Almost a month back, at Destination X, Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship much to the delight of wrestling fans across the globe. CM Punk himself tweetted, “congrats to Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, and Zema Ion. Looks like somebody finally gets it. Kudos.” (It’s certainly nice when a WWE superstar acknowledges a TNA wrestler!).
Let’s look at ‘A Double’s’ career since he returned to TNA. After a few months of fighting mostly Kid Kash and Zema Ion, he got a chance to go after Brian Kendrick’s X Division Championship at No Surrender 2011. Aries won and never looked back.
Aries never looked back because he never got involved in a meaningful feud or never really had a legitimate opponent (from a storyline p.o.v) to drop the strap to! I am not questioning the abilities of Shelley, Sabin and Kash. But these matches were more like bonus material. No story, no heat, and certainly no feud.
They were good matches, no doubt! But as a fan, you never got involved. Worse still, these matches never did anything to build Aries’ character.
Instead of wasting guys like Daniels, Kazarian and even AJ Styles on obnoxious storylines, TNA should have gotten them involved with Aries. That would have been a great opportunity to create feuds, build his character and prepare him for a bigger platform. Switching to World Heavyweight championship would have been a natural progression.
Instead it looked like, “hey lets find an opponent for Bobby till James is ready” and then “hey everyone knows Aries is not going to win, so let’s book him to win.”
There are two tried and tested formulas to carry a wrestling championship.
WWE Style: Create a face and feed him heels.
WCW Style: Create a heel and feed him faces.
Both are good ideas, but there is teeny weeny problem with the second style (which TNA is following currently) One of the faces has to be a genuine threat and must end the streak soon. Storm was and still is the man for that and till he participated in BFG qualifiers, it was all very fine. Then it became predictable and TNA got scared. Besides whom does Roode fight in the interim?
Honestly I don’t know what is wrong with predictability in wrestling. We all predicted Cena’s MITB victory and none of us had an issue with that. The predictability in Storm’s case was also not bad because all of us badly wanted and still want to see him beat Roode. It’s called Fan involvement. It’s good, Dixie. It’s damn good! Cause that would pave way for more interesting matches between these two. Which again is good cause Roode-Storm is the only decent storyline to come out of TNA in ages.
Even if one were to argue that it had nothing to do with predictability factor and that TNA was looking to mix things up, it was still a bad idea. I understand they had already expended guys like Sting, Hardy, Angle, RVD and Anderson. Bringing in Aries didn’t make sense unless he won. Besides you needed someone till Bound for glory. (Or is it that Aries threatened to quit? I mean he signed a 2 year contract immediately, didn’t he?)
But with Storm quietly brewing, I wonder what would happen to Aries unless they do something about his credibility. You see, World Heavyweight Championship and X Division are different ball games altogether. The latter can hold on without storylines. But the former cannot!
If this angle works, (1 month’s already gone!) it would only be because Roode is ‘the most improved wrestler’ today and the best heel in the business right now and in my books, the # 1 contender for the PWI 500 for 2012. To go head to head against Roode, you need to be the exact opposite as a face. Aries isn’t a legitimate face. The crowd loves him for the wrestler he is, but not for the character he isn’t.
All I can say is, sorry about your damn luck Aries!
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