Shannon: My Destination X Predictions

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

My Destination X Predictions

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, breaks out the crystal ball, tea leaves, lucky coin and 37 years of experience as a wrestling fan to try and sort out the winners, losers and swerves in the next TNA PPV offering.

TNA is taking full advantage of the break between No Way Out and Wrestlemania to run an above average Pay Per View. Destination X has some solid matches with the potential for some fantastic swerves. On Thursday’s Impact, several new matches were added and a couple changed. I can usually say that a Pay Per View is going to be decent, if I have a hard time predicting the outcomes. This one took quite a bit of thought to decipher. Let’s take a look.

Samoa Joe v “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner

The Backstory: Joe was attacked by the Main Event Mafia and his arm was “supposedly” broken. Joe disappeared and came back doing his Umaga meets The Punisher gimmick. Joe has stalked Scott and tried to scare the bejesus out of the “Genetic Freak”. Joe wants revenge on the entire Mafia, and he’s starting with the group’s “muscle man”.

Predictions: I realize that Steiner is a former World champ and one-half of perhaps the greatest tag team in history. I still consider him a mid-carder in TNA. His best days are far behind him. I”m expecting Joe to work his way through the entire Mafia, ending with Kurt Angle. Joe needs this win to send the message that he’s serious. It was like my grandfather taught me about fighting a group. “Boy, take down the biggest and baddest one first and the others will realize you don’t play around”. Steiner is the biggest and baddest of the Mafia. He’s going to lose on Sunday.

Predicted Winner: Samoa Joe
Predicted Grade: B+

Sojo Bolt v Awesome Kong
Knockouts Championship Match

The Backstory: Bolt won a shot at the Knockout title. She shocked her comrades in the Kongtourage when she won the shot and accepted it. She and Rhaka Khan then split from Kong and Raisha Saeed to form Chocolate Thunder. Bolt has taken the fight to Kong and Saeed in various tag matches and singles bouts. Kong had continued to dominate everyone in sight and is ready to defend.

Predictions: I think SoJo Bolt is a decent wrestler but she is so out-matched by Kong. This match is going to have interference by Saeed and Khan, and perhaps a few others. TNA did the upset win thing with Taylor Wilde, who was an established face. I doubt they’d do the same with a Tweener. So, I feel Kong will dominate this match and Khan will rejoin the Kongtourage after pulling some kind of under-handed stuff in this one.

Predicted Winner: Awesome Kong
Predicted Grade:B

Team 3D v Beer Money, Inc.
Off the Wagon Tag Team Title Match

Backstory: Robert Roode and James Storm have created this unusual challenge. They put their tag belts up against a wrestler’s career. They have already sent Petey Williams and Lance (Hoyt) Rock to the indies. They tried it with LAX but it didn’t work. Team 3D rushed out to save the Latino team which led to the challenge. Team 3D is looking for another run as TNA World Tag champs and they are willing to put their careers on the line. A last minute change to this match was that if either member of Team 3D is pinned, the entire team is gone from TNA.

Predictions: I’m having a really tough time with this one. I know that Ray and Devon are winding down their careers. They have had a lot of other things going (wrestling school, private businesses, etc…). Beer Money could lock themselves in as the greatest TNA tag team, ever, if they could cause the destruction of Team 3D. The Off the Wagon Challenge really needs a big hit to push the gimmick. Petey and Lance were great but they were no Ray or Devon. On the other hand, Team 3D recently went to Japan and took the IWGP tag belts. They are on a roll. Beer Money has been really dominate in the tag division, so they are due for a loss. Team 3D could be the ones to hand the loss to them. Knowing TNA’s penchant for not really settling anything, I’m expecting Team 3D to win by DQ, thus staying in the company. Beer Money would keep their belts. That ending would seriously degrade the tag division, but Vince Russo is in charge of writing and he did give the WCW title to David Arquette.

Predicted Winner: Team 3D (by DQ)
Predicted Grade: Action = A, Ending = D

The Finals Of One Night With ODB

Backstory: ODB put her tattooed body on the line, literally, in this fluff segment. She’s offered to allow one “fan” to spend a night with her. Fans have sent in various video pieces to the official TNA website to “woo” the Trailer Park Princess. ODB will make her choice at Destination X.

Predictions: I’m expecting TNA to bring out a bizarre mix of hillbillies, bikers and businessmen. Each will likely plead their case as to why they should be ODB’s new escort for the evening. I’m expecting her to choose Shark Boy as her new squeeze. This could lead to some hilarious vignettes over the next few weeks. Since I couldn’t enter (new girlfriend and all), I hope the Finny Fighter gets his chance to explore uncharted waters. (wicked grin).

Predicted Winner: Shark Boy
Predicted Grade: C (or would that be Sea)

Abyss v Matt Morgan
10,000 Thumbtacks Match

Backstory: Morgan and Abyss were the Felix and Oscar (Odd Couple) of pro wrestling. Their tag team had the potential to power through the tag scene and claim the titles. Sadly, the team never really got rolling. Morgan got frustrated with Abyss and turned on him. They’ve been teasing a huge match for some time. On the last edition of Impact, Morgan threatened to Chokeslam Lauren (the interview girl that Abyss is sweet on) into a pile of thumbtacks. Abyss snapped and tore into Morgan like a zombie going after a fat guy. It was all part of Morgan’s plan to get Abyss tricked into the 10,000 Thumbtacks match. Abyss eagerly accepted the match.

Predictions: This one could bring Dr. Stevie to the forefront. He is, of course, ECW Legend….Stevie Richards. I could see Lauren bringing Dr. Stevie to ringside to “help” her man. Stevie could give Abyss the green light to accept who he is and embrace the Hardcore side. If he does, Morgan doesn’t stand a chance in Hell of beating Abyss. If Stevie tries to keep Abyss in his calm state, Morgan will take the win. Sadly, I think Abyss has been effectively “neutered” by Creative. Morgan is going to win this one, when Abyss hesitates using the tacks.

Predicted Winner: Matt Morgan
Predicted Grade: B

Alex Shelley v Chris Sabin v Suicide v Jay Lethal v Consequences Creed
Ultimate X match for the X-Division title

Backstory: This is the defining match of the entire PPV. Forget Joe v Steiner or Sting v Kurt, this is the one to watch. Shelley’s X-Division belt will be suspended over the ring on the steel cables. Five men will scamper up and try to take the belt. There are four known X-Superstars in there (Creed, Lethal, Sabin and Shelley) and one wild card (Suicide). This one is going to have high spots, all day long.

Predictions: It’s no real secret who’s under the skull mask. Kaz has been doing the part for some time now. Since TNA kept talking about how well Kaz did in the X-Division and the Ultimate X matches, I think it’s almost a lock that he’s going to take the belt. It will be interesting to see if he stays with the Suicide character or reverts back to Kaz. I’m hoping that they keep Suicide around for awhile. The outfit is kinda cool and the character is really different. The ending of this one will happen after Suicide takes out the other four with his various strange moves. Suicide will then scale the rigging, slide across and claim his belt.

Predicted Winner: Suicide (new X-Division champ)
Predicted Grade: A+

A.J. Styles v Booker T
Legends Championship Title Match

Backstory: Booker created the Legends championship to promote himself. He’s defended the silly thing like, maybe, twice. A.J. Styles took exception to Booker’s rantings about being the best wrestler and such. Styles actually stole the Legends belt, trashed Booker’s dressing room and kicked the stuffing out of him. Jim Cornette got tired of all the police involvement and other silliness and decided to put an end to this. Cornette put the Legends belt on the line in this one. Booker wasn’t thrilled about it but Cornette used psychology to “trick” Booker into signing on.

Predictions: It’s time for that darn red belt to change hands. Styles is, in my opinion, a superior wrestler to Booker. Styles has a plethora of moves at his disposal. He can hit his opponents from all angles. Being that the rest of the Mafia, with the exception of Kevin Nash, is tied up with other matches, I expect Styles to pull the surprise win and take the Legends belt from Booker.

Predicted Winner: A.J. Styles (new Legends champion)
Predicted Grade: A

Mi Pi Sexy (Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne) v Taylor Wilde, Roxxi and The Governor (Daffney)
Six-Knockout Tag Team Match

Backstory: Roxxi and Taylor Wilde brought in Daffney to portray Governor Sarah Palin. The phony Palin pulled the wool over the eyes of the Beautiful People (Love and Sky) for several weeks. The Governor actually put the hurt, physically, on the girls with her move, the Thrilla from Wasilla. Since the Beautiful People were outnumbered, they brought in back-up. Madison Rayne, formerly Payton Banks, turned on Taylor Wilde during a tag match and joined Love and Sky to form the “sorority” known as Mi Pi Sexy. The match on Sunday is the debut of the two trio teams.

Predictions: This match is actually going to be a great one. Daffney, as the Governor, is a hidden talent that should shine on Sunday. Roxxi is also a solid grapplerette. Love and Sky have improved by leaps and bounds in the last few months. Wilde and Rayne will pretty much cancel each other out, talent-wise. I can’t imagine TNA creating a new trios team, only to have them lose on their first outing. I imagine that Rayne will pick up the win for her team, to prove herself worthy of being in the clique.

Predicted Winners: Mi Pi Sexy
Predicted Grade: A-

Kurt Angle v Sting

TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Special Referee — Jeff Jarrett
Special Enforcer — Mick Foley

Backstory: The Main Event Mafia seems to be in a state of flux, currently. Kurt Angle, as the team’s Godfather, wants to be the World champ. Sting isn’t quite ready to hand over the strap, just yet. The two tried to settle the score in a recent Empty Arena match that ended with Kurt spitting in Sting’s face. Jeff Jarrett decided to finalize this feud with a title match at Destination X. Jeff made himself the special referee and Foley the special Enforcer aka back-up ref. This one’s going to be blind date ugly.

Predictions: This match is going to come down to Foley’s involvement. He took a nasty shot to the head from Scott Steiner’s lead pipe. I’m expecting Foley to flashback to his old Cactus Jack days in WCW and turn on Sting. It’s been rumored that Foley and Sting will battle at Lockdown. What better launching pad then to have Foley turn on both Sting and Jarrett and side with the Mafia? Ok, I’ve been predicting a Foley turn for months and it still hasn’t happened. What makes me think that this is the path that they will go revolves around someone not even in the match…Samoa Joe. Joe can’t fight Sting for the World title again, thanks to a match stipulation that he signed when Sting took the strap off him. If Kurt were to take the belt, Sting could battle Foley and Joe could take his Nation of Violence campaign straight after the World champ. It’s a major win/win, all the way around. Jim Cornette has been touting things being “good for business”. Switching the World title would be the best thing for TNA’s business. If Sting doesn’t drop the strap, too many storylines get short-circuited.

Predicted Winner: Kurt Angle (assist to Mick Foley)
Predicted Grade: A

Final Grade: A-
Final Thoughts: Wrestling fans just might have a little extra money in the PPV budget, thanks to the break between No Way Out and Wrestlemania. TNA really needs to exploit this and put on the best show possible. Most of these matches really seem to have the potential to be Match of the Year-level matches. Ultimate X, Booker v Styles, Kurt v Angle and the Knockout matches are all going to be far above average. The Joe v Steiner and Morgan v Abyss matches are call shots. I think TNA realizes that they need to ramp it up to become a stronger force in wrestling. I think this could be the show to kick off the upswing in the company. I can’t afford the order it but I will definitely be waiting to hear how things went.

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(3/14/09)