Wrestling fans are wanting something these days. We're a fickle bunch and I don't mind lumping myself into the number, because I've been a critic just like everyone else. I admit to being more critical of WWE's product than I am on TNA, knowing full well that they have their own set of problems that they have to deal with. We want to suspend disbelief. We want a moment where we say to ourselves AND to the people watching it with us, "DUDE! Did you just see that!?" We'll rewind our DVRs just to see that amazing finish or catch the debut one more time just to let it all sink in......that's the spectacle we all love.
I happen to love all the things going on in TNA right now. I'm a fan of Ethan Carter III. I like heel Dixie more with each of the segments I've seen on YouTube. This initiative makes waiting for next week far more bearable without even having to watch a match. To me, it raises the stakes of every match, making each match more of a big deal when they come around on TV. I REALLY love how TNA is featuring AJ Styles in his absence under the guise of "Paid for by the friends of AJ". It's a good angle and I'm glad they've determined to take the battle out of the Impact Zone and around the world to emphasize how willing Styles is to prove he's the best in the world, literally. Japan, Mexico, UK; they've covered quite a bit of ground and I find that TNA's ability to foster good working relationships with other promotions around the globe leaves few stones unturned when it comes to posing decent match-ups for those within their company.
And yet the critics will scoff. The heels of the company are in full bloom and they've risen to the top once again, holding all of the "active" titles right now. Some of these members on the roster are giving the heel persona their first go around, while others are marching somewhere in the middle. What seems clear to me is that TNA is allowing reality to enter into segments (see Samoa Joe skipping over Kurt Angle with a beer at the funeral for Aces and Eights), meaning that they can acknowledge and laugh about his most recent admittance into rehab.
Fact is, there is only ONE concern I have for TNA at this point in the game. Securing their poster boy for the years to come. AJ Styles has yet to sign a full blown contract and it all comes down to money now, which at present, is no longer a concern for TNA as their funds have been freed up a great deal in the past few weeks. So why are we even having this conversation? Styles is a proven draw to TNA fans past and present. Period. You put the belt on him and he can carry it well. It's okay, Dixie, HE'S Mr. Money's Worth. Go ahead and cut the check and be done with the discussion. Don't allow the critics to speculate about money or the condition of the company based on your best highlight player's status.