AJ and Abyss: Is The Change Good?

Colin LucasContributor IMarch 23, 2010

As we went into the 2010 year of wrestling, we saw a huge takeover of TNA by Hulk Hogan. Changes were made quickly under Hogan; RVD was hired, Jeff Hardy was hired, Ric Flair was brought in, The Nasty Boys were brought in, Jimmy Hart is on board, and TNA moved to Monday nights. A little competition never hurt anybody and it seemed Hogan had a plan for TNA. Hogan's attempt at going at WWE is crazy move and we have seen companies try this before. The only problem is Hogan is changing EVERYTHING. Not just the look and the new wrestlers, but changing the other talent that was in TNA before TNA was on basic cable! Two big changes are with AJ Styles and Abyss, but these changes seem to just hinder these wrestlers.

The character of Abyss was introduced to TNA back in 2003. He was brought in as a bodyguard for Kid Kash at the time. Throughout his time in TNA pre-Hogan era, Abyss was built up quite nicely. Now, a few storylines are in question like the Dr. Stevie angle, or the James Mitchell is my Daddy feud, but overall Abyss' character was getting good TV time as his own character. He was a bit different from the rest of the roster and seemed to be on a good path. Now Hogan comes into the picture.

With Hogan now, Abyss seems like a Hulk Hogan copycat. Under Hogan's colors, intro music, and all of his catch-phrases, Abyss seems to a under a Hogan cookie cutter. Is Hogan trying to recreate himself through Abyss and see if that same formula works again? It appears to me at least that, yes Abyss is getting to main event for the World Title, but what happened to the scary, independent Abyss. Abyss from 2003 would never need a RING let alone Hulk Hogan to give him confidence. Abyss has gone through this character change before Hogan, but he seems even weaker now with Hogan and he is copying Hogan! Do these "Let's copy what this old wrestler did" ever work? That leads me to AJ Styles.

AJ Styles is probably the only other guy to get a huge push under Jeff Jarrett during his years in TNA. As TNA continued to build AJ, the more titles he won with the company. From the World Title, Tag Titles, X Division Title, and the Legends (Global) Title, AJ is the only TNA Grand Slam Champion. Being a wrestler who hasn't made the 6 feet mark, this is very impressive that a company would have that much confidence in a smaller wrestler. AJ has proven to every small guy out there that if you believe, you can be the best in the business. And AJ did this under himself, not copying what other wrestlers did. AJ did it all on his own during the pre-Hogan era. Let us look into the Hogan era now.

Once Hogan came in, he stuck Ric Flair on AJ. Now, people would think this is a good idea, but I'm not one of those people. They have totally changed AJ's character to be the Ric Flair of the 2010's. Another copycat wrestler in TNA main eventing. I don't know if Hogan is trying to build him and Ric again but not directly, but it doesn't seem right that these two wrestlers need to copy another wrestler's gimmick in order to be in the main event or hold the title. Making a wrestler out of an old, successful wrestler's gimmick does not work. Wrestling fans need something new, not the same old shit.

Now, we have seen this attempted before all WWE and other companies, and it always fails. I don't want to see AJ or Abyss just disappear because they don't have their own gimmick, but it seems this is the road they are talking. They need to be themselves again and stop copying the veterans before more people start changing the channel, and my God, TNA doesn't need that right now.