22 August 2014

Is Bram TNA's New Monster?

You can't help but be impressed with the remarkable fire and intensity in Bram's eyes.  It's undeniable that Bram is one of TNA's best talent pick-ups in a long time.  In my mind, he's just as valuable as EC3 in that respect.  It's rare to find a bright, young talent like Thomas Raymond Latimer (his real name which is even listed on his Twitter account) that is willing to take the physical risks in the ring as he has lately in his hardcore matches with Abyss.  He seemingly is afraid of absolutely nothing.  There are no limits to how crazy he is willing to get while performing.  I admit that I was kind of skeptical of yet another ex-WWE wrestler coming into TNA when he was first signed.  However, as a loyal TNA fan, I was willing to give him a fair chance to prove himself on IMPACT.  He has exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.  I am 100% sold on him being a superstar for TNA well into the future.  Let's not forget that he hasn't gotten to this point on his own.  The Monster Abyss has personally put him over more than any other wrestler that I can recall. 

Bram and Abyss' hardcore matches have been head-turningly awesome, especially the one-on-one Monsters Ball and Stairway to Janice bouts.  The bumps that The Crazy Hooligan (a little nickname I like to use for him) has taken recently taken have been bloody and respect-earning type of spots.  When he flew back-first into the barbed wire table last Wednesday with no protection I literally grabbed my face with both hands and uttered a "Whoooooooaaaaaaaa!"  I don't naturally do that when watching pro-wrestling very often.  It was a spot that you rarely see in this business and he ended up with a huge lateral gash across his shoulder blades and spine for his efforts.  I was shocked and amazed at his level of pain tolerance to say the least.  Even the most jaded TNA-hater would have to agree that Bram's spot was impressive and hardcore.  And that's just the thing: Bram is earning adulation from all of the people that have seen his matches with Abyss.  Their matches have trended on Twitter and got fans talking.  It's his first TNA feud with real substance, as I thought the Willow/Magnus stuff never really got over.

Speaking of Magnus, this next part might piss off a few people but I'm going to say it anyway.  Bram is better than Magnus.  Even in just the few months that I have been privy to The Crazy Holligan's work, he has impressed me more than Magnus has in the space of several years.  He has "That Thing" that draws you in and makes you want to see more.  It cannot be taught, it just is either there or not there.  Bram has that.  Yes, his move-set probably needs a little work and he hasn't had many singles matches yet, but sometimes you just know when you see a wrestler that oozes potential and Latimer fits the bill.  Not that Magnus is bad mind you, but he just doesn't get me excited or move the meter like Bram does and will in the future.  I fully believe that Thomas Latimer is a future TNA World Champion.

So why am I talking about Bram on an "Into the Abyss" column?  The reason is because we are seeing Abyss pass the hardcore torch to this man with each passing week.  In my last column of this series, I expressed my displeasure for how Abyss had been booked in the last 6 months  That opinion has now totally done an about-face in the last few weeks.  I mentioned in that same piece that Abyss might be moving into the role of putting Bram over, and boy, has he ever.  To have Bram capture Abyss' girl, Janice, and keep her as a trophy has never been done before.  The hook for me in this regard is that The Crazy Hooligan actually wants and desires Janice.  No other wrestler has ever sought after taking Abyss' signature board with giant nails away from him before.  Just picture Bram bringing Janice home to his wife Charlotte (Ashley Fliehr) and screaming out, with those blazing eyes, "Janice sleeps in our bed now!!!"  He's done such a great job with his character that it's hard to imagine him not being a cannon ball of fury at all times, even in his personal life. 

The vehicle that brought Bram in to TNA was being cast as Magnus' childhood friend that showed up on IMPACT to toughen up the Brit and bring out his vicious side.  If I was a betting man (and I am), I'd wager that eventually Magnus and Bram will feud with each other.  It's inevitable that this will happen, whether it's 3 months down the road or even as long as a year plus away.  My prediction is that Bram will go over Magnus and be in the main event picture.  I simply think that Bram will outshine Magnus over time.  He has the intangibles and the barbaric persona to be a main event player.  Of course, he needs to diversify his portfolio and have more singles matches to get to that point, but things are already starting to trend that way.  His program with Abyss is most likely starting to come to an end, and it has been a very enjoyable feud so far to watch unfold.  Some day we're going to look back fondly on the Abyss/Bram matches and say, "That's when Bram really started to take off".  I firmly believe that TNA has found their new hardcore monster with massive potential.  Look into his eyes and tell me I'm not right.  He is ferocity and savagery personified.

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