Picture this scenario. A top wrestler who's sick and tired of being unappreciated by his megalomaniacal boss earns a world title shot on the way out the door, decides to voice his frustrations for the whole world to hear on the company's flagship show and then shocks the world by winning the belt on his last scheduled pay-per-view date with the promotion.
Sounds very familiar doesn't it? Clearly Eric Bischoff has been doing his WWE homework, as TNA's latest top storyline has cast AJ Styles in the role of pipe bomb exploding company quitter CM Punk and Dixie Carter as the all powerful Mr. McMahon who is for once forced over a barrel by a leaving star's outrageous demands.
There's a few major problems with this idea. Firstly, although Styles is Punk's equal in the ring, on the mic he isn't close to being in the same ball park, which has always been the missing ingredient that has prevented him from breaking out of the TNA pack and being the guy that the company was built around.
Meanwhile, Carter is an amateurish wannabe in every way to Vince McMahon, the greatest wrestling promoter to ever live and one of the best heels ever too. The main reason she's put on our screens by the bookers is not because she has any discernible talent or presence, but because they believe that being plastered on television in front of a million people a week will ensure that the money will keep flowing into their pockets, albeit a little late, for a long time to come. It's one of the oldest carny tricks in the book.
Moreover, no-one believes that Styles is really going to leave TNA, despite their well documented financial problems, unlike CM Punk in late June/early July 2011. Alhough AJ's contract came due in September and he didn't rush to immediately re-sign with TNA as they weren't willing to give him his annual raise, the two parties quickly agreed to a compromise deal where he would stay with the company for the same money till the end of the year. Given that news of this leaked before they shot the angle, no-one believed that he was shooting from the hip when he badmouthed Dixie or in danger of going anywhere, so it didn't get anyone talking or increase interest in Impact Wrestling. It doesn't help that WWE has shown absolutely no interest for his services and would seemingly only do so to screw over their beleaguered rivals.
But regardless of these cardinal errors becoming all too apparent, according to Dave Meltzer, TNA plans to go all the way with this angle and conclude it better than WWE did when they lucked into a lightning in a bottle moment. That means AJ Styles is expected to take his big gold belt and go home for more than the one week Punk did. I imagine we'll get plenty of vignettes of Styles mocking Dixie from his pad, while the increasingly desperate owner eventually caves into all of his demands.
Hopefully, they can pull it off, but given their track record I highly doubt it. Styles will likely still be a second rate Punk, just like he was an unconvincing new Nature Boy and an indifferent new Crow Sting, and how Aces & 8s was a very poor man's nWo with an even worse booked breakup.
I hear Kevin Nash is free. Might as well have him powerbomb AJ too while they're at it. Maybe in 2014 he'll finally put a vanilla midget over.
But first AJ will have to face Bully Ray again on Impact this week, well if Dixie Carter has her evil way. Find out here tomorrow, Cagesiders, with our live Impact coverage whether the match even takes place.