This week, in lieu of a standard episode of Impact Wrestling, TNA presents Destination X, live from The Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. The event is headlined by Bully Ray defending his World Heavyweight Championship against X Division Champion emeritus Chris Sabin. The card also promises, albeit vaguely, more X Division action and some kind of unsanctioned confrontation between the new Main Event Mafia and Aces & Eights. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
TNA Says: On the huge broadcast, Bully Ray of The Aces and Eights will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Sabin! Each year, the X Division champion has the option to cash in their gold for a shot at the World Title – and Sabin is prepared for his chance at making history on Thursday night! On the biggest yearly stage for the X Division, can Sabin beat Bully Ray for the World Title on Thursday night in the main event? Don’t miss it!
Dave Says: Given the Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & Eights storyline, I can’t see a scenario in which Sabin wins the World Heavyweight Title. However, that doesn’t mean that these two men can’t have a great match that elevates Chris Sabin. The question is this: what does TNA do with Sabin after he doesn’t win the title?
Best Case Scenario: Sabin and Ray have a competitive match in which Ray plays the big bully and Sabin plays the smaller underdog. Sabin comes close to victory with some believable nearfalls, maybe even getting a visual pinfall at a point where the referee is down, but ultimately falls to Bully Ray as he comes off the top rope and is intercepted with Bubba’s Cutter.
Worst Case Scenario: Sabin is inches from winning when the entire Aces & Eights gang comes to the ring to cut him off. Sabin is immediately removed from serious angles to do an angle with Wes Brisco.
TNA Says: The battle lines are set between the new Main Event Mafia and the Aces and Eights, and all hell will break loose on Thursday LIVE on IMPACT! The fight is on between the two alliances, and the future of TNA hangs in the balance! The war begins on Thursday night between the Mafia and the Aces!
Dave Says: One of the most memorable angles from Impact on SpikeTV was the everybody-in-the-company backstage brawl between the original Main Event Mafia and the group that came to be known as the TNA Frontline. That brawl felt really special and somewhat reminiscent of the nWo invasion in which Rey Misterio was lawn-darted into a double-wide by Kevin Nash. Unfortunately, this has “cheap imitation of both those things” written all over it.
Best Case Scenario: The two groups are able to pull off a Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl feel, in which the animosity and fighting seem real in spite of the spots being largely ridiculous. The numbers of the two groups get closer to even when Garrett Bischoff is “injured” by Samoa Joe and written off TV.
Worst Case Scenario: The brawl is 100% phony bologna, involving weak-looking prop weapons multiple conveniently-placed catering tables. Sting slips and slides every which way trying not to hurt himself, and Magnus, the person with the most to gain from the success of this angle, is “injured” by D.O.C. and written off TV.
TNA Says: The “Bound For Glory Series” continues on Thursday’s special IMPACT, as Austin Aries will battle Bobby Roode in a rematch from the Destination X 2012 event! Former tag team partners will collide with BFG Series points up for grabs!
Dave Says: One part of me says that this show should be 100% about the X Division, but on the other hand, I think it’s a cool idea to point back to the historic moment in which Aries became TNA World Heavyweight Champion last year. If nothing else, the match will give the announcers an opportunity to talk about how Sabin can try to imitate Aries’ success.
Best Case Scenario: Roode and Aries have a solid match, but don’t go so far over the top as to detract from the main event. The two have a solid, heavyweight match, but do some exciting spots to accentuate the X Division theme of the night. Roode wins by submission using his armbar to garner ten points and assert himself in the BFG Series.
Worst Case Scenario: Aries gets selfish and tries to steal a show that isn’t designed to be about him. Roode, although talented, is made to look like a square peg on a show all about the X Division. Aries wins with his Last Chauncery for 10 points and celebrates by sexually harassing every woman in sight.
TNA Says: Plus, Qualifying Matches will take place on Thursday night as X Division stars from the Past, Present and Future battle to determine a NEW X Division Champion!
Dave Says: I would be really, really excited for this if they were doing what they did two years ago and brought in different stars from all over the circuit. However, it seems likely that we’ll be treated to Kenny King, Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, and the like.
Best Case Scenario: The familiar faces of the X Division appear alongside two or three fresh faces off the independent circuit in at least two X Division triple threat matches. The matches are highly athletic and fast-paced, but don’t rely exclusively on high spots and involve actual selling. Nobody gets hurt.
Worst Case Scenario: Everybody blows out all their knees.