11 June 2014

Bram: Bringing Method to the Magnus?

When Magnus pitched his tent in Dixie Land and snatched the World Title from the reach of Jeff Hardy at Final Resolution, I had high hopes for his tenure as Champion.  Magnus appeared to be the embodiment of TNA's new youth movement, a guy with all the tools needed to spearhead and usher in this fresh new direction.

Although the Reign of Magnus looked good on paper, as a viewer I felt that Magnus was only a bit-player in the paper champion storyline when he should have been the hood ornament.

Whilst Magnus should be proud of his portrayal of a paper champion, the circumstances surrounding this angle often meant that Magnus was seldom the focal point of his matches or title defenses.  With the exception of his loss to Eric Young, I struggle to recall a single match in which Magnus was afforded the opportunity to shine on his own.

Dixie Carter, EC3, Rockstar Spud, The BroMans, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Bad Influence, Abyss; all of them (and more that I have probably forgotten) had a hand in keeping the belt around Magnus' waist by running interference in his matches.  In virtually every match during his time as champion, Magnus was forced to share the limelight and the heat with someone else, or in some cases completely outshone by the likes of Bobby Roode.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the rationale behind these decisions as they were trying to push the paper champion story, but towards the end of his reign I couldn't help but become disinterested in these antics each and every week.  I began to feel fairly lukewarm towards the whole affair, a problem compounded by the fact that I was never quite sure where they were going with Magnus' character development.  Right off the bat they were teasing friction between Magnus and EC3, followed by arguments with Dixie Carter, Bobby Roode, Abyss.  

It made it somewhat difficult to commit to hating him completely as the top heel of the company.  Instead he looked like a wrestler suffering from a crisis of identity.

It is for this reason that I welcome Bram's arrival with both elation and a certain degree of trepidation.

If there is one thing that Bram is not, it is a wrestler suffering from an identity crisis.  The only way they could make his character any more obvious is if they made him walk to the ring wearing a sandwich board with "I LIKE TO HURT PEOPLE" printed on it.  Bram is essentially a nutjob that likes to make his opponents suffer between the ropes.  Simple, no nonsense, clearly defined.

As we have learnt, Bram and Magnus go way back.  Sick of the sight of what Magnus has become, Bram has come to TNA to bring back the old Magnus, to the way he was when the pair of them first started out together in the UK.  For the past several weeks, Bram has been goading Magnus to unleash his visceral side and inflict some serious damage on someone inside the ring, and last Thursday it finally paid off when Magnus took a pry bar to a prone Willow.

Whilst I have read a lot of favourable things about Bram as a character, the impression I get from Twitter and other sites is that a lot of fans were left generally apathetic towards Magnus' actions on Thursday.  I can certainly appreciate this viewpoint, but I strongly feel that Thursday marked an important change in the future of Magnus' character development.

Failing to get over with the crowd as a top face during his time with the Main Event Mafia, and never being given the opportunity to stand on his own two feet as the top heel when he was World Champion, if there is one person on the TNA roster that needs a definite direction then it is Magnus.

Given how strong a character Bram is, I believe that he is the ideal person to provide Magnus with this direction and give him an edge, a nasty streak, that is long overdue.  I have not read the spoilers for the final taped show that airs on Thursday, so I have no idea what the next step in this story is, but I am very excited to find out what the fall-out will be.

Magnus' actions on Thursday may not have gripped everyone by the short and curlies just yet, but I foresee great things on the horizon.  The Gunner/James Storm feud took weeks (even months) to come to fruition, and it ended up being one of the greatest rivalries in recent memory.  I have my fingers crossed that this partnership with Bram will provide Magnus with a similarly career defining chapter.

That being said, I will be watching this partnership unfold with baited breath.  A lot of people have been comparing Bram's arrival to that of EC3; a wrestler that knows his character inside and out and plays it to perfection.  Just as EC3 had a meteoric rise in popularity to become arguably the most entertaining member of #TeamDixie, a part of me wonders whether Magnus will once again be playing second fiddle to a new fan favourite...

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