TNA: Is Eric Young Just A B+ Player?

Eric Young title

This article was sent in by Charlie Taylor a reader and upcoming featured writer right here on TNANews.com:

TNA Wrestling has been accused of copying or at the very least “drawing inspiration” from many WWE storylines since its inception. Thus it should come at no surprise that their current main event push is drawing a lot of comparisons to what WWE is currently doing with their new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

It appears that TNA is trying to create their own “B+ player” that has been held down by management and not allowed the full opportunity to succeed until now. They seem to be trying to ride the coat-tails of the “ultimate underdog” story that was just told at Wrestlemania 30 and trying to turn Eric Young into that underdog in his quest to resolve his war with Abyss and ultimately capture the TNA Heavyweight Championship. However, in typical TNA fashion, they rushed right past the story and straight to the pay-off.

It’s classic TNA story telling. Instead of building up their competitor over weeks or even months with well developed stories, tremendously wrestled matches, and progression up a proverbial ladder they chose to rush things along. They seemingly inserted EY into the main event story just weeks ago (probably when they finally realized Bryan would in fact be in the title match at Mania), having him reappear in the Abyss drama. They then rushed through his issues with Abyss and made him the #1 contender. They didn’t even let that sink in a week, giving him his title match later in the same show and HAVING HIM WIN THE TITLE. Maybe they partnered Abyss with Magnus to get to this point all along, but I don’t really have that much faith in TNA storytellers. This was them rushing through another story that could have been very good if played out properly over time but was just rushed along (think Chris Sabin’s world title win, ECIII and Magnus breaking up, Austin Aries’ title reign, and much more).

Now I am not saying that Eric Young doesn’t deserve this opportunity. I believe he certainly does. I know a lot of people are split on this, but a case can be made on both sides. I prefer to focus on the fact that he is the ultimate company guy. He’s been there for ten years, through thick and thin, and has done everything they have ever asked of him. They have saddled him with shitty gimmick after shitty gimmick and he’s done his best to make them all work. When he finally did find his groove as the head man of the British Invasion, they imploded the group before he could properly acclimate himself into the main event scene.

EY has made a special needs gimmick work, he’s been half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions, he’s played a serious role, been the background player of a group, and anything else asked of him. He’s simply doing what’s asked of him yet again. Fans may crap on it due to the way he’s been booked in his career and the way this story was poorly crafted. However, I ask you to consider that it isn’t his fault. He’s done everything he could to do the best at what he has been given and I would expect nothing less as World Heavyweight Champion.

He’s got his own TV show, so he is in the mainstream more than most of Impact’s superstars. He’s actually highly entertaining on this show when he is allowed to just be himself. If they allow him to do that more on the show, he will come across more real, and I have no doubt he can entertain the masses. He will also likely be doing promotion for this show across many media outlets, so this could be very good publicity for TNA and they could be creating their first mainstream star.

The timing may be questionable. It may be another TNA ripoff of a WWE storyline. However, don’t take that out on Eric Young. He’s just trying to do what he’s been asked. After all of his years of hard work he is finally being given the ball and allowed to run. Get behind him. Encourage him to run. Support him. We are always asking for TNA to change it up and to tell new stories. Well, we have one here. Magnus was just World Champion, and now we have Eric Young. They are giving us new champions, new feuds, and just trying to change things for the better. Let’s all take a second to step back from being so critical all the time and just enjoy the ride. They may not of given us a chase, but let’s enjoy the defense.

What do you think? Is Eric Young just a “B+ player?” Is he worthy of this push or is TNA just grasping at straws at this point? Are just just pulling this off to try and pop a momentary ratings boost like they did when Sabin became champ?

Eric Young can be a very fun champion. If you want TNA to get better, we need to embrace the change. He may not of been my first choice, but I like the choice. TNA rolled the dice and I hope it works out.

-CT

For more of my random wrestling thoughts, ramblings, and viewpoints follow me on Twitter @taylor0286. Thanks for reading and for supporting the site.

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  • Efren McKissick

    I hope he had the title until Bound for Glory! People forget that has won every title in the company minus the KO title. He has been getting a push since January. His show is pretty popular and he has a new show coming out soon!

  • Charlie Taylor

    My question was more, why hot shot the title again already? esp. just days after WM and Bryan’s title win. They didn’t seem to build up to this at all, had no promotion ahead of time. Why couldn’t they have built up to this at the PPV? If they don’t want to be looked at as WWE-lite they need to stop hot shooting their title everytime WWE does something note worthy.

  • red5mec

    I just have a feeling in my gut that TNA has rewarded EY for his years of service and he is getting ready to leave TNA. He is getting ready to start another project with Animal Planet. Doubt he keeps the title very long. Just long enough for the record books. We’ll see.

    • Charlie Taylor

      Very valid point as well. I have heard of other project for EY and it seemed like Off the Hook! already took up a great deal of time and saw him away from TV for good chunks at a time. I can’t imagine how he would balance that schedule with the production of two shows, especially the commitment that would be needed from the World Champion.

  • Guest

    Eric Young deserves everyone’s respect even if you they’ll never give it to him.

    I know people are going to shit on EY’s win and though it possibly may have something to do Bryan’s winning at WM just to garner some ratings, it’ still good to see someone else get to be in World Champ even if TNA is on it’s last legs. I had my qualms about EY over the years, okay I couldn’t stand him but all the stuff he’s endured, it’s really fascinating if you think about it or not. You talk about paying dues. TNA has given him every shit gimmick they can think of for a long time which I do not think alot of people understand unless you’ve watch the product for a number of years. Right before Hogan came in and played dictator in 2010, Young in the middle part of 2009 showed that if taken seriously he could be just as good as anyone on the roster, especially when he was in World Elite. His promos were some of the best in his career since they weren’t coming off ridiculous and annoying as they usually would or that most was use to hearing. It was a nice change and even got to be in a small incarnation of the NWO for a bit but of course was turned right back into being a bit of an annoying character. On top of dealing with all these different gimmicks, he had also to take a pay cut on top of that just so Dixie can pay Hogan and Bischoff.

    Now if this is just to help boost ratings or to even follow in WWE’s footsteps of putting someone like Bryan over showing that size doesn’t matter to become a World Champion….and even though the two are on completely different levels in nearly every aspect, it is still refreshing to have something happened you would never expect. The show itself was a near disaster and seemed to be rushed like most of the time but at least Young got his payoff from all those years frustrations paid off, regardless of peoples views on him. Whether anyone cares or not. We all have a choice on what to watch and what not to. Of course EY isn’t another Daniel Bryan but regardless you still have to respect the man for dealing with all the bullshit he had to over the years. Sure it was an uphill battle for Bryan since his WWE arrival and even though he did more in less time then EY did, you can’t deny EY has in alot of ways had way more. Even if he didn’t sell his injury during the match, it really shouldn’t matter but people will find excuses to not give the man credit when it’s more than past due. It would have been better if they had waited until the upcoming ppv to do something like this but this will have to suffice.

  • BGM

    Eric Young deserves everyone’s respect even though a good portion of the IWC will probably never give it to him.

    I went on some other forums after his win and people just seemed outraged of his title win. It was pretty brutal but I knew people were going to shit on EY’s win and though it possibly may have something to do Bryan’s winning at WM just to garner some ratings, it’ still good to see someone else get to be in World Champ even if TNA is on it’s last legs (possibly). I had my qualms about EY over the years, okay I couldn’t stand him but as time went on I started to realize and most recently just how are he’s worked, and with all the stuff he’s endured, it’s really fascinating if you think about it. You talk about paying dues. TNA has given him every shit gimmick they can think of for a long time which I do not think alot of people understand unless you’ve watch the product for a number of years. Right before Hogan came in and played dictator in 2010, the middle part of 2009 saw Young that if taken seriously he could be just as good as anyone on the roster, especially when he was in World Elite. His promos were some of the best in his career since they weren’t coming off ridiculous and annoying as they usually would or that most was use to hearing. Probably still some of his best stuff ever. It was a nice change and even got to be in a small incarnation of the NWO for a bit but of course was turned right back into being a bit of an annoying character. On top of dealing with all these different gimmicks, he had also to take a pay cut on top of that just so Dixie can pay Hogan and Bischoff.

    Now if this is just to help boost ratings or to even follow in WWE’s footsteps of putting someone like Bryan over showing that size doesn’t matter to become a World Champion….and even though the two are on completely different levels in nearly every aspect, it is still refreshing to have something happened you would never expect. The show itself was a near disaster and seemed to be rushed like most of the time but at least Young got his payoff from all those years frustrations paid off, regardless of peoples views on him. Whether anyone cares or not. We all have a choice on what to watch and what not to. Of course EY isn’t another Daniel Bryan but regardless you still have to respect the man for dealing with all the bullshit he had to over the years. Sure it was an uphill battle for Bryan since his WWE arrival and even though he did more in less time then EY did, you can’t deny EY has in alot of ways had way more. Even if he didn’t sell his injury during the match, it really shouldn’t matter but people will find excuses to not give the man credit when it’s more than past due. It would have been better if they had waited until the upcoming ppv to do something like this but this will have to suffice.

    • Charlie Taylor

      Thanks for your insightful and very well written response.I agree with everything you said and tried to express most of that above. I think you nail it on the head when you talk about things being rushed. It just felt like we skipped ahead to the end of the story without seeing a lot of the good stuff in the middle play out. Why couldn’t this have gone to at least the PPV in a couple of weeks? I think Magnus and EY is something they could have built that show around. Even if they want to pop the rating on TV, at least promote it a week in advance. EY isn’t Daniel Bryan, but he has paid his dues and it’s nice to see him given the ball. I am excited about potential opponents in Roode, Magnus, Storm, ECIII, and others. Thanks again for your comment.

      • BGM

        Much appreciated. Just realized I posted this twice accidentally lol.

  • Scott Davies

    I like Eric Young, but i feel he is not a World Champion. Should be Samoa Joe

  • Sean Prem

    Indeed just like Daniel Bryan. I was going to do this as my topic for my next article. good timing

  • Efren McKissick

    Charlie, I think it was because of Joe’s injury. I believe it would have been Joe winning Thursday if he was healthy.