Sunday, July 8, 2012

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 411mania's monthly TNA PPV coverage! I'll be your host tonight as usual 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 tonight.

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 BRAINBUSTAAAH...and WINS THE TNA WORLD TITLE AT 22:43! I wasn't 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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