April 01, 2012

TNAsylum Spin Cycle: March Madness Edition 3/25/12

The March edition of the Spin Cycle is now here. This month's edition features the writing talents of myself and TNAsylum Writers/Reporters in FK9, Phenom AJ Jones and Big Dawg. Let's get cookin! (NOTE: Aside from Talon, everyone else wrote their answers prior to Victory Road last Sunday.)

Brian Kendrick has recently left TNA, who do you see as the next wrestlers leaving the company?

Talon- I think now is a better time than ever to shake up the undercard of TNA Wrestling. It is apparent that TNA is only featuring certain stars and doesn't hold a good portion of the roster in the same light. I could easily see some sort of combination of Winter, Traci Brooks and Mexican America leaving very soon. I don't think TNA should stop there as the fans want to see new faces.

FK9- Traci Brooks and Winter are probably on the way out. Winter has been rarely seen job fodder since Prichard became head of creative and Traci has dropped off the map completely since Karen Jarrett got "fired". The new creative regime clearly doesn't have much, if any, use for them. I'm guessing their days are probably numbered.

Also Mark Haskins getting cut seems pretty likely. He hasn't had many opportunities to make an impression on management, but nearly every time he has, something has gone awry. Really, the only thing wrong with his work is that he needs to lay off the shooting star press, but he seems intent on using it and can just never seem to nail it. If he's botching a move like that every time we see him, it's not going to give the writers much of an incentive to feature him. And since they already don't seem to eager to give him a chance, I wouldn't be surprised if they just gave up on him.

In a perfect world, they'd also get rid of Hernandez and Anarquia due to their awful work and terrible safety record, but since Anarquia has been sent to OVW and Hernandez is still working house shows, it appears as if management isn't ready to give up on them just yet. Lord knows why...

Big Dawg- I can see Hernandez leaving since he has still failed to really get over and make his character work and still has limited mic skills. Anarquia would leaving too since he brings so little to the table. Kid Kash probably has limited time left since he is kinda older and other X-Division stars have really stepped up lately. Devon may fit better by becoming a trainer/agent and not be as an active roster member by the end of the year. Winter is also fairly expendable now too and has been M.I.A. lately so no huge loss there either.

"Phenom" AJ Jones- I don't know because whenever you think a wrestler may be gone they are still part of the company. A guy who hasn't been around much and maybe on the chopping block could be Rob Van Dam. Yes he is a big name but he hasn't been on any house shows in the past few weeks and I think RVD may have lost his love for pro wrestling or maybe he just wants work on other projects. So far he seems like the one on the chopping block.

TNA has implemented a policy where only wrestlers involved in storylines will be part of the IMPACT Wrestling show. What is your opinion on this policy regarding how it might effect the company and wrestlers?

FK9- The wrestlers may not like it because it means less of them are getting paid, but in terms of the product, it can only be a good thing. For years, one of the main criticisms of the TV show was that it was overcrowded, that the writers were trying to do too much at once, trying to feature too many people. And with so many stars vying for screen time, the result was that fewer of them got featured effectively.

'Effectively' is the key word here. How is one person supposed to get over if you stick them in a crowd with 50 other wrestlers? Sure, it's technically possible, but the fewer people there are out there, the easier it's going to be. The fact of the matter is, it's easier to make someone stand out if there aren't as many people around them. If you want a talent to get over, you have to devote time to them, and to do that, there needs to be time available, which there won't be if you're trying to feature a whole bunch of other people on the same show when they don't really need to be there.

Yeah, this might make some people unhappy, but IMO, it's a smart move. Only putting a wrestler on the show if you have something meaningful for them to do sounds like a great idea to me. If they don't have anything meaningful to do, if they're just there for the sake of being there, then their presence is entirely pointless, it's needless filler and does nothing but cost the company money.

Big Dawg- I feel like this policy on only giving screen to those that are directly involved in storylines has pros and cons. On one hand it lets the stories get developed more slowly and allows the younger guys really get a lot more exposure. On the other hand, it can have a “wasting half the roster” effect that makes it hard to utilize a lot of wrestlers that may have loyal fan-bases and can draw ratings/attendance. It does create extra time-off to older roster members to get some much needed rest to recover, while letting younger guys like Roode, Storm and Aries get TV time. So overall it’s a good thing for the long term plan of the company.

Talon- Unfortunately for the talent, this policy is an important one that should have been established a long time ago. Under Pritchard, the product has dramatically slowed down the pace of the show. Less wrestlers are being used. TNA shouldn't be paying guys who aren't going to be working. TNA has cut their costs significantly over the past year and I am certain this policy will add to that.

"Phenom" AJ Jones- I think the policy is a good thing because whenever you have too many people on a show at the same time you kind of lose people who are wondering who will be on the card and who won't be on the card, and at the same time it gives the people on the PPV card more of an opportunity to build up their matches.

Magnus and Samoa Joe will defended the TNA Tag Team Titles against Matt Morgan and Crimson at Victory Road. Who do you think should be the next tag team to face the champions (whoever they may be)?

Big Dawg- I think it will continue to be Magnus & Joe as champs since it is REALLY working right now. In the short-term they should face team like Robbie E & T (sans Robbie E’s tv title which he will lose soon hopefully) and other makeshift teams like Mr. Anderson & A.J. or Kaz & Daniels. In the long term they need to face the MCMG and they will have AMAZING matches if/when that happens.

"Phenom" AJ Jones- TNA only have 2 real teams and I think that depending on how long the feud goes you could have Daniels & Kaz contend for the TNA Tag Titles. They make a good team, and Daniels is a great heel and it gives people a little bit of the old X Division days with Kaz, Joe & Daniels involved but it makes it freshens it up because you have Magnus a guy who hasn't been involved in a feud with Daniels and Kaz to my knowledge and I thiink you can get a good feud out of those teams until Chris Sabin is back in action and the Motor City Machine Guns reform.

Talon- I would love to see a short term feud between Magnus/Joe and Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Daniels and Kazarian have a storyline connection right now and it makes sense for them to move on from AJ Styles. I could see a Lethal Lockdown Match involving the champs, AJ Styles, Kazarian, Daniels and Anderson.

In preparation for the Motor City Machine Guns later this year, I would like TNA to use my idea of an open invitational. Along with finding challengers for Samoa Joe and Magnus, TNA also needs to rebuilding their tag team division. If TNA made some cuts to the undercard, they would have room for a new team or two. I would love to see some of the guys from Ring Ka King in IMPACT Wrestling.

FK9- The most likely candidates are probably Kaz & Christopher Daniels. It makes sense -- with Joe & Magnus moving toward a face turn if they're not there already -- to match them up against a heel duo, and Kaz & Daniels are the most viable one on the show right now that wouldn't feel like some random team thrown together just to give the tag champs someone to fight. Plus, Joe has a lot of history with Daniels that the writers could make something out of while incorporating their new partners. I guess this would depend on how long Kaz & Daniels will be feuding with AJ Styles, but out of the few options available for tag team feuds, this one would probably make the most sense.

But if it's not them... please, God, anyone but Robbie E & Rob Terry.

March is known for St. Patrick's Day. What championship gold is at the end of which wrestler's rainbow? (In other words which title should a wrestler of your choosing win?)

"Phenom" AJ Jones- I think at the end of Austin Aries rainbow is a TV Championship run. He has been on a roll since returning to TNA in June and recently set a record of the longest X Division Champion in history which is a record set by Daniels. I think Aries has he ability to bring the TV Championship up a level from mid card to upper mid-card to a doing a few TV main events. I think Aries could be a good TV Champion if given the opportunity.

Talon- Because I want the TV Title to mean something again, I would like to see it held by a potential future World Heavyweight Champion or upper midcarder. Daniels, Crimson, Gunner, Matt Morgan, Austin Aries, The Pope or anyone else on that level could bring value to the title. It needs to be elevated as a championship and it won't be if it is held by guys like Robbie, Devon or Eric Young.

FK9- Championship: The TV title.

Wrestler: Crimson, Gunner, Austin Aries, etc. Exactly who doesn't really matter. Any up-and-coming midcarder with potential to be groomed as a future main eventer will be fine.

Whoever it is, have that person obliterate that lazy, no-talent clown, Robbie E. Take the TV title off him and put it on someone who's actually worth watching, thus eliminating Robbie's need to be on the show, so they don't have to waste screen time on this loser anymore.

Big Dawg- I think RVD will have the luck of the Irish and come back soon in time to be part of Lockdown. He will/should win the TV title at an IMPACT taping after Victory Road and settle into that role instead of the main event for now since the main event scene makes sense without him currently. RVD 420 is coming back despite the haters.

March is also known in basketball circles as the time of March Madness. If TNA held a March Madness Tournament of the best superstars, who would be in your final four and who would win the tournament?

Big Dawg- TNA’s Final Four right now should be Roode, Storm, Bully Ray and Austin Aries. I think it’s time for Storm to have a nice title run so I will say that he would win the tournament.

FK9- I'm going to go with 4 of my favorites right now...

-Austin Aries- because this tournament can't be GREAT without the Greatest Man That Ever Lived.
-Bully Ray- because he can get damn near anything over.
-Alex Shelley- because they should be doing more with him, damn it.
-Magnus- because he's a star on the rise and could really benefit from a piece of recognition like this.

Ultimately, Alex Shelley would win the tournament. The other 3 have things going on right now, but Shelley needs this more. When he was feuding with Aries, they were (briefly) playing up this angle that Shelley had to ride Sabin's coattails to succeed and never really accomplished anything without his tag team partner. I had hoped the was going to culminate with Shelley winning the X-division title, but now it seems as if that's not the direction they're going in. So even if the plan isn't for Shelley to take the title from Aires, winning something like this would give him a nice piece of recognition to validate him and prove that he can stand on his own and still be successful before Sabin comes back from his injury.

"Phenom" AJ Jones- My Final Four would be Jeff Hardy, World Champion Booby Roode, James Storm, and & Sting. I know some may disagree with my pick of Sting but he is my all time favorite and I am gonna add him to the tournament and the winner is Jeff Hardy. This has nothing to do with me not liking Storm or Roode cause I do but Jeff Hardy is from North Carolina and my favorite College Basketball team is the University of North Carolina. GO TARHEELS!!!!

Talon- James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and Bully Ray have been the top four stars of the past six months. I don't see this question as a competition rather than as a symbol of who has done more recently. The winner has to be Bobby Roode since he has been the face of the company for the past several months.

What is your favorite March PPV moment from TNA History? (Victory Road or Destination X)

Talon- I have a fondness is my heart for Destination X 2006. It was a loaded card that had a series of great matches. We had a fun 8-Man War, Christian Cage vs Monty Brown, Ultimate X and the debut of Scott Steiner in TNA. The company played it up very well and it was one of the PPVs that really got me hooked on ordering the shows one Sunday a month.

This year's Victory Road PPV was excellent and probably the best show so far of the Bruce Pritchard Era. I felt the final moments of Bobby verbally abusing Dixie was well done even if it had logic gaps.

Big Dawg- My favorite March PPV moment is The Falls Count Anywhere match between Jeff Hardy and Abyss at the 1st Destination X PPV from 2005. The risky high flying stuff that Hardy pulls off in this match is breath-taking. Abyss was very good in this match and was one of his best matches ever.

FK9- Probably the Motor City Machine Guns becoming #1 contenders to the tag team titles by winning the Ultimate-X match against Generation Me at D-X 2010. That match was insane. It wasn't the best Ultimate-X of all time, but it came pretty damn close. And me being the huge MCMG mark that I am, I just loved being witness to the match that put the Guns on the road to finally capturing the tag team titles they deserved for so long.

"Phenom" AJ Jones- Favorite moment would have to be when TNA had their first 3 hour PPV Victory Road. It was a great PPV, and showed what TNA could do and it gave stars like Daniels, Styles, & Kaz a bigger audience to show what they can do in the ring and an opportunity to show off their talents.

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