THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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A little later than planned, this edition of The Two Sheds Review, now in it’s ninth year, sees us taking a look back at TNA’s most recent pay-per-view offering. Will the Main Event Mafia continue to implode, or will they finally show some unity? Well, that’s what I’m hoping to find out by watching the 2009 version of Destination X, shown on a three day delay on Bravo 2 here in Britain, with Mike Tenay and Don West handling commentary duties.
We begin with the Knockouts, with the now three strong Beautiful People facing the team of Taylor Wilde, Roxxi and the fake Governor. A very enjoyable if somewhat short match to open the show with, with Roxxi and Taylor once again showing that they could be two of the most under-rated women on the TNA roster. Mind you, you could put the Beautiful People in that category as well. Not sure about this Governor gimmick though. Taylor got the pin for her team, getting the pin on new BP member Madison with a bridging back suplex. Not bad.
Next up, the latest instalment of the Brutus Magnus open challenge, this time answered by TNA’s most annoying wrestler, Eric Young. Once again I’m bound by Nick Aldis’ threat to take legal action against me if I say anything negative against him on the internet. So because of this, here’s a poem by the late, great, Spike Milligan instead;
On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There’s a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!
After a pointless segment in which Jim Cornette basically tells Sheik Abdul Bashir to bugger off home, Matt Morgan faces Abyss in a thumbtack match. You know, this wouldn’t have the same effect here in Britain if we called it a drawing pin match. But anyway, back to the matter at hand. This one stars off well, but starts to go downhill when Abyss spends what seems like an eternity setting up some props early on. By the time that Morgan sent Abyss crashing onto two trays of tacks with a bicycle kick on the ramp, I didn’t care. Too contrived, and way too much time spent setting up the props.
After another pointless segment in which ODB finds a date, normal service is resumed again with the first title match of the evening, with Sojourner Bolt challenging Awesome Kong for the Knockout’s title. As with the previous match, this started out well, but went downhill, thanks to Sojo’s early mistakes. Once again Kong showed just why she’s head and shoulders above the rest of the Knockout’s division, and on a different level to Sojo entirely, who just looked like she didn’t really belong in the same ring as the champion. Kong eventually took the challenger down with the awesome bomb. Perhaps next month we can have someone with a bit more pedigree in there with Kong.
Grudge match time, with the returning Samoa Joe taking on Scott Steiner. Not really much to write home about here. Joe comes out with his new look and ring attire, there’s a big brawl, and then Joe gets disqualified after clobbering Steiner with a metal pipe, before we get the monthly brawl through the crowd. I really don’t know what to make of this one folks.
The second title match of the evening follows, with Booker T reluctantly defending his Legends title against A.J. Styles. Finally, a well executed match, and one worthy of a pay-per-view slot. This one was able to hold my attention throughout. Well executed, with two good performances, and thank God that Booker has given up on those bloody awful accents. A very good match here, with Styles getting the pin after his patented Styles clash, winning the Legends title in the process. About time Styles had another title around his waist, even though he doesn’t really need it to get over with the TNA faithful.
The title action continues with Team 3-D challenging Beer Money Inc for the Tag-Team titles in their off the wagon challenging – basically if Team 3-D get pinned or submit, the loser of the fall has to quit TNA. The second good match in a row, and an example of something that TNA does far better than their bigger rivals. Robert Roode and James Storm once again showed how far they’ve come as a team, able to hang with a team as experienced as the former Dudleys. Good action throughout, and several false finishes, but nobody got fired as Storm clobbered Brother Ray with a steel chair just as they were about to take Roode out with a steel chair. Team 3-D got the disqualification victory, but Jim Cornette came down to the ring and re-started the match under no disqualification rules. But after Ray and Devon took Storm out with the 3-D, Roode pulled the referee out of the ring as he was about to make the count, before picking up his partner and taking him to the back, grabbing the tag belts, with a little help from Don West, along the way. Team 3-D had won the match again, this time by count out. Afterwards the beaten challengers launched a verbal tirade at West, accusing him of helping Storm and Roode. Good stuff here, and hopefully we’ll see more from these two teams in the future.
Then it’s on the Ultimate X match, with Alex Shelley defending the X Division title against Consequences Creed, Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, and TNA’s newest masked man, Suicide. This match delivered, and then some. But then again, I don’t thing I’ve ever seen a bad Ultimate X match. Great performances from all five men here, and it was a joy to behold. There’s just too many tremendous moments to list them all here, but the best was definitely saved for last. As Creed, Lethal and Sabin moved along the cables towards the centre, Suicide, having climbed the rigging that held the cables in place, came down like a falling angel on top of the cable, sending the other three crashing down to the mat. Seconds later the masked man took hold of the title belt, becoming the new X Division title. An excellent way to end what was an outstanding contest.
Main event time, with Sting defending the TNA title against fellow Main Event Mafia member Kurt Angle, with Mick Foley as the special ringside enforcer, and Jeff Jarrett as the special referee. This was one of those matches that had the big match atmosphere, and was worthy of it’s main event status. Sting and Angle put on a great wrestling match, the sort of match that was needed given the disappointments in the first half of the show. Tremendous action throughout, with both men going full tilt, one defending the big prize, one trying to take the big prize. As for the special referee and enforcer, they didn’t come into play until Angle accidentally clotheslined Jarrett, and as Foley checked on his boss, Sting locked in the scorpion death lock, which Angle tapped out to. But with nobody to officiate, Angle survived, and when Sting kicked out of Angle’s pin attempt after the Angle slam, the former Olympian delivered a low blow to the hardcore legend. Seconds later, Angle brought a chair into the equation, and was about to clobber Sting with it until Foley stopped him. It was then that Angle and Foley began to argue again, but as Foley swung the chair, he accidentally clobbered Sting. Angle went for the pin, but the groggy Jarrett made the count, and Sting barely escaped with the title. An exchange of blows between Jarrett and Angle followed, with Sting taking advantage by taking Angle out with another scorpion death drop. A three count later, and Sting had retained his title to end a great main event.
In conclusion – to use and old football saying, Destination X was definitely a game of two halves. The first half of the show really wasn’t that good, and things didn’t really pick up until the Booker/Styles match, with the momentum continuing all the way to the well played out main event. It’s been a while since I’ve said this of a TNA pay-per-view, but this was definitely a mixed bag, and the powers-that-be really need to look at some of their undercard wrestlers and the pointless segments they put on these shows. Otherwise they’ll never been taken seriously as a truly viable alternative to Vince McMahon’s boys.