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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Best Of The X-Division
July 15, 2006 by Kevin Murphy


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I am writing this article about the greatest and most extreme division of professional wrestlers that have inspired many to do high-flying backyard tricks, and these athletes put the Jackass and suicidal element into the wrestling sport. This is the X-Division: the most high flying and innovative of all wrestling styles around. I have written a comparison in this article about who really could be the best X-Division member on the TNA roster. So let's get this underway.

"The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles - Allen Jones grew up in Gainsville, GA but he probably didn't know he was going to become one of the greatest X-Division wrestlers of the 21st Century. AJ Styles' career started out slow with a short 2 month WCW career as part of the Air Raid tag team with Air Paris, it was unlucky that WCW disbanded and as taken over before AJ Styles' global level fame could hit off.

After leaving WCW, AJ Styles turned down his chance at a WWE development contract. Many people would have thought that this was a bad idea but many INTELLIGENT wrestling fans like the ones here on the best damn wrestling website ever, OWW, would agree with me that if AJ Styles signed a development contract with WWE, then he would have been better off in a bin because WWE would not use him properly and he would be stuck in OVW for most of his contract.

AJ Styles joined the Jarrett Upstart Promotion which was under management of the National Wrestling Alliance. NWA-TNA looked a good opportunity for AJ Styles to get his glory in a brand new promotion. AJ Styles' fame came quicker than expected as he became the first TNA X-Division Champion when he defeated Jerry Lynn, Psicosis and Low Ki in a 4-Way Elimination Match to win the title on the second TNA show. The following week, AJ Styles teamed with his opponent from the week before, Jerry Lynn and they won the Tag Team Championship tournament and became the NWA Tag Team Champions. Although AJ Styles lost the X-Division Championship to Low Ki in a Triple Threat between, Low Ki, Lynn and himself, it didn't mean that his X-Division dreams were up in smoke.

AJ Styles had a heel turn at the end of 2002 and aligned with Vince Russo and later won the World Heavyweight Championship in April 2003. After AJ Styles lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Jeff Jarrett in October, he had another World title reign for two months in 2004. After he lost his second world title to Ron Killings, he returned to the X-Division and won the X-Division Championship from Frankie Kazarian in June 2004 and he stayed on top of the X-Division for two months. After leaving the X-Division for a while after repeated losses to Petey Williams, AJ Styles formed an alliance with Jeff Hardy against Jeff Jarrett & The Kings of Wrestling. When he returned to the X-Division in June 2005 after holding the World Heavyweight Championship for a third time, he won the X-Division Championship from Christopher Daniels in a 3-Way with Samoa Joe at Unbreakable 2005. AJ Styles later lost the X-Division Championship to "The Undefeated Samoan Submission Machine" at Turning Point in December.

Today, AJ Styles is the current Tag Team Champion with his partner "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels who is also an icon of the X-Division. AJ Styles has proven to be one of the greatest X-Division stars today as he is a 5 time TNA X-Division Champion and he has went through some of the top X-Division stars including, Psicosis, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, Petey Williams, Kid Kash and Christopher Daniels

Jerry Lynn - Now retired and working as a road agent, Jerry Lynn was once a good X-Division star. He is a former two-time X-Division Champion and held two Tag Team Titles with different X-Division stars, Amazing Red and AJ Styles. Jerry Lynn stepped into the ring with top federations WWE and ECW before his career in TNA. I think his prime is in TNA as he has made quite an impact against many of the X-Division wrestlers including AJ Styles, Tajiri, Super Crazy, Sonny Siaki, Justin Credible and Jonny Storm.

Jerry Lynn also led Team USA to victory as the leader in the 2004 TNA World X-Cup. Jerry Lynn has retired from the TNA X-Division but will always be remembered for the great victories he had.

Chris Sabin - Sabin might not be as glorified as AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn but he has made quite an impact since his TNA debut in April 2003. Chris Sabin scored a shocking upset on 14th May 2003. All TNA fans would have guessed that Amazing Red or Jerry Lynn would have won considering their history with each other, but Sabin swooped in and got the victory over both of the top superstars.

Chris Sabin defended the title for three months as an arrogant heel who proclaimed to be the future of the X-Division until it was held up when his match with Frankie Kazarian went to a no contest. Chris Sabin, Michael Shane and Frankie Kazarian then took part in the first ever Ultimate X Match, a match that defined the X-Division. Most OWW fans should know what an Ultimate X Match is but for those who don't I will explain later in the column. Sabin may not have come out on top of this Ultimate X Match for the X-Division title but it didn't kill his hopes of becoming a top X-Division star.

Chris Sabin won the Super X Cup in a Gauntlet against Jerry Lynn, Frankie Kazarian and Juventud Guerrera in September 2003. It wasn't long until Chris Sabin turned face and regained the X-Division Championship on 7th January 2004 in the second Ultimate X Match when he defeated Michael Shane, Low Ki and Christopher Daniels. His X-Division Championship got held up on March 31st after he suffered an injury that would sideline him for a while.

Chris Sabin returned on April 28th as the replacement for Sonjay Dutt in Team USA in the TNA World X-Cup 2004. After the World X-Cup, Chris Sabin became the Underdog of the X-Division, one of the greatest X-Division stars on the TNA roster that was unable to regain the X-Division Championship.

At the beginning of 2006, Chris Sabin formed a team with Sonjay Dutt and they went after the Tag Team Titles. They were impressive, but still came out underdogs when they were unable to go over America's Most Wanted. Chris Sabin was elected the leader of Team USA in the 2006 World X-Cup and he led Team USA to victory and this improved him greatly in the X-Division ranks. I think it's only a matter of time until Chris Sabin escapes from his X-Division underdog personality and wins the Championship for a third time.

Where is he now" you ask. Chris Sabin is acting as the hero of the X-Division and is standing up to Kevin Nash who is trying to kill the X-Division and prove that size matters.

"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels - Christopher Daniels was once known as "The Greatest Independent Wrestler of all time" but the question is "Is he the Greatest X-Division Wrestler of all time""

Christopher Daniels originally debuted in TNA with no cause but to put Low Ki and Jerry Lynn over in a 6-Way #1 Contenders match for X-Division Championship. On 10th July 2002, many people may have thought that former WCW and WWE jobber would become an NWA TNA jobber, but hell they were wrong.

Christopher Daniels went from opener to upper midcard in December 2002, when Low Ki, Elix Skipper and himself teamed as Triple X and joined Vince Russo's rebel promotion within TNA itself known as Sports Entertainment Xtreme.

Triple X feuded with the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett but he managed to come out on top. Triple X managed to win the NWA Tag Team Championship and held it for over six months.

Daniels then suffered an injury and it cost him a month of action, but when he returned he dropped the Triple X Priest gimmick, and using his same entrance and new found charisma, he quickly jumped into the main event scene as The Fallen Angel when he returned and attacked Jeff Jarrett. On 6th August 2003, his gimmick scrapped the nine year tradition he was used to and he became a reborn "Fallen Angel" on the microphone.

Christopher Daniels made his debut into the X-Division in October 2003. He was looking to be another underdog in the X-Division he was stuck in a midcard position, and failed to win the X-Division title on several occasions during late 2003/early 2004. He became famous in the X-Division when he took part in the second Ultimate X Match and he proved that he was a strong force in the X-Division and that he deserved the title.

After several Tag Title reigns and a long feud with AMW, Triple X were forced to disband after a Six Sides of Steel Match at Turning Point 2004. Many thought this would be destructive of Christopher Daniels' career, but it was actually a true turning point. Daniels started working on his singles career and he took on AJ Styles in an Iron Man Match for the X-Division Championship which had to go into Sudden Death to find the winner. Sadly for Daniels, AJ Styles retained the title. Many Christopher Daniels fans would have thought there was no hope in the X-Division for Daniels but that all changed when at Destination X 2005, Christopher Daniels beat AJ Styles, Ron Killings and his former partner Elix Skipper to win the X-Division Championship in an Ultimate X Challenge.

Daniels finally made his mark in X-Division history. He and AJ Styles began joining forces to feud with Samoa Joe who had won the X-Division title and at Destination X 2006 The Fallen Angel managed to regain his title in an Ultimate X Match. He held it for a few weeks until he lost it to Samoa Joe in an excellent match.

Christopher Daniels is now the NWA Tag Team Champion with AJ Styles and I wish them good luck for future title defenses.

Samoa Joe - "The Undefeated Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe, the longest reigning ROH Champion in history and probably the longest nickname in history, gives Samoa Joe two great advantages in the wrestling world already. If you think it can't get any better for the Samoan Submission Machine, he is undefeated in TNA and is a former two-time X-Division Champion. Now it's time to discuss how his greatness in TNA came around.

Samoa Joe made his impressive debut in TNA at Slammiversary 2005 when he defeated Sonjay Dutt in his debut match. Samoa Joe then went on and won the Super X Cup 2005 to win a title shot against Christopher Daniels at Unbreakable 2005. Samoa Joe was many people's choice in the X-Division Championship Match but he didn't manage to score the pin, instead AJ Styles managed to pin Christopher Daniels to win the X-Division Championship.

Samoa Joe got an impressive victory over one of the top Japanese superstars, Jushin Thunder Liger at Bound for Glory 2005. He later turned heel when he attacked Christopher Daniels after they won an Elimination X 8-Man Tag Match at Genesis 2005. It was said that Samoa Joe broke the "code" of the X-Division and AJ Styles challenged Samoa Joe to a match at Turning Point 2005. Samoa Joe beat AJ Styles and continued his undefeated streak in TNA when he won the X-Division Championship. He retained the title against both AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels over the next few months but at Destination X 2006, Christopher Daniels won the Ultimate X Triple Threat and became the new X-Division Champion. Samoa Joe was still undefeated as he had never been pinned or submitted.

Samoa Joe regained the X-Division Championship a few weeks later and went on and retained against one of the craziest and high flying wrestlers known to man. Samoa Joe's opponent had been through barbed wire, flying chairs, ladders, tables, thumbtacks, and he was still able to stand. This hyped Samoa Joe finally getting defeated by THE HOMICIDAL, SUICIDAL, GENOCIDAL SABU!!!! But luckily it was Sabu's final TNA match before he went to WWE to be part of the ECW brand.

Samoa Joe's undefeated streak remained intact and he spent some time away from the X-Division to team with Sting against Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner at Sacrifice. Samoa Joe feuded with Scott Steiner and they both put their TNA undefeated streaks on the line and Samoa Joe came out on top when he pinned Scott Steiner for the three count after an impressive powerslam. The following night, Samoa Joe lost the X-Division Championship in a Triple Threat Match to Senshi (Low Ki). His undefeated streak is still continuing though because he did not get pinned or submit, but now he has broken away from the X-Division to continue a feud with Scott Steiner. But we all know that "The Undefeated Samoan Submission Machine" will return and be on top of the X-Division again someday or he might even go on to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Ultimate X - If you think the superstars of the X-Division aren't good enough, then their special type of match proves it. There are three different types of Ultimate X Match to my knowledge.

The first type of Ultimate X is the #1 Contenders Match. This involves scaffolding being placed on four corners of the ring, with wires hanging across it. In the centre of the ring is a red "X" hanging from the wires and the only way to win is to go across the wires and take the X from the middle.

The second type of Ultimate X is for the X-Division Championship and it is similar to the #1 Contenders version, but the belt is placed in the middle and the only way to win is to obtain the belt.

The third type of Ultimate X is the Ultimate X Challenge, it is usually a 4-Way Elimination Match. The first fall begins as a Tag Team Match, after one superstar is eliminated, the second fall is a Triple Threat and another superstar is eliminated, the final is a Single Ultimate X Match, where the winner must climb the wires and obtain the red "X" or the X-Division Championship belt from the middle.

And there we have it, five of the top X-Division superstars on the TNA roster but the question is, who is the best of the X-Division"

by Kevin Murphy ..


Stephen Y wrote:
Jerry Lynn - "I think his prime is in TNA". Did you ever see his matches against RVD. Even by looking at the last ever ECW match (before the new ECW), you can see hoow good he is / was.
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