TNA: They’re Here! Should We Care?

TNA is back on UK TV and The Impact Zone is back in a new home. Amongst the usual favourites such as “Heel of the Month”, “Face of the Month” and “Top 5….” I discuss the implications of the “new they” and whether or not this is a good thing for all those involved. So go on, have a read and find out what you’ve been missing.

Before I get into the latest of many twists and turns in TNA, let me just give, those of you who haven’t been following, a quick catch up.

The Story so far..

Prior to 10/10/10 Abyss promised that “they” were coming, and “they” would change the landscape on TNA wrestling. Speculation mounted for weeks about who Abyss was talking about, theories that it was the nWo, DX, ROH and many other acronyms were thrown across the internet, with the favourite pretty much being that it was Hogan, Bischoff and a couple of the rosters top babyfaces. After shocking us all by it being Hogan, Bischoff and couple of the top babyfaces (Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett), “they” became immortal.

Having already a heel faction known as Fortune, TNA decided to merge the two groups, Fortune still existed, but Immortal pretty much covered the whole super faction. This pretty much led to 4 months of Immortal beating everyone up on the roster, which got old very quick. Then a couple of weeks ago newly debuting Crimson (Amazing Red’s kayfabe older brother who took out Jarrett in one of his MMA exhibition things) told of a new “They” that was coming, to take on “Immortal”. When Scott Steiner then returned to join Kurt Angle and Crimson (now dressed in lovely new suites) it was all but clear that “they” were the Main Event Mafia. However, when WWE’s Royal Rumble aired, two of the MEM (Nash and Booker T) were surprise contestants and foiled Dixie Carter (or whoever is actually in charge right now)’s plans. Both men had signed contracts with the WWE, nullifying any agreement they may have had with TNA.

With the angle already underway, TNA had two options, find a new last minute “they” from outside the company, or create one from within. This led to Fortune (AJ Styles, Beer Money and Kazarian) turning on Immortal and declaring that “they” are Fortune.

Ok, everyone is now up to speed. Let’s move on to the article.

The members of Fortune should really consider writing Kevin Nash and Booker T a massive thank you letter, because them joining the WWE may have saved their careers (and probably prevent further career destruction to Nash and Booker T). Fortune were completely lost in the mix of Immortal, it was the nWo all over again, way too many members that weren’t getting over because they either looked weak needing 10 of them to take out 2 guys, or because 10 of them were getting beaten up by one guy (Kurt Angle most recently). And most important of all, the angle kind of makes sense. Here are these 4 guys, that were thought to become the stars of the company a couple of years ago, but then Hogan/Bischoff come in and pay some outside talent to come in. Workhorses like Christopher Daniels were out and “Mr Phone It In” Rob Van Dam was in. AJ is replaced by Mr Anderson and Jeff Hardy as the face of the company and Kaz and the X Division are completely forgotten about. So it makes sense that these guys would take on Immortal, sure it wasn’t done in the best of ways, heels turning face by cheap shotting heels is never smart, but the result is fine by me.

So what we end up with is the TNA of old, vs the TNA of new (which is essentially the MEM mafia angle they did a couple of years back). I’m still not thrilled by this, I personally think it’s time TNA gave the gang warfare shizzle a rest, but if we have to have it, I’d much rather there was some chance that someone would be elevated from it.

Ok, so that’s the main storyline out of the way, now on to the rest. I’m now going to try and cover the rest of TNA (for the catch up period that was shown on challenge tv).

MVP (and also best heel) Of The Month: Jeff Jarrett

I’m not currently sure what people opinions are on the whole Jeff Jarrett/MMA storyline, but after sitting through all those hours of TNA and trying so hard to reframe from touching that fast forward button, I by far enjoyed all his segments the most. I tend to forget how much of a pro Jeff Jarrett is, I’ve focused so much on hating him over the years for being in a role he shouldn’t be in, that I’ve missed how good he is. He has the perfect combination of humour (the cowardly choosing of his opponent) and vile heel behaviour (ruthlessly attacking the competition mid sentence). The whole angle has been spot on and I really think Jarrett found his calling with his fake MMA star gimmick, it’s a shame it couldn’t last a little longer.

Face Of The Month: Matt Morgan

Morgan has been an absolute star since his face turn a few months back. He kind of drifted off into the mix of Fortune, but as a face he seems re-invigorated. He’s much more confident and natural on the mic and he has a good face move set (minus the Hellavator which should be weaned out). I’ve never been convinced by Morgan as a heel, he’s too soflyt spoken and not intense enough on the mic, but in his currently role he’s working well and just needs a few ring veteran opponents to get him over in matches a bit more.

Debut Of The Month: Crimson

I’d never heard of this guy before, he’s been in TNA for a few weeks and I’ve already bought into him as one of the top baby faces. I’ve not even seen him wrestle yet. This is how you debut someone, no messing around, he gets put over by a top heel during the MMA challenge, he’s seemed fairly natural on the mic and by associating himself with Angle against fortune he’s elevated his profile greatly. Let’s just hope this guy has some talent other than being tall (billed as 6’6, if he’s taller than 6’3 I’ll buy a hat and eat it.

Knockout Of The Month: Madison Rayne

Is there anyone who doesn’t hate Madison Rayne? I was surprised when I first noticed at how much I disliked her, it totally snuck up on me. She is by far the best personality of all the knockouts and ok in the ring too. I could barely remember her name when she was with the beautiful people, but her voice, her facials they’re all great and make her a great heel, it’s just a shame all the knockout faces are all fairly naff, giving her character no real competition.

Worst Moment Of The Month: Abyss Gets Nailed!

Usually finding a worst moment in TNA is difficult (not because there are none, but because there are loads) However, when Abyss came out and then fell forward with his spikey piece of wood in his back like something out of a rubbish horror film, it just dampened everything that was going on. Abyss is by far TNA’s worst character, everything he’s involved in tends to be detrimental to the show, and it’s high time he gets his marching orders. Someone as poor and limited as he is has been with the company for far too long. I remember thinking “when will WWE sign this guy” but those thoughts have been long gone for years now, and its clear Abyss is on borrowed time. Please don’t ever tell him I said that though.

Please Fire: Abyss

See above…

Please Bring Back: Desmond Wolfe

I’m not sure what the deal is with Wolfe, if he’s injured or not, but TNA need him back to add some credibility to their in ring matches. With Kurt Angle rarely wrestling, the downward spiral of Samoa Joe and the additions of: the poor RVD, Matt Hardy and Scott Steiner, TNA desperately needs more ring generals and Desmond Wolfe has that written all over him. He started out so promising in TNA, and the fans were firmly behind him last year during the short lived TNA rankings. Hogan and Bischoff, however, seem to hate the guy, they just can’t seem to see anything good in him, and this is exactly the problem with TNA’s inability to create new stars right now, they can’t seem to see what everyone else is telling them.

Top 5 Free Agents TNA Should Sign

(I’m classing anyone not signed by WWE as a free agent)

Shelton Benjamin – I can only assume the reason they haven’t brought him in yet is because they’ve spent a bit too much money elsewhere. Shelton Benjamin, on his day, is a brilliant in ring performer and a stint in TNA could really re-ignite his career. With the option to either bring him in with Haas to really add depth to their tag division, bring him in as a single star to either push their X-Division to a much higher level or throw him towards the world title picture and see how he fairs, I think AJ vs Shelton would personally be a dream match.

Chris Hero – One half of the tag teams champions, Hero has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and his tag team with Claudio is truly one of the best in the world. As a solo or with his partner Hero could be great in TNA, I do think he’d struggle under current management though, and is probably a bit too smart to want to be part of the company at present. But in about 11 months, when Hogan and Bischoff leave, TNA should reach out to him because this guy has the makings of a real star.

Colt Cabana – The former Scotty Goldman, through no fault of his own, bombed in WWE, I’m not sure what their intentions with him were. But Goldman would fit perfectly into the TNA style, even with the current management I believe he could get on fine in the midcard and give something they’re lacking “entertainment”. He’s a great character, a uniquely talented wrestler, and even though he’s never going to be main eventing a PPV, he’s still a quality signing.

MVP – The biggest mistake WWE made with MVP was turning the guy face, he lost his edge and the fans couldn’t seem to relate to him, this then brought down the progress he’d made in the ring, and on the mic. If TNA gave MVP the chance to be heel again it may put him back on the right track and perhaps both parties would reap the rewards of this.

Paul London – London said in a recent interview that he would only consider joining TNA to help his friend Brian Kendrick, and that’s exactly what him coming in would do. Kendrick is lost in the mix of TNA, they don’t seem to know what to do with him. How better to push your tag division than add the longest running WWE tag champs in recent years. They’re a talented duo, and matches against Beer Money or MCMG’s would be brilliant.

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