The X-Division was created by TNA currently known as Impact Wrestling. This division showcases different styles in pro-wrestling. The styles usually consist of Japanese strong style, high-flying, Lucha Libre, and technical wrestling. The title debuted on June 19, 2002.
In the beginning, the title was known as the NWA X Championship.
The division was described as evolutionary, imaginative, and some would even say ingenious. This is the first time in pro-wrestling that anything like this was attempted. The fans felt it had that classic feel from the WCW Cruiserweight division but mixed with a new school flavor.
The X Championship was not about weight limits, it is about no limits! This was once stated by commentator Mike Tenay.
Originally, the division had a weight class of 225 lb. This was valid up till June 10, 2012. Samoa Joe challenged for the belt at Slammiversary. In October of that year, the weight limit was lifted once Rob Van Dam won the title at Bound for Glory.
In March of 2013, the promotion gave a new set of rules for the division.
- All matches were to be in a triple threat format.
- The weight limit for competitors was 230 lbs.
- If an opponent in the triple threat gets pinned or taps out from a submission, they would be ineligible for the next championship match. The one that does not will be able to challenge for the next X-Division match.
Later that year around August, the rules were lifted once again.
The X-Cam would be introduced in April 2013. This allowed the audience a first-person view of each X-Division match.
In 2003 Ultimate X was introduced. A red letter “X” would be suspended above the ring by two cables. The cables would create an “X”. This match would include several competitors in competition to recover the giant X. This would determine who the winner of the match was.
Other types of matches in TNA’s history included Steel Asylum and Xscape match.
Steel Asylum was last used in September 2020 to determine the number 1 contender. The match layout includes the ring being enclosed with a red steel barred cage with a domed ceiling. The competitor must escape through the ceiling to become the victor.
Xscape determines the number one contender and is a type of cage match. Usually involving more than four competitors. Each person must eliminate each other by pinfall or submission. Once two men are left. Those two then will see who escapes the cage to determine the winner.
Option C is where an X Division Champion can vacate the title in exchange for a Heavyweight Championship match during Destination X. This was a concept started in 2012 when Austin Aries no longer was satisfied or fulfilled with being the X Division Champion.
The first inaugural X Division champion was A.J. Styles. Austin Aries holds the record for the division as the longest title holder. Eric Young has the shortest reign. Motor City Machine Guns Chris Sabin holds the record for the division for the most reigns with the title. He has had a total of eight reigns as X Division Champion.
Currently, Rohit Raju is the X Division Champion. He defeated Chris Bey and TJP in a triple threat match at Emergence Night 1.
The X Division keeps progressing in the world of pro-wrestling. Allowing talent to showcase themselves in an incredible manner. It was one of the primary attractions to wrestling fans and will continue to evolve to higher standards than most promotions. Pro-wrestling has always been a form of entertainment, art, and expression. The question is, do you dare be different and place no limits on expanding your mind as a viewer?
Photo Credit: IMPACT WRESTLING