Stand Up for the X Division, Why Destination X Matters
by, 07-09-2011 at 07:16 PM (1865 Views)
By Mo Kristiansen
July 10th 2011 TNA / Impact Wrestling will present Destination X, which for me is the most important PPV in the history of the company.
On June 19th 2002 a new North American promotion opened it’s doors on PPV hoping to take a bite out of the WWE’s pie and seeking to appeal to the jaded fan base of the recently folded WCW.
The first shot fired from this promotion, known as Total Nonstop Action was in the presentation of their first match, a 6 man tag featuring the up and coming pair of AJ. Styles and Low Ki with veteran Jerry Lynn vs. The Fling Elvises consisting of Jimmy Yang, Jorge Estrada & Sonny Siaki.
TNA announcer Mike Tenay made it clear right from the beginning the concept of the X Division, it was not about weight limits, it’s about no limits. The X Division is about an extreme modern high flying style that will personify what TNA is all about. And 11 minutes later anyone who was watching that night saw an alternative product in that match to what the WWE was presenting. Not everything was good in that first TNA show, but the X Division gave a glimmer of hope.
And the following week TNA took another bold step forward when Styles, then a talented but little known prospect from the WCW cruiserweight division who there was primarily a tag team performer with Air Paris as “Air Raid” was crowned champion defeating Lynn, Low Ki and Psicosis in a fantastic match. The X Division now had a style, an identity, and a fresh champion with almost unlimited potential, and TNA did as well.
And for a time the performers in the X division awed fans again and again with their daring feats of athleticism. No matter what else TNA presented, you were virtually guaranteed some great action, and the performers and the division gained a solid reputation and loyal following, becoming the backbone of the struggling company. Soon after the company began AJ. Styles wasn’t just the face of the X division, but was Mr TNA to fans and for many the face of the entire company.
And in those dark days when TNA was doing so poorly the fans that did show up were often there to see him and his peers tear the house down. In fact, I truly believe without the X Division Impact Wrestling does not exist today.
There were so many positives from the X Division once, from the innovative use of the new 6 sided ring TNA presented, which will make it’s return at Destination X, to the new wrestlers showcased on a national level for the first time, to the great matches and feuds concentrating on the title and proving who the top dog was. Early ladder matches inspired, the Ultimate X match took it one step further, Styles and Christopher Daniels went 30 minutes in 2 iron man matches, then did it once more this time with Samoa Joe in as good a wrestling match as you will ever watch. Ever.
And in recent years TNA has shifted it’s attention away from the X Division in a misguided attempt to appeal to a larger audience. The matches were buried on the card, the title changed hands too frequently, the storylines were stupid, and most importantly the performers were made to look like they couldn’t compete with the big boys in the heavyweight division. And soon the X Division became one more thing in TNA no one cared about. How could they, since TNA has pushed to us for years they don’t care about it and so we shouldn’t either.
But I still do. On Sunday the all X Division PPV is my chance with you to tell TNA we’re interested in seeing this part of the product as a strong representation of their programming. I won’t pretend with you that wrestling is a democracy, or guarantee that ordering this show will help. But I do know that if we don’t purchase it there is no chance the X Division is going to be treated the way fans of it want.
If an arena seats 100 000 people and 1 chants no one will hear. If 1000 people chant it’s barely audible. But if all 100 000 chant that is too loud to be ignored.
So let’s do this together. Buy the show, tell others to buy it, tweet about it, email about it, facebook about it.
And stand up for the X Division, because to quote Chris Jericho, we may never, eeever, get another chance.
Mo is the Co-host of We Talk Wrestling Podcast found on their website
www.wetalkwrestling.com. He can be reached via email at [email protected]