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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Too Ultimate X
June 14, 2005 by Nathan Sampsom


On Sunday June 19th, TNA Wrestling will celebrate its third anniversary. During those three years, we have seen stars of the past, stars of the future, and stars of today pass through their gates, lending to more than a handful of great matches. One of the matches that TNA has invented is called the Ultimate X, strictly for its high-flying X-Division. The rules are simple. The X-Division Title is suspended above the ring in the middle of two cables. To win the match, you must climb along the cables and unhook the title. And on June 19th at Slammiversary, we will see the X-Division Title defended in an Ultimate X match. Again.

Hey, don't get me wrong. The Ultimate X match has definitely been a crown jewel in many of TNA's PPV events. We saw an awesome one in 2003 between Frankie Kazarian, Michael Shane, and Chris Sabin to debut the match. And two of those men, Sabin and Shane, are in the match at Slammiversary. In January 2004, Shane and Sabin, as well as Christopher Daniels (the current champion and also part of the match on the 19th) and Low Ki, went up and delivered another awesome performance. In the third Ultimate X in May 2004, as part of TNA's World X Cup, Chris Sabin, representing Team TNA, beat Team Canada's Petey Williams and Team Mexico's Hector Garza. Two months later in July, the first Ultimate X without Chris Sabin but the third with Michael Shane took place. It was a great match with X-Division veteran AJ Styles's first Ultimate X and Shane's friend and partner Frankie Kazarian being in his second. This was a very nice match with Kazarian and Shane co-winning the X-Division title thanks to Kid Kash. After that, the Ultimate X appeared on the Best Damn Wrestling Event Period Special in November with Chris Sabin bringing his count up to 4 and defeating Elix Skipper and Sonjay Dutt to become the Number One Contender for Petey Williams to face in a match that would turn out to be awesome (just ask the crowd) at Turning Point. Just to point out, this match has a large red X in the middle instead of a title.

Ultimate X returned in January of this year when Petey Williams defended the title against his past two PPV opponents, AJ Styles and Chris Sabin. Styles won the match with a great ending when he jumped and grabbed the belt from right out of William's and Sabin's grasp, obviously not wanting a repeat of his loss to Kazarian and Shane. Two months later, a new kind of Ultimate X match had AJ Styles defending against Elix Skipper, Christopher Daniels, and Ron Killings. At the start, Skipper and Styles teamed up against Daniels and Killings. Skipper eliminated Killings by pinning him. Then Daniels eliminated Skipper by pin. After that, it was all Ultimate X with AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels. AJ Styles managed to grab the belt but the referee was down. Daniels hit his Angels Wings finisher and took the belt. The ref saw him with the belt and ruled the match in his favor.

That was two Ultimate X matches in 3 months. Now it's going to be 3 matches in 3 months when Sabin and Shane who have been feuding will challenge Christopher Daniels. Not to say that this match won't be a stage for great X-Division action, because it most likely will be. But it seems to me that TNA are relying heavily on this match to draw some great action and excitement into PPVs that may be more lifeless. Sure, I guess it's a foolproof method, but I believe more people will catch on and it won't be as much of a surprise or fan favorite. TNA needs to try some more things with the X-Division. And it should learn from WWE that when it comes to really special matches, like their Hell in a Cell or Elimination Chamber, they are not staples but rare pleasures. And Ultimate X is becoming a staple, probably not what it was meant to be.

So I think I'll just leave with this. Having a PPV with every match, even different stipulation matches, inside a cage is unique. Having the same kind of stipulation match every few PPVs is not.

by Nathan Sampsom


JP Nichols wrote:
Um...this Sunday is not an Ultimate X match. It is a regular triple threat match for the X-Division Title.
Ian Wilz wrote:
I just wanted to ask where you are getting that the match is an Ultimate X Match. It is NOT being advertised as an ultimate X match on TNAWrestling.com or anywhere else.

Yes I agree that they may have overused Ultimate X but the Match at Slammiversary is NOT an Ultimate X Match its just a regular title match with 3 guys in it.
Brad Dykens wrote:
I'd like to apoligize to the OWW readers for posting this when it was obviously innacurate. I should have caught on sooner and rejected it. So let's just take it as an Ultimate-X tribute article for now okay"
wrote:

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