I wasn’t always a fan of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. I knew they were solid wrestlers but for years I had just written them off because I wasn’t familiar with their work beyond the X-division (often times under the mask of Suicide). Over the last year or two however, they’ve been in the spotlight a little more. The first time they really caught my attention was during the Fortune storyline. I thought Fortune was great, and honestly one of the better storylines in TNA since I’ve been a fan. With the disbanding of Fortune came the feud between AJ Style and Chris Daniels. I thought this angle was good at first, but ended up being drug out for way too long. On top of that, it ended with what was probably the worst storyline I’ve seen since becoming a TNA fan: the Claire Lynch scandal. I’m not going to take the time to pick apart this shining moment in TNA, but I will say that this is when I first started to appreciate just how good Kaz and Daniels were. They were able to take what was easily my least favorite part of Impact and still make me enjoy it. I laughed so hard at the AJ Styles baby doll promo. Daniels saying that the baby is going to be “Phenomenal” and making it do some of AJ’s moves was gold, whereas as a moment ago as they walked down the ramp I had my face in my hands dreading what ridiculous direction this storyline would go in next.
I’m sure most people hated every bit of the Clair Lynch storyline (yes, somehow even the baby doll dressed as AJ Styles) and I completely understand that. It was awful. “Claire Lynch” was awful. I can’t believe it wen’t on as long as it did. So the feud ended with an incredible match between Styles and Daniels (if you haven’t seen this match, find it and watch it) and AJ’s “leaving” TNA. AJ leaving made sense, so when Daniels called him out AGAIN a week or two later, I was pretty annoyed at this point. Lucky for me, it was Kaz coming out dressed as AJ. I’ve always been a fan of wrestlers imitating other wrestlers. NWO dressed as the Four Horsemen, DX dressed as the Nation of Domination, the Miz dressed as The Rock, I think it’s all genius and I can never get enough of it. Kaz doing Style’s voice and every was so hilarious. I also think this was the first time Daniels said “Worship Us Now!”. I was entertained, which is the point right? Right! From this point on, I was excited to see what these two were going to do next.
Armed with an appletini, new entrance music, ring gear, and (I shutter as I’m typing this but dare I say) “swagger”, Bad Influence has been the highlight of every single TNA program I’ve watched in the past couple of months. Two time “World Tag Team Champions of the World” … which I can only assume was a mistake spun into more gold. These two have been on fire every single week. You can call it cheap heat if you want, but it’s really on a whole nother level. Their first Impact show in the UK, they open the show dressed like Mel Gibson in Braveheart? I really hope that these two are behind this stuff because I’d hate to give credit to anyone else.
I think this week’s Impact was my favorite so far. My jaw literally dropped when they came out dressed as the Legion of Doom … or should I say Legion of Boom. I couldn’t believe it. I only wish they imitated their voices more, but maybe they were trying to be semi-respectful, who knows. The “OHHH, WHAT A TUSH!” line cracked me up too because I know so many male fans are sitting at home getting mad yelling homophobic slurs at them from their couches. Which is probably the response their trying to get out of people with the appletini and the flamboyant strut to the ring.
Every wrestler should take notes on what these two have done in the past year. They are the prime example of how to make the best of a bad situation. It’s not just the 180 degree turn around that these two have taken since the Claire Lynch storyline that makes me a fan. They have a chemistry that I really haven’t seen since the original Degeneration X. I can only hope that they keep this up. I can’t wait to see what happens next week on Throwback Thursday. Bad Influence is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted in wrestling today, especially in TNA.