Note: This article was written on Monday, October 17, prior to when the October 20 iMPACT taping spoilers were revealed.
Last night's Bound For Glory PPV should have been the event that changed the course for Total Nonstop Action.
But instead, it left a sour taste in the mouths of TNA Wrestling fans everywhere.
All the pieces had been carefully laid out. Bobby Roode had won the BFG Series last month at No Surrender, and after some brilliant video packages highlighting his training for this main event match, looked to finally give Impact Wrestling the fresh face it needed to lead the company forward.
In the end, however, the company took a step backward. In the end, Kurt Angle remained the World Heavyweight Champion with a cop-out finish. And, in the end, the biggest news to come out of Bound For Glory revolved around Hulk Hogan.
Gee, what a surprise.
Now, I am not going to verbally insult the Hulkster because when the crowd sensed Hogan was about to “Hulk Up” and go to town on Immortal, they erupted in unison. And sitting on the living room couch at the house, I was ecstatic myself. It felt like I was a child all over again, seeing Hulkamania run wild on the evil heels.
But that's the problem.
I am not a child anymore, and I do not want to relive old wrestling tapes on PPV in 2011. Not that I don't appreciate history, but there's a reason it is called history: It happened in the past, and it should stay there.
Since I started watching TNA Wrestling back in 2005, so many superstars who were overly popular in the mid-to-late '90s have come aboard with mega fanfare yet little return on their investment.
In the last six years, The Dudley Boyz, Christian, Sting, Scott Steiner, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair have all, at one time or another, joined the ranks of Impact Wrestling. Sprinkle in names such as Mr. Anderson (Kennedy), Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley and Matt Morgan, and you have a list of who's who in the wrestling business. Yet, the rating ticker has remained in the 1.1-1.3 bracket for half a decade.
Granted, some of those names have since departed, and others have reinvented themselves to remain relevant, but the point is that most wrestling fans want something new. And by “something new," they want SOMEONE new as the World Heavyweight Champion.
Last night was the perfect opportunity, and TNA squandered the chance.
Sure, TNA can give Roode the out that Angle used the ropes for leverage to retain the championship to prove Angle couldn't beat Roode straight-up, resulting in a rematch for the world championship.
But the damage has already been done. They cannot duplicate the buildup to Bound For Glory for any other future PPV. TNA will not be able to sell the fact that Roode has been in the business for 13 years and is finally getting a World Title shot. No interviews with his family, his friends or showing him training in the gym can build up the rematch as effectively as it did for the original.
Instead of giving Roode his chance to shine at Bound For Glory last night, TNA went the easy route. They decided to keep the championship on someone who's already established instead of creating their own stars.
In its near-decadelong history, TNA Wrestling has not created many stars. In fact, one could argue that AJ Styles is the only homegrown talent that the company has produced within its existence. Don't try and sell Samoa Joe as a “homegrown talent” because he was a star in Ring of Honor before he ever stepped foot in TNA Wrestling. But this topic can be discussed in its own column.
The fact remains is at Bound For Glory, Roode should have become the World Heavyweight Champion. Perhaps the finish was changed on the fly because the rest of the card went longer than expected, and both Roode and Angle believed a title change would not be believable in a 15-minute main event match.
Perhaps this is all part of the plan, with the storyline continuing on Thursday's iMPACT where the groundwork begins for the Roode vs. Angle rematch at Turning Point. Perhaps then is where the “Turning Point” of the company truly takes place? Perhaps the classic encounter between Angle and Roode, that should have taken place at BFG, will finally occur at Turning Point?
Forget about Hulkamania. Let the assumptions regarding the World Heavyweight Championship run wild, brother!