I can’t help but feel that my tolerable level of TNA is diminishing. That doesn’t mean I hate it, but I guess with the recent layoffs (which I understand) the whole financial mess, Hulk Hogan seemingly getting himself in trouble, AJ Styles even having difficulties re-signing (or at least that’s what they want you to know). It seems TNA is in a very different position than it was, back in 2010 every show was exciting, new stars, huge twists, crazy matches, awesome talent. Now it seems to be struggling, they’ve recycled the crappy invading faction thing too many times. Aces and Eights turned out to be a big disappointment, any decent story like Joseph Park has been watered down and still running pushing a year and a half later, AJ Styles’ character change which was awesome has been ditched.
There is very little going for it that makes it exciting any more. I for one am a big fan of the BFG Series, but they didn’t seem figure that one well enough, to say they Write so far in advance, personally I don’t mind how they handled it. But what is the point for 12 guys to battle for 3 Months to earn a Heavyweight Championship Match on the Biggest Stage, hey, spoilers, Anderson declared his own Title Shot this week with a week’s effort, he did nothing, and he was in the BFG Series. For the remaining 11 Guys, that has to take the piss right?
Main Event Mafia is a joke, Aces and Eights is a joke, Chris Sabin having a fit is a joke, Hogan trying to be the GM is a joke, Sting doing anything is a joke, the Tag Division is a joke, the Knockouts Division is a joke, the X-Division is a joke, all they have going for them is the Heavyweight Championship, and they if lost AJ Styles, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, who would really care about that?
If TNA are actually taking it seriously to “Re-Shape” the company, then they need to, and they need to quickly. Also Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson…. joke.
The Aces and Eights kicked off Impact with Bully trying to mend the holes in his faction. Declaring that they are in full control, and his “Boys” are the best Band of Brothers he could have ever asked for. More importantly there was a great “Tito Sucks” Chant, which I don’t know if that means he’s good at drawing a reaction from the crowd, or everyone just agrees he sucks.
Unfortunately with TNA’s current Financial issues The Aces and Eights faction, aside from Bully and Anderson is entirely made up of people TNA could easily “cut” from their Roster. And part of me thinks every time someone from the faction drops out of their Aces and Eights attire, they will be gone from the Company too. Well maybe not Garrett, but that would no doubt annoy people, for obvious reasons.
I guess in that sense Bully has indeed Created the perfect team to challenge TNA Management, a whole Faction of pointless, worthless, expendable talent that have eaten up Pay Checks for over a year.
Knux vs. Chris Sabin
I can’t say I ever really watched Mike Knox in WWE, I do however like his Character change and his new look within TNA, it does suit him, and it certainly suits the part he plays. But again, he isn’t likely to stick around, I think when they decide to cut him, he will be gone. That’s not a knock to him on a personal level, but in the ring, he isn’t really anything special.
Speaking of not Special, this marked Chris Sabin’s first match since losing the belt. And just like when he fought Bully twice, Sabin spent the entire match on the floor getting his ass kicked. So just how the hell did he get a World Championship. I know Sabin is awesome, put him up against Beer Money, or back in the X-Division, he shines. Put him in the Main Events against the “big guys” and he sucks. So to me as a viewer, he just comes across really weak and pathetic… why do I want him as my Champion?
Austin Aries is a small built guy, yet he fought, battled and defeated Bully Ray in the Match of the Year last year, single-handily.
Anyway, after a long boring match of Knux beating up Sabin, Bully slides the Hammer into the ring, Sabin grabs the Hammer and hits Knux over the head with it, getting DQ’d and Knux picking up the win.
This led to an amazingly convincing backstage segment between Sabin and Velvet where Sabin paced back and forth blabbing about Hammers and he can beat them, and they brought them in the ring, and blah blah blah. Velvet walked with him pulling her hair out trying to tell him to calm down and that Sabin doesn’t need Hammers to win. Correction, the only way he actually beat Bully Ray was with a Hammer, aside from that, he got his ass kicked.
That aside, this “Angry Sabin” thing is rather dull. Sabin sucks on the mic, so trying to make him come across as Angry, guess what… it sucks. He isn’t convincing. This makes me think Velvet’s big “I missed the show” crap is indeed going to wind up linked to Sabin having like a mental break down or some rubbish like that.
Here is why I have such a big problem with this, Sabin has been battling the Aces and Eights since he returned and won the X-Division Championship, they bullied him, but he fought back, won the belt, lost the belt. He has legitimate issues with them as a Faction, wouldn’t it have been much better if Sabin lost the belt, then a week later just came out “Guns Blazing” and joined the Main Event Mafia purely to get revenge on The Aces and Eights? To me that makes sense.
Sabin wouldn’t need to be a MEM member, just helped them out because it would have served his own needs. That in turn would keep him fresh, and he could still be “Angry” but without being dumb at the same time.
Not only would that have helped solidify a decent grudge between Sabin and The Aces and Eights, but it would have freed AJ Styles up to continue with the path he was on. He could have kept to himself, kept focussed on the Belt, and just dominate and fight his way through the BFG Finals and take the Belt from Bully. Because as it is now, AJ is becoming the “Good Guy” through a heavy Scripted manor, of course he is also being pushed a lot, but they could have achieved that without trying to turn him. And also Sabin is looking like he’s turning into the same gimmick AJ just spent a year or more developing. That doesn’t make sense in my head?
Mickie James makes her way to the ring to deliver yet another good Heel Promo. She is really good at being a generic annoying woman. That is a good thing, I love Mickie, but she is good at being Heel, but in a way that makes people really like what she’s doing. However there is also a flip side to this, coming off of the controversial VMA’s performance from Miley Cyrus, Mickie tried her best to connect some dots between them.
Personally, I don’t think there is anything more in it than blatant name dropping to try and get some “controversy” and attention swinging back their way. But this just made TNA seem really desperate to try and pull headlines, rather than creating them themselves. I can tell you this, there will be Billions of people in the world who don’t like Miley Cyrus, or do like Miley Cyrus, but wouldn’t give a flying mop bucket about the VMA’s, yet they would have watched those videos and read those stories because of the Controversy that surrounds it. Eric Bischoff put it best “Controversy creates Cash”, so TNA, do something yourselves, rather than trying to link your product to places it doesn’t belong.
ECW didn’t have even close to the Budget TNA has, let alone the audience size, the television deals, and yet they created huge controversy, and had a huge “impact” on the Wrestling industry, before the time of the Internet.
So it really does make you question why TNA don’t try and do something really “big” to create that buzz. Hell WCW probably created the biggest controversial moment in the history of Wrestling with the formation of the NWO. I know times are different, but it seems they either fall back on the Stories that have already been done, or they just go in a completely opposite direction that no-one wants. And worst of all, they actually have some amazing Ideas, yet they never let them play out, or they change them, or they drag them out for too long, or they have no idea how to end it, or mainly the pay off always, Always, sucks.
Either way, Mickie James wore a Gold Top underneath her t-shirt (Miley Cyrus) talked about Twerking, and then ODB came out, who blabbed about something I didn’t write down and tore Mickie’s shirt off, and then she ran away…. Yup, to think the Knockouts Division used to be amazing.
There are rumours that TNA didn’t know quite where they were going with the BFG Series, but I actually like how it turned out. I think a last minute final match for 20Points should be how they end the series every year. It can really change up the leader board for the final four. What they shouldn’t do though is hand out what, 4 other matches in the Series also with 20Points, because that didn’t really play that well. The whole idea is these guys are battling these intense matches trying to pick up the points. So it seems unfair to dish out so many points so frequently.
Also Taz mentioned on the same thing I was thinking, why did this Gauntlet run from the Lowest Scorers to the Highest. Basically the ones with the most points had the best chance of earning more points, so basically, if Magnus won, then nothing would have changed.
If it was the other way round, you would have the top four guys battling it out trying to win the Number One slot so they can pick their opponent. Not to mention they would have a further 8 Guys gunning for their spot in the Top Four. It would make a great dynamic to the board, but as it was, in the end, it didn’t matter. I get that those at the very bottom, even if they won the match, wouldn’t even make it to the top Four, but that would make them very dangerous, as if they were out to screw you over, with a nothing to lose attitude. Sort of what they tried to do with Jay Bradley, as he was apparently “paid off” to eliminate someone. Since his Gut Check, I’ve said put him in The Aces and Eights, so let’s hope that happens. Also in about 2 Months time, everyone from the faction will be fired.
The Gauntlet boiled down to AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, which was a satisfying way to close out the Series, and AJ of course was on fire, and inevitably picked up the Win and moved to the Top of the Leader Board. Who doesn’t love AJ Styles, I’m just disappointed we didn’t get to see where his “No One” Gimmick was going…. yes, chances are probably “No Where”, but he was my pick from Day One, and I’m sticking to it!
James Storm and Gunner vs. Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco (Aces and Eights)
The real question is, “why has it taken them so long to let a Team from The Aces and Eights feud with the Tag Champions?”. They could have done it from the get go, with Wes and Bischoff or Doc and Knux.
This seems like they are wanting to bring some fresh faces into the Tag Division, as they only have what, 3 Teams otherwise, one of which was busy in the BFG Series, the other we never see.
I think this really just sums up “How the mighty have fallen”, Storm was fantastic following a great run with Beer Money, his feud with Bobby Roode in the Heavyweight Division, an awesome Lockdown match, a great return, the favourite for the BFG Series, and then finally a good Street Fight with Roode at last year’s BFG, and now he’s what, another Mash Up Tag-Team Champion who barely even gets any TV Time. Storm is quickly turning into TNA’s version of Kane.
Storm is great in the ring, and has a great Character to boot, but since last year, he’s been boring as hell. Gunner has always been boring, sure he’s impressive and he’s looking the best he’s ever been since teaming up with Storm, but still. Garret and Wes? Who cares?
Like seriously, who cares? The Aces and Eights started out powerful, trying to take over the Company, winning all the gold, holding all the power, black mailing management. Now it’s just Bully Ray as Champion shouting at some expendable “soon to be fired” guys who dress as scruffy as possible. What does it matter if they win the Tag Championships now? Who cares about that, Bully doesn’t, TNA Management doesn’t, they won’t hold any power, because the Faction is created purely for Bully Ray. It sucks, it’s a terrible idea.
Wes and Garret cheater their way to victory which can only mean they will get a Championship Match either at No Surrender or work their way to a BFG Championship Match.
My guess is they will win, if Anderson can take out Bully Ray, then they could theoretically breathe new life in The Aces and Eights which would make it function as a group, and therefore holding the belts would mean something.
AJ Styles made his way to the ring to pick his Opponent for the Semi-Finals at No Surrender in the Bound For Glory Series.
I should note that AJ used his old music, so my guess is he’s completely done with the “No One” gimmick. Maybe keep the hair, attire etc till Bound for Glory itself, then change it back. Or he would have changed it back completely by No Surrender next week.
AJ chose Austin Aries, which means Magnus and Roode will complete the second Semi-Final match.
Not too shabby for No Surrender.
With AJ losing to Austin Aries a few weeks back, it would seem that with AJ’s current “change of mind” and focus, he will go on to defeat Aries.
So, I am not sure about Roode vs. Magnus, usually I would guess Magnus, but I would actually expect The Aces and Eights to screw him out of it. Though a MEM vs. Aces and Eights theme would suit what they’re going for, as Bully would battle Magnus in the main event. My guess is Roode will win via some low tactic, and AJ will defeat Roode.
Bully Ray vs. Sting
So TNA spent most of the show clarifying how this is a non-title match, and that Sting can never Wrestle for the belt again. This is no doubt to correct Hogan’s blunder from last week where he declared this a Championship match. Which no doubt he would have got in the neck for, and really begs the question, “why are you paying him?”
It’s even funnier, because recently Hogan had an interview where he said, and I quote ” Creatively I’m not involved. I cannot even begin to tell you the direction of a story six months from now backwards. But I do, on a weekly basis, get very involved with development and make sure ‘OK you guys, you have to mention that Chris Sabin is having personal problems and he is not here this week’ and mention that Rampage Jackson wasn’t supposed to touch Tito Ortiz this week. I make sure that we stay within the parameters of that we’ve drawn for ourselves.”
Perhaps Hogan should spend more time prepping himself, so he doesn’t go out there and just Repeat himself over and over trying to make announcements, and then of course making the Wrong announcements.
Not to mention probably the biggest thing that irritates me about TNA is how much they just shove things down your throats, as if their Audience isn’t smart enough to grasp it. Perhaps they are so worried about getting the Ratings, they worry if they don’t stress things enough, they will lose more viewers.
But half of the time, they don’t need to tell you anything, let alone constantly reiterate it. If you watch this week’s show, make a Tally of how many times they tell you that this isn’t a Championship match, and how many times they talk about Sting never being able to Wrestle for the belt. We get it, stop shoving it in our faces.
The problem with their Stories too, is that if they told them correctly, they don’t need to hold their audiences hand and walk them through it to show them what they’ve done. If you did it right in the first place, everyone would be clear. I bet most of the time people get it anyway, and when you start shoving it constantly is when it becomes irritating.
Bully kicked off the match bragging about Sting not being able to Wrestle for the belt, this after a backstage segment with Sting talking about not being able to Wrestle for the belt, you get what I mean? That’s only two of MANY!
Hogan removed Bully’s “Muscle” in Tito Ortiz, but left Anderson and Tessmacher at Ringside… gee… that doesn’t seem suspicious. Though I always thought Anderson could wind up to be a Mole, so that would make sense… but still.
Also the match was declared a No DQ Match.
The match was fine though, it acted a Symbolic moment and reflection of their Slammiversary match. Where Sting had to Battle Bully Ray and The Aces and Eights themselves, and sure enough, Bully pulled back the Canvas and tried to Pile-Drive Sting, The Aces and Eights came out to help Bully (but not Tito.. coz that makes more sense…. o.O) and of course The Main Event Mafia came out to battle off The Aces and Eights.
Sting locked on the Scorpion DeathLock, and Bully crawled to Anderson for help, Anderson had a hammer in his hand but dropped it no-where near Bully Ray, who tapped out.
The friction between Anderson and Bully hit a fever pitch after Anderson lost the Gauntlet match, so Anderson saw fit to get up in Bully’s face and fill him in on the Details that he will face him next week for the Championship.
I have to admit, though predictable, the ending was good. Having Anderson angry and cocky and just.. Anderson is always great to watch, so I hope they can keep the ball rolling on all the work he’s done whilst being with The Aces and Eights, because before that, he was incredibly bland.
I’m not expecting Anderson to leave The Aces and Eights, I even suspect there might be a bit of “trickery” coming into play. Either way, will be interesting to see. I expect Bully to retain though.
The more stupid thing comes with Sting being proud of his Faction, because the exact same guys that made up “Team Sting” fighting the Aces and Eights months and months ago back at Lockdown, are the exact same guys who didn’t help him at Slammiversary, who are the exact same guys who are in Main Event Mafia. Yay Sting!
That’s another waste of making Sting much more meaningful.
Either way, next week is shaping up to be good, mainly with the BFG Series. It will be interesting to see where the grudges and alliances fall, because surely they will shape up Bound for Glory itself. I’m hoping TNA hit a home run and set up an amazing PPV in BFG.
All this mess hopefully will mean something.