It has been a tough last few weeks for TNA. First they released a large amount of their on air talent, culminating in the release of Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Pritchard. Then, at a house show in Missouri last Saturday, TNA somehow forgot to make sure all of its talent had the proper documentation to wrestle in the state, forcing them to run a show with only a handful of talent.
In between those two catastrophes was the annual Destination X event, which was held for the first time on free TV, as opposed to ppv. The event was highlighted by the main event between Chris Sabin and Bully Ray for the TNA World Title. In one of the most unpredictable upsets this year, Sabin managed to pin Bully to capture his first TNA World Title. But, was Sabin winning the belt really such a good thing?
One reason a lot of fans were upset with the title change was that Chris Sabin was not really the guy a lot of people saw as championship material. Sure, Sabin is a good worker and a likeable enough talent, but is he a world champion? Probably not. I compared it to Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Championship, in that Kofi is a good enough guy, but he isn't nearly over enough to be considered for a world title run.
Part of the reason fans didn't think Sabin was worthy was because he had been booked so poorly leading up to his victory. Sabin came back from injury in late May and quickly captured the X division championship at June 2nd's Slammiversary ppv. A few weeks later, Sabin would lose the X division title to Austin Aries, only to regain it back the following week. If the guy couldn't hold on to the X division title, what should make fans think he can hold on to the world title?
Compare how they booked Austin Aries last year during his X Division cash in and subsequent title victory. Aries had held the X division title for 301 days, making him the longest reigning X division champion in TNA history. Aries was also getting over with fans unlike anyone else, and it was clear that he was going to be a major player in the company for years to come. TNA properly built him up, saw that he was getting over, and made him the champion to the delight of the fans. It is basically the exact opposite of what happened with Sabin.
The match itself didn't do Sabin any favors either. Bully Ray dominated most of the match, as Sabin only got in a few moves offensively. Sabin only really took over the match when he pinned Bully, when the Main Event Mafia got involved. So without the mafia, it is safe to say that Sabin wouldn't have even come close to winning the title, making his victory look like a total and udder fluke, which isn't the best way to get your new babyface champion over.
So why did Sabin get the title? A multitude of reasons have been speculated, some saying that TNA wanted the X division cash in to be looked at as a greater opportunity now that guys doing it have gone 2 for 2. Others think TNA wanted to surprise the fans with a huge upset, which they certainly did.
I personally think that they wanted to get the title off of Bully Ray for a little while. The Aces & 8's storyline has been losing steam and a change may have been needed. I think all of us can agree that Bully will get the title back sometime between now and Bound For Glory.
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