Welcome to Infinite Impact. As of this writing, we are two days away from TNA Lockdown. Is it the flagship Pay-Per-View? No, not formally; but out of all the TNA PPV’s I’ve seen Lockdown is always the shining star. In such a pivotal, changing and testing time for TNA, Lockdown needs to be the spark to set the world on fire as they prepare to go on the road, but I can’t help but feel less than enthused.
Point: Ace’s and 8’s gets people buzzing.
Counter-Point: Bischoff’s heel stables make the same mistakes, over and over.
Look, regardless of what Bret Hart or half-informed members of the IWC think, Eric Bischoff is not a stupid guy. Chiefly, he understands the time tested and proven formula for southern companies; build heel stables and let your babyfaces spend months fighting them to victory. Ace’s and 8’s falls in to the rogue heel role, and they do a super job building suspense as to who the next member is. Devon’s worked shoot of leaving the company only to be unveiled as an Ace’s and 8’s member was great. But Eric, learn from your mistakes. We had a whole week of suspense as to who the VP is. Hulk Hogan? Jeff Jarrett? Abyss? No, it was D’Lo Brown, a midcarder from yester-decade. How does that build up the profile of the stable as a whole or add to the mystery of who the leader is? How is it going to drive needed sales for the Lockdown PPV? What does Sting and Hulk Hogan look like, getting beaten up by the midcarder club? I respect Eric Bischoff and his many contributions to the industry but all of his stables fall by the same wayside. Anticipation leads to letdowns, odd swerves, and adding members for the sake of adding members. I’m not saying Ace’s and 8′s has gone the way of the nWo, but it’s viability is in a precarious position.
Another gripe I have to make is the opening match. Why would you open a match with the top two performers in the show? Why not build the entire program and let them have a match in the main event where Bully Ray can save Hardy again? No, they had Austin Aries do 95% of the work in a one-sided match that involved Jeff Hardy do virtually nothing but still go over. Does he in any way look like a World Heavyweight Champion? No, he looks like someone a concert, a skate park, or a Ron Paul rally. If he worked on his promo’s half as hard as he works on his Divas Titles or facepaint he might be more passable. And what was up with the final segment? The two guys that are supposed to be ready to lay it all on the line in a Steel Cage for the TNA World Heavyweight Title spent ten minutes talking about how wonderful the other one is. Are they going to kiss before the match on Sunday? Maybe smarter booking would have been for it to make it clear that while they respect each other, all bets are off at Lockdown. I’m not anticipating these two guys’ main event match when they did everything short of exchanging flowers and love poems.
So let’s talk about Lockdown itself. They should let Rob Terry butcher Robbie E; I mean really, look at the guy. TNA has a horrible record of how to book monster heels and letting big Rob cut loose will help build his profile for more viable feuds. I think Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez should take the Tag Team Titles. Hernandez can refine his craft well paired with a season veteran like Chavo Guerrero; it also establishes another Face Champion(s) for the multiple heel alliances to go after. The only sensible thing to do is to put Wes Brisco over Kurt Angle. Why? Because Kurt Angle is the best in the world right now, bar none; Wes has only the world to gain if Kurt puts him over and adds to the profile not only of Brisco himself but of Ace’s and 8’s as a whole. Speaking of which, I don’t see how Ace’s and 8’s don’t go over in the Lethal Lockdown match. Let their leader (my money is currently on Samoa Joe) help them get the win and move the angle forward. This 6-month-long unveiling is starting to drag out. I don’t think I need to tell you who I want to go over in the main event. Bully Ray is clearly the better choice for a Champion at every point, namely because there’s little chance of him getting drunk and passing out in a bathroom 15 minutes before his match.
Last but not least, I want to give a MAJOR shout-out to Lei’d Tapa. She has a presence that no other Knockout has had since Awesome Kong. I just hope the intense heat and chants of “It’s a man” don’t get to her. Lei’d, if you read this, my suggestion is to live it up. Throw the abuse right back at them. There’s nothing mannish about you just because you’re a larger woman than most. Sling around the competition like a wild Barbarian(ess) and continue to show that you belong.
That’ll do it for this edition of Infinite Impact. firstname.lastname@example.org is where you can send your comments or perspectives and any request for anonymity will be respected. TNA has a very telling PPV coming up and we’ll take a look early next week. On a more personal note, I have my ticket for the March 28th Impact in Jonesboro and barring work, I will be there to rock it out. Have a good evening.