Before writing this review of “Destination X,” something has to be said. doesn’t get real-time reviews from me because I can’t write a review and try to enjoy the show at the same time. When I watch “Impact” and the TNA pay-per-views, I do sincerely try to get into them and enjoy something about them. This ppv has been shredded and slammed according to every review and commentary thread going. Some of those criticisms are well-deserved, and will be covered shortly. However, some people would find reasons to complain, criticize, and generally bitch if Velvet Sky and Christy Hemme showed up at their houses offering backrubs and blowjobs, simply because TNA was the name of the company involved. Everything TNA touches doesn’t turn to mud, and giving just a little bit of positive credit where it is due would not be a bad idea. Trashing TNA at every opportunity doesn’t make you better than everyone else. So many people do it that you won’t stand out at all. Those of us who choose to watch it have our reasons, and we don’t need to constantly defend ourselves to you. And now, “Destination X,” 2009!

We open with a somewhat odd video package tying the failing economy with the need for people to stick together and focus on a common goal. The first half or so didn’t quite make sense, but after the second part played, it clicked. Audio was terrible, going in and out for some time.

Match #1: The Beautiful People & Madison Rayne vs. Roxxi, Taylor Wilde, and The Governor: No Cute Kip at ringside. Yaay! Hmm. No, I dare not hope. Mike Tenay used this match as background to prod Don West about the “flu bug” that may have impaired his judgment earlier in the week, and spends far too long questioning whether or not West will fit the ppv into his schedule and actually stick around to do his job. Way to make the Knockouts matches seem to matter, guys! Angelina Love stands out as the strongest actual wrestler in this match by far. Madison Rayne is still rather weak, and Velvet Sky isn’t much better. A guy in the front row has a sign that reads, “Botchmania 71 = This Match.” Not the best opening match ever. Most action was weak or mistimed. Roxxi slammed Angelina Love with a nice spinebuster. LOTS of chants of “Roxxi! Roxxi!” Somewhere, JohnnyCraze is happy. Roxxi drops to all fours (calm yourself, JC!) to let The Governor jump over the top rope and land on The Beautiful People. Taylor Wilde pins Madison Rayne with a German suplex and bridge. Yes, I hate the stupid “Governor” gimmick. No one could possibly like it except the person who wrote it. However, the woman is doing what she can with it, and I doubt any part of it is her fault. WINNERS BY PINFALL: Roxxi, Taylor Wilde, & The Governor     

Brutus Magnus comes down to the ring, mic in hand. A graphic with his name on it flashed up on the screen during the previous match. Yaay, technical difficulties! Magnus continues his open challenge. Really, why can’t this be done on “Impact?” Nobody will remember it month-to-month, but week-to-week would be ok. Out of costume, the man has a decent look, and he isn’t a bad talker, but he’s terribly bad in the ring. The “Tormentum” is a great name for a crap move. If it’s supposed to be so devastating, give him a truly devastating move. A special guest ring announcer comes out, a former soldier (Navy, I believe) who served on the U.S.S. Cole. You know, the ship that got blown up my Middle Eastern terrorists? Gee, where might this be going? The guy is (from what I’ve read) a student at Team 3D’s wrestling school, so this is probably how they’re planning on bringing him in. He announces Brutus Magnus’s opponent: “Showtime” Eric Young!

Match #2: Brutus Magnus vs. Eric Young: Last ppv, Brutus Magnus beat Chris Sabin, and far too easily. Eric Young gets to put up a lot more of a fight, getting a number of two-counts. For some reason. Sloppy in places, but even the former Super Eric can only do so much to carry a match. Magnus gets Young on the top rope and lands a messed-up-looking Tormentum for the three-count. Magnus leaves the ring immediately after his hand is raised and strides to the back without acknowledging anyone. WINNER BY PINFALL: Brutus Magnus

Tenay and West run down the rest of the card for the evening. Suddenly, the music of Sheik Abdul Bashir plays, and the man himself walks to the ring. He has a mic. Bashir wants to know why he isn’t booked on yet another ppv. Why is he not wrestling on shows? The racial and religious prejudice that he endures every day has affected his job. He then gets almost uncomfortably emotional as he says that “your President” promises hope, and for a man like him, there is none. “Your President” promises freedom, and for a man like him, there is none. Why does a man walking down that ramp in a military uniform get the ovation of a hero, and another man walking down that ramp in a turban get the reception of a terrorist?  He is a victim, a prisoner in the concentration camp that is the United States of America. The man looks like he’s about to cry. Jim Cornette comes out, and tells Bashir that he has answers to his questions. He isn’t off the ppvs and shows because he’s a bad wrestler or because of any racial or religious bias. He’s off the shows because Cornette doesn’t like him. The other wrestlers don’t like him and the fans don’t like him. Hold on! If Cornette not liking someone is enough justification to keep them off shows, why in the blue hell has the Main Event Mafia been able to dominate everything for so long? Why does this only come up with Bashir? Cornette goes on to say that to show he isn’t biased, he’ll give Bashir an exit on par with the serviceman’s entrance, complete with music and everything. He whispers something in the serviceman’s ear. Cornette then tells Bashir to get out of the ring, while the serviceman leads the audience in singing “God Bless America.” Bashir exits with his head hanging low and looking like he might actually cry. What was the point of this segment? Who benefitted? What was sold? The entire presentation felt as if something that should have happened didn’t happen, and they had to make something up at the last second to fill time. I’m not a politically correct person by any stretch, but this came off as hateful jingoistic rubbish that served no purpose.

To the back! Kurt Angle is having a fit over the 3-on-1 situation he believes his match to be. He tries to get the rest of the Main Event Mafia to help him out, but Booker T and Scott Steiner have their own matches. Steiner is, as usual, gold here, talking about being hunted down by a fat, out-of-shape Samoan with a machete who sees him as a piece of bacon. Kevin Nash tells Angle that the whole Sting mess is HIS fault, and that he needs to deal with it.

Match #3: Abyss vs. Matt Morgan in a “Match of 10,000 Thumbtacks”: Slow to the point of lumbering and plodding. Even by the standards of this type of match, not so great. The last match between these two was better, and Morgan had major shoulder issues then. This really should have been better. I thought that this was simply a match where use of thumbtacks was legal. Instead, the winner is the first man to put his opponent into the tacks. The problem with this is that it makes the match all about one spot. The story and psychology (no pun intended) of this match would have been much better served by having a match where the lengths to which these two guys would go to destroy each other would be tested. A resurgence of the original “Monster” Abyss would have been a positive thing here. Instead, Abyss set up Morgan to chokeslam him off the side of the entrance ramp onto strategically placed trays of tacks. Morgan kicked Abyss in the groin, then kicked him in the face with the Carbon Footprint, knocking Abyss through the tacks. The sequence was fine, but too telegraphed and slow. WINNER: Matt Morgan

To the back! Booker T and Sharmell are furious that the contract Cornette goaded Booker into signing puts the Legends title on the line against AJ Styles. Sharmell pushes that it was signed under duress. Cornette says that they can have lawyers challenge it tomorrow, but it’s legal, it’s binding, and it’s happening tonight. Ugh. Why must these outs always be provided when they don’t help anything? All this does is ensure that if AJ Styles does beat Booker T and win the Legends title, it’ll be challenged and possibly overturned on the next “Impact,” and the story will drag on. Booker/AJ needs to end, and it needs to end with AJ winning and keeping the Legends title.

To the ring! It’s the finals of “Win a Night with ODB.” No, really. On a ppv. Jeremy Borash is great in his “host” role, and ODB actually looks good. This whole segment, however, did NOT need to happen on a ppv. The three finalists are Cody Deaner (whose resemblance to Joe Dirt is uncanny), Shark Boy, and a businessman type. I cannot bring myself to recap the rest. Suffice to say, ODB chooses Cody Dean, and we’re off to the back.

To the back! Lauren is with Beer Money and more technical difficulties. Aside from Robert Roode calling Lauren a “little bitch,” the promo they cut is actually rather babyface-ish. They are sick and tired of hearing how many times Team 3D have won tag team titles. That was then, and this is now. Team 3D had to run off to Japan to win titles because they couldn’t get the job done here. Beer Money has done everything they set out to do, and they are the best tag team in the world. Team 3D was a great tag team, but their time is over. The word “respect” has been thrown around a lot, and Beer Money has yet to get the respect that champions like themselves deserve. Why not? Because they don’t brown-nose management or the fans? Tonight they make their mark on history, and they don’t care which of the two “glory hogs” gets sent home for good.       

To the video package! Sojourner Bolt. Not a bad video package.

Match #4: Sojourner Bolt vs. Awesome Kong (w/ Raisha Saeed) – Knockouts title match: This match has been criticized more harshly than almost anything else on the card. Watch it again. It wasn’t so bad. People have to think long-term. This was the first meeting between a dominant monster heel and a former follower who decided that she wanted her own glory and dared break away to challenge the leader. It should be the first of several, and the challenger should get stomped. This could actually be a good feud, as Bolt has the makings of a solid sassy babyface-with-attitude character. The Karate Kid didn’t win anything until the end of the movie. Sojourner Bolt employed a hit-and-run offense, and Kong just absorbed most of it. Yes, there was a missed move on the corner turnbuckle, but she recovered and kept going, so give her some credit! At one point, Raisha Saeed grabbed Bolt’s leg through the rope, and Bolt swung around to drop kick her through the ropes. Another good moment came shortly thereafter when Kong charged Bolt, and Bolt pulled the ring ropes down, causing Kong to crash to the floor. Bolt went for a hurricanrana, which Kong blocked and reversed into the Awesome Bomb for the win. Sojourner Bolt is no Trish Stratus at this point, but comparatively speaking, she’s not so bad. Perhaps it’s more annoying to me because I’m female, but many comments have been posted deriding this match that refer to Sojourner Bolt as fat, out-of-shape, and ugly. What the hell does that have to do with the match quality? Attractiveness is subjective, for sure, but so she doesn’t look like an anorexic pole-dancing Barbie doll? So what? She’s most certainly not out of shape. She reminds me of Jazz, physically speaking, who could likely kick the snot out of everyone sitting around posting such nonsense. She’s built like an athlete. Let it go.

To the video package! Samoa Joe and his “Nation of Violence.” This is a good video package. Joe blames something within himself for the changes between the original Joe and now.

Match #5: Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner: This is the other match that is being unfairly trashed in every report and comment that I’ve read. Yes, it was only about a minute and a half. Yes, Joe got DQd. This match was perfect. In my predictions for this show, I said that this match needed to be brutal, nasty, and short. Joe needed to assert his dominance. He did exactly that. Some have said that the match was nothing more than an introduction to the new Joe persona, but look past that. This is another situation of having to think long-term. Once upon a time, free tv shows gave us very little. PPV was where we saw development of pretty much everything. We’ve been spoiled, as fans and viewers, and with so much given away for free, we can’t see the forest for the trees. Joe rushes the ring and unleashes a barrage of violence on Steiner that bloodies him up and barely allows him any offense. Steiner gets in a desperation move and tries to use a pipe, but all to no avail. Joe’s suicide dive through the ropes to the floor was crazy. The brawl through the audience and out of the arena was a good cap to the whole thing. Now we have Spree-killer Joe working his way through the Main Event Mafia, one victim at a time. How can you not want to see that? Some say that it’s too little too late, but that’s not necessarily true. The new look has also been slammed constantly, with the face paint, nearly-shaved haed, long pants, and vest. Many of these same people have complained for ages that Joe needed to change his look because he doesn’t look like a star. He looked bush league. As soon as he tries something new, that’s very different for him, it too gets slammed as being bush league. Jeebus, people, you can’t have it both ways! The crowd was solidly into it, and “Joe’s gonna kill you!” has made a comeback. The chants of “Fuck him up,Joe, fuck him up!” were quite loud, and the people who say that fans booed this match weren’t paying attention. There was some brief booing when the match was thrown out, but that happens ANY time that a match gets thrown out. More cheers and chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!” quickly replaced the boos. I may be in the minority, but this was a perfectly-booked match, and I can’t wait for more. WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: Scott Steiner

To the back! Lauren interviews AJ Styles. AJ says that there’s a time for talking, and a time for shutting up. He’s going out there to show Booker T why they call him “phenomenal.” He thanks Team 3D and Rhino for helping out when things were down, but he can’t allow them to fight their battles anymore. This is between the egotistical veterans of the Main Event Mafia and the young lions of the Front Line, who wrestle because they love it. Not for the money, the houses, or the cars, but because they love it. Solid promo from AJ.

Match #6: Booker T vs. AJ Styles (Legends title match): Best match so far. Very even exchanges, with counters for almost every move. Huge reaction and chants for AJ. Not very many pin attempts, all things considered. Great spot where Booker goes for the Axe Kick, AJ dodges, and nails him with the Pele. After excellent back-and-forth action, AJ gets Booker in the Styles Clash (his second attempt) and hits it for the win. He takes the title belt and goes out into the fans for a massive celebration. Many in the crowd have shocked facial expressions at the title change. Don West points out that the Front Line (wait, it still exists?) has had no direction lately, and that the win by AJ Styles has to change all that. WINNER BY PINFALL (AND NEW “LEGENDS” CHAMPION): AJ Styles

To the back! Lauren frantically approaches a muddy and bloody Samoa Joe. Where is Scott Steiner, and what did Joe do to him. Uh, the Main Event Mafia are the bad guys. Why should Lauren care? Why should WE care? Sure, he’s funny sometimes, but Steiner is supposed to be a villain. Joe, “tribal knife” in hand, tells her that he’ll tell her what happened to Scott. Tonight, Scott was introduced to Joe’s Nation of Violence. If Lauren wants to know what Joe did to Steiner, she can ask Steiner. When she sees how he scarred him, she’ll know what he did. Lauren is completely freaking out and can’t look at Joe. He puts one finger under her chin and turns her head to make her look him in the face. “Lauren. Sweetheart,” he says. I want you to tell everyone in the Main Event Mafia that, one by one, Joe’s gonna kill them too. Lauren continues to freak out as Joe walks away. This was not an assault of an innocent interview girl, as some people have made it out to be.

To the video package! Beer Money and the “Off the Wagon Challenge,” and Team 3D.

Match #7: Beer Money vs. Team 3D in an “Off the Wagon Challenge” Tag Team title match: Before this match even starts, it must be said that Team 3D did not need to be involved in this. Team 3D enters with their IWGP Tag Team titles on their shoulders. Gee, what other tag team in TNA has tag team gold from IWGP, but has yet to get any sort of acknowledgement of it (storyline or otherwise) or show it off on tv? Or perhaps I’m just being bitter in my personal bias. Yeah, that’s it. When Beer Money enters, they get a massive reaction and cheering. Lots of signs for them in the audience. The Boozer Cruiser has horns on it now. Up yours, JBL, this ride rules! Jacqueline is not with them. Hmm. James Storm’s left thigh is heavily bandaged. Beer Money quickly goes on the offensive, which Team 3D no-sells. Beer Money mocks Team 3D by simulating walking with a walker. James Storm does a hilarious karate bit. Another great bit where Storm raises one arm for a test of strength with Brother Ray, Brother Ray changes the raised arm several times, the arm movements evolve into a dance, and Brother Ray rubs James Storm’s midsection. Funny stuff! Later, another bit where Robert Roode is dropped to his knees right behind a bent-over James Storm causes Beer Money to briefly bicker betwixt themselves. Storm’s face and the way he said, “What. The hell. Was that?” was gold! Roode shoves Storm, but they get back on the same page after Team 3D hits them both. At one point, Storm goes to spit beer, but misses his intended target and blinds Roode instead. Storm is taken out, and Roode gets double-teamed for a two-count. Team 3D goes for a 3D on Roode, but Storm grabs a chair and hits Brother Ray on the back with it, causing the bell to ring for a DQ. Everybody boos. Jim Cornette comes out and tells Beer Money that this whole thing was their idea, and they aren’t getting away with this. There will be a winner and a loser. He restarts the match under “No Disqualification” rules. Everyone cheers. Team 3D drags Beer Money back towards the ring. Roode is thrown into the guard rail. Brother Ray puts on Storm’s cowboy hat. Team 3D hits a 3D on Storm, but Roode pulls the ref out of the ring just as the third count is about to be made. While arguments with the referee ensue, Roode grabs Storm and the tag team title belts (with a little help from Don West) and runs out the back, followed closely by Jim Cornette. The referee is forced to count Beer Money out, so Team 3D win the match and keep their jobs, but do not become the Tag Team Champions. Tenay and Team 3D rip into West for handing Beer Money the tag titles. WINNERS BY COUNTOUT (but NOT new champions): Team 3D

To the video package! Chris Sabin says that there are two reasons why he has the advantage in the Ultimate X match. Firstly, he’s been in more Ultimate X matches than anyone in the history of pro wrestling and he knows what the matches are like. Secondly, he has his brother Alex Shelley in there with him. He wants a fifth title reign for himself, but his main goal is to keep the X-Division title in the Motor City Machine Guns by any means necessary. Alex Shelley says that ever since he won the title, he’s defended it against multiple people at the same time, but this kind of match is different. He picks Chris Sabin to win it, and says that a victory for Detroit is a victory for both of them, and that if he can’t win it, he wants Sabin to win. He mentions Lethal Consequences taking it to them at every turn, but that the biggest “X-factor” is Suicide. How do you prepare for a guy willing to kill himself to win the belt? He’ll cut any corner and cheat any way he can to keep the title. Consequences Creed admits to being nervous and a little scared. He doesn’t want to get hurt and he doesn’t want Jay Lethal to get hurt. However, he’ll do whatever he can to win the title, and he knows that Lethal will do the same, and that in the ring, they’ll be opponents. Jay Lethal (unfortunately in full “Black Machismo” mode) says “dangerous” a lot. He says that it boils down to a question of what you’re willing to give up for the X-Division title. Physical well-being, friendships, everything. Is it worth it? Ooh, yeah.

Match #8: Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin vs. Consequences Creed vs. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. Suicide (Ultimate X match for the X-Division Championship): Creed enters first, followed by Shelley and Sabin entering together, then Lethal, and finally Suicide. Suicide does not fly in and take the belt during his entrance, as has been suggested elsewhere. Match of the night, no question. It was not a spotfest. It was not boring. Some people have actually complained about “the usual spots” of an Ultimate X match, and that it was dull and predictable until the end. Those people really need to shut the hell up. Recapping this match doesn’t do it justice. You really have to see it. The MCMG attack Suicide as soon as the match starts. Solid double team work from the MCMG throughout. Creed and Lethal both hit jumping enziguris, but don’t get anywhere near the head. Why they seem to target the upper arm is never clear. The annoying, smarky chants of “Fallen Angel” are eventually replaced with new ones of “Suicidal.” Good. Play along with the show, nobody cares that you know something. Sabin is the first to jump up and try to bring down the belt, but Creed grabs his legs and pulls him down. Suicide picks up Creed in a fireman’s carry position and flips off the ring apron with him, crashing into the other three guys on the floor. Creed goes for the belt at the same time that Lethal tries to get up on the ropes, and they stop and stare at each other, unsure of they want to put the belt over the team. The MCMG have no such decisions to make, and attack Lethal Consequences, pulling Creed down in the process. Some tag team work with the MCMG against Lethal Consequences. Suicide tries to take down the belt, but Lethal pulls him down and hits him with the Lethal Combination. Lethal and Creed face off again with uncertainty, but this time Lethal puts his hands out and ally-oops Creed up to the ropes. The MCMG are having none of this, and Shelley dispatches Lethal before dropping down to let Sabin run off his back to spear Creed down. Chants of “That was awesome!” fill the Impact Zone as the MCMG climb to the top rope and prepare to take down the belt. Lethal recovers and crotches Sabin on the top rope. Damn you, Jay Lethal! Shelley frogsplashes Creed, but Creed gets his knees up. Really cool Tower of Doom where Creed tries to stop Suicide from climbing the truss, Sabin stops Creed, and Lethal stops Sabin. As the Tower of Doom comes down, Suicide grabs the crossed ropes and hangs on while the others hit the canvas. Suicide and Lethal battle and Lethal smashes Suicide to the mat with a powerbomb from the top rope. At one point, Shelley seems to injure his knee, and quickly unfastens his boot, much like in his match against Sabin previously. He continues to favor the knee. Lots more awesome action later, Lethal, Creed, and Sabin are all within inches of the belt. Suicide leaps from a corner truss to the crossed center of the ropes, knocking all three guys down, and claiming the X-Division title. WINNER (AND NEW X-DIVISION CHAMPION): Suicide

To the back! JB with Sting. Sting yells at Angle to bring his A-game.

To the video package! The story of the implosion of the Main Event Mafia. Why is anyone not in the MEM supposed to think that this is a bad thing? Why should we care? Shouldn’t we WANT the MEM to go away?

Match #9: Sting vs. Kurt Angle (World Heavyweight Championship title match): Jeff Jarrett is the special referee. He enters first. Mick Foley is the special enforcer. He enters next. Challenger Angle is next, and finally, champion Sting. JB introduces everybody in the ring, and the match starts. Lots of brawling into the crowd. The overall feel was slow and plodding, and not in a methodical way. Angle eventually goes for a clothesline on Sting, who dodges, and Angle takes out Jarrett instead. Foley checks on Jarrett, and doesn’t see Angle tapping out to the Scorpion Death Lock. Sting gets Foley’s attention, allowing Angle to hit him with an Angle Slam for another two-count. Angle protests Foley’s count, then kicks him in the groin. Angle hops to ringside and grabs a chair. Foley takes it away from him. Sting grabs Angle and encourages Foley to smash him with the chair. Foley obliges, but Angle dodges and Foley hits Sting by accident. Why does no one ever complain about this stuff being predictable? Angle covers Sting, and Jarrett counts. Sting kicks out at two. Yeah, the count was slow. Angle gets mad and spits in Jarrett’s face. Sting does the gorilla chest-pounding thing. Angle takes a swing at Jarrett. Jarrett blocks it and hits Angle. Sting catches a stumbling Angle in the Scorpion Death Drop, and Jarrett makes the three-count. WINNER BY PINFALL (AND STILL WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION): Sting


Look, this wasn’t a great ppv. I’m not saying that it was. However, the harshness with which it is being savaged is somewhat unfair. I actually look forward to see where they go from here. Catch you later with my weekly dose of “Impact” Impressions!

Peace out,


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