On June 19th, 2002 TNA fans would get a taste of what this new wrestling company was all about. On this night, fans would also get their first taste of the X-Division, which would soon become the biggest thing that made TNA an alternative. We witnessed a match to crown the first ever X-Division champion between AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and Psychosis in a double elimination four way. Without knowing what to expect, fans were immediately drawn to the style and the athleticism that the X-Division encompassed. Over the years the X-Division helped ensure the company's survival through the rough times and helped TNA rise in popularity. Guys like AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Chris Sabin, and many more made it impossible to not become invested in the product. For many years, the X-Division kicked ass and proved why it was referred to as “the division that TNA was built from”.
Sadly, at some point everything changed and fans were no longer holding high expectations for the division that once blew their minds on a weekly basis. We were no longer getting the fast paced matches, the exciting matches, the intense matches that we once did. Today we miss matches like the the triple threat between AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Low Ki in 2002 or the match at Unbreakable 2005 between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe. These two matches are arguably two of the best matches in TNA’s history. So, what is the division that once single-handedly drew crowds and sold tickets lacking today? I say we take a deeper look into the modern day X-Division.
If you ask me, right now one of the biggest problems with today's X-Division is that the matches seem far too short. With increased match time it allows the talent to showcase more of their skills, all we need is 3-4 more minutes than what we are currently getting and the match time would be perfect. In addition to that, I feel that the X-Division's matches are far too slow as of late, it needs that fast paced feel once again and the current guys we have on the roster are more than capable of making it happen. I think what the fans loved most about the X-Division was that it was the only division in a company with a TV deal in the USA that took the best qualities of the indy wrestling style and put it onto our TV screens to enjoy. With improved pacing in the matches, this will all change. A good thing about the division today is the current guys on the roster, Trevor Lee, DJ Z, Tigre Uno, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Everett are some of the best high-flyers in the world. Most of these guys have not shown a sixth of the things that they can do in the TNA ring and they must be further established in TNA. We definitely could use 1-2 more guys to add depth to the division. Guys such as Shynron, Matt Sydal, Travis Gordon, and Danny Cannon would certainly boost the division's quality.
Another thing that TNA needs to work on going forward is making Destination X feel like a big deal again. It seems like each year the event does not get the attention and promotion that it rightfully deserves. It would be nice to see Destination X air on POP TV as a three hour special with minimal commercial breaks. Furthermore, if they brought in a few more indy talents to help fill out the show's card or have a match between indy guys where a contract is on the line like they have done in the past, it would boost fans' excitement towards the event. Option C is also a controversial topic. I think this year NEEDS to be the year that the X-Division champ says no to cashing in the belt, but it must be done by the right guy and ideally in a 3-hour special format. If TNA picks the right guy and gets the message across by having him question why would the champ give up THE X-Division title, the title that belongs to the division that TNA was built on the back of then it will undoubtedly be a history making moment.
In closing, I would just like to say that this article is not meant to be negative or bash anyone in anyway. I would also like to thank Gregory Shane Helms, he deserves a lot of credit for the contributions he has made to the X-Division and I know he will only keep doing good things for the division as time goes on. I have a huge amount of respect for Dixie Carter, John Gaburick, the wrestlers, the writers, production, the refs, etc… I am just simply sharing my suggestions on how to improve the X-Division in my eyes, suggestions that I feel many fans agree with me on. We want OUR X-Division back!