Grading TNA's Current Storylines
by, 08-23-2012 at 03:40 AM (6145 Views)
TNA currently has a lot of stories going on for a two hour weekly show so I thought I'd go through them and give each of them a letter grade as to how well I think they are going.
Bobby Roode losing the TNA World Championship to Austin Aries
Story: After breaking the record as the longest world champion in TNA history Roode lost the title to Austin Aries at Destination X and now because he lost to Aries again at Destination X cannot have a rematch as long as Aries is champ. Difficult to tell if this story is completely finished or if Roode will find a way to weasel back into a title shot.
The buildup to Destination X was great and really reestablished the importance of the X Division title in TNA which many credit for the original success of the company. Now once a year the current X division champ can cash in that title for a world title shot making the title more important. The matches between Roode and Aries at Destination X and at Hardcore Justice were fantastic although the build up to the rematch at Hardcore Justice was lacking a bit hence the minus.
Bound for Glory Series
Story: 12 wrestlers compete in a points based round robin tournament for a world title shot at Bound for Glory. Competitors include Samoa Joe, James Storm, Rob Van Dam, AJ Styles, Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Christopher Daniels, Magnus, The Pope D'angelo Dinero, and Robbie E.
Almost feel like TNA is giving too many big matches for free by doing this but it has led to some very entertaining fights on Impact and on PPV. Started out far too obvious that they were pushing for James Storm to win and even more obvious that he would be facing Bobby Roode and win the championship at BFG but now it's more up in the air with Aries winning the title. Like the idea but it hasn't built or furthered many feuds (besides AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels) and had too many matches where its guys who like each other.
Story: Joey Ryan became the first wrestler on Gut Check to not receive a contract who has continuously made videos railing against TNA and the Gut Check judges while trying to rally the 87%ers who voted for him to be approved. He has shown up to disturb future Gut Checks and even punched Al Snow in the jaw.
Talk about taking a storyline slowly! I think by the 8/23 Impact this will have been 4 months in the making without really accomplishing much. I give it a lot of credit for fooling me into believing Joey Ryan's complaints were real for a week or two but now I don't really understand where it will go. Maybe a match with Al Snow for a TNA contract? Could be good for Joey Ryan building some heat but also has a chance to make us go who cares??
AJ Styles/Dixie Carter/Claire Lynch/Christopher Daniels/Kazarian
Story: Daniels and Kaz claimed that AJ was sleeping with Dixie Carter and provided photos, a voice message, and video of AJ going into a hotel room with Dixie as proof which caused Dixie's husband to punch AJ. Dixie and AJ disproved their affair with help from Claire Lynch who was an addict that they were both helping to get clean. Then Daniels claims instead that AJ is the father of Claire's baby and has photos of the two of them in bed together. Styles wins a match with the stipulation that if he loses he will admit he is the father and if he wins he will take a paternity test to find out the truth.
What a train wreck of a storyline. I tried to defend this story originally by saying that it will come out eventually that AJ and Dixie really did have an affair which could have been taken interesting places. Instead that first part which was dragged on for weeks seemed like a complete waste of time when Claire Lynch was introduced. She's a terrible actress even for wrestling and it doesn't seem like there is any way this will lead to anything relevant. Sounds like the storyline should finish on this next Impact thankfully. Still....it did lead to some great Styles vs. Daniels matches so no failing grade but you gotta feel like there were a lot of better ways to get to that.
Bully Ray/Joseph Park/Abyss
Story: Lawyer Joseph Park, the brother of Chris....you know, Abyss, appears questioning Bully Ray about his brother's whereabouts since Abyss' last match was with Bully. Eventually Bully Ray admits he was responsible for what happened to Abyss and leads to an anything goes match between Bully Ray and Joseph Park. Abyss appears to help Park win. In the rematch between Bully and Park with Abyss banned from ringside, Park loses but after seeing his own blood after the match goes into a trance and gives Bully Ray the black hole slam before snapping back into reality.
Such a great story. The Joseph Park character who is obviously Abyss has been so entertaining in his attempt to be obviously inexperienced like not knowing how to step through the ring ropes, how to throw punches, or what to do with weapons. He started off as a meek unwilling to fight lawyer and then gained courage to stand up to Bully Ray. This is a very risky story to do since if the fans don't care about what's happenin the matches will get no reaction but it has worked perfectly. The fans have been into it and kudos to them for chanting "that was you!" when Park did the black hole slam and was denying involvement. So why not an A grade? Where has this story been the last few Impacts!? Bully Ray is now involved with Aces and Eights which makes him unavailable for this one and I think is getting it sidetracked.
Aces and Eights
Story: A gang of masked wrestlers has attacked and ambushed Hogan, Sting, Angle, and others while disrupting other matches on Impact. Their calling card is a poker hand of Aces and Eights. Impact wrestlers have started to defend against their attacks. Bobby Roode insisted that James Storm was the leader of Aces and Eights but the group attacked Storm on the last episode.
It's early yet and there is still potential to screw this up but this angle is going wonderfully. They are taking it slowly and have been able to keep the identities of the members secret so far while keeping the motivations and leader of the group a mystery and keeping them a constant threat in the background. The Aces and Eights look intimidating enough and not knowing who they are and what they want while having the Impact superstars blame each other has been great so far.
Madison Rayne/Earl Hebner Relationship
Story: Madison Rayne had a secret crush that she was telling other Impact wrestlers about which was revealed to be referee Earl Hebner. Hebner has since helped Madison win all her matches including against Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts Championship. In her last match, Hebner was banned from refereeing it by Brooke Hogan and replaced by Taryn Terell who is now going to be the regular Knockouts referee.
Okay I admit I laughed when Madison went to kiss Hebner for the first time since her crush being Devon made just as much sense (he was in the first match Rayne came to watch from the ramp). The relationship led to some okayish screwjobby wins for Rayne that did not go over too well with the live crowd but at least it was a legit storyline for the knockouts. Still, with Rayne winning the title and Tessmacher quickly winning it back it seems like a cheap way to introduce Terrell and interrupt Tessmacher's title reign.
Story: Supposed to be defended weekly now on Impact currently interrupted by the BFG series. Devon has held the title since March.
Devon can wrestle just fine but can't point to any memorable moments in his reign.
Tag Team Title
Story: Daniels and Kaz won the belts from Angle and Styles when it looked like Kaz may turn face and changed his mind. No references to AJ and Kurt's tag team after they lost the belts even in their BFG series match.
Daniels and Kaz work well together plus at least they have their "World tag team champions of the world" moniker they are saying now and have been on TV a lot together. Tag division in TNA currently dead though so belts are useless.
X Divison Title
Story: Zema Ion won Ultimate X for the vacant belt and defended it against Kenny King at Hardcore Justice in a match that had very little build besides a tag match. Hasn't been heard from since.
Aries made it great again but Zema Ion needs to do something to define himself. Still, X Division is about the matches more than the story and they have delivered recently.
Knockouts Tag is a currently dead belt so auto grade of F.
Just so I'm not accused of forgetting only other worth mentioning is Chavo Guerrero/Hernandez vs. Kid Kash/Gunner which may or may not be over? Not much of a story.
Thanks for reading let me know the grades you would give the main storylines!