Wednesday 27 June 2012

The Styles Affair

AJ Styles is without doubt one of the most talented wrestlers in TNA. It’s not a stretch to describe him as one of the best wrestlers in the world either. With this being the case you have to wonder why the writers who put together IMPACT Wrestling each and every week aren’t emphasising these skills and are instead choosing to include him in storylines that require him to act more than grapple.

Over the course of the last few months Styles has entered into a feud with his former pals Christopher Daniels and (Frankie) Kazarian. On paper that seems fine. All three men are great talents and more than capable of concocting the sort of matches that TNA should be promoting all the time. Overlook the fact that Styles and Daniels have clashed many times over the years and it’s nothing but a positive situation.

That is until you remember that Dixie Carter has been added to proceedings.

The basic plot is that Daniels became aware of shady goings on between Styles and Carter and attempted to make out that ‘The Phenomenal One’ had slept his way to the top of the organisation, instead of making it there on merit. Kazarian was turned against his buddy by a few carefully chosen words by ‘The Fallen Angel’.

The problems with this are obvious. Styles and Carter are both known to be happily married. A fake affair requires too much suspension of disbelief. More importantly Styles has been one of the best wrestlers in the promotion since its formation ten years ago, before Dixie joined the organisation. Also, his spot in the promotion is upper mid-card at best. Are we really to believe that ten years of hard work and sleeping with the boss have resulted in a pretty mediocre spot?

Why have these two been paired up for a storyline? Why?

If TNA want to book a programme involving Styles, Daniels and Kazarian then it would be best to keep the storyline as straightforward as possible. In an ideal world they would be engaged in a more sports-based rivalry, constantly exchanging wins in an effort to prove who the better man is. With Kurt Angle involved as Styles’ tag team partner it would be very easy to produce this sort of simple but effective programme. Doing this would provide IMPACT and various pay-per-views with a plethora of engaging matches. That’s what TNA fans want: not nonsense promoting Dixie Carter as an on-screen performer.

Why should anybody watching care if they have had an affair anyway? Why should anybody care about the recent revelation that the two have actually been visiting a woman bringing up a child single-handed (or some equally banal activity)? They shouldn’t and they won’t. Storylines like this just don’t have a place on a wrestling show.

When plots focusing on outside-the-ring activities do make it onto a wrestling programming they should be thought about and planned carefully. In an ideal world they should include less experienced wrestlers as it creates a tighter focus on their promos, which is useful for learning and improving their act.

Clichéd, overbooked, unplanned soap operas are not the sort of thing that will improve a wrestling show in 2012 and they certainly aren’t something that a wooden actor and talented wrestler like AJ Styles should be exposed to. If TNA really wants to make use of him they should let him do what he’s best at: wrestle.

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