Return Of The Wars: Jan. 4 2010 Flashback: Analyzing The Aftermath
As many of you know, and probably forgotten by now, TNA Wrestling went head-to-head Live with WWE's Monday Night RAW for the first time ever on this very day (Jan. 4 as I write this) a year ago!
It was a historic and monumental night to say the least from both companies,and I know I was flipping the channel rapidly.
On the first Monday Night of wrestling in the new decade, we saw new debuts, new champions, and returns. So, why not analyze this historical moments a year later and see what "impact" they really made on the wrestling world?
Edit: Just realized this is my 50th article on Bleacher Report! This is awesome, thanks for all the support Bleachers!
Jeff Hardy Returns to TNA
In the opening bout of this live TNA Impact, fans witnessed the return of Jeff Hardy after a Steel Asylum match went to a no-contest.
The surprising factor to this was that no fan was expecting Hardy to sign to TNA, but rather back to WWE in time for Wrestlemania. Imagine what Vince was thinking at the time it happened?
One word: backstabber.
After months of being under-utilized in TNA, Hardy finally took a step in the right level: main event. With a huge heel turn at Bound for Glory VI, the Enigma now serves as the TNA Heavyweight Champion and key factor in the heel faction "Immortal".
Don't expect him back in WWE anytime soon...if at all.
2010 Being "The Year of The Miz"
Right after the Bret Hart segment on this special edition of RAW, Maryse defeated Brie Bella in a rather quick contest to advance in the Divas Title tournament. However, what happened following the contest was the highlight.
Debuting his "awesome" new theme song "I Came to Play" by Downstait, The Miz left Maryse speechless turning her down for not holding the title, and that 2010 would be the year of The Miz.
Looks like Miz was right! In the entire year of 2010, The Miz held the United States Championship for eight months, won the Unified Tag Team Champion that he defended at Wrestlemania 26, won Money in the Bank, a two-time Pro on NXT, and successfully became WWE Champion.
Time will tell if history can repeat itself this year.
Ric Flair Debuts in TNA
In another very shocking debut for TNA Wrestling, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair was shown exiting a limo upon his arrival to the Impact zone and shaking hands with Beer Money, Eric Young, and others.
He then made his way to AJ Styles locker room, and accompanying him later in the evening for his title match.
One year later, Ric Flair is the mastermind leader behind Fortune, and now also a major part of Immortal. He turned heel with AJ Styles two weeks after debuting, and now is a master on the mic more than ever.
Was this a success for TNA? Wooooooooo you know it.
Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston
In an epic rivalry that lasted nearly three months, Kofi Kingston was getting the push of his career while facing Randy Orton in numerous matches.
At WWE TLC, Randy Orton got the better of Kingston, but people were questioning the same outcome for the RAW rematch.
However if Orton was to lose to Kingston, he would be booted from Legacy. Unfortunately, Kingston would have his last run in the spotlight that night as he lost to Orton due to botches that Randy was upset with.
Kingston suffered a huge drop in momentum and changed drastically moving back to mid-card. Since then, the only big feud he had was with Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, which he lost anyway.
Randy Orton, on the other hand, broke off from Legacy and became a huge babyface on RAW. After winning the WWE Championship, Orton remains in the race for the title.
Hulk Hogan's TNA Debut
Since his huge press conference with Dixie Carter, Hulk Hogan was the mainstream of TNA for a few months and received huge hype leading into his debut. Being billed as "change," Hulk Hogan was determined to rebel against WWE.
Too bad it didn't happen like that.
Hulk Hogan did make a huge impact on that live edition of TNA, but change did come... just not in the way we hoped.
Hulk Hogan along with Eric Bischoff slowly took over TNA (in story-line and reality) and started making major changes to permanent formats, such as getting a new four-sided ring, debuting (a failed) ReAction, and releasing originals such as Consequences Creed, Awesome Kong, Sheik Abdul Bashir, and ODB.
Many heel/face turns took place, leaving us to question who is what these days. And Immortal is doing average in my opinion currently, so turning heel wasn't so bad.
But at what cost?
Yes, TNA got it's highest rating on that Jan. 4, but it never reached that high again. They failed miserably going live on Mondays in March, which only lasted a month.
Time for them to go, and bring us back to the days when TNA didn't remind me so much of WCW.
Bret Hart Returns
Last but not least, the return of "The Hitman" Bret Hart.
I know, you've probably seen this on many slides already in other articles writing about 2010 (including mine) but mine will discuss the impact it made.
On this monumental night, Bret Hart returned for the first time in over 12 years, which excited many hardcore fans and confused many children. His crowd reaction can explain that.
He did bury the hatchet with Shawn Michaels, but was not so lucky with Vince McMahon. Their rivalry lead them to Wrestlemania 26, where Hart defeated McMahon in a dominant fashion.
To be honest, I'm not that certain of Hart's whereabouts today.
He continued as RAW General Manager, which didn't last long. And later feuded with Nexus, but following that, he hasn't been seen since.
He has been gone for months, and I could only hope he returns one more time with some kind of on-air role. The impact he made when he returned, although, will always be remembered the day he brought back some old school to WWE.
Anyone think we might have the same luck with Randy Savage or Ultimate Warrior?