In 2005 there was a distinct division within TNA which separated the company from WWE and all other wrestling promotions. That division was the high risk, in your face, not afraid to throw caution to the wind X Division. Wrestlers like Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Petey Williams, Alex Shelley et al provided fans with innovative matches filled with exciting, fast paced action that often left a “Holy Shit” moment in your mind long after the ring bell signaled the end of the contest. Moments like AJ Styles’ spiral tap on Daniels and Joe in their much feted Unbreakable threeway or any one of Petey Williams’ devastating Canadian Destroyers.
Fast forward to 2011 however and the X Division has become a footnote at the bottom of the newly christened Impact Wrestling page. Sure the X Division belt is still around but there is never a showcase match for the title on the Heavyweight laden product. Hell even the X Division belt is currently held by the 300 pound ‘Monster’ Abyss and whilst the division has never been about weight limits, it does harm the few wrestlers able to provide high flying moves when they are made to look inferior to a heavyweight opponent such as Abyss (see this past Sunday’s Slammiversary triple threat between ‘The Monster’, Brian Kendrick and the stagnant Kazarian), especially when he makes their unique offense look pathetic by “no selling”.
However, after reading spoilers for the forthcoming episodes of Impact Wrestling, there appears to be a ray of hope following on from the now departed Mick Foley’s promise to hand pick the best X Division wrestlers from around the world to reinvigorate the division. The spoilers (which I won’t reveal here) do breathe an optimistic air into Impact Wrestling for fans of high risk maneuvers and will hopefully lead to a successful Destination X PPV next month and an ensuing focus on the overall division. I truly believe that a renewed vigour in the X Division will once again help Impact Wrestling define itself apart from WWE as in 2005. Fans who have been turned off by the lack of truly death defying action within either major US company may even return to their television sets on a Thursday night to see suicide dives, Hurricaranas and 450 splashes.
Destination X could and, indeed, SHOULD be the rebirth of the X Division within Impact Wrestling. The company should be proud to showcase smaller athletes prepared to risk life and limb for the fans. They only need to look to their recent past to see that putting faith in exciting, young talent does bring rewards. Sure the rewards may not be overnight but they will give Impact Wrestling the unique edge it has been missing.