It seems that my body is playing some kind of cruel joke on me right now. My reading break just started on Saturday and I've been getting sicker the further into the break I get. Luckily today seems to mark the first bit of improvement I've seen in my health in a little while, so I figured what better way to celebrate than to write up a wrestling column.
This column is going to be a little different than my usual columns however and won't be focusing on one central topic. Apparently my brain is refusing to cooperate fully, so I'm going to offer my thoughts on a few different things that are going on right now in TNA. Enough delay though, let's get started.
Yeah yeah, I know. I'm a little late on commenting on this whole situation. But stay with me folks. In case you haven't seen the video, I'll post it below. Be warned, it's not a pretty sight.
When Sorensen went down after taking that hit, I immediately feared the worst. It was pretty obvious to anyone that was watching that something had gone horribly wrong, and that was made even worse by seeing how long it took for Jesse to make any kind of movement after the collision. I've suffered a neck injury before while I was wrestling for my high school team, and I know the absolute terror that not being able to move your arms or legs brings on a person. To this day I still do not have 100% use of my right arm because of that injury, and like what happened to Sorensen it was all because of a split second event in a match.
Injuries like this are sad enough when they happen to anyone, but I find it especially saddening in this case because Sorensen is my age (22), and his career could very well never be the same because of what happened at Against All Odds. The report came out today that Sorensen could be out for approximately a year before he is fully healed, and regardless of what Kurt Angle seems to think, I'm going to go ahead and side with the doctors. Sorensen is lucky that he's going to be able to heal up period, and when he's this young there is no point in risking a worse injury by rushing back.
I don't blame Zema Ion for what happened. Yes, he didn't have the control over his body that he should have, but I also can't deny that Sorensen was out of position to take the move. It was a freak accident that unfortunately ended the way it did, and no one can be blamed. If you watched the full video above you could see the concern on Zema's face as he backed up the ramp, even though he was trying his damnedest to stay in character. I wish Sorensen a full and speedy recovery, and I hope to see him back in a TNA ring in the future, because I stand by what I've said all along about him being the brightest young star in the company.
Oh, and to the reader who emailed me laughing about what happened to Mr. Sorensen, I have only one thing to say to you. I hope you fall down a flight of stairs and break your neck, forcing you to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life. I was going to say something much more profane, but frankly you're just not worth the effort.
No More Vince Russo?
Folks, you have no idea how much joy filled my heart when I read that Russo had FINALLY left TNA. If you've been following my columns since back in the forums days, I've made it no secret that I believe Russo is a cancer in the world of wrestling that needed to be purged a long time ago. While I don't blame ALL of TNA's failures on the man, I'm certain that he is responsible for a lot of poor creative decisions since rejoining the company in 2006.
Of course the news is bittersweet, because it was Bruce Pritchard that took over as head writer. Pritchard rose through the ranks of TNA's back office rather quickly after joining TNA in 2010, gaining the title of Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations. No doubt he's had a hand in some of the trash that TNA has put out over the past couple of years, but now it stands to get even worse because he's the head writer for the company. Thankfully there are still people that can overrule him, but I sincerely doubt that Dixie Carter's ideas for creative direction are going to be much better. At this point I would prefer seeing Flair as the head writer.
The interesting part for me though is looking forward to the post-Russo TNA era. Russo has basically been with the company since it was founded in 2002 and has to my knowledge always had a hand in the creative aspects of things. Keep in mind folks that this is the guy who wanted TNA to stand for "Tits N Ass Wrestling", and have all their programming (which would still strictly be on PPV by the way) be for adult audiences only. I can't deny that it sounds intriguing, but how long could they keep that idea going for really. More importantly, how successful would it even be in the first place? Russo could have been great for TNA had he had someone to filter through his trashy ideas, but the whole backstage scene in that company is a mess. It's a constant power struggle, and that kind of confusion really translates to a poor on-screen product some of the time.
So Vinnie, I'm not sad to see you go. You gave it a good effort, but it's time for you to step away gracefully. Maybe show Hogan and Bischoff how it's done.
Bully Ray for World Champ
Unfortunately it appears I was wrong in my prediction for the main event of Against All Odds as Bully Ray did not walk away as the new champ. A lot of people called me crazy for even predicting that he had a chance in the first place. But even now I still believe that he's going to win that strap before the year is over.
Right now, Bully Ray is easily the best heel in TNA, and possibly the best heel in the mainstream wrestling business today. He went from being an overweight tag team wrestler that no one believed would ever make it on his own, to getting into the best shape of his career and morphing himself into the most entertaining part of most TNA broadcasts. The even more impressive part of all this is how quickly he accomplished all of this. After Team 3D announced they were breaking up, everyone naturally assumed that both men would be retiring. As we soon saw, this was not the case as Ray debuted a new character and fully embraced a badass heel persona that has now carried him to the top of the TNA card.
Against All Odds may not have ended the way I wanted it to, but luckily it did accomplish one very important thing that I didn't think it would. It FINALLY made Bobby Roode look like a strong World Champion and further cemented his own heel persona. Seeing that Roode is my favourite wrestler in the company it's hard for me to complain about the result, other than the fact that it would have been nice to see Ray have his moment.
Bully Ray's time as a champion will come. He's toned down his character enough that he can be taken seriously as a heel, and that is the only real criticism that I had about the guy when he first started moving up the card. His in-ring work is better than ever, he's in much better shape than he's ever been in, and on the mic there's no one that can elicit the kind of crowd reactions that he does. Bully Ray may not have left Against All Odds as World Champion, but mark my words he's going to have that belt raised above his head before 2012 is over.
TNA's Tag Team Turmoil
Speaking of things that I didn't think would happen at Against All Odds, TNA has new Tag Team Champions after Magnus and Samoa Joe dethroned Matt Morgan and Crimson for the belts on Sunday. I made it pretty clear in my predictions column that I really like the Magnus/Joe team as they've managed to work incredibly well together despite being a random pairing, but I really did not think that TNA was going to pull the trigger so soon. Morgan and Crimson were being billed as unstoppable monsters that no one could defeat, and all of a sudden they lose the belts. I can only assume that because of how the match at AAO ended (Crimson speared Morgan, allowing the heels to get the win) that the Crimson vs. Morgan storyline is about to begin.
Frankly I'm okay with that. Morgan is one of TNA's top talents, and his influence on Crimson's development is not hard to see. Since working with Morgan, Crimson has noticeably improved both in the ring and on the mic. He's certainly not GREAT at either of them, but he's finally showing visible improvement. If/when he works a program AGAINST Matt Morgan, he's going to gain the benefit of actually getting to wrestle with a top tier talent. The only problem I can foresee is that TNA might want to keep his undefeated streak alive, so I fear that Morgan may end up looking like a chump in the feud. I think Crimson has come far enough that the streak can end without doing him a whole lot of harm, and it will actually be very beneficial because it opens up a far wider variety of feuds for him to enter into. As it stands right now, TNA has to be so careful with how he's booked or they risk making all of his opponents look like bitches. Once the streak is over, Crimson can enter into a regular feud and lose a couple matches along the way without it being the end of the world.
As for Joe and Magnus, damn it's good to see both of those guys holding gold again. I'm still unsure as to why TNA didn't just keep The British Invasion as a team to challenge for the gold as I still believe they're the top team in wrestling today, but it's hard to argue with the results of this current configuration so far. Both men wrestle fairly different styles, but somehow they make it work. Tag team wrestling may be hurting in general right now, but if TNA can manage to find a couple more successful pairings on their roster, they could very easily turn things around and bring back something that the wrestling industry has been without for far too long.
So there we have it folks, a few of my thoughts on what's going on in TNA right now. I'd love to stay and chat a little more, but I have an appointment with a mug of Neo Citran and my Xbox 360, so I'm gonna peace the hell out. Thanks for stopping by.