Previewing the Oct. 4, 2012, edition of TNA Impact, featuring Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy continuing their build to Bound for Glory and the ongoing saga with the Aces and Eights.
Hogan! Sting! Aces and Eights! Kidnapping! Hostages! When Will It End!?
Last week (Sept. 27) we've had the stupidest development in the Aces and Eights storyline yet. Hulk Hogan and Sting were captured and taken to Aces and Eights' super secret lair where Joseph Park was being held hostage. Hogan tried to do his best Kiefer Sutherland impersonation, yelling and screaming and generally just chewing up scenery. A deal was finally reached (what happened to not negotiating with terrorists?) where the best two guys from TNA will fight the best two guys from Aces and Eights at Bound For Glory, with the winner taking control of the Impact Wrestling Zone.
Before we go any further, let me just say this; there was a period when I truly loved watching TNA. The summer run, from when it first went live to right before Hulk Hogan showed up, was some of the most fun I've had watching pro wrestling in a long time. I'm not necessarily saying that Impact Wrestling was a great show, per se. In fact it was often far from it. The "Claire Lynch" angle was completely awful. But it was awesomely awful. If you went into it with the mindset that it was supposed to be bad, it turned into a lot of fun (hanging out in the live blog certainly helped). I think that is what Christopher Daniels was trying to get at when he said he was happy with the whole thing. Did it cross the line of respectability? Yes, a little bit. But this is pro wrestling.
If you're not crossing a few lines, you're not doing it right.
During the summer, Impact Wrestling featured a bunch of young talent just going out there and having fun. You got the sense that they loved performing. The storylines were consistent and engaging. The Bound For Glory Series was the best gimmick running. Even the traditional black hole that is the Impact Wrestling Zone had a different feel to it. All told, I firmly believed that TNA was better than WWE during that time.
Then Aces and Eights started brawling each and every week, and Hulkamania revved its engines one more time.
There is no way to defend how Aces and Eights is turning out. It started as a powerful invasion, threatening to take over the entire Impact Wrestling Zone. Now it's turned into a parody of a bad pro wrestling angle, yet none of the actors seem to know it. Hogan is yelling and screaming for no damn reason. Sting has been reduced to Robin (the Jason Todd version). The majority of the angle is taking place outside the studio, which should always give you pause. Aces and Eights do nothing anymore besides talk menacingly with a voice modulator. It is a silly angle which needs to stop.
Then we look at the Turning Point poster, and we know this is far from over.
Aries! Hardy! Roode! Bully! Respect! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
There was a standard faces vs. heels tag team match last week between Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy against Bobby Roode and Bully, and all told it was a pretty good match. In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised if we get a fatal fourway between these men down the road, possibly at Turning Point.
Right now, though, TNA is still building towards Aries and Hardy going at it for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory.
TNA is trying to make this match a battle between two guys who respect each other instead of a traditional "good guy vs. bad guy" affair, I get that. However, Aries simply looks jealous of Hardy's popularity while "The Charismatic Enigma" just stands there silently, lacking any charisma whatsoever. I'm not even sure Hardy has said a single word since winning the Bound For Glory Series. With Aces and Eights eating up the majority of screen time, there has been no room for any type of subtlety.
Maybe there will be some type of advancement over the next two weeks. But with how things have been going recently, I'm starting to doubt it.
Storm! Roode! King Mo! More Revenge! Special Enforcer! Street Fight!
Hulk Hogan informed us last week that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) "star" King Mo would be the special guest enforcer for the James Storm and Bobby Roode street fight at Bound For Glory. TNA then turned around and announced that King Mo is not the enforcer, but just a normal guest referee. However, tonight's preview on impactwrestling.com states that Mr. Mo will indeed be an enforcer. Whether this is Hogan forcing the change to cover up the mistake, or no one in TNA seeing the difference between the two terms (which is possible, since even I have no clue what the difference is), is beyond me. Either way, King Mo will be appearing tonight on Impact Wrestling in an attempt for Spike TV to get some synergy going between TNA and Bellator Fighting Championship.
This does make some business sense. You have two promotions with a certain amount of crossover appeal. So why not plug a guy in from one show to another?
The only problem I have with this is that it will overshadow the great angle between Storm and Roode. You cannot have a special guest referee (or enforcer, or whatever) without some shenanigans going down; it just has to happen. That's how things work in professional wrestling. So the year long feud, one of the best in pro wrestling, will end in a schmoz finish. Because this is how TNA works.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe King Mo will mind his own business, call things down the middle, and we'll get a satisfying conclusion to the angle. Again though, I highly doubt it.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Samoa Joe is your NEW TNA Television Champion. I want to make some type of joke that the belt is below him, but it is still more prestigious than the Ring of Honor (ROH) World Championship (come at me, bros!).
- There will be a Knockout tag team match featuring Miss Tessmacher with ODB against Tara and Gail Kim. I'm actually sort of excited about this.
Hopefully, this has gotten you prepared for the night's festivities. Leave a comment about what you are excited about, and please join Nolan, myself, and the entire Thursday night CSS gang in the live blog right here.