The X-Division is not what it used to be and I can promise you that you won’t find a whole lot of people that would disagree. Over the last few months, TNA has given a little more focus on the division than what we’ve seen in the last year or two which included bringing in a lot of stars, despite minimal to no effort in signing others that they should’ve signed (Low-Ki, Jack Evans, etc.) but luckily they got it right by picking up Austin Aries. Then they had Aries defeat Brian Kendrick and become the X-Division Champion.
Aries as the champ of that division is the right call. You don’t have enough characters in that division. The last time the X-Division was in prominence, it was when you had a perfect triangle as the focal point in AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe. Prior to Aries and Kendrick, you had Abyss as the champ as if TNA really expected the crowd to like this move and before that, aside from Kazarian, you had a guy that looks like Jersey Shore reject hold the belt at one point. Those things being pointed out, how can anybody really say that having Aries with the belt is worse? It’s not worse, why? Because worse was when you put it on Abyss. Worse is having Brian Kendrick with a gimmick that makes sense to nobody and gets confusion from the crowd as opposed to cheers. Aries with the belt makes him the top heel in the X-Division and leaves the crowd hungry to see somebody take the belt off of him.
I’m honestly hoping that Aries gets a lengthy title reign as the champ. Before him, two lengthy X-Division Championship reigns that come to mind were Christopher Daniels and Petey Williams. Daniels held the belt for 6 months, breaking the 5 month record that Petey Williams had. Both were great because at the time Daniels was a heel and Petey when he had the belt was a heel and part of the despised stable Team Canada. We haven’t seen anybody that shined as a top heel in the X-Division in some time. After those two, you had Samoa Joe for the fact that he tore through everybody because he was that good and felt nobody could match him in the X-Division. They tried to make Sonjay Dutt one with his stupid Guru gimmick, that didn’t work. Robbie E., well, did anyone really take that character seriously because I didn’t. The crowd booed him all right, but only because they thought this was the stupidest thing TNA had done with the division since that stupid Jackass parody with Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal. You’d have figured TNA would have learned not to try and copy something out of MTV after that one, but no because that’s how we got stuck with Robbie E. and Cookie.
Aries knows how to be the cocky, arrogant, hotshot kind of heel as he got a lot of practice during his tenure in ROH and being the only 2 time world champion. I happen to like the amount of ego he puts into the character and always referring to himself as A-Double. It works and adds some flair to the X-Division, something it’s been lacking for quite a long time. Now that the division has a top heel in Aries, all you need is to establish a top face for the Division. You had that once with AJ Styles, but he’s gone way above and evolved past the X-Division, same goes for Joe and Daniels. So now it leaves TNA having to create a new face for the division. Kendrick could be it if you actually give him a good gimmick. You need to do something with Alex Shelley since Chris Sabin is hurt, give the guy something to do before we see a reunion of the Motor City Machine Guns. Right call by making Aries the champ, but now TNA has to find a way to capitalize on it.