Tuesday, 7 January 2014

TNA Analysed 33 - Double Ja vu


So it's been an interesting couple of weeks for TNA recently.  The jury is still out on the AJ Styles situation being one of the big stories surrounding the company at the moment.  AJ's contract status has certainly gotten the dirtsheets going and personally I am not 100% sure he is gone from TNA.  It's just the way he talks about it in interviews, it just sounds like a work.

If it is a work then TNA have done a fairly decent job of getting fans interested in seeing what happens next.  Even I am checking out websites regularly to see if anything concrete has surfaced regarding his status.  The only thing TNA have to be mindful of is how long they draw out this story if it is in fact a work.  Take too long and the fans will stop caring but bring him back too early and everyone will call TNA on their poor writing, so it's a tough balancing act.  We know for a fact that he will be losing his unification match against Magnus which is likely to be the biggest indicator of his leaving the company. 

This story flies in the face of the incredibly obvious work on Jeff Hardy's part which is purely to ensure he is written off the show during the UK tour since we don't let convicted drug dealers into the country.  His being written off the show isn't a big deal anyway since TNA have struggled to find a use for him in the last five months.  I don't really know what the company have in mind for Hardy other than another heel run but I doubt that will improve his standing with the fans.

Now one thing I am kind of impressed with for TNA and this is really rare, Magnus as world champ.  WWE have had some brilliant British wrestlers on their books but not once have they given them the strap.  TNA have made history by doing this but I can't help but feel they only did it because it was something they could throw in WWE's face.  And after checking around, the world hasn't been destroyed by the crowning of a non American champion, fans still watch the program and even cheer Magnus.  The people running the industry are still really insular and xenophobic for some reason.  Fans will watch a wrestling show if they like the wrestling and the characters regardless of their country of origin.

The other major piece of TNA news is the sudden departure of one Double J, Jeff Jarrett.  The founder of the company who has been off screen for quite some time now has finally seen his arse about the way his creation is being run into the ground and left.  This is something he should have done a while ago simply because the Carter family were never going to listen to him despite his experience in the industry.  Rumour going round is that he is planning to announce his next business venture, again likely to be wrestling related. 

I would be interested to see if the current set of angles will change from the complete rip off of WWE's angles of the last year.  The current set of TNA stories mimic WWE pretty closely.  Let's take a look.

  • Gail Kim becomes the new Knockouts champion and immediately starts to act like AJ Lee, even recruiting a Polynesian bodyguard character to help her win matches.  Tamina Snuka however does a much better job in this role compared to the tragically named Lei'D Tapa.
  • Bully Ray's gang of biker ninja's are disbanded by Anderson forcing Bully to become a kind of weird prophecising loon in a very similar vein to Bray Wyatt.  Give it time and he will probably appear on screen flanked by a couple of disciples, one wearing a mask of some sort.
  • Magnus wins the TNA world heavyweight title after a lengthy tournament.  However AJ never lost his original belt and so now the two will be having a unification title match to crown the undisputed TNA champion which is in no way similar to WWE's recent Orton V Cena unification match.
  • Dixie Carter turns heel and slowly begins to act more and more like WWE's power couple, the authority even gathering her own Brad Maddox style lackey in the form of Rockstar Spud with ECIII acting as her right hand man and finally adding Magnus to her list a la Orton to Steph and Trips.
  • And finally let us not forget AJ Styles and his pipebomb promo which not only failed to register it flat out stunk, but was once again another shameless rip on WWE and one of it's most popular angles in the last ten years.

I am interested to see how this pans out because I am not sure if Jarrett was in charge of the angles at that point or not.  Either way TNA continues to put a brave face on during a pretty dire situation and 2014 will certainly be the make or break year for TNA.

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