June 03, 2011
Alex Shelley wasn't just the best choice to sub for Bobby Roode as one half of the tag team champions while Roode is selling a shoulder injury. He was the only choice.
About an hour before iMPACT started last Thursday I read a report on TNAsylum.com that management's original plans of reforming America's Most Wanted so they could push Bobby Roode as a singles competitor had been scrapped when they saw the shape Chris Harris was in and the lack of crowd response he got at Sacrifice. I was happy to read this, 1) because I feel reforming AMW would just be going backward at this point, 2) I don't have any desire to watch the man formerly known as Braden Walker perform if he's not going to get into better shape (even though he was a god that night he stood on the stage with his hands on his hips), and 3) they had an infinitely better partner for Storm right in front of them the whole time.
I've said this before several times already: teaming Shelley with Storm, at least temporarily, is exactly what I was hoping they would do.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it. You can tell that a great mutual respect had grown between Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns after their amazing best of 5 series last year and company officials seemed to think very highly of it as well, given how often it's mentioned during the show. Plus, with Team 3D now split up, those 2 teams are clearly regarded as the best 2 tag teams this company has.
That's no exaggeration. If the best of 5 series proved one thing, it's that Beer Money and the Guns were and are on a different level than everyone else in the tag division. Beer Money are typically viewed as THE top team, if for no other reason than they've got the titles, and have been pushed harder and longer than the Guns have. But Bobby Roode's singles career is on the horizon and the clock is ticking on Beer Money at this point. I would be hesitant to break them up just yet with the tag division as depleted as it is currently. But the time is going to come for Storm and Roode to go their separate ways, and when that happens, and Sabin is ready to come back, the torch will be passed and the MCMG will take Beer Money's place as the unrivaled kings of the tag team division. It's their spot to lose at this point. Unfortunately, this won't be for a while due to some unforseen circumstances.
Chris Sabin is my favorite wrestler. I mark out for pretty much everything the guy does. Hearing that his knee injury was going to keep him out for the rest of the year made me hurt in places I'm not man enough to admit to myself. But if there's a silver lining here, it's that this has opened a door for Alex Shelley to branch out for a while, which leads us to what we have now.
So with Shelley's partner injured and Storm's partner a budding singles star, TNA/iMPACT Wrestling is suddenly left without its best 2 tag teams. So if you think about it for a minute, it makes all the sense in the world to put Storm & Shelley together. Plus, Shelley has the added bonus of being better in the ring, better on the mic and, let's be honest, in way better shape than the thing that ate Chris Harris at this point.
And Shelley really summed up my thoughts perfectly in that iMPACT post show video TNA/iMPACT Wrestling put up on their youtube page. He said he spent much of last year wrestling Beer Money and is very familiar with how they work. And anyone who saw the best of 5 series will tell you that as much chemistry as the Guns and Beer Money have as teams respectively, they have just as much with each other.
For all these reasons, and for the simple fact that I think the promos would be hilarious, Alex Shelley is the perfect choice to be James Storm's new partner -- not only to defend the honor of the tag team titles while Bobby Roode is selling his injury, but after Roode starts his singles career and until Chris Sabin is healthy again.
And honestly, I think, with Storm & Shelley, this company could have one of the best makeshift tag teams since the Rock 'N Sock Connection. Not that I'm comparing those guys to the Rock and Mick Foley, but I really do think they work as unlikely partners for the same reasons. They're both charismatic, entertaining personalities, both great on the mic, both great wrestlers who work well together.
And the merchandise... just think of the merchandise. MCMG dog tags shaped like beer mugs, squirt guns that look like machine guns and shoot beer, t-shirts with pictures of machine guns shooting beer kegs as bullets. I mean, good lord... the only way that merchandise could be any more ludicrously awesome is if it could somehow incorporate sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
Beer Money may have gone as far as they're going to go as a tag team. And when Sabin comes back, the Machine Guns will take their place as the new top team in this company. But until that time comes, someone is going to need to keep the depleted tag division going, especially at the rate Mexican America keep injuring people (take care of that neck, Jesse).
IMHO, there is no one better for this task than Storm & Shelley. After all, if there's one combination of things that are going to appeal to blue collar American wrestling fans even more than beer and money, it's beer and guns. Hell yeah!