02 June 2016

Let White Lightning Strike

When TNA British Bootcamp 2 was revealed and started in 2014 fans were overly hyped due to the top notch talented that infests the British wrestling scene. As tryouts were aired within the first set of shows fans became more invested with the concept than the previous year because more talent were being featured. Exciting names such as Kay Lee Ray, Nikki Storm, Kristoffer Travis (RIP), Noam Dar, Mark Andrews etc.. took part in this challenge for a TNA contract. Right off the bat viewers and judges were impressed with Mark Andrews charisma and high flying style that he possessed. He made everything that he did seem effortless and he threw off a vibe that screamed “Star In The Making”. In the final set of matches Mark went one on one with his long time best friend, Kristoffer Travis. They put on a phenomenal match for the time that they were given and fans fell in love with the both of them. In the final 3 it came down to Rampage Brown, Kay Lee Ray, and Mark Andrews. In the end TNA president, Dixie Carter announced Mark Andrews as the winner, rewarding him a TNA contract.

Sadly, the way that TNA has used Mark Andrews has been very lackluster. He debuted strong by coming out from the crowd to save his friends Rockstar Spud and Jeremy Borash from EC3 and his bodyguard at the time, Tyrus. But only a short time later the feud seemed to come to an end for Mark Andrews. Luckily, last year he was entered into the TNA World Title Series under group “X-Division”. As a huge fan of Mark Andrews, I was excited for his involvement in this series because I felt it was an opportunity for him to prove himself and prove why he belongs. But all the hype was quickly shut down as week after week Mark Andrews lost in quick matches. In the end he received zero points due to not winning any of the matches he took part in.

After the mess with Destination America was all cleared up and TNA was entering 2016 with a new network fans began to feel more at ease. I personally thought that the newer talent would shine, at the top of that list of high expectations was Mark Andrews. Overall TNA has done a great job with the newer additions to their roster and the way that they have booked them. But not much has happened with Mark Andrews, other than him jobbing out in random matches. What makes this sad is that at the TNA ONO Live PPV early this year Mark showed that he has what it takes to be a strong part of the X-division in his triple threat match against DJZ and Tigre Uno. At the beginning of the year I decided to no longer get excited for the booking of Mark until the UK tour, where I assumed his big break would take place. In Manchester, Mike Bennett called out Mark, but despite a convincing effort and a strong showing of heart he lost. Now I am not saying he should win every match, but someone with his skill should not be unseen for long periods of time or booked like a jobber….ESPECIALLY on the UK tour seeing that that is his home country. When he loses he should be booked in a competitive match, where a loss is not as damaging.

This is an issue that needs to be fixed or addressed as soon as possible. Mark Andrews could easily be the face of the X-Division. 90% of the TNA Impact Wrestling audience has no idea how good he is due to the way he has been used, when he is used. He has all the tools to be a strong member within the TNA roster. Andrews is arguably one of the best high flyers in the world right now. He has the top notch wrestling ability, look, and charisma that will easily put him over with the TNA fan base. If you don’t believe me than please go watch his Xplosion match with William Ospreay and his Xplosion match where he teams up with Ospreay to take on the Wolves. His match with Will was short, but the quality of the match brought back the old X-Division vibe that caused fans to originally fall in love with it. Furthermore, we all know the X-Division could use more talent...So why not use The ones you have instead of letting them sit at home? Head scratcher. For instance, he could have easily been included in last week's Ultimate X match, at least he would have got some TV time. With a young talent that has all the skills needed to be a draw, not using him properly is a crime that only hurts TNA. It would be simply tragic if TNA did not have him on their next set of television tapings. They struck gold with Mark Andrews, but they have yet to show him off for the whole world to see.

Another thing about Mark Andrews is the uniqueness factor that he radiates on a consistent basis. You can look at any talent that has ever been in the X-Division and there is nothing like him. Due to his in ring style, attitude, look, and the fact that he has his own alternative style band (Junior), makes it so that he connects with a large group of people that nearly no X-Division wrestler has ever connected with before. If built up properly he could easily connect with the crowd in no time. I would love to hear the pop that Mark would get on a weekly basis, especially on the UK tour. I guarantee that it would be unforgettable. 

For the record, I did not write this to bash TNA or it’s hard working staff in any way, that is never my objective.  I have been a fan of TNA since 2007. What pulled me into the product was the X-Division and ever since I have been truly passionate about it. It just pisses me off that a young and hungry talent like Mark Andrews is being so underutilized. Simply put it is unjustifiable. In the near future I genuinely hope that the staff within TNA use Mark a lot better than the way he is being used right now. He can be a huge draw for the division that TNA fans love the most. Just give him the proper time within matches to do so and he will shine.

“I feel like over the last 10 years of wrestling, since I was 12 years old wrestling has given me so much. Now I can offer the wrestling world my talent, The X-Division is the perfect place for that. I can help reinvent the X-Division and that's my way of giving back to the wrestling community and to the fans after they have given me so much. That is why I deserve this”. - Mark Andrews (to Dixie Carter on the finale of British Bootcamp 2). The guy can do it, just give him the ring and the proper push, he will put asses in seats. Let White Lightning strike in the six sided ring.


The Xplosion matches I referred to:
Mark Andrews Vs Will Ospreay
Will Ospreay and Mark Andrews Vs The Wolves

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