wrestling / Columns

Team X Gold Benefits Only DJ Z

November 6, 2016 | Posted by Dino Zee

It started off with almost no fanfare, a throwaway announcement from X Champion DJ Z during the TNA Champion’s Summit last month. Something called “Team X Gold” was coming, and he was going to be a big part of it. A little later on, we’d learn that Team X Gold was actually the collaborative effort of DJ Z and then-TNA President Billy Corgan, where teams of three would go at it in exciting six-man tag matches.

But not just any six-man tag, mind you. These matches were going to be a tad tighter on the rules, with strict enforcement of tag rules, and making sure that only the legal men are in the ring. This was all being done, we were told, in the name of competition, of sportsmanship, and, above all else, of respect for professional wrestling.

And that’s all well and good. It’s a little light on the explanation of why we’re suddenly doing this, but it’s also allowed for the debut of Marchet Rockett, along with getting more of the X Division roster (you know, the guys who aren’t wrestling for the X Title on any given night) some much-needed television exposure.

So, on the surface, DJ Z and Billy Corgan created a six-man division using only the X Division, in an effort to boost the division’s overall visibility, while also adding simple rule tweaks (or, more correct, while actually following the rules) to make the matches stand out slightly.

DJ Z would form his team – Team Go For Broke – with Mandrews and Braxton Sutter, two guys who, regardless of the duration of their tenure, had yet to really connect with the fans on any meaningful level. Braxton tried really hard upon his arrival, but was sucked into a feud with Rockstar Spud that did little to help his overall profile. Mandrews, on the other hand, just hasn’t had any type of moment to get the fans to rally behind him. So it seemed to be a nice gesture by Z to take the two as his partners, giving them the highest level of exposure by running with the champ.

However, is there a chance that this entire Team X Gold concept was created by Z as a self-serving move, and nothing more?

Since the start of Team X Gold, DJ Z has only had to defend his X Title once, against Marshe Rockett the week after the whole thing started. Rockett was new to TNA, but thanks to having faced him in the prior week’s six-man tag, DJ Z was able to at least partially scout the big man.

Without Team X Gold, Rockett could have very well been a surprise challenger picked by either Corgan or Dixie Carter, and Z would have been fighting for his life. But Team X Gold allowed him to circumvent that type of possibility.

At the same time, the entire division has collectively stalled. While Z’s title defenses have dropped, there haven’t been any other X Division matches taking place, at least not on Impact. How can we determine top challengers if everyone is gobbled up into these six-man tag matches?

Further, why are these guys so happy to wrestle in these six-man tags, risking loss and injury, when there’s no established goal? Are they simply wrestling to entertain the fans? Because, frankly, isn’t that what they do in every match? What made Corgan or Z think that a six-man would bring additional allure? I mean, it worked, so clearly they were right to think that, but what an interesting conclusion to reach.

Maybe Z realized that the X Division is full of thrillseekers and daredevils, but also with guys who starve for the actual spotlight. They’d take any crumbs thrown their way, even if there was no actual meal waiting for them in the end. “Hey, Mandrews, wanna team up with me? You’ll get all sorts of air time!” He knew that, even above wearing a championship, these guys simply need the attention and adoration of the fans. Belts, you see, come and go. And it’s not like Tigre Uno suddenly became super important – or popular – when he landed the X Title.

But if you have constant matches on TV, you have constant chances to win a new fan with each new move. Rockett, Mandrews, Andrew Everett… they all understood this, and jumped at the opportunity without thinking about the long-term picture.

Hell, look at Rockstar Spud. He was so insulted at the very thought of not being invited to join anyone’s team for Team X Gold, that he went out and recruited freaking Decay! Can you imagine this? Spud was free to wrestle for actual titles and move up actual rankings, but DJ Z’s mindtrick worked so well, that he fought for his right to be included.

And now Crazzy Steve and Abyss, instead of trying to regain their tag team titles, are instead fighting Spud’s battles with him, in this endless parade of meaningless-yet-fun six-man tags.

Cynical? Perhaps, but I’m only going off what we’ve been told. Which, to be fair, is very little. But, going only off the facts, it’s hard to be anything but at least a little cynical as to the overall goal of TNA X Gold. DJ Z hasn’t always been a saint, and while he has recently professed turning a new leaf, and recognizing his role as a veteran and leader of the roster, he is still the same conniving jerk – at least somewhere in there – that we’ve seen before.

On top of that, we’ve seen Billy Corgan show some favoritism towards certain wrestlers. Maria Kanellis would be the most obvious example, as well as Broken Matt and Brother Nero, who are allowed to do literally whatever they want.

Maybe Corgan and Z had a talk about music one day, and became friends. And so Corgan wasn’t so argumentative when Z mentioned his idea. Leaving us here, with a semi-active champion more focused on entertaining than on competing.

At some point, you have to think that someone involved in Team X Gold is going to wake up to this idea. I mean, sure, the quick and easy answer is to simply create X Division Trios Titles, or whatever you want to call them. And maybe that satiates everyone involved. But for how long? How long until they realize that it’s been weeks since Z defended the belt? How long until Mandrews and/or Sutter start to wonder why Z picked them as his partners. Is it because he likes them? Or is he simply keeping would-be challengers in spots where they can’t really threaten him?

For now, the Champ has them all believing in teamwork. In a collective goal of making “the X Division” important and standout. And while they go out to dazzle, Z knows that his reign will go unchallenged.

But he better be ready for the day when they all wake up, and he has an entire division gunning for him, with no friend in sight.


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article topics :

DJ-Z, GFW Impact, Team X Gold, TNA, Dino Zee