Thursday 26 July 2012

Aces, Eights and Chavo Guerrero

Things were going pretty well in TNA.

Late last year Bobby Roode and James Storm were promoted to the main event and presented as genuine singles stars. Austin Aries recently joined them and captured the company’s world championship, a positive sign as it showed TNA had noticed the man’s talent and rise in popularity. Zema Ion is now leading the X Division into what is hopefully going to become a renaissance for the league and for the most part talent such as Samoa Joe, Magnus and Chris Daniels are being generally well used.

Most notably the various former WWE employees under contract (Mr Anderson, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Devon, and the rest of the gang) have had their pushes decreased in order to allow those mentioned above to rise to the top. Hulk Hogan and Sting are now being booked more as special attractions than regulars and Eric Bischoff has been written off television all together.

The positivity I felt about the TNA product was undone by one thing: the announcement that Chavo Guerrero had been signed by the promotion.

Chavo is a competent worker who can produce good to great matches if he has the right opponent. He is not someone renowned for being able to carry far less experienced men to excellent matches. His verbal work is merely average. In short he excels at no one aspect of professional wrestling over any other and has not shown at any point during his career that he has what it takes to make it as a headline attraction.

I am less than enthused about Chavo Guerrero's addition to the TNA roster

At 41-years-old and with younger, better men plying their trade on the US independent scene I can see no reason for TNA to have hired Chavo. He would make a very good addition to their group of trainers and road agents (which currently includes D’Lo Brown, Al Snow and Simon Diamond) but that’s not what he’s been hired for. He is being brought in as an on-screen performer. Considering the fact that his first appearance on this evening’s live IMPACT is being pushed heavily by TNA it seems as though he’s going to be a featured performer.

Perhaps I’m being unnecessarily negative. Maybe Chavo will be brought in for a short run to help grant the X Division some credibility. A three or four month stint topped off by a babyface Chavo unsuccessfully challenging a heel Zema Ion for the X belt could do the league some good.

I don’t think we’ll get that though. I think Chavo is going to be around for a while and TNA are going to do all they can to get him over as a big star when they should be giving more time to men like Ion and Kenny King.

On a related note we have the mysterious Aces and Eights faction attacking members of the TNA roster, seemingly at random. The crew has featured a revolving roster of men, always working under hoods and masks to obscure their identities.

At this point the Aces and Eights faction looks like it's going to be another excuse for TNA to hire a load of ex-WWE talent

This being wrestling it’s been easy enough to identify some of the assailants so far. Drew ‘Luke Gallows’ Hankinson is currently the only man to have been involved in every Aces segment. He’s expected to be a member of the faction when the masks are dropped. Wes Briscoe was on run-in duty and is similarly expected to wind up on the faction’s roster. D’Lo Brown was also involved in the beatdown of Aries on last week’s IMPACT, but he will likely end up just being an uncredited extra.

The reason TNA are revolving the men working under hoods is so that the eventual line-up, whenever it’s revealed, comes as a surprise to viewers. That’s a nice approach but based on the men involved in the angle so far it seems as though TNA is planning to stock the faction with former WWE names.

As I stated above an increase in ex-WWE performers is not what TNA needs. Find some new talent and let them connect with the audience. It’s worked for Aries, Roode and Storm. It would work for others, but it can’t if the Aces and Eights faction begins gobbling up air time once they’re unmasked. Sadly that seems like the likeliest route at this point.

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