The X Division is a high-flying, high-risk, fast-paced style of professional wrestling seen originally in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and since then in various NWA member promotions. Its tagline was that "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits!" The TNA X Division Championship has changed hands fifty-eight times since 2002, and is currently held by Samoa Joe.
The high-flying, high risk style of wrestling had become one of the features of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s. Rather than emphasizing the fact that most wrestlers who perform this style are under 220 lb (100 kg) by calling it a cruiserweight division, TNA decided to emphasize the high-risk nature of the stunt like moves that the wrestlers performed only in TNA where no restraints were placed on them. As such, according to Bob Ryder in The History of TNA: Year 1, they named the division after the X Games.
Until 2011, there was no upper weight limit on the X Division or its title, though in practice, most of the wrestlers in this division were cruiserweights, with Sonny Siaki, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, and Abyss being notable exceptions. To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" was used to describe the division. On the August 11, 2011, edition of Impact Wrestling, TNA authority figure Eric Bischoff announced that X Division would have a weight limit of 225 lb (102 kg). However, when Hulk Hogan became the new on screen GM in March 2012, the weight limit was quietly repealed, as heavier wrestlers like former champion Samoa Joe and eventual champion Rob Van Dam were able to compete for the title.
On the March 21, 2013 episode of Impact Wrestling, new rules were implemented for the X Division:
- A 230 lb. weight limit
- All matches will be Triple Threat matches
- In championship matches, whoever gets pinned or is made to submit would be ineligible for the next championship match, while the one who does not will be a challenger for the next X Division match.
On the April 18, 2013 episode of Impact Wrestling, a new feature called the X Cam was introduced, giving viewers a first-person look at every X Division match.
On the August 22, 2013 episode of Impact Wrestling, it was announced that the triple threat match rule had been revoked and that X Division matches may also be contested under one on one matches again.
On October 20, 2013 at Bound For Glory, 280 lb. Samoa Joe took part in a five-man Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship. This indicated that the 230 lb. weight limit was also quietly revoked
Although it has been de-emphasized since 2007, the X Division is generally regarded as one of the key attractions of TNA.
One of the most intense feuds in the X Division was between A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe. The feud started when Joe won the 2005 Super X Cup, becoming one of the best wrestlers in the division. Both Daniels and Styles disliked Joe, despite having had a feud of their own.
TNA maintains three different styles of tournament referred to as "X Cup" tournaments. The Super X Cup tournament is a standard single-elimination tournament featuring one-on-one matches. The Americas X Cup tournament was a team-format points-based tournament featuring two teams of four wrestlers each, with each team representing a respective country that most or all of the wrestlers are from. Members of the team competed in a variety of matches, including singles matches and tag team matches, which accrued points for their side. The World X Cup tournament was an expansion on the Americas X Cup, in which four teams of four wrestlers competed. In the World X Cup, TNA always hosts a home team for the United States, with other countries such as Japan, Mexico, and Canada being represented by either TNA-contracted wrestlers or wrestlers from a promotion that TNA has a partnership agreement with.
X Division wrestlers are generally the only TNA wrestlers that compete in the TNA X Cup Tournaments. The first such tournament was the TNA 2003 Super X Cup Tournament, which was won by Chris Sabin.
Ultimate X Match
The Ultimate X match is the signature gimmick match of the X Division. It is very similar to a ladder match, except that two cables criss-cross through the ring, and the item of value is hung at the intersection of the cables. The winner is the one who can jump up to the cables from the top turnbuckles, hand-over-hand their way to the center, or with help of steel girders acting as ladders climbing up onto the top, then standing on the cable, before dropping down and take down the item of value,
It was originally created in August 2003 and pitted Michael Shane, Frankie Kazarian, and Chris Sabin. Since then, twenty-four Ultimate X matches have taken place, some for the X Division championship, some for the TNA World Tag Team Championship, and some with a giant red X suspended above the ring symbolizing something such as number one contender status, and even the X Division title itself.
- Schomburg, Eric. "TNA's Best of the X Division Volume 1: DVD Review". American Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- McNamara, Andy. "No limits to second X Division DVD". Slam! Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- Roelfsema, Eric; Sam Falcitelli and Earl Oliver. "NWA TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION X DIVISION/ TNA X DIVISION TITLE HISTORY". Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- Boutwell, Josh (2011-08-12). "Impact Wrestling Results - 8/11/11". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Wade, Daniel (February 8, 2006). "Mr 5-Star: Samoa Joe". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- "TNA X Division Tournaments". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3odeC_U15DA&feature=em-uploademail X Division Championship: Manik vs. Greg Marasciulo vs. Sonjay Dutt - July 25, 2013