TNA Impact Wrestling Review - July 31st, 2014 - Destination X 2014
The show kicks off with Team Dixie in the ring. Dixie cut one of her usual unbearable promos to start, but once EC3 took over, this segment turned to gold. Carter introduced the new members of the stable and cut a fantastic promo challenging Bully, Devon, and Dreamer. Great opening segment thanks to Ethan Carter III.
1) The Hardys (Jeff & Matt Hardy) vs. The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) - TNA World Tag Team Title Match
I was curious to see if this dream match would live up to the high expectations that I had for it and indeed it did! Words can't describe how awesome this match was. From the opening bell to the closing bell - the action never stopped! It was 15 minutes of nonstop fantastic wrestling from two of the best tag teams in the world. This without a doubt lived up to the hype and was the best tag team match TNA has had thus far in 2014! You need to check this out! The Wolves proved they were one of the best teams in the world and The Hardys showed they could still go, phenomenal match.
Match rating - 9/10
2) Low Ki vs. Manik vs. Zema Ion - X Division Title Tournament
A nice mix of styles in this match and they meshed very well. Ki and Manik were their usual amazing selves and Zema (I refuse to call him 'DJ Z') showed once again why he's one the most underrated competitors on the TNA roster. This was a great match and my favorite out of all the X Division Title qualifer matches.
Match rating - 7/10
3) Brian Cage vs. Sanada vs. Crazy Steve - X Division Title Tournament
I said the last match had a nice mix of styles, but if I said that about this match, it would without a doubt be an understatement. You've got a huge muscular guy, a japanese wrestler, and a whatever Crazy Steve is. Despite that, this was a very enjoyable three way. I was excited for it because I'm a big fan of Brian Cage from his work in PWG and he was making his return to TNA here for one night only. I say return because he competed in the gutcheck thing TNA did a few years back, despite that, most people probably didn't remember him so this COULD be considered a debut. But hey, there were some people chanting his catchphrase "Get your shit in!" during this match so some people obviously knew who he was. Either way, Cage was the best part of this match and he stole the show here. Fun match.
Match rating - 6/10
4) Samoa Joe vs. Homicide vs. Tigre Uno
An interesting fact that was stated by Tenay during this match that I had to mention is that the last time Joe was X Division champ, he defeated Homicide to win the title. Pretty cool since they're here competing for that title again. Joe and Homicide worked very well together here as expected since they've competed with each other so many times in the past in TNA and Ring of Honor among other companies. Their exchanges were the highlight of this contest, but Tigre Uno played his part as well. Very enjoyable match.
Match rating - 6.5/10
So now the X Division title match for next week is set - Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki vs. Sanada! I'm really looking forward to that! Plus it will be Team EC3 vs. Team Bully Ray in a hardcore war! TNA is really on fire lately!
A nice promo from Abyss aired that I have to mention here. He invited Bram to face him in a Monster's Ball match next week which I'm very excited about. Bram has really impressed me since his debut and this will be a big test for him. Looking forward to see how it turns out! Yet another thing to look forward to for next week!
5) Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Aries - TNA World Championship Match
If you would have told me back when Lashley became champion that I would give pretty high praise to all three of his first title defenses, I probably would have laughed at you. But it just so happened to turn out that way. After two successful and impressive title defenses against Eric Young & Jeff Hardy, Lashley faced off with man behind Option C, Austin Aries. Lashley has really perfected his role in the ring since becoming World Champion and it showed here as he dominated Aries early on. Aries fought back however and the crowd was hot for him. The series of discus forearm shots that Aries delivered to Lashley in the corner were just epic. This was a great back and forth match between the two that delivered in every way. Another outstanding title defense from Lashley and probably my favorite one thus far!
Match rating - 8/10
Overall thoughts: To put it simply, this was the best episode of Impact so far this year. After months of average, sometimes uninteresting programming, TNA seems to have found their niche once again. And that niche is what made them famous - an alternative program with quality wrestling. Tonight completely exemplified that. You had five matches on the card and two of them are MOTY candidates for TNA this year, while the other three are pretty damn good themselves as the X Division got it's chance to shine. Beyond the wrestling on tonight's show, the promos were good as well from young talent such as EC3 who I expect to break out soon. And on top of all that, the final ingredient to a great wrestling show is building towards next week and making everyone want to tune in again and TNA did just that! There are alot of matches scheduled for next week that I'm really looking forward to. So with that being said, awesome show tonight. If you've lost interest in TNA over the past year like I had, I HIGHLY recommend checking this show out, I'm sure your interest will be regarnered because mine sure was!