Just when you thought it was safe to click on the site, I’m back to bring you some ranting, raving and very little positivity. Thanks to everyone who read the article I wrote last week about who I reckon should have a WWE/World Title run in 2013. Some of you agreed, some didn’t. That’s cool. Everyone has their opinion. As long as you talked about it, that’s all I care about.
This week, I’m gonna shoot a wee bit on TNA. Not because it’s cool to do it, but because they’re the most frustrating wrestling company in the world. They’ve got a dynamite roster, stacked with talented guys and gals, but sometimes they fuck it up beyond all belief. They did it last year with the whole clusterfuck of the AJ Styles/Crack-Whore Claire storyline and they’ve done it again with Aces & 8’s.
Last June, Sting was attacked by some bikers as he discussed his induction into the TNA Hall of Fame. It was quality. Sting got wiped out by these 3 masked dudes and nobody had any clue who they were. Normally there are spoilers all over the shop, but there was no set answer about who these guys were. TNA did an excellent job of keeping their identities secret, which is a difficult thing to do nowadays.
Over the next few months, they ran roughshod over Impact, attacking pretty much anyone they wanted to, and their numbers increased. It was genius, and still nobody knew who was behind it. Most of the guesses I’d heard were the names you’d expect: Hogan, Bischoff, Jarrett, Abyss etc, but we had no proof it was any of them.
Not content with wiping Sting out, they took out Hogan too, which is a win in my book brrrrotherrr! I’m gonna steal a line from Greg here, but the Rabid Walrus gets right on my tits. Honestly. I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was 5 years old (that’s 25+ years to this point) and I’ve never given a fuck about Hogan once. I still don’t. And it’s not cos it’s “cool” to hate him. I don’t hate him. I just don’t see what the fuss is about. Granted, his WWF theme was class, but his recent sex tape brings a whole new meaning to the words “when it comes crashing down and it hurts inside”. I always liked guys like Savage, Steamboat, Piper and Rude, so it pissed me off when douchebags like Hogan and Warrior got all the attention. Admittedly, I’m not a wrestler, but I reckon I could put on a better match than that fucknugget Hogan. Anyway, kinda gone off topic a wee bit here, but as Hogan got wiped out, Sting came back around the same time and the feud with Aces & 8’s continued.
Hogan returned, as he inevitably does, and he went on some kind of fucking crusade against the biker gang brrrotherrr, because they’d captured Joe Park. Eventually, a match was made between Sting and a partner of his choice, against Aces & 8’s at Bound for Glory. In the lead-up, things got physical and Hogan decided to swing a baseball bat at 3 members of the group. That’s not a euphemism by the way! He missed every single one of them by about 4 feet. I know he’s not “really” meant to hit them, but come on. Make it look realistic you crippled moustachioed fuck!
It got worse at Bound for Glory. TNA had spent 4 months building up Aces & 8’s as this “unstoppable” group and they won their match at the PPV. I bet you’re sitting there saying “what the hell are you moaning about?” I’ll tell you. Post match, the Hulkster decided to walk to the ring. Three and a half hours later, he wiped out a few members of Aces & 8’s. Brilliant. This “tough” gang were seen off by a decrepit shell of a man who could barely walk. Awesome. Way to make them look strong. Sting and his partner, Bully Ray, were in the ring with a masked member of the group and Hogan eventually joined them. They unmasked the dude to reveal none other… than D-Von Dudley. Yup. D-Von Fucking Dudley. A man who’s got almost as many scars on his face than Dusty Rhodes, but nowhere near the legacy of “The Dream”. I wish that reveal was a dream I tell ya. It’d probably have still been the same fucking nightmare.
Honestly. D-Von Dudley? What the fuck is that about? TNA had 4 whole months to come up with a better first reveal than a tag-team wrestler who’s done the precise sum of hee-haw as a singles star. Even the crowd at Bound for Glory were chanting “This is awkward”. Damn right it was. I was speechless, and not in a good way. Instead of moaning about it, I decided to wait and see how things panned out. I wish I hadn’t. I should’ve just vented then. If I had, then maybe I wouldn’t be as pissed off as I am now, or on the verge of some kind of aneurysm.
Since Bound for Glory, Aces & 8’s have lost a hell of a lot of their momentum. Why? Because of the D-Von reveal and the fact they’ve lost more matches than they’ve won (for the most part). It doesn’t give us a reason to watch. We’ve been shortchanged with this angle. Instead of getting that big, shocking reveal we’ve ended up with D-Von. I can hear you now – “but George, surely there are bigger plans?” Really? You’re gonna say that. Really? Fucksake.
I’m only going by what I’ve seen. D-Von was the first reveal. Since then, Aces & 8’s have lost the vast majority of their matches, which is just mind-blowing. If you want a group to look dominant, then keep some form of undefeated streak going and unmask members as genuine threats. After the shock of seeing D-Von as a major part of this heel group, the next reveal we got was even worse! On November 1st, after a brawl between the TNA roster and Aces & 8’s, big Joe Park unmasked Drew Hankinson as the next member of the Sons of Anarchy group, I mean Aces & 8’s. Who’s Drew Hankinson? He was the fake Kane, Luke Gallows, Festus. Yup. Fucking Festus. A man who had played the gimmick of a complete retard in WWE for years was now a big, tough guy that you shouldn’t fuck with. I’d have just played “Biscuits and Gravy” to see if he’d have gone back into a trance. It’d be better than him looking like he’s trying to force out a troublesome turd every time he talks.
So, at that point in November, Aces & 8’s had been losing matches left, right and centre and we’d had the worthwhile reveals of Festus and D-Von (aka Biscuits and Gravy Dudley), with no end in sight. We were approaching 6 months of this storyline at that point, and we only knew 2 members of the group. To say they weren’t exciting would be an understatement. In the midst of all this, TNA went back to taping Impact. Great. Now instead of wanting to see what happened the next week, I could go back to a dirtsheet and see what the script was. If it was shit, I missed it. I ain’t wasting my time watching something that isn’t worth it.
Aces & 8’s losing streak continued at Final Resolution. Before the PPV, Samoa Joe had lost his TV Title to D-Von on an episode of Impact. He was involved in a few brawls between the bikers and Kurt Angle, Garett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe, so an 8-man tag-team match was made for the PPV, pitting (for lack of a better term) Team Angle against Aces & 8’s. What happened? Yup. You guessed it. Angle’s team won. How the fuck are you supposed to take a heel faction seriously when GARETT FUCKING BISCHOFF has a victory over them. Garett Bischoff, a man who couldn’t even win his fucking Gutcheck match, was part of the team that won. Garett Bischoff. A man who has to wear shoes that fasten with Velcro because he’s too fucking thick to know how to tie his laces. Garett Bischoff. A man who has to use plastic cutlery in case he does himself a mischief with the real thing. Well shit the bed. If Aces & 8’s were hanging on to any shred of credibility before Final Resolution, it was gone afterwards. The only thing that could’ve made it worse would be if Bischoff had have got the winning pinfall.
Admittedly I missed a couple of episodes of Impact over Xmas/New Year, but I’ve seen what’s happened since then. Apparently Ken Anderson is now a part of the group (go figure?), the Stinger has returned after being wiped out by Festus and he unmasked a third member of Aces & 8’s. I can hear your questions now. Who was it George? Was it a big name to kick off the New Year in style? In a word – no. It wasn’t. Bear in mind that the first 2 reveals were D-Von and Festus. The man revealed on last week’s episode of Impact was… Mike Knox. Basically a glorified jobber. Imagine Garett Bischoff with a beard and ‘roided up. You got the picture now? Yup. That’s him. So TNA’s reveals so far have been a has-been tag-team wrestler and two never-were jobbers from WWE. Brilliant. A masterful move from everyone involved. That’s us up to date with Hell’s Angels… I mean Aces & 8’s. Dammit, why does that keep happening.
I know that you’re probably saying “give it a chance, it hasn’t been that bad”, and part of me reckons you’ve got a point. However, as brilliant as this angle was when it started off, it’s really cooled down now to the point where it’s almost become a bad joke. They had so much momentum, but the unveiling of D-Von killed it. Nothing against the guy himself, he’s probably a sound lad, but it just wasn’t a big enough reward for the build it got. Same with Festus and Mike Knox. It’s fallen flat on its face now, so badly that it’s almost as if Vince Russo has snuck back in to TNA Creative meetings.
There has to be a point to this whole thing. TNA have to give us some big names behind it, but the problem is; who would actually shock us? Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff, Sting, Abyss and Hulk Hogan are too obvious and we’ve seen that before. Bobby Roode is too predictable as well, and if Garett Bischoff ends up being involved with it in any way, shape or form, it’s a disgrace. Fucking waste of skin and bones that he is. TNA don’t have the money to bring in someone who could make it believable, which would be fine if they hadn’t wasted the last 3 or 4 months on D-Von, Festus or Mike Knox. Instead of doing that, they could’ve just revealed one of the obvious 5. I’d have been disappointed, but at least it would’ve made some kind of sense. Going forward, I’m resigned to the fact that the reveal, whatever it is, won’t have been worth the wait. That’s what pisses me off. It started off as something, but it’ll end up as nothing.
That’s what’s really ground my gears about Aces & 8’s, but what about you guys? Have I gone overboard (which never happens), or are you on the same page as me? You know the drill. Hit me up on Twitter @george_sltd with your PoV, or leave your thoughts in the shiny, new-fangled comment box below. Until next time bitches, this is SLTD’s resident Scottish Nightmare signing off.