Long time, wrestling fans!

    It has been quite a while since I have written anything about wrestling (let-alone written for a wrestling outlet) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping up with the goings on in the industry.

    In my first of what will (hopefully) be many articles for this great company, The Wrestling Mania, I will go into detail on what I feel is working for TNA Impact Wrestling at the moment and what is not. In addition to that I will vent on which direction I believe the company should go as they look to push forward and get themselves out of the supposed money issues they are currently facing.

    Lets get to it.

    I’d like to start with what I feel is not working well any longer and that is the Aces and Eights angle. This angle was hot in the beginning but has now drawn on far too long for me. It has proved to be a good way to put over Bully Ray but lets be honest, who really cares about this anymore? With the addition now of the new look Main Event Mafia, things are just going the same way they always do in these situations in TNA. We’ve had the original MEM vs the TNA Frontline, Immortal vs Fortune, EV2, Aces and Eights, the list goes on. Factions are far too overused in TNA and just make things too cluttered. I actually enjoyed the original Main Event Mafia and Fortune, they were two great concepts and could actually have done more whereas the rest are piss poor attempts at making a storyline when they are struggling to do that and just throwing guys together. MEM worked originally as heels who had all been world champions and were all legends (yes, I include Joe in that, the guy is a TNA legend!), the 2013 version just feels watered down and doesn’t have the same feel. Magnus is the future of the company and certainly looks the part but has never been champ and Rampage Jackson just looks hugely out of place in the Mafia. He has never wrestled and doesn’t even dress the same as the rest of the group, choosing to walk about in camo pants and a t shirt while the rest are suited and booted. It just isn’t the same. Please wrap this feud and story up as quickly as possible TNA and keep Bischoff, Knux and Briscoe off my television screen.

    Another guy who’s face should be kept off my TV is a certain Joseph Park. Notice that I say face as I am not opposed to the return of the mask and ‘The Monster’ Abyss. The fact that this comical ‘lawyer’ has a spot in the Bound for Glory series is an absolute joke and a kick in the teeth to some of the talent who should be in it. The Joseph Park story, much like the aces and eights story, has gone on long enough and should end immediately.

    What they are doing well, however, is Chris Sabin becoming champion. This has taken things back to the feeling I used to have watching TNA in its infancy, that a number of guys could eventually get their shot at the top. Back in the day we had R-Truth Ron Killings, Abyss, AJ, Joe… guys who didn’t make their names in WWE or WCW… sitting pretty at the top of the company. Then came Foley, Hardy, Angle, Christian (who I actually loved in TNA), Anderson, RVD, Sting, Ray. All of these guys made their names in another one of the big promotions and for a while it seemed that TNA was ignoring their own talent and putting the belt on a ‘name’ to bring in more fans rather than continue doing what they had done to get them where they were in the first place. Recently we have seen Bobby Roode, James Storm, Austin Aries and now Chris Sabin given the strap due to their hard work and talents and this can only be a good thing. Unfortunately, Bully Ray will win his belt back sometime within the next couple months and Sabin’s reign will be short lived, but can you imagine some of the feuds Sabin could have at the top of the card given the chance? Sabin vs Aries/Roode/AJ/Joe/Daniels/Hardy, the list goes on. If I was booking TNA or was one of the decision makers I’d do everything I could to bring back Sabin’s former partner Alex Shelley and get him in on this as well. it could automatically give them another huge star as Shelley was always over with the TNA fans and is a huge talent on the mic, in the commentary booth and in the ring. The guy should be a superstar, he just needs the chance.

    On top of bringing back Shelley, they should revisit the ‘good old days’ and bring back some more talent from days gone by. The one which sticks out is Jay Lethal. Jay Lethal is a stud. Truth is he always has been. He had everything needed to become a huge star in the company but for some unbeknownst reason they let him go. It’s stupid decisions like this that really get to me as a TNA fan. They have always had the talent to make a real go at this but have always ballsed it up. They had everything in place to be a viable different option for the wrestling fan from WWE but instead of pulling away from what is already televised and focusing on the things WWE didn’t, they went ‘mainstream’ and decided to try and rival WWE in their own game. Instead of putting the focus on the X division like they used to, they took their emphasis away from that and focused on the bigger guys. Instead of investing time in their tag and knockouts rosters, they let go most of the best talent in those divisions and are now left with the bare minimum. These three divisions are what really set TNA apart in the mid 2000’s and took the company to television and put them on the map. They made stars like Beer Money, The Motor City Machine Guns, Aj Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Daniels, LAX, Jay Lethal, Low Ki, Abyss and many more. They built a somewhat cult like following and those same fans now deserve to be rewarded for sticking by a product which feels like it has been sinking ever since Hogan and Bischoff came in. It is time to get rid of the dead weight and take the company back in the direction which made it what it was. Give us more X Division, Bring in quality tag teams and put more depth into the knockouts. The main event picture has never been more stacked with a lot of top guys there to fight it out, now take the rest of the roster back to where it once was.

    – By Gregg Mullen