to the fracas. Now the fans are chanting
for Rubix again as Andrews ducks Rubix and wipes out Darsow and Only
outside the ring with a huge tope con hilo. Rubix follows up with a huge
suicide moonsault out of the ring to take out all three men moments
later! Back in the ring Andrews works a nasty armbar on Rubix until Only
breaks it up and hits an awkward double STO move on Rubix and Mason.
Andrews takes out Darsow with some stiff low kicks and tries for a
superplex on Only in the corner but instead all three men do the
powerbomb/superplex tower of doom spot and as soon as they’re done with
that Rubix hits a springboard dropkick to take out Darsow and ignite
another HUGE “Rubix” chant. Seriously, this crowd is vocally and clearly
behind the guy and it’s obvious they’re familiar with his background,
so hopefully the boys backstage are taking note of this. Rubix hits a
kick on Darsow but then eats a codebreaker from Only. Andrews counters
into a TKO/stunner combo on Only moments later and picks up the surprise
win at 8:23. They probably should have called an audible and put
Rubix over after the huge reception for him but Andrews/Sky is a very
talented guy who has long deserved a break in this business so I can’t
complain seeing him win here. The match itself was just what you’d want
out of an X-Division opener, quick and spotty but fun and they didn’t
blow their loads early, saving momentum for later. I like it. **3/4

X-Division Title Tournament Match
Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews

And moments later former X-Division champ Kid Kash runs down to the ring
to kick start our first official tournament match, giving Andrews no
time to rest at all. Kash tries a cocky pin inside the ring for two.
Total domination early from Kash as he overpowers Andrews with a few
nifty suplex and slam variations, making sure to trash talk him all the
while to firmly establish himself as the heel here. Kash works over
Andrews arm, doing a great job of eliciting heat from this crowd in and
old school Southern kind of way, just working simple holds over, wearing
Andrews down and never letting his mouth stop running all the while.
Finally Andrews is able to get something going with a few dropkicks and a
headscissors out of the corner. He only grazes Kash with a missile
dropkick for a two count but then nails him with a running knee to make
up for it moments later. Both men do the rolling bridge spot and then
Andrews counters a knee strike attempt into a roll up for the upset pin
on Kash to advance at 8:09. This was worked at a much slower pace
than the opener but it worked because of that as Kash does a great job
as a retro Southern heel displaced in the X-Division. Simple stuff,
building up heat for the upset win by Andrews and they’ve quickly made
him out to be an underdog favorite for the tournament tonight. **1/2

Backstage Christy Hemme is with Samoa Joe, who gives props to Austin
Aries before promising to defeat Kurt Angle tonight “by any means
necessary” to earn 10 points in the Bound for Glory series standings.
Atleast I think he said 10 points. And then JB plugs Twitter. Always
with the damn Twitter.

X-Division Title Tournament Match
Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King

King, whose still technically one half of the ROH tag team champions
much to Cary Silkin’s chagrin (and also an original Tough Enough
competitor), looked impressive in his Impact debut and Williams is one
of the most valuable members of the X-Division thanks to his classic,
grounded technical game. Douglas dominates early with some trademark
hold-for-hold grappling while Borash makes World of Sport references on
commentary. Crowd seems behind King here as he takes out Williams on the
floor with a twisting pescado. King shows some wrestling acumen of his
own with a floatover into a headlock after a rope-running sequence.
Williams hits a big clothesline but King rolls him up for a near fall.
Suplex from Williams and he teases going for the Chaos Theory but King
sees it coming and counters into a stiff enziguri. Spinebuster gets King
another two count. Both men fight to the top rope where Williams sends
King flying out to the floor before taking him out with a high knee from
the top! You don’t see that too often. King responds with a springboard
neckbreaker back inside the ring but again Williams kicks out. King
hits a TKO into a spinebuster to pick up the win and advance at 10:37.
Another slower paced match to start but King looked great once again
and Williams did his usual admirable job on the losing end. King also
had to be considered a favorite going forward tonight with some of this
momentum. **1/2

Backstage Christopher
Daniels explains what kind of man he is and more importantly, what kind
of despicable man AJ Styles is. And that’s something we can drink to.

X-Division Title Tournament Match
Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron

It’s great to see Sonjay back in TNA but man, I had really hoped we
would never have to be subjugated to a BLK Jeez match on a real,
bonafide PPV. Armdrag exchange to start and both men seem evenly matched
as JB hypes how over Dutt was during his recent stint in India with
Ring Ka King. Dutt bails out and Cameron wipes out him with a nice
suicide dive. Back inside Dutt fires off a hurricanrana and then nails
Cameron with a baseball slide dropkick out of the ring. Cameron slows
things down with some heel work on Sonjay in the ropes while the fans
vocally get behind Dutt. Dutt hits a slingshot guillotine legdrop on
Cameron then springboards in with a splash for a two count. Headscissors
from Cameron out of the corner and he rolls into an armbar submission
briefly on Dutt before getting in referee Earl Hebner’s face. Sonjay
blocks a DDT and then finishes Cameron with the moonsault into a
doublestomp at 7:16. This seemed almost like a squash for Sonjay
at times though Cameron/Jeez did get to a chance to work a decent amount
of heat from the crowd during the match here. Weakest match so far
tonight but still perfectly adequate and solid for the time and spot
allotted. **1/4

JB and Tenay bring us back to Against All Odds in February this year
and the tragic neck injury to Jesse Sorensen before introducing a video
package to update us on Jesse’s recovery. After the video package
Christy Hemme introduces Sorensen himself who gets a nice reception from
the fans as he comes out with a neckbrace on (I’ll take a neckbrace
over paralysis any day, yes sir). Big Welcome Back chant for Jesse and
you can see his mom crying in the front row. He talks about how scary
the injury was but tells us he knows that God wanted him to be a
professional wrestler and thanks the fans and his family for the
support. Finally Jesse gets to Zema Ion, the man who caused his injury,
ad he tells him that he hopes he wins the title tonight so that he can
come back and take the belt from him. Jesse promises to be the
X-Division champion next year at Destination X 2013 and that he’ll cash
in that title to become the World champion. This was nice but I hope
that wasn’t the big surprise Dixie tweeted about having in store for us

X-Division Title Tournament Match
Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova

Of course Ion’s match is next so he and Jesse do a staredown during his
entrance. Flip Cassanova/Kendrick might be familiar to more diehard
indie fans but isn’t anything too special to be honest. He doesn’t like
Zema’s cocky attitude to start so he sends him to the floor and takes
him out with a tope. He tries for a back senton but Zema blocks with his
knees. Cassanova is sent to the floor and Ion takes him out with a
dropkick. Zema misses a moonsault back inside and Cassanova makes him
pay for it with a springboard corkscrew moonsault. Flip misses a
shooting star press back senton and eats the back-flip into a knee from
Ion before Ion finishes him with what I can only describe as a reverse
Gory Bomb at 3:55. Well that really was just a squash match this
time, which makes me think they may be serious about pushing Ion for the
eventual return feud and blow-off with Sorensen going forward, which I
like. Quick and fun but really just a blow-out for Ion. *3/4

Backstage Christy Hemme is with Mason Andrews, Kenny King, and Sonjay
Dutt who are excited about their X-Division shot when suddenly Robert
Roode walks up to interrupt and mock them for being excited about the
X-Division title. He says the X-Division and Austin Aries will both fail
tonight and he’ll walk out with his World title intact.

Bound For Glory Series Match
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle

The first match these two had together in this company might be my
favorite TNA match ever, so I was very excited to see that these two
were being matched up again after a few years tonight (not counting
their recent Impact match, which was solid). Crowd is hot for this one
with dueling chants to start (this crowd has been great all night, where
has THIS Impact Zone crowd been hiding at?). Joe quickly evades some
hold attempts by Kurt to start and gives him a look as if to say “Yeah,
I’ve seen this from you before and I know what to do”. Headlock from
Angle is countered by Joe into the corner, where he lays in big right
hands. Joe back drops Angle over the top rope out to the floor and then
wipes him out with a tope suicida moments later. Back in the ring Joe
hits a spinkick on Angle in the corner and sets up for the Muscle
Buster, but Kurt comes off the top with a dropkick before he gets a
chance to attempt it. Belly to belly suplex from Angle and Joe fights
back with a boot and a back senton. Angle grabs a hold of Joe’s waist
and hits his trademark trio of rolling German suplexes though. Angle
looks for the Angle Slam but Joe counters and sets up for the Muscle
Buster, but Angle counters out of that into the ankle lock on Joe! Sweet
countering there and Joe slams Angle to the mat when he foolishly
charges in on him in the corner. Joe hits the Muscle Buster, but Angle
kicks out at two. They kind of treated the Muscle Buster very
nonchalantly there. Joe tries for the rear naked choke but Angle
counters into the ankle lock and really syncs it in until Joe manages to
counter into the Coquina Clutch! Kurt manages to power out of the hold
though into the Angle Slam, but Joe kicks out just in the nick of time
at two. Again Angle tries for the Angle Slam but Joe counters into the
Coquina Clutch and Joe is really wrenching away on the submission now,
adding pressure and strain to the hold until Angle simply passes out and
Hebner calls for the bell to award Joe the match at 14:37.
Another simply fantastic match in the long running series between these
two men, and they totally did the right move by having Joe go over here
as it seems like they’ve finally realized how valuable he can be to them
as a main event player again and a true “TNA original” as it were. All
kinds of slick countering and psychology in this one, just like you’d
expect, and the finish leaves the door open for a rematch down the line.
With this win Joe is now atop the Bound For Glory Series leaderboard. ***1/2

Last Man Standing Match
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

Even though it was a bit harebrained you have to keep props to TNA for
atleast attempting a dramatic soap-like angle with some actual intrigue
to it, even if it did fall flat on it’s face. I love Styles and Daniels
but I hope this is the last they wrestle each other for a very long
time, because we’ve seen it ten billion times. So make this one the
bloody, wild blow-off boys please and thank you. Daniels stalls early
for some cheap heat and then just spits in Styles face. Daniels gets
sent into the steel guard rail outside the ring as both men begin
brawling now. Back in the ring AJ hits a dropkick and then suplexes
Daniels into the corner turnbuckle. Haven’t seen that from AJ in awhile.
Daniels blocks a whip into the corner and just pokes AJ in the eye in
true slimy heel fashion before grabbing a steel chair from outside the
ring and tossing it inside. Styles stumbles out of the ring and Daniels
hits him with a knee. Back in the ring Daniels sets up the chair and
then hits a reverse STO on Styles through the chair! Nasty. Outside the
ring Daniels slams AJ into the floor and now AJ is busted open and
bleeding from the forehead. Daniels sets up the steel steps but winds up
tossing AJ into the ring instead to try and waffle him with a
chairshot. AJ blocks that though and then hits a springboard forearm
onto Daniels while he’s holding the chair! Outside the ring AJ tosses
Daniels into the steps ferociously like a lawndart and now Daniels is
busted open too. Both men brawl up the ramp now and thy wind up wiping
each other out with a double clothesline as both men are bleeding on the
ramp while the crowd cheers on in a great, visceral image. Pele kick
from AJ. AJ finds a bit of stage equipment just high enough to climb
onto and then does his usual moonsault into a reverse DDT spot on
Daniels in a very clever variation on a classic Styles move. Suddenly
Kazarian comes running out and sends Styles flying off the ramp onto the
concrete the hardway. You had to know it was only a matter of time
before Kaz got involved. AJ makes it up at an 8 count from the ref but
gets sent into the guardrail by a pissed off Daniels who then promptly
retrieves a table from underneath the ring and sets it up back near the
rampway. He brings Styles back onto the ramp and sets up for the Angel’s
Wings, but AJ blocks it with a low blow and hits the Pele kick again.
Styles then grabs Daniels and hits the Styles Clash off the stage
through a table! Styles barely makes it back to his feet at the ten
count while Daniels stays down to give AJ the big win at 17:42.
This was the best match these two have had together in years and was a
suitably brutal and heated fight, just as it needed to be given the
angle going in. In simple terms this with two highly professional
veterans of their craft finding new ways to make the same old formulas
fun and exciting. Hell of a match. ****

The internet polls have picked Aries to win tonight, which makes sense
from a kayfabe sense given all of Aries’ momentum. Backstage Christy
Hemme is with the man himself, who talks about how he was beating people
with brainbusters while Bobby Roode was beating people with beer
bottles. Aries says he’s going to walk out the new World Champion and
change the industry.

TNA X-Division Title Ultimate X Match
Mason Andrews vs. Zema Ion vs. Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt

I love the influx of fresh talent into the company lately and that we’re
about to get to see this match on PPV. JB makes a very sly comment
about King being a “TNA exclusive”, hardy har har. Zema is quick to try
and climb the ropes at the bell but he eats a trio of dropkicks from all
three of his competitors instead. Dutt hits a ‘rana on King while
Andrews hits a missile dropkick on Ion. Ion counters with a tornado DDT
and then gets to be on the brunt end of King suplexing Andrews into the
corner in a neat spot.King hits a cartwheel kick on Dutt and then
springboards up to the X ropes to try and make a grab at the title, but
Dutt springboards into the ring and spears him off the ropes in mid-air
and follows up with an elbow drop just for good measure. Ion tries
shimmying across the X ropes as well but gets yanked down by Andrews and
King. King hits the springboard legdrop on Ion but then eats a top rope
back suplex from Dutt. King misses a tope outside the ring but moments
later Andrews takes out both King and Ion with a corkscrew moonsault.
Andrews shimmys across the X ropes again but King hits a nice
springboard spear in mid-air to break up that attempt. Now King and
Andrews are both shimmying across the X rope to the middle, where they
drop off with a huge neckbreaker! Meanwhile Dutt and Ion have climbed
past the ropes onto the steel structure above the ring! Suddenly  Ion
sprays Dutt with his hairpsray and Dutt flies from the structure all the
way down to the ring mat, allowing Ion to unhook the belt and become
the new X-Division champion at 8:47! This was wild, fast, furious, and
nearly impossible to cover move-for-move. I can’t believe they didn’t
give it more time to develop as a match but what we got was absolute
balls-to-the-wall craziness in the best way possible and this seems to
cement the whole Ion/Sorensen angle going forward. ***1/4

After the match Ion is getting a ton of heat from the fans when he
dedicates his win to Jesse Sorensen (while some absolutely incredibly
unbearably annoying smarks in the front row scream “TRANSITION!
TRANSITION!” at him to let him know he’s only a transitional champion)
to wrap up this whole thing.

TNA World Title Match
Robert Roode
© vs. Austin Aries
Kudos to TNA for doing an incredible job of hyping and building up this
match for the main event tonight and even if Aries walks out without the
title tonight he’s clearly been put over onto another level and with
how they’ve built the X-Division up again it’s like they have a perfect
feeder system to create main eventers for themselves going forward. To
say Aries is over here would be like saying Madison Square Garden was
fond of Hulk Hogan in the late 80s, it’s a gross understatement. Aries
wants to lock up with Roode but he wants nothing to do with him at the
bell before grabbing a hold of Austin’s wrist and going to work a
wristlock. Aries works his own hammerlock and then outclasses Roode for a
big pop. He hits the tope con hilo into the ring on Roode but then gets
caught in a side headscissors as he tries for a side headlock. Aries
does his trademark headstand and then dropkicks Bobby in the face,
sending him to the floor where he wipes him out with a Macho Man like
double axe handle smash off the top! Back inside Roode hits a nice
vertical suplex and a knee drop. Roode misses a knee drop  from the
second rope and Aries goes to work with a few kicks before attempting
for the Last Chancery, but Roode gets the ropebreak. Roode gets sent to
the floor and and Aries goes for his trademark heat seeking missile tope
suicida but Roode has him scouted and gets out of the way, leaving
Roode to faceplant into the steel guardrail! Great psychology there.
Back in the ring Roode hits a back suplex,and then sends Aries into the
corner for a nasty case of whiplash against the turnbuckle. This has
been a perfectly crafted match so far, I must say. Roode hits a sitout
Samoan Drop on Aries and then nearly takes his head off with a big
lariat. Aries responds with a huge discus forearm of his own and he has
the eyes of a madman as he clotheslines Roode out of the ring and
successfully connects with the heat seeking missile outside the ring!
Back inside Aries hits a missile dropkick off the top but Roode responds
with a running powerslam. Aries counters a spear into a Last Chancery
briefly but Roode counters that into a crossface and Aries simply
counters back into the Chancery again. That was quite the incredible
display of stamina and strength by both men. Roode tries for a superplex
but Aries knees him in the head in mid-air and then sends him to the
mat and comes off with the 450 splash, but he misses it and instead
walks right into the spinebuster from Bobby Roode! Roode cranks on a
crossface on Aries afterwards and is really working the hold over on him
until finally Aries gets the rope break. Behind the ref’s back Roode
low-blows Aries and tries to get the cheap pin, but thankfully Aries
kicks out. Roode gets in the ref’s face and then Aries hits him with the
dropkick in the corner. He goes for the brainbuster but Roode counters
out and sends Aries into the ref, bumping him. Roode then nails Aries
with the title belt and drags the referee over to count the pin…but
Aries still kicks out at two!  This man isn’t mortal! Aries gets a
nearfall off a cradle then kicks Roode in the head and HITS THE
sure they’d really pull the trigger here but damnit give them credit
they did it Aries is now a made man in TNA. The match itself was
absolutely stellar, a combination of Southern psychology and the hard
hitting indy style Aries made his name off of, but throw in the story
and emotion of it all and everything here was just firing off on all
cylinders. Hands down our TNA Match of the Year thus far, no doubt about
it. ****1/2

After the match Aries celebrates with the World title as confetti flies
down on him and the crowd continues to chant his name all night long. We
close out the show with Austin Aries as our new World Champion.

Bottom Line: Tonight
we truly saw what TNA is capable of when they make smart booking
decisions, hire fresh and hard working young talent, and build up
logical, long-term angles and stars. Destination X has officially
catapulted into the heavyweights of gimmick PPVs these days and I’m so
happy to see all of the investment TNA is putting into this PPV and
division each year going forward. Nevermind the fact that we got several
absolutely stellar wrestling matches on tonight’s show trumped by one
of the flat out best wrestling matches I’ve seen all year with a fresh,
over young face going over in the main event. This delivered in every
way I thought it would and alongside that Silva/Sonnen fight made this
weekend a hell of a good time for buying PPVs, easy and enthusiastic
Thumbs Up tonight.

Score. 9.0/10

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