By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle def. Rockstar Spud
Ethan Carter III continues to be one of the best things going in TNA today and it was logical to have him kick off the show and be angry about getting slighted his title shot. Meanwhile, Angle and Spud worked a good match, but it definitely could have benefited from more time. Not only that, but the title never felt like it was in jepoardy. I loved what they did last week to make this title match mean something, but there's only so much they could do with one week's worth of build. While the ending outcome was never in doubt, I enjoyed the match and it was encouraging to see Spud get in as much offense over Angle as he did. Austin Aries coming out afterward was a nice hook for the main event, but if he's a heel now, why wouldn't he cash in right then and there?
Low Ki def. Manik and Crazzy Steve in an X-Division Championship Triple Threat Match Qualifier
This match brought me back to the days where every X-Division match was contested under Triple Threat match and how big of a disaster that was. It was a total train wreck (in a good way) of cool spots, but as I always say, it's hard to get invested in any of the matches of X-Division competitors because we've been given zero incentive to care about them. The belt is virtually worthless and the only guy of these three that has had any sense of direction lately has been Low Ki, so him going over was a foregone conclusion.
Tigre Uno def. Mandrews and DJ Z in an X-Division Championship Triple Threat Match Qualifier
Similar to the previous X-Division match, it was hard to care about anyone involved because they're rarely on television. Sure, I thought this bout was slightly better than the first one, but that's merely because it featured cooler spots, not because it told a better story. It was nice to see Tigure Uno get the win because I've felt he's been underutilized for far too long and I'm all for him winning the title, but is it too little too late? As for Jesse Godderz's attack on DJ Z following the match, it wasn't established why he did it because they haven't had any issues with each other, but it made him look vicious. Most importantly, The BroMans are officially done. Yay!
Awesome Kong Attacked The Dollhouse; Brooke Stripped Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell
Half of what went down in this segment didn't make any sense. I didn't have a problem with Awesome Kong going after The Dollhouse as it was a decent way of getting out of her title match with Terrell, but Brooke coming down and saying Terrell was bringing the division to a new low before stripping of her in the middle of the ring was silly and stupid. She's also the one who twerks during her entrance, so she shouldn't be talking. Then again, who am I to complain?
Grado def. Cruz and Kenny King in an X-Division Championship Triple Threat Match Qualifier
Who the hell is Cruz and why should I care about him at all? That's not a knock on his talent as he fared well in this match, but when I say I know nothing about him, I honestly know next to nothing about the guy. I didn't even know he was on the roster. This was another fun bout at points, but Grado was the only one who got any focus throughout the night, so he was the logical pick to win. His gimmick cracks me up and I hope this is a sign they're going to start doing something with him.
Bram def. Crimson
When I think of TNA's past, I don't think of Crimson, or at least not in a positive light. Nothing against the guy, but he was highly overrated during his first run with the company a few years back. He embarked on a year-long undefeated streak and then after suffering his first loss, he was released, so that went to show what they thought of him. It appears he's improved a bit in the ring, but he didn't do anything here that impressed me that left me wanting to see more of him. I wish Bram had more direction, but at least calling out TNA alumni is something.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle def. Austin Aries
It was a great hook to have two world title matches on the same show, but I see no other reason why they couldn't have saved this for another day. Aries' still had plenty of time left before he had to cash in, so why not wait to do this match until later down the line? Perhaps the idea is to put the belt on EC3 at Slammiversary, or at least that's what it seems like. What I'm trying to say is that while this was a great match that I was entertained by, it would have meant more had it not been rushed in one week. The match grew to be slightly formulaic down the stretch, but I was glad Aries was made to look strong in defeat after hitting a number of his signature spots. If Aries really is on his way out of the company, I'm happy we got to see these two mix it up in a championship match at least once. EC3's post-match ambush on Angle effectively set up their title match at Slammiversary as well.
The opening and closing matches were above average, but everything else in between felt like filler. It was a decent show on the show, but compared to past Destination X shows which are usually hot, this installment was rather disappointing. Worse yet, Slammiversary is in a few weeks and very little has been confirmed for the card. Instead of hosting so many pointless specials in the last few months, there should have been more focus put on the pay-per-view by the company and building it up to feel like a major happening as opposed to just another show.