Hey everyone. Sometimes, even when you plan and organize your schedule as best as possible, you still miss a deadline. And even though you might miss that deadline by just a day or two, we saw in today’s major news items that a day or two can be a lifetime in professional wrestling! Below is the column that I began writing to post on the website this past weekend. Well, as is now obvious – I missed that deadline. And, as the content of the column below will prove, by missing that deadline I missed the opportunity for this column to maintain some of its relevance.
However, instead of just deleting the column and never letting this get out there I’ve decided to post it for your reading pleasure. I’m calling this one The Column That Wasn’t since it was never really completed and never cleaned up for publication. In an effort to give you a “look behind the curtain,” I’m publishing what exists of this column anyway. Please understand that it is not really finished nor is it cleaned up (i.e. revised several times) for final reading. Enjoy!
What’s Next for the Main Event Mafia and the Aces and 8s?
After a few weeks of speculating on who might be in Sting’s new version of the Main Event Mafia, last Thursday we saw the final piece of the puzzle fall into place. With Quinton “Rampage” Jackson joining the mafia the membership is now closed and Sting and his men have their sights dead set on Bully Ray and his Aces and 8s faction. On the one side, you have the aforementioned Sting and Rampage Jackson joining forces with Kurt Angle, Magnus, and Samoa Joe as they take on the also aforementioned Bully Ray and his new Vice President Mr. Anderson along with Devon, D.O.C., Knux, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco. The question now is… where do we go from here?
The drawn out introduction of the new members in the main event mafia went over well with both in-person and online audiences. This tells us that there is a desire on behalf of the viewers to watch this type of modern day “gang warfare” in the ring. But what should the next big part of this story be? How is the interaction between these two mega groups best advanced in the short-term as well as the long-term? As you might have already guessed, I think I have some answers.
First, the short-term storyline must be completed. Sting has vowed that this Thursday’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Bully Ray and the now-former TNA X-Division Champion will be a one-on-one match and that needs to come to fruition. By ensuring that the match between Ray and Sabin remains one-on-one with no outside interference the Main Event Mafia will prove that when they speak people should listen. This is an important part of gaining traction with the television audience and credibility with the long-time fans. If Sabin loses this match because of outside interference by the Aces and 8s, then the ability for the Main Event Mafia to back up its words with action immediately comes into question.
Second, the next short-term storyline that needs to be delicately continued is the animosity between D.O.C. and Mr. Anderson in the Aces and 8s. I stress that this should be a delicately handled storyline because it’s a good one, but it can easily be settled and each man moved to another storyline arc. And that’s the first thing that the writers need to figure out and agree upon – what do they want the outcome to be here? Are we looking for one or both of these men to be out of the Aces and 8s? Or are we looking for a brokered, yet uneasy peace? If the writers are looking for the latter, then they can very simply let the storyline fade away right now. Mr. Anderson won the election for Vice President, D.O.C. now has to accept that fact, and everyone moves along with their lives. On the other hand, there is a chance for D.O.C. to break free from the Aces and 8s through this storyline and for him to become his own entity in the promotion. I don’t think that this would be a good idea in the short-run because I don’t think that D.O.C. has the superstar profile yet to make it on his own.
Where I would take this storyline is in the direction of an uneasy peace between the two. The first move I would make is injecting D.O.C. and Knux into the TNA World Tag Team Championship picture. And, after a few months of fighting against the best that the division currently has to offer, I’d get the straps on the Aces and 8s for a while. At that point, I’d allow D.O.C. to mock Mr. Anderson over the fact that he’s a world champion via holding half of the tag team titles while Anderson doesn’t have a championship. That could lead to some fun interactions between the two and – once D.O.C. and Knux drop the belts – a good one-on-one battle at a future pay-per-view.
However, the real story with the Main Event Mafia is the long-term storyline potential between them and the Aces and 8s. In the long-term, there is going to have to be a TNA World Heavyweight Championship showdown between Kurt Angle and Bully Ray. There is no other member of the Main Event Mafia (except Sting) who could be a realistic world champion right now besides Kurt Angle (with due respect to Samoa Joe – he just doesn’t have “it” at the moment). With the chances heavily against an Angle/Ray showdown at this year’s Bound for Glory, one has to wonder where the epic battle between these two men will take place. Is this the type of championship change that iMPACT Wrestling might want to consider giving away on free television during a much-hyped episode of their weekly show? That might be a good idea to bring in more viewers, but who knows?
AND THIS IS WHERE THE COLUMN ENDS.