29 April 2015

The Fall of the BroMan Empire

The TNA tag team division has changed a lot over the past couple of years.  Some teams have left the company, some teams fell apart only to feud, and thankfully some new teams debuted or old teams reformed.  Whether you love them or hate them, The BroMans have been perhaps the only constant in the turbulent TNA tag team division for the past two years.

Yet two weeks ago, in the thick of TNA's Tag Team Gold tournament, the unthinkable happened; complete Bro versus Bro meltdown!  Looking back at their career together we ask...where did it all go wrong for The BroMans?

When Robbie E and Jessie Godderz began working together and formed The BroMans in the Summer of 2013, I think many of us weren't quite sure what to make of them.  If I remember correctly, even Taz and Mike Tenay on commentary sounded a little incredulous when they had to say The BroMans out loud.  However, it did not take long for the newly formed tag team to silence their doubters by getting a shock win at Bound For Glory 2013 for the belts.

Although The BroMans pulled off a big upset and raised more than a few eyebrows at Bound For Glory by capturing the World Tag Team Titles from James Storm and Gunner, their subsequent lengthy reign as champions was arguably a case of right time, right place for Robbie E and Jessie Godderz.

When you look at the teams competing in the tag team division during this time, The BroMans had a lot working in their favour following their win.  Chavo Guerrero Jr grabbed a pink slip in a Feast or Fired match in December, spelling the end of his partnership with Hernandez.  Cracks were beginning to show in the pairing of James Storm and Gunner, eventually resulting in a complete implosion of that team.  Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were caught up in EGO and inducting Bobby Roode into the EGO Hall of Fame, whilst simultaneously trying to expose Joseph Park's true identity.  As a result, the fractured mind of Joseph Park was pulling apart the seams of his partnership with friend Eric Young.

There wasn't a whole lot of competition left for the belts.  Factor in The BroMan's decision to hop aboard the Dixie Train, and their time as World Tag Team champions looked to be plainsailing.

That is until The Wolves showed up at the beginning of 2014.

Going against the grain of DixieLand, a mystery investor (later revealed to be MVP) offered The Wolves - widely regarded as the best independent tag team in the business - a contract.  Their in-ring debut saw them rip apart all three members of the BroMans along with the help of Samoa Joe, and less than two months after inking their contracts The Wolves stripped The BroMans of the tag titles at a house show.  The BroMans did recapture the belts by pinning Team 246 in a three-way dance for Wrestle-1 in March, but dropped them again shortly after at Sacrifice despite the match being a 3-on-2 handicap match versus The Wolves.

So ended the tale of tag team gold for The BroMans, and so began a year of failure.  They challenged The Wolves for the belts in a ladder rematch.  They failed.  They challenged The Wolves to a three way title match alongside The Menagerie.  They failed.  They took on the next generation of the legendary Von Erich family at Slammiversary, and ended up being upstaged by a couple of rookies.  They got stuck in a series of matches against The Menagerie and, although not always on the losing end, The BroMans were constantly humiliated due to Robbie E's debilitating fear of clowns.  With the newly reformed Hardy's and Team 3D putting on a masterclass of tag team wrestling with The Wolves, The BroMans were well and truly ousted from tag title contention.

However, despite all of the set-backs and all of the failures that they have endured during this 12 month drought, The BroMans remained one of the strongest tag teams in the industry.  Strong not for their prowess in the ring or the threat they represented to the division, but strong because of the camaraderie they shared with one another in the wake of their latest arse-kicking.  Through a mutual love of spray-tanning, leg day the gym, metrosexual male-grooming and Tinder, it seemed that no loss - no matter how great - could break their friendship.

It came then as somewhat of a surprise two weeks ago when Robbie E abruptly ended a two year friendship when he turned on his partner Jessie Godderz following their latest failed bid for the tag titles.

It took only a few choice words from Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, planting the suggestion that he had the makings of a World Heavyweight Champion, to send Robbie E over the edge... but has the writing always been on the wall for the demise of The BroMans?

When you look back over the career of Robbie E, we see a man that has a proven track record of using people and then cutting them loose once their usefulness has expired.  He used Cookie to obtain the X-Division Championship, then kicked her to the curb when she cost him a shot at the same belt.  He hired Rob Terry as the muscle to watch his back during his quest for the Television Title, then turned on Terry when the man started to defy him.  His brief friendship with Joey Ryan disappeared in the blink of an eye when he bailed and left Joey Ryan to take a beating from his former bodyguard Rob Terry.  Robbie E entered into the Amazing Race with girlfriend Brooke, only to dump her and blame her completely for their loss.  He even stooped so low as to get his new girlfriend Velvet Sky fired from TNA to save his own backside from the pink slip following his Feast or Fired match.

Given Robbie E's proclivity for propping himself up on others to achieve his own goals, was it only a matter of time before he turned on his former Bro after failing one too many times to recapture the tag team gold?

Or could it be a case of professional jealousy that caused Robbie E to snap?  Zema is a talented DJ outside of the ring, he is younger, quicker, more agile and an altogether better fit for the X- Division than Robbie E ever was.  Then there is longterm tag partner Jessie Godderz; bigger, stronger, technically gifted in the ring and a reality TV star to boot.  We all saw how far Robbie E got when he tried to emulate the reality success of his tag partner on The Amazing Race.

Whatever the reason may be, a recent appearance by Jessie Godderz on I'm With Spud Wednesday in which he was introduced as Robbie E's "former tag team partner" would indicate that The BroMans are unfortunately no more.  As much as I will lament the passing of The BroMans, I look forward to what the future holds for two of the three men.  If TNA live up to their promise of acting on the #StandUp movement, then DJ Z could find himself at the forefront of a revived X-Division.  As for Jessie Godderz, he has all the tools necessary to be a very credible threat in singles competition and he can focus on showcasing his own technical abilities instead of being held back by the class clown.

Which just leaves Robbie E.  I have a feeling that he may have made the biggest mistake of his career by turning on The BroMans, as Godderz and DJ Z are probably the only two men on the roster that were prepared to put up with Robbie E's goofing about and his neuroses.  Who can Robbie E turn to now?  Perhaps more crucially, can Robbie E survive in TNA on his own?

Perhaps Robbie E should forget wrestling, and fully commit himself to his dream of becoming a reality television star.  Maybe he should audition for The Biggest Loser?  After all, he lost a record breaking 250lbs in a single night when he decided to turn on his best friend.

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