Ladies and Gentlemen. Last week we all witnessed a major twist in the Impact Zone. After much speculation of whether AJ Styles and TNA’s hostile relationship truly was a work or not, the Phenomenal One made his long awaited return. Many were curious about the legitimacy of AJ Styles leaving TNA with those other websites unable to ruin it for us. It was a hot topic on Alex’s Assumptions with many fans stating several various opinions. Some of us were aware that it was a work but were not certain about how the story could be used with the effectiveness of the storyline reviewed in a previous article. Especially with AJ Styles scheduled to appear on Ring Of Honor not so long after. If anyone doubts the amplitude of the aftermath of this situation, then you just have to read this article by Jake Mandel. The reason why I choose this article is because as you readers know, each writer has a. Slight different viewpoint of the Wrestling World. Having known Jake as a fellow writer, he’s a big fan of the fantastic project TNA has begun, including their original wrestlers. So the purity of his views in response speaks volumes of how controversial last week had been.
But it doesn’t end there. It truly is symbolic how the focus is just on one World Champion rather than both champions. Perhaps supporting the analogy that Magnus is the paper champion. But that night, he was anything that we were speculating he would become. After seemingly being outmuscled by another event that has been ignored, the brave work of Gunner in challenging the champion, Magnus portrayed a different aura. The championship win gave a similar predicament to how the Rock had won his first championship at Survivor Series: Deadly Game 98 as stated in a previous article. With how Magnus was the previous week with his revelation of why he chose to side with Dixie Carter, it was expected that he would as Jeff Hardy put it, “Be owned by Dixie Carter.” Yet it was certainly a different outcome that night in a unique twist. It’s as if my advice was acknowledged by TNA, comprehending that the Magnus of the majority of 2013 should still be utilized. I’m glad that the wrestler who was so disgruntled by my article on him earlier in the year, had agreed with how the first British World Champion in a major organization should be utilized as stated in a previous article. Magnus is determined to re-write the record book in solidifying himself as a true World Champion. Against my estimation, he had the better year compared to Wade Barrett. Instead of others in an illustrious roster, he was one of the pioneers of a strong resistance to the Aces & Eights. Instead of others in an illustrious roster, he dominated the Bound for Glory Series. In hindsight, he has been someone determined to defy the critics’ expectations. So it was appropriate that he would continue that characteristic. He could have listened to Dixie Carter who could make things simple. But he saw a predicament he wanted to correct. He stood up to every critic and to Dixie Carter, determined to put everything on the line in a momentous match with AJ Styles. Champion vs Champion. There can only be one.
This brings me to the main point of the article. After weeks of speculation, the major match that has been anticipated by everyone is finally on the horizons. However when is it happening? It is set to commence at a regular Impact show. Perhaps the biggest match in TNA’s history is going to be taking place on a regular show, as stated by Mike Tenay as the show went to an end. What makes this even more peculiar is the fact that a pay-per-view of TNA Genesis 2014 is just a week after. Surely this matchup is worthy of being a headliner of a pay-per-view? Never mind it isn’t headlining one of the major pay-per-views of either Lockdown, Slammiversary or Bound for Glory. Okay we know the restraints of Spike TV’s influence on ratings and contractual limitations of the in ring talent. But these are predicaments that should be handled in order to succeed as a major company.
Just recently Ric Santos reviewed TNA and stated that a major difference between WWE and TNA is that Vince has a Wrestling Business mind unlike TNA. This enables Vince to utilise his wrestling talent to the maximum. Most wrestling fans would of preferred a different Wrestlemania 29 headliner with CM Punk instead of John Cena. However having The Rock and John Cena was commercially the best match up with CM Punk fighting The Undertaker as the alternative for the Wrestling fans. This was commercially the best constructed line up. Or even to address the growing frustration amongst some fans regarding the outcomes of the main events of recent pay-per-views, the two World Champions of WWE collided in a match that was constructed with a tremendous build up. The history of two prestigious belts were heavily referred to, highlighting the analogy I referred to in a previous article, that WWE is in its own planet in the Wrestling World. That these two belts were deemed as the only two relevant World Championships, and lead to the crowning of Randy Orton as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It ended a series of supposed disappoint endings although I dispute that opinion, believing it helped to illustrate the conspiracy with Daniel Bryan and the Authority, along with the political preference of Randy Orton. It was unique rather than something regularly seen.
I didn’t use this WWE example pointlessly. As I was watching the confrontation between Magnus and AJ Styles, it gave a similar feeling to the incident between Randy Orton and John Cena. Two champions being present but there can only be one? The history between the two competitors with AJ Styles beating Magnus in the Bound For Glory Series Finale 2013, which was a close fight. I do think Randy Orton is a talented fighter but because John Cena is so talentless like botching the ending of his match via slipping off the ladder rather than crashing through the table, the Magnus vs AJ Styles match should be better. However this has never been the problem with TNA. It’s the storyline build up in the period without Hulk Hogan and it seems people are beginning to see why Hulk Hogan was to an extent unfairly criticized as the culprit for any mishaps in TNA. There is no doubt that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match was built and perceived to a much greater level. Most importantly it was prioritized for a pay-per-view rather than being at the regular weekly TV flagship show.
This is being friendly because for weeks I had to argue with people in how I still preferred the CM Punk version of this storyline with the reasoning of the storyline being played out the way it was stated in a previous article. It’s safe to say that in a business perspective that the WWE version was done better, being saved for one of the major pay-per-views with an incredible match. CM Punk did the unthinkable, not only being allowed to defeat John Cena in a company dominated with dirty backstabbing politics but made John Cena look good… The argument that helped made the AJ Styles version look so good was how it gave TNA the freedom to exploit the situation of the Champion appearing at other companies. It enabled TNA the position as the dominant company amongst the rest of the Wrestling companies, as if they are the kings of the Wrestling world inhabited by the rest of the Wrestling companies barring the WWE, a symbolic example used in a previous article. But the finale of something that was being used so well is bizarre. If anything it further derails something that was helping TNA have some positive aspects. Its the situation where TNA created something interesting and once again have misused something that could of been a lot bigger.
This isn’t like the other websites who just like to pick on TNA. We recognize that they have a lot of potential with some of the best wrestlers in the world. If that’s not believable then please just watch Bobby Roode vs Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory 2013, which was a spectacle as I predicted before the event in a previous article. But TNA seriously misuse their products thus preventing the progression. TNA want to rival WWE and this ambition leads to a lot of criticism. If they want to achieve this, then they can’t be giving the regular flagship show the same quality matches as a pay-per-view. It defies the purpose of hosting a pay-per-view. It makes it pointless in hosting a pay-per-view show on the same scheduled night as the regular TV show, with the same quality matches. It is just changing the name for no reason. There’s no reason for budget cuts with TNA stopping their tours. It reduces the relevance of the pay-per-view. it is basically following the former of the indie Wrestling companies where every event tends to maximize the resources available at the time for the best show possible. This is what TNA have largely followed to a great extent, hence this matchup. At the same time, they have regarded the usage of pay-per-views to be as exciting as possible. This is like for Bound For Glory having the best match line up for 2013 or Lockdown 2013 having a host of top matches. This is why we have Kurt Angle putting his career on the line in an enticing match with Bobby Roode. Yet these matches have still happened in the regular shows like the 2 out of 3 fall match not too long ago.
In the spirit of a fellow writer, Sam Ramirez, who uses interesting analogies to get the point across. In reference to a mix of a previous article’s metaphor of using the Wrestling Worlds of the WWE as a separate entity with the other world composed of everyone else with TNA as the dominant force. The other reference is using the popular Sci Fi, Falling Skies. Using the popular Sci Fi series, the Aliens have altered the world of the humans resulting in Tom Mason and Weaver leading a resistance. Through the efforts of an advanced species from another planet, the Vorm have aided the humans in their epic war with the Esphenny and skitters. This can be interpreted as key ex WWE (WWF and WCW) figures crossing from their more advanced world to the world lead by TNA. They have taught TNA some aspects to help improve their ways in a business aspect. This has generally helped TNA to counter the evil aliens (the critics) in the war of ratings. However as much as the likes of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have aided TNA, it still possesses limitations, the characteristics of Indie Wrestling. It leads to some ex Wrestlers unfairly stating that TNA is just a televised Indies company rather than a major wrestling brand.
Is this a criticism? Like I said before in a previous article, TNA won’t rival WWE, but that shouldn’t be the intention. TNA should be determined in representing the alternative source of Wrestling that is naturally needed. But there are things that TNA can do to improve them as reviewed. Prioritize the biggest matches for the pay-per-views. There has been weeks of hype regarding the AJ Styles scenario with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The World Heavyweight Championship tournament wasn’t determined within a week or two. It took over several weeks. So why couldn’t they wait just another week? It’s symbolic for how TNA do their things like the dream match, the first ever AJ Styles vs Austin Aries on 1st August 2013. That’s right this is ignored since it’s overshadowed by the #Aug1Warning. WWE are about to host another Royal Rumble with their unique matchup. We may still have the every so often Battle Royal but the Royal Rumble certainly stands out with big returns often happening like Batista and who knows who else? That’s a big difference there. Also I think it’s safe to say that the huge announcement yesterday regarding the WWE Network has the greater spotlight due to the media extravaganza generated. Not necessarily the bigger thing for all of us Wrestling fans but that’s not what is being said.
It’s safe to say that TNA is the hybrid of WWE and Indie Wrestling.
By Sean Prem