Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TNA vs IMPACT Wrestling: The Storyline

On Twitter, I mentioned a storyline idea I had involving Jeff Jarrett. After reading the basic premise of it, FK9 encouraged me to flesh out the idea some more. While some things were changed on the cutting room floor, I did just that and came out with a solid outline of a storyline I had in mind.

Alot of the storyline depends on whether or not Hulk Hogan remains with TNA past Bound For Glory. It can be modified either way but for the sake of this column, I went with Hogan leaving TNA this year.

The Backstory
Now before really getting into the story, you need to know the history between Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter. In 2002, Jeff Jarrett founded TNA with his father. They sacrificed their finances to start TNA up. TNA would have never started without Jeff and Jerry Jarrett.

A few months after the company’s creation, a series of behind-the-scenes problems nearly put TNA out of business. Dixie Carter was working with TNA at the time and suggested to her parents at Panda Energy about the investment of purchasing. Long story short, Panda Energy bought TNA and has been putting money in the company since.

Jeff Jarrett stayed on at TNA and ran the wrestling side of things. He was an onscreen character and a backstage player (doing what Bruce Prichard did these past few years). Jarrett was really the end-all at TNA.

Jarrett ran the product from that point until mid-2009. In Summer 2009, it was revealed that Jarrett was having a relationship with Kurt Angle’s ex-wife Karen Angle. This led to a lot of tension in the company that resulted Dixie Carter to send Jeff Jarrett home. It was at this point that Jeff Jarrett really lost all of his power within the company.

Many of Jarrett’s associates were released such as Dutch Mantel, BG James and Savio Vega. Vince Russo remained on board only really as a transition to Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff’s arrival a few months later. He would leave a few years later as well.

Jarrett played an on-screen character in 2010 and 2011 before he and his wife, Karen were "fired" as a result of a stipulation. He has been involved in outside projects such as Ring Ka King and has worked down in AAA in Mexico. Many feel Jarrett was snubbed during the first two Hall of Fame ceremonies as well.

Since Jarrett’s departure from power, many concepts that made TNA popular disappeared. Concepts such as the Six Sided Ring, the all-Steel Cage PPV, King of the Mountain, Steel Asylum and even the TNA name in most cases. Only a few years after Jarrett left did the company really turn on its head.

The Story
After Bound For Glory (depending on if Hulk Hogan stays with the company or not), it is announced that the company has hired a new General Manager. For the first few months, the General Manager is a mystery, sending announcements and information through the announcers.

There will be a number of new hires and some cuts during the few months after BFG. The mystery GM will demand a new focus on the tag team, knockouts and X Division. All three divisions will see some new talent. He also brings back a few other concepts that may have been abandoned such as World’s X Cup and the X-Scape Match.

After a few months of the mystery GM making some changes, some firings and more, the GM is revealed with a lot of hype. At the end of one IMPACT, the GM is revealed to be Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett continues his role as an onscreen character. He is praising current champion, AJ Styles citing AJ being the poster child of TNA.

One week, the broadcast opens with Jeff Jarrett standing in the center of the Six Sided Ring with red ropes. The arena definitely has a “TNA” flavor to it. In his promo, Jeff talks about TNA being the underdog company that rose from the ashes. There is a definite reunion vibe to the shows. The company runs a few shows with the reunion theme as Jarrett talks up the “good ‘ol days.”

AJ Styles is a fighting champion and faces off against top name talent like Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode and others. Jeff Jarrett brings back the King of the Mountain Match (with simplified rules) which AJ defends the World Title in.

Anyway, eventually things build to an AJ Styles vs James Storm championship match. Jarrett is proud knowing that two men who got their names in TNA and were here since day one would be competing for the World Heavyweight Title. He tells them to go out there and deliver a five-star contest.

In the main event, the two go back-and-forth trying to top each other. The referee goes down and then a second one moments later. Jeff Jarrett comes out in the referee gear to control the match. AJ Styles has James Storm pinned but Jarrett refuses to make the count. AJ Styles turns around into a Last Call where Storm pins AJ.

James Storm is now the World Heavyweight Champion and a villain. Jeff Jarrett and Storm open the next IMPACT cutting a scathing semi-shoot on TNA, AJ Styles and Dixie Carter. Basically, Jeff is pissed that he built TNA from the ground up and Dixie ran him out of his own company. Since then, the TNA he once knew turned upside down. Now its “IMPACT Wrestling.”

In his promos Jarrett mentions being the guy to run Hulk Hogan out of TNA (even if it isn’t true), the guy to run Sting out of TNA (if Sting decides to leave) and he plans on bringing TNA back to the company he once loved. Other topics included in these shoot promos include Jarrett being snubbed from the Hall of Fame, Dixie killing TNA's identity and more.

After a few weeks or so, Jeff Jarrett’s promos get interrupted by AJ Styles. AJ thanks Jeff for what he did for this company in the beginning but it was the Carter family’s money that kept this ship afloat. It was the Carters that got this company to where it is today. It was the wrestler’s blood sweat and tears that got them where it was today. AJ said he missed some things about the old TNA but he didn’t miss being held down by the latest WWE hire. He didn’t miss being pushed down by the next flavor of the month. The wrestlers who get paid handsomely to collect a paycheck and then shit on the company after the checks stop.

Later in the storyline, Dixie Carter returns to IMPACT to confront Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett said he is sick of the name IMPACT Wrestling and wants his damn company back. Dixie says she loves the company and over her dead body will she give it away. Dixie talks up the risks she, her family and the wrestlers made to get TNA where it was today. She respects Jarrett for what he has done but he is only a small part of the TNA equation.

On an episode sometime in May, there is another confrontation between the two. The stipulation is made where winner takes all. At Slammiversary, its Team TNA vs Team IMPACT Wrestling. If Jeff Jarrett’s team wins, then Dixie Carter hands the presidency of the company over to him and IMPACT Wrestling goes back to being called TNA. If Dixie Carter’s team wins then Jeff Jarrett is gone from TNA once again and the TNA name is dropped for good in favor of IMPACT Wrestling.

…and one other thing, Jeff. When my team wins, you take your rightful spot in the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame…the only place you belong right now.”- Dixie Carter

Dixie Carter’s team (headed by AJ Styles or Sting) would win the Slammiversary main event. Jeff Jarrett would leave as an on-screen character and take his place in the Hall of Fame. The company would forever be called IMPACT Wrestling. James Storm would be elevated as champion. Older concepts such as the King of the Mountain Match and the World’s X Cup would be reintroduced and continued to be used. Finally there would be additional emphasis on TNA’s midcard divisions (KO, X, Tag Team)

The Endgame
-Settles name of company as either TNA or IMPACT Wrestling

-Puts more emphasis on X Division, Knockouts Division and Tag Team Divisions

-Reintroduces certain concepts such as the King of the Mountain.

-Provides an interesting story and theme for shows.

-Elevates James Storm back into main event scene.

-Puts Jeff Jarrett into the Hall of Fame.

The facts are, most of the goals in the endgame can be accomplished without a major storyline. They can be a number of subtle changes without any glitz and glamor. What this storyline does is gives the company a hook for the next nine to twelve months.

Please let me know what you think about the storyline idea in the comments below.