wrestling / TV Reports

Destination X 2008 Breakdown

March 13, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn

Destination X 2008
by J.D. Dunn

  • March 9, 2008
  • Live from Norfolk, Va.
  • Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Don West.

  • Team Angle arrives at the arena a little early to try to get Jim Cornette to reverse the match from Impact. AJ Styles wonders where Karen is.
  • Opening Match, #1 Contenders: LAX (w/Salinas) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Rave Infection (w/Christy Hemme) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns.
    The Guns start out hot, hitting Homicide with the Detroit Dream Sequence. Hernandez holds Hoyt in a stallllllllling suplex while the Guns prop up Rave for a Homicide senton. Hernandez adds his no-hands plancha on Hoyt. Rave comes back with his tilt-o-whirl wakigatabreaker. Alex Shelley plays face-in-peril for both the R&R and LAX. Hernandez winds up in there with the R&R, though, and he cleans house on them with power moves (duh). Shelley sneaks up and hits Hernandez with the Shiranui. Sabin adds a Tornado DDT to Hoyt. Homicide wipes out everyone else with a somersault suicida, and that allows Hernandez to finish Rave with the Border Toss at 10:28. Hot opener, and you can make an argument for any of these three teams to go over. **3/4

  • Recap of Earl Hebner awarding the Impact cage match to Christian Cage when Kurt Angle won pretty clearly. Earl Hebner, making a bad referee decision. What is this world coming to?
  • X-Division title: Jay Lethal vs. Petey Williams (w/Rhaka Khan).
    Rhaka Khan. Rhaka Khan. Rhaka Khan everybody. That’s all I wanna do. Rhaka Khan everybody. Let me feel for you. It’s funny because I remember when promoters used to come up with gimmicks based on 60s and 70s songs (The Junkyard Dog, Stagger Lee, the Freebirds). Now, you have the Rock ‘n’ Rave Infection, apparently based on Slash and gay Loverboy, and Rhaka Khan. If we ever see a “Chaz Jankel,” I’ll be worried. Both guys block each other’s finishers early. Lethal takes over, but Rhaka Khan gets in his way, which allows Petey to make the comeback. Petey slingshots himself and ranas Lethal on the floor. Lethal jabs his way back into the match and hits a Falcon Arrow Facebuster for two. Petey drop toeholds him into the ropes and dropkicks him in the back. Lethal blocks the Canadian Destroyer and hits a released Dragon Suplex for two. A missile dropkick misses, and they exchange rollups. Petey winds up with a Sharpshooter. He drops that and goes for the Canadian Destroyer, which proves to be a mistake, as Lethal reverses to a Lethal Combination. Lethal goes up, but Scott Steiner runs in and shoves him off the top. Rhaka Khan had new ref Brian Hebner distracted. That leads to the CANADIAN DESTROYER! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! SoCal Val pulls the ref out and explains what happened. Rhaka Khan goes after her, but Sonjay Dutt comes out to protect Val. Gee, I don’t know what *both* of them getting their asses kicked would prove. Petey tries to pick up Lethal, but Jay counters to a small package for the win at 11:41. **3/4

  • Christian Cage doesn’t care if the decision is overturned. He came to fight. Kevin Nash says he’s not going to take it easy.
  • Black Reign & Rellik vs. Kaz & Eric Young.
    Eric won’t start because he’s scared of “the monsters.” I hear the one with the wig both sucks and blows at the same time. Kaz gets the advantage and tags in Eric to a huge pop. EY wrestles like a normal person and then chickens out. Kaz busts out the incredible Northern Lights O’Connor Roll on both Black Reign and Rellik (which is killer spelled backwards). Kaz plays face-in-peril after a Cobra Clutch suplex. He tries to make the save, but EY is backing off from Black Reign. Finally, Eric gets the hot tag… and runs away up the ramp. Kaz holds his own long enough for SUPER ERIC to return. He Super Eric’s that ho with a crossbody and uses his super strength to hit a double Death Valley Driver at 10:03. I don’t have a problem with Super Eric, but they have entirely too many guys playing the same role (goofy comedy midcarder) anyway. Reign can’t wrestle anymore, and Rellik, while a cool character, is a glorified jobber. I didn’t really buy that Kaz was ever in trouble. *1/2

  • Jim Cornette walks out of his meeting but runs into Team 3D who tell him he should be forced into drug testing for all the bad decisions he’s made.
  • TNA Knockout Title: Awesome Kong (w/Raisha Saed) vs. Gail Kim vs. ODB.
    The challengers team up against Kong, but Kong shrugs them off and squashes Kim with an avalanche. They team up again as ODB stretches Kong on the ropes and Kim adds a legdrop. Kim tries to score a win on ODB while they have Kong incapacitated. Kong stirs, so Gail flies out on her. Kong catches her, but ODB adds a Thesz Press to knock them over. Back in, ODB tosses Kim backwards with a Fallaway Slam, but Kim gets back up and spears her. Big pop for that. Kim tosses her to the floor and turns around to see… KONG! Stiff lockup, and Kong just starts tossing her around. She posts Gail and starts licking her chops as ODB steps back in. Kong goes for the Awesome Bomb, but Gail recovers and springs off ODB’s back into an enzuigiri on Kong. ODB and Gail team up again, and Gail borrows some of ODB’s liquid courage. They finally knock her off her feet with a double missile dropkick. Neither challenger will let the other get the pin, though. Kong is able to fend them off and toss Kim. She drops ODB with the Implant Buster, but ODB comes back with the Thesz Press for two. Raisha Saed trips up ODB, and that distracts her long enough for Kong to finish with the Awesome Bomb at 11:33. This was like watching Vader vs. Sting vs. Lex Luger, and it begs the question: Why are these three better than half the men on the roster when it comes to building an in-ring story? It petered out at the end with the clichéd manager interference, but it told a solid story throughout – Kong is still over as a monster, ODB is still over as the charismatic powerhouse, and Gail Kim is still over as the plucky high flyer. ***

  • Rhino delivers a taped promo atop the “X.” It’s an okay promo except the part where they catch him asking if it was any good.
  • Jim Cornette says Kurt Angle won, but he’s not going to overturn 100 years of wrestling tradition by second-guessing a ref. Yeah… that—that never happened in the NWA. He lets the fans in the arena vote, and, of course, they vote against Angle. Sucks to be him.
  • Fish Market Street Fight: Team 3D (w/Johnny Devine) vs. Shark Boy & Curry Man.
    Cornette also does away with the weight limit stipulation for Team 3D – either they make weight tonight, or they’re gone. It totally screws over the concept of stipulations when the authority figure just comes out and reverses them anyway, but apparently the extent of their creativity (that being getting Bubba down to his undies) was exhausted. Both guys make weight. The masked men attack and chase Team 3D up to the fish market and start slapping them with fish. No seriously. Hilarious moment as Curry Man grabs a ding-dong and baits his hook with it so he can reel in Brother Ray… AND IT WORKS! Johnny Devine catches Shark Boy in a net. That leads to Ray nailing Curry Man with a CARP TO THE CROTCH! Team 3D goes for the Whazzup Drop, but Shark Boy clocks D-Von with a flounder. They reverse and nail Ray in the jubblies with a fish. Curry Man and Shark Boy hit a series of finishers (X-Factors, Tornado DDTs), but Team 3D keep kicking out. 3D hit the Dudleyville Device, but it only gets two. Devine tries to toss powder, but it backfires and hits Bubba in the face. Team 3D calls for the 3D, but the Irish Whip is reversed, and Bubba (who can’t see because of the powder) takes out his own partner with the Bubba Cutter. That gives the masked men the win at 13:12. What a crappie match. I expected a whale of a match, but instead it floundered. It came across like they were fishing for laughs, but it didn’t have a hook. What? Seriously, I think this was just put here to give Tenay and West a chance to bust out all their fish puns. That said, while it wasn’t a technical classic by any means, it was a hell of a lot of fun. Like I said earlier, though, there are too many goofy babyfaces. Shark Boy, Curry Man, Eric Young, Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal are all playing the comedy role. Sometimes you have to break it up and have *some* seriousness in with the shtick. We already have one CHIKARA. From an entertainment standpoint, this gets ***

  • And then, just because it’s entirely the wrong thing to do, Ray and D-Von get into an altercation with Johnny Fairplay and Skippy Malaysia or whatever the hell his name is. Are they seriously thinking of making Fairplay a babyface?!?
  • In the back, Team Angle is in disarray. Jeremy Borash tells AJ that Karen has a “bombshell” to drop. Knowing Russo, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a literal bombshell.
  • Leather Strap Match: Booker T (w/Traci Brooks) vs. Robert Roode (w/Payton Banks).
    If Booker wins, Traci gets to give Payton 10 lashes. If he loses, Traci gets the lashes. This is another Mid-South retread; only in that version Magnum T.A. was double-crossed by his partner, Mr. Wrestling II, and lost to the Midnight Express in a match where the loser of the fall got 10 lashes. Magnum passed out about halfway into his lashes, so Terry Taylor came out and offered to take the rest of them, thus becoming a huge babyface in the territory. Booker dominates early until Roode starts using the strap to his advantage. Booker mounts a comeback, but the ref gets bumped. Banks produces a pair of handcuffs, but Traci jumps her and tosses them in. Roode goes low and nails Booker in the face with the cuffs. ONE, TWO, THREE! Roode gets the pin at 7:56. Nothing wrong with the match, necessarily, but there wasn’t a single memorable moment in it until the end. Booker did his signature moves. Roode did his, and they went home. **1/4

  • Booker doesn’t want Traci getting the lashes, but security drags him off. Payton gives Traci the lashes and then KEEPS giving them! Traci grabs the strap away from her, but Roode steals it from her, pretends like he’s going to leave, and then SMACKS her with the strap. Ha ha! What an asshole! Suddenly, Sharmell returns to TNA with her own strap and GOES ABSOLUTELY NUTS on Roode. Roode ducks to the floor, so Sharmell turns on Payton and gives HER some lashes. Security runs down, so Sharmell goes after THEM! Cornette tries to reason with her, so she hits Cornette with the strap! Kick-ass! The match was nothing special, but the post-match angle was awesome.
  • Elevation X: Rhino vs. James Storm (w/Jackie Moore).
    I like that they reference an Optimus Prime promo with “One shall stand, one shall fall.” Storm immediately climbs down. Um, why doesn’t he lose? Isn’t the idea to knock your opponent off? Rhino tosses beer at him and crawls back down too. The crowd seems a bit miffed at not getting the Elevation X. Instead, they start a hardcore match in the ring. Rhino sets up for the Gore, but Jacqueline grabs him to make the save. Jackie scurries up to the top of the X, and Rhino follows. Storm sneaks up on Rhino but gets caught. Rhino dares him to come to the crosspoint, and they slug it out… gingerly. The crowd chants, “We want wrestling,” which is not a good sign. Storm steals AJ Styles’ trick of hiding under the X. Rhino outsmarts him by ripping up the piece of platform where Storm was hiding. Storm tries to slip out the bottom, but Rhino stomps on his gut until Storm falls through a well-placed table at 13:18. This was about eight minutes of brawling in the ring, two minutes of weak fighting on top, and three minutes of hide-and-seek antics. Thankfully, the technology has increased since the mid-1980s when these were popular, so we can get a good (occasionally disorienting) look over the structure. **

  • Six-Man Tag: Christian Cage, Samoa Joe & Kevin Nash vs. Kurt Angle, Tomko & AJ Styles.
    This is kind of like one of those old WCCW penalty-box matches, only the heels didn’t do anything wrong. The heels stall – or, as it’s called in hockey, kill a penalty – but Joe and Nash jump them and toss them back in. The faces deliver an ass-whuppin’ until AJ hits the Spiral Tap on Christian. Nash waits for AJ and CHOKESLAMS him. Joe cleans house and waits for Kurt. They brawl to the ring, and Joe wipes out Tomko with a suicida. Christian goes up, blocks the belly-to-belly superplex, and gets two off a frogsplash. Christian gets tossed, and AJ dives off on him so the heels can take over. Christian slips out of the Anklelock and Reverse DDTs Angle. He and AJ clothesline each other for the double KO spot. Nash gets the hot tag and powerbombs Kurt. AJ springboards in and dropkicks Nash’s kneecap. Joe gets the hot tag now and cleans house. He goes for the Muscle Buster on AJ, but Angle saves with a low blow. AJ hits the Pélé, and Angle adds the Angleslam. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Christian and Nash knock out the other guys, and Joe finishes with the Coquina Clutch at 12:29. It felt a bit rushed, and nobody in this had defined roles, turning this into a bit of a mess (well, except Nash, whose role was to stay out of everyone’s way). The stipulation didn’t even amount to much, and it feels like they’re just using matches to set up stipulations to make the TV matches feel more important, not because they’re actually important to the PPVs. **3/4

    The 411: So we get Joe vs. Angle Part π. Even though it’s been done to death, it’s probably still their top draw. The PPV itself came off great. Most of the matches were either good or had some sort of twist to make them interesting. They need a few housekeeping moves (like, say, not doing Lethal, Super Eric, and Curry Shark so close together), but this is another good effort from TNA.

    Thumbs up.

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