Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Way to Build on the Roode/Storm Legacy

If you haven’t checked out or contributed to the “TNA wishlist” thread elsewhere on this site, I highly recommend that you do. I’ve gotten great enjoyment out of posting to it and reading the posts of others – so many good ideas out there that just demonstrate how passionate the Impact Wrestling audience is.

One of things I wish TNA would do more of is build on its past history in storytelling, and I think the promotion especially should do so with Bobby Roode, James Storm and the legacy of Beer Money because that is history that is all its own, not borrowed from any other promotion or storyline.

I really enjoyed last year when, during the time Bobby Roode gradually was turning face, he sought out James Storm for some advice and they talked out some of their past issues in backstage vignettes. Of course, shortly thereafter, Storm turned heel and began building the Revolution, which again cast those two wrestlers into separate orbits.

Now, I feel like Roode is floundering as a top face, but not as the title holder or top contender to that title at the moment. There also is a sense by some that the Revolution storyline may be winding down, although I’m not sure that’s true.

But presuming TNA does want to revitalize Roode a bit and gradually move Storm on from the Revolution angle, here’s a way they could go which would build again on Roode’s past. (If you’ve been reading the TNA wishlist thread, you may have seen my post about a fantasy booking angle I came up with in ‘90s in which The Rockers would have been re-united after Shawn Michaels suffered amnesia from a bump on the head. Hmm, a bump on the head – why would that make me think of Storm and Roode?)

I don’t know that anyone has ever drawn the comparison but the night Bobby Roode took the world title from James Storm by breaking Storm’s signature beer bottle over his head was more or less TNA’s equivalent of when Shawn Michaels superkicked Marty Jannetty thru the mirror on the “Barbershop” set, breaking up the Rockers and launching Michaels’ hyper-successful singles-heel career. The beer-bottle incident did the same for Beer Money and Roode, but also had the good fortune of increasing Storm’s star level in singles competition, a benefit Jannetty never got from the mirror angle.

In the coming months, building up to hopefully a summer pay-per-view (Slammiversary?), I’d have the tension grow between the Revolution and the Hardys. I’d have the Hardys win the tag titles, with various pairings from the Revolution trying unsuccessfully to win the belts. Ultimately, the Hardys would drop the tag titles to another non-Revolution team, and Jeff Hardy would return to the “Willow” gimmick, in part because he needs to access a darker part of himself to deal effectively with ongoing antagonism from Storm.

This would set up a cage match at Slammiversary between Willow and Storm, with the following stipulations. If Hardy loses, he must give up the Willow character forever. If Storm loses, he must disband the Revolution permanently.

In the cage match, Hardy would win, but not before grabbing Storm’s now-signature cowbell and hitting him over the head, rendering Storm unconscious for the pinfall. In this event, Hardy stooping to this level would turn him (or Willow at least) heel. But Storm would still lose and have to end the Revolution faction. The remaining members would go their own ways, with perhaps Manik and Khoya sticking together as an Asian-themed tag team. (The “Asian Assassins”?)

Roode would come to ringside after the cowbell incident to check on Storm’s well-being, and also jaw with Willow and eventually Matt Hardy, who would come to his brother’s defense. This would lead to a program where the Hardys would fight the reunited Beer Money in a series of grudge matches.

Following the blow-off of that feud, there would be the question of whether Roode and Storm would remain together as Beer Money. During the angle with the Hardys, Jeff would be basically himself and Matt would remain a face, but Willow would do heelish things once in a while independent of the Beer Money angle. Roode and Storm would remain consistent with their characters heading into Slammiversary, with Roode an intense face and Storm a sinister, calculating heel.

But after the blow-off of the Hardys angle, which would also include a break between Jeff and Matt as Jeff descends further into the madness of Willow, Beer Money would stay together, with Storm gradually returning to his fun-loving ways and bringing a beer bottle with him to the ring. The announcers would speculate that Storm might be biding his time to get the ultimate revenge, and turn on Roode with the beer bottle.

But instead, Roode would turn heel and Beer Money would go on for the time being as the fun-loving but heel tag team they had been before. This would give Roode and Storm a clear direction while not in the world title picture, as others like EC3 and Drew Galloway move into that picture. And from there, the story could move a million different ways.

“Heed the Messenger”