The Crow's Nest - Revisiting the MVP Issue
Feb 13, 2014 - 10:14:16 AM
Revisiting the MVP Issue (02/13/13)
WARNING: There will be brief mention of some upcoming spoilers in this column. If you haven’t read the spoilers yet and have no plans to do so, I’d recommend not reading any further. Sorry for the inconvenience.
A little while back, when the “MVP is definitely headed to TNA” rumor mill was kicking into full gear, I wrote a column where I said that TNA shouldn’t bother trying to sign him. While I said that I would like to see him back, but that I wasn’t sure if it was the right time for TNA to bring in a 40 year old wrestler that hadn’t been seen in a major American company since 2010. My mindset was that the company was finally getting rid of the more expensive talent (Bischoff and Hogan) and that it was a perfect time for TNA to slow down and acquire some good, young talent to boost their product and prepare for the future.
It’s amazing how much can change in just a couple of months.
In one promo, MVP gave me something very important: hope. Last week, MVP addressed the Impact fans for the very first time since being revealed as the “mystery investor”. In the first 20 seconds of his appearance, he made it very clear that he hadn’t forgotten how to work the mic, but it was the next few minutes that really made a splash. MVP echoed many of the sentiments that I and many other IWC members have talked about in the past, stating how TNA was being “run down” by bad management, and that the company needed some fresh, intelligent input.
“TNA is a company that has all the components to be great. Amazing talent, a tremendous international fanbase…but mismanagement is what’s been keeping TNA from reaching its full potential. Mismanagement, bad decision making. A fish rots from its head.”
How many times have you seen this exact train of thought discussed here on LordsOfPain, or on the Twitter accounts of many of our columnists? As big of a fan as I am of TNA, those points that MVP made have long been my major criticisms of the company.
Now being that this is professional wrestling, there’s the obvious point to be made that the promo was scripted and never would have been allowed to happen without Dixie’s approval. I imagine that MVP had a certain amount of freedom to say what he wanted, only having to follow a set of guidelines, and the promo is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to hear from a guy who obviously loves the industry and has come to do battle with the heel boss. That being said, I absolutely commend TNA on letting that promo happen. Obviously the company is aware of the negative things that get said on the internet (just see the #AskDixie hashtag on Twitter) and I think that was a big part of what made this promo so effective. They’ve taken real life frustrations held by the fans and openly acknowledged them on-air. MVP, in less than 5 minutes, got himself over with a brand new set of fans, despite the fact that he hasn’t been around for some time.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to is seeing just how involved in the in-ring action MVP gets. If you look at the next few week’s worth of spoilers, he’s involved in a match each time. He’s also captaining Team MVP at this year’s Lockdown PPV against Team Dixie, partnering with The Wolves and the returning Jeff Hardy against Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and the BroMans.
While the more skeptical amongst you might be shaking your heads at yet another ex-WWE guy being involved in a major TNA storyline, I’d ask you to consider this: MVP is nowhere near the World Championship, and other young talents are being elevated. Bobby Roode is captaining Team Dixie at Lockdown after accepting 10% of the company as payment (on an upcoming episode of Impact). Samoa Joe is the #1 Contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Magnus is the current World Heavyweight Championship. James Storm looks to be getting a character overhaul of sorts, with a teased Beer Money reunion possibly happening. New indy talents are being brought in (Edwards and Richards) and appear to actually be getting used.
Call me overly optimistic, but I like what I’m seeing so far. It would be stupid to credit all of this to MVP signing with TNA, but I do believe that his debut has set some things in motion. In one week, he’s made Dixie much more believable as a heel, simply by being the good guy in the feud, playing the yin to Dixie’s yang, so to speak. By incorporating real life frustrations held by many of us regarding TNA’s mismanagement, MVP has effectively made me care about this feud, or at least begin to. Done right, this could absolutely be a great storyline.
I stand by my point from the previous MVP column that his signing will not be a major game changer. I’m sure that if this storyline works out well, there’s going to be a few new fans who will tune in. It might even get back to the point where the comment sections of any TNA-related article are filled with optimism and positivity again rather than what we see now.
I’m hoping that MVP is actually given the chance to shine in TNA without having to hog the spotlight from the younger talent. MVP does not need to hold the World Heavyweight Championship to prove his worth, and I think it would actually further the storyline better to have him be the guy that pushes other talents to that level. Simply by being MVP, he’s already a believable main event guy in TNA. I would much rather see him take on more of a mentor’s role, elevating guys like Samoa Joe to the top of the mountain. I have ZERO issue with MVP wrestling matches, because unlike some returning wrestlers, he’s actually been an active wrestler since he left WWE. Used properly, MVP could be instrumental in giving credibility to other talents.
TNA needs to be very careful with how they handle MVP’s signing, because it could absolutely be a great addition to the product, but it could also suck and set them back again if they fall into their old habits. MVP can’t be treated as a crutch for TNA to lean on until they find their next short term fix, and he can’t be looked at as the answer to every one of TNA’s problems. MVP needs to be recognized for what he is—a potentially valuable piece of the bigger puzzle. He won’t give them overnight success, but he could absolutely help nudge them in the right direction.
I’m excited to see where all of this goes, especially since it seems like my wish of a Jeff Jarrett supergroup won’t be happening after all. Though with all this talk of a new promotion starting up, who knows? Maybe he’ll be back on TV sooner than later. But for TNA, I really hope this works out. Like MVP said in that quote I posted earlier, the company has all the potential in the world. I’ve said that very line a million times before, and I’ll say it a million more in the future. The time for TNA to capitalize on that potential is now, and I really hope they do it and move their plans in the right direction.
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