Friday, November 8, 2013

Defensive Much?

A colleague of mine was angered by some of the results from Bound for Glory. As a result, he has all but given up on the TNA product. In the spirit of defense, I want this column to serve as an illustration of TNA's condition as well as a sound place upon which to base a foundation for the future. To begin, I'd like to bring a couple of names to the spotlight in order to make some sense of all that's been happening both behind the scenes as well as on screen. SO, as I've said many times before, let's explore.....

Abyss.....

It's been nearly a year since we've seen the Monster and, while the Joseph Park character has grown on some people, to others, he's simply an annoyance and has outlived his usefulness now that the Aces and Eights have all but imploded. So how does TNA go about bringing back the original character? They set up a transformation. Could it have been set up better? Of course. But what we're asking, in essence, is if the ends justify the means. So do they? Let's have a look at some other names to perhaps tackle that question.

Daniels and Kazarian.....

They lost the tourney in the Bound for Glory pre-show. In my eyes, their promo encapsulates what so many TNA fans were thinking. Yes, they ARE TNA, but so is the return of Abyss. From what I can glean from the way things have happened, TNA is setting up two things right now.

1. They are trying to raise up some legitimate tag teams.

2. They are trying to set the clock back a ways and use the lessons learned to move forward, leaving current storylines behind.

Daniels and Kazarian have been given basically as much freedom as a wrestler can be given without it being written into their contract. They control the words, but are given the talking points. They control the pacing, but not the direction. When they lost the tournament, it was thought that the return of Abyss would overshadow the loss, but for some, it wasn't seen that way.

The Bro-mans......

First off, TNA is doing something great with these two......they're letting them break free and actually wrestle. I can't count the number of people who have said that they would love to see the man portraying Robbie actually set loose and be allowed to do some showcasing. Rob Terry held that wish back, which wasn't the idea of TNA creative pre-Hogan. So now, Robbie E. has a decent partner who has been training and is improving in each match. It was really nice to see their victory come following the execution of an iconic finisher....the Hart Attack. I realize that it may have been ancient history lost on some, but to me, it was a sign that TNA is serious about putting some legitimacy back into the Tag Team Division. I realize that statement might polarize some, but now TNA has some teams that look like they belong.

Since the departure of Bischoff from the creative team, TNA has been trying to distance themselves from storylines Bischoff was moving forward with. Through the pushing of AJ Styles, the return of Abyss, the rising of new tag teams, the return of TNA to the Impact Zone, and the eventual return of Jeff Jarrett, TNA is starting to set things back, but the transition isn't easy. I get that. The wheels are going to spin a bit until the gears catch and take off, but the process IS moving and that's a good thing....it's moving towards a hybrid of the best of both worlds. Now, TNA has learned how to move a long term storyline with a logical consistency that works on a number of levels, but they ALSO have a roster that is capable of supporting some real movement amongst the divisions. It allows X Division wrestlers the ability to move into the main event where there was no way before. This is the direction TNA has ALWAYS needed to go with the X Division. It makes the top tier available to the entire roster. Hogan and Bischoff did that. Give credit where it's due.

So, if the clock gets set back and TNA returns to a few of their roots, while ALSO incorporating the lessons learned during the tenure of the Bischoff/Hogan regime, do the ends justify the means in doing just that? In my mind, I say yes. If I, as a longtime TNA fan, am able to get Abyss back to his "monster" self, AJ Styles as champion, Jeff Jarrett into a more hands on role, more legitimate tag teams, a few more Knockouts to aid the division, and the 6 Sided Ring AND more logical storylines and better long term planning to boot? Do I really care about the means to get there? To a degree, but you'll find some very forgiving fans if that is the final result.

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