You seem to be the resident Wrestlezone TNA writer. Quick question, how do you get past the storylines? For all the wonderful action that happens, it gets erased in two seconds with terrible story.
Well, Mike, thanks, first off, for acknowledging my TNA endeavors. As for your statement about the companyâ<80><99>s creative shortcomings, Iâ<80><99>d point the same finger at Raw, Smackdown, or ECW at different times. But, youâ<80><99>re right, TNA does seem to have a bit more trouble with story than the rest. I watch it, mostly, for the terrific in-ring performances. So, each week, I just hope there’ll be plenty of match time and less other stuff.
Another thing I can honestly say is that TNA really tends to step things up on their pay-per-views. If youâ<80><99>re a big fan of the wrestling TNA provides, but have yet to see one of their pay-per-views, youâ<80><99>d do well to check one out. TNA pay-per-views tend to have more wrestling, less backstage stuff, and cleaner match endings than those in WWE.
Weâ<80><99>re about to see what TNA has in store for itself in the coming months, as well as what the future holds for WWE. So, as I gaze into the aforementioned crystal ball, here are…
â<80><9c>The Next 6 Months in Pro Wrestlingâ<80>
Event: Batista Becomes an Internet Sensation
â<80><9c>Stone Coldâ<80> Steve Austin once said that he preferred comedy in wrestling to come as a result of a character â<80><9c>unintentionallyâ<80> being funny. This probably isnâ<80><99>t what Austin meant, but Batista sort of did this very thing on the November 12th edition of Raw. Seems like Big Dave was reading back the showâ<80><99>s script in his mind, but he slipped and read his lines backwards.
In the showâ<80><99>s opening promo, a sniffling and wheezing Batista hyped the Hell in a Cell match by saying it was a setting where â<80><9c>Weapons are not only welcomed…but theyâ<80><99>re allowed.â<80> Funny, my parents welcome my Grandmom to their house, too. And, sometimes…they even ALLOW her to be there. Later this week, someone on a nerdy message board will isolate this one line, and itâ<80><99>ll be all over sites like YTMND and You Tube. Batista will never live down his semantics flub.
Event: Edge Will Win the Royal Rumble
The Edgester is about to make his long-awaited return from rehabbing his torn pectoral muscle, and heâ<80><99>s going to want to get right back into the World Heavyweight Title picture. Batista and The Undertaker are done, as of Sunday, if Batista wins. In that case, Batista will defend his title against an upper midcard guy, like Finlay, at the Rumble. If â<80>~Taker gets the belt back, â<80><9c>The Animalâ<80> will get a rematch at Royal Rumble. Either way, Edge is out of the title hunt until at least after the Rumble.
Edge has been a steady main event guy the past few years, holding brand heavyweight titles on three separate occasions. What he needs is something to push him to the next level. Winning the Rumble puts him into an elite league, and it also earns him a WrestleMania title shot. Bonus points if itâ<80><99>s against The Undertaker, as he could also have the chance to end the Dead Manâ<80><99>s streak. Edge will be the first heel to win the Rumble since Vince won it in 1999. Maybe heâ<80><99>ll also end Undertakerâ<80><99>s streak. Unfortunately, he lost Money in the Bank last year, so it wonâ<80><99>t be a Streak vs. Streak match.
Event: The Motor City Machine Guns Win the TNA Tag Titles
The Motor City Machine Guns are moving up the card in TNA, slowly but surely. For a while, theyâ<80><99>ll be feuding with Team 3D. This feud will have positive and negative results for the team while itâ<80><99>s going on but, ultimately, a tag match against Styles and Tomko on Impact will give the team their first tag title run in TNA.
Team 3D could very well be their first challengers. In that case, MCMG had better be willing to fight to keep their belts…as Team 3D tends to demand title shot after title shot whenever they feel like it.
Event: Chris Jericho Turns Heel
Chris Jericho, by default, will return as a fan favorite. Fans miss him, and, frankly, he misses the fans. So, for a little while, heâ<80><99>s going to get some of the biggest crowd reactions in recent history. However, Jericho is a natural heel, and he wonâ<80><99>t be able to prevent himself from going back to his old ways for long. Look for Jericho to start a feud with Shawn Michaels or Triple H going into WrestleMania.
Event: Kaz Turns Heel and Feuds with Sting
Yes, another heel turn. February will be full of â<80>~em. Kaz will get his TNA title shot, guaranteed by his win at Genesis, at Final Resolution â<80>~08. Heâ<80><99>ll face Kurt Angle but, due to outside interference, he wonâ<80><99>t win the match. Donâ<80><99>t be fooled, though: this wonâ<80><99>t be the end of Kazâ<80><99>s run in the main event picture.
Kaz will form a new game plan shortly after the event. A feud with Sting will benefit him in the long run, and Kaz will know this. When the time is right, look for Kaz to turn against Sting. The two will have their first one on one match at Against All Odds. Iâ<80><99>m not telling you who wins that one, but Kaz will be TNAâ<80><99>s breakout star of 2008.
Event: Jeff Hardy is the New â<80><9c>Mr. Money in the Bankâ<80>
Jeff Hardy is a Swanton or two away from the main event, as it is. The crystal ball reveals that heâ<80><99>ll challenge for the WWE title, on a pay-per-view stage, within the next year. How will he get there? Well, just read above, buddy. Heâ<80><99>s a seasoned veteran in the art of the ladder match, and he couldâ<80><99>ve very well won last yearâ<80><99>s Money in the Bank if he hadnâ<80><99>t taken himself and Edge out of the match.
The Money in the Bank prize is the perfect thing for Hardy, and, until he gets his WWE title shot, the briefcase will make him appear on the cusp of main event competition. Thereâ<80><99>s even a good chance that – gasp – he could WIN the strap before the end of 2008. Believe it.
Event: Shark Boy and Abyss Form an Oddball Tag Team
When Abyss is kept out of serious, main event competition for too long, his gimmick is going to have no choice but to go and turn silly. Shark Boy is talented and has been helpful to the company for several years. Thus, heâ<80><99>s bound to get a push. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how entertained you are by storylines like this one), the push comes at the hand of this team. Nonetheless, a push is a push. Abyss may even show a surprising comic range, before he turns on Shark Boy and returns to the upper midcard.
Event: Booker T Wins the TNA Title
Seems like the switch from WWE was a good idea, after all! Booker T will compete in the Six Sides of Steel, along with five other wrestlers. Who the champion is going in looks hazy, but itâ<80><99>s obvious whoâ<80><99>s taking the title home. After feuding with Christian Cage and Kurt Angle (both of whom are in the match), Booker pins one of them to walk away with his first piece of TNA gold.
Event: Bryan Danielson Regains the ROH World Title
This is the sole non-WWE, non-TNA prediction of the lot, but itâ<80><99>s also one of the most bankable. Danielson reigned atop ROH for 15 months, from 2005-2006. Nigel McGuiness is the current top dog for the promotion, but his seven month reign will come to an end in May, when Danielson defeats his old rival in an epic battle. Around the same time, TNA and WWE will express interest in signing both McGuiness and former champion, Takeshi Morishima. Morishima will refuse to meet with either company, while McGuiness will let each buy him a few expensive meals.
So, there we have it. Plenty of solid predictions for you, and here are a few more vague ones…roughly in order…all which will occur between May and the end of 2008.
Christopher Daniels begins to appear in main event matches
Okay, I think thatâ<80><99>s enough for today. Agree or disagree with any of my predictions? Got some of your own? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. You could very well see your comments and predictions posted here in next weekâ<80><99>s column!
Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler.