Disclaimer: This week I will talk in-depth about the argument that I started on TNAsylum over the weekend in regards to the fans “confidence” in TNA programming these days. I will also talk about the Aces and Eights group. Some other miscellaneous topics might find their way into the blog this week.
TNA Has been Pushing TNA Originals For A Year Now, Yet The Praise is Just Now Starting In
It is almost comical to me when I read various wrestling boards rave about TNA’s greatness over the past 5 weeks or so. It includes praise for TNA giving us great matches on a weekly basis, it includes TNA having “focus” on the specific stories they are telling, and my personal favorite TNA is now pushing the right people. Now don’t get me wrong TNA has been doing the things stated above however TNA was doing this SIX- SEVEN months ago and the praise was nowhere to be found. Roode has been having stellar singles matches on Impact going back to last September when he ran the “Fortune Gauntlet”.
Over the past year we have seen some tremendous matches on “free TV”, yet where was the praise then? Bruce Pritchard took over creative at or just after the Bound For Glory ppv and one of things he does well is pace the shows better. So the stories have been focused for 9 months now yet the praise is just now coming in for that. Let’s move on to my favorite topic, pushing the “right” people. Last Year people were mad that TNA focused the show on Sting and Hogan which is understandable. (I enjoyed the older guys but I at least understood their POV) People were CLAMORING for the old guys to step aside and let the “young” guys (well those young guys are like 35 now hence the quotes on young) get the spotlight with a few vets who can still go sprinkled in. Since Bound For Glory 2011, here are the main cast of the TNA shows: Samoa Joe, James Storm, Gail Kim, Austin Aries, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Kazarian, Daniels, Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and Robert Roode. Others rotate in and out of the spotlight but these 11 are the main people who are being pushed on the TNA broadcast as the backbone of the company and Roode being the clear-cut FOCAL POINT of the product as the World Champion.
Now right after Bound For Glory, I understood the wrestling fans apprehension for believing that TNA was pushing these guys for real. But come on? By February after 4 months of these guys being the featured players surely the praise should’ve started to roll in for TNA but it didn’t. It took 9 months and the IWC god Austin Aries (I am not bashing Aries at all as you all know how much I love the guy) getting set to do battle for the World Title that the praise started rolling in and the fans “confidence” started growing. I read one blog from a guy bowing at TNA’s greatness for giving Aries the belt while in the same blog going on in length about how TNA will regret firing VELVET SKY. The guy doesn’t watch TNA but his “confidence” in TNA went through the roof not because of the product because he clearly knows nothing about it but rather based on the fact that Austin Aries is now the “The Greatest TNA World Champion That Ever Lived” Just wait until the ppv where Aries loses the belt and the fans “confidence” will disappear. The only people who can beat Aries to maintain the fans “confidence” is Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Daniels who are also IWC gods.
One of the early guest columns I ever wrote on TNAsylum before I graduated to regular writer I talked about why TNA is so hated by wrestling fans and my number 1 reason was because TNA had too many IWC gods/legends on the roster and you can’t push them all. If TNA was getting praised for all the good they were doing in February: with 4 months of great matches, stories and pushing the right people Id have agreed with the fact that the Fans “confidence” in the product was legit but it took another 5 months for this praise to come about just around the time an IWC god became World Champion. Of course the confidence could be legit and will still be there after Aries loses the belt presumably to Roode before Bound For Glory, but I am as you know so jaded when it comes to wrestling fans that I need to see it to believe it first.
What a Difference 12 Months Make (This Will Tie In To The Above Story)
This is something I thought about turning into a blog all its own last week but it just didn’t cover enough material so it’s a part of this one. Let’s go back to July 17th 2011, the night CM Punk made history and was going to change wrestling forever. WWE had just taken a chance with “the greatest angle of the last decade” by crowning Punk champ on the night he was leaving the company for good, oh the possibilities. The WWE was ushering in a new era with Punk at the top, the “Reality Era”. (Remember those IWC jokers last year with that bullshit) ROH was making the necessary changes before they got to TV and because of the greatness of their product would unseat TNA as the number 2 brand in all of Sports Entertainment (Remember those people TNA fans, weren’t they funny?) once they got there. Meanwhile TNA was pushing a 52 year old as the main aspect of the show in a gimmick taken straight out of a movie. “TNA was crap”, WWE was about to do something amazing and ROH was preparing to become a major player in the Sports Entertainment field.
Fast Forward 12 months and CM Punk along with WWE booking has managed to make the WWE Championship an upper midcard title due to him playing second fiddle to John Cena on TV and PPV and playing second fiddle to random Ryback squashes on PPV. (Yeah those come AFTER Punk defends his title these days on ppv) Not to mention the fact he left the WWE forever only to return a week later last summer. ROH is having problems left and right with talent leaving (Kenny King), talent being told to stay home (Davey Richards, GenMe/Young Bucks, TJ Perkins) and the fact ROH has only 6 shows left for the rest of 2012. (Only 4 TV tapings and 2 I-PPVs) but ironically the morale in the locker room is low yet. Meanwhile look at what we have going on in TNA: The “right” guys (right being the IWC legends and those other young guys who apparently don’t suck so I put in the quotes since the people getting pushed might not be right at all) getting pushed as the main players of TNA, the old guys all but gone, storylines that are different than the norm, matches are getting a boatload of time on TV and PPV and the fact TNA is now live.
If you made the predictions last year that became a reality in 2012, you’re a genius and I will be asking you for this weeks lottery numbers. At the same time you’d have been called a delusional moron if you predicted all that has happened from July 2011-July 2012 in statements you made last year at this time. Oh what a difference 12 Months make indeed.
The Aces And Eights Established a Detail That Is Significant On Impact
I’m not going to go into a whole spiel about the group yet because it’s simply too soon to do so but there is one thing that should be talked about. When you’re being introduced as a Super Group, rule of thumb is that you need to establish dominance. However on Impact, the Aces and The Eights established something more than just dominance; they established that NO ONE IS SAFE. It doesn’t matter if you have been a fixture in TNA for years (Angle, Sting and Roode), It doesn’t matter if you have been in TNA for a short while (Aries and Hogan), It doesn’t matter if you’re a Pro Wrestling legend (Hogan, Angle and Sting), It doesn’t matter if it’s your first night in the company (Sam Shaw), it doesn’t matter if you are a nobody (Sam Shaw again) and it doesn’t matter if you’re a babyface or a heel. All that matters is that if you get in the way of this group, you will get taken out.
Some people didn’t like 3 separate attacks as they called it overkill but personally I loved it as again a little detail (The Quality is in the Details TNAsylum commenters) made it all work: “there is no law and order in the building tonight”. Taz and Tenay repeated throughout the night which made this idea work. Now I’d keep them off next week’s show and have them just tweet something along the lines of “we attack again when we want to” or something like that to keep the intrigue up of when they will do it next and who will they jump. (Not everyone follows the group on twitter so for the masses, the attack would be unexpected) By the way, I enjoyed the little touch of them following the next wrestler on twitter as a way to let the fans in the know who they would be jumping next. I definitely see this as a Nexus type of group as part of me feels that this is Dave Lagana showing the WWE that if they didn’t fire him, he wouldn’t have screwed up booking the Nexus angle like the creative team sans Lagana did. Just like Nexus, there is a “higher power” guiding these people to do their bidding; Let the guessing game begin on that front as well.