The landscape of TNA has changed, Bobby Roode has lost his prized possession and Austin Aries has forced his way into the history books as the man who dethroned the longest reigning champion. The match between the two headlined the Destination X pay-per-view and was a thrilling end to yet another decent TNA event.
The crowd were hot for the title change as everybody was resigned to another Roode cheap win, yet this would have been more enjoyable live as by the time the event was shown on Challenge TV images of Aries with the title had been circulating the internet for days, for casual fans this would have been no problem but for those who read wrestling sites and follow social networking sites the title change was ruined, if the event was aired on the Monday night it would have been possible to avoid spoilers but by Wednesday the secret was out of the bag, it's good that viewers in the UK get events for free but it would be nice to have them a little earlier.
It's excellent that Aries has gone from fighting for a contract a year ago to being the top dog, but his performances and promo's have proved why the company should have faith in the man, it just depends how long they will let him run for, whether it be to have a quick switch before Bound For Glory back to Roode to have the eventual Roode / Storm title match or whether he will walk into the biggest event of the year with the belt on his shoulder.
Destination X also crowned a new X Division Champion, after a tournament involving signed and non-signed talent Zema Ion captured the belt in an average Ultimate X match involving Sonjay Dutt, Mason Andrews (Scorpio Sky) and Kenny King. The match was hindered by the fact Dutt was carrying a shoulder injury sustained in his opening match against Rashad Cameron which showed during the closing spot of the match.
The other qualifying matches were entertaining but more of the same spotfests that had been shown on Impact in the lead up to the event to showcase what the talents could do. The four losers from the earlier qualifying matches were allowed a final shot which showed the lack of depth TNA had, its a shame that Mark Haskins wasn't given an opportunity as his role seems to just play home town hero on the UK tours.
The X Division needs to rebuild now that Aries has progressed and Zema Ion was the logical step for the short term being the only contracted wrestler in the match. It is clear that TNA would have liked to have given this to Jesse Sorensen and is building a feud between the two based around the injury Jesse sustained earlier in the year but it is doubtful Ion will hold the belt for the length of time before he comes back especially with the wealth of talent being brought in with the likes of Dutt, King and the recently announce Chavo Guerrero. Aries elevated the championship with his undefeated reign and now it's up to everybody else to build upon that legacy and restore the division to the forefront of TNA and with the added incentive of the option of a shot at the Heavyweight Championship at next years Destination X there is no reason why it shouldn't.
The event whilst showcasing the X Division also had two other excellent matches involving ex X Division champions, A.J Styles defeated Christopher Daniels in a bloody last man standing match after Styles hit the Clash of the ramp through a table. Although many hoped this would be the end of the feud that has been ongoing for a year it appears not as Claire is claiming that A.J. is the father of her baby although nobody actually cares as it is this type of soap opera story that the 'wrestling matters' motto was trying to rid from the company.
The other match had no such overhanging story where Samoa Joe claimed 10 points in the BFG Series against Kurt Angle after a hard fought match that nearly went the time limit distance after Angle was deemed passed out after refusing to submit. The match showcased the competitive nature of the series and continued to build up to BFG and proved the unpredictability of the competition as Joe went on to lose to RVD on the following Impact. Joe and James Storm remain the break outs of the competition so far but as last year showed that an winning streak or injury can change everything.
Besides the BFG series the biggest story is the Aces and Eights invasion, a bunch of masked men attacking Sting, Hogan and a number of TNA wrestlers. Whilst not being opposed to a faction storyline as TNA has always seemed to have factions around such as the Main Event Mafia and more recently Immortal and Fortune, this story so far goes against everything we are currently being treated to as fans. We as viewers are to believe the masked men; who's message is the 'dead man's hand'; have broken into Universal Studios during a live television show and attack Sting in the middle of the ring whilst nobody from the back, security or wrestlers come down and help him! With Gut Check using inside terms and the BFG series making matches more like a sport where wins matter, this invasion story feels out of place and slightly out of time.
When the NWO went to WCW and when ECW invaded WWE there was an excitement about the angles, wrestlers from other promotions turning up on television, but the fact these guys are hiding behind masks and have yet to reveal why they are there, what they are doing and what they hope to achieve. Hopefully once these intentions are announced then maybe this can move along although why Dixie Carter or Hulk Hogan would offer any of them on contract in storyline terms remains to be seen, or maybe we are meant to overlook that small fact, making the Gut Check segment pointless if you can just walk in and not need a contract.
Luke Gallows and Wes Brisco are rumoured to be two of the gang which doesn't excite that much at present but maybe it's good that they are not more superstar names arriving from WWE or ROH to not over stack an already crowded roster, while the others are unknown, maybe an angle involving guys like Garret Bischoff who have nothing else to do and have decided to join the group to make a bigger name for themselves and force some television time.
Finally Joseph Parks black hole slammed Bully Ray after 'spacing out' while bleeding post match to add another far fetched angle, the television title is still MIA or should that be non-action and the most interesting angle is continuing online with Joey Ryan continuing to post videos on youtube continuing his feud with Taz, it is not known whether this is a work but it is very entertaining non the less.
Until next time;
Pictures by Impact Wrestling (http://www.facebook.com/ImpactWrestling/photos)