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[2012-07-08-TNA-Destination X] Austin Aries vs Bobby Roode

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I liked this, although not as much as some (Meltzer had it at ****1/2). Roode had been effectively built as a champion, and Aries being put in the bind of giving up the X title for the shot really worked for his character - the talented smaller guy with a bit of Napoleon complex. Aries is very good here. Roode is solid, but he sort of lacks another gear as a worker to put this over the top. He's a guy who needs a gimmick to help push things (his street fight with Storm at Bound For Glory escalates with thumb tacks, not the ring work). Worthy climax to Roode's reign, though.

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TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode vs Austin Aries - TNA Destination X 2012

Even though I think this is overrated, I am really excited this has a such a great rep and it is generally considered one of the top ten or twenty best TNA match ever because this is a classic championship formula match. The Classic Championship Formula usually does not play well the critics of today so it is refreshing to see this praised so much. I have always liked Austin Aries but sitting down watching three of his matches in a row from his landmark 2012 campaign has made me a huge fan. 

I think his execution is always crisp and everything he does has zip, but most importantly he is always moving forward and he is always fighting back. I know this shouldnt be a compliment but at the end of the day Benoit was a great wrestler and I see a lot of Benoit in Aries. The story of this match is Roode is the traditional heavyweight champion and does not think he smaller X-Division champion is even in his league. How do I know this you may ask? Well Roode says "Youre not in my league" about a bajillion times so thats how I know! Solid shine from Aries that is great character work. Roode slaps his head playfully on an exchange so Aries tools on him and slaps him around. Good shit. Aries fires off a couple quick, impactful moves to pop the crowd. Aries misses two of his signature moves. First is the missile dropkick, this leads to a short heat segment where Roode suffocates him but doesnt have a plan. Roode misses the kneedrop and looks like Aries is poised to run away with this but Aries EXPLODES out of the ring as he normally does but only to eat the railing. OW! This leads to the heat segment proper and it is a damn good one. Roode spears Aries and then the Gourdbuster shows that he believes Aries injured his ribs/abdomen on that dive. Bodyscissors and bearhugs are holds of choice as Roode peppers in shots to this injured area. Commentary totally drops the ball on this, but I picked it up. Aries is so good at peppering in the hope spots and Roode is great at cutting off. The big problem is that Roode is very similar to HHH. He gives very soulless, mechanical performances. The heat segment is executed correctly but whereas the panache and the flair. What makes this uniquely Bobby Roode? Or what is he doing to get heat on top of just working Aries over? After some basic trash talking, Aries starts to hulk up. Roode tries to pieface him and Aries responds with an overhand chop that would make Ronnie Garvin proud! He CRACKED him! SUICIDE DIVE! WIPES OUT ROODE! MISSILE DROPKICK! I like how he is hitting the moves he missed earlier. He goes for the big dropkick in the corner to set up the Brainbuster BUT Roode catches him and slams him to the mat. Great cutoff. Excellent layout and Aries is wrestling for two with all his energy & character work.

Roode goes for the spear again but Aries lays out and pancakes him into a Last Chancery. Cool spot. They do some submission trading which is a lot less cool. Roode rakes the eyes on the second Last Chancery, he should have just down that in the first place. Spinebuster, always a great heel transition. They do a Crossface for no apparent reason. Even though Roode is clearly in command, he wants the title belt. Stupid. Ref takes title away, ballshot. Still cant win. Roode is arguing with ref. CORNER DROPKICK! Prelude to the Brainbuster?!? Roode escapes and shoves into ref. Belt shot! 1-2-NO! Aries kicks Roode in the face...BRAINBUSTER! 1-2-3! Love the efficiency. 

Here's the thing the story of the match that they clearly wanted was Aries overcomes cheating heel champion to win so why did they wait to have Roode cheat. Roode should have cheated to transition to the heat segment and at least 1-2 times more. It feel like only the last 2-3 minutes of this match matter because that where the hook and the actual story is. The 18 or so minutes prior were pointless in the grand scheme of the story. I still enjoyed the traditional Championship Match Formula with a great heat segment with purpose set up by a hellacious Suicide Dive to the railing. Aries was so good selling and peppering in the those hope spots. I really liked the finish run a lot but the match was disjointed. AJ Styles' still has Booby Roode's best match by a country mile, but this is a solid outing. ***3/4    

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