Hardy! Bully! Hulk! Brooke! Fast-Paced Action! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Last week (Feb. 21), Hulk Hogan gave a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to the most deserving, hardest working talent on the TNA roster. It went to a man who has proven himself time and time again.
It went to Bully Ray, who got it because his wife, Brooke Hogan, asked her daddy nicely. At least it's believable?
Anyways, Bully will be facing Jeff Hardy come Lockdown (Mar. 10), just a week and a half from today. Tonight though (Feb. 28) TNA starts to build the feud that will come to a head in...
[pulls out abacus]
...Yep, two weeks. Two episodes of Impact Wrestling until the second -- or third -- biggest pay-per-view (PPV) on TNA's calendar. Just two simple episodes to build an entire angle from scratch that hopefully amounts to more than, "You have the belt I want."
If this was that other promotion, it would be safe to assume it was building up for the next PPV. Except with TNA's reduction schedule, the next PPV isn't till Slammiversary in June.
Yeah. June. As in four months later.
With only four PPV's on the calendar, TNA cannot afford to be wasting time futzing around. Each PPV must call to the fans, screaming, "You must buy this!" Anything less than its absolute best, means you lose those buys, and without a consistent monthly income that could end up really hurting the promotion.
The counter argument is that with no longer forcing fans to buy a crap product every month, these same fans will now have some spare cash to buy a crap product every fourth month, instead. I hope you are smart enough to see the flaw in that train of thought.
Hardy finally gets some airtime, after not being allowed into the United Kingdom because of that whole "poppin' pills like candy" thing that went down a few years ago. He hasn't really been asked to carry a feud so far in his reign. Working with Austin Aries and Bobby Roode allows one to be a little cooky, a little off the wall. Let them do the heavy lifting while you have your Scrubs Monologues.
This time needs to be a little different.
Bully Ray may be a great talent. He may be doing the best work of his career. But there's really only two ways he can go with this; either TNA keeps the face vs. face matchup -- something the promotion has never shied away from, which means both men absolutely need to bring the fire.
Or, Bully turns heel and will be asked to carry Hardy's ass throughout the feud.
I'm not fundamentally opposed to Bully turning heel. He's a natural bad guy and knows how to draw heat. And the whole point of a pro wrestling marriage is for the inevitable blowup.
I'm just a little afraid of how it would be handled.
The Hogan vanity project was fun when it was a subplot. And as annoying as the past few weeks have been, TNA was traveling without its champion. Hogan is still widely popular overseas. The crowds loved him in Britain. It makes sense that he took center stage for those few weeks.
Now is the time to step aside and let the talent work their magic. I don't think that's possible if Hulk, Brooke, and "the gang that shall not be named" are involved in the championship picture.
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!
The NEW Velvet Sky, our lovely Knockouts Champion, will defend her belt against former champion, Tara. Why TNA is giving away a barnburner of a match like this is absolutely behind me, but I'm not going to complain.
Tonight marks the return of TNA Gut Check! I fully enjoy how TNA is bloating the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) roster with fresh talent when Impact Wrestling is barely able to feature a dozen wrestlers an episode.
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!