The IMPACT Wrestling archives are full of unforgettable matches and moments. This week, we head back to Hard Justice 2009 and the Steel Asylum match to crown a new number one contender for the X-Division Championship!
Amidst the ongoing battle between the Main Event Mafia and the rest of the IMPACT Wrestling roster, the stars of the X-Division took center stage in the opening bout at the Hard Justice 2009 pay-per-view event. The Mafia’s Samoa Joe was the reigning X-Division champ but who would be his next challenger? The Steel Asylum would determine that. This red structure was one of the most unique in all of professional wrestling. Cage walls surrounded the ring and a dome was placed on top. There was no escape except through one very small opening at the top of the Asylum — and that was the only way to win!
Part of what made the Steel Asylum so unique was that it was essentially a hybrid of two fan-favorite match types: Six Sides of Steel and Ultimate X. The hardcore violence of Six Sides of Steel and the high-risk, high-flying action of Ultimate X, the Steel Asylum truly was one of a kind! At Hard Justice 2009, big names like Jay Lethal, Amazing Red, Consequences Creed, Suicide, Daniels, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley and the debuting D’Angelo Dinero entered the structure but only one would leave with a shot at the X-Division title in their possession.
In the early going, established tag teams were working together. Both Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed, and Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley looked to thin out the competition. The lone wolves in the match, Daniels, Suicide, Dinero and Red squared off against them and against each other – after all, there was no prize for second place! At one point, each and every competitor was climbing the cage wall but they all got sent crashing down to the mat in a huge flurry of offense! Escape would not be achieved easily. Another strategy that was employed was to climb the turnbuckles in order to give you a boost towards the top of the Asylum – until there was as huge of Tower of Doom out of the corner that took out everyone!
The two front runners appeared to be D’Angelo Dinero and Suicide as they raced up the Asylum. Dinero got the upper hand and was able to send Suicide flying from the top of the structure to the mat in a jaw-dropping moment. However, the big shocker was yet to come. Instead of escaping through the top, Dinero decided to go back down to the ring in order to dish out more punishment to Suicide! This allowed Daniels to make his way up and out of the Asylum, declaring him the winner and number one contender to Samoa Joe’s X-Division Championship!
Not only that but it was clear that a personal rivalry was brewing between D’Angelo Dinero and Suicide. After a Steel Asylum match with numerous edge-of-your-seat moments, we were left with more questions than answers. Would Daniels be able to dethrone Samoa Joe and throw a wrench into the Main Event Mafia’s plans? What was D’Angelo Dinero’s motive for attacking Suicide? The Steel Asylum did not disappoint, nor did the fallout – but those are stories for another time.