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31 October 2013

TNA Thursday Randomania - Oct 31, 2013


- The last time we saw AJ Styles, he was driving away in a brand new car while holding up the TNA world title belt in the closing moments of Impact.  Since then, we've been treated to an eventful week that saw the feud between Styles and Dixie Carter take an interesting turn.  For those who haven't been closely following this week's series of events, here's a recap in chronological order:

  • On Saturday afternoon, AJ Styles posted the following on his official Twitter account: "Really looking forward to defending my title around the world.  No worries, I'll bring the belt to you."
  • On Tuesday morning, AAA Executive Vice President Dorian Roldán posted the following on his official Twitter account: "We just received an email from AJ Styles and he wants to defend his TNA championship Sunday in Tonalá. We will announce his opponent today."
  • On Tuesday afternoon, Dixie Carter announced via 24/7 that she has declared the TNA World Heavyweight Championship vacant and that AJ Styles was no longer with the company.
  • On Tuesday evening, AJ Styles posted the following photo on his official Twitter account:


  • Later on Tuesday evening, AJ Styles posted the following on his official Twitter account: "Hey Dixie, AAA says I'm still TNA champ because they have invited me to defend my title this Sunday in Guadalajara."
  • On Tuesday night, AAA Executive Vice President Dorian Roldán closed out the festivities with the following tweet on his official Twitter account: "AJ Styles' challenger for Sunday's championship match will be El Mesias. Great fight!"
  • On Wednesday afternoon, during a staff meeting, Dixie Carter informed her staff via 24/7 that AJ Styles had left TNA and that he was no longer the TNA champion.  She, also, claimed to have reached out to Marisela Peña Roldán of AAA to inform her that AJ Styles can not represent TNA.  And finally, the TNA President revealed the Wheel of Dixie, although she failed to explain what it is exactly.

I have to admit, that's quite a bit of activity since last week's Impact but this is what makes this storyline so exciting.  Like Dixie Carter said last week during the announcement of the 24/7 concept, even though the company has only two hours of television every week, the action never ends.  So I expect the next several weeks will keep us busy here at TNAMecca with the constant updates.  I'm curious, however - and we've discussed this all week - how TNA plans to incorporate all the week's events into the television show.  I hope TNA doesn't expect the fans, who normally only watch Impact, to regularly monitor the internet for updates.  It's simply not smart.  But I will take a wait and see approach and hope that the writers will script a thought-provoking story that any fan, casual or internet, will be able to follow.

- Last week, we saw the debut of Candice LeRae on Impact and I could kick myself because I completely missed it.  She portrayed Dixie Carter's assistant in the backstage segment as the TNA President was presumably talking to her attorney regarding AJ Styles' contract.  Admittedly, I was focused the entire time on Dixie that I didn't even recognize LeRae.  Thankfully, someone enlightened me after the show.  I'm curious to see if this is the beginning of a story arc, similar to that of Miss Tessmacher's, or simply a one-time appearance until the writers can properly introduce her to the Impact Wrestling audience.  I hope it's the former - a heel Dixie could be fun to watch as a merciless boss (a la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada).
UPDATE (6:42 PM EST): I've just been informed by a reliable source that the young woman in the Dixie Carter backstage segment was not Candice LeRae.  My apologies for the confusion.

- I wonder, is there at all a possibility that Dewey Barnes, Norv Fernum, or any other enhancement talent, who wrestles Ethan Carter III, could become recurring characters, at least for the purpose of this angle?  I'm not sure how I feel about it but I must say, both Dewey and Norv got a nice reaction from the crowds in Salt Lake City and San Diego respectively.  The underdog is always a fan favorite and they essentially don't get any more under or dog than Dewey and Norv.  In case you missed it, make sure you check out Dewey Barnes' Inside Impact video in which he proclaims, "Dewey will be back".

- Tonight is the Halloween-themed episode of Impact and I'm most looking forward to see what the best tag team in pro wrestling, Bad Influence, will be wearing.  They've spoiled us with such wonderful get-ups as Harry and Lloyd (of Dumb and Dumber) and the Legion of Doom but I have a feeling tonight's appearance will be just as special.  TNA is, also, teasing an appearance by Abyss, which should be fun, especially since he'll most likely get involved in Bad Influence's business.  Incidentally, this is a feud that hasn't gotten much attention from the fans or media, although my colleague Bigdawg is downright giddy over it.  Bad Influence vs Eric Young and Joseph Park, which officially began during the Bound for Glory pre-show, could be one of those sleeper feuds that sneaks up on us.  Add to it, the Abyss factor and it's a storyline that truly has potential.  At the very least, it appears that the tag team that survives this feud could move on to challenge the tag team champions.

- And finally, one of the most exciting things about TNA currently is the possibility of new talent coming in.  Dixie Carter has mentioned it a few times in the last few weeks and judging by the reactions to Lei'D Tapa and Ethan Carter III, the fans are starving for new faces.  In my opinion, both Tapa's and EC3's introductions have been handled very well so I'm optimistic that the company has finally begun to focus on the backstory of each new character even before they debut.  This is something that we haven't seen in a long time simply because TNA either opted to sign former WWE wrestlers whose characters had already been pre-scripted or recruited talent, or prospects rather, via the Gutcheck concept.  I might delve into this topic deeper at a later time (you can also check out a piece I wrote on Tim Donst a couple of months ago), but for now, I'll briefly suggest two young talents whom I believe TNA should sign.  Firstly, I'd like to see TNA bring in Ryan Nemeth (formerly known as Briley Pierce in NXT) as a buddy of Ethan Carter III's.  For those who don't know, Nemeth is the real life brother of Dolph Ziggler.  And secondly, I'd like to see Willie Mack be given an opportunity simply so I can experience a match between he and Samoa Joe.  The two, incidentally, will be facing off in CWFHollywood on November 3rd.  Hopefully, we will get the rematch on Impact shortly thereafter.

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