My Two Centsss - If I Paid For Aces & 8s, I'd Ask For My Money Back
By Super Chrisss
Sep 28, 2013 - 2:57:12 PM
It's been a while since I last wrote about TNA, but you have to understand, with WWE putting out a spectacular SummerSlam Pay-Per-View, and the New Regime angle being must-see television, it's been difficult for me to talk about anything non-WWE related. But this Saturday afternoon, I find myself with some time to kill and coming off the heels of a disappointing Smackdown, I figure now is the time to take a look at Dixie-land.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up with Impact lately, here's a quick rundown of what's going on:
-Aj Styles won the BFG series and will challenge Bully Ray at next month's Bound For Glory;
-TNA has decide to rid their roster of the former MMA stars Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz;
-Mickie James dropped the Knockouts Championship to ODB and is supposedly no longer with the company;
-Mr. Anderson 'turned face' by challenging Bully for the world title at No Surrender, only to get his ass kicked and possibly written out of the company;
-Chris Sabin is now a heel and TNA has turned his real-life relationship with Velvet Sky into a storyline;
-Dixie Carter is also a heel and feuding with an out-spoken, rebellious Aj Styles;
-Aces & 8s has completely fallen apart.
As you can see, there's been a lot going on in not only WWE, but over in TNA as well. Although Battleground is only a week away, all signs point to the show being a throwaway PPV, which may even produce a lower buyrate than 2011's Vengeance. Meanwhile, TNA is on the Road to Bound For Glory, their biggest PPV of the year, so you can expect the company to pull out all the stops over the next few weeks. Last Thursday's episode was a perfect example of that, as I thoroughly enjoyed the show, despite the realization that TNA has dropped the ball on one of their biggest storylines in year. The angle which many TNA fans predicted would boost the company's profile, or at least produce some new stars to build around. Unfortunately, none of that has happened, and I can't help but feel this entire Aces & 8s story has been a complete waste of time.
The funny thing is, it wasn't too long ago that several people were debating which heel stable - Aces & 8s or The Shield - were the superior faction. Well, I think it's fair to say that The Shield can declare themselves the victors as not only are they flawlessly intact, but each man has proven he has what it takes to excel as a singles star once the group eventually goes their separate ways. In comparison, let's take a look at the status of the members of Aces & 8s, shall we?
Devon: Former Sergeant-In-Arms of the club; held the TNA Television title for months; no longer with the company.
D-Lo Brown: Former Vice-President of the club; was released shortly after being demoted to "waterboy" status.
D.O.C. (a.k.a. the former Luke Gallows): Had a brief falling out with Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray; no longer with the company.
Mr. Anderson: Competed in the BFG series; became VP after D-Lo was demoted and fired; challenged Bully for the world title at No Surrender; no longer with the company.
Garett Bischoff: Tag teamed with Wes Brisco; is somehow still there.
Wes Brisco: Tag teamed with Bischoff; was excommunicated by Bully Ray last week on Impact; still with the company (for know).
Knux (a.k.a. the former Mike Knox): Spent months doing pretty much nothing; is one of the few remaining members and is actually showing potential as a breakout babyface.
Tito Ortiz: Turned heel to screw Chris Sabin out of the TNA World title at Hardcore Justice; was pulled from the company due to his upcoming fight with Rampage Jackson.
Miss Tessamcher: Was introduced as Bully's new girlfriend and Brooke Hogan's replacement; is yet to wrestle a single match since joining the club.
Bully Ray: President of the club; current TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Now take a minute to think about those ten people's accomplishments since joining Aces & 8s. Since the group's formation, only HALF of them are still with the company. The other five have either been released or allowed their contract to expire. Furthermore, they didn't exactly win a whole lot of championships throughout their "reign of terror". Other than Devon winning the TV title (which he never defended, despite being forced to defend it every week during his first reign with the belt) and Bully winning the world title on two separate occasions, the group didn't win any gold. What's worse, with the exception of Bully, the remaining members - Knux, Bischoff, and Brisco (even though he was basically kicked out last week) are probably the lesser names of the entire group. Tessmacher doesn't even wrestle, but acts solely as Bully's valet, or his "hoe" as the crowd likes to call her.
Bully, Tessmacher, Knux, and Bischoff. That's all that remains in what was once a "mega stable with way too many members". While I do like the prospect of Knux turning face and feuding with Bully before or after Bound For Glory, I really can't see Garett Bischoff turning into a main-event talent or solid midcarder once this angle comes to a close (which is a good thing, let's be honest). In my opinion, there are only two people who have benefited from this entire storyline - Bully Ray and Chris Sabin.
Say what you want about Sabin, but if it wasn't for the Aces & 8s storyline, he never would have gotten a chance to become a star. Whether or not the Chris Sabin main-event experiment worked or not is up for debate (I think it did, as it turned him into a credible singles star and people who he puts over can claim "they pinned a former world champion), but the entire match and story at Destination X, with Main Event Mafia interfering on Sabin's behalf to fend off Aces & 8s, allowing Sabin to win the title, was done to benefit Sabin. He did not get over as much as the company wanted him to, so they quickly put the title back on Bully and turned Sabin heel, but without a mega-heel like Bully for Sabin to cash in the X-Division against, his moment at Destination X never would have worked as well as it did. Again, like Sabin or not, his feud with Bully and Aces & 8s pushed him up the card and he can now call himself a Triple Crown Champion, as well as (minor SPOILER) putting him in a match at BFG against some of the biggest names in the company. So good for Sabin.
As for Bully, I think it's fair to say that the President seems to be the only one who has truly profited from creating Aces & 8s. Unless Knux and Brisco end up becoming huge babyfaces by feuding with Bully, or Tessmacher defeats ODB for the Knockouts title sometime soon, you can't argue anyone other than Bully has been successful during the group's time together. And to be fair, Bully never needed the Aces & 8s, as he was going to be the top heel in the company, no matter what. They needed him, he sure as heel didn't need them (other than winning the world title both times). But the rest of the club were simply pawns for Bully to get what he wanted. Aces & 8s was all about Bully, and no one else.
Since Bully is scheduled to defend the world title against Aj Styles in the main-event of BFG, we obviously won't be getting a PPV payoff to the conclusion of Aces & 8s (unless Brisco or Knux screws Bully out of the title or something). Then again, Bully vs. Knux or Bully vs. Brisco doesn't exactly scream "PPV main-event" to me, certainly not BFG. So maybe it's best for everyone if TNA rushes to finish up this storyline once and for all, not drag it on all the way until...LockDown? (shudder)
While part of me is glad Bully Ray, Chris Sabin, and I suppose, the Main Event Mafia, were able to benefit from the Aces & 8s storyline, the same cannot be said for the other members of the club, past and present. TNA screwed up another big storyline, and they know it.
What do you think? Are you satisfied with the way Aces & 8s has played out? Or do you feel like these past few years have been a waste of time more than anything else?
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