Thursday night on Impact Wrestling, TNA Wrestling held their Destination X special. Usually a pay per view on a Sunday, the company cut back on their PPV schedule and instead made it a theme for a Thursday night Impact, even though they were still calling it a Pay Per View. A card full of decent X Division style matches including a solid but inferior Bound For Glory Series rematch from last years Destination X main event between Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. The main event was set between Chris Sabin and Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and the result seemed pretty clear.
Of course, pro wrestling doesn’t always give you what you expect and Thursday we had Chris Sabin overcoming the odds and beating Bully Ray for the World title on live television. Bully Ray, who had been built as the defacto number one heel in the company and a Teflon protected champion due to the Aces and Eights was thwarted by Sabin in a match hastily booked in the past two weeks. Surprises are exciting in pro wrestling, but not when they make as little sense as this.
When Austin Aries created Option C to give up the X Championship to face Bobby Roode for his World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X last year, he was the undefeated X Champion for almost a year. He had just moved onto beating guys like Samoa Joe and Bully Ray in high impact matches. It was the most logical step for him to take. When Roode accused Aries of being a fluke, it was clear that he was just a heel scorned. Sabin on the other hand just returned from injury, won the X Championship and then dropped it out of nowhere to Austin Aries in a Suicide costume. He then won the title back, cashed it out and got beaten pillar to post by Bully Ray for a little more than 10 minutes before a riot took place outside the ring and he won with a cheapshot hammer to Ray’s face. The win was the very definition of a fluke.
TNA was clearly trying to cause lightning to strike twice but when you use a wrestler who clearly doesn’t have the same momentum it doesn’t make sense. What’s worse is that you had Aries win the X title. Why not have Aries beat Bully Ray? What would have been wrong with Aries once again in the main event of Bound For Glory? Better yet, why not have him face AJ Styles in a match we have not seen yet in TNA? It opens up Bully Ray to have his big gimmicky brawl with Hulk Hogan, depending on if Hogan’s hip has been replaced. It would be a main event people would want to see between two wrestlers who can go. Now you have Sabin as TNA World Champion and it’s just shoddy. It doesn’t feel like a long term plan but a panic move by a company dealing with roster eliminations and the mishandling of their roster’s payroll by Bruce Pritchard.
TNA went from making a small profit due to international business when being in the Impact Zone to getting too ahead of themselves and taking the show on the road. In theory it was the right idea,but financially they are said to be losing over a half million dollars per taping. They are losing money faster than ever before and going back to Universal Studios isn’t even an open option. Universal Studios has it booked for over a year. Right now, TNA cannot go back without a home. With talent being dropped left and right and the company bleeding money every week, the last thing you want to look poor is your booking because good booking doesn’t cost a dime. I’m not going to read TNA Wrestling their last rites yet but the company is certainly lost under the direction of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Leave it to those two to prove they could sink the company in ways Vince Russo couldn’t even.
Congratulations to Chris Sabin. I certainly hope for his sake, this wasn’t the panic button. If the company truly believes in him, they better get the rockets ignited.
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