While watching the Texas Rangers go through yet another epic playoff collapse...
Last Thursday we saw TNA's favorite go-to guy AJ Styles (his wife calls him Allen) win the 2013 Bound for Glory Series and secure a title shot at Bound for Glory against TNA World Champion Bully Ray in October. Whether or not that had a lot to do with signing him to a new contract is neither here or there, however the fact remains is that he is in position to not only win the title but quite possibly become TNA's savior. Yes, I know that's a line that's been uttered before, but before you click away, think about this.
TNA has had a lot of negative press over the past few months due to several releases, from the situation regarding Hulk Hogan's contract status, to the possibility of no longer taking Impact on the road due to escalating costs. More than ever before, TNA needs AJ Styles to be the face of the company. Sure, we've heard that same line uttered on Monday Night Raw a lot lately, but everyone and their mother knows that as long as John Cena draws breath, he will always be the WWE's top face.
Which underdog wrestler are you rooting for?
As I looked at AJ Styles' promo last week after winning the BFG series, something else occurred to yours truly. It's that TNA is going to do the same thing that the WWE is currently doing with their own somewhat underdog star in Daniel Bryan, which is put a mat technician that is easy to root for against a dominant heel champion. However, unlike the WWE, TNA will actually promote their underdog as their top star. Face it, Daniel Bryan could hold the WWE Championship from here to eternity, but he will never be the company's top draw. The declining ratings on Raw and low PPV numbers already reflect that, and I'm sure Vince McMahon is sending Get Well (Very) Soon cards to Cena in hopes that he can return by the Royal Rumble.
TNA, however, has an opportunity to take Styles and place him in position to truly be on top of the mountain. Yes, he is a multi-time World Champion, but he can be booked as the main man should he beat Bully Ray, who has been one of the best heel titleholders in a long time (Randy Orton take notes). Styles may not be the best on the mic, but can easily win over a crowd with his amazing talent in the ring, where he tells a story better than most in the business. Nothing against Bryan, but Styles can has that ability to make you believe he can beat anyone at any time. Imagine him giving the Big Show a Pele Kick!
Despite having to put up with a lot of silly gimmicks over the years ("Baby" Nature Boy, Christian Coalition, wearing a turkey suit), Styles has an opportunity to be the star TNA needs to market to the casual fanbase. A lot is riding on the future of TNA next month, and they have the guy to carry them through.