Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bully Ray and Aces & 8’s – What it means for the future of TNA

Just when you thought it was safe to trawl through the columns section, your favourite angry Scotsman makes his return to Tie-Up Wrestling! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the site. Mark and Emma know why, but a few of you have been wondering, so I suppose I’d better explain things before I get on with today’s topic.



Roughly 6 weeks ago, I decided to go on an indefinite hiatus from writing about wrestling. It was the week of WWE Elimination Chamber. I’d done my review of the PPV for Wrestling Rambles and written the pieces I’d already scheduled for other sites, but I wasn’t happy. At the state of wrestling in general. Far too many decisions annoyed me and rather than me just sitting bitching about it for you guys to read on a weekly basis, I took some time off. I even stopped watching wrestling.

Those of you who’ve spoken to me on Twitter and through commenting on my blogs know that while I don’t always agree with what happens on TNA TV, I love wrestling. I’ve been a fan for over 20 years and I’ve never taken a break from it before, but I’d reached breaking point. I even went on a Twitter break for God’s sake!  I thought that taking a break to get a fresh perspective would help.

Even when I took a break, some jackass tried to set fire to my front door, so I couldn’t even relax then! Some guys have no luck huh? Haha! It might have been the Hulkster sending the boys round, considering what I’ve had to say about him in the past! I joke... Or do I? Make up your own mind on that one (insert smiley)

Until this week, I’d only sat down and watched 1 piece of wrestling – TNA LockDown. No Raw. No SmackDown. No Impact. Nothing.  After catching up on what’s gone on over the last 6 weeks, it’s safe to say that I wish I’d not bothered watching again.

I did a preview post for LockDown a few weeks back and when I was talking about the Steel Cage match between Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, I said this:

“These 2? Really? Really? Really? Reaaalllyyy? This match involves 3 of the people I can’t f**king stand in TNA. The reigning and defending TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, Brooke Hogan and Hulk Hogan, brrrotherrr. Those 3 seriously need to get the f**k off my TV and quickly. It’s not just a coincidence that TNA has been worse ever since Hogan came back, his daughter became involved with Bully Ray and Hardy became champ.

It’s suffered because those “stars” are 3 of the 4 harbingers of the apocalypse: ‘Behold, a face-painted, insidey-voiced, junkie fuck will become champion, before a transsexual with giant feet and her egomaniacal father monopolise TNA’s TV time.’

Poor Bully Ray. What has he done to be in this position? This time last year he was TNA’s greatest heel. 12 months later, he’s Brooke Hogan’s bitch. It’s a f**king tragedy. How the f**k did he get a title shot anyway? Because he’s Brooke’s bitch? He wasn’t involved in the 4 matches to determine the #1 contender, which makes the guys who were look like absolute jokes. All of that rant is before I’ve even got to Jeff Hardy... This match signals the death knell for TNA, regardless of who wins. If it’s Hardy, his reign of darkness and lacklustre main-events continues. If it’s Bully Ray, it means we get even more of Hulk and Brooke Hogan around the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. And also, if Bully Ray wins, it will lead to Hulk Hogan’s inevitable run with the TNA title. When that happens, TNA as we know it will have died and it’ll all be Hogan’s fault...”

I know what you’re thinking. “George, you’ve already said this before. What’s your point?!” My point is this.

On one hand, I’m over the moon that Bully Ray has won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. I seriously am. He’s been one of TNA’s best in-ring performers, and characters, for the last 12-18 months and there’s no doubt that he deserves to be TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He definitely deserves it more than Jeff Hardy, but you know how I feel about that! On the other hand, I’m terrified about what it means for TNA Impact Wrestling.

I have a couple of issues with how Bully Ray became champion.

The first is his claim that “he fooled us all” after being unveiled as the President of the Aces & 8s. Sorry Bully. You didn’t fool me. I’m pretty sure that you didn’t fool Mark or Emma either. I can’t remember if it was on an episode of Tie-Up Transmissions (new episodes to come at a later date) or on SLTD Radio, but Mark and I both said that if Bully Ray was unveiled as the leader of Aces & 8s, it’d be the most obvious reveal ever. And we were right. I don’t take any pleasure in saying that, but I’ve seen this coming for a few weeks now. Probably since the turn of the year to be honest. The longer that the Aces & 8s drama went on, it got more and more obvious that Bully Ray would be the ONLY one to get any steam behind the group whatsoever.

The second is that Bully Ray winning the title will inevitably lead to Hulk Hogan becoming TNA World Champion. I’m more sure about that than I’ve been about anything in wrestling for the last few years. I’m genuinely terrified than an irrelevant, practically crippled, 59-year old rabid walrus is going to become TNA World Champion. Let’s be honest. What visible difference has Hogan made to TNA since he joined in 2010? None whatsoever. Instead of doing what’s right for business, like stepping out of the spotlight and focusing on the guys who can actually wrestle, Hogan has continually shone the spotlight on himself. He’s an egomaniac who just doesn’t know when to step away. It’s not a coincidence that the standard of TNA’s programming has dropped ever since Hogan came back last summer. It’s got even worse since his “daughter” got more involved as well. What purpose does she serve, other than to piss people off? And why does Hogan feel the need to bury Sting at every opportunity? What's that all about? Seems like a wee touch of envy and the green eyed monster runnin' wild brrrotherrr!!

The third, and final, issue I have with Bully Ray being champion is this – it’s about a year and a half too late. Bully Ray should’ve been given a title run at this time last year. He was the best heel in the company and that was the perfect time to do it. He’s still over now, but he could have been used better in the last year instead of being a pawn in Hogan’s bid to keep himself in the spotlight.

Like I said before, I love the fact that Bully Ray is champion. He deserves it. And the fact he beat Jeff Hardy made it even sweeter for me! Haha... I’m just so scared that Hogan will become champion that I’m not going to be able to enjoy any of Bully Ray’s run with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

What about you guys? Have I gone overboard once again, or are you as scared as me that Hogan will be TNA World Champion? As usual, leave your comments/ideas/feedback below or hit me up on Twitter @george_sltd. I’ll be back with another blog here on Tie-Up soon, so until then, try to enjoy Bully’s run with the title, as well as the genius of everyone’s favourite tag-team, Bad Influence. See you soon!

Peace out,
George