The abundance of heels in TNA Wrestling was staggering at one point, but through changes in philosophy and creative direction, those in the pile have been placed in their respective spots to carry out their respective roles. Of the talent in TNA currently playing villains, the two stand out performers of the bunch are Magnus and James Storm. Let’s take a look at why these two specifically are the villainous stars that TNA needs right now.
“THE COWBOY” JAMES STORM – KEEPING TRADITION
If you’ve kept up with TNA Wrestling since a couple of weeks before Lockdown 2014, you would have clearly paid attention to the character shift experienced by James Storm. Causing Gunner to lose his shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and dishing out verbal jabs directed at Gunner’s family places him in a position where momentum is key. Not since the CM Punk/ Undertaker feud has there been a character willing to push the envelope the way James Storm is starting to or has. The physical aspect is there, but it’s the verbal that digs in and really showcases what James Storm can bring with this heel turn. After James Storm commented on Gunner’s deceased grandfather and how he is looking down from Heaven disappointed at the family, I sent out a tweet in which The Cowboy himself gave a perfect response:
@RealRicSantos yea no one wants to be the bad guy anymore. Well I will!
— James Storm (@Cowboy_J_Storm) March 21, 2014
James Storm is carrying on a classic heel persona. Controversial statements, a “rough around the edges” look/ demeanor and the actions that back up his intent. He’s brash and leaves his mark on the show the way true performers deeply involved in their persona should be. While TNA Wrestling is going through the motions of change and looking towards a new direction, it’s great to know that there’s someone willing to be that traditional villain we all remember. To quote Clark Gregg’s character Phil Coulson from the film The Avengers: “With everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old-fashioned”.
MAGNUS – BRINGING THE NEW
“Ladies and gentleman, this is your champion speaking”. Our TNA World Heavyweight Champion is Magnus and, in this day and age, is exactly what the new TNA direction is all about. There certainly have been many wrestlers over the many years that use their good looks or charm or a “high and mighty” swagger to their advantage in order to showcase they are better than everyone else, but Magnus takes a new approach with the same tools. Others gloat about their wealth and how that makes them better or how many women they can attain, a la Ric Flair or Ric Rude or Alberto Del Rio in his early WWE days, but Magnus doesn’t go that route. Magnus keeps that competitor mentality and spirit while quietly telling us he is better. He wears the sharp suits, but makes no mention of it. He keeps up with his looks, but doesn’t pander to the female fanbase. He is very proud of his intelligence and that is evident with him being one step ahead of everyone else as our current champion. Throw in the way he carries himself as far as personality and his physical being, and he doesn’t need to tell you he is better. Look at Magnus in and out of the ring. Very loud are his claims of being better than us without needing to raise his voice.
Even that description can come off as a bit of a classic heel, but Magnus has that 2014 and beyond appeal that fans can even relate to and get behind (if they are fans of heel characters). It’s like a standard shirt and a fashion shirt. You can continue to use the same techniques to create the same shirt or update your techniques to create a new style that appeals to the younger generation and/ or the future of your brand. That is Magnus.
What are your thoughts on these two superstars? Do you feel someone other than these two are the heels TNA need? Sound off below!
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