Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Good Parts of WWE...Yes There are Some.

Hello everybody, I am The Fighting Cripple and I know it has been a very long time since last writing for this blog and when I left I was becoming pretty disenfranchised with the WWE. This seems to come in cycles with me after the end of the Attitude Era. I get tired of the bland state of the company and then they do something to reel me back in. Don't get me wrong I am not the fanboy that I was during those glorious years of Degeneration X  and Mick Foley but I will say, there has been some aspects that have me watching every week again and I want to go over them now.


The Feud Between Sasha Banks and Charlotte
Its no secret that the Women's Division has struggled since the likes of Lita and Trish Stratus graced the mat, but this rivalry has been fantastic. On one side you have the arrogant daughter of Ric Flair, Charlotte. She is great at being a heel. She is such a bully and does such horrible things to her father that you just want to hate her. On the other side you have the determined, much smaller underdog, Sasha Banks. This mixture has led to matches that can easily be compared to some of the great rivalries in history. They have even participated in one match that hadn't been done before, a Hell in a Cell match and they will be in another on Dec 18 at Roadblock.  It is on this night that they will be in a 30 minute Iron Man Match. They bring out the very best in each other and make it very convincing that they actually hate each other. If they can spread some more of that talent around the women's locker room, the company could have a goldmine on their hands.


The Introduction of the Cruiserweight Division
When I first heard they were going to be introducing the 205 division to Raw, I will admit, I was cautiously optimistic. They have had a smaller division before with mixed results. Its well known that Vince likes the big guys. Then when "The Brian Kendrick" became the second Cruiserweight champion, I just assumed they were going to use the little guys to give him one final push. Well, he lost the title fairly quickly  to Rich Swann on the debut of 205 Live, the company's exclusively cruiserweight show. The match at Survivor Series for the rights to the division was also a very neat idea. I hope that this gives the smaller guys a way in to the WWE that they didn't have before.


TNA Talent Being Treated Fairly for a Change
Anyone who has kept an eye on the talent across their career will know that when someone leaves WWE, if they don't retire, will end up in TNA. When the tables are turned and a TNA talent comes to WWE they usually find their new homes in WWE to be less than hospitable. That is until AJ Styles showed up. The current WWE World Champion is the cornerstone of Smackdown and has an entertaining feud with James Ellsworth (thanks to Dean Ambrose). It doesn't always happen this way, Samoa Joe has been stuck in the NXT purgatory for quite some time. There are some rumors out there that Bobby Roode is going to get the call up to debut at Royal Rumble. So, at least some of the TNA guys are getting what they deserve.


Great Tag Teams
The tag team divisions across all three WWE brands are very strong right now. The New Day just became the longest reigning WWE tag team champs of all time. Randy Orton is a full fledged member of the Wyatt Family, Sheamus and Cesaro have had an entertaining  run and my favorite duo right now, Big Cass and Enzo Amore, are constant crowd favorites. NXT had the Dusty Rhodes Invitational Tag Team Classic which had great matches and crowned the Authors of Pain as the winners of the tournament. It also introduced this generation to the shark tank when they put Paul Ellering in the cage and hung the cage above the ring during the final match of the tournament because he kept getting involved.  


The Raw vs. Smackdown Idea is Finally Working
The last reason I have been so engrossed in what the WWE has been doing is because they are finally making something work that they planned a long time ago, the battle of the brands. Survivor Series was a shining success when it came to making the battle strong. There were 3 traditional survivor series matches, one for the men, one for the women, and one for the tag teams. But it has continued on each show's individual storylines. This last Monday a disgruntled Sami Zayn threatened to jump ship over to Smackdown if Foley didn't give him a match with Braun Strowman.


Overall, there is still much that can be fixed within the company and the product, but those are the reasons why I still watch.  Thank you for reading and please let me know why or why you are not still watching the WWE. Thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Suits...

SO....anybody wanna get down and dirty into a few of the lawsuit details?

Here's what Billy Corgan has claimed:

He had no idea the kind of financial straits TNA was in when he was first courted by Dixie as a perspective buyer, but jumped in knowing that the company was in the forefront on the wrestling scene. As a minority shareholder, he was made the President of the company and then was barred from his day to day duties by another minority shareholder. That part is profoundly confusing, admittedly, but let's press on. AND this part is the one that throws me......Dixie's share in the company was put on the line to cover any expenses owed IF TNA was not able to pay back the losses in investments covered by Corgan himself.

All this to say that Corgan wants ownership and majority control of the company to try and right the ship, provided that there is a way to do so. Backstage, more people than not are wanting to see this side of the scenario triumph, with Dixie finally leaving the company for good.

NOW....Dixie's lawyers are contending that Corgan knowingly walked into this nightmare and is now preying on a company that has few assets with which to pay back whatever is owed. They claim this as a case of "predatory lending at its worst." They claim that Corgan's loaning of liquid funds were simply a way for Corgan to gain higher ownership stake that Dixie allegedly agreed to pay up as an option for failing to repay the loan.

My take in all of this?

Dixie has written out so many bad checks on TNA's behalf and can do no worse than she already has now that the cat is out of the bag. The longer this drags out and the more Dixie comes out swinging on her way out, the more desperate she appears and that, folks, is something that she has been supposedly trying to avoid.

I'm done making arguments for you, Dixie. You're on your own. Your promises have landed you right here, in front of the world and now that the throne is on the line, you may want to back down since the straits this company is in now requires more money to repay than you have proven you can handle. The game is over and it's time to move forward with more experienced players who can handle the responsibility.




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

All the Ingredients....

So with all of the drama and upheaval surrounding TNA these days, I guess I've found it difficult to put into words all that's RIGHT with the product and, from this writer's perspective, that is a nagging little problem I'll have to have looked at. In the meantime, let me just say that the product right now as things currently stand is about as good as I've ever seen, with characters on point and the bulk of the divisions operating at peak. I have LOVED what the Hardy's are doing from every angle possible and the knowledge that MOST of the product in that little sphere is actually being written by Matt and Jeff and given the okay by Corgan as creative head makes everything on THAT side of the world right as rain.

It's also tough to see beyond the void left by some of the homegrown talent TNA had in their roost for so long. EC3 has become a kind of balm for what has ailed in that department, taking a former WWE develomental talent, turning the volume up, and taking him of the leash has made him into a potent young talent the likes of which proves TNA is still in the business of remaking careers with ever so slight tweaks and adjustments, not the least of which being creative freedom.

I'd also like to comment a bit on Gail Kim's induction to the Hall of Fame this year. She has EARNED her place. As arguably the single talent responsible for the Knockouts Division, Gail has embodied everything a woman wrestler should be. Durable, loyal, tried and true, this division suffered in her short absence and upon her return, she put the clock back right where she left off. Ms. Kim, as the TNA Enforcer, I would like to offer my personal congratulations for a job well done and a career one should strive to emulate.

I had a thought just this past week as WWE's Paige was suspended and began running roughshod on Twitter claiming she'd zip over to TNA and have a little program with Rosemary, which I found intriguing as just about anything. By show of hands, who's game for that, aside from me?

I've also been thinking that if TNA moved off into the sunset WITHOUT Dixie in tow, there is a wishlist I have for the company I am DYING to see brought about. Believe me, that column will be coming up soon, but for now, suffice it to say that all the pieces right now are right where they need to be in order to keep this ship running forward. Here's hoping the courts find a way to lock up the last bit of backstage politics with new management at the helm of the lot.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Final Crisis....

So this is where it ends....
So THIS is when it ends.....

I gotta admit; I expected more. More runs around the course; more grandeur; more glint, but alas, I-we- we get none of that....at least not yet.

So the story goes something like this:

Dixie Carter has been doing things to try and secure funding for short term deadlines.....like creating more minority shareholders in the company and that don't sit well with those with a larger stake to claim, more specifically Billy Corgan. In fact, her negotiations with potential investors and the like have met with such cataclysmic failure that Corgan has filed a lawsuit AGAINST the company he sits as President of.....a fact that is truly glaring.

What little success Dixie may have had in the early goings of her tenure with the company have not only evaporated, but have left such a dry hole in the ground that it has turned into sinking sand, consuming everything thrown into it.

So what now? Seriously. WHAT?! Tapings go out until the end of the month and then some, but then we have nothing. 2002-2016....a nearly 15 year legacy with admittedly very little to show for the efforts. I'm angry, folks.

I'm angry for all the potential stars who were cast out before their time or who were mistreated by those in authority over creative. Matt Morgan, Jay Lethal, Nikki Roxx, Daphne; you guys all deserved better.

I'm angry at Dixie for not standing aside and allowing other more capable hands hold the reins and dictate the direction of TNA. I defended you and fought for you tooth and nail and this company has become a smoldering hole in the ground as a result. Your pride and lack of understanding of the true condition of the business you're in is unforgiveable as all of this COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED! There were TWO separate times when the tides could have been shifted.

1. In the week or two prior to Hulk Hogan and company showing up, had their intentions been made more clear about the production vision and how they planned on changing the product off the off, fan backlash would have shown where the best benefit could have been seen.

AND

2. In the wake of the Immortal clan's departure, if company loyalty had been rewarded more readily, WWE would not hold the contracts of some of the best talents TNA ever had in their stable.

"The road not taken" eh?

*sigh*

So what we have now is a case of hurry up and wait. Until Corgan and the rest of the minority shareholders put their case before court, things look to be moving at a snail's pace.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Answering the 10 Count....

So is it true? Is it NOT true? Is TNA's proverbial final swan song a done deal or are we being led by our noses? No matter what your opinion of the current product, whether jaded or stoked, satisfied or disappointed, the fact remains that the rumors of TNA being on legitimate last legs continue to run even as the most recent set of tapings wrap up for the week going all the way to November. I, for one, am completely lost in this....

First I hear that Bound for Glory may be cancelled for the first time as a purchase is written on the wall and in stone at that and then, at the 11th hour, an influx of funds comes in and saves the day on Bound for Glory AND the set of following tapings. THEN, I'm hearing news that WWE is posting leaks on their website that TNA's library may be coming soon to the network. Follow that with word that Dixie addressed the locker room just before the BFG PPV stating that she will NEVER sell to Vince no matter what.......yep....totally lost.....

So what's the real story? Well, simply put, I have no idea. I can speculate, but as far as putting together any kind of data to back said speculation up, it's really just a guess based on bits and pieces and wishful thinking. Keep in mind that there is no pattern to watch here...it's almost entirely guesswork, but in order to fill in the blanks, we HAVE to know the players at the table.

1. WWE....They want the library. Seriously. Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and everyone else WWE by way of NXT brought out of the free agent pool from the TNA or NJPW side of the fence have a legacy in those tapes...over a decade's worth of highly acclaimed matches and content to match as well as hype package fodder for the returns of any number of talents from their roster's past.....it's all there.

Now, if rumors are true, they have low-balled their offer on this little gem and it is truly an insulting deal to Dixie and company.

2. Aroluxe...Ron and Don Harris' company has a stake in this pot and, though my understanding of how MUCH stake is more than a little veiled, the fact of the matter is that they have a seat at the table.

3. Billy Corgan.....As a minority shareholder and the current President of the company, his interest is clear. Poking and prodding could reveal that Corgan and his contacts may have saved the company's big PPV and subsequent tapings to boot, but they could just as easily reveal that the funds came from the sale of his share to someone with a far more vested share in the outcome of the month or so of negotiations.

Could there be more? Absolutely. I've heard rumors that Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent organization hosting Ring of Honor is also interested in taking a stake in the company, but nothing is even written in crayon on the matter as far as a deal, from my understanding of the situation.

My HOPE is that the final piece to the puzzle reveals that a man I haven't heard one iota from since his final farewell over a year ago is the company's white knight and is finally wanting to put the gloves on and take the reins back for the first time in a number of years. But holding my breath for the return of Jeff Jarrett is NOT what I plan on doing until such time as his role is revealed, if it exists at all. Is it possible? Sure. Do I believe his return is smart business? Absolutely. It would give GFW a fully GLOBAL platform to launch a new banner from AND give TNA a rebranding to boot.

I've been preaching this ever since it was rumored he was returning to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame a long while ago. I still stand by it. If Dixie sold off her share in the company and allowed GFW to fold themselves into the fray, along with Jarrett's team of investors, I believe the company COULD bounce back and not only survive, but THRIVE with some of the best names in TNA's creative past as well as their talent past as well. Scott D'Amore and Jeff Jarrett working alongside Billy Corgan and the current crop or writers would be an amazing fit.

Setting aside this pipe dream, I acknowledge that without a set group of investors who are committed to the success and forward push of TNA, the end is absolutely nigh. I realize that it took a long time for me to say it, but I'm not blind in all of this. The breath of life is all that remains and must come soon.....

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Done....Isn't It?

Last night, TNA put on a slugfest and, perhaps, the last of an era as the financial future of the company hangs in the balance. I've toted the line of TNA's virtues for a number of years, putting a great deal of columns here on display for the masses of you who would read daily what kinds of reasons I would make as to their legitimacy as a rightful and deserving alternative to the WWE machine. I hung the mantle up for a while and came back to try and pick the line up a few times, but to be honest, each time I pulled the cord, it became tougher and tougher to drag as more and more former TNA talents would leave, finding themselves in WWE's good graces. AJ Styles found himself in the top tier; Bobby Roode was met with a "Glorious" reception; Joe and even Eric Young, to a lesser extent, was given a welcome of sorts.

And so I wonder now....is TNA done? Could it be that the company upon whose name this blog is built moreorless could close their doors in the wake of a financial coup with another organization? Is this past evening's Bound for Glory the final swan song for TNA? Insiders claim that this weekend is the final cutoff for negotiations moving forward as WWE are interested in the video library that spans their entire 14 year journey, with matches spanning the past decade of lost time with former talents like Kurt Angle, Jeff and Matt Hardy, The Dudleys, as well as Gail Kim and other Knockouts and talents of the fairer sex. The library is a treasure, to be sure, and WWE is right to pursue it as their treatment of Sting was criminal, at best on the "grandest stage".

As for this site? I honestly have no idea. My time has been so focused on putting food on my table and efforting myself into other ventures that I all but forgot this place, where I would put legs to my thoughts and worked at refining my craft. I enjoy this outlet and I will always have a fondness for TNA and will even now say that they are the most innovative company going right now, but I would also daresay that this is twilight rather than daybreak for the little company that could.

And so I leave this question into you....Should I try another run and see what happens? Do I put myself out there on another topic and find some treasure there? In any case, this site was birthed by one question and one question only...."Wouldn't it be cool if.....?" And now I leave it to you....what's next?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Undecided.....

Once upon a time, there was a wrestling company whose reputation was about as shifty as desert sand. This company was known best for taking talent that was given up on in the bigger leagues and turning them into viable and marketable figures. However, with those talents and the time invested into them, also came questionable booking, slap shod storytelling, and often baffling turns from heel to face and vice versa.

Now I bring this all up because of my call for their rebranding about 6 months ago. As some of you who've been reading this blog for any length of time will know, I'd written a column back when Jeff Jarrett made a number of appearances and even in storyline put his share of the company on the line for controlling interest. In it, I was hopeful that TNA would fold into the Global Force Wrestling banner and get a proper rebranding. Why? Plain and simple, TNA is getting a bad reputation for a couple of things right now and these are deal breakers and both are money related.

1. Paying performers/talents late.

This kind of thing is unforgivable. When you own a business at ANY level, wrestling or otherwise, you need to have enough money to pay people and if you don't, you need to do a better job of budgeting. When news of late pay for backstage personnel and wrestlers alike broke, it was a facepalm moment for me. This is so basic that there is no excuse for it. You work for a company and you need to pay your bills, so you want to find yourself somewhere that will put your family's well being at top priority by doing the right thing and paying on time.

2. Rewarding loyalty.

Every company that makes a profit should do a few things...you give out discounts or credit for money spend on the product or service you offer and you reward your employees for a job well done by compensating them with a raise. Now, if you're not making a profit, a few things could be the culprit....ticket sales, ad sales, bookkeeping errors....it could be a list of things, but if revenues are up, you pay out a raise to loyal, hardworking employees. Simple as that. The cost of living goes up each year and so you adjust and work to put some of those dollars earned into the the pockets of people who have helped keep you at the top of your game.

TNA has gotten an awful reputation for not doing or doing BOTH of these things and they've paid dearly for it. Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, and now Eric Young and Bobby Roode. These aren't small losses people...these are MAJOR players in the recent past. AJ Styles was THE FACE of TNA for over a decade, but when he asked for a raise, he was offered LESS. That is no way to do business. If Hulk Hogan wasn't bringing in money for the company within 1 year, he needed to be cut loose. Same with Flair. Same with Bischoff. Same with just about everyone who came into the company during their tenure. Hogan and Bischoff were a good idea, don't get me wrong, but it isn't hard to tell where things turned south.

Genesis 2010-
This marked TNA's vacation from the 6 Sided Ring; their trademark. For anyone who wasn't watching when this event took place, here's the climate for the night:

There was NEVER any warning concerning the departure and there was a bridge leading from the top of the stage to the ring, cutting down on the usable space around it. The problem with these things was TWO-FOLD.

1. The venue everything was shot in was already small to begin with and the departure from the usual ramp and ring set made for a HUGE loss in space and it showed on every level. From match pacing to crowd size all the way to the quality of the presentation as a whole.

2. When you take something as integral from TNA as the shape of their ring, you NEED to tell the fans. This isn't something small and that ring was a part of the identity of TNA as it had been for 6-7 years leading up to that point. You don't mess with that kind of longevity and expect longtime fans to thank you for it. I wrote here about this at length that there needed to be an explanation of the change in terms of a storyline or something for the audible to even make sense, but no explanation was ever given.

Once the shots were fired and the Hogan regime began asserting their creative muscles, things began a downward turn. Mercifully, things did begin to turn around as time wore along, but the damage had been done and the money had been spent. There simply wasn't any way to recoup the losses.

Hindsight is 20/20 and history continues moving, being shaped by current events. I don't blame Hogan or any person on their own for choices made, because there is plenty of blame to go around. I am saying, however, that the costs of those days created this mess we have today. Partnerships with new networks is good, every kind of marketing TNA can do on an upward climb is good, but it means very little if you lose out on the talents and personalities who made the company into the marketable success it is changing into.

Monday, February 22, 2016

This Just Makes Sense.....

This column has nothing to do with WWE until the end, so for those of you who believe I've switched sides, wait until the end to see the point of it all.

SO, let's take a trip backwards all the way to 1999. Why? You'll see....


Now let's do a little bit of era comparing, shall we? Back in 1999, WCW has been floundering ever since clubbing WWF's skull in the ratings turned the other way and featured just the opposite. Politics and backstage jockeying for status positions became the norm. But you all know that if you've read ANYTHING I've written on the subject of the Rise and Fall of WCW. That said, Chris Jericho was among the most popular self made superstars WCW ever employed. Yes, WCW didn't create Jericho, JERICHO created Jericho. And to that end, when he decided to make the jump to WWF, the fans gave him a heroes' welcome. This came after having been with WCW since 1996, a mere 3 year tenure. Even so, his character earned him big notoriety.

Fast forward to January of this year, the 25th, to be exact, WWE's number 3 entrant into the Royal Rumble match......

Yes, this is AJ Styles' debut....NO, this is NOT official WWE footage. Why not? Because fans at home didn't get the full effect of his entrance thanks to the camera being more concerned with the look on the face of Roman Reigns than the looks on the faces of MILLIONS of people literally losing their minds at the debut of Mr. TNA having made the jump.

Yes, I am very bothered by that. So to the man who posted the single best fan film out there of the event, thank you for never breaking frame to see Roman's response.

Nevertheless, let's look at the tape itself. New music, the crowd takes about a second to catch the drift once the word "Phenomenal" hit the screen. And there it was, the suspension of disbelief until the man himself, crosses the stage.

If Chris Jericho is the debut by which every other WWE debuts are judged, aside from foolish camera work on the part of WWE, this is the jump of the newest era. NO ONE has had a better resume than Styles aside from Sting.  In my mind, Sting's jump came nearly 15 years too late as I've stated in another column as to where Sting would have best fit into the WWE timeline. That notwithstanding, though, when you look at the reaction from the fans, AJ's is supreme.

Look, I'm not saying Sting's debut wasn't important, but when you look at the way his tenure has been squandered, even killing his momentum at the biggest stage, Styles comes out of the gate as the single best debut to come from this era's competition, TNA.

So where is this going? Can anyone think of a better first feud for AJ than against the man with the original debut countdown who still holds the record of biggest pop? Me either.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

YES!

It's 10 minutes until 4 in the morning and I've watched more WWE programming in one night than I have in the past 5 years up until this point. And you all know why. Bryan Danielson (NO, I will not  call him Daniel Bryan) has retired and the wrestling world just got a whole lot smaller. WWE, to their credit, gave a man whose career in the white tower lasted less than a decade the kind of send-off that ordinarily would have demanded a lifetime to acheive. Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and now Bryan Danielson.....YES! I hold his contributions that high to put him right in the thick of two of the all-time greats.

I praise his unprecidented work in Ring of Honor, Japan, and everywhere else all the way to his in ring work at the top. No, I don't appreciate anger management classes with Kane. That notwithstanding, though, I held back a bit from this post for more than a few reasons, but I will list and explain a couple of them.....

1. Fanfare.
Let the man enjoy his ride off into the sunset and then keep the cheer going as he makes his way into civilization again. He deserves it after the sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. I just can't see a more fitting way to keep the cheer going than continuing to cheer after life has gone back to following the path it was on before. That's what I do here when it seems appropriate and right now, I believe, it is.

2. To find the words......
How do you thank a man whose work, in large part, I never saw until long after his arrival in the biggest show in town? I was watching his matches from ROH and NJPW DURING and INSTEAD of his out of ring work in WWE. I felt his booking was criminal in many cases and his character was wasted on work that was beneath his ability to showcase and, out of respect for his decision to leave on a good note, I kept silent.....but WWE held him down on so many occasions that I lost count and he was FAR more classy and kept silent himself as his talents were squandered than another who just decided not to go to work one day, kicking and screaming the whole way home. There's something to be said for silence and class and Bryan Danielson has both in SPADES.

3. The Moment.
On some level, this might seem a bit like my explanation of fanfare, but by the time I've finished, it will make sense that they are both very different. I watched something special that only comes around with legends, of which this man has ascended into the company of. I can tell you where I was on certain special nights. When Eddie Guerrero passed away, I was taping RAW at home a few miles from where I live presently and I couldn't make it through the episode unscathed....I still can't. When RAW was hijacked the night Danielson spoke of, I wasn't watching live, but I caught the highlights later on in the night and, in true anti-WWE defiance, I cheered when RAW fell victim to the fans, who were right all along to chant his name. Bryan Danielson's retirement is in the echelon of the few moments where RAW got broken down into its simplest form and for that, I AM GRATEFUL.

SO, I tip my hat to you, Mr. Danielson, for leaving with your health moreorless still intact, your head held high, and with your prospects put directly in front of you. You will be missed by the industry more than we know now.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pushing Back....

It was on this night that TNA won....in a matter of speaking. The chants were faint, but they were there.....the night AJ Styles entered the Royal Rumble. I thought he would be buried beneath the masses of WWE's elite, but he even managed to get in his licks before being eliminated by a fellow ROH alum, Kevin Steen. In all this, I never mentioned HOW TNA comes out on top in this. Well, TNA can finally move on, with the knowledge that they burned a bridge that they had no business coming to. When the chips fell, AJ Styles was the good guy and the more loyal and now TNA can learn from their mistake and move on.

Yes, they looked like the jealous ex-girlfriend, and yes, it was almost painful to read the press release TNA gave concerning the exchange, but it did give fans the assurance that they did try to mend broken fences.

HOWEVER, what WWE did with their momentum was squandered with a victory that reminded me why I crossed the line the very first time. I'm glad I hadn't been watching in the weeks leading up to the event as I would have been every bit as frustrated with the fringe stuff as I was with the outcome of the Royal Rumble match itself, which could have been great, even going so far as to stick a gigantic middle finger up at all the indy feds an second place finishers who lost their stars to the big man on campus. Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Jon Moxley, Finn Balor, and the list goes on of former ROH and TNA alums who could have been shown on camera at the same time with a decent amount of airtime and a chance to shine on one of WWE's biggest stages....but that's not WWE's bag.

TNA's golden boy is now in the hands of the giant. Good for them. Now that that's over, maybe they can move on to how they're going to move forward, away from this matter and into a brighter future....after all, TNA still could win this round. The viewership numbers ARE rising and the stars are getting about as bright as their prospects they're bringing into the fold. And now they can get back to the business of making someone from no one.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Exodus, Leviticus.....

Once upon a time, a company arose from the ashes of the defeated adversary of a giant slayer, from the minds of a few men in a fishing boat. Over time, that company grew, a little bit at a time, but as time continued to move forward, seasons began to show weaknesses in the roots and before long, seeds and good fruit alike began to wither and drop from the vine.

I've watched this little company for so long, it's hard to see good talents leave, but every once in a while, a few talents come along and make the sting a bit less invasive. Bully Ray left in the best place in his career, from my perspective. AJ Styles was let go in the worst part of his. Sting left on his own terms and is being honored yet again by a company who can allow that legacy to soar to a higher level. I've heard rumors that the Hardys may be looking back to WWE, which brings their careers back full circle. It's hard not looking back....and that's what makes Kurt Angle someone particularly special on the list of the best of the best.

AJ Styles might be making his inaugural debut with WWE this weekend and I'll be watching that main event looking for it. Styles wasn't given a hero's send off the way he should have been and for that, I respect his decision to move on....and I'll be watching for someone to maybe, just MAYBE do right by him and his....but I have no confidence for the things that WWE is granted from on high. With the poster boy of WWE, John Cena, posting a picture of Styles on his Instagram, it looks as if they're trying to do some bolstering of support to see what they can expect to gain from having his entrance into the Rumble match.

Historically, circumstances don't play out well for those who have made a name from themselves outside of Vince's creative vision. I hope the best for Joe, AJ, and all the rest who have left the ranks of TNA's elite to find their fortunes elsewhere, but I have no faith in the land they find themselves in now.

This column is my way of giving them tribute, knowing full well that in a perfect world outside of Vince's control, these men and women will find opportunities beyond their own imagining....and I hope that for them.

As for TNA? I've been enjoying what I'm seeing and now that we're beginning to see things calm down from the RED ALERT mode they've been living in for the past month or so. POP TV has been good to them and has allowed them to have the kind of freedom they need to grow.

I realize this has been a bit jumbled and even a bit all over the board, but writing this comes on the heels of something unexpected, TNA's come into some money, some real money and they've begun doing more recruiting, which is always a treat for me, as an observer as to whom they pick and from where they do so.