FATP: Who’s dealing the Dead Man’s hand?
Another week’s flown by which means that it’s time for yours truly to bring you another edition of “From Across the Pond”. Before I get started today, you might have noticed that I’ve got a new banner for the column, which was designed by the talented and amazing @angelicaldream. She’s good people. Give her a follow and tell her I sent ya!
Shameless plugging out of the way, it’s time to talk about who’s dealing the Dead Man’s hand in TNA. Incase you’ve missed it, TNA have been live throughout the summer and apart from Austin Aries winning the title, the whole Aces & 8’s storyline has been one of the most intriguing things about Impact Wrestling.
They’ve done a lot of things right over the summer and apart from one storyline (Hey crack-whore Claire/Olive Oyl, how ya doin?), TNA’s been on a roll. The best thing about the Aces & 8’s storyline is that you genuinely have no clue who’s behind the attacks. The cynic in me says that if Russo was in charge, we’d probably be getting Immortal 2.0, but since he’s left, TNA’s creative team have done one hell of a job creating interest in this storyline.
This group of outsiders has attacked virtually everyone at the top of the TNA card and it begs the question, who’s behind it? Unusually for me, I’m actually gonna have some structure to this article. First, I’m gonna look at how I think this should play out as things stand now, then give the names of four wrestlers who I think could be behind it, because I don’t think there’ll be any more than that. Maybe 6 at a push, but not as many as we’ve seen on TV over the last couple of weeks. Sound good? Cool, let’s get crackin’ then!
The most important thing about this storyline has been TNA’s decision to do it while Impact has been live in the US/Canada over the summer. It would have been stupid to do it when Impact was still taped weeks in advance, so while it was obvious to do it under a live setting; TNA still deserve credit for coming up with the storyline in the first place. If I were booking this storyline, I’d keep it going for as long as Impact is live. I dunno about you, but ever since Impact’s been live, the show has felt completely different and it comes across so much better. For TNA to keep their momentum going, Impact has to stay a live show. Going back to taped shows could kill all the good work they’ve done so far this summer.
So when this whole thing kicked off, TNA had just had their 10th annual Slammiversary PPV and announced Sting as their first-ever Hall-of-Famer. On the Impact after that, Aces & 8’s made their first appearance, wiping out the Stinger before turning their attentions to Hulk Hogan. Ever since then, they’ve pretty much done whatever they want, whenever they’ve wanted to and it’s done something that very few things do in wrestling anymore. It’s surprised me. It’s kept me wondering. Who the hell is behind this?
Normally when a big wrestling storyline kicks off in TNA or WWE, the internet’s full of spoilers or rumours about who’s behind it, but there are so many possibilities with Aces & 8’s that it’s pretty much down to your own opinion. TNA have done a brilliant job keeping this under wraps. They’ve used a lot of different wrestlers in the roles so far to make sure that it isn’t obvious who’s involved. At this stage, we don’t even know when there’s gonna be a reveal. I’d think that one, maybe two, of the members of Aces & 8’s will be revealed at No Surrender on Sunday.
That leads nicely into who I think could be behind Aces & 8’s. These choices are just my guess, so take what you want from them, but to make as big an impact (pun intended!) as possible, at least 2 of the men behind it have to be established TNA superstars, but I’ve just got a sneaky feeling that there’ll be 3 TNA wrestlers behind it.
The first choice is pretty obvious and that’s Jeff Jarrett. Jeff’s been gone from TV for a while now and while he doesn’t need to be involved at World Title level, he can still be effective as long as it’s in the right way. The reasoning for Jeff writes itself. Without Double J, there wouldn’t be a TNA, yet he still wasn’t chosen as the first-ever Hall-of-Famer. He could say that he attacked Sting for “taking his place” and say that he’s come back to get control of TNA. Pretty simple right?
The second choice is Abyss. We’ve not seen the monster regularly since the turn of the year, when he beat Bully Ray in a Monster’s Ball match at Genesis. Since then, “his brother” has rocked up looking for him, but we’ve still not seen him regularly. I think he’s been on Impact something like twice/three times since then? With rumours rife about Bully Ray’s contract expiring, TNA needs someone to step into the role of a bad-ass heel and Abyss fits the bill perfectly.
The third choice is perhaps a little out of the blue, but there’s a part of me that thinks James Storm has something to do with this. Remember, he “left” TNA for a few weeks after Lockdown and didn’t know if he could get to the top of the mountain again. Maybe he got involved with this group to make sure that he becomes TNA World Champion again. For me, these kinds of “stables” need to make a huge impact and a great way to do that is to turn a top babyface heel. Every other babyface at the top of the card has already turned heel as a singles star except for James Storm. Just a thought. Not saying it will happen, but there’s enough doubt in my mind to think there’s a fair chance.
The final choice I’ve got is someone who “doesn’t have” a TNA contract and that’s indy star Joey Ryan. Sometimes, these “factions” are used to get mid-carders over, but sometimes, they’re used to get newer stars over. Look at what being in Evolution did for Randy Orton and Batista in WWE. If we’re to believe what Joey and TNA are telling us, and he doesn’t have a TNA contract, that amazes me. Of all the “Gutcheck” contestants so far, Ryan has easily looked the best in the ring and on the mic. He just oozes charisma and he shouldn’t have needed Gutcheck to get on TNA TV. By bringing in Ryan as part of Aces & 8’s, it catapults him into the upper mid-card straight away, where he can work with the likes of Daniels, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle. I’d love to see those matches.
Well, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I didn’t rant! Good job I’m sitting down comfortably, otherwise I’d have fallen over in shock by now! Haha.. So that’s pretty much it. I reckon this Aces & 8’s storyline should continue for as long as Impact is live and the four main men behind it are Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, James Storm and Joey Ryan.
What do you guys think? Has this storyline kept you entertained and guessing about who’s involved? Do you reckon Jarrett, Abyss, Storm and Ryan are involved, or will it be completely new guys to TNA? As always, feel free to leave a comment below, or get in touch with me on my brand spanking new Twitter account @george_sltd. I’ve not decided on a topic for next week, so if you’ve got any suggestions, just tweet me using the hashtag #FATP and I’ll pick the best idea to write about next week!
Smell ya later,