TNA Wrestling has evolved from being nothing more than a small third party wrestling organization to something much more. While they aren’t the WWE in ratings, they have arguably better storylines and on average more enthusiastic wrestlers. There are established stars such as Kurt Angle, Booker T, & Team 3d(used to be known as the Dudleys) that have built up their reputation thru WWE, ECW and WCW. There are also equally exciting homebred stars including AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal (now known as “Black Machismo”) that play a prominent role in the league as well. Furthermore (without including the Japanese market), TNA also has the best wrestling females you will find anywhere from Gail Kim to the unstoppable monster Amazing Kong. So it is little wonder that from time to time, I pick up their ppv dvds including this one named Destination X 2008 highlighted by the main event: Kurt Angle,Tomko & AJ Styles vs the tandem of Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash, and Christian Cage.
March 9, 2008 – Destination X. Several angles were taking place around this ppv. The Angle Alliance was in full swing despite the growing tension/love triangle between AJ Styles, Karen Angle and Kurt Angle. AJ Styles and Tomko had distanced themselves from one Christian Cage which made him angry and led to the concurrent feud. Samoa Joe had found himself into the main event since he had been feuding with Kurt Angle in a desperate attempt to finally secure the TNA World Title. Kevin Nash? “Big Sexy” was probably in it for the thrill…of money. Being a seven foot monster, he served as the powergame for the trio. In the last Impact before the PPV, Christian Cage and Kurt Angle were involved in a cage match which found Cage winning in a controversial finish where his feet supposedly touched the ground first and his hand was raised by referee Earl Hebner. Film later showed that perhaps Angle’s feet touched the ground first (though looking at it several times, it’s really hard to tell either way). This situation has led to a one man advantage (3 on 2) at the PPV for the first five minutes.
Stepping away from the main event, there was several points of interest in the other seven matches on the card. The TNA Knockout Title was being defended by Amazing Kong. However, she was to take on not 1 but 2 top contenders in ODB & Gail Kim who were considered both #1 contenders at this point. Petey Williams, just short of his Big Poppa Pump Jr transformation had come out to challenge Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal for the X Division Title. In non-title affairs, two matches had stuck out. “Cowboy” James Storm was going to take on Rhino in an Elevation X match. This was an updated form of the old scaffold matches you might have saw as a kid which involved the Road Warriors and the Midnight Express. Instead the scaffold was shaped in the form of an X and was perilously high above the ring. The last match of interest was a Fish Market Street Fight involving Team 3d (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) taking on the team of Curry Man and “Stone Cold” Shark Boy. As ludicrous as it sounds, this match had Team 3d trying to make weight (from a previous PPV stipulation) and more bass and bad gimmicks than you can shake some twinkies at.
After three hours of matches, the PPV was strong. Here are some highlights without trying to give away too much of the results (except where needed to make a point):
Match #1: LAX vs Rock n Rave vs Motor City Machine Guns for #1 Contendership to the TNA World Tag Titles (8.5/10): Fantastic opener and easily the best match on the card. Everybody worked their tails off in this match. Even Lance Hoyt provided great offense and selling here was making this a fun match.
Match #2: Petey Williams vs Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal for the X Division Title (7.0/10): Good title defense for Lethal, however the ending was way overbooked and featured way too many run-ins for my taste. However, the loss here for Petey set up his head getting shaved and transformation into Big Poppa Pump Jr, a look a like of Scott Steiner.
Match #3: Black Reign/Rellik (that’s Killer backwards, now go take a drink) vs Kaz/Eric Young (4.0/10): A rather dull and depressing match no matter how much work Kaz put into it. The main problem here, the debut of the silly “Super Eric” gimmick. A super hero gimmick, yeah I’ve never seen that before. *roll eyes* I really miss when Black Reign was Goldust, at least he was allowed to push the envelope and not having a freaking rat of all things.
Match #4: Gail Kim vs ODB vs Awesome Kong for the TNA Knockout Title Match (7.5/10): The women again put on quite the show and Awesome Kong finally shows some weakness. Sure, she should be put over as the unstoppable force but something has to bring her down. In the same breath, she was impressive and Gail Kim/ODB served as competent plucky faces. I still think with proper booking, ODB can be a Knockout Champ someday.
Match #5: Team 3d vs Curry Man/Shark Boy in a Fish Market Street Fight (7.0/10): Comedy in this match was a 10, seriously one of the best comedy matches I have seen in years. Team 3d is one of my top three tag teams of all time (behind the Hardy Boyz & Tully Blanchard/Arn Anderson). Curry Man/Shark Boy is probably my favorite team in the last couple of years because of the interaction of Curry Man, a masked Japanese wrestler who likes it hot and spicy (and has the best current entrance in the business) and “Stone Cold” Shark Boy with a gimmick modeled after Steve Austin complete with move set and mannerisms. Top highlight in this match was Shark Boy reeling in Brother Ray with a Ding-Dong. No joke, awesome.
Match #6: Robert Roode vs Booker T in a Stand by Your Man Strap Match (3.0/10): Dud of the night, mostly due to the fact of the stipulation of the match. Strap matches are boring unless they involve somebody like Terry Funk or JBL. The ending was the right person to go over, however the aftermath was another overbooked and hard to watch mess.
Match #7: “Cowboy” James Storm vs Rhino in an Elevation X Match (5.0/10): Mostly average match that centered on how scared Storm was of the match in the first place. This led to mostly an extended segment to get Storm up on the structure and then a rather short match. A little bit of comedy involving beer cans was here but it was hardly anything that would be remembered. A straight up Falls Count Anywhere or TLC match would have better suited the combatants.
Match #8: Kurt Angle/Tomko/AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe/Kevin Nash/Christian Cage (7.5/10): The main event and tied for the second strongest match of the night. All six men worked well here, and even big Kev showed a lot of effort to get everybody over. Christian Cage and AJ Styles showed the most effort but Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe were not too far behind. This match would serve as the final catalyst to getting Samoa Joe his needed title shot and rightful holder of the World Belt.
The film is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. Strong video and great camera work is captured here in the Pay Per View. The quality of the dvd feels just as good as something you might find in the WWE. Colors are bright and well represent the six sided ring of TNA. Nothing to find fault here.
Audio is also strong despite being presented in 2.0 English & Spanish. The action is loud and distinct. The interviews and promos before or after matches are well spoken and clear to the ears. The interesting thing of note is that the Spanish broadcast is performed by the Spanish commentators that you would normally find doing the Impact shows. For some matches they make a better alternative than Mike Tenay and Don West if you know the language. No subtitles is a shame, but expected.
- Samoa Joe Speaks Out 5:12: 3/13/08 edition of Impact. Samoa Joe comes out and basically says he wants the title match at Lockdown against Kurt Angle and puts his career on the line.
- Christian Cage & Kevin Nash vs AJ Styles & Tomko 10:55: 3/13/08 edition of Impact. Short and mostly unimportant match. It gets thrown out about ten minutes in when Team 3d interferes.
- PPV Photo Gallery 2:03: Awesome and well taken photos of the event. The one with Shark Boy and Brother Ray (fishing pole/ding dong) gets 5 stars for sure.
People who watch don’t watch TNA and are stuck in WWE land or another promotion might have trouble discerning this from any other PPV from the box. It certainly looks like any other PPV. One might be drawn to the dvd because of the Fish Market Street Fight or seeing what an Elevation X match is. However, once the dvd unfolds you will see a very strong pay per view highlighted by a #1 Tag Team Contender’s match, 6 man Main Event & the Knockouts title match. Sure there are a couple of the duds, however the card is a fantastic showcase and worth your time. The dvd is well represented with terrific video and audio production. The extras should have included the Cage vs Angle cage match in full as well to be honest, the entire Impact show right before the PPV. This would have served as an important catalyst and good intro for the PPV. Recommended for TNA fans and even recommended for other fans of extreme sports or sports entertainment promotions.