The Crow's Nest - Who is the Leader of Aces & 8s?
Nov 4, 2012 - 5:54:54 AM
1) Who is the Leader of Aces & 8s? (4/11/12)
If you've been watching TNA at all over the last few months, you've probably heard mention of a group of thugs by the name of Aces & 8s. They run around in masks, beating people up, and up until recently we had no idea (at least officially) who was involved. All the fans knew was that this group had some kind of beef with TNA, and they would run over anybody who got between them and what they wanted.
Devon was revealed as the first member of the group last month at Bound For Glory, and has since taken on the role of spokesman for the group. Surprisingly he seems to be getting some great heat and actually makes a convincing heel, which is great to see.
The second member of the group to be unmasked was revealed at last week's Impact, and it was none other than the former Luke Gallows. Most people had their suspicions that he would eventually be revealed as one of the group, but it's still nice to have it be official. I won't pretend to be the dude's biggest fan or anything, but I've often felt he's rather underrated in the ring. Plus, the group now has some official "muscle".
But considering the stable has been around since mid-June of this year, I find it kind of annoying that more members haven't actually been revealed yet. I get the concept of having a bunch of masked guys running around as not only does it add to the mystique of the group, it gives TNA the time to finalize who they want in the group. It's easy to put anybody under a mask, but once the mask is off you can't exactly undo it.
The one inexcusable thing about this whole storyline though, in my opinion anyways, is that we still have no idea who the leader of the group is. A lot of people seemed to think Devon was the leader, since he was unmasked first, but TNA quickly made it clear that was not the case. We still have no idea who is in charge.
So we have a group of masked thugs, Devon, and Luke Gallows. They have been doing a fine job of keeping things interesting, but it's about time the authority figure gets revealed. I've got a few names in mind, some more logical than others, and some certainly more preferable than others, of who I'd like to see revealed as the group's leader. So let's take a look at some of the names I've considered, shall we?
Bully Ray, as you may remember, was actually my original pick for leader of the group, and I actually predicted he would be revealed at Bound For Glory by screwing Sting out of the victory in their tag match. Despite everything that's happened since then, I don't think it's entirely out of the realm of possibility that he could still be revealed as the leader of the group. It's a very, VERY slim chance, but I don't think it's impossible. That being said though, I don't entirely want to see this happen. Bully Ray has pulled off one hell of a face (or tweener, depending on who you ask) turn since the whole situation with Devon started up, and I'd actually like to see if he can keep that momentum going. We've all seen the greatness he can bring to the company as a top heel, time to really test him and see if he can be more versatile than that. If he WERE to join the group though, especially as a leader, it would be fantastic to watch. Bully can bring it in the ring, but more importantly he's great on the mic. Devon's alright on the stick, but Bully is on a level all his own. Aces & 8s needs a real "talker", and Bully could fill that role.
Eric Bischoff is far from my favourite wrestling personality of all time. He's had his great moments, don't get me wrong, but since joining TNA, he just seems to have lost whatever spark he once had. The thing that makes me think he may be involved, other than the fact that that one A&8 promo sounded like it was delivered by him, is that he's been gone from TNA programming for some time now, and he didn't leave on the best of terms. He was forced out of the company by his son, so it's not unbelievable at all that he'd be a bit pissed with the company. He can't wrestle, but he can certainly cut a promo, and if he can somehow re-discover that spark I mentioned earlier, he could be a great leader for the group. He's got the experience leading heel groups, and it would be a pretty seamless addition to make in terms of storyline continuity. His pal Hogan turned his back on him, he wants revenge for losing at Lethal Lockdown, and of course will eventually want revenge on his son. He could have used that time off to go out and gather a group of wrestlers who were just as pissed as him before making his (anonymous) return to seek his revenge. Not my ideal outcome, but at least it would make some measure of sense.
This pick might seem odd, but Jesse Sorensen has crossed my mind more than once as a potential surprise pick. Easy enough to write in terms of storylines too. He's pissed that TNA didn't do more to protect him from getting injured, and even more pissed that Zema Ion didn't get some kind of punishment for what happened. Since he's injured though, he has to get a group of bodyguards to go do his dirty work for him until he's cleared to come back. It would certainly be a great way to get the kid some upper-card attention upon his return too. The one problem I see with this potential pick is that Sorensen, being as green as he is, still can't cut a promo. If he was revealed as the mastermind of the group, A&8 would still need a spokesman. Maybe some kind of manager for Sorensen that would double as spokesman for the entire stable. I don't see this being all too likely though, since it seems pretty obvious that Sorensen will be gunning for Zema Ion upon his return, and I think TNA will want to keep him as a face for that feud.
Perhaps the potential outcome I fear the most would see Crimson make his return to lead the group. Seriously, I shudder at the very thought. I've made no secret of how much I detest this man as a wrestler. Crimson hasn't been on Impact since July 5th, unsuccessfully challenging Devon for the Television Title, and has since been in OVW hopefully honing his "skills". It would be easy enough to bring him back to the main roster as a heel who's still bitter over his undefeated streak being unceremoniously ended, but I don't know how convincing of a leader he would make. He hasn't accomplished much in his career aside from the streak and his run as a TNA Tag Team Champion, so I don't think the fans would buy it. That being said, TNA has been known to make some odd decisions, so it wouldn't entirely surprise me to see them do this. While I don't entirely believe he'll be revealed as the leader of the group, I do actually believe he'll eventually be revealed as one of the group's members. I don't think they'll keep him off TV too much longer, and this would be a good way to see if he's ready to re-join the main roster on a full time basis.
The pick that I'm most hopeful for however, and one that I think is quite possible, is Jeff Jarrett. He's been away from TV for almost a year now after being "fired" after losing a cage match to Jeff Hardy, who you may remember is TNA's current World Heavyweight Champion. So right off the bat, he's got one hell of a motive to want some revenge on the company. On top of that, I think he would be a great pick. He can wrestle, he can talk, the choice makes sense, and most importantly the fans would buy it. I'm a big Jarrett fan, and this would be a great way to bring him back to Impact. I think he would be able to get the younger guys in his group over, while at the same time provide a great bit of veteran credibility to an as yet untested bunch of wrestlers. I could do without Karen Jarrett coming back with him, although that could be a decent way to get the Knockouts involved in this big feud. Karen could bring a couple of Knockouts on board, perhaps a returning Velvet Sky? I think Jarrett would be a great reveal here, and with a PPV coming up in a week, there lies an ideal time to make it happen. Only 1 A&8 member has an official match on the card right now (Devon VS Kurt Angle), and there's only 5 matches announced right now, so you've gotta figure they'll have a tag match of some kind. Especially now that there's another unmasked member.
So what do you guys think of my picks? Who do you think would make a good leader for Aces & 8s, or who do you think is most likely to end up getting revealed? As always, feel free to shoot me a line. I always do my best to get back to anybody who takes the time to message me. I'll be back soon with another column, but until then, thanks for stopping by.
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