12 June 2015

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Jun 10, 2015

Where to begin...well, to say this show was poor is an understatement.  Honestly, the key to this show was the fact that it was named Destination X.  That Pay Per View name has a valued history associated with it.  There is a certain expectation when it comes to this annual showcase of the X-Division.  In recent years it has meant a boost in ratings and a general excitement surrounding the product.  This year, it fell flat.  Pancake flat.  It was taped in the middle of multiple days of tapings and in front of a no-energy Impact Zone crowd.  The luster was just not there.  All that and Grado got 3 backstage comedy segments and won his qualifying match to compete for the X-Division Title in the near future.  I could stop typing now and you would still get the point...but someone has to review this "Destination X".

Things kicked off with a nice EC3 and Kurt Angle promo that continued the build towards their inevitable title match.  That mic work transitioned into Rockstar Spud challenging Kurt Angle for the World Title.  Bless Rockstar Spud's heart.  I love him to pieces.  He is an ultra-talented entertainer and I want him to be a vital part of TNA for the foreseeable future.  That being said, he is not World Heavyweight Champion material.  He is never going to be a World Heavyweight Champ and I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to ever realistically think that it is even possible.  This bout saw lots of headlocks because I assume that Angle had to hold back on his offense somewhat as going full bore would have just destroyed Spud physically.  Eric Young took 10 suplexes in a row from Kurt Angle earlier this year in one of their matches.  If Kurt gave those same 10 suplexes to Spud it would break him in half.  I was not impressed with this match at all and I found myself cringing a bit at Kurt having to take some of the moves that Spud was dishing out.  Rockstar Spud has more heart than anyone I've seen in pro-wrestling.  I do not want him in World Championship matches ever again.  Period. 

The Dollhouse stuff was fine for what it was.  For a "big show" like Destination X it seemed somewhat ill-fitting.  On a normal episode it would have been great, but it just really didn't go anywhere and TNA could have used some of the extra time for longer matches.  A backstage Dollhouse segment only could have sufficed here instead.  I didn't really want to see Brooke get involved either.  That was an odd choice but when you only have one 2-hour show per week it becomes a parade of talent squeezed in where they can.  Low-Ki VS Manik VS Crazzy Steve was decent.  I am over Crazzy Steve.  It took a while but I'm finally to the point where his act has gotten old and it comes across as very repetitive and annoying.  A vicious Warriors Way from Low-Ki for the victory but why did Manik have to eat the pin?

Tigre Uno VS Mandrews VS DJ Z was the best X-Division match of the night.  Even though it was also kind of slow-paced at times, there were some great high-spots here through-out.  I wanted DJ Z to advance but Tigre Uno deserves some time in the spotlight also.  He did seem a little bit out of control with his Sabertooth Splash as it caught Andrews right in the kisser.  I thought Mark Andrews might end up with a broken orbital bone after that botchy maneuver but thankfully that wasn't the case.  I laughed when Tigre Uno called Grado a jack-ass and broke his silence streak.  That was the only thing Grado was involved in that I found amusing.  Mr. Pectacular coming out and destroying Zema post-match was a nice touch as it furthers his heel turn.  I see a bright future for Jessie as a bad guy. 

Do I think Grado has no talent?  I mean, he has some comedy stuff that's not horrible.  On this night, it was not good at all.  His routine of "trying to get in shape to be in an X-Division match" was a microcosm of the entire night; it was bad TV and it was polarizing for the fans.  I've tried to find a reason to justify why Grado was such a central part of Destination X.  I cannot come up with anything.  The fact that he won his match was like a huge troll job to the hardcore TNA fans.  I mean, during the promo video package they even made it sound like Grado had no business being there with the "and *cough* Grado....." from the voice over guy.  And then he wins his match?  This is unbelievable to me and it's unacceptable to have Grado in an X-Division Championship match.  If he wins the X-Division Title, I may have to rethink the time that I would want to dedicate towards watching TNA moving forward.  I don't know if it happens as I don't read spoilers and I'm not even sure if the X-Division 3-way title match has happened yet.  If they give Grado the X-Division Title it may just be the worst decision in TNA history. 

Thankfully Bram popped on screen immediately after the Grado love-fest and we got some quality backstage work from him.  Then when he came to the ring and threw out the Open Challenge, another bright spot happened as a returning Crimson stepped up to the plate.  Now, I understand that Crimson is another polarizing figure amongst the fans but the man is a physical specimen and he looked to be improved between the ropes in this return bout.  I hope we see more of the red-headed big man and perhaps placing him in a reshuffled Revolution with James Storm would be a possibility.  Bram gets the win here with The Brighter Side of Suffering and continues to get a nice push (a majority of which the U.S. audience has not been privy to as he has actually had recent victories over Bobby Roode and Mr. Anderson).

The obvious highlight of the show was the main event of Angle VS Aries.  Fantastic match here and thankfully Impact ended on a positive note.  While I would have liked to have seen Aries win the World Title, it just was not in the cards given the nature of Destination X overall.  It did not feel like a special show and you're not going to get a major title change during a ho-hum episode such as this.  Aries and Angle are 2 of the best in the world and this match was a showcase of  that fact.  I'm ready for the Angle Era to be over as the World Champion.  The image of EC3 holding the title belt up to go off air was a beautiful sight to behold.  Finishing strong was important as I'd like to erase a majority of this night from my memory.
Favorite Moment - Angle and Aries gave us a great main event and it should not be taken for granted.

Least Favorite Moment - Everything Grado.  Enough said.  Also an honorable mention to the viewing audience being told that Mickie James was not harmed physically by James Storm pushing her off the train station platform last week while TNA's website still has this posted: "Mickie briefly blacked out and showed symptoms of a concussion. Mickie was tested and passed all concussion field tests. Mickie was emotionally disturbed following the events."  *Facepalm*
MVP of the Night - I'll give it to Kurt Angle for competing in 2 Title Matches in one night.  The Cyborg really showed up on this night.
Grade - One of the worst Impacts in recent memory.  I give it a D+ overall because I can't get the stink of a few things that happened on the show out of my nose. If you WILL! 

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