In the wake of my last post, I was doing some digging, as I sometimes find myself doing. A few things came to my attention concerning everything on the wrestling scene right now that I find quite interesting......
1. Wrestlemania only has 4 matches set in stone right now. Everything else is pretty much up in the air. I can think of NO other time in the history of WWE when so little is prepared for the biggest show of the year by this time. With virtually all things being weighed as open game, Vince has yet to make decisions about what can be put together without looking like a total randomized roster shuffle. To make matters worse, Monday's RAW is said backstage to be little more than a "throwaway" episode, making the situation look even more like Vince is losing his cohesion.
2. Lockdown's card is all but finished and all that remains is the formality of making the remaining matches official. The card looks something like this.....
Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy for the World Title
Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts Title
Bad Influence vs. Chavo/Hernandez vs. Money's Worth for the Tag Titles
Team TNA vs. Aces and Eights
Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle
I can pretty much guess there will be at least one more match to round out the card, but Rob Terry vs. Robbie E. is not an upper tier match and will be given little time as it'll probably end up looking more like a squash. Also, I'm going to guess the next challenger for the X Division Title will be announced coming out of next week's episode. My guess is that TNA is wanting to give the Tag Title more time, as well as the Brisco/Angle match AND the Lethal Lockdown match, where it will come down to the wire for the win.
3. Angle unmasked the Vice President of the Aces and Eights on Impact. We still don't know who we're looking at....yet. I'm going to go out on a ledge and guess that Joseph Park has this part played in such a way that I've been talking about over the course of the past months, where he has developed a split personality and is unaware that it's taken over. THIS would put it over the top.
4. AJ Styles and Abyss are MY new picks as the X Factors going into the PPV. I gave very different answers earlier, but now that the story is more fleshed out, it looks like a good bet those two will be the roster members to watch.
5. MVP has announced that he's finished working with New Japan Pro Wrestling and is looking to come back to the States to work. Apparently, he's opened up his expectations to include TNA, even though he's made some pretty critical statements concerning the promotion in the past year or two. I am of the belief that TNA is pretty much set in their roster depth to be able to keep the show moving without the aid of a returning MVP to the States. But even if they DO decide to offer him work, they run the risk of being hit with the CONSTANT double standard of taking on another "WWE REJECT". It never fails. When WWE took on Monty Brown, Chris Harris, Lance Hoyt, Kid Kash, and Awesome Kong, no one claimed they were taking "TNA rejects". This is a catch-22 TNA will never win and it makes little sense to me. Fans will say "TNA needs more recognizable talents", but if they get them from WWE, they're taking on "WWE rejects". I have to shake my head at the STUPIDITY of the argument. End rant.
6. Lockdown will be a tipping point for TNA, make no mistake about that. The night after will determine how well the first step forward is received. This is a pivotal time in the history of professional wrestling in the current era. A good showing in Texas will help drive Chicago's numbers and THOSE numbers will build into the next week. This is special, guys and gals....it's a time when TNA learns how to fly solo and build upon their own merits. They have no shortage on critics, that's for certain, but in spite of the criticisms on the side of TNA, a great many columnists are seeking alternatives now that WWE is falling into disarray in recent years and TNA is starting to look more and more like the company to watch this year.
Let's face facts, Ring of Honor is bleeding right now with the losses of Shelton Benjamin and El Generico and the hiatus of Jim Cornette from the company. While they look to be trying to incorporate a Women's Division of sorts, the company's financial woes hurt the chances of a return to their prominent place in the scheme of wrestling matters despite those efforts, at least in the short term. As far as long term plans are concerned, it remains to be seen if recovery is on the horizon with TNA having recruited their Executive Producer and WWE raiding their talent pool.