This is the last I'll be referring to WWE is some time, at least in a way that isn't simply a passing comparison to what their product USED to be. Why? Simple. They just can't seem to leave well enough alone. They invited Glenn Beck to RAW. Beck refused. But he didn't just refuse, he went on a long rant ABOUT their fanbase and WWE has responded in kind. Just because Linda lost the Senate seat on the Republican ticket in their state not once, but TWICE in two campaigns that ate MILLIONS, if not more than a billion dollars' worth of WWE profits, they believe they need to be bitter about it? I thought we knew you better, Vince.
In any case, RAW has undergone an overhaul under orders made by Stephanie McMahon, who was reportedly LIVID over Beck's criticisms of the WWE product and the fanbase thereof. I don't blame her for being upset, but I DO blame her for WWE giving Beck more attention. Glenn said he wouldn't acknowledge WWE again on his show and, to date, he hasn't. WWE just HAS to have the last word, which seems more than a little petty, considering they should have OTHER priorities in mind, namely their biggest show of the year. I'm not a very political type of guy, but I DO consider myself an oddball conservative, meaning I AM a wrestling fan, but one who wasn't so much offended by the character as much as some. MY problem is that WWE made this personal, when it didn't have to be. Using the WWE product as a vehicle as a platform to launch a politically charged storyline against a segment of American culture simply doesn't work. Period.
SO....I have come to the point where WWE will scarcely get a mention from me UNLESS it refers to the product circa 1993-2009. I TRIED to warn you guys a couple of columns ago that the backlash will be pretty heavy-handed and dealt out in spades, but you just couldn't leave well enough alone. That said, I predict Jack Swagger will be gone within 6 months and the storyline failure will be blamed on his failure of the WWE Wellness Policy and NOT on the failure of WWE Creative to find a better direction for the Jack Swagger character than attacking a man who will never give you mention in any outlet he's invited to.
So with THAT, I turn my attentions BACK to the land where political upheaval can be put on the back burner......TNA. With ONLY live episodes on tap until Lockdown, it remains to be seen as to what will be done regarding the Number 1 Contender's Tourney, which I believe will be confronted on Impact this Thursday head-on. Magnus, Joe, James Storm, AND Money's Worth will undoubtedly have something to say concerning being cut out of the Lockdown main event by someone who never competed in the tourney in the first place. THIS could lead to the continuation of the tourney and the facing of the final combatant to FACE Bully Ray in the last round. Why? Because Hogan's the boss and Ray is his son-in-law. Facepalm.
THIS is my biggest gripe against the current climate in TNA right now. Hogan and the relationship between he, his daughter, and Bully Ray is starting to unravel and they are swinging a bat with a HUGE crack in it. The problem is that when THAT happens, SOMEONE is going to get hit with the pieces, and, most likely, not who they intended. Not only so, but when they hit the ball, it simply won't go as far as they intended. What does this mean? Allow me to explain......
When this whole ordeal began, there was a crack, namely Bully Ray. He was the guy nobody would think would even TRY a relationship with a member of the roster, let alone the VP of the Knockouts Division. TNA has tried to swing for the fences with the premise that Hogan isn't buying a change of heart in Bully Ray's character and dragging that out ALONGSIDE the Aces and Eights angle. NOW, even if it's revealed that Bully Ray is the PRESIDENT of the Aces and Eights, it won't salvage what has been lost in terms of steam. I'm now convinced he has a part to play, even an important one, and perhaps is even a member himself, but I don't believe it will be the kind of shocker it otherwise MIGHT have been. I draw your attention to the fact that TNA has intentionally kept Devon and Bully Ray in separate corners for the vast majority of the entire storyline. With occasional skirmishes here and there, they can keep up pretenses and, if Bully Ray is put on the side of Team TNA, which I believe he will be, he'll make the turn and reveal himself as the Vice President of the Aces and Eights.
TNA will then have TWO choices to make, and both involve Brooke Hogan.
1. Brooke has been played and remains a face figure, having nothing to do with Aces and Eights.
2. Brooke is the President of the Aces and Eights, thus creating yet another family feud.
For the sake of anyone who would choose to turn to TNA as a first time viewer in the coming months, I have no clue which is better. Why? Because if Brooke DOESN'T turn, there will never be a chance she'll be replaced as the Knockouts VP. If she DOES turn, we'll have HER in the top tier feud on TNA for the foreseeable future, BUT there's a chance TNA could let her go once it has run its course. Which would YOU choose? Either way, Brooke is around for AT LEAST 6 more months, and in a prominent place on the TNA storyline landscape.