Date: May 6, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Jeremy Borash
I guess this is considered the beginning of a new season of these shows as the first X-Travaganza was the first ever One Night Only. Barring a big surprise, this is going to be a series of qualifying matches for an Ultimate X match for money later on in the night. These shows really are good illustrations of how far the division has fallen in recent years. Let’s get to it.
We open with the standard speech about how important this division is to TNA’s history. Notice that as the division has fallen into obscurity, the company’s success has gone down as well. Of course there’s a lot more to it than that, but once TNA stopped having something to focus on other than the main event division, things kept going south. As usual, this also shows us clips from later in the night.
All matches are qualifying matches for the Ultimate X main event with $100,000 on the line unless noted otherwise.
Tigre Uno vs. Sonjay Dutt
Feeling out process to start with Sonjay taking him down with a quick armdrag before having to spin out of a wristlock. Some fast near falls get us nowhere but both guys collide to put them on the mat. Back up and Sonjay takes over with some chops and a running knee in the corner before stopping Tigre with a boot. Tigre comes back in with a dropkick for two as the announcers start talking about Twitter handles. I really hope this isn’t a descent into the usual commentary madness on these shows.
Sonjay comes back with something like an Octopus Hold and a kick to the head for two. This turns into a discussion of favorite submission holds, which is at least related to what we’re watching. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Tigre fights back, only to miss a split legged moonsault. Dutt’s standing moonsault gets two as the fans are really not all that interested here. Borash finally gets around to explaining the idea of the qualifying matches for Ultimate X later in the show. Tigre crotches himself on an attempted basement dropkick in the corner but comes right back with a rolling cradle for the fast pin (and maybe a four count).
Rating: C-. We’re already seeing the issue with this show: there’s no reason for these two to be fighting and that makes for a dull match as neither of these two did anything exciting enough to warrant having nine minutes. It’s not a bad match or anything but it’s just two guys doing moves to each other until one got a pin off a cradle.
Kenny King talks about surprising everyone by showing up in TNA and brags about all of his success. No matter what he did though, he never could get noticed until he joined up with the BDC. Tonight, we’re calling this X-Travaganza Step Up, because he wants someone to step up to become the next Kenny King. Be careful though because he’s going to knock them right back down.
Kenny King vs. Jay Rios vs. Pepper Parks
Parks wrestles all over the indies and seems to have a fitness gimmick. Rios is a lower level indy guy but he was recently on Impact as Tigre Uno’s partner in the Tag Team Title tournament against Bram/Ethan Carter III. Josh asks the returning JB how he can get around the arena to announce everything so fast. Parks kicks Rios in the head to start and stomps him down as King stands back.
The fans chant for the BDC (the only people they might know in this match) as King backdrops Parks to the floor. Rios kicks both of them through the ropes and hits an Asai moonsault to drop both opponents. Back in and Parks gets two off a sitout powerbomb as King is still on the floor. Rios sidesteps Parks’ spear to send him into King before hitting the springboard into an RKO on Parks for two.
Pepper doesn’t seem to mind as a double superkick puts King down, only to have Rios hit running boots in the corner to both opponents. King suddenly realizes he’s Kenny King and starts cleaning house but Rios shoves him off the top and hits a frog splash for two on Parks. Back up and Rios goes to the apron, only to springboard into the Royal Flush to give King the pin.
Rating: C. Better but it’s the exact same problem from the first match: I have no real reason to see these guys fight and they’re not doing anything worth seeing. In other words, these matches aren’t very interesting and make me want to go watch some old TNA matches instead of these.
Here’s a clip from Destination X 2013 where Manik won the X-Division Title in Ultimate X.
Manik vs. Mr. 450
450 is yet another indy guy who has been squashed in NXT a few times under the name Jesus de Leon. For some reason he comes out (after Manik) with a weird eyepiece that looks like something out of Star Trek (for your KB trivia: I’ve never seen a single movie or episode of Star Trek) and may supposed to be something from the future.
Wherever he’s from (yes I know it’s Puerto Rico), he grabs an armbar to start as the announcers talk about Google Glasses. They spin around a few times until 450 gets two off a springboard cross body. Manik sends him hard into the post though and things slow back down. Off to the floor now with Manik sending him into the post again as Josh laments the loss of Bernie Mac. He was in a movie called Mr. 3000 (Josh calls it Mr. 300) so it’s connected you see.
Manik grabs a cross armbreaker (at least he’s following up on the shoulder into the post, putting this match ahead of everything else on the show so far) before rolling some suplexes, capped off by a belly to back hammerlock suplex. We hit the chinlock with the arm trapped back for a bit to keep up the psychology.
450 comes back with another springboard cross body but Manik catches himself in the ropes instead of going out to the floor. He goes right outside a few seconds later though, setting up 450’s Asai moonsault. Josh clarifies that Pepper and Joseph Parks are not related before Manik hurricanranas 450 into the armbreaker for the submission.
Rating: C+. Best match of the night so far with the arm work actually playing through the match instead of just introducing it and then forgetting it just as fast. Again it’s not a great match or anything like that, but at least it was a good way to kill seven minutes. Manik is an underrated talent in the company and unfortunately he’s stuck in the lame Revolution for the time being.
Video on the Knockouts defying the limits just as well as the men do.
Taryn Terrell is in the five Knockouts ladder match later tonight and she can prove that she’s more than just a pretty face.
Great Sanada vs. Jonathan Cruz vs. Crazzy Steve
Cruz is Rios’ partner in the indies. Steve pulls out a horn as Matthews thinks Cruz is Mr. 450. Ignore the fact that neither wears a mask so this shouldn’t be too complicated. Steve goes out to the apron and waits for a tag because we’re in a comedy match. Sanada cranks on Cruz’s arm to start and they hit a nice spin out sequence for one of the few good reactions from the crowd all night long. Steve comes in with a crucifix and sunset flip for two each on Sanada before Sanada pulls on Cruz’s face.
Now the announcers talk about the places Sanada has wrestled, including the hibachi place and Nakatomi Towers. Off to an abdominal stretch on Cruz until Steve makes the save. The serious guys finally get tired of the comedy and pound Steve down like anyone sensible would do. Steve comes back with cannonballs in the corner, only to have Sanada mist Cruz in the face. A moonsault gets two with Steve making the save, setting up a DDT on Cruz to send Steve to Ultimate X.
Rating: D. The announcers have gone from amusing to Tazz land as they spent the whole match making as many Japan jokes as they could squeeze into a short match. Steve is a generic “comedy” guy who gets annoying in a hurry with neither opponent being able to do much. Sanada really should have gone forward here as he’s more than earned the spot in the last year, especially on these shows.
Rockstar Spud says he’s a great wrestler, even when he was just getting coffee for Dixie Carter. Tonight he can show why he’s a great X-Division wrestler when he wins his first Ultimate X match.
And now, since they can’t even get to 2:45 on their own, here’s the X-Division Title match from Slammiversary 2014.
X-Division Title: Sanada vs. Tigre Uno vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Crazy Steve vs. Manik
Sanada is defending and this is a ladder match. Also keep in mind that Destination X and Option C are coming up soon. Manik dives through the ropes to take out Sanada before the bell. The Wolves follow suit with stereo suicide dives and Steve has apparently knocked Tigre Uno down. Steve gets a ladder from under the ring and uses it to climb back to the apron. Tigre dropkicks him down and mostly misses a corkscrew dive to take everyone out.
Sanada and Manik fight over a ladder in the ring with the champion taking over via a springboard chop to the head. Tigre replaces Manik and kicks Sanada in the back of the head but the Wolves double team him into a German suplex onto the ladder in the corner. Edwards throws in a fresh ladder but Manik dropkicks both of them down. Steve (very popular tonight) comes in for the Terry Funk spinning ladder spot, taking down everyone that comes into the ring.
Manik makes a save but Steve shoves the ladder over, only to have Manik land on the top rope and dive out to knock out the Wolves. Steve goes up again and touches the belt but of course loses his hand eye coordination since this is a ladder match, allowing Sanada to make the save. The ladder is busted so Sanada slams Steve onto it to set up the moonsault. The fans think this is awesome as Tigre enziguris Sanada off a better ladder.
Tigre wedges the broken ladder into the standing one to form a bridge, but the Wolves catch him in a powerbomb/top rope Backstabber combo. The Wolves both go after the belt but Sanada makes the save. Edwards Sanada clothesline each other to the floor and Eddie crashes into the barricade, leaving Davey on top. Manik makes the save and powerbombs Davey onto the bridged ladder in a SCARY landing. Sanada climbs up to retain at 9:40 before someone dies.
Rating: B-. The match was fun but some of those spots looked too dangerous for my taste. Richards getting powerbombed was way too scary looking and I didn’t like how he landed. Hopefully everyone is fine, but I question having people go through a match like this without even giving the match hype on TV.
Rockstar Spud vs. Dalton Castle
Castle is basically a man in a peacock costume during his entrance with and some good looking valets to disrobe him. Naturally the announcers aren’t going to explain who Castle is because they’re too busy with their “witty banter.” Castle puts his hands on his back and sticks his chest out so Spud imitates the look (one fan: “Spud’s was better!”). The pose off continues as the announcers debate this year’s Best Picture winner. They start shoving each other out of the way to pose before Spud gets one off a rollup over a minute in.
This sends Spud to the floor to call Castle a chicken. Time for a chase scene with Dalton getting taken down with a drop toehold. Matthews talks about being chased by a chicken as a kid as Spud knocks Dalton outside. Josh: “There was no choking of the chicken.” Castle throws him down to the mat and struts a bit before covering for two. Josh: “New game! Every time you say Castle’s full name, you have to give him a new middle name.” Spud screams at a slap and hits some running forearms, followed by the Underdog for the pin.
Rating: D+. I love Spud but there was only so much you can do here when the announcers are making up games to get themselves through the show. Castle needs a straight man or partner in general to play off as he doesn’t have the wrestling acumen to back him up out there. This was barely even a match after all the posing.
Matt Hardy is ready for his dream match against Austin Aries tonight. Who has been dreaming of that match? Matt talks about his career evolving all the time and now he’s going to give A Double a double dose of Mattitude.
Mikaze vs. DJZ
Mikaze had a pot of coffee back in ROH back in 2005-2006 and was squashed by Ryback one night. DJZ bails from the threat of a kick to the head and does a Karate Kid pose. Back up and Mikaze chases him out to the floor, only to have DJZ snap the back of his neck across the ropes. That’s with with Mikaze who skins the cat out to the floor and into a hurricanrana for a nice counter.
Back in and DJZ stomps him in the corner as we hear about Mikaze designing wrestling gear. Mikaze misses a springboard clothesline and a lot of choking ensues. The announcers count ropes (seriously) and laugh at the idea of Mike Tenay dying. Mikaze sends him to the floor and gets a running start before changing directions into a moonsault. That was awesome. Back in and Mikaze hits a springboard forearm (fans: “AJ STYLES!”) and Trouble in Paradise, only to get caught in a bottom rope tornado DDT to send DJZ to the Ultimate X.
Rating: C. Mikaze looked cool but the idea of sending anyone but those already on the roster to the main event is a pipe dream. DJZ is trying but he’s another example of someone who needs a partner to help him get through most of his matches. He’s mainly a comedy guy and that doesn’t translate well when he’s trying to have a regular match like this one.
Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love vs. Brooke vs. Taryn Terrell
Ladder match for a future Knockouts Title match. I love that they can’t say who the champion is at the moment as they have no idea who it will be when this airs. Everyone goes for the ladder to start but they just wind up knocking the thing over for a big crash. Madison suplexes Taryn on the floor (Josh: “That was violent!”) and the announcers take shots at the Divas.
We get the first ladder brought in with Gail trying to get it straightened on the top rope for no apparent reason as everyone fights in the background. Angelina gets dropped face first onto the ladder but Gail and Brooke start fighting over who gets to use the ladder. Taryn is sent face first into the ladder in the corner as Angelina sets up another between the barricade and the apron.
Everyone gets knocked down in the corner until Gail is dropkicked off the apron and onto the bridged ladder. We finally get a ladder set up in the middle of the ring but Brooke shoves it over, sending Angelina and Madison crashing down. Gail pulls Taryn down but both quickly climb up, only to have Brooke pull Gail through the rungs. Gail is dangling but stops Brooke from pulling the contract down. Not that it matters as the contract falls, allowing Taryn to dive onto it for the win.
Rating: D+. I’ve never been a fan of these short gimmick matches. What’s the point in even bringing the ladders in if they’re going to be done in less than seven minutes with five girls in there? You can barely get anything going and there’s almost no drama, though Taryn winning is always a good thing.
The Wolves are ready to face each other and they’re both coming at it hard. It’s all cool though.
Package on the Wolves.
Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards
This is just a dream match instead of a qualifying match. They’re in different tights tonight to make this feel a bit different. Feeling out process to start and both guys give a clean break in the corner. They point at the crowd and lock up against the ropes as this is totally even so far. Davey can’t spin out of a wristlock but they both spin out of a hammerlock into a standoff. Now Josh talks about grilled cheese and his ability to map minds.
More technical stuff leads to a headscissors from Davey and they trade something like the surfboard’s drunk cousins. The third standoff sets up Davey nailing a dropkick and putting on an Indian deathlock, complete with a Rude hip swivel. Edwards does the same (the swivel I mean) with the surfboard knee stomp as Josh is STILL going on about the mind map stuff. Davey is sent to the floor and both guys avoid dives, setting up Eddie’s moonsault off the apron to break his heel and put him on the shelf for three months. Back in and Davey hits a pair of Creeping Deaths (Eddie: “DO IT! DO IT!”) for the pin.
Rating: C. This is a hard one to grade as it was just starting to get going when the injury took place. They didn’t want to go after each other here but they were getting into the spirit of competition right before the ending. Good enough match though and the Wolves continue to be awesome on this show.
Austin Aries says he and Matt Hardy are good in any division. He has to talk over a match ending and it’s really distracting. Isn’t there like an office or locker room deep inside the building that they could do these in instead?
Clip of Aries beating Roode in the first Option C cash-in.
Austin Aries vs. Matt Hardy
Again, the winner doesn’t go to Ultimate X. They fight into the corner to start as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for here. Matt scores a quick takedown and poses before doing it again and shouting 2-0. Aries takes him down twice in a row, lays on the ropes and says we’re tied. They hit the mat with a headlock into a headscissors counter and it’s already a standoff. Another mat sequence ends with Aries hitting a basement dropkick and a slingshot hilo for two.
The announcers ignore the match again but at least they talk about the main event. Well to be fair they make a bet on the main event but close enough. Aries dropkicks Matt out to the floor but his suicide dive hits a forearm. Matt fights back with a middle rope elbow to the back of the head but the Side Effect is blocked with an elbow to the head. The double underhook guillotine has Aries in trouble but he escapes and puts on the Last Chancery.
They fight over a suplex on the apron (of course the Last Chancery didn’t work. It hasn’t in years) and Matt is shoved to the floor for the suicide dive. Aries dives into a kick into the ribs though and eats a Twist of Fate on the floor. Austin barely beats the count back in and quickly drops Hardy, only to miss the 450. Matt misses the moonsault though and they slug it out from their knees. The Side Effect gets two for Matt but Aries pops up with a pair of discus forearms, the running corner dropkick and the brainbuster for the pin.
Rating: B. Match of the night here by about a million miles but it’s nothing worth going out of your way to see. This sounded like something that should be headlining an indy show and there’s nothing wrong with it being the second biggest main event on a nothing show like this. To be fair, a big indy show probably has a better card than a lot of One Night Only shows.
Video on Ultimate X.
Kenny King vs. Tigre Uno vs. Rockstar Spud vs. DJZ vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Manik
Ultimate X for $100,000. Yeah not a title shot or anything, but money. It’s a big brawl to start with Manik making the first failed attempt at the X. A limping Spud is down on the floor as Steve bites DJZ’s head and hits him with a Cannonball in the corner. Tigre stops King from getting the X but gets pulled down by Manik. King superplexes Steve down and hammers away before everyone is down for a bit.
Spud pulls DJZ down and other combinations do the same thing as this is already starting to drag. We hit the parade of dives with Spud going last. It’s clear that they’re just killing time at this point, likely due to the Wolves match going short. They get back in (including Steve, who Josh keeps calling Steve of Crazy) for a Tower of Doom and the fans are barely reacting. King shoves DJZ through part of the structure before pulling Spud off the cables.
Tigre hits a Phoenix Splash to the floor onto DJZ for no apparent reason. King and Manik screw up an alliance and END THIS ALREADY! King is the only one left standing so he pulls out a ladder. Spud makes his comeback and hammers away on King but Kenny hits him with the ladder. The slowest climb of all time allows Spud to make the save and….have to deal with Manik who springboards onto the ladder. Thankfully it quickly falls over and Spud hangs on, pulling down the X to win.
Rating: D+. WAY too long here with nearly 18 minutes to this thing. The guys were trying hard but this shouldn’t be more than about ten minutes at most. The lack of drama really hurt it too as the only two possible winners were King and Spud, and there was barely a single dramatic attempt at the X. Just too long here and it really dragged things down.
Overall Rating: D. Oh yeah this was dull. It went on too long (which says a lot as this wasn’t even 2:45 long and it had about 15 minutes added with the Slammiversary match) and nothing here was worth seeing. In other words, it’s basically the exact same thing that has plagued every One Night Only show, including the dreadful commentary. Matthews and Borash clearly didn’t care and they knew they wouldn’t get in trouble for it because no one watches these shows. Bad show, but the guys were indeed trying.
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