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BULLY RAY VS. STING: Their Feud & The Future Title Picture

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So you’ve chosen to read this blog. Thank you :-) This is my first blog, it started off as a comment on the blog ‘Top 10 moments: TNA Slammiversary’ by TheGreatOne, then was going to be a forum post until it reached level 36 and evolved into this Charizard of a blog. I would like to personally thank TheGreatOne for that trip down memory lane. On an unrelated side note for as many great Slammiversary moments there have been some FUCKING SHOCKINGLY bad ones. My personal hate-sponge was Joe joining the Main Event Mafia and helping Kurt win the belt. Why would a monster like Joe help another wrestler who he went through WARS with win the title? Just why? It would have been better if Joe became the new leader or something… Food for thought ladies and gentlemen.

Now TNA cops it hard on this site and in general. CM Punk once compared them to “An Indy company with a camera”. And for all intensive purposes they are. But for an “Indy company with a camera”, I think they’re doing quite well. International markets, on the road, live shows. They’re doing alright in an ass market full of Vince McMahon’s plastic WWE penis.

Off topic as I always am in blogs, so back to the main point. At Slammiversary XI, Sons of Anarchy president Bully “#WWEwouldntletthemcallmeBubba” Ray defends the TNA (World) Heavyweight Championship against “the man in the alumni section who never even wrestled for them” Sting. So Yaaah it’s a No Holds Barred maaaaatch and if Sting like loses or something he like never gets another shot at the World Title like ever! I like this stipulation better than the normal “lose and you retire” match. The promo Bully Ray delivered on how Sting would wrestle for YEARS knowing that he could never wrestle for the title again made me look up from my homework and glance at the TV in the background. Solid work.

This all might sound sarcastic but really it isn't I've been reading a lot of (mainly negative) opinions on this site in regards to the Slammiversary main event. I want to offer something positive and different from the usual TNA-hate.

I've thought about this since Sting came back a few weeks ago, and have come to the conclusion that I've actually been looking forward to a Sting/Bully Ray feud for a while now. They've sort of faced off quite a few times on TV over the years and every time they've promoed off against each other I've liked it. OK, fine! Examples: Remember when Main Event Mafia beat up Team 3D, and threw them in that dumpster? "Sting you did nothing!"? I was a big fan of the promo that Bubba cut on that and thought... maybe down the line sometime these two could put on a good show. Then when Bubba was in Immortal talking about how Sting was sooooo jealous of Hogan being the best ever and how Sting was so good but could never reach Hulk’s levels. I just liked his heel work, as I always have since ECW.

But then he made the pre-heel-turn-face-turn, and I couldn't help but notice who was next to him the whole time. His promos on wanting to be Sting's partner at BFG were good again; they had passion and emotion, and he did seem really over with the crowd – “You need to go to war with a warrior!” Even his backstage segments about wanting to deal with his brother were solid. Well, those were solid enough.

The fact that fans are angry about Bully VS. Sting is sad. This Aces & Eights is a “big pay off” story-line climaxing at BFG ‘13. I was going to write that it’s “wrestling creative 101” but really it’s “narrative 101”. Sting was a major pawn in Bully’s betrayal on his way to the top. So on his way to inevitably falling to the ultimate hero (whoever it is), Bully will need some sort of confrontation with Sting. It’s just part of the narrative. Like how Batista was bound to face Ric Flair (and did) on his way to facing Triple H at Wrestlemania 21. Like Cena facing Punk before Wrestlemania 29. It was bound to happen, but more importantly it has to happen. No reason to hate on it.

It's not going to be a five star match... Bully's matches never are because that obviously isn't his forte. Pro-wrestling isn't always about five star matches, or Chris Daniels would be World Champion. It’s about entertaining a crowd. Sting and Bully are BOTH excellent at it. Even in his early matches, when he was being established as a main event star against Ric Flair and Vader, Sting was excellent at this. But it is VERY important not to discount Bully. You can’t ignore the reactions he got in his feud with Joseph Park. Some of the biggest I heard in a while in TNA. The crowd was VERY into that feud, and probably lead to the Joseph Park character getting a longer life on TV, which in turn kept Abyss off TV for longer and his character is now fresher as a result. Because of a foundation laid by Bully Ray.

Earlier on when he first joined Immortal his feud with AJ Styles really surprised me. The promos were very well done - "you play games on your lap-top, I drink whiskey and get a lap-dance! You're a boy, I'm a freakin' pro-wrestler!". And again they’re last man standing match was brutal and a great character match - especially the finish where the big Bully wins by a simple push that sends the “boy” through a wall. The effect was similar in his subsequent match hardcore against Mr. Anderson. The pops in these feuds were HUGELY underrated, and I think he's probably the most over heel TNA has had for a long time. Even when is isn't THE heel like Bobby Roode was, he was always “up there” so to speak. The Aces & Eights may have hurt him a bit, because it isn't really pure gold. It’s OK. It is important to remember that Bully was gold BEFORE he was announced as the leader. TNA used him to enhance the A&8s NOT the other way around, which shows the faith that they have and have had in Bully.

As I said, TNA has been teasing Sting VS. Ray for a while, and the timing is right. First of all it’s a big stage for TNA so that makes a lot of sense. Bully Ray is in career best form – like him or hate him. And Sting is coming to an end; I respect the hell out of Stevey B but it’s beginning to show, especially in his match with Matt Morgan. He still has a little left in the tank though. At least enough to pop around to the shops for some milk and petrol, run off to the bingo hall and have a few chardonnays, and then on the way home quickly pull over to the side of the road to put over Bully Ray.

And that’s the key – he’s putting him over. I think people are overreacting about Sting being in the main event against Bully Ray because they might forget that Sting is there to put over Bully - once and for all like he did for Bobby Roode last year (yes, Bobby is back doing tag-team work which is disappointing, but that’s due to poor booking not Sting). The late stuff with Roode last year was… um, OK. Just OK. But it served its purpose of cementing Roode as the company’s top heel. That is the role that Sting is to play with Bully Ray. Well that’s the plan anyways. But it isn't always like driving at 100km/h in a straight line.

My main issue is with the hero who eventually defeats Ray for the title in the narrative. Rumors are already running wild – and we've all heard who the major pick is. FUCKING KILL ME AND FEAST ON MY FLESH IF IT'S HOGAN. If Hogan wins it will be the single most selfish disgusting egotistical move in alllll of booking history, a history that once involved Kevin Nash. That’s the kind of move that would put me right off of TNA for good. It’s shortsighted, and it’s egotism at its finest. And if I know Hogan well enough, and I’m sad to say I might, he thinks that’s best for “business” because he’s a big “draw”. Don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those who think Hogan has no place on the show. The place he has now is bordering on too much, but it’s OK. But winning the title? Go fuck yourself Terry.

This situation is strikingly similar to last year when Sting put over Roode before he lost to the up and coming Austin Aires. And I think that’s what needs to happen now. Ray will lose the TNA title as wrestling narrative dictates. But to who? It should follow the pattern of last year when the fresh A Double beat Bobby Roode on what is a big stage (Why isn't Destination X a PPV anymore? It was pretty much the best TNA show of 2011 and again in 2012). When you have a long-time dominant heel champion he loses to a FRESH hero. They hero doesn’t have to be new or young like John Cena was when he beat JBL in the worst WWE title match ever, they just need to be fresh. Like a Benoit or Batista when they were running after Triple H.

I’m not willing to put down some money on one pick to overturn Bully. I’d vomit if it was Hogan so I’m ruling him out regardless of probability. Personally I would like to see Matt Morgan. Morgan has campaigned for months for a shot at the belt, and Bully keeps saying he's done away with all TNA's heroes - So maybe it's time Hogan chose a villain. As I just wrote that, I can admit it looks more like one of the feuds on the way to Bound For Glory than the big final pay off.

Jeff Hardy is also to come back somewhere along the lateral line to BFG, but his feud with Bully was pretty much wrapped up with the ladder match. He should return and feud with Taz in some capacity, as it was Taz who gave Bully the hammer. Taz hasn't been in an actual feud since 2006; a feud that culminated in a match against Jerry Lawler that should have happened eight years before. I’m not saying a match because Taz is done, but some feud would be good. Taz can be annoying on the desk, but his in-ring promos can be good.

That leaves us with AJ Styles - and I’m sorry (no I’m not) but it’s just a blatant rip off of Sting’s feud with the nWo. Simple as that. Much more than Aces & Eights in general being a rip off as some call it. There’s been nothing original with AJ, and I’m expecting nothing original. But all that doesn't matter to a company trying to garner the attention of a new generation of fans who don’t even know what dubya see dubya stands for. I will give them this though – With Bully, the title and the A&8s, I’m being kept guessing in a lot of different areas, which is good for all different kinds of viewers.

And that’s my first blog folks. Feedback is most welcome, in fact it’s encouraged. I thought I’d try to give you all something a little different. I really enjoy writing and have always enjoyed wrestling so it’s good to see them come together.

Time to watch the Champions League Final –GOOOOOOOOOOO BVB!

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  1. body slam's Avatar
    Great blog.
  2. Kajmere's Avatar
    Nice read. I think your safe from a Hogan-Bully match or any Hogan match for that matter. Judging from the way he hobbles to the ring and his persisting back problems, he may never wrestle again. If he somehow manages to fight one or two final matches before retiring, I think he has no option but to lose a retirement match at Wrestlemania. Just imagine the millions of grown men around the world crying at the end of that match.
  3. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Excellent job. We don't read enough positive stuff about TNA and it's upcoming Slammiversary PPV. Everyone's crying about Sting in the main event but honestly, it's the right thing to do. There are no other contenders right now that make sense. Aces & Eights is in full swing and Bully needs to keep the title. So Sting is the perfect choice. High drama, history, and like you said, the ultimate Put Over of Bully. And yes, I think Sting can still go in the ring when it really matters.
  4. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    I personally was thinking of just doing top 5 best and worst moments in the history of Slammiversary. I debated it in my head, but I wanted to get more love for the ppv. Joe moment would definately be one of the top 2 on my list for worst.

    I understand why they are doing the main event even though I'd prefer it be something else. Sting vs Bully Ray will put more butts in the seats than it would Storm vs Bully. Especially their first year on the road. By the way, I figure the stipulation won't last as did Orton's back in the day. Found some way to make sure he gets another shot such as "I agreed only during your reign as champion". Sting as the opponent yet again at Slammiversary makes it 3 straight years he has faced the world champion in the main event. You know how Bully Ray could get over more than Sting could ever give him? Put him against 4 of the top faces in the company in a KOTM match. Win and you are the man! You beat all the men who claimed they were going to stop his reign as champion. Jeff Hardy/Sting/James Storm/Kurt Angle. This also isn't by pinfall so you could have a singles world title match later at Impact later in the year vs Bully Ray. All of them could get a shot.

    I disagree poor booking of Bobby Roode. Everyone has been booked that way. When you had your run and faced all these guys as the champion for like a are going to have a bunch of singles matches vs them? I like the Roode/Aries team....the bad part was them losing the titles so soon if you ask me. Taker/Rock and so on all went back to the tag title picture when they were done in the world title scene. Remember, Rock N Sock and Brothers of Destruction while someone else is there.

    Who should be the one to defeat Bully Ray at BFG? James Storm, Morgan, AJ Styles, Joe all are good picks. Don't want to see Hogan though. I think it would make more sense for a face to be the one.

    Jeff Hardy vs Taz isn't a feud that should happen because he can't get physical anymore. Why do you think his feud with Joey Ryan ended? Jeff likely will just be doing the BFG series like everyone else. No real major feud to look forward to because Slammiversary is the last ppv before BFG.

    A ripoff of Sting feud with NWO? TNA always have something original. I mean, when WWE does something similar to their stuff.....everyone on the roster is posting about it. If you are taking it as a compliment, why bother have everyone in TNA comment on it?

    Aces & 8s is different from NWO in my eyes. None of the guys in the group had the star power of Hogan, Hall or Nash. None of those guys are bikers or do backstage segments the same. They weren't cowards like Aces & 8s were with masks not wanting to let anyone know who they were. Hall and Nash said who they were in their debut. I think it is an insult that some people compare Aces & 8s to NWO. I compare them more to Nexus besides being older, same amount of guys wanting to tear down the company and control it. However, Nexus is head and shoulders better than Aces & 8s rejects of talent.
  5. rampage_23's Avatar
    I disagree when you say that Bobby is in the tag team division because of poor booking, I personally think that the tag team division is very hot right now with teams like, Bad Influence and Chavo & Hernandez plus it gives Aries and Roode something to chase since the tittle is on Bully, I enjoy the tag team matches and look foward to them because of the teams involved in the division, so I think the booking is great although I would have like for Aries and Roode to have a lengthier reign

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