Aces & 8s! Bully! Hogan! Sting! Lets! Ruin! This! [Explicit]! Show!
This is getting more and more painful to recap each and every week.
Last week (Jan. 31), Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson squared off in a steel cage match. It was a standard crippled Kurt/underwhelming Anderson affair, with Angle going over via Ankle Lock. The big story coming out of the night, though, was Wes Briscoe and Garrett Bischoff revealing themselves to be members of Aces & 8s. It's something that everyone saw coming a mile away, and it wasn't in and of itself a bad advancement.
The problem derives from the fact this should have happened ages ago.
Aces & 8s debuted on the June 14, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling. That's a full seven months of a storyline that should have lasted three, tops. Since it first appeared, the group has taken out a handful of roster members -- including Sting twice -- revealed Devon, DOC, the man formally known as Mike Knox, Taz, and now Briscoe and Bischoff to be part of the group, and have something around 3 wins in that entire span.
It really wouldn't be so bad if it was contained in the undercard. But the worst part is this thing is dragging everything down.
Bully Ray is doing the best work of his entire career. Hulk Hogan, while he is still trying to make the show about himself, is actually pretty entertaining in his segments. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy -- who was kayfabed injured by, you guessed it, Aces & 8s -- is proving to be a great draw. With the extra eyeballs, buyrates, and cash he is bringing in, TNA is free to do things such as leave the Impact Zone on a regular basis.
Furthermore, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian make every appearance a must see. The Knockouts are working with actual storylines and interesting feuds. Even Joseph Park is playing the underdog character to perfection. Things should be great for TNA right now.
And it's all going to waste, because Aces & 8s continue to steal airtime from those far more deserving.
Maybe you think I'm being too hard on the group. Perhaps you think that I'm letting a single angle ruin what could be an entertaining show. Or you might think I'm a TNA hater and just want to bury the promotion because of my favoritism of that other promotion.
In order: no, maybe - but I doubt it, and that is not even close to the truth.
I will be one of the first to fly the TNA flag. There was a period last year when I repeatedly stated that TNA was by far a more enjoyable product. I still think the company can put on a great show if it just put its best foot forward. You look at the roster TNA possess, and there is potential busting at the seams. Look at Aries, look at Roode, look at Daniels, look at Park. Hell, look at what Hardy has become. Someone in the back finally got through to him. The man is clean and sober.
As someone who has his own demons, and who has been close to many who have fought theirs as well, that is something that should never be understated.
There is so much there, that it makes missteps like Aces & 8s all the more painful. It would be one thing if they were a serious wrecking force, working their way through the roster and eliminating all challengers. But they are not. They are nothing. A void of talent. Emptiness. Nothingness. Despair. A vacuum of reaction, the lack of any heat or pop.
The loss of hope for a better promotion.
Perhaps Aces & 8s will be eliminated soon. Maybe the group will disband, and we can all go back to enjoying what should be a very good product. But its stench will always linger. The remains of a charred and burnt corpse of a storyline will forever remain.
No matter how far away from the Impact Zone TNA runs, it will always be TNA.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- By virtue of defeating Chavo Guerrero, Austin Aries earned himself and Bobby Roode the right to challenge for the World Tag Team Championship. If there is a pro wrestling god, I hope that Aries and Roode hold the straps until Ragnarok.
- Rob Van Dam will defend his X Division Championship in a Triple Threat Match against Kenny King and Zema Ion. Because of course he is.
- Rockstar Spud, the winner of TNA's British Boot Camp and a spot on the TNA roster, will make his Impact Wrestling debut. Having not seen the show, I don't know how good he actually is. But I am pretty excited to see how he will turn out.
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!