Wednesday 18 April 2012

The Abating Storm

At last year's Bound For Glory TNA undid two months of hard work when they had Kurt Angle successfully retain his world championship against Bobby Roode. At last Sunday's Lockdown event they undid six months of hard work when Bobby Roode overcame challenger James Storm. ‘The It Factor’ fluked a victory when ‘The Cowboy’ superkicked him out of the cage (meaning he touched the floor first and thus won the match). It wasn’t decisive but it was a win, and it was at James Storm’s expense.
I wrote at the time of BFG 
that TNA had made a mistake in not putting the title on Roode after they'd built him up in the fashion that they had. I have written it since too. I also said that if TNA did the same with Storm at Lockdown that they would have learned nothing from their mistakes. Roode may have worked out nicely as a headline talent but that's in spite of the delayed title victory he received last October, not because of it. James Storm, much as Roode did at Bound For Glory, needed to win the gold at Lockdown to legitimise him as a main event wrestler and show fans that they were right to believe in him.

Champion grates challenger at Lockdown

Wrestling audiences want to support winners. If someone is built up for a significant title victory for months on end then people are going to expect them to win. Someone who loses too often before they’ve established themselves at the top will find it tough to gain acceptance when a company does finally go all the way with them.
Since elevating both Roode and Storm to the main event last October TNA had been booking the two well. Roode was (and is) over as a heel champion who will do anything necessary to keep hold of his title while Storm has done a great job of connecting with fans as a babyface. 'The Cowboy' needed the victory at Lockdown. It was the right time and the right place. If he wins the title at the next pay-per-view or at an IMPACT taping it won't have the same effect as a victory on Sunday would have had. The moment that the promotion spent months building to has now passed.
TNA had their chance and they blew it.

That isn't to say that ‘The It Factor’won’t continue to make a good heel champion or that Storm is damaged beyond repair. It does mean that when Storm does finally become a two time champ he'll find it that little bit more difficult to gain acceptance. It also means TNA denied fans at Lockdown a memorable moment. But that's nothing new: the current creative team have little else for the past two years.

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