Posted by Alex Barie
I’ve been looking through the Impact Wrestling roster and I realized something quite interesting about how the company has been booking the wrestlers lately. I started to think about TNA Wrestling really erasing the fine line between their divisions. It seems like, as time goes on, they are throwing them out the window.
Let me first start off by saying that this is not a bad or negative thing at all. This can actually be a good thing. I’ll pinpoint both sides though.
I want to further explain myself on what I am talking about. As I said, I looked at the roster for the company and realized that almost half of the roster either held the TNA World Title or they are going for the title in the Bound for Glory Series. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, but if you take into account the remaining stars, the are stars like Christian York, Kenny King, Sam Shaw, and don’t forget King Mo and Rampage Jackson. Most of these stars are brand new in the company. Some, aka the Knockouts, will never go for the TNA World Title. Other than Chavo Guerrero, Matt Morgan, Chris Sabin, and Rob Terry, most of the stars are new in the company. Most still are green. They still need training.
The line between the divisions really started to crumble about a year or so ago. We started to see the demise of the mid-card talent and title. The title for mid-carders is the Television Title, but that has really been used as a prop to show power. That has been evident with Devon with him being in the Aces & 8s. Titles bring money. Money brings power. It showed Aces’ power and dominance. Bully Ray brought it to a whole new level once he brought in the TNA World Title to the group. At any rate, Devon lost the title to Abyss and we haven’t seen the title or Abyss since. TNA, however, tried to make strides to give the title some significance. They tried to have the champion defend the title every week on the show. That failed with a matter of months, or even weeks. The title is nothing more than to show power. The title will go where TNA wants it to go to show that person or group is powerful.
The days of a mid-card division is quite over in TNA Wrestling. There isn’t a title to that is a stepping stool to the TNA World Title… unless you count the X-Division Title, but I’ll talk about that later. As far as stars who weight above the certain weight limit for the X-Division and who aren’t in the main event yet, there is nothing for them. However, TNA is trying to fix that. I’m not sure if it is the right formula or the right way to do it, but it certainly is something different. TNA really is letting the mid-carders fight. They fight other mid-card talent, but also main event talent. The said mid-carders then move on to challenge for the TNA World Title. One example of this is Jay Bradley. Let’s face it, he is fighting for the TNA World Title. That is what the Bound for Glory Series is all about. It is to challenge for the title. Jay can very well win the whole thing and go after the title. The series also has stars like Magnus and Joseph Park. Certainly some deserve main event status now, but the fact that could be named number one contender for the TNA World Title says something. Mid-carders are rising up faster than ever in TNA Wrestling.
As I wrote earlier, there really isn’t a stepping stool in the company to go from a mid-card talent title to the main event talent title. I am starting to put the X-Division Title in that slot of jumping. Let’s look at last year’s scenario. Austin Aries won the X-Division Title, but the company made an interesting concept in regards of the title. They stated that at Destination X, the champion could cash it in and go for the TNA World Title. That right there is a stepping stool. Austin Aries cashed it in and won the TNA World Title. That is the classic example of a mid-card talent using a mid-card title to jump to the main event and the main title. Nothing says that the X-Division is the new mid-card talent than that. The company is now using the same rule again this year. They are truly making the X-Division Title the second most important title in the company. It’s very unique as the division itself has a weight limit. Only select stars can be in that division; therefore, only those select stars can use the title as the stepping stool. What about the others that weight more? Easy… the Bound for Glory Series.
While the X-Division gained more stars in the past couple of months like Suicide/TJ Perkins, Petey Williams, and Sonjay Dutt, the tag team division and Knockout division seen their fair share of diminishing number of talent. Just about a month ago, TNA’s tag team division was on fire. They had Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Bad Influence, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, and Gunner and James Storm. That was at the peak. Each team had their own story and chemistry. A month later and only the newest tag team of them all, Storm and Gunner, remain. The others went on to the Bound for Glory Series. TNA now has the task of rebuilding the division. The Knockout division went from the current stars now, Gail Kim, Mickie James, and Velvet Sky, and had Tara, Ms. Tessmacher, and Taeler Hendrix. Don’t forget about Madison Rayne! They brought Taryn Terrell in as an active wrestler. There was a lot of talent, but now TNA is focusing on four main ones: Gail, Mickie, Sky, and Taryn. Sometimes less is more. These four knockouts is, quite honestly, the only ones you need at the moment. Each knockout has a story. Each are given a different character. Each work differently. To top it off, they have chemistry. They work well with each other. Where else would we see a knockout ladder match in this day and age? While more always sounds better, less gives each particular person their own time to shine and develop. It’s all about character development.
The divisions in TNA Wrestling seem to be dysfunctional. It seems like TNA has no idea what they are doing, but that what someone would say when they have no idea what they are talking about. As I wrote in my last article about social media in the wrestling business, time changes and you have to change with the time. The wrestling business can’t run the same structure model that it has had for decades. Yes, stars/wrestlers in the business should work their way up, but there are characters who don’t need that. There are certain instances that they don’t need one title to help them move on. Throwing the divisional lines out the window may seem like it is easier for stars to get to the top. I also see the side of it being harder to get to the top. Everyone is trying to get there. You need to outshine. You need to prove yourself above everyone else. The business is fading away that triangle or ladder model as they replace it with a trampoline.
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