Last week we saw the start of the WTS, a Round Robin tournament that starts with 32 wrestlers and then drops down to 16, which then goes all NCAA tournament on us, and becomes a single elimination tournament but only after each group has had all of their respective matches. Check out the scoreboard here on TNAMecca to keep up to date with the rankings as the matches happen. Now that we've gotten through all of the promotional obligations, let us move on into the Countdown and as always we'll start with the positives to get started on the right foot of enjoying TNA wrestling in these uncertain times surrounding the future of the company.
1-count: "This is Awesome"
- James Storm vs Bobby Roode. - How awesome was it to see the Cowboy and the It factor, formerly known as Beer Money, go at it one more time? I was so excited hanging on every near fall until the end when Bobby Roode when way back to the initial beginnings of his Beer Money run and busted out the Fisherman suplex to win the match. It was a nice call back since we also saw James Storm break out the Eye of the Storm for the first time in a long while.
- PBP in the WTS on TNA. - How sweet it was to see the Pretty Boy Pitbull not only be in the field of 32 but pick up his first win in group play, pinning Aiden O'Shea. I hope this is a sign to come, though recent news about Kenny King has somewhat depressed me about watching his matches in TNA, however I will enjoy however many more matches the KOTN has on TNA Impact.
- Eddie Edwards feels the Boom - I know some people will question the decision to have Robbie E go over Eddie but I love this part about tournaments because you get to see matchups you would not normally have and in some cases see victories that would not usually take place, such as Robbie E catching Eddie Edwards who was looking past him and scoring 3 points. It was a great shock win and is the kind of thing that makes me miss great tournaments of the past, ala the K.O.T.R.
So, I think we've pretty much established that thus far the WTS series is proving to be the shot in the arm TNA has needed to really revitalize the interest of it's fanbase with how much potential the tournament has. However, no matter how much of a home run a concept might be, there will always be a few misses That is why the 2nd-count exists. So, to paraphrase Darkwing Duck, let's get negative.
2-count: "C'mon, Really?"
- "Shera vs.Crazzy Steve. did someone open a gate to hell?" - Okay let's get this one out of the way. I am actually a little glad I missed last week's episode of Impact because I am almost certain the rant I would have gone on for Grado vs Spud would have done one of 2 things, caused me to have a stroke, or ensured that last week was the final edition of the column. Now onto this one.
- Abyss vs EY - Now don't get me wrong here, I enjoyed this match, my issue is with the result. I know that EY will probably end up advancing along with Bobby Roode, however I just can't take Abyss seriously anymore. His character has been so damaged over many many years of bad or just plain silly booking that you can't legitimately take him seriously anymore as a threat. I hate that I feel that way about a true staple of TNA's history however it will take more than one tournament to resurrect the same feeling of terror that Abyss used to summon prior to the Joseph Park stuff.
- Matt Hardy's push will not die - So Matt Hardy the now former TNA world champion got a clean pin fall over former ROH World champion Davey Richards. Now I have no problem if the Wolves are legitimately given a shot in this tournament but I Have a big issue with the fact that Davey lost this match. I feel that he is a better wrestler then Matt Hardy, and He has shown in the past that he can carry a company's biggest prize. I feel that while the Tag division is getting some much needed work to replenish it's ranks and repair the image that it holds of basically being that of the Wolves vs Any 2 guys that don't have a match that night. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are more than just tag team specialists they are great singles competitors and they just need the chance to prove it to the TNA audience. Hopefully for both members of the Wolves, The Hunt for the TNA world title, is on.
Now that we've gotten past the negatives it's time to move onto the 3rd portion of the Countdown. I know that I usually go with some kind of example to describe how that meh feeling that makes the 3-count necessary however I think we've done this long enough that people know by now. With that said let's move on to the 3-count which is surprisingly light on the offerings this week. This past episode of Impact was near perfect because each match drew emotion and had a purpose.
3-Count: "That's it?"
- TNA's future group. - Okay Eli Drake who some people see the next Ric Flair in apparently though I haven't seen anything remarkable about the guy except his ability to talk, and Jesse Goddarz who has come quite a long way in the 3 years since he initially started wrestling. I fully accept them as the whole TNA future aspect, however the other half of the group, being Crimson and Micah I just can't wrap my head around. Micah has been on TV once for a throwaway 6-man tag match back in August I believe, may have been September, and Crimson was also on TNA TV once for a match with Bram. Maybe I am of the old school of thinking but before you can christen someone the "Future", shout out to Frankie Kazarian, you have to actually show them on TV. I just feel like it was an err in judgement to posit these 2 who have been barely been in TNA, hell most people probably didn't even remember Micah was on the roster. I know this group has potential but I just feel like 2 of the 4 don't make much sense, and that Kenny King and Eli Drake should have been swapped.
Ding Ding! That is it for this edition of The Other Side of the Squared Circle. Again, I am sorry for missing Impact last week and depriving those of you who enjoy the column the chance to read it, and share your thoughts because I genuinely love reading your comments. Share, discuss and debate, just do it respectfully. I have never been shy about admitting that I support wrestling and not just 1 company and I hope that if you get the chance to check out other promotions you do so, because then you can see and watch the true future of pro wrestling before they make it to TNA, like Danny Cannon. He's a great young talent that I think could be perfect for the X-division. With that said let me end it here so you guys can start debating.