TNA One Night Only: X-Travaganza Final Thoughts
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Friday night TNA kicked off the series of “One Night Only” gimmick PPVs by putting a spotlight on the division that first got TNA buzz way back in 2002, the X-Division. If you’re looking for a suggestion on whether or not to check the PPV (which is only $14.95) this month it really is pretty simple. If you’re one of the people that despises high flying wrestler or even “spot fests” and loathes the X-Division, don’t bother (I have no idea why you would even watch it for free). If you have been a fan of the X-Division, even if you’re a more recent TNA fan, then I would definitely suggest checking it out. The X-Division is one of the things that kept me involved in TNA even when I thought there was little else going on for the promotion and it was truly great to see some old faces as well as some potential new faces for a part of wrestling I truly do love.
The opening Steel Cage Match wasn’t the best way to start the show off, in my opinion, to showcase these X-Division starts. Honestly, I would have just stuck those same guys in an Elimination X Match rather than pretty much the same thing with a cage around it. Putting X-Division wrestlers in a cage constricts them a good deal, and there were several clunky spots in this one. Lince Dorado and Puma were the stars of this one showing off their athleticism with some pretty great stuff while Jimmy Rave was solid. No one else really stood out though Silva seems to be progressing. It was a good enough spot fest with an obvious winner.
I loved the concept of “New School vs. Old School” with Kash/Williams vs. Rashad/Nese and boy did these two teams go out to really show what they can do. Williams was absolutely excellent and both Cameron & Nese put on a display with their high spots and fast paced action. It started off in kind of a babyface vs. babyface mode but Kid Kash quickly turned that around and made it clear they were the heels. I really like Rashad Cameron and I think he brings a unique charisma to go along with how athletic he is. They put on a really good tag team match.
Robbie E & Chavo was the low light of the night. It wasn’t given much time but honestly I don’t know many people that can get a good match out of Robbie (in my eyes). I’m just not into the gimmick and Chavo isn’t the most exciting wrestler these days (not to suggest he’s bad in any way).
The Ultimate X was really, really fun. All 4 guys threw everything out there and came up with some really unique spots along with a really good finish with King literally stealing the win from Rubix. Out of all the guys that TNA has brought in for this show Rubix is the “new” guy that I really wish they would sign and not just because he has a cool mask (haha).
If last night was truly the last match we will see from Jerry Lynn (and he is adamant that it is) then he went out with a bang. It wasn’t he and RVD’s best match by any means but it was really good and they didn’t hold anything back, and for once RVD seemed engaged and like he wanted to be there. It was a really classy move by TNA to send everyone out and do the standing ovation for Jerry and to allow him to speak to the fans after the match as well. Jerry Lynn was a huge part of the early days of TNA and especially the X-Division and I know that I have many great memories of some amazing matches from Jerry Lynn in TNA (the Triple Ladder Match with AJ & Low-Ki; the Round Robin with AJ, Ki, & Psicosis; the Best of 3 Series with AJ; the tag team with Amazing Red; and many others come to mind). I know Lynn-RVD is the match that most internet fans and old ECW fans want to see from Lynn, but honestly I would have much rather seen one more match with AJ Styles. AJ-Lynn was THE feud in TNA in the early days. Before AJ-Daniels there was AJ-Lynn. I obviously understand the reason (storyline wise) for keeping AJ off this show but AJ Styles IS the X-Division, without him there would be no X-Division and Jerry Lynn was his main “foil” in those early days. Nevertheless a great sendoff and really good match from Lynn.
Bad Influence and Petey/Sonjay was excellent and I don’t recall Petey & Sonjay ever teaming together but they did work well together. After several matches with lots of dives (especially Ultimate X) they held back on the dives with this one and worked mainly with double team moves and mat wrestling. Bad Influence is just flat out great right now and Petey seemed to be pumped for his return and it showed. It was good for them to let Petey hit the Destroyer after the match to make the crowd happy too.
Joe/Aries have had some wars over the years and tonight’s match was no different, and while it wasn’t their best work it was damn sure good. They both put over the X-Division before their match with strong promos as well and really did an excellent job of telling the story during the match that Aries was taking the knee out from the bigger Samoa Joe. That’s kind of a unique story to tell in this type of match because you would think the much bigger Joe would try to ground the quicker, lighter Aries. Aries worked on the knee the entire match and to Joe’s credit he sold it the entire match. When he went for the dive he couldn’t get it off because of the injury. When he set up for one of his spots late in the match he couldn’t get it done because of the knee slowing him down. In the end Aries snuck out the win in a great effort from both guys to give us a clean finish to a really fun PPV.
Those were mainly the positives for the most part. The negative was a big negative for me. Taz & Tenay on commentary were absolutely atrocious tonight and more so Taz than Tenay. At times Tenay truly did attempt to give insight into the matches and provide history (he even spoke on Aries & Joe’s history in Ring of Honor) but Taz was just too busy attempting to make bad jokes about wrestlers names (calling Rubix “Rubick” about a 100 times in Ultimate X for example) than calling the action in the ring. It really did take away from some great wrestling and it was starting to piss me off already 2 matches in. The bickering between the two doesn’t help at all. Can we start a #SaveUsDonWest petition? Or just fire Taz and let Todd Keneley and Tenay do it alone. His commentary just gets worse and worse it seems like. That aside a great night of action on a weekend that it likely will get lost in the shuffle because of the shear amount of wrestling that is being thrown at fans with WrestleMania and the various iPPV’s going on from Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate, etc. all weekend long which is a shame.
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Bad Influence and Joe/Aries
– Match of the Night: TIE-Aries vs. Joe, Bad Influence vs. Sonjay/Petey (****)
– Overall Grade: A-
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