This past Thursday, TNA announced the return of Destination X to the excitement of many. The Pay Per View had been removed from the TNA schedule and they did not try filming it when they finished up with the Impact Zone for their mini-Friday PPVs. By announcing the PPV, the hope had returned.
Unfortunately, the company plans to make it a special episode of Impact on July 18 in Louisville, Kentucky. This means a two hour “X-Division centric episode” of Impact, which would weaken the importance of the event. On the plus side, the event does still center on the X-Division and more importantly, the return of “Option C” to give a breather between Slammiversary and Bound For Glory.
For those who do not remember “Option C”, Hulk Hogan and Austin Aries last year formulated the concept that the current holder of the X Championship could cash in the title in order to receive a committed shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at Destination X. Aries took Option C, faced Bobby Roode and defeated him for the Heavyweight Championship. It was one of the most talked about moments in TNA for 2012 and produced one of the best matches of the year. For many wrestling fans, the return of The Rock at Wrestlemania to face John Cena wasn’t nearly as important as seeing Austin Aries go from being rejected for WWE Tough Enough to winning the TNA World Championship in dramatic fashion. It was also the end of the strongest wrestling title reign at the time of Bobby Roode. For many, this felt like a turning point for TNA Wrestling, only to be derailed by Aces and Eights and Jeff Hardy’s return to the World Title.
Currently, TNA has four Pay Per Views on their schedule: Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary and Bound For Glory. Slammiversary and Bound For Glory have been treated for a while as the SummerSlam and Wrestlemania of TNA while Lockdown is their major gimmick PPV, much like the Royal Rumble is treated for the WWE. That leaves Genesis as the lame duck of the PPV schedule. It happens in January around the same time as the Rumble, ensuring that less people are going to pay for it when they can pay for something like the Rumble. Most of the other TNA PPVs are scheduled strategically. Lockdown is in March, avoiding Wrestlemania by a month. Slammiversary is in June, where WWE runs Payback, which used to be called No Way Out, which replaced the King of the Ring. You can see that since they got rid of the King of the Ring, nothing really special happens for the WWE in June. Finally you have Bound For Glory in October, which while running against two WWE PPVs that month (Over the Limit and Hell in a Cell), it’s still the event that TNA fans are going to purchase regardless of what the WWE is doing. Genesis in January is a lame duck.
So what about Destination X? Destination X runs in July (since 2011). While pretty close to Slammiversary, you could make some minor adjustments to the schedule. Just move Lockdown to February (avoids Wrestlemania even more), keep Slammiversary in early June and then run Destination X is late July. Or, to space out the schedule better, run Destination X in December and Bound For Glory in September to allow two months between every PPV (March: Lockdown, June: Slammiversary, September: Bound For Glory, December: Destination X). It avoids most of the major WWE PPV schedule and allows the company to have a rhythm. Either way, Genesis is by no means as important as Destination X to pro wrestling fans.
Cashing in the X Championship to go after the World Championship should feel like TNA’s version of Money in the Bank. It’s also perfect for babyface competitors to do it in order to face the dastardly heel Champion. This year has some interesting options for it. You could keep the belt on Chris Sabin and have him get his first shot at the TNA World Championship after being an X-Division stalwart for most of his career (even in Motor City Machine Guns he represented the strength of the X-Division). You could move AJ Styles back to the Division and have him win the title, allowing him to circumvent the rules from last year where he couldn’t get another World Title shot until Bound For Glory. You even have a returning Jeff Hardy, whom while had more than enough shots, Hardy is ratings for TNA and a possible play for them. I’d prefer Chris Sabin to be the one who gets his shot, especially since it’s hardly believable he’d win. Then again, I didn’t think Aries was going over Roode either.
Not only is Option C important, but so is the event on shining a light on the wrestlers that keep the blood pumping in TNA. It’s just like in WCW. Hogan tries to take all of the attention of the major storylines but the pure wrestling fans have X-Division action to enjoy. Kenny King, Chris Sabin, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Suicide, Christian York, Joey Ryan, Chavo Guerrero, former members like Samoa Joe, Bad Influence (Daniels and Kazarian), AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy and the forgotten midget Rockstar Spud. If rumours are true and John “Morrison” Hennigan is thinking of coming to TNA part time, Destination X is the perfect place to make his debut. Just with those guys you can make an Impact that people will want to watch (and trust me, TNA needs people watching right now) and more importantly, people will pay for this.
In 2013, Destination X is something worth watching on Thursday. In 2014, Destination X should be something worth buying on Sunday.
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