Ladies and Gentlemen. We’re not too far away from Bound For Glory 2014 in Tokyo. We’re not too far away from the collision of the American and Japanese wrestling cultures. We’re not too far off from a potentially historical event where TNA can stamp their authority as the major wrestling industry among the other companies in a non WWE world, before GFW even kicks off. However can they? The article will divulge into recent events in what could hinder the progression of the Impact Zone.
Over the last few TNA Impact tapings, TNA has been hosting shows in Manhattan, the heart of New York City, with more recordings set to follow. The shows have been jampacked with entertainment. At Destination X, we saw the American Wolves defeat the the returning Hardy Boys. The privileged American public and those who stream online who can’t wait for Sunday’s Impact on the UK channel Challenge TV, witnessed the historical rebirth of the rivalry Team 3D vs The Hardys. We’ve seen the monster Abyss meet his British equivalent in Bram. There has been some major World Title matches with the impressive Destroyer dispensing the two main eventers of Bound For Glory 2012. Oh gosh, Jeff has been much better since he gave up on the self admitted, non profitable ‘Willow’ character. That itself undermines the TNA creative logic with Jeff disputing that unlike WWE, TNA doesn’t concentrate on the more profitable character but let’s the wrestlers have it their way *cough WCW people? cough*. But it has been good with even MVP fighting despite his knee ligament injury, which was sustained in the UK wrestling company, PCW as mentioned in a previous article.
Throughout the New York shows, there has been the feeling that the conclusion of the Dixie vs Bully Ray grudge was upon us. Some date it as a 4 month rivalry, some state it was due to Dixie pushing Bully Ray through a table, some believe it was when Bully Ray attacked Bobby Roode when part of Team Dixie at Lockdown 2014. While it could possibly be related to Bully Ray’s Aces & Eights rivalry with TNA. Whenever it had began, there was that vibe across the Impact zone, that the tough home town lad, with the ‘Extreme’ nostalgia surrounding his home coming with the returns of Tommy Dreamer and his half brother Devon Duddley, was going to do what so many wrestlers and wrestling fans have wanted to do, a wrestling move through a table! Each show there was a sense that Bully Ray was getting closer and closer, with the anticipation growing each time, together with frustration as the potential end result was delayed. There was one point when it seemed inevitable, with Rhyno and Ethan Carter unable to protect Dixie. Her once unlimited wrestling asset among roster during the AJ Styles days vanquished when she lost her power due to MVP’s victory at TNA Lockdown 2014. Yet she was devious as some females can be, with a backup plan by hiring two freaks of nature, two talented ex WWE stars, Gene Snitsky and Ezekiel Jackson. They disintegrated the enemy but even then it delayed the inevitable with them failing Dixie after losing a match last week, resulting in their termination of their TNA tenure. Thus leaving it to Spike’s King Mo to get some air time before Bully Ray excessively took out Dixie Carter with a flying powerbomb from the top rope, through the table, which broke 2 vertebrae. Dixie Carter has been quoted in injuring her back. I guess my previous article. discussing Bully Ray’s fetish of powerbombing females through tables with it being suitable with his current character did make TNA pursue this role. Yes a common piece of knowledge but it seems that TNANEWS’ authors and viewers are quite resourceful in providing constructive information on what’s good for TNA. He hadn’t done it once since joining TNA and surely would have been more effective as a heel like on another person lacking wrestling experience, aka Brooke Hogan. Back then, he was more dependable on interferences rather than being allowed to do the vindictive things he’s capable of, as mentioned in the previous article. Nevertheless, still a moment to grasp for a long time in the Impact Zone.
So Bully Ray powerbombs Dixie Carter through a table in his home town after months in their heated rivalry. That surely should be 100% a success? Nope, there were still fundamental flaws involved with this, which I’ll explain. Ezekiel Jackson and Gene Snitsky are really good wrestlers. They are big and powerful, possessing a commodity that Al Snow, Gail Kim and Samoa Joe said at judges at the final tryouts of British Bootcamp 2, which I attended. They have a pedigree of demonstrating their strengths in the WWE, which automatically delighted me as soon as they arrived. I was originally planning to praise TNA with their acquisition, only to discover that this was a short term deal for the duo. These two monstrous athletes were only acquired for a few Impact tapings, which happened to be in the illustrious Manhattan centre** in New York City. This was severely an ill advised move made by both sides, with the WWE historically cautious of considering anyone who had brace the TNA ring unless of course WWE haven’t forgiven Ezekiel Jackson for being out for so long with injury or that Gene Snitsky killed the Authority’s Demon’s baby via attacking Lita lol. The Director of Operations must be upset still!
Yet it is bad because this was one of the main events of TNA, sometimes usurping the World Title situation by ending a lot of the TNA Impact tapings. Therefore it was a perfect opportunity to give someone of the long term roster an opportunity to rise and no, not just one athlete in Ethan Carter. I know I’m a big CM Punk fan, so it seems I’m just expressing the criticism of prioritizing part time workers because of him. But this is a real problem, just like the fundamental errors of the X Division qualifiers at TNA Destination X 2014. Any TNA fan would be happy to see Homicide in a ring, especially being in a six sided ring. Yet homicide is just there for one show, so how does it benefit the product in the long run when they advertise house shows possessing wrestlers who aren’t even present in the televised tapings or have a limited role? Instead of three matches with three wrestlers each, they could reduce it to two matches with two each or something like that, then have another match with the Bro Mans fighting someone with the tag team spectacle being a major theme with the returning Team 3D and Hardy Boys. Certainly Crazy Steve who’s an intriguing character able to wrestle in the X Division format was overshadowed by Homicide.
Then back to Ezekiel Jackson and Gene Snitsky. They have occupied the spot that could have been grasped by anyone in the roster. With the New York crowd inclined for the ECW trio, you are going to have the chance to elevate your career fighting them. Ethan Carter iii has benefitted but why not the others? When MVP’s team fought Dixie Carter’s team at TNA Lockdown 2014, it helped the Bro Mans, the American Wolves and Ethan Carter to be recognized. All of these guys usually have a more prominent role with TNA, where the American Wolves defeated the Hardy Boys! If they wanted a ‘tough’ persona to fight the ECW trio instead of the Bro Mans, then considering that this was meant to signal the end of ‘Dixieland’, whose better than Magnus and Bram? There’s a tag team format with these guys embracing that role with Bram being a physical wrestler able to challenge Abyss in a monster ball match. Then there’s the issue that Dixieland kicked off their campaign with Magnus being the chosen champion to represent TNA. What a fitting ending to help Magnus recuperate his disastrous year of wrestling when considering he was meant to be the answer as the face of the company! Bram and Magnus are not part time wrestlers of the Impact zone, so any involvement will cast the limelight on them, which is a positive thing in the world of wrestling for their development as major wrestlers. This would aid the scenario of thinking twice in pursuing a more popular wrestler for the short term. It derails the confidence of the athletes to know that they aren’t trusted with the duty of a main event role.
It’s a regular theme with TNA. There would be wrestlers given a specific role in TNA. But once that particular storyline is finished, there’s no creative extension to some of these guys and their appearance on TV tend to become shorter and shorter until they are gone, or in some cases, they are finished immediately. We saw Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian come and go numerous amounts of times, which is bizarre as they are great. Another wrestler I rate highly, Supermex who I reviewed in a previous article had a similar career with TNA like this, despite being gifted. But to stick with a more recent event, the Aces & Eights are exactly like this. After their identities were eventually revealed, the creative use of these guys were limited as analysed in a previous article***aces***, which once these guys would eventually have their Aces & Eights story finished, they all would disappear with the exception of the president. There’s a limited long term objective to utilize the talents that you have. You don’t see the WWE doing this, like as soon as The Shield were broken up, despite that being a decision not liked by many, all three former members are still major players in the WWE. Imagine if all three just left after Seth Rollins ended The Shield? It isn’t thinkable. So TNA saw the opportunity of having two physical wrestlers to enter a storyline where there are experienced ECW legends fighting each other already rather than any of the long term roster with the exception of Ethan carter iii. Gene Snitsky and Ezekiel Jackson were hired to fulfill a storyline and then once it was finished, in typical fashion, the wrestlers were dispensed of. I had a debate with Alex Barie regarding the hiring of Rhyno, where I believed he was a decent guy to help build the other wrestlers like how Chris Jericho and RVD fight the WWE full time wrestlers in a manner that builds their opponents whilst not jeopardising their illustrious presence. However it seems as Alex says on Alex’s Assumptions was valid, TNA and Rhyno weren’t prepared to do such a thing. It’s a golden rule to help build a new rising star by letting them mingle with their illustrious counterparts. Brock Lesnar who will defeat John Cena had to defeat guys like The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle and RVD on his rise to stardom. As the late great Ultimate Warrior said “no legend becomes a legend on their own”. Rhyno should be fighting a wrestler that isn’t an ECW legend. He can help develop one of the many wrestlers, like Gunner and Shaw who need something. This was the theme of Christopher Bell’s recent article.
With TNA set to have perhaps their biggest show in their history, you need to have a host of wrestlers that are eye catching. It isn’t just because I went there, but WWE Wrestlemania 29 was the best show I went to since every match was huge. The Shield vs three wrestlers who have main evented Wrestlemania beforehand, started the show. That says it all! But if you are unable to develop the young wrestlers in a roster that has been depleted from their experienced popular athletes, then you have problems. If its presumed that the answer is Snitsky and Big Zeke? Gosh TNA’s creativity can be weak.
By Sean Prem