Friday, January 31, 2014

Reactionary.....

MVP. Interesting. I had heard he was in discussions and that he'd be debuting in TNA, but as the investor....I wonder if this story goes deeper than meets the eye.

MVP being the mystery investor brings a couple of questions to mind.

1. Who joins up with MVP to rally the troops, as it were?
2. Do more players sign?

TNA officials are slating this little back and forth battle to last until Bound for Glory, meaning that a few twists and turns will have to crop up.

3. With CM Punk under a no-compete clause until roughly April, does HE join up with TNA now that he's done with WWE from all indications? CM Punk is the single hottest free agent out there at the moment, aside from AJ Styles, at least and that makes both men EXTREMELY valuable. It's been said that Punk has been careful with his money and that could mean he'd potentially take a deal that guaranteed the highest profile and platform combining with his ability to deliver in ring and on the microphone while under the pay he was used to making under Vince's eye.

4. Does Jeff Hardy return now that a new face has come into view to combat the inequality being played out on screen once the UK tour is over?

Well, Magnus now has Samoa Joe to contend with, just as it should be....and, I might add, one of the 5 picks on my list of potentials to take the strap from Magnus. This storyline has swerve written all over it, mostly because of the timing of everything and where it all appears to be heading from my perspective.

First, MVP as the final investor seems too flimsy, not that his performance of the role will reflect that, but I think most people would agree that in terms of storyline, him as the final piece of the puzzle feels somewhat incomplete. If a twist were to happen, I would place that twist at Lockdown, where a team that includes MVP faces off against Dixie's cronies. If I were writing this thing, the heels would win, only for MVP to disclose that the investments weren't made by him personally, but by a conglomeration of three investors of which he was only one.

TNA has a million ways of making this into a great story, but they have to use the players on the team to get the job done.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where the Sidewalk Ends....

I'm going to be brutally honest here, folks. This is the column I've been putting off writing for the past two or three years. I actually thought Sting would retire in TNA and leave the business having never set foot in the ring that Vince built. Alas, however, that day seems to have come and so now it is left to me to come into the WWE Universe for a time and make my set of suggestions for his final run in a single WWE year....more specifically, his list of opponents, all leading up to his final opponent in my view.

1. Christian

This one should surprise no one as the two have history in TNA and, if WWE plays on that, it could be a good feud, if not great. Despite WWE's continuous containment, I've been a fan of Christian ever since he cut his hair and called himself the New People's Champ, poking at The Rock during his 2003-04 run. If Christian wants to go forward with this whole "one more match" thing, I don't think there is a better final match in store than with Sting, PROVIDED THAT WWE IS ABLE TO THINK OUTSIDE THEIR OWN BORDERS AND GIVE THEIR HISTORY OUTSIDE OF VINCELAND A NOD. The only way this feud works is by acknowledging that they have history.

2. Randy Orton

Setting aside my personal distaste for Orton, there is simply no denying that this is a money match and one of the few I'd actually be willing to see on one condition..... if Orton loses. Why? Because no one can dispute that Sting was for WCW what The Undertaker is for WWE....a dark character to serve as a foil for the heel establishment. With Orton as a member of said establishment in this "Authority" storyline, what better way to introduce him to the public at large?

3. The Undertaker

I've been saying that I'm against Taker vs. Sting at Wrestlemania for YEARS now and that has NOT changed. I NEVER want to see the two matched at Wrestlemania for more reasons than I care to discuss in this column. That said, that DOESN'T mean I never want to see them face off. IF the two were ever to meet in ring, my battleground would be Survivor Series. Why? Because it's historically been a TREMENDOUS place to make a debut, a feud's end, or a historic meeting. With Undertaker's health becoming more and more of a problem in recent years, it is no secret that WWE plays it by ear each year to see if he's going to be able to heal himself back up in time for the next go around.

4. Chris Jericho

Because he was the biggest WCW debut in WWE history, in my view and because I KNOW he could make it into a feud for the ages based on the card value alone, I give Jericho the matchup. I could care less if he wins or loses this feud, but you can bet the entire enterprise would sell. Period.

5. Shawn Michaels

The Undertaker should NOT.....and I repeat NOT be Sting's final opponent. I see no one better in the entire business than Michaels. There is no one who can pace a match better with ANYONE or tell a better story in and out of the ring right now. Throw out the fact that Michaels is retired, for a match like this, bet on him coming out for this one last match. This one MUST be Wrestlemania. In the same way that Ric Flair was his farewell match in WWE, this could be the one time where reality and fantasy could collide and make whichever card both are a part of a MUST HAVE just for that one match and closing segment alone. Sting vs. HBK: ONE LAST MATCH.....the match screams instant classic.

Going a bit deeper into the Sting/Michaels matchup, it would also give two faith brothers a chance to give each other the proper send-off for the many years of service to God and the business they both love. As far as how I would play the year, I'd go something like this......

Beginning the day after Wrestlemania, I would run ads stating that Sting is coming, counting down to the PPV of the following month, where I believe his first opponent should be Orton. I would keep Cena as far from the entire thing as I could, giving Sting and Orton the proper spotlight. I would end the feud at SummerSlam with Orton ultimately losing, but with Christian attacking Sting following the match, leading to a short 2 month feud that ends with Christian gaining a victory, but only when The Undertaker's entrance music and effects pop on, leading to a full month of Sting's dance with The Undertaker at Survivor Series.

It doesn't matter who wins or loses the match, but this will begin the Sting farewell tour, with downtime for Sting leading into the Royal Rumble, where his quest to find his final opponent begins. He could have a month and a half long quest, where he could face John Cena if the powers that be choose to allow it, but once Elimination Chamber comes around, it would be time to make the call and have Michaels make a comeback when Sting asks him to be his final opponent. Wrestlemania comes around, the Hall of Fame induction happens, and we get the most perfect match WWE fans could want, in my opinion....and the best part is, it could end with either man winning....or neither, for that matter....the fans wouldn't really care, so long as a good story was told.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Introductions......

How rude could I be? I mean, giving you all pictures of the two ladies potentially joining the Knockouts Division and not giving the proper introductions? Where are MY manners, right? Well, I suppose you're all right. My apologies. Allow me to introduce.....

Santana Garrett......(pictured left two posts ago)

Santana Garrett makes her way from one of the professional women's wrestling gold mines, SHINE, whose accolades reads almost like a top to bottom from PWI's Top 50 list. At number 45 on PWI's list from 2013, she's been decorated with more gold than a Christmas tree, having captured titles in 6 separate promotions thusfar and currently defending titles in 4. Unfortunately for fans of the UK, Garrett won't be making her acquaintance until after the tour of the UK has run its course.

Shanna, the "Perfect Athlete" (pictured right)

Currently defending two titles for two separate entities, Shanna, though unranked in the top 50, could very easily make her mark quickly as a member of the more high profile Knockouts Division. She'll join TNA's UK tour and, if conditions play out according to potential, could find herself a more permanent spot on the roster.

So let's count the Knockouts......

Velvet Sky
Madison Rayne
Gail Kim
Lei'D Tapa
ODB
Brooke Tessmacher
Taryn Tarrell

That makes 9 if TNA signs both. Can anyone tell me when the last time TNA had 9 active Knockouts on their roster? 2008, for those of you who were wondering. Adding in just two names puts TNA back in the driver's seat in terms of serious female competitors. Where Mickie James and Tara were veterans whose contracts were entirely too open-ended to make their loyalty to the company water-tight, this collection of professionals has been loyal to the brand for quite some time and I foresee that to remain so.

Moving on, yesterday I wanted to surmise which in TNA's roster could remove the World Title from Magnus, but didn't get around to it, so I'd like to take a shot in the dark and make a couple of comments to that end.

First, I'd like to give the most obvious answer and say Bobby Roode. It's been quite a while now since his landmark first run with the World Heavyweight Title and I'd say they're planning things to run that way, but the question for HIM is when. If my assessment of the situation is accurate, the establishment is going to run aground sooner than later and if they want to have any chance at all of even sitting at level ground, they NEED to make this week's revelation worthwhile, otherwise we're going to be looking at a tough year. So how does this relate to Roode? I'm glad you asked, because the current state of TNA depends upon the statuses of AJ Styles and Sting.

The rumors are getting stronger and more pronounced now that Sting might be heading up north by as soon as a couple of weeks. The stress WWE is under to make this happen NOW is extreme, to say the least as we're coming into a pivotal point in the WWE yearly programming roadmap. Let's be perfectly clear, WWE has NO and I repeat NO plans of doing Sting vs. Undertaker this year. The current plans feature Brock Lesnar taking on Taker this year and they are adamant concerning this, or so I'm told. The impression I've been getting is that if Sting WERE ever going to make a run in WWE, at 54, now is the time. My personal opinions aside, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Why? The reason is simple....how do you give the last remnant of WCW a PROPER send-off without burying his legacy in the process? I'll answer THAT question next time, but suffice it to say that TNA will NEED some kind of answer to WWE's treatment of the Sting situation provided anything is signed into stone.

Likewise, AJ Styles has grown comfortable with his dates with Ring of Honor, going back to his roots, which is bad news for TNA, but if the rumors are true that TNA is FINALLY rolling out the carpet for him to make his return, this gives the ultimate foil for the Magnus agenda, leading to a Bound for Glory bout between him and Bobby Roode, making a huge payoff for a feud between the two. Bobby Roode is a heel, through and through, as far as I'm concerned and could solidify a legacy based on that fact, regardless of which role he's being put in, much like Ric Flair in the days of old.

Another idea I've been seeing possibilities in is Mr. Anderson. Once his program is over with Bully Ray, he'll need a place to put his mouth to work, why not the top tier once more? If TNA is able to give him a more interesting platform from which to work, I think a feud between Magnus and Anderson would work quite well.

Yet another idea is Samoa Joe. This is the one most fans, including me, are rooting for. Former tag partners facing off in a grudge match for the title would be an epic conclusion and a GREAT way to put Joe back on top again. The IWC has always thrown support for Joe, but TNA in the past 5 or 6 years, has CONSTANTLY misused him as an enhancement talent rather than a top tier seller, like he SHOULD be. If any year is his year, this might be it down the line.

Lastly, and, in my opinion, most likely is Kurt Angle. Now that his Hall of Fame induction is imminent, it seems only fitting to ice it off with a final run with the World Title. His contract is up in August, according to a recent interview and he is completely up in the air as to who he'll sign with, but if he leaves TNA for a final run in WWE as rumored, it seems more likely he'll re-sign if he's given the belt of champions as a way to cap off his possible farewell tour as well.

The long and short of things is this: unless Toby Keith and Jeff Jarrett AREN'T the buyers of TNA, we could be in for a rough go of things and this may end VERY badly, but if Jarrett IS the white knight investor TNA needs right now, the future is VERY bright. Toss the dice, folks and hope for the best.

Monday, January 27, 2014

....But I Couldn't.

I have a couple of things on my mind that actually bother me concerning TNA as of this moment. One of them stems from the World Champion and the other weighs heavily upon how this whole investor thing shakes out. Allow me to elaborate.

Before I go into this little mini-rant, I'd like to ask a question to those of you who are TNA's strongest asset in the UK: Does it bother you that quite often in North American wrestling promotions the British character goes into a match as the heel? In TNA, if we go back and look into the history....British Invasion? Heels. Douglas Williams in the X Division? Heel. I was excited to see Magnus as a strong looking contender for the World Title in the face role, but this all changed within two months. Am I the only one who feels like this? Even Rockstar Spud, as much as I wish we could have gotten the Blossoms in TNA instead, has finally become useful, but as a heel. Could I use Winter as a good example? Nope, she was a heel as well. Maybe now is as good a time as any to make some predictions as to who TNA is priming to take the World Title from Magnus....but before I do THAT, I have something else on my mind.

The Wolves, as they're going to be called, stated in no uncertain terms that the investor would be showing up in Glasgow. Here's what I know for fact right now:

- AJ Styles, who was the first choice to play this role on TNA's storyline, is working a "per appearance" deal with Ring of Honor and has been in talks about making his return to TNA in the coming weeks. If that works itself out before Thursday, AJ could make his return as soon as then, but more likely, whoever the investor is will send a herald of some kind to serve as a go-between leading into a final revelation later on down the line.

- Toby Keith, if his concert schedule is anything to go by, won't be running tours until March at the earliest, so if HE is to be the mystery investor, now would be the time to make that known. Did I mention that Jeff Jarrett would be a part of that deal, should it be made known?

-While Jeff Jarrett may not be the investor, it is as yet unclear as to how his business dealings with TNA are going to play out as he still owns 35% of TNA's assets to this day. Right now, it's that fact that has me curious if he's been putting together a team of investors to buy TNA outright from the Carter family, calling it a new venture. Hermie Sadler, who is no stranger to TNA either, is rumored to be a part of the investment partnership Jarrett is formulating.

Here's the thing that most convinces me of Jarrett's takeover, so to speak: MVP had made mention of not coming to work for TNA unless Styles and Jarrett were involved. Shortly after making the comments, those comments were deleted and it's been suggested that he'll debut this Thursday in Glasgow. Maybe HE knows something we don't yet?

I realize that I could have held these thoughts off for another time.......and this is where you walked in.

Rumbles, Investors, and the Rest.....

*SIGH* Where do I begin? Do I begin with the Royal Rumble last night? TNA's newest acquisitions via the mystery investor? How about the rumor that Sting has signed some kind of deal with Vince and company? Where do I begin, folks?

At the risk of being confrontational, I think I'll start with Sting. Every year, the rumors swirl and every year, it turns out false, why would this year be any different? Truthfully, to me, it makes little difference to the state of TNA. Does this mean TNA is dead? I don't think so. I DO, however, believe that IF the rumors are true, once The Undertaker finally shows up on WWE TV, "The Icon" will shortly follow....assuming that WWE wants to cater to the wishes of the WWE Universe they arrogantly claim to listen to, but don't. In my humble opinion, I think Sting enjoys his tenure and the schedule TNA employs. Not only so, but the current tour of the UK that begins as soon as this week holds special meaning to TNA's current investor storyline. Not having Sting on the tour would be a real shame as his presence usually is a decent draw to the events there and his merchandise sells reasonably well to boot. That notwithstanding or related to the subject at hand, I digress. Yes, there are rumors, but I won't buy in unless I see the evidence on YouTube firsthand.

As for the Rumble? Me weighing in on the (not so) Royal Rumble last night seems like a bit of rehash of all the things being stated on the forums....except for one thing. WWE is trolling you, people. The forums are avast with people outraged with Batista's Rumble victory when Roman Reigns eliminated nearly half the playing field all by himself, breaking the previous record set by Kane. While the masses were very vocal about Daniel Bryan's exclusion from the Rumble match itself, plans have been set in motion to push Bryan to the forefront of WWE TV at least until Wrestlemania, but the extent of how profile his Wrestlemania match will be remains to be seen. My response? Eh. I simply can no longer get behind the promises of WWE to keep their word in the long term. I expect a short term push, but a long term burial.

Now on to what I'd REALLY like to talk about.....the mystery investor's newest recruit. You all remember him....Montel Vontavius Porter. You can repackage him, but it's the same guy and he's been overseas up until this coming episode Thursday or shortly following. As an added bonus, TNA is giving the Knockouts Division a bit of a nitrous boost by adding a couple of new faces in the coming weeks. Hopefully, we'll get to see these ladies put some steps towards the glory days.....so here's a couple of snapshots to get you folks hyped.....



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rise or Fall?

The forums and news sites are amass with columnists who are calling the reports of a gathering of financial contributors and partners aligning with Jeff Jarrett a "death bell" for TNA. I'll admit, the reports have been compelling, even somewhat alarming, but the facts are facts and I've come to a different conclusion and until that assessment is either confirmed or denied, I don't see this as any kind of funeral march, but rather a game changer.

If Dixie and the powers that be at the very top of the totem WERE to have part in this and were wanting a stage upon which to announce this changing of hands, what would be the best way to go about it? WCW was bought by Ted Turner and his conglomeration of networks and those channels eventually built an empire that nearly toppled WWF, at the time.....but this situation is over 20 years removed from the business landscape and most of the current wrestling audience never saw the influence the Monday Night Wars had on the WWF of the day. So I want to send out a question into the void and see if there is a way to answer it. How do you go about demanding the attention of an entire wrestling world in the current climate of glint and glitter, especially during the hot spot on WWE's power grid?

I have a checklist that would be where I would work in making the shroud as seamless as possible.....

1. Establish the lead. If a plan of this scale is going to work and the reins are, indeed, going to switch hands, the people in power are going to want to know that the venture will succeed by establishing a network of financial contributors who will be able to front the capital at least on the short term. In this case, it makes sense to establish someone as the point man, who has the connections and is able to attract the kind of investors that will promise a return on the investment.

2. Conduct business as usual. If you want shock value, you CAN'T get it by easing into a new political structure. The establishment, or the current powers that be, need to maintain airs that everything is moving according to the day to day grind, all while moving a storyline that accommodates a climate of change.

3. Remove the lead. The point man, in this case Jarrett, needed to be free to conduct the work of the business without the constraints of working the day to day grind. That kind of freedom HAS to be outside of the company's scope in order to give the illusion of a complete break. Erasing ties through social media is a good start as it makes for punctuation to the story as a whole.

4. Leak. The IWC is FILLED, and I mean FILLED with all kinds of reports and reports of reports of wrestlers comings and goings. MVP is reported to be signed with TNA, which he denies and will continue to do so until such time as his presence is seen on screen. You need to manipulate the media and attract signings and acquisitions and releases to the forefront and give the impression that a completely new entity could rise up and overtake the establishment.

5. Promise change. Dixie has been running this pattern to establish that big things are coming, new stories, new characters, etc. If you are going hide, sometimes the best place to be is right out in the plain sight for all to see. Tweets from Janice Carter and Dixie stating that they are resolute to the future of TNA Wrestling only means that they will ensure that whatever party ends up buying in is going to keep the establishment and influence moving.

6. Network. TNA has done more networking with outside promotions in the past 9 months than they have in the 4 years prior. Why? Scouting? Promoting a talent exchange to get their rep up like in the territory days of old? I propose doing both. In establishing dialogues with local and international feds, TNA is making good in routes moving into this new era.

7. Establish the launch lineup. These are the talents who would return once the changing of hands is done. TNA has been doing the foreshadowing of this change coming, but could it be simply localized as it relates to the show or does it give clues to where the company is headed as a whole? By blurring the lines between reality and fiction, TNA is making it nearly impossible to know who's telling the truth and who's just biding their time.

8. Wait until the best time. Discussion has stopped concerning Jarrett's new project, but not before making it clear that he has financial powerhouses who are willing to jump in and help bear the burden for the sake of the cause. This announcement has to happen when it will do the most good....after April 6, not when the eyes of the wrestling world are still locked in on Wrestlemania.

Think strategy. Does it work? Since we have no way of knowing anything for sure at the moment, it seems as good an idea as any to sit back and watch and wait.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Chew on This.....

I was doing some thinking, folks. That's right. And the subject of this column is more speculation concerning TNA's newest mystery, their shadowy new investor, whom EE and DR signed their contracts through. Rather than give potential scenarios per se, I'd like to talk about the names I've been seeing in the forums and determine who the best name would be to give TNA the kind of boost they need. SO, I say let's explore.....

1. AJ Styles.
After his unceremonious booting from the company via screwjob, it's been rumored that since they hadn't been able to re-sign him to a deal by their deadline, that they would have to use this to further their Dixie Carter's faction, as it were. The internet wrestling community have been trying to determine whether or not Styles and TNA are still in talks or not, but last word was that plans are to make HIM the investor and for him to make his return as soon as March. But that isn't the purpose of this column, as you all know. The question is, would he make the biggest impact as a man making his return to the company after having appeared on ROH TV leading up to the big reveal? I say NO. Why? Despite his status as the true face of TNA, he simply doesn't have the mainstream following of the public eye. Do I think he would flop as the new investor? No, but I do think his name value isn't as valuable as other names on the list.

2. Jeff Jarrett.
So the founder makes the list. Yep. And why not? TNA fans have been clamoring to see the big man of TNA make a return to TV for some time now and in a face role. His departure may have come at an inconvenient time....or did it? Think about this, his departure came at a time when Dixie's cronies were first assembled and since fans would assume he would be the logical choice to take up the defensive mantle and make a dramatic return, he steps away from the company to allow the storyline to play out according to plan. His plans, which at first were going to be announced on the 17th of this month, have stalled and now must "wait until a few details fall into place". But is he the best name on the list? I would argue that, despite HIS name being synonymous with TNA, even his name isn't big enough to draw new fans into the current product.

3. Jim Ross.
The voice of RAW, himself. Now HERE is where name value means something. Good 'ol J.R. has the virtue of history on his side as the single most recognizable wrestling commentator that fans will rally behind. Why? WWE fans know he not only worked the commentator's booth, but also that he scouted talents during the Attitude Era and shortly thereafter. His credits include the Hardy Boys, Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian, and even John Cena. In terms of wrestling names, I doubt any other has a better handle on what it takes to run a successful campaign towards the top. Would he be a good name to serve as the new investor? Count on it. Is he likely? To my mind? No. In his retired status, I see no real reason for him to care one way or the other as he seems content as a wrestling fan, offering commentary from his Twitter account at will.

4. Toby Keith.
At concerts for years after, he was still showing footage of him suplexing Jeff Jarrett at TNA's very first PPV. Keith is no stranger to TNA, suffice it to say. My question, however, isn't if he has ties to TNA, but would his name value have a difference in TNA's overall place in the wrestling landscape? At over 650,000 Twitter followers worldwide and 4.5 million fans on Facebook, I'm going to say his name is undisputed in terms of his ability to generate some buzz in the wrestling world. Of all 4 names I've been hearing to serve as the new investor, Toby Keith has no equal. So is it on his radar? His name was on the short list of names looking to buy the organization outright from the Carter family and if he manages to get his hands on it, Jarrett comes with the package. Simple as that.

Here's the long and short of the matter, folks.....Toby Keith may not have the wrestling knowledge of even a Dixie Carter, but his name carries more weight. The man has restaurants, has founded one label and helped found another and is on the cover of the July 15th, 2013 issue of Forbe's Magazine under the headline "Country Music's $500 Million Dollar Man". Simply put, virtually everything Toby Keith touches turns to gold and with a reputation of being an easy man to do business with and having more clout with venues and establishments, I see no one better on the landscape to take on TNA as a project, allowing Jarrett more complete creative freedom and using his name value to attract new fans to the venture. Period.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Could It Be?

So Genesis is playing on TV tonight and I'm not terribly interested in much happening and then I see the segment in which the American Wolves of Ring of Honor fame is talking with Dixie Carter and, if that weren't surreal enough, they've been signed by a "new investor". Dixie is scrambling to find out who the mystery party could be.

So minus the champagne, it looks like we might be seeing everything I've been hoping for coming to light beginning in Genesis. Could this be the beginning of the rise of the founder? Say what you want about the predictions, but the signing of the Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards is HUGE for TNA's floundering Tag Team Division right now. Toss in the fact that there are only four teams vying for the belts and one team goes to war next week internally and you have three and two of those are heel teams, making a noticeable gap in the heel to face ratio.

Sting goes to battle once again with his career on the line next week. Since Sting is no longer made mention of on the tour roster, does that mean he loses next week and, as a result, misses this year's UK tour?

Another thing occurred to me as I was watching Genesis....once TNA comes back to the States from their tour in Europe, they have no immediate plans....but Jeff Jarrett has been in Los Angeles this week with concerning business with his new venture. Could he be solidifying another semi-permanent home for TNA to broadcast from? How about lining up more of the talents Dixie has been touting are coming this year? Could it be Toby Keith who signed the American Wolves to their contracts?

Another scenario I've been kicking around goes like this:

Sting loses next week, but shows up on the UK tour anyway, claiming he signed an ironclad contract that gives him executive immunity, meaning that only the new investor has authority to terminate his contract. I get the impression that despite what some of the UK fans would want, TNA will still want to have Magnus as the World Title holder going into the tour. Why? I think that is two-fold. First, this is the first time in memory that the the fan's countryman in the World Champion and coming overseas with the strap around his waist marks a special day in the history of professional wrestling. Secondly, the larger audience gets the treat of being told who the mystery investor actually is. I doubt Genesis will be the time or the place to reveal that detail, but once they get in front of a larger crowd in the UK, it MIGHT be the best time to make the revelation made known and gain TNA the kind of talk and rumblings they've been working towards.

So once the Stinger returns after two weeks' absence, he starts to make references that indicate that the investor isn't just one person, but a band of old friends. Who could they be?

If I had MY way, I'd reveal the obvious one first....Jeff Jarrett. Next, I'd go with Toby Keith. And then, in colossal form, I'd complete TNA's announce team with a man who hasn't worked alongside Taz for a few years and with Tenay for over 20.....Jim Ross. Believe it or not, I've heard J.R's name brought into this conversation more than once this week without any confirmation or denial.

So could it be?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

T Minus X.....

I wrote in the previous post about the potential of a Toby Keith/ Jeff Jarrett coup, taking back TNA from the hands (and pocketbooks) of the Carter family. What still remains a mystery is IF and WHEN as it relates to that question. Reports are circulating that TNA plans to TAPE the second weeks' worth of Genesis festivities Thursday. IF the coup is to be revealed, it would HAVE to happen within the confines of Thursday's events LIVE in order to make the most noise going into their annual UK tour and bolster even higher numbers there. As always, the fine folks in the UK give a tremendous welcome to the TNA cast and crew and it makes the show look that much better for the viewers domestically.

I DO have an idea to pitch as the introduction to everything changing hands......

Picture Dixie lavishing her entourage, including the World Champion with expensive gifts and then that night, with on bottle of champagne to celebrate, her TNA expense card is rejected. Upon checking the funds available, she finds that the funds have been moved from that account into a brand new one, locking her out of the company slush.

The following week, Sting cuts a promo about her using TNA as her own personal piggy bank, cutting checks and cashing out wherever she pleased, but that those days are over. As per usual, Sting gets to be the harbinger or herald to the return of the Founder. In the final minutes of Genesis, an altered voice comes over the speakers as the lights are out on the stage. A dark figure is standing on the stage with a microphone. As he cuts his own promo concerning the plan to cut her out of a deal that was 3 years in the making, the lights remain on in the ring, focused squarely on the Dixieland entourage.

In the closing statement of the promo, he says: I'm sure you're wondering who could cut you out without your knowledge, but the fact of the matter is, you already know....because I...I...I built this company, from the ground up. And as the last sentence comes out, the alteration of the voice fades out and the crystal clear voice of Jeff Jarrett rings into the arena as the crowd pops like crazy and the lights turn to reveal the founder on stage with his business partner.

Dixie's battle to retake the company only lasts for two months as Jeff Hardy returns to action once TNA comes back to American soil. When the final battleground is set to break at Lockdown, a Lethal Lockdown match is set to feature some big returns, including a mystery opponent for Magnus for the World Title, where AJ Styles returns to a HUGE ovation.

Sounds kinda nice, doesn't it? If TNA played it like THIS, you can bet people will tune back in.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Conspiracy 365: Waiting + Screwjob + Contracts= X

This is where we do what I love.....Find the value of X. After watching last week's episode of Impact, a few things were very glaring to me.

1. Several top stars on the roster are now talking about their contracts. Kurt Angle reveals that his is up in August; Sting's is up within the next month or so; Jeff Hardy's contract allegedly has come up in the past week or two; and others have come up on news sites the web over.

2. Jeff Jarrett HAD been teasing news about his new venture, but now he has to "wait until a few things finalize" before making the reveal. With the next LIVE Impact broadcast being in a few short days, doesn't that seem a bit odd?

3. James Storm, in an interview just last week called the loss of Jarrett "the worst thing that could happen to TNA right now." Think back to the return of Devon. in the weeks before, Hulk Hogan called the "loss" of Devon one of the biggest losses TNA suffered at the time, but a few short weeks later, here he comes as the first member revealed of the Aces and Eights.

4. AJ Styles has indy dates and ROH appearances set all the way until April....All the way up until 2012, Lockdown was ALWAYS in April. Coincidence? Perhaps, but with negotiations being ongoing, there's really no way to tell....

5. Genesis has now been announced to take place over 2 straight weeks; January 16 and the 23rd. Strange? I think so. Considering this has never been done before by TNA, this year marks a FEW new things, so I'm finding.

6. Concerning the footage of the aftermath shown on YouTube: AJ is shown greeting fans and signing items at ringside near the ramp before leaving the Impact Zone.....what about the farewell speech? That footage of AJ Styles giving a emotional farewell is conveniently absent from the official channel. Simple critical thinking would respond that it was just to cover up that there are ongoing negotiations to renew his contract, but even so, that doesn't COMPLETELY rule out the possibility that this whole ordeal is a ruse to guard the potential for a new investor to come in and hail the return of the founder, Jeff Jarrett.

7. Since absolutely NO details are known with certainty about the negotiations between Jeff Jarrett, Toby Keith, and TNA's top officials, it seems premature to label the reports on the many news outlets as anything more than rumor. That said, the "rumor" was that the top potential buyer wanted COMPLETE control of the company; 100 percent....the whole thing. If the whole story is to be known, we might as well reveal ALL of it, right?

8. Dixie Carter called together some of the executive staff in Nashville to discuss the future moving forward. When asked about the Jeff Jarrett situation, Carter called it a "business decision" and did not elaborate. Weird?

As many as 4 years ago, the Carter family began sending feelers out to potential buyers for the TNA brand, but it was only to relieve the financial burden TNA has been on the money bags of Panda Energy. Now, there were conditions to these "feelers".

a. Any buyers could not have ties to the McMahons, thus creating an even more complete monopoly in the mainstream wrestling marketplace.

b. Any offers to buy the entire thing would be denied. The Carters, as half hearted as they were with the Hulk Hogan/ Bischoff regime from day one, still want to make a profit from as many avenues as possible. SO, IF TNA was able to turn a large profit one day, they don't want to be cut out from that kind of profit, especially since they've invested so much to get the project off the ground to begin with.

A number of potential buyers came around TNA headquarters, whose names have been kept a carefully guarded secret. The most recent news was that Toby Keith was one of the perspective buyers, provided that he was able to make purchase at a decent price, but beyond that......nothing. It was speculated that if Keith made purchase, Jarrett would come as a part of the deal as a full time consultant or manager.

So what is this all about? What is the value of X? One thing Eric Bischoff brought to the table as a member of the team was valuable information concerning how to throw the mainstream viewing public off the trail of secrets. Think about this: a couple of weeks back, the Feast or Fired cases were opened on camera. In the original cut, Ethan Carter had pulled the Fired case, but when it was aired on TV, Chavo was given the boot. With Jeff Hardy's absence explained on the UK tour this year, it's still not known whether or not he'll make his return after. With Sting still slated to travel along with the crew on the tour, it will be up to him to keep the storyline concerning Magnus moving.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jeff Jarrett's New Endeavor.....

With TNA's Impact Zone on hiatus, their Spike TV deal going now until this fall and negotiations having fallen through thusfar with some of their talents, I only have two pieces of hope to cling to at this point in the game.

1. TNA has secured a multi-year deal with Challenge in the UK, meaning that that portion of the world will still be able to enjoy TNA programming. I will say that TNA will have to work very hard to secure a domestic deal with Comcast or renew their deal with Spike in order to maintain their place in the domestic marketplace.

2. Now that MOST of the air is clear, Jeff Jarrett has been VERY quiet about his new "venture" with country star Toby Keith. Jarrett has deleted all references to TNA from his Twitter account and every  other social outlet he is currently using now that he has been free for a few days from his contractual obligations to TNA Wrestling. His saying that the venture will shock everyone makes me wonder.....what if?

What if Jarrett and Toby Keith, in a massive social media undertaking, swerved the entire wrestling world and bought TNA Wrestling out from under Dixie Carter? Jeff Jarrett will NEED a decent platform to build on IF a federation is going to stand. TNA, even as damaged as it is, is STILL the second place promotion in the land AND if he and Keith were to take over the reins from Dixie, virtually any and all former fans of TNA before the Carter era would undoubtedly return and TNA's numbers would hike just from the announcement alone. Now, having said that, do I believe those numbers would be lasting? If creative was one board with the process; talents were included in the undertaking; AND if it culminated as a cut off point to something already going on, this could CREATE new viewers. How about THAT? If Dixie were making her announcements concerning major acquisitions or about her domination sweeping the nation or whatever she's saying at the time and THEN she was interrupted by Jarrett saying that her little game is over because while she was playing with her parents' money, he was planning for the future and that the NEW owner of TNA Wrestling would be there shortly to make his presence felt. That moment, I think, would be the most important move TNA has made in their ENTIRE 12 year campaign. So when will we know?

I have a guess. IF Jarrett and Toby Keith HAVE bought TNA, we'll know on the very first Impact LIVE on the 16th of this month. That means one more week of waiting for TNA's Genesis PPV. Since there are a few more details, as I'm told, to work out, a changing of hands would require a fair amount of time to orchestrate. Genesis, historically, has been a good time for TNA to roll out special acquisitions, announcements, and surprises.

SO here's hoping! Here's to possibilities......

Saturday, January 4, 2014

There Was A Time.....

Folks, my time here is uncertain and by now, some of you know why.

Jeff Jarrett has resigned from any capacity outside of being a shareholder. Whether he decides to sell his shares back remains to be seen or if he'll simply use them to siphon money from the profits, provided the profits continue to roll in.

AJ Styles is now working with Ring of Honor. There is no word just yet as to whether his contract is long or short term. In his most recent interview, he's broken ties with TNA and there's no way of knowing just how long he'll be away or IF he'll return to TNA.

Jeff Hardy's departure might be for real and I have no idea whether or not it is. From what I've heard, his contract allowed for a renewal leading all the way into 2015, but I have no idea if that option was picked up or not.

TNA has not been able to secure a short or long term deal with Universal Studios for the time once they return from the UK on their road tour. That means that once TNA returns, they have no place to go as of yet.

I, for one, am in a state of shock and all the times I defended the product over the past few years now seems a bit like wasted time. Did I waste my time trying to see the best in a product I've seen change so much?

Are these the death bells for TNA? From everything I've been reading, Spike TV is still dedicated to their contract through 2015, so at least this year is secure for programming, but where the dispute comes into play is the venue from which Impact will broadcast and whether or not Dixie Carter and TNA upper management is willing to work with the former TNA rally maker, Jeff Jarrett.

So with pride broken and uncertain direction for this blog, I wait for the curtain, hoping for the best and until news comes forth, this writer will remain silent......