At No Surrender, Jeff Hardy took the win and people were disappointed. Why, I doubt I'll ever understand. Sure, he damaged his own reputation and made Victory Road of 2011 little more than a farce, but when he asked the fans for one more chance......when he asked most of you reading this for one more chance, you (I) decided he was worth that much. And now that TNA has decided he'd paid for his past shortcomings, somehow people are disappointed? Does that make any sense?
I'll admit he let me down last year. I thought TNA would suffer a great deal from him not putting his vices aside, and perhaps, for a short time, they (and we) did. But fast forward beyond Bound for Glory of last year. Jeff Hardy has been put through the main event since that time and has done quite well. In fact, he's been the model performer, running through every obstacle and jumping through every hoop TNA management has told him to. In my view, he's paid us back for Victory Road.
So where does that leave the other three semi-finalists? In much better shape than people give credit for. I say we look at last year's bracket. With the exception of Bully Ray, who was still tweaking his character at the time, and Gunner, who didn't come close to his previous year's success, both Bobby Roode and James Storm have risen to the top of the ranks, both being given World Title reigns. Don't quibble about how long the reigns were......Roode's heel turn was absolutely necessary to make James Storm into the perfect face and Roode into the heel TNA needed.
This year's crop of semi-finalists are ALL in perfect position to each have a shot at the World Title in the coming months. Bully Ray is ready right now, true enough, but he's still in a place that allows him to be in the spotlight once Bound for Glory has run its course. Samoa Joe, one of indy wrestling's best kept secrets, is still very much a contender.....having even made it into the top 4 says a great deal about TNA's confidence in him over the past year. I believe, in fact, that he has been given more credibility this year than in the past few years combined.
As for James Storm, we all knew that TNA's plans were to have Bobby Roode return to finish what had been left unfinished. James Storm and Bobby Roode is as good a feud as TNA has seen in recent years and, when left to their own devices, they can have plenty of room to outdo themselves on the bigger stage. And once their feud has reached its end, they each look in prime condition to having another run with the World Title.
Let's keep one thing in mind as far as Jeff Hardy goes. Just because they give him the victory going into Bound for Glory doesn't mean they have to cut the reign of Austin Aries short. And even if they do give the title to Jeff Hardy, he has more to offer at the top of the card than he does the bottom. Jeff Hardy sells. Period. He sell more merchandise than ANY other man or woman on the roster. No one else even comes close. He can sell a loss and no one would think less of him for it. Jeff Hardy sells tickets and it can be debated that no other semi-finalist has that kind of drawing power as of yet. TNA needs to do well this year at Bound for Glory, just as they do every year. Jeff Hardy can help with that on many levels. My point is, TNA's decision makes sense when you look at all sides of the argument and not allow the first reaction to carry through.