Tonight, thankfully, will mark the start of Impact returning focus to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Hulk Hogan will choose the #1 Contender based on four matchups...
Hardy! Aries! Roode! Daniels! Storm! Angle! Joe! Mangus! Van Dam! #1 Contender! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Here we are again
on our own without a contender to Jeff Hardy's TNA World Heavyweight Championship, a problem that we had just a few weeks ago. It seems TNA has failed to understand how to build up contenders to the promotion's highest title.
Instead, we get crap like the gang that shall not be named.
Coming out of Genesis (Jan. 13), Hardy had defeated the previous two TNA Champions Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. The same night, Christopher Daniels and James Storm had a #1 Contenders match, which seemed haphazardly put together and very much on the back burner. Daniels would get the victory, and the title match was set on the Jan. 24 episode of Impact Wrestling.
Because, instead of building up the feud for any amount of time, the best decision was to throw it away two weeks after it started.
Then TNA would travel over to England for a few weeks, a trip Hardy himself could not make. He was kayfabe injured by the gang that shall not be named. The reality was that his felony conviction keeps him from working overseas in most countries. It's a weird circumstance for Hardy and TNA to be in, but this problem will only affect the promotion once, maybe twice a year.
No one has yet to provide a decent reason for Hardy not to drop the strap while the roster is working across the pond.
Bring a new face to the main event scene. Allow the title to get some exposure for these few weeks. Let feuds start to form naturally. Find out who has chemistry together, and start working towards the next reign. A promotion should always know what its next move will be. I'm not even saying they should know every detail or booking decision, or that any potential plans couldn't change on a moment's notice.
At the very least, though, have an original plan in place.
TNA is in a tough position on the calendar. There's a two month gap between Genesis and Lockdown (March 10). That other promotion is in its strongest season of the year. It's tempting to not throw out your best stuff. To try and hide what you have to offer. To not waste the big guns in a down season.
Even if you take those points as truth, that is not an excuse to let the championship fade away stateside.
I'm not a person who always wants the title to be the main focus of every show. I'm perfectly fine with other, more important angles taking center stage. In fact, I often find non-title feuds more enjoyable than the title variety.
After all, a title is only as strong as the workers carrying it, and often less than the best workers are holding the belt for reasons that have nothing to do with the entertainment side. More leeway granted to non-title angles, there are more options available, and it has the potential to be more entertaining when you remove a championship from the picture.
However, when the major storyline is something as bad as the gang that shall not be named, there is something seriously wrong.
Tonight, thankfully, will mark the start of Impact returning focus to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Hulk Hogan will choose the #1 Contender based on four matchups:
Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, Magnus vs. Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode, and James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam.
Instead of going with a straight up tournament style, though, they will be competing to "impress" the Hulkster. Which means we will probably be exposed to the traditional TNA booking.
Angle and Joe are still tied up in that gang that shall not be named bullcrap, with Wes Briscoe's and Garrett Bischoff's recent heel turns. Aries and Roode are the NEW TNA World Tag Team Champions, but haven't given Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez a proper rematch.
Magnus and Storm have legitimate shots, but neither really make me all that excited.
I would count out Rob Van Dam since he is X Division Champion, but it would be so TNA if he was the one to unify the belts.
And then there's Daniels.
I would love nothing more than for Christopher Daniels to get another shot at the strap. The man is one of the most entertaining aspect in Impact Wrestling, and I think he could actually get some good work out of Hardy. The matches will be excellent, the promos entertaining as hell, and the story of a TNA mainstay vs. ex-WWE Superstar is one that never gets old. This is the feud that TNA should be pushing. This is the angle that would make the show fun again.
So of course we will be getting Hardy vs. RVD at Lockdown.
The! Gang! That! Shall! Not! Be! Named!
The gang that shall not be named will do something stupid. Everyone will hate it. That is all I'm going to say about it.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Is it fair to say that, if given the right venue, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode would be the biggest names in sports entertainment? It's almost criminal they are lost in the Impact Zone. I'm not necessarily saying they should head to that other promotion. But these two are something that an Indy could build a name around. If there were any Indies that could pull their collective heads out of their asses enough to make a mainstream impact.
- British Boot Camp contestants Marty and the Blossom twins will take on Gail Kim, Tara, and Jessie Godderz. I will fully enjoy this match for reasons that should be obvious to the loyal Precap readers.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Thursday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!