TNA officials have begun utilizing storylines that are "thinking outside the box". In the last column, I referred to the House of Hardcore show in New York, where Bully Ray issued a challenge to fellow ECW alum Tommy Dreamer for a match at TNA's December 30th One Night ONLY "Old School" PPV. The cooperative work amongst TNA's creative partners doesn't end there, though.
For those who don't wish to be spoiled, feel free to stop reading now and pick the rest of this column up Thursday or Friday after this week's episode of Impact.
In a twist in the Joseph Park saga, Park challenges Abyss to a match at the upcoming Turning Point special this month. To put the idea of Joseph Park "transforming" into the monster himself to rest, TNA has put their creative cooperative juices to work by utilizing AJ Styles' most recent title defense in Mexico to pound out a trade agreement. In the trade, Styles would perform in Mexico for their promotion, AAA and in exchange, one their performers would work a TNA angle for a night. Their pick? Judas Mesias.
Now, before ideas swirl about Mesias taking the place of Abyss, more accurately, Mesias will be ASSUMING the identity of Abyss for the night. Meaning, he will be performing under the mask and will likely come with an old ally. Rumors are now circulating that Father James Mitchell has been contacted and his presence alone may lend credence to the Mesias/Abyss portrayal. What will be interesting to see is if the "Monster" gets a costume makeover to cover his tattoos on his upper arms OR if TNA determines to use temporary ink to mimic the ink of Abyss' character.
If all this isn't enough, more talk has reached my radar. TNA's relational ties with New Japan may bring home a former X Division and Tag Team tactician to reform one of TNA's most dominant tag team tandems. If current storylines and rumors continue to prove true, AJ Styles will form a small stable of his own upon his return, consisting of Chris Sabin and currently contracted New Japan performer, Alex Shelley to reform the Motor City Machine Guns plus one.
Interested in what may well materialize by year's end? It doesn't end there, either. Reports circulating the net are saying that Jeff Jarrett will be making his return to television sooner than later and he has a great deal to say about the past number of years. Whether or not the trend of backstroking away from the former regime's tactical stance as it relates to the ring shape remains to be seen, but it all points to the strengths of TNA circa 2009 AND the strengths of TNA circa 2011. We're likely looking at the return of the acclaimed "King of the Mountain" match come next year's Slammiversary AND the return of the 6 Sides of Steel for Lockdown, making the next few months absolutely critical for TNA to continue the trend of proper long-term planning and execution of innovative approaches to the creative side of their storylines.
Spread the word, people.....the TNA we all know and love is coming back, folks, and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. So Cross the Line, you'll like it.....