As is always the way with TNA pay-per-views, there have been several last minute additions to the card. I'd hoped that as we were entering a new era of four major shows, with plenty of time to build towards meaningful matches in between, we would've seen the end of short term booking such as this. Unfortunately, in the two months since Genesis, we're right back to the same old padding. Fingers crossed that with the next show, Slammiversary, the booking is done far in advance, even for the undercard.
TNA X Division Championship
Zema Ion vs Kenny King (c) vs Christian York
Having won the X Division Championship from Rob Van Dam on a recent episode of Impact Wrestling, Kenny King comes to his very first title defense. As with most thrown-together X Division matches added to pay-per-view, there's no feud to speak of, merely a group of past contenders with no momentum. Both Ion and York have had multiple shots at the gold, but had always come up short against former Champion, RVD. Whether new Champion, Kenny King, proves a challenge, it remains to be seen.
What is surprising, is the complete absence of Van Dam, who you'd at least assume would want his contractual rematch for the belt. But knowing TNA, they'll be saving the higher profile contender for a future installment of Impact Wrestling, to get as many eyes as possible on the match. This continues the fall from grace of the Whole F'n Show, who debuted in TNA with a deafening fan-fare, but has since dropped down the card at an alarming rate. Where once there was a respected World Champion, he's no longer fit to lead the charge for the least important Division of all.
As far as the match itself, this instantly reminds me of King and Ion's recent cage match filmed on the UK tour for TNA Xplosion. As one of the few, if not the only, original match taped for the show, King and Ion put on a tremendous bout that would out-class most main event efforts in this day and age. However, that was the two of them working alone, whereas in this case, they'll be contending with the sloppy bull in a china shop move set of Christian York. Despite the hype of his debut on Gut Check, York has failed to live up to expectations, at least for this humble writer. His ring-work has always been one step off the pace and I have consistently noticed his opponents lingering during their matches, waiting for York to get into the proper position. Even worse, when he finally does hit a move, it appears sluggish and ineffective.
Ultimately, Kenny King should retain his X Division Title following the bout, as he has been the stand out competitor since his debut at last year's Destination X pay-per-view and continues to be a bright spot in the division to this day. Zema Ion had his opportunity as Champion last year following Austin Aries' relinquishing of the title, but the division sank into obscurity during his reign. As such, I am in no rush to see a follow up. In regard to Christian York, if my previous statements weren't indictment enough, he has been entirely absent from Impact Wrestling for several months now and I never once questioned it.
Prediction - Kenny King defeats Zema Ion and Christian York via pinfall to retain the X Division Championship.
Joey Ryan vs Joseph Park
Why this match exists is a mystery. I checked back through recent episodes of Impact Wrestling just to make sure and I can't remember a single instance of these two sharing airtime. So to see them both in the ring together is puzzling to say the least. I guess you could make the argument that Park doesn't actually need a reason to challenge heels such as Ryan, as his character thrives on regular competition rather than feuds.
Don't get me wrong though, as I'm more than happy to see both men on pay-per-view. Park hasn't had the most consistent of appearances since making the switch from former gimmick Abyss to current persona Joseph. While being fresh material for the giant, it must be infuriating to him on a certain level, as he's spent the best part of the last year actively not being booked on shows. Park is a genuinely talented wrestler in reality, so credit to him for biting his tongue and evolving his character's skill set at the proper pace.
Things appeared on the up for "Hollywood's Own" Joey Ryan at the beginning of the year, as he partnered with "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan challenging for the Tag Team Championships and the X Division Championship before that. However, due to his not being on the UK tour, he effectively dropped off the map for an entire month of programming. This appears to have hindered his progress somewhat, as his former partner, Morgan, has broken away, decimating Jeff Hardy on last week's edition of Impact Wrestling and looking to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship in the near future. Ryan, on the other hand, shared no part of this and as evidenced by this match, has no current story to speak of. While I doubt a long term feud with Joseph Park is in the cards, this at least keeps Joey in the spotlight for another month and I highly look forward to seeing his further exploits going forward.
Joseph Park matches are all basically of the same formula. So as a regular viewer, I'm expecting the heel Joey Ryan to dominate for the majority, only to inadvertently bust Park open and upon the sight of his own blood, the Monster Abyss is reawakened, leading to a last second Black Hole Slam from an amnesiac Park.
Prediction - Joseph Park defeats Joey Ryan via pinfall.
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