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Bobby Roode is Definitely Not Your TNA Champion – The Panther Plex

Kurt Angle Hulk HoganA very peculiar thing happened at the first TNA Wrestling Impact taping last night following the company’s Superbowl event, Bound For Glory, which saw an injured Kurt Angle dispatch a hyped and heavily favored Bobby Roode relatively quickly and without run-in. If you guessed that Roode was granted a rematch for the belt because of the controversial ending and won it, you’d be oh so close, but still wrong.

Hate Impact or love ’em, you have to appreciate the surprise, decisive ending to the television show directly following one of the most hyped pay-per-views of the year.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING SPOILER ALERT WARNING HERE

As part of the immediate fallout of Bound For Glory, Sting defeated Hulk Hogan and regained control of the company. In one of his first actions as acting Commissioner, he granted the fans a fresh main event title match that pitted Kurt Angle against Beer Money and Fortune stalwart James Storm. In a match that started so late it had to have had a crash ending feel written all over it, Storm got the win over Angle in around three minutes to capture his first TNA World Title.

Fellow Fortune members AJ Styles, Kazarian, and Bobby Roode joined him in the ring as Storm gave a thank you speech to the Impact Zone faithful as they belted out “you deserved it!” in unison. Honestly, it had to have been a hell of a show to be at live, but it really begs the question now…what happened to Robert Roode?

We need to first address the rumors that Hogan, at the last second, squashed Roode’s very likely title win so the biggest pop that night at Bound For Glory would be his when he turned on Immortal to join Sting and fight them off. While it’s definitely possible that because of Hogan’s clout he did have a huge say in the match ending, I doubt he utilized them for such selfish reasons. Audibles like that are sometimes called when the match ending seems so obvious that a swerve is necessary to keep fans on their feet and continue the story (even I thought Beth Phoenix was winning that strap in Buffalo). The biggest pop? Come on, wrestling fans, do you actually believe that? It’s not 1990 anymore.

Those must’ve been the same fans that believed Alberto Del Rio would be welcomed as a grandiose champion down in Mexico and it actually mattering that he was champion at the time. When John Cena came out to fight Del Rio and Michael Cole that night in Mexico City, I believe that was the loudest reaction for Cena I’ve heard in a long time.

Either way you cut it, some fans will still see Roode as a guy who got screwed over. I won’t lie–I went halfsies on the 50 dollar PPV the other night, partly to see the Hogan spectacle, partly to see AJ Styles and Mr. Anderson, but mostly to watch, in crystal high definition, Bobby Roode have that defining moment of the year. That changing of the guard that was inevitably delayed all but four days.

I’ve been swept up in the overreaction of a show myself, but let’s not completely discount Roode and his clear spot as a guy who will be part of the new guard very soon. It’s just that at this point I see both Roode and Storm as guys who are interchangeable. They feed off each others strengths and weaknesses, which is why they were such a dynamic tag team. I don’t think it’s debatable that James Storm brings the brawling, character gimmick while Roode reads more like the pure, visceral wrestler hell bent on perfection.

Not to mention both guys have forged solid TNA track records, and neither is considered a WWE hand-me-down.

I know the biggest complaint in this booking will be the fact that Roode survived this long, convoluted Bound For Glory series, only to see the penultimate finale washed away by a finish that would make Christian shake his head. Can we all agree that the BFG series was a bust? When you consider that the rules were made up on the fly, three guys were legitimate injured during the chase, and the format completely overshadowed three other PPVs and stunted their stories, you can’t help but say this looked far better on paper but suffered severely in execution. And with the rumors of several guys receiving immediate pushes, the writing was clearly on the wall that Robert Roode was winning that thing after the prelims.

James Storm finished strong in 4th place, barely losing out to Bully Ray in the semifinals. James Storm, in today’s wrestling climate, is more marketable as a headliner than Bobby Roode. James Storm has various t-shirts about beer and catchphrases that’ll make Tim Tebow’s liver quiver. James Storm is a TNA original.

Hey, I enjoy Robert Roode as much as you do. I hate to be “that” guy, but let’s see how this one actually plays out. It seems apparent that Roode and Storm have graduated from the tag division for the time being, and while that’s a crying shame, let’s wait at least a little bit for the eventual foreigner heel turn by Roode.

Or until Angle is back in a month and a half to take the belt back. Robert Roode…sorry, about your damn luck!

Joe Leininger lives in Jacksonville, FL via the greater Philadelphia area. He dabbles in all things sports, pro wrestling, and television, and more of his work can be found at The Playing Field Blog and DestiGeddon.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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