By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Low-Ki def. Chris Sabin in an Ultimate X Qualifying Match
As I mentioned in my report of the last One Night Only event, how embarrassing is it for TNA to feature someone who was let go months ago? What's worse is that Sabin was holding the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at this time one year ago and it was stupid of TNA to not renew his contract. Anyway, Low-Ki is always a treat to watch in the ring, so he and Sabin had a nice match. It wasn't exceptional by any means and it definitely could have used more time, but it was a good win for Low-Ki that reestablished him those that might not be familiar with him.
Rashad Cameron def. DJ Z in an Ultimate X Qualifying Match
Is it just me or does Cameron look like a hybrid of Xavier Woods and Jay Lethal? His TNA run wasn't much of note in 2012, so the fans didn't have much incentive to cheer for him over DJ Z aside from the fact DJ Z is extremely obnoxious. Much like the opener, it was a good bout, but a lot less interesting since it lacked star power. I figured DJ Z would have gone over, especially considering he's a former X-Division Champion. What does it say about TNA's current X-Division talent when they fail to defeat the "outsiders" as the commentators called them?
Kenny King def. Rubix
I had completely forgotten how impressive of an athlete King really is until this match. He's been overshadowed in his current stable with MVP and Bobby Lashley and hasn't been used to the bets of his abilities in my opinion. This was a total showcase for him, so it was no surprise that he picked up the victory. I'd like to see him more involved in the X-Division these days instead of being utilized as MVP's lackey all the time.
Ace Vedder def. Manik in an Ultimate X Qualifying Match
For anyone unfamiliar, Ace Vedder is the new in-ring of Trent Barreta, or at least for this show. I guess anything is better than using his real name, which is a nightmare for journalists like me. It's still mind-boggling to me that TNA has yet to sign him to a contract. I know they're tight on money at the moment, but still. The guy's great in the ring and can be a real player for them in that division. Manik has been stagnant for a long time, and while he had a good showing here, he is in need of a complete character overhaul. That's the only way he'll ever intrigue me.
Sonjay Dutt def. Rockstar Spud in an Ultimate X Qualifying Match
This match was more about the comedy than it was the in-ring action, but that's exactly what made it the best match of the night up to this point. Spud is just so brilliant in his role that it's hard not to love him. He plays his part so well and Dutt was a nice foil for him. People often forget how talented Spud is as a competitor as well and we got to see glimpses of that here against. How Dutt has been with TNA practically since the start and has yet to win the X-Division Championship once is beyond me.
Tigre Uno def. Petey Williams
Tigre Uno strikes me as a guy that it is hardly being used to his full potential right now in TNA. They brought him in with a lot of buzz, but they've failed to capitalize on it. He's so much fun to watch in the ring and he's marketable because he's masked. How does TNA not see the money in him?! He and Williams were having a very entertaining match until it ended abruptly. It came off as awkward, the fans didn't know how to react and Williams looked legitimately pissed. Either that or he's an excellent actor. It's quite sad that this was one of Williams' last matches as he retired from the ring not too long after this was taped.
The Wolves def. Bad Influence in a $25,000 Ethan Carter III Invitational Ladder Match
A Wolves vs. Bad Influence feud had money written all over it, and I'm still struggling to figure out why TNA never did it before releasing the latter tandem. At least both teams can say they had one really great match together before Bad Influence departed the company. There were several stellar spots and the crowd ate all of it up. The Ladder stipulation fit the styles of both tandems perfeclty and enhanced the bout that much more. Ethan Carter III putting his own money up for grabs was a strange twist, but I guess they had to be fighting for something.
X-Division Champion Sanada def. Austin Aries in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
I've seen better matches from Sanada and Aries in the past in terms of in-ring action, but this one in particular told the best story in that Aries just couldn't put Sanada away. Sanada showed tremendous resiliency throughout and I actually liked that they slowed down the pace a bit so that the fans could digest everything they were doing. I'm usually not a fan of something winning in two straight falls, but it's something that isn't done too often and Aries looked strong in defeat. The only issue with the outcome was that it was obvious considering this was taped months ago.
Low-Ki def. Sonjay Dutt, Ace Vedder and Rashad Cameron in a No. 1 Contender's Ultimate X Match for the X-Division Championship
There has been such an abundance of Ultimate X matches over the last 10 years that it's difficult to separate one from another, but everyone involved shine at some point and put forth a strong effort. They didn't have much to work with considering they weren't given a lot of time, but they made the most of it and had an enjoyable outing. Low-Ki was the most logical winner since TNA probably knew at the time this was taped that he'd be sticking around for a while longer, but as of now, Low-Ki has yet to receive his deserved X-Division title shot and I doubt he ever will considering TNA rarely ever acknowledges these events on TV.
Unless I missed something, I could have swornt the King/Rubix and Uno/Williams matches were qualifiers for the Ultimate X, but when King and Uno didn't show up for the main event, I figured they were just standard singles matches. That's just nitpicking things, though. The fact this was taped back in April took away from it ever so slightly, but it only hurt the predictability of the main event matches. The undercard wasn't anything special, but it was solid and featured fun action. The final three matches were all excellent and were some of the best matches I've seen from TNA in a long time, surprisingly enough. Even the commentary was better than usual with Jeremy Borash taking the place of Taz. Please let that be the norm going forward! It was cool to see a lot of familiar faces return for this show and it's nice that TNA can bring them back at their leisure if they please. TNA really does have a great thing in the X-Division and it's a shame they don't realize that sometimes. However, when they give it the spotlight it deserves, it always delivers and this show was proof of that. This had to be the best One Night Only event I've ever seen without a doubt and I'd recommend taking the time to watch it, regardless of whether you're a fan of the X-Division.