As someone who has watched TNA from the very first Wednesday night PPV, the X Division holds a special place in the heart of this wrestling fan. In those sordid days of yore, the seed of TNA scratched and scrabbled to break through and find the sunlight amid the ashes that remained of the last of the sentinels that stood against Vince McMahon's vision for world domination. Or at least, the world of sports entertainment. TNA struggled not only against the odds, but against the demons of the past who sought to possess them, usurping their undefined identity.
Dusty NWA tradition butted heads with reckless Russonomics. Jackie Fargo strutted as scantily clad cage girls showed off what moves they had - and watching over all was a midget beating off in a trash can. However, I held on to hope - somewhere in that Pandora's Box of bad ideas emerged TNA's Giving Tree of Greatness. A taste of the time honored artistry of professional wrestling, amped up with a shot of adrenaline that wowed every crowd who witnessed it. WCW's fabled cruiserweights evolved, with the daredevil spirit of the X-Games. Wrestling with no limits. For me, this was a reason to shell out 10 dollars every Wednesday and cringe my way through most of the show.
Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, Amazing Red, Kid Kash and others, giving us something nobody else could quite match. A grizzled veteran of aerial warfare leading hungry young heroes, all out to prove wrestling's future belonged to them. At its best, the X Division IS the best. As I sat in the crowd at Bound For Glory 2009, my friend's wife - who is so far from a wrestling fan, she wouldn't have known to pop for a surprise Stone Cold appearance at the show, or much of anything else that happened - stood up and applauded the Ultimate X match. The X Division is meant to be a breathtaking spectacle - elite in-ring performers going out there and making you forget that perhaps they aren't the biggest guys around, or the smoothest on the microphone, because you're too busy wondering what in the Hell happened to gravity.
WWE can snap up just about any talent they want, but they will never match the action of the X Division at its best, because they will never try to. Young wrestlers going out there and stealing the show with death defying acrobatics and lightning-paced action goes against everything they stand for, even when they have talent who are perfectly capable of doing so. TNA, USE that. Stand out, as you once did. Make the X Division great again!
Sound off in the comments or on Twitter @TNAHeelCast. We might talk about it or feature it on next week's HeelCast.