08 October 2014

Plot Points: Summer In The City

As we approach the Bound for Glory PPV, it's time to take a look back at TNA's successful Summer in the City. Since taking up temporary residence in New York City for the past couple of months, TNA Impact has become must-see TV for any wrestling fan! The in-ring action has been top-notch, as usual (and there's been plenty of it!), and the storylines have really shined. Here are the five plots that have me glued to my TV every week:

The Top Five Storylines That Have My Interest

5) The Tag Team Championship Series: This has been, quite simply, awesome to watch. The plot itself is pretty vanilla ("Hey, let's me and you fight!"), but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up for with characters. Team 3D and the Hardy Boyz are legendary tag teams, and the Wolves are getting there. Even though none of the three teams are playing outright heels, the Wolves are the consummate underdog babyfaces. They are so talented and so earnest in their fight against legendary odds that it's impossible not to cheer for them.

I am both excited and regretting the upcoming culmination of this storyline. Excited because it has been so perfectly played out that the anticipation for the final match is so hot it's like a volcano ready to erupt; it's going to be an exciting finish. Regretting because it will soon be over, and I'm going to miss the action. Plus, how do you top this?

4) The Ever Darker Path of EC3: Ethan Carter III is quickly turning into one of my favorite TNA characters. (I'll admit, I've had a soft spot for him ever since he mistook me for his latest jobber victim when I first met him back stage at a TNA Live event shortly after his TNA debut.) He is capable of playing the over-the-top goofy heel and the darkly sinister heel equally well, sometimes both in the same segment!

Since his Auntie Dixie was put through the table by Bully Ray, Ethan's character has leaned ever-increasingly towards the darker side. He first turned on Rhyno, and now Spud. The story has grown organically from the Dixie/Bully feud, and it keeps moving forward in interesting directions.

3) Cry Havok!: The Knockout Division really is full of talented women, but it really needed a shot in the arm creatively. All the storylines felt like the same old thing. Enter Havok. She is definitely different from the rest of the Knockouts in every measurable way.

Havok's introduction was perfect. Everything about her, from her look to her size to her wrestling style, screams monster heel. She's intimidating as hell, and the fans instantly cheer for anybody going up against her. Just look how quickly the fans forgot about Evil Gail and are now backing her 100% when she battles Havok. Very well done, and I'm definitely looking forward to watching where they take the character. (The only negative vibe I've gotten from the Havok storyline is the fact that this is exactly how TNA should have handled Lei'D Tapa when she was on the roster. She was perfect for this role.)

2) The Debut of the Great Sanada: This has been one of my favorite plots of the summer. TNA has successfully transformed Sanada from "Flippy Japanese Dude" to something much darker and with much more depth. I'll admit, I do sometimes miss the more exciting style Sanada used to employ in the ring, but I do find his recent matches much more engaging.

The part of this story that really grabbed me, however, was the addition of Manik to the stable. I honestly did not see that one coming. Manik has never really had a character beyond his mask (and the mystery of who was wearing it at various times), and I really enjoyed seeing him develop a bit here. I'm really intrigued to see where they go with this one. Who else might James Storm add to his stable?

And, hey, Sharkboy! Hilarious, as always. He's not in the best shape these days, but he even used that as part of the story in his match. Loved it!

1) Who Will Stop Lashley?: Bobby Lashley has continued to destroy all challengers, and he grows more impressive with each match. He seems realistically unbeatable, and it's totally believable that nobody would want to challenge him at this point. And the crowd is totally buying into it! Bobby Roode turned face so face he almost suffered whiplash, but nobody even blinked because they wanted to see Lashley beaten so bad that they would cheer for anybody. Any match with Lashley in it at this point will generate tons of interest and any face going up against him will quickly win over the fans. It's been amazing to watch!

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