09 September 2013

The Divided States of TNA

Factions, factions, factions. It was all the rage in late 90's wrestling and it seems like TNA has always made them a big part of their show. When things get dull TNA forms a group, sometimes out of nowhere with guys that have little in common (eg. Immortal), and we get a takeover angle with lots of beat downs and run ins. Currently, TNA has the Aces and Eights doing a takeover, the response was the Main Event Mafia opposing them and now we see E.G.O forming because Bobby Roode, Chris Daniels and Kazarian need back up. Most fans have groaned and complained about the amount of factions in TNA right now, but it's noting new. Back in 2003 we had S.E.X (Sports Entertainment Xtreme),  Extreme Revolution,  3 Live Kru, Disciples of the New Church, and The Gathering. I like factions and I think they serve a purpose as TNA's roster is too big for a two hour show, it gets wrestlers involved that otherwise may have been left out. In the Asylum days, it was a way to bring in outsiders and use them because they were "part of the group" - we saw it with the first group of ex ECW wrestlers that came in then as part of Extreme Revolution. Factions create merchandise opportunities as well (we all know it's all about merchandise sales these days). If all the guys wear the same shirt, fans want to wear it as well so they too can join the group, it was a huge seller for the nWo back in the day. But with TNA forming so many different groups, it seems silly to make so many T-shirts... anyone still have a Fortune shirt? How about that Front Line shirt? I think factions are a necessity in TNA because we need a Lethal Lockdown match every year and it would seem strange to haphazardly throw 8-10 guys in a match so brutal without having each others back, so I don't think they are going away anytime soon. So this got me thinking, with the return of the Main Event Mafia, what other old TNA factions could they bring back? Personally, I think there are some that could be a really good fit in the current TNA universe, so get your crew together, wear all the same shirt, expand the cage to fit about 100 people and lets look at three factions I would like to see return to TNA.

Sports Entertainment Xtreme

S.E.X! Now that I've got your attention, lets talk a little TNA history shall we? Led by Vince Russo, Sports Entertainment Xtreme were a group of guys and gals who were trying to inject some "sports entertainment" into the traditional pro wrestling show that was NWA-TNA at the time. They did this by trying to get girls to take their tops off, tearing down the set, running rough shot over the talent and making us watch Disco Inferno. The whole "sports entrainment vs. pro wrestling" argument still goes on today between fans and critics alike. You have fans that say that TNA needs to be a "pro wrestling product", basically a show built around in ring action, titles and very little talking. While others say they need to be more like WWE with storylines, drama and lots of interviews. TNA tends to walk a fine line between the two most weeks and I think lately, has leaned a little more towards a pro wrestling show. Enter S.E.X. Now I don't think Russo could be the guy to lead the group, but what about someone else taking over the reigns, Joey Ryan perhaps? I know he's off the roster, but it's not like he's anywhere else. Who better to lead S.E.X than the king of sleaze? Perhaps a group of guys get together, sick of being left off the show and go into business for themselves trying to bring dirty sports entertainment to the now squeaky clean TNA. I'm not saying it would be a main event angle, but it could be something for some undercard guys like the aforementioned Ryan, Kenny King and Zema Ion. Hell, even bring in Rhett Titus, he'd be a good fit. The antics would likely make them baby-faces eventually, but then you can sell shirts that say "SEX" on them. We all know we want it!

World Elite

Ah yes, remember this group? 2009 saw Eric Young take a serious turn as he shaved his head, turned heel and formed a group with wrestlers from all around the world. What was cool about this group was that it wasn't the typical anti-United States group trying to prove their country's superiority over the Americans, they were guys from all over trying to prove that EVERYWHERE was better than the United States. Definitely a different take on the angle, and I think one that could be brought back and help give TNA fans something they have been begging for: international talent. Let's say Magnus (who was part of the original group) parts ways with the Main Event Mafia; interestingly enough a former ally and rival to the World Elite; and brings in guys from all around the world to stand by his side to try and win all the titles. TNA could reach out to Great Muta's new group Wrestle-1 or maybe Pro Wrestling NOAH for a Japanese talent, then give AAA or CMLL a call and get a luchadore, you have a Brit and maybe add a Canadian (there are many to choose from on the roster). This would lead to fresh match ups with new talent being introduced. It would also protect the guys who may not be able to speak English as the group could do the talking for them. Plus, those jumpsuits they had were pretty bad ass, I wonder if Magnus still has his.

The Disciples of the New Church

I really miss Father James Mitchell, I was glad to see him at Hardcore Justice 2 and I wanted more. His group of "disciples" were mostly comprised of Brian Lee (aka UnderFaker aka Chainz) and Slash (from the tag team PG-13) who were a pretty damn good team back then, tearing the house down with America's Most Wanted. However, there were a revolving cast of characters that would come along including Vampiro and the late Mike Awesome. I think TNA could use an answer to WWE's Wyatt Family and Jim Mitchell could very well out do Bray Wyatt on the mic when it comes to being scary. Judas Mesias comes to mind when I think of a return of this group. I don't know why TNA didn't save the Joseph Parks/Jim Mitchell thing for Bound for Glory instead of on a taped PPV not many would see - talk about burning money. Nonetheless, I think Jim Mitchell leading a band of baddies that inflicts pain and suffering on the TNA roster would be something different in the current TNA scene, as there is no one particularly scary on the roster. Unless you count ODB that is.

If the Aces and Eights is winding down come Bound for Glory, then there won't be much use for the Main Event Mafia, which leaves room for some new groups to form in TNA. All these factions mentioned above would have unique personalities and agendas, so even if they were brought in all at once, they wouldn't bleed into each other or get people confused as to who is with who. I also think it could create opportunities for new talent to emerge and some old faces to return. So I leave it to you, the readers of TNAMecca, what do you guys think of factions in TNA? Overdone? What are some of your favorite groups from the past? Are there any you'd like to see return? If someone says the "Kongtorage" I will high five you. Alright, let's all climb out of the cage because it's getting hot in here and my faction t-shirt has sweat stains. Till next time...

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