Tuesday, 28 May 2013

TNA Analysed 7 - The Story so far part 3


2012 and brought some pretty awful plots to TNA of which their stench shall linger for years to come.  It was a year when Hogan and Bischoff had maybe stopped listening to Russo and focused more on other writers ideas as the amount of crazy suddenly dropped off.  This doesn't mean that stupid idea's didn't keep popping out of the creative department every month as we will see below.

Gunner sending talent to OVW

Gunner was a guy who was there but never really did anything of note or worth.  He had zero character and very little time to talk unless it was to run a very short pre-match promo.  He just isn't that interesting to watch either and frankly he is boring.  His recent re-debut on TNA didn't do much either for the fans who showed very little enthusiasm for a Gunner return tour.  Still he was involved in some of the bigger stories of 2010 through 2012 as part of Immortal, usually as a heavy hitter or jobber when Immortal needed one.

Post Immortal Gunner was pretty rudderless as his "character" had no direction.  TNA attempted to give him some sort of edge by having him brutally attack his opponents post match with a move that would send them to the hospital.  Kayfabe wise he was sending people to OVW or the jobcentre depending on what TNA wanted at the time.  This continued for weeks as Gunner would wrestle someone and then drop their heads on the stone floor to the horror of Mike Tenay.  The audience largely couldn't give a shit because Gunner drew less heat than a Siberian winter and was about as interesting.

Eventually Gunner would vanish also, presumably he got so bored with his character he dropped himself head first into the floor in an attempt at getting himself fired or re-packaged by management.  Still I would have had Gunner become a dangerous lunatic character who started dropping random people on their heads regardless of who they were.  Also he would shift from floors to more amusing items like Melons, buckets, ball pits, swimming pools and chocolate just because he was that crazy.  All of this would culminate in a best of 10 concussions match against RVD where the finale would entail Gunner being dropped so hard his head would stick into the floor a la Road Runner to end the match.

Kato!

TNA love to try and piggyback off of someone or something Else's success.  Case in point here is was the release of the then new Green Hornet movie.  Someone in TNA must have thought it would be cool if they had their own crime fighting duo for TNA, but in the end they decided to lumber a very promising Japanese wrestler who was in TNA to gain experience of western style wrestling promotions, with Samoa Joe.  Joe was then feuding with Pope over his alleged misuse of charity funds.  Joe claimed that he had evidence that Pope was using his charity money to go to strip bars and brothels, even producing footage of Pope in a very fake looking titty bar.

http://wrestlinginsights.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/samoajoenotimpressed.jpgPope wasn't pleased and demanded to find out who was filming him, although he should have noticed the camera when the titty bar footage was shot almost 2 feet away from him.  Eventually Joe revealed that his new helper Okada, dressed as Kato, was assisting him and now Pope would be in for something....Joe never really had a reason for doing what he was doing really.  Anyway Pope would mock Joe's Samoan heritage in a very near racial manner before getting his ass handed to him by Joe.

Okada never once wrestled on Impact and only ever got his ass kicked by Pope in one of TNA's backstage torture scenes with pope repeatedly beating Okada with a bat and ripping his shirt off for no reason.  Okada eventually vanished from Impact and Joe and Pope stopped feuding with not a single word mentioned about the feud ever again.  Joe never exposed Pope for his criminal activities and Pope never got his comeuppance, it was a massive waste of time and the Green Hornet knock-off only ever existed within the Okada character as Joe never once dressed or acted like the Hornet himself.  Frankly it was bizarre.

If you're are going to go for a reference to a popular comic character then go for it.  I would have had Pope bring in a few cronies to back him up and have a few weeks where Pope's criminal activities would be continually disrupted by the masked duo of Joe and Okada.  They would have backstage fights in a tongue in cheek manner before finally facing Pope in a 6 on 2 handicap match.  Things would look desperate before the crime fighting duo would win and Pople would be defeated, possibly even kayfabe arrested.  If you do this half assed then why bother at all, it could have at least been funny if nothing else TNA.

Devon's Boys
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Before the Aces and Eights story kicked off Devon was a singles competitor who like Gunner had little to do in the company.  Let's face it Devon is a decent wrestler but he is crap on his own.  Pope was bouncing between face and heel turns at this time as TNA couldn't figure out what to do with him so they decided to have him feud with Devon.

Devon for some reason was bringing his two young sons to the arena regularly despite his insistence on them not watching the show.  Yeah figure that out.  They kept appearing anyway and generally acted as a distraction for their dad before Pope started hanging out with them backstage and during Devon's matches.  The idea here was that Pope was taking over as a father figure and looking like the cool stepdad character, which was only reinforced by Devon acting like an abusive father every time his sons appeared.  Devon's wife would eventually start attending shows and Pope would look like he was making moves on her, although this vanished very quickly.  I guess Devon wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of having his wife being chatted up by a younger wrestler.

Anyway the feud would ramp up as Pope would pretend to be a friend and nothing else, even tagging with Devon to gain his trust.  This didn't work out as Pope would continually ensure Devon would lose and still hang around with the boys.  Eventually Devon's boys would attack their dad and join Pope for reasons only known to the writing team.  They never once explained why they attacked dear old dad other than being provoked by Pope.  This alliance didn't last long anyway as Pope would face Devon in a match with the two boys backing him up, of course they switch sides again and turn on Pope to help their dad win the match. 

For a week or two I expected another bout of TNA nepotism to kick in but it never did.  Devon's sons would vanish from TV and Pope would also disappear for a while.  Devon never once mentioned his boys again and the story just ended.  Why have them in the first place if they were just there for a single feud?  It's like star trek hitting reset every episode, these characters just existed for this episode and nothing else.  In the end the feud meant nothing as the crowd couldn't give a crap about who won or lost. 

Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan

Matt Morgan recently went full beard heel on us in TNA and started a sort of feud with Hogan which itself deserves a TNA analysed.  Anyway his return dropped him into the tag division with tag partner Joey Ryan.  Now why Ryan was teaming with Morgan we still don't know.  One night they just turned up and attacked someone announcing their intention to take the tag team titles.  We are never once told why Joey Ryan is in a team with Matt Morgan and why Morgan would even want to tag with a guy who has less wins to his name than Robbie E.
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The team tagged for a few weeks taking on different teams with Morgan acting as the heavy and Ryan being the useless heel character.  They tried twice to win the tag titles and both times they lost due to Ryans incompetence.  After this the team just vanishes from TV.  In fact Joey Ryan only recently re-appeared on Impact acting as a special referee for the knockouts.  Morgan is still in limbo, likely being punished for his attempt to join WWE during the lawsuit TNA had against them.  But quite why the team existed was never explained, the two wrestlers never once put each other over suggesting they were never friends and seemed to only exist to give Chavo and Hernandez a team to fight at a pay per view.

Considering the mix here I would have had them win the tag titles and be a real threat to the babyfaces of TNA.  Joey Ryan would be the weak link of the team but still a capable opponent, while Morgan would just decimate whoever he went after.  I cannot understand why you would throw a team together without any rhyme or reason, other than to have a tag title match.

Claire Lynch

The worst is kept for last. 

During the infinite feud between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels TNA decided to get all soap opera on us.  Kaz and Daniels would begin to accuse AJ of being romantically involved with Dixie Carter which would put Dixie into damage control.  Instead of firing them both for making such accusations Dixie and AJ would work to refute the evidence bad influence would produce each week.  Their first evidence was a photo of AJ and Dixie in the ring looking like they were kissing and really this did look genuine, it was hard to come up with an excuse for this one.

The second piece of evidence was of them both going to a hotel room together and the final piece of evidence was a phone conversation which suggested the two were waiting for Dixie's husband to leave so they could have dirty horrible wrestling sex.  Obviously all the evidence was disputed and proved to be false when the titular Claire Lynch arrived.

Claire was a pregnant former drug addict who was being sponsored by AJ and Dixie.  Of course neither AJ or Dixie would just flat out tell everyone this because you know stuff.  Or the writing team hadn't come up with a good reason yet.  Anyway Claire would then support AJ in his feud against Daniels until a few weeks later where she would then claim that AJ is the father of her baby.  Again more soap drama for a wrestling show.  AJ would deny it was his baby of course and this would eventually lead to a match where if AJ lost he would accept responsibility for the child, but if he won he would take a paternity test.  During this time Kaz and Daniels would constantly push the AJ's baby line to humiliate him.  The evidence they had was a photo or video (can't remember) of Claire with a sleeping AJ in a hotel room.  AJ would win the match and he would take the test.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m99wrbzqmu1qkqrhqo1_250.jpgThe story would tailspin and crash from here on in.  Outside of the show fans found out the real name and details of Claire Lynch, posting her official website, CV and details of her past works on the Internet.  The most amusing detail was that she was working in Universal theme park as Olive Oyl on the Popeye ride, proving that TNA didn't even cast a very wide net for a better actress, instead choosing someone who worked in the same location as they did.  Claire's acting was tragically awful with some of her line delivery being truly hilarious despite the heavy nature of the story (we are after all talking about a story that involved date rape, drug addictions and adultery) and it's implications for the characters. 

The Claire Lynch character would quickly vanish from Impact as both TNA and the actress both wanted to immediately distance themselves from the online debacle.  Obviously the actress wasn't happy with her details being bounced around the Internet and becoming a running joke online while TNA finally realised that the story was quickly becoming as derided as the Katie Vick incident and decided to have Claire Lynch's "lawyer" appear and admit to being in cahoots with Kaz and Daniels the entire time.  AJ would kick their asses and the story would end without being concluded or mentioned ever again.  We will never know what TNA originally had in mind and what exactly the outcome would have been in the long run.  Really it's probably best we don't know as the sudden end to the Clair Lynch saga is more of a blessing really.  It didn't end the AJ Daniels feud of course as they would continue to fight for months before AJ lost and left TNA for a while.

Honestly I have no suggestions for a better story because it shouldn't have existed to begin with.

That is thankfully all of the story so far.  Next week I will be posting another TNA Analysed with a different subject.  Thanks for reading.

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