For six months now we have watched the Hogan/Bischoff era of TNA. Many fans continue to express their dissatisfaction with the direction of the 'new' TNA. The "in with the old, out with the new" mentality has seemed to plague the TNA locker room as of late. The terrible gimmicks, the lack of structure.
But, this is not another article by a disgruntled fan flaming the repeated attempts of TNA to "rise to the top of the mountain".
Instead, this is acknowledgement by a fan, who has remained loyal the past six months and, with a smile on my face, is happy to see TNA finally find its feet.
Thursday, July 1st, TNA
From the opening moments of the broadcast the changes were evident.
Abyss enters ringside. Gone is his red and yellow 'Abyssmania' ring attire. Dressed in his torn hooded jacket with the spray painted Abyss/Apocalypse logo on the back, the Monster had returned.
He approaches the some children seated at ring side, leans over the railing and screams in their faces. The look of shock and fear on the children's faces as they ran from their seats, this ain't no PG wrestling show, no kids allowed!
Abyss snatches up their chairs and throws them in the ring.
Hogan enters the ring in an attempt to stop the Monster's rage, calling Abyss to the ring, only to have Bischoff and security try to stop the impending brawl.
Bischoff approaches Abyss as if to attempt to reason with him.
Bischoff belts Abyss across the face followed by chair shots from Hogan, a run in by Hardy, and a swanton.
Main event for the night: Hardy vs Abyss with special guest referee, RVD!
Abyss loses the plot backstage, smashing everything in his path. The rage is out of control.
Abyss returns to the arena and approaches the commentators, sizes them up, and points to Tazz, "YOU!"
But Abyss doesn't attack Tazz. There is something more here that I'll explain later.
The next story arc now can play out as Ink Inc takes on MCMG. D-Von sits with the commentators in anticipation for his brother Ray.
Although MCMG pick up a win over Jesse due to a distraction by Ray, the real story here is D-Von, once again, choosing the side of Jesse. The friction developing between the brothers 3-D is at breaking point.
AJ, accompanied by Flair and Kaz, now must face Samoa Joe. AJ is obviously not pleased with Kaz being at ringside, especially mimicking Flair.
Joe cleanly defeats AJ, which further upsets Flair, but the mocking laughs by Kaz only rub salt into the deepening wounds of AJ.
The extradition of AJ from Flair's stable 'Fortune' is imminent. AJ's face turn is moments away, and a heated feud with Kaz begins next week as the two face off in the ring.
"Sting is a cancer!" Hogan and Bischoff repeat these words to Dixie in a private meeting, 'manipulating' Dixie to do something about him, to which she agrees. There is plenty to read between the lines in this meeting. Dixie is a puppet. Hogan and Bischoff are pulling her strings. There is more going on here.
Also, during the meeting, Nash enters needing to speak with Hogan, but is asked to leave immediately, much to the disgust and anger of Nash.
Nash has an agenda here.
Kendrik claims a victory over Wolfe who is too distracted by his bracelet Chelsea. She walks off on Wolfe. No doubt Wolfe will attempt to take his aggression out on her, only to be stopped by an unknown rescuer, throwing Wolfe into a feud over Chelsea.
But here, the middle of the broadcast, The Pope returns with tears brimming in his eyes due to the admiration and respect he receives from every member of the audience. The Rock may no longer be in professional wrestling, but The Pope is here to comfortably fill his shoes.
Dropping to number eight in the rankings because of his time away can only mean one thing for The Pope...Kurt Angle.
The Pope and Angle express their respect for each other and, over a hand shake, officially announce their match at Victory Road.
Before his match, Jay Lethal calls out Flair for his assault on his brother the previous week. As expected, a no show from Flair.
Instead Matt Morgan enters for his match against Lethal. Predominantly a one-sided affair for Morgan until Hernandez low blows Morgan, enabling Lethal to get the roll up and three count on Morgan.
Taylor Wilde is in the ring ready for her match against Velvet Sky.
What is ultimately a lack lustre match and a victory for Velvet was just a centre piece for other going ons around the ring.
During the match, the ECW members enter the audience. Dreamer, Richards, Raven and, this time, joined by Rhyno.
So, who is 'they' that Abyss keep mentioning?
'They' are the ECW guys. And, as I hinted at earlier, Tazz is too. Let's see if my speculation is correct. Let's wait for the ECW guys to strike.
Angelina Love also grabs Velvet and attempts to nail her with a DDT on a chair, but Velvet escapes. That confrontation is saved for Victory Road.
Dixie is searching the rafters for Sting.
But also back stage Taylor Wilde and Sarita are caught up in a violent slug fest. Well, more precisely, Sarita is beating down Wylde. Security break up the two, but Sarita rushes Wilde and gives her one almighty belt across the face. The sound of the impact echoes backstage.
I had to replay the impact a few times so I could believe what I just saw. What I just heard! Taylor's body went limp in the security guard's arms.
As we cut back to the commentators, they too were just as shocked.
And here, Dixie confronts Sting in the rafters, one on one.
Sting believes Dixie has come to realize the truth of what is going on and that is why she has come to him, until Dixie utters those words, "You have become a cancer in TNA," and she suspends Sting for 30 days without pay.
Sting yells back, "You think this is what it's all about? About money!"
Dixie asks, "What is it about?"
Sting claims he's been telling her all along but she has not been listening. That Dixie has been conned.
As Sting is about to walk off, Dixie pulls him back and asks, "What do you mean? Tell me?"
"Ill tell you in child-like terms Dixie!" says Sting, and as he's about to divulge the truth, Bischoff interrupts with security to remove Sting from the premises.
Before Sting leaves he says to forget about the 30 days and make it indefinite.
As Bischoff reassures Dixie, there is a hint of uncertainty in her eyes. There is more to this and Sting knows what it is.
Main event time and I hate to wrap up a great show like this, but it was pretty lack lustre.
It was ultimately a set up for the four-way at Victory Road.
Hardy gets a clean pin over Abyss without any interference by RVD. But Abyss, in post-match rage, begins to take his frustrations out on Hardy and RVD. Hes about to begin his beat down with his nail board but is stopped by an incoming Anderson with a chair.
Anderson swings at Abyss, Abyss ducks, Anderson nails Hardy.
Abyss picks up Anderson and deals out a little shock treatment, then stands over the three in victory.
So, after a long-winded recap of the night's show, what do we have?
The Monster Abyss is back.
3D is fragmenting.
AJ is on the outs with Flair and Fortune but is set for a heated rivalry with Kaz. But while Flair is working on assembling Fortune he has to deal with Lethal. Will this ultimately result in AJ and Lethal finding common ground and working together?
Hogan and Bischoff are playing Dixie. Eventually Dixie could go to Sting for help. Nash could possibly enter the mix here.
Wolfe and his girl problems.
The Pope is set for a match with Angle at Victory Road.
Morgan and Hernandez are set to explode.
The Lethal and Flair mockery is pure comedy. These two are working great together.
Taylor Wilde and Sarita feuding. Good. The Knockout division is focusing on someone other than TBP.
Also Angelina Love and Velvet Sky.
Sting Sting Sting...we were just seconds away from finding out the truth, but no.
However, speculation is running wild.
And back to Abyss. Victory Road leads to Abyss. And 'They' will show themselves at Victory Road.
TNA...your wrestling is excellent. Your story lines are not only involving but also integrating. Your stars are now shining with charisma.
It took you a while to find your feet but I feel you've found your groove and now you're running with it.
Let the show roll on.