Wednesday, June 24, 2015

If There Was Ever a Time to be a Wrestling Fan......

For those who don't want anything to do with SPOILERS, this is your only warning.....turn back now, but for everyone else who has a vested interest in the direction TNA is heading, keep reading.....

When I woke up this morning, I checked my mailbox for anything good and positive for TNA's current status and honestly didn't expect to find anything of consequence, but what I found gave me goosebumps. In fact, the news coming down from a source I trust implicitly has given me the lowdown on some HUGE changes coming for TNA and they are HUGE.

A number of months ago, I wrote a column about Jeff Jarrett being a huge part of TNA's future moving forward. Little did I know that a few short months later, TNA and Jeff Jarrett would be sitting across from one another once more to discuss something monumental: a partnership and a potential merger.

A short time back, Papa Carter offered to allow Jarrett to buy the company with the condition of keeping Dixie as an on-air personality. When her character was taken out of continuity by Bully Ray, it seemed as though the wheels could finally begin to be put in motion. But GFW has a huge hurdle- no television contract. Enter the last 48 hours. Speculations are running rampant and it all stems from the rumor that Jeff Jarrett has bought all remaining shares of TNA Wrestling and if you look at the roster GFW has in tow, you'll see a couple of names that are hand in hand with TNA; Don West, Lance Hoyt, and Chris Sabin. Combine that with four names from the world renowned Bullet Club and you have something HUGE. Looking at the GFW roster, I am stunned. Shelton Benjamin, Chris Masters, Justin Gabriel, Rosita, Trent Baretta.....and even the potential of having a legendary commentator come back for an occasional match or two: Jim Ross.....I'm totally and completely speechless at this.

Think about it, folks...picture it: Bullet Club in TNA.

Imagine GFW being the new banner under which TNA flies.

What we're looking at right now is the added potential of a wrestling cooperative coming together in the coming months that could be a behemoth like nothing seen since WCW. Destination America already is expecting cooperation with Ring of Honor and that brings back Kazarian and Daniels, potentially.

So how does it go down?

A dream come true for me would be to see Jeff Jarrett to compete in his last Slammiversary King of the Mountain match and win for the World Heavyweight Title with the aid of the entire GFW roster, invading and leading into the greatest invasion story to ever happen. WWF's acquisition of WCW was done in one night, but GFW's would take a few months before TNA was finally annexed in the very first successful hostile takeover storyline that changed an entire organization's name outright. Excitement? No. Try absolutely out of my mind freaking out. There wouldn't be anything bigger on the wrestling landscape. Nothing.....well....

There is news coming out of the north that Dolph Ziggler's contract is coming up shortly and he's TNA bound. There is so much more to this than just the return of Jarrett to TNA and GFW and the like, which I will be covering at length in the coming days.......stay tuned.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Generous Champions.....

Okay, folks; here's the scenario:

This week, tweets from CM Punk have brought him back into the limelight. Apparently, JBL, calling a match on RAW recently, made a reference to putting young talents over. Punk responded thanking JBL and Edge, claiming they were the only guys willing to put over young talents on the roster back when he was on the roster. This got me thinking.....

At what point did CM Punk actually become relevant? More to the point, when did CM Punk rise into the top tier and actually look like a threat to anyone holding a title? Some would argue that it began when he won his first world title, but I would contend that it came a bit later. To illustrate my point, I say we go back to 2009 at the Extreme Rules PPV. Punk was on the rise at the time, but there were a few names he had to contend with who were already secure in their top spots; Edge, Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H, and Jeff Hardy, who had just secured his second reign at the very same Extreme Rules PPV. Enter Punk with the briefcase to win his second reign with the title.

From the very next week in April all the way until August, Punk feuded with Hardy, creating a persona and solidifying his place in the upper echelons of the WWE. During that time, Hardy was beginning to sour on the schedule and his body needed time to recooperate, which the management didn't care for, leading to his return to TNA, where he remains to this day. Nevertheless, Punk's first long term feud that was worth the time to watch unfold happened with Jeff Hardy and THAT'S where I place a mark in the books that say Punk is going to be something special to watch moving forward and not just a fluke victory making him a placeholder for someone else.

From this humble perspective, I have a few favorite wrestlers who were notorious for putting talents over as they reached the twilight of their careers and never lost popularity.....

Rey Mysterio
Jeff Hardy
Eddie Guerrero
Shawn Michaels
Chris Jericho
Chris Benoit

These guys were all phenomenal talents and, in spite of that talent, they were very proactive in putting over younger guys to give them a spotlight and their own top spots. Without them, we wouldn't have had guys like Cena, Batista, JBL, or some of the rest. Eddie pitched the idea for JBL, leading to his first World Title reign. Benoit gave Randy Orton his first title reign. This doesn't just go for titles, but for outrageous worthwhile feuds that were all around great to see from beginning to end. Give Jericho vs. Michaels a watch or any feud with Edge AFTER the Matt and Lita eyesore.

The point to all this? Punk may have had an opinion, but history says something a bit different and that's the perspective I choose to take as well. I know there are others who aren't on the list above, but these are only examples of the many who were generous enough to either voice preferences or had no ego to bruise in giving young bucks a chance to shine.