TNA Impact Wrestling: Could Magnus Become the Face of TNA?
TNA have long looked for the hero on their roster.
When you are thinking of a man to head the company, it is an interesting question.
In reality, no man will have Hulk Hogan's mainstream ability to draw an audience.
Whilst the company is rather flush with excellent performers, the UK tour I went to see recently was understandably advertised mainly by the presence of the Hulkster.
Jeff Hardy has much of the appeal TNA are chasing for an in-ring talent to head their active wrestler. Some would say this is why the high flier is TNA champion.
Austin Aries did not slot into the role in his title, holding character, and has flourished since he returned to a heel persona.
Looking down the list of possible rising stars, a few may have the talent but maybe not every attribute Dixie Carter and the decision-makers will be on the hunt for.
Kurt Angle is on the downward arch of his career, Samoa Joe is a brutal monster and Bobby Roode was a fantastic, record-breaking champ but is another who flourishes as the heel.
Possibly the two most prominent baby-face contenders we have are Bully Ray and James Storm.
Storm seems to have been primed for a title run a few times now but not really given the green light. Few would have argued had he been the man to take the strap off Roode; in fact, most would have preferred such a logical ending to their feud.
Where is Magnus' limit with TNA?
But Bully Ray is the man with the momentum right now. Personally, I prefer Bully the heel. His best work, especially with the mic, has been as a Bully Ray who does not give a damn about the company.
Suddenly, he has become a lovesick puppy with Brooke on his arm and Hulk Hogan the apple of his eye.
I believe there's a twist coming with that one, but face or heel, I think he is the next TNA world champion.
As the title of this article suggests, British bias is on this writer's mind as he looks at a man to lead the company in the squared circle.
That man is Magnus. Magnus has a lot going for him: physical prowess, technical ability, charisma, strength, the right look and notable fantastic matches.
One of his most recent feuds, where he faced Samoa Joe, saw two stars in a midcard slot going out there looking to steal the show.
There was something raw and impressive about the whole rivalry. It was not some sort of faux dramatic presentation attempting to bond Hollywood to wrestling.
They built it around intense hatred and each man's desire to beat the life out of the other. Joe is a pro at this, but Magnus matched him every step.
The matches they put on were up there with my favorites of the year. In the ring, Magnus proved himself able to be agile and dominating. This was in his heel persona, but there is no reason to suggest his good work should be limited by this.
Two things have set in motion a face turn—a turn I hope is permanent.
The first is the savage attack by Aces and Eights that led to his injury layoff.
The second is the U.K. tour.
They were tied in very well. I must credit TNA with showing the foresight to combine the two. It would have been easy to just let him be cheered because that happens, but instead the writers made it viable in the story arc of the company.
Appearances on the U.K. Road to Lockdown Tour have shown he works well as a face when the pressure is on. It's easy to get cheered, but it is not to easy to fit yourself into that role without missing a step. Magnus did that.
Natural charisma helped this process. He looked perfectly suited to chasing away the Kazarian and Daniels act of teasing the U.K. crowd, before challenging Devon on Open Fight Night.
Again, he played the role of the avenger, and although beaten, he cleared the ring to stand tall in front of his home crowd.
The Television Title that Devon holds should be his first target. If he can take the crown from a prominent heel in the story, the U.S. crowd will pop for him. Long term, the avenger should continue his steps as a hero.
He should then get tested by the likes of Daniels, Aries and Roode. All three are fantastic heels in character and superb workers in the ring. Their experience and variety of styles would go far to test Magnus—a test I believe he would pass with 5-star matches.
The mass appeal he has in the U.K. should not be ignored either. TNA are making strides over here to become as popular as ever.
Shows like British Boot Camp and TNA Backstage Pass on Challenge TV are increasing their viewership and introducing different insights and angles to watch TNA.
A huge push for Magnus would make TNA news in British wrestling circles. It would certainly excite the loyal crowds and the inconsistent viewers, but it could bring a lot of WWE viewers too.
He has the look of a company-leading champion, too. Tall, muscle-bound and fresh-faced, his image would be perfect.
We may be fans, but we understand that the image of a champion is often important for media ambitions.
But he is clearly physically impressive in stature and ability, too; his ring work and forceful face routine (rather than the child-friendly face) would make sure respect stayed with the real wrestling crowd.
TNA seem keen to make a star. A few people on the roster have been given glimpses of chances but failed to either connect or be given the boot into the limelight.
Magnus is potentially huge and has long-term value, no taints on his record and both mainstream and hardcore appeal.
To hear Magnus' TNA potential discussed and more TNA (plus some WWE) topics please check me out on the v2 Wrestling Podcast here. You can follow me on Twitter too @The_Wilkerson
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