Those who have been reading this column for a while might have it in them that I've got this strange sort of man-crush on the Canadian Destroyer, and to a degree, they're right. Truth be told, however, Petey Williams means more to TNA than they knew back when this footage was shot. In my eyes, Williams was the barometer of the X Division. When things were at their best, he was there, when things began to dissipate, he had moved away from it. But the fact of the matter is....it wasn't only Petey that MADE the division great, though his finisher is the UNRIVALED end-all-be-all in the game today.
I give TNA all the credit in the world for trying to rebuild, but some pieces of the success puzzle, so to speak, can never be replaced. Once Williams was gone, things began to fall apart....other members of the division began to follow suit. It wasn't until noises and rumblings that TNA, under new management, was going to begin putting more emphasis on the division they "forgot" about we heard, that some of the familiar faces returned. Amazing Red, Sonjay Dutt, and others began making one off returns and, in the case of Red, it introduced a brand new talent to the mix who WASN'T in the division, Crimson.
So it may sound as though I'm giving one man more credit than he is due, but the real killer of the division wasn't a man; it was a rule.....when the weight limit was put on the X Division, suddenly, the door was closed for David and Goliath matches. Some of the rivalries that might otherwise have taken place had the rug pulled out from beneath. It wasn't until "Option C" was established by Austin Aries that those potential feuds could be realized, but something was always missing in spite of the rule....a slogan. Everyone who is a fan of TNA for longer than the regime knows EXACTLY what I'm taking about. It was a staple that the entire division was BUILT around. Say it with me.....IT'S NOT ABOUT WEIGHT LIMITS, IT'S ABOUT NO LIMITS.
So, in a way, it never was about the finisher OR the man, but the POSSIBILITY of Petey Williams returning makes THIS writer wonder.....what if? What if TNA decided that they were wrong to let him slip away all those years ago? What if the climate was right for another run? Petey Williams vs. Bobby Roode in the current climate? Petey Williams vs. Austin Aries? Petey Williams vs. Samoa Joe? The people who remember Team Canada are salivating at the prospect of Bobby Roode as a rival. Those who remember the X Division's beginnings are drooling over Austin Aries as a rival. The return of the Canadian Destroyer makes for good climate change in the land of opportunity...TNA.
Bobby Roode went from Team Canada's version of Arn Anderson, the enforcer, to the longest reigning World Title holder in TNA history. Austin Aries went from Austin Starr, the overtalented jobber of the X Division, to the innovator of "Option C" and the headlining act going into Bound for Glory. The first of two-three hour TV Special Tapings Genesis weekend heralds the return of Petey Williams for a night. TNA, if you're reading this....do the right thing. Make him an offer he can't refuse.