Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List: Lashley vs. Austin Aries. The Wolves vs. The Hardy Boys, predictable X Division Title match qualifiers, Dixie Carter table teaser
By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Lashley vs. Austin Aries: An excellent main event with really good good action and believable near falls. Taz did a nice job of telling the story that Aries was working from underneath early on, and the Aries' comeback was excellent. The right guy went over as TNA has done a shockingly good job of building up Lashley as a strong champion in a short amount of time. Aries didn't lose anything here and his new respectful nice guy persona is working more than the arrogant Aries babyface persona has in the past.
The Wolves vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy: A strong spot-fest style tag match that lived up to the expectations that were conjured up when one of the all-time great teams faced one of the best teams in the world today. It's rare that we get to see dream tag team matches in this day and age due to the state of tag team wrestling, but this definitely fit that description. TNA really needs to produce a strong heel team for The Wolves to work with, but in the meantime it's hard to find fault with watching them work with The Hardy Boys and Team 3D at the tapings next week. The Wolves were fine in their matches with Bro-Mans, but in some ways it felt like this was one of the first chances they've had to really show the TNA audience how good they can be.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries backstage: I like the way they acknowledged the history of Aries trading in the X Division Title and beating Bobby Roode for the TNA Title at a past Destination X while also giving both wrestlers a chance to spotlight their new nice guy personas.
Low Ki vs. DJ Z vs. Manik: A good X Division spot fest that was clearly built around Low Ki. He was the guy spotlighted coming into the match and the only negative with that approach is that the match outcome felt like a forgone conclusion. This was actually a common theme in all three X Division matches. I understand the need to showcase certain people, but I felt they could have worked a little harder to make the outcomes feel less predictable.
Dixie Carter table teaser: I'm not going to debate whether it's in good taste for a male wrestler to put a female non-wrestler through a table in 2014. The bottom line is that TNA did it and they should own it. They have teased this as a possibility for months and now that it's finally happening it's logical to make a big fuss over it as they did at the end of the show. I normally don't endorse telling the audience that they are watching a taped show, but the tradeoff is worth it here.
Overall show: This felt like a strong edition of Impact that just happened to carry the Destination X name. Granted, there were three X Division Championship qualifying matches and the main event saw Aries give up his X Division Title for a shot at the TNA Title, but it didn't feel like a true X Division show. I'm not complaining. The X Division is improving and all, yet I wouldn't want to watch a full show dedicated to the X Division at this point. In fact, I cringe a bit at the idea of doing three Triple Threat matches to set up a Triple Threat match for the vacant X Division Championship. Why does the X Division have to be about train wreck matches rather than focussing on great singles matches involving two cruiserweight sized wrestlers? Anyway, enough complaining. TNA delivered another quality show in New York City. I will never know why it took going to New York to bring out the best in this company and I sincerely hope it's not a case of too little too late.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Sanada vs. Brian Cage vs. Crazy Steve: A minor Miss. I think I became numb to the spot fest style after the first two matches. Once again, the outcome was very apparent because Sanada was the guy who got all of the focus beforehand. I wasn't sure whether TNA was back to weight limits or doing the no limits bit (the Kurt Angle promo regarding Samoa Joe aired later in the show), but Cage was so jacked that he somehow seemed out of place in an X Division match. He's a talented performer, but I don't really view him as an X Division wrestler.
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