TNA decided to use one of their most popular pay-per-views of the year and give it to the wrestling audience free of charge. Heading into the program, Chris Sabin was the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, owned by Bully Ray. With the momentum in his favor, Sabin was destined to overcome all odds and win his first world title after being there from virtually the beginning.
The TV special starts of with the normal options: either Bully Ray or Hulk Hogan.This time, Bully Ray comes out first with a "bully" promo towards Chris Sabin, but also mentions his "wife" Brooke Hogan, in which she comes out and tries to break the marriage officially. Bully Ray refuses, which brings out the reliever—Hulk Hogan. Eventually, the Main Event Mafia appears on the jumbo tron to save the day. Typical TNA beginning, which really did not set the tone for the theme of the show.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode was a very good match, and Aries has proven that this is his pay-per-view to shine. Destination X is what started his resurrection in TNA, as he defeated Low Ki, Jack Evans and Zema Ion to get a TNA contract after being gone for nearly four years. This is also his second year defeating Roode at Des-X, last year to win his first (and only) TNA world title.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Homicide vs. Petey Williams was a very good match. It is always a good thing to bring back old names if they are still a contribution in the ring, and Homicide fits that description. Dutt has been appearing off and on for TNA for the past year. His win at least secures him another week on the payroll, becoming a top contender to win the X Division title competing in the Ultimate X match. Homicide's Gringo Killer on Williams was probably the most frightening spot of the night—it appeared as if Williams was badly hurt from being a recipient of that move.
The second triple threat match to determine a spot in the Ultimate X match, Manik vs. Kenny King vs. Chavo Guerrero, was also good. Manik winning was a good decision, seeing how he would add some intrigue to the Ultimate X match, most likely creating and being on the other end of some crazy spots. Like I've said before, the Manik/Suicide character fits TJ Perkins the best, and although identifying him as the man behind the mask was still bad booking, I think we can get past that by watching Perkins in the ring.
Greg "Trent Barreta" Marasciulo vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Rubix was probably the least impressive of the three qualifying matches, but at least Marasciulo winning gave him an opportunity to showcase his talents in TNA at least for another week. I'm surprised that TNA used his real name, and not some variation of Trent Barreta. He used "Trent?" in PWG, which would have been a bit more marketable for his character. In other news—Why does Rockstar spud have a TNA contract and Crimson or Christian York do not? A conundrum to say the least.
Well, Chris Sabin vs. Bully Ray continued the Destination X purpose, which allowed two X Division champions to become world champion. Interestingly enough, neither Aries nor Sabin were world champions in TNA before their Des-X wins, so it brings a bit more meaning to the show. Despite this, my feelings about Sabin being champion has not changed, and the match certainly did not help persuade it in the other direction by any means. Sabin played the inferior wrestler for most of the match, gaining very little offense, but taking sick chops and verbal lashings from Bully Ray the whole time. Then, he picks up a bull-peen hammer purposed for Bully Ray, used it on him and becomes world champ.
A feel-good story indeed, as Sabin has paid his dues to become a TNA World Champion. However, Sabin still needs a proper build to make his reign meaningful, and with the BFG series, coupled with the MEM/Aces & Eights feud, the investment will not be like it should, and Sabin does not have the grassroots charisma that could soar him past all the other distractions. I still don't see him carrying the TNA banner heading to Bound for Glory, but we will see how the numbers look after the following shows. Yes, the numbers for this show were the best of the year, but Sabin was not champ, and the hype was heavily geared around Destination X being on weekly TV. If we see a significant drop in the next couple of weeks, that belt will be off of Sabin unquestionably, and most likely back on Bully Ray.
At least this win gave us some anticipation for the weeks to come. Sound off with your thoughts on Chris Sabin winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship below.