Saturday 8 February 2014

Magnus Opus

I think we're currently seeing the peak of Magnus's wrestling career. He's riding high as TNA world champion and lead heel, allied with villainous company (joint-)owner Dixiebelle Carter, and is a month away from facing one of the company's most popular and accomplished performers, Samoa Joseph, in a pay-per-view main event. Basically there's nowhere for him to go but down.

Yes, TNA could theoretically become a bigger company while Maggers is still working there and yes such expansion would present him with fresh challengers in and out of the ring and on and off the mic, but that expansion isn't likely. TNA has taken such a hammering in so many different areas that it seems impossible that they'll regain ground. I'd like to see it happen, for the good of the wrestlers and improvement in quality it would spur in WWE, but too much has happened and too much would need to be done. TNA is not a brand name that can generate sufficient excitement in 2014.

Back to Magnus’s career. If he made the jump to WWE I think he’d make it through NXT and on to the main roster. He’s got the size, look and verbal skills the promotion likes. Similar, or even slightly lesser, treatment in WWE would be far more meaningful than being TNA’s lead bad guy but I think he’d be unlikely to get high enough on the roster.

A TNA success story
I would like to congratulate TNA on what they've accomplished with Magnus though. This is a man they introduced as a Roman gladiator, seemingly based on the fact that he’d been on the ITV Gladiators revival, who went through a variety of different tag partners and gimmicks, and still managed to become a legitimate singles star. And he is legitimate. Within TNA Magnus is seen as a genuine headliner. That's important as it means existing fans accept him and take him, and by extension his championship, seriously. If current fans accept him as a big name then newcomers are likely to as well. Perception, as they say, is reality.

He's also one of TNA's more experienced wrestlers. He may wrestle something resembling the much maligned sports entertainment style but as that's not the dominant approach in TNA it helps him stand out. It also helps him be a more effective heel as he’s able to remind viewers of WWE simply by wrestling a match.

His success is a credit to him and to those involved in booking him over the years. It shows that when they set their sights on something TNA can achieve positive things. Had they gotten their act together and concentrated on other wrestlers four years ago maybe they'd be doing better now.

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