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Aces & Eights - One Step Up
Devon was still an awful pick for the first major reveal of the group, but kudos to TNA for quickly establishing his role as just a member and not the leader. Devon could have never been "that" guy, but I'm sure TNA knew that from the beginning.
Impact on Thursday gave us a major taste of what we can expect from this story going forward. The rebel group now has full access to the Impact Zone and can start being used in more creative ways than the same promos at the same card table. They aren't done with those promos clearly, but they are now reserved for the suggested leader and a few extras. It's a dynamic that I believe will work well.
Aces & Eights have exclusive backstage and entrance areas that provide a pretty cool visual for television viewers. The opening to Impact was great display of that.
TNA is committed to this angle and I commend them for that, but it's still missing the impact players. No pun intended. If this is their version of the nWo, they need a Nash and/or Hall equivalent. They don't have a Hogan-equivalent -- especially Hogan -- but they do have guys that will add credibility to the group. I'm curious to see who they use.
JBL - One Step Up
I know it's been said by everyone and their mother, but JBL is fantastic as a color commentator. I won't sing his praises for long, but I do want to spend a few lines on exactly that. He makes Smackdown much more enjoyable to watch each week. He goes out of his way to find interesting tidbits and facts on every wrestler and it really helps the audience connect with them more. Especially the ones on the bottom of the ladder with no mic time to try and connect themselves.
I'm not sure if JBL is permanent yet or not, but the entire show of Smackdown will be going in the opposite direction in a future edition of this column if/when he leaves.