05 April 2014

Behind The Curtain: Q&A Volume III

Welcome to the 3rd Edition of Behind The Curtain, in this Q&A I'll be answer question's concerning the next breakout star, what TNA need to rebuild several division's, the futures of several roster members and much more. So without further delay, lets get to the Q&A.

Thecountofincognito Asks: What do you think the plans will be for Jeff Hardy and Willow going forward? Will Jeff be pulling double duty?

It looks like Hardy will be playing Willow for the foreseeable future. The story seems to be everything that happened before Hardy walked away caused him to be at war with himself in his mind, while he stuck to his beliefs and left, it tormented him that he didn't stay and fight, causing Willow to emerge. Once Willow gets revenge on those who did him wrong, I expect the real Jeff Hardy will appear on our screens again.

Vincent Is Valentine Asks: In regards to the arena bookings, can't TNA just give up on doing the large arenas and settle for the smaller venues?

You'd think that financially, running smaller venues would make sense to them. Rent of the arena would be much cheaper, and depending on the location TNA could probably fill it and create a great atmosphere for the event. If you go back and watch the Old School and Hardcore Justice 3 One Night Only events, apart from the tacky curtain as the entrance for HJ3, the shows looked and sounded pretty good. I said 2 years ago I thought TNA should run smaller venue's for TV's, and try and run bigger venues for PPV's to make the PPV's look and feel like bigger events. With the rumours of them running the Manhatton Centre in the summer, it may be that TNA are going to start moving in that direction.

Ibra Asks:  What do you think TNA will do with Bobby Lashley this time around? Will they put him in a feud with MMA guys like Rampage, King Mo, or Tito Ortiz or with wrestlers on the roster?

I hope they focus on Bobby Lashley the wrestler and not the MMA guy. I'd like to see them give him a couple of feuds where he can show his skills, its seems his feud with EC3 was just a one shot deal to re-introduce him, so right now he's free to work with anyone. Some feuds seem to be coming to and end, so a couple of heels will be freed up to work with him, maybe James Storm, or even possibly Samuel Shaw. I'd like to find out what he can do, so I'd like to see him work a short program with a guy like James Storm and take it from there.

mrCpoprun Asks: With the recent push of Gunner, do you see Gunner being a main player in TNA or will he just be stuck? Honestly he can use his real story for every feud but chances are it might get old for some fans. Thoughts?

I think Gunner can be a main event player in the coming years. He looked like he belonged in the main event scene during his World Title match against Magnus and his match vs James Storm at Lockdown was one of the best matches on the show. With the story, I don't think he can keep using it in other feuds because it can come off preachy and forced, but he could use it for a long term period as a heel. I'm a fan of Gunner, and I very much believe he can be a big time player in the next few years.

Yoworld Asks: Who will be the next breakout male and female wrestler?

I think that out of all the roster, EC3 is certain to be the next breakout star. They guy has the look, the presence, the charisma, the in-ring skill and the promo ability. He really strikes me as being the next big star in TNA, and I don't think he has to do much more until TNA give him the chance to step up and work as a main eventer. As for the women, it's pretty difficult seeing as every woman on the roster bar Brittany is a former Knockouts Champion, and because I've only seen Brittany in a brief match I can't tell you whether or not she will be the next breakout star. I could expand to the indy's, but its all about opportunity, somebody has to be picked up by either WWE or TNA to even have the chance to breakout, and I really don't know who it will be.

Paul Asks: What's happened to Garett Bichoff and Wes Brisco? Obviously the Aces and Eights ended but I thought there were makings of a half decent tag team there. Can you see them returning?

Wes Brisco was released a few months ago, while Bischoff is sat at home waiting to either be released or brought back. With Brisco they gave him a chance and he didn't capitalise on it, maybe they had faith in him by putting him against Kurt Angle at Lockdown, or maybe it was intentional sabotage, one way or another I don't think he showed enough skill for TNA to consider bringing him back in the future. As for Bischoff, I don't know, personally I don't see him coming back, on the other hand if they were going to release him they would have done so already, though they may be waiting for his contract to run out and not renew. From my POV, I think Garett's TNA run is over.

Ibra Asks: What are the things TNA must do to rebuild their X Division, Knockouts Division and Tag Team Division?

There are two things they must do If they want to truly rebuild those divisions, dedicate TV time to the divisions and add depth to each division's roster. There seems to be plans to do it with the Knockouts division, which has needed new blood for a while. The X Division seems to be getting an international flavour, Sanada and Tigre Uno are good starting blocks, and along with the re-boot of Kenny King and names like Manik and DJ Z on the roster, they only need to add a couple of others to really have a solid X division roster. 

The tag division need several new teams, right now the only teams are the Wolves and the BroMans, with Bad Influence on the sidelines. Maybe theirs something to the Wolves mentioning Generation Me, them returning with maybe two other teams would really ignite the tag division. The problem is time, TNA haven't got enough TV time to feature all three of those divisions, and if they did they would have to sacrifice time thats already dedicated to some others on Impact Wrestling. I think the only way all three of the divisions get a full rebuild is if they get a second show, because right now 2 hours a week isn't enough time to feature them along with everything else that's already going on in TNA.

Vincent Is Valentine Asks: Can TNA please stop relying so much on Twitter and Facebook for their promotional strategy?

Social Media is a great and costless way to promote themselves, however I know what your saying, because it seems to be the only real promotion they do. A gripe I've had with TNA for years is their marketing, the old saying is you only get out what you put it, so it should be no surprise if TNA don't put much into promotion, they don't get any real increase in business. I think while their use Twitter and Facebook to promote the company is good, they need to invest as much time in conventional promotional methods as they do in Social Media promotion.

mrCpoprun Asks:  Do you think TNA should keep or cut ties with MMA stars King Mo and Rampage Jackson who are still on the roster? I can see the argument for both sides but at this point of time isn't it just dead money.

I think they should, King Mo has been with the company for almost 2 years and has made the same amount of appearances in that time. While Rampage had a run for a few months, they pulled him back in the summer and he hasn't been seen since. If both guys are focused on MMA, which they clearly are, just keep them as MMA guys. My take is that their contracts are with Viacom/Spike, and the deal is once they retire from MMA they can move into wrestling, and the training they are doing now is basic training so their isn't a big gap between their last MMA fight and them making their debut in TNA. Them being on the Impact roster page seems to me like simply a formality in their Viacom/Spike contracts.

Marcus G Asks: After their performances at Lockdown how great of an Impact do you think Sanada and Tigre Uno will have in regards to refreshing the X-Division this year?

I think both will make a big splash in the X Division and set the stage for the division to take a more international theme. I think they are going to bring back the fast paced style that the division hasn't had for the last several years, If bringing in Sanada from Wrestle-1 is a catalyst to introducing a sort of open door policy to the division so we can see top US and International talents come in and out of the X Division, then we will certainly witness the division getting its long needed reboot.

Kyle Williamson Asks: Do you think Bully Ray's Casket match with Mr. Anderson was to "bury" his evil persona?

I think he said that it was the “career flash in-front of your eyes” moment. If the plan all along was to do the Casket match and have it be the turning point for the Bully face turn, then I give TNA credit for a pretty smart way to give the character a 180 twist and for an even cooler visual.

Jetstream Rev Asks: There's been a lot of talk and a lot of uncertainty around the status of A Double and Bad Influence over the next few weeks. If they do decide to leave the company, do you think it will be too detrimental a loss for TNA to recover from or does TNA have enough talent (Samuel Shaw, EC3, Bobby Lashley) to keep the train going?

I think over the last year TNA has proven that no matter who leaves the company, they can keep the train going. Personally I hope Bad Influence and Austin Aries stay with TNA, as Daniels & Kazarian should be involved in the Tag scene right now, while Aries can work with either the X Division or the Heavyweights.

Ibra Asks:  What do you think TNA is going to do with a heel James Storm after his feud with Gunner? Singles push or back into the tag team scene since he has the briefcase?

I've really enjoyed Storm as a heel so far, so I think he'll stay as a singles guy for a while, but like you said with the briefcase, its inevitable he'll form a tag team to cash in his briefcase, and hopefully its a Beer Money Reunion.

Vincent Is Valentine Asks: Is there some sort of pattern going on with TNA working alongside Wrestle-1, while ROH partners up with NJPW? I mean what next? An ROH/CMLL to coincide with TNA/AAA?

I really think its just a coincidence. Wrestle-1 were actively looking for a partner in the US, and wanted to work with TNA, while the ROH/NJPW deal probably came about with NJPW looking to get some exposure in the US, and ROH benefiting by being able to bring some top Japanese talent and put on some appealing cards, and sell out several shows because of it. As for the TNA/AAA relationship, I think thats over, the only thing that kept that relationship going was Jeff Jarrett, and with him gone and supposedly starting his own promotion, I think the TNA/AAA partnership is done.

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