Monday, 6 May 2013

TNA Analysed 4 - The story so far Part 1

Yeah you read that right part 1, that's how big a topic I have chosen for the fourth and future fifth edition of TNA analysed.  So what do I mean by "the story so far"? Out of the many tired, tedious and inane stories TNA trots out for it's fans there seem to be plenty that never actually went anywhere.  Since we are still in the early months of 2013 TNA have plenty of time to add to this list but part 1 will be dealing with 2010.

Now to put things into perspective here I started watching TNA when Hogan joined the company and brought his clown car of friends along with him in a twisted version of his terrible cartoon series, except none of the wrestlers he brought actually had any talent or anything really to improve the show.  Now this was bad enough and there is plenty of material here to warrant a future edition of this column, but this is dealing with those forgotten storylines.

I assume many of these ending abruptly because of issues backstage or a performer being injured or just because the creative team are a bunch of fucking idiots throwing shitty ideas at the wall and seeing which one sticks.  Whatever the reason these stories end up being the only thing you remember about TNA in a narrative sense because of how they just suddenly stopped.  Some of them are gimmick based while others make no fucking sense whatsoever, so without further rambling let's begin.


Samoa Joe and the Ninja brigade - 

Yeah ninja's attacked and abducted Samoa Joe in one of the first episodes of TNA I watched.  Exact dates elude me but it wasn't that long after the arrival of the Hulkster and his out of work friends.  Joe is attacked by a gang of multi-coloured ninja's who are all wearing the cheapest outfits available (probably from the Universal lot costume department) and bundle him into a convenient van parked nearby.  The hilarious thing was that the commentary team never make any mention of this attack after it happens beyond the initial reaction and no one on the roster seems concerned about a member of the team being attacked like this.  A couple of weeks later Joe appears on screen with a cardboard box over his head, a light in face and he is clearly reading from a script.  He babbles about "they are coming" and other incoherent shit before vanishing again for a week or so. 

"They" turned out to be Immortal and this was the first sign of the new super group appearing.  Of course by TNA standards this means we had to wait for at least six months before anything developed where that was concerned.  But what of Joe after his sweaty box appearance?  Well he appeared on the show acting as normal without ever mentioning the ninja attack or the cryptic message, in fact the only other mention he made was when he randomly attacked someone during a match and mentioned the ominous 'they'.

The original idea seemed to be going with adding Joe to the Immortal faction, but Abyss ended up taking over the role because of his monster status and friendliness with Hogan and co.  Hogan must have decided that Abyss would be better and effectively retconned the Joe part of the story and forgot about it ever happening to begin with.  The Ninja's are never used again and we are never told who they were since none of them fit Immortals body profile.  My guess is that it was TNA originals like Eric Young, Kaz, Daniels and AJ. 

Personally I would have liked to see a conclusion to the Joe side of the story, perhaps he could have become the new brainwashed super ninja complete with new Samoa Joe themed Ninja outfit and weapons.  He would silently approach the ring and when things got bad for him he would throw a smoke bomb and the rest of the ninja brigade would appear in the ring, ready to attack.  This would setup for a ninja versus Immortal feud and Joe turning face and using his newly found ninja powers for good.  Shit it's better than what actually happened when 'they' appeared.

Eric Young joins the Band -

During the same period as the Joe and Ninja debacle, Scott Hall and X-pac had started to invade the impact zone and create a mild disturbance.  Hall was noticeably drunk during these promo's having trouble climbing over the guard rail and X-Pac acted as his helper.  They started a feud with Kevin Nash the long time partner of Hall back in WCW with this eventually leading up to a tag match.  Nash brought in then compus mentus Eric Young as his partner due to his kayfabe friendship with Nash.

During the match Nash turns on Young and joins what would be dubbed 'the band' a reference to NWO a name TNA had no legal right to use.  The band consisted of 3 old men who can't wrestle anymore with Nash being injury prone, Hall being drunk and unfit to walk a straight line let alone wrestle and X-pac who has Hep C and thus is a liability to anyone he performs with.  So great start there for TNA, but things got even better when Bubba the Racist cum sponge got added as the groups mouth piece.  Bubba actually did little to promote the group on screen, spending most of his time getting himself over and promoting his radio show.

This betrayal by Nash is explained as just part of the business and nothing personal and offered Young a spot in the group.  Frankly being offered to join a group this shitty looking is more insulting and less flattering.  Young declines and feuds with them for a while before eventually joining anyway and turning heel.  Not long after this though X-Pac is dropped from TNA due to personal obligations and missing event dates.  Hall would follow suit shortly after when he had also missed dates and his presence was probably drawing the wrong kind of attention for TNA.  Hiring a guy with severe alcohol problems amongst other issues isn't the best public image for your wrestling company.

Nash would then break up the band and both he and Young would go their separate ways, with Young being given the mentally challenged gimmick and Nash chasing Hogan for being the supposed cause of the break up.  So why even bother adding Young to the group if they never intended to go beyond the initial Hall and Nash setup.  Why not keep the band going with new members and making them a force to be reckoned with?  Who knows, TNA doesn't so were all screwed on that account.

Personally I would have liked to have seen the band roll out with NWO inspired gear, possibly calling themselves the OWO short for Old World Order and becoming more of a parody of themselves.  They could have re-enacted classic NWO moments but with much older wrestlers and taken the wrestling world by storm with old man versions of classic NWO matches.  The zimmer poke of doom, OWO Grey VS OWO Greyer and so on.  Hell they could even bring in Dennis Rodman again.

Matt Morgan the sole tag champ -

Morgan and Hernandez made for one of the worst tag teams in wrestling history and without good reason.  No one gave a fuck about them as a team and they had a habit of injuring people they worked with, generating zero heat and neither member had any real charisma.  Despite this they became tag champs in 2010 and Morgan promptly turned his back on Hernandez and decked him to break up their team. 

This left Morgan as the sole tag champ a situation that made no sense even in TNA since you can't be a sole tag champion.  Management apparently had no problem with this and decided to allow Morgan to continue as the tag team champions.  Morgan then started referring to himself as 'we' like the belt counted as his tag partner and generally acting like a psychopath.  He still had to defend his titles and for that he needed a tag partner which he got each week even though after his victory he would lay out his partner.  This continued for weeks before being quietly phased out and the titles vacated for a real tag team.

God knows why they decided to run with Morgan as the tag champions on his own.  He wasn't exactly over in the first place and nothing came from his owning both belts.  The numerous wins during this time only served to bury the actual tag division and waste everyones time.  It wasn't as if the gimmick was funny because Morgan is incapable of being funny and it made no logical sense for wrestling fans who know that the tag belts need two fucking people!!

If I was writing this I would had Morgans insanity grow to new levels of crazy as he begins to listen to the belts as they tell him to challenge more and more opponents, eventually culminating in Morgan taking on the entire TNA roster laughing maniacally as he fights a losing battle at Bound for Glory 2010.  After this momentous twenty minute beatdown Morgan would be repackaged as a singles wrestler and TNA would apologise for subjecting us to such a idiotic story in the first place.

Sting's cryptic messages -

When Hogan and Bischoff arrived we began to hear about the mysterious group only known as 'they'.  This group would pop up regularly in discussions and would eventually lead to Sting acting in the most inappropriate manner possible when you want to warn people of a group that wants to take over TNA.

Sting starts attacking babyfaces such as RVD who had recently debuted along with the likes of Jarret, Samoa Joe, Abyss and more effectively turning him heel.  He spends weeks talking in riddles about how 'they' couldn't be trusted and instead of telling people why he was doing all of this, he simply continued to attack members of the yet to be revealed Immortal.  It made no sense and in the end he was teamed with Nash and Dinero to face Jarret and Joe.  After that match all was revealed and it would turn out that Sting was right all along and was in fact a babyface the entire time.

Yeah Cornette face for that shit.  It wouldn't have been so immensely stupid if it hadn't taken weeks for this reveal to have come about.  I mean if you had such sensitive information about a potential coup in your country's government, would you become a terrorist, sending veiled warnings about this group while bombing civilian targets?  No that would be fucking insane and you would deserve to have your ass shot for being so fucking stupid in the first place.  After all of this Sting simply vanishes and the three man team of Nash, Dinero and Sting break up instead of fighting against Immortal, something Sting had been doing for months, but after the reveal apparently he has no interest?

Backstage they must have thought this story was some sort of Machiavellian scheme written by a genius, but in the end it fell flat, left people speechless at the stupidity being displayed here and only served to further push TNA into the pit which it now resides in.

My version of this would have had Sting form a group called enigma which would only speak in riddles and never make any fucking sense.  Their music would be out of key and annoying and they would all wear Sting's wrestling gear so they all looked the same.  Enigma would challenge Immortal and Fourtune and ultimately reveal to Dixie the evil plot of Hogan and Bischoff months later before breaking up and never being heard from again.

Abyss branding people -

When Abyss went completely mental prior to his being revealed as a member of Immortal and afterwards Abyss was wandering around backstage with a number of implements of pain.  He had his girlfriend known as 'Janice', a plank of wood with nails stuck in it, but he also had a branding iron.  During a random episode of impact Abyss brands two members of TNA staff for no reason.  It isn't mentioned again and has zero input to the narrative of the time.

He named his branding iron Bob which when coupled with Janice aluded to the names of Dixie's parents.  So basically this was done as way to tell Dixie's parents to fuck off after they had limited Dixie's spending on the company.  If they hadn't we probably wouldn't be seeing TNA anymore because Dixie was greenlighting every stupid ass idea creative had and by creative I mean Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan.

I think this could have lead to a new TNA branding match where the loser receives a brand from Bob and Abyss afterwards.  They could also run competitions where each week a random member of the production team could be branded with a letter that spells a word.  Inputting the completed word through twitter or the website would win you a severe beating from company officials and you yourself being branded by Bob in a location of Abyss' choosing.

And that about wraps up 2010.  Sure I probably missed some stuff, but these are the real highlights for me personally.  Come back next week for part 2 where I dissect and give my own more comedic outcomes for 2011's story so far.


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