|Why did this need to happen?|
Photo Credit: ImpactWrestling.com
I get that TNA isn’t WWE. By not being a massive, publicly traded company, it can’t offer some of their older wrestlers things like “Legends contracts” and merch deals that would ensure they don’t have to put their bodies on the line night in and night out. And as such, they have to keep the veteran wrestlers looking strong against young pups so that people will still pay to see them when they do signings and work for indie promotions and the like. However, I don’t think the stock of either Team 3D or the Hardys would have gone down at all if either team lost to The Wolves. What good does it do to have your Tag Team Champions, who had been booked so incredibly strong up until now, lose in such a decisive manner? I understand it’s a Best Of Three contest and that there’s still a chance for the Wolves to come back, but Brother Devon and Matt Hardy don’t have to come back after this tour is done. Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards do, and to not have them win this series decisively and come out as the “greatest tag team in the history of this or any promotion” or whatever is a waste.
Look at it this way: if The Wolves trucked Team 3D and The Hardys both nights, TNA could claim that it had the greatest tag team, the tag team that beat two other teams who were huge in that Other Promotion Up North. While The Wolves aren’t TNA Originals, they’ve made their names solely in the independent circuit and chances are they aren’t going to tell radio interviewers that they’d rather be in WWE. That kind of publicity and public faith in the company is exactly what TNA needs right now.
One thing TNA has done right is keep Ethan Carter III strong out of the gate in this burgeoning feud with Rhino. It’s telling that Bully Ray seemed less willingly to put EC3 over without getting his win back. Yet so far, Rhino kind of got made to look like a fool, letting Carter knock the bejeezus out of him. While I’m dreading the inevitable Rockstar Spud/EC3 break-up, I like that it’s more about Carter going TOO dark than anything else. It adds a well-needed danger to his character, my only fear being that this being TNA they’ll go too far and he’ll become yet another edgy tough guy threatening to murder everyone around him.
I’d be remiss to not at least mentioning the show opening segment, with MVP going on a tear about how terrible New York is but how great the current TNA World Heavyweight Champ “The Destroyer” Lashley (née Bobby) is. It was a great great segment punctuated by a reference to the murder of Eric Garner. While I know a lot of people aren’t the biggest fans of MVP, I think him as the spokesman for Lashley has been brilliant work. Given how terrified I am of TNA doing its thing and getting extremely racist with this angle, I’m very excited to see where this goes when it announces who the new number one contender is. Even with a dumb, unnecessary interference spot Lashley was kept strong against Tommy Dreamer, and a guy this dominant with “real life fighting” credibility is one TNA desperately needs to have fronting the company. I wish the Championship was more prominent on the card, but I can live with things for now.
NOTE: I’m not going to talk about the debut of Chris Melendez, amputee soldier and now professional wrestler. While I’m a big fan of charities like Wounded Warrior Project and the like, and have ties to the military, the whole thing feels a little exploitative. If he becomes more prominent on the show and less of someone they can just drag out to make everyone chant patriotic stuff, this feeling may dissipate. But for now, I’m not comfortable discussing it.