Offbeat Shenanigans #6 – Fight For the Right to…What?

Kevin McElvaney


First, let me take this opportunity to send my condolences to the many, many fans of the Fabulous Moolah around the world. Though her in-ring prime came many years before I was born, I, like millions of other wrestling fans, know that she was a true legend of the industry. She will be missed.

Thanks to the loyal Shenanigans readers who sent in feedback for last weekâ<80><99>s column. Here are some featured emails, along with my replies.

Sting’s partner will be Goldberg! Enough said.

– Clayton Cannon

Weâ<80><99>ll see, Clay. Goldberg does, of course fit the characteristics revealed by TNA. If your guess is right, then TNA really is becoming more and more WCW-like by the day. Nash, Hall, Booker, Sting, Goldberg, DISCO INFERNO?!

Most of the time if you see the shadow of the mystery partner, it matches someone’s exact picture and the most likely fits are of course Booker T, Paul Wight, Goldberg (who gets eliminated because he wants a lot of money to wrestle again, and right now he is more focused on Hollywood), and DDP. If you match old pictures of these stars, the most likely is Sid Vicious, to surprise everyone. It also matches Paul Wight, because it looks like a tall bald guy. So in my opinion is either one of these two men.

– Edwin Rodriguez

Edwin did a lot of research as to who is eligible to be Stingâ<80><99>s mystery partner, but I didnâ<80><99>t have room to include his whole email. At any rate, Ed, those are some interesting guesses. I have to disagree with you on one point, though…Iâ<80><99>ve come to the assumption that one or two generic pictures are used to represent mystery partners most of the time. For instance, WWE used to use a picture of a guy who looked like Tomko for any â<80><9c>mystery opponentâ<80> on Raw. Oddly enough, that might have actually been Tomko whose picture they blackened, and the photo continued to be used long after he was released.

Okay, thanks again to everyone who sent in their takes on the Genesis main event. I hope youâ<80><99>ll be every bit as involved with this weekâ<80><99>s column which…whaddaya know? Itâ<80><99>s right here. Beware: There are spoilers for this weekâ<80><99>s Impact, so, if you havenâ<80><99>t read them yet, you might want to wait â<80>~til after Thursday to read this.

â<80><9c>Fight For the Right to…What?â<80>

Iâ<80><99>m going to devote this weekâ<80><99>s column to the biggest, most confusing storyline currently going down in pro wrestling – and thatâ<80><99>s the TNA Fight For the Right competition.

It pains me to say such a thing, honestly, because Fight For the Right is a really wonderful concept. Itâ<80><99>s supposed to give the undercard wrestlers a chance to finally get a shot at the TNA championship. Wow, now this is something I can really get behind! TNA has talent oozing out the wazoo (which is precisely where talent oozes out), and there are many deserving competitors who have yet to get a real chance at the TNA world title.

Why, then, is this whole thing a sham? I mean, seriously. Eric Young won the first â<80><9c>Stageâ<80> of the competition at Bound For Glory. He bested 13 other wrestlers in a reverse battle royal, then pinned Robert Roode. Youâ<80><99>d think that, after doing all of that, Young would be in line for a title shot. Nope. Instead, he was entered into â<80><9c>Stage 2â<80> of the competition which was…a tournament!? To quote his lordship, Don West, â<80><9c>YOUâ<80><99>VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!â<80>

But sure enough, TNA isnâ<80><99>t kidding us. Eric Young defeated 14 other wrestlers just to earn a spot in this tournament. Every other competitor (excepting Christian Cage, who defeated Joe to enter) was placed in the tournament just because. Did Young get a first round bye, or anything of that nature? Again, no. Why, then, did he have to win the battle royal? No one knows.

To make matters more ridiculous, Young lost in the first round of the tournament. And thatâ<80><99>s not even the worst part. The man he went down to was James Storm. Yes, the same James Storm who entered and DIDNâ<80><99>T win the reverse battle royal at Bound for Glory. Take a look at the rest of the tournament brackets: Kaz, Lance Hoyt, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, and Robert Roode. All men who lost the reverse battle royal.

Last yearâ<80><99>s Fight For the Right competition had a novel setup. Abyss won the reverse battle royal, which made him the winner of Stage 1. Then, AJ Styles won a six man tournament. This made AJ the winner of Stage 2. Each man, having won a stage of the competition, could vie for the right to have a title shot. Abyss won the match against AJ and, afterwards, got his title match.

This was really a great setup, in that it made absolute sense! Whereâ<80><99>s the sense in this yearâ<80><99>s fiasco? If the tournament was the only thing that mattered, then why have the battle royal at all? And TNA canâ<80><99>t possibly be having the Stage 1 and Stage 2 winners face off again. Why? Well, it is true that it wonâ<80><99>t be Eric Young who wins the Fight For the Right tournament, Stage 2. However, it might have been. Picture this.

Eric Young wins the reverse battle royal. Alright Now heâ<80><99>ll face whoever wins the Stage 2 tournament. Whatâ<80><99>s that? Eric Young fought his way, tooth and nail, through the tournament, and just defeated Christian Cage in the finals!? Then this can only mean one thing. Thatâ<80><99>s right, with booking straight out of Mortal Kombat, Eric Young will be facing the man who knows him better than anyone else…HIMSELF!! The Eric Young vs. Eric Young Mirror Match…LIVE…AT TNA TURNING POINT…ONLY ON PAY-PER-VIEW!!

Normally Iâ<80><99>d be sitting here, chuckling at my own funny. This time, though, Iâ<80><99>m not. That kind of frightens me, because I know, deep down, why Iâ<80><99>m not really laughing. And thatâ<80><99>s because Iâ<80><99>m afraid TNA might actually book this match.

The one good thing to come out of this situation is that the finals match of this tournament will be one to watch. Kaz vs. Christian Cage, on the big stage at Genesis. Heck yes! Itâ<80><99>s very interesting to see that Kaz is finally getting a decent push. Perhaps Eric Youngâ<80><99>s will be coming along soon, as well. Weâ<80><99>ll just have to tell him to not bother participating in any more of those silly reverse battle royals. The dividends just donâ<80><99>t pay.

Now, Shenanigans readers, who are ya pulling for: Kaz or Christian?

Kevin is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler. Send questions, comments, and sudoku puzzles to kjmcelvaney@yahoo.com.

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