The World Heavyweight Championship Dominates TNA Wrestling; Part Two

TNA reduced its Pay-Per-Views from twelve a year down to four. This was to save costs. Not only to save costs, many people thought it would be a great way to build up toward the Pay-Per-View. Before, it was said that we had Pay-Per-Views crammed with not much time to buildup to it. With less Pay-Per-Views and more time for stories to develop, it certainly seems like less is more.

Lockdown-2013

But this is not the case. More stories did not develop. If you go back to Lockdown, the only stories were TNA versus the Aces and Eights and Bully Ray (Hulk Hogan’s then son-in-law) versus the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy. The only reason it seems that the Aces and Eights were featured so much is because Bully Ray is the President of the Aces and Eights. There was no big buildup for the X Division matches. There wasn’t a huge buildup for the Knockouts Championship match. There was not much of a buildup for the Robbie T versus Robbie E match. The fans certainly did not care about seeing Robbie E versus Robbie T. When you look at how people rated the matches, it was the worst match of the night. The only other match is Wes Brisco versus Kurt Angle, which is also a part of the TNA versus Aces and Eights story.

BFGSeries

Before the Bound For Glory Series, the tag team division was on fire. We were all excited about it. There were many teams that seemed like a threat. All of them were coming into their own gimmicks very nicely. When the Series started, it all came to a halt. People who were in the tag team division were now in the Bound For Glory Series. TNA was now all about the Bound For Glory Series.

The advantage of this was that we saw Pay-Per-View quality matches every show. We saw the top names in the business face each other on free TV. The disadvantage is that its all we saw. There was nothing else going on at the time. It was all about the Bound For Glory Series and the war between Aces and Eights and TNA Wrestling. In other words, it was all about the World Heavyweight Championship. Nothing else mattered anymore. If you were in the tag team division, you were now no longer as relevant because we need you to be in the Bound For Glory series. We, of course, knew that no one that was in the tag team division would actually win the Bound For Glory Series or be a part of the final four.

The Bound For Glory Series also was very drawn out. It was a great concept but very poorly delivered. It was hard to keep track of how many matches each wrestler had. It was hard to keep track of how many points each person had. You felt like you were doing math instead of watching a story play out. One thing that never made sense is if a person earned 10 points for a submission and only 7 points for a pinfall, why wouldn’t everyone go for a submission after they hit their finisher? It seems that we would have seen Magnus or Austin Aries invent a new finishing move for the occasion. All in all, it lasted too long. It was very predictable with the fans knowing how it was going to play out. Apparently TNA did not get the memo as they had the Bound For Glory series end without their winner in the final four. They had to add another 20 points match for the next week to get AJ Styles in the final four.

BoundForGlory

Bound For Glory is TNA’s biggest Pay-Per-View of the year. The biggest stories and matches are to take place. It is TNA’s WrestleMania. At WrestleMania, WWE always brings back the big names. You can count on seeing at least one legend return such as The Rock, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels. What would happen at TNA’s biggest event of the year?

The first match showcased The BroMans defeating Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, Bad Influence and the team of Eric Young and Joseph Park. Every time we have seen The BroMans before Bound For Glory, they were facing James Storm and Gunner. Not only were they facing them, they would lose to them every time. The BroMans were a joke all the way up to Bound For Glory.

We had the Ultimate X match. This match seemed to be thrown together just because TNA is known for the Ultimate X match. It made completely no sense. The question that went through all of our minds is why so many of the main faces of TNA were now being thrown back into the X Division. There was no rhyme or reason to it. We would see Austin Aries come back to the X Division. Jeff Hardy makes the Ultimate X announcement. Samoa Joe returns to announce that he is the fifth participant. Where did these men come from and why are they not in the main event picture? There is no story behind it. It was all very forced.

Not only was the set up wrong, the actual match failed. When you have an Ultimate X, we expect great high-flying action. We expected this match to steal the show. The wrestlers in this match are some of the best that TNA has to offer. The match did not live up to its hype. Instead of seeing every man get some momentum and wondering who would be the last guy standing to reach the title, what we saw was a distraction by a manager. Velvet Sky came into the ring to earn Chris Sabin the victory.

Not only did the manager secure the win for Sabin, but the Ultimate X structure was only for show. I understand if you want it to be a ladder match. If you want to use the ladder in the match, make it a ladder match. If you want men to scale the ropes, make it an Ultimate X match. I do not want to see someone bring in a trampoline only for a huge man to jump on the trampoline catapulting the X Division star to reach the title. Adding another gimmick in the match ruined it. The Ultimate X and ladder match are two great matches. But which kind of a match was it?

The BroMans have chemistry. They do have a gimmick. Should their first night having a win as a tag team be the same night that they defeat the tag team champions? Some will say, “But TNA needs fresh new young faces for the tag team division.” This is true. There is no doubting that. But are the BroMans the right team to reignite the tag team division? In my opinion, they are not. We need teams from the past (Motor City Machine Guns and Generation Me) and new teams. Although the BroMans have a gimmick, there is a reason why on the next episode of Impact Wrestling the fans chanted, “You Can’t Wrestle!”

Gail Kim is the best Knockout in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s history. Gail is the reason that the Knockouts division started. You can also list Awesome Kong as a reason since they had an amazing feud but it would not have been the same without the veteran Gail Kim. The Knockout division is basically founded by her. There is no problem with Gail Kim winning the Knockouts Championship at the biggest event Bound For Glory. That is what should happen. The problem is the way that it was booked.

On September 26, TNA hyped up the debut of Lei’D Tapa. On October 3, Tapa made her debut as the new monster of TNA by taking out Velvet Sky. After the attack, Sky faced Brooke in a number one contender’s match. Brooke won. The next week, Tapa attacked ODB. At Bound For Glory, Gail Kim faced Brooke and ODB for the Knockouts Championship. For months leading up to Bound For Glory, Gail Kim had taken out all of the Knockouts by using a figure four leglock around the ringpost. She was a major force in the Knockout division. No one could match Gail Kim. She was scary to face because of her temper. Now, all of a sudden, Gail needed Lei’D Tapa, a woman who has not wrestled a match yet, to win the belt. This one should have every professional wrestling fan shaking their head. The best woman wrestler in TNA history needs someone who has never wrestled a match (not including her GutCheck tryout match) to win? It sounds insane.

Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle. You might point to their match two years before at Bound For Glory for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Honestly, this match was thrown together at the last minute. We all expected Bobby Roode to face Magnus. When Kurt Angle came back to TNA, he was told that he was facing Roode at Bound For Glory. He didn’t even know he was wrestling at Bound For Glory. I have a strong feeling that if Angle couldn’t have made it back until after Bound For Glory, Magnus would have faced Bobby Roode. It was the match that was supposed to have happen. All of a sudden, we had E.G.O. having its own Hall of Fame to set up a feud with Kurt Angle. I cannot say anything about this match except to give a standing ovation. The match was a classic and the second best match of the night. It is interesting to see where this Kurt Angle story is going.

To see the reaction from the EC3 character, click here.

The match between Sting and Magnus seemed thrown together. Magnus was having a great feud with E.G.O. He was getting very frustrated at E.G.O. always gaining the upper hand and being able to win the match. To calm Magnus down, Sting came out and told him that he will give him the shot to prove that he is worthy on his own. I understand Magnus wanting to break out and be his own star. I understand that he needs to face someone worthy enough to solidify his status as a singles wrestler and a man on his own. I have no clue how Sting qualifies as that man.

Sting has done very much for the wrestling business. He is a legend in the business. The problem is that he is 54 years old. No one, who is known for being a wrestler, should ever be on wrestling past the age of 50. Rarely should wrestlers still compete past the age of 40. Sting is not how he used to be. The hype is overrated. Sting makes sense to give a man a shot at the belt if it was 2006 or before. Nowadays, Sting is only a shell of what he used to be. At Bound For Glory, we had a match between what could be misperceived as “Father versus Son.” Magnus is only 27 years old. Sting is exactly twice his age! For all of you out there who say that age does not matter, watch when Sting does his Scorpion Deathlock. It’s not scary. There is no passion. He cannot perform the move. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t sit down and lock it in. The move is now very easy to escape from. It’s all just very sad to see a 54 year old man walk out to a ring and still wrestle. If I have one wish, it is that not everyone will remember Sting’s legacy as a man who wrestled into the 2010′s. My wish is that people would not only remember Sting as a man who would come out like a father (without his facepaint) and lecture Magnus like he is Sting’s son. Sting is a legend in the business. But Sting nowadays is overrated and should have retired many years ago.

You might go through the rundown of matches and see that there was hardly any of a build up for the matches. You might see the main event and think that there had to have been plenty of story for this one. In a way, there was much story. There was much story involving A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter. Styles was pissed off that the X-Division wrestlers who made TNA what it was were sent away so Dixie could bring in MMA stars and other stars who wanted a two year vacation then to go back where they belonged. AJ Styles was not under contract and was the number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He was going to win the title and make Dixie Carter pay. Bully Ray and AJ Styles did not see each other until the last show before Bound For Glory. Credit has to be given to these two men for building up the match the best that they could with the war of words. They did a great job and left all of the fans very excited to see The President of the Aces and Eights take on The Lone Wolf AJ Styles. The match itself was phenomenal. These men are two professionals who really know how to work a crowd. It might have been overbooked with AJ having too many obstacles to face, but that was the point. The point was for A.J. to be as much of an underdog as possible and win the title for himself, the band of brothers and the fans.

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If you look at the X Division, it is confusing. First, we had triple threat matches. Next, we had a camera on the referee’s head. Next, the long-time reigning X Division Champion Kenny King was buried by TNA Wrestling. He faced Austin Aries, leaving King with a bad cut on his forehead. The next week, he was busted open again and lost. He did not show up at Bound For Glory and has not been seen since. For Bound For Glory, three main event stars were thrust into an X Division match. Now the stars are being thrust back into the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. It leaves us shaking our heads wondering if these men are main eventers or X Division wrestlers. Also, the Manik character has lost all momentum. Who is Chris Sabin feuding with for the X Division Championship? Oh, that’s right, he’s not even worried about the Championship as he is going for another belt. This makes the X Division look very weak.

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The tag team division is also in bad shape. The BroMans, who never won a match before Bound For Glory and can’t wrestle a lick, are the champions. Who are their contenders? James Storm and Gunner seem to be the only contenders. You might argue for Eric Young and Joseph Park, but with the Abyss story seemingly coming to a close, they stand no chance to challenge the BroMans. Bad Influence have been jobbers for a long time. Where is the team of Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez? To be honest, there is no tag team division.

Knockouts

The Knockouts division is in bad shape. For a very long time, the division has only been made up of a few select wrestlers. These wrestlers include the rookie who has not actually wrestled a match in Lei’D Tapa, Velvet Sky, if you still consider her in the division since she is the manager to Chris Sabin, ODB (who cannot wrestle a lick) Brooke (who isn’t really a Knockout but Bully’s manager) and the Champion Gail Kim. The whole division basically comes down to Gail Kim and ODB. There are no other female wrestlers to challenge for the title. The title is now only a toy. Gail Kim is the Champion but what is there to brag about when the division actually is only made up three wrestlers? One of those wrestlers, excluding her Gut Check match, has never actually had a match. It is insane!

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The World Heavyweight Championship dominates TNA Wrestling. If you take a close look at TNA, you will see that every division is shattered except for the Heavyweight Championship. Even the X Division Championship doesn’t mean much anymore as you can now just trade it in for a shot at the Heavyweight title. The World Heavyweight Championship is all that matters. No other division is important anymore. I am saying this to point out that it was the same in WCW. The only stories that you had going on were WCW versus the NWO and Hulk Hogan versus Sting or Goldberg. If you are not in the war of the brands or challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship, you are out of luck. This is why Chris Jericho jumped ship to WWF. The Cruiserweight division and Television division were never given an interesting story except for Jericho and Guerrero sometimes flying off the handle. Who is the tag team that you think of when you think of WCW? I’d bet that you think of The Outsiders. This is because they were involved in the war of NWO versus WCW. If you are not in the war between the brands or challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship, then you are not relevant.

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  • Luc J Alberts

    Some of your facts are off but overall, however I understand where you're coming from and agree with your message. The one thing I can say that's upside to all of this is that AJ Styles is defending the title literally around the world hence legitimately making it a World Heavy Weight Championship. If the company wants to survive(which at this point is debatable), I imagine they would have to have JB and a camera crew following around AJ at his various title defense around the globe. While taking advantage of the absence of World Heavy Weight Title scene to bring in focus on the X Division, and Tag Division and have matches that aren't title matches. It is a wrestling show. Story lines only work if they're wrestling story lines. Chris Jericho's story line with Dean Malenko worked because Jericho would come out talk some shit about Malenko, say he had 1,004 holds written down, read them off and then some one other than Malenko who Jericho was booked to wrestle would come out and they'd have at it and then the next match would take place. Story telling is only entertaining because it makes sense within the parameters of which the story is being told. The Bully Ray A.J. Styles matches were absolutely beautiful. Rather than having the focus on the World Title, TNA should do something about their TV Title to make a viable belt that people want. So far regarding that belt, there have been three good things to happen with it and that's the AJ Styles Vs. Doug Williams Iron Man Match, Eric Young's reign ( which was highly entertaining), as well the short lived principle of having the belt defended at each televised TNA event. The belt could be a viable source of heat and story telling, you just have to get the right (and sometimes the wrong) talents holding the belt. There NEEDS to be a mid card and titles that can be held within the mid card. TNA is hell bent on turning everyone into main event status and it's ruining their show.

    • Luc J Alberts

      I apologize for grammatical errors. When I start talking about wrestling, I can't help myself.
      -Luc J Alberts

  • http://www.tnanews.com/gut-check-didnt-they-see-nexus/ Sean

    Yeah the Angle feud was clumped together, without realising the true potential of it, regarding roode and angle. With the growth of the site, wrestlers are appreciating our views, like Angle publicising my build up prior to their bfg match, and roode using the tools of it for his brawl.

    Haha, "I understand if you want it to be a ladder match." this is a great quotation regarding the Ultimate X Match. As you've said in previous articles, it wasn't good to use the ladder for a finish. It was emulating MITB, when Ultimate X is meant to a concept not relating to WWE