Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fantasy Booking: TNA Slammiversary 2014

As many of you know, I haven't been that interested in TNA lately. I recently wrote an article depicting what I thought TNA could do to make the product better. Well, they didn't do exactly what I said, but it seems as if they are moving in the right direction.

I will say that when the MVP/Eric Young storyline began a few weeks ago, I didn't like it whatsoever. In fact, at the time I thought I wouldn't watch TNA again until it was over. I just had no interest in the story. Then this past Thursday's episode of Impact Wrestling caused some buzz on social media which immediately caught my attention.

For the first time in nearly a year, I really regretted not watching TNA. I got online and caught up on what happened was immediately interested. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that Austin Aries is back in the main event scene and Kenny King is getting his first shot in the spotlight. These are two wrestlers that I said TNA needed to put in the limelight to improve the product and sure enough they've done it.

The MVP/King/Lashley stable is a great idea. I'm hopeful this storyline will continue to be as good as it's began. With all that said, since my interest has really been peaked in TNA, I began thinking of how TNA could continue making the product better.

I love doing Fantasy Bookings and I just so happen to come up with a full card for TNA's next PPV, Slammiversary. Only two matches have been announced thus far, so I've included them although I made a few tweaks to them. This is how I would book TNA Slammiversary 2014:

1) Mr. Anderson & Gunner vs. The Bro Mans
I think this would be a good opening contest. Anderson has recently been embroiled in a rivarly with James Storm and Gunner has just finished a rivarly with him, so I'd have that continue in the weeks leading to Slammiversary then Storm "gets injured" and isn't able to compete at Slammiversary. That leads to Anderson & Gunner wanting a tag title shot, but The Bro Mans come out and say they have to beat them before they get anything because they are the former tag champs. This sets up the match between Anderson/Gunner and The BroMans. And why did I choose to leave Storm off the card? Well, the only logical option to include him would be to do Anderson vs. Storm. Doing that would leave out Gunner & The Bro Mans - three rising young talents that can't afford to take a leave of absence from the audience. Gunner just came off a phenomenal feud with Storm and leaving him out would be dumb. It would make the Storm feud feel like a waste. The Bro Mans just lost the tag belts and leaving them off one of the biggest PPV's of the year would sink them even lower which would be a bad thing for them. James Storm has made his name, the fans won't forget about him nor stop caring for him therefore he can afford to not compete on this show although he'll still be invovled. In my opinion, this is the best way to go as you're able to utilize the most talent. The outcome of this match is simple - Gunner turns on Anderson and The Bro Mans pick up the victory. Gunner leaves with everyone wondering why he turned on Anderson. After Gunner leaves, James Storm hits the ring and beats down Anderson to continue their feud.

2) Sanada vs. Manik vs. Zema Ion
The X Division has always been my favorite part of TNA, but in the past year it's become a low priority in TNA. That needs to change and there are two men for the job - Manik and Zema Ion. Senada is a great wrestler, but it's only a matter of time before he has to head back to Japan and I think this would be a good time for him to drop the title. This match could be set up simply by having a #1 Contender's Match between Zema Ion and Manik on Impact. Have the match go to a 30 minute draw. A 30 minute draw? Yes, that's what I said. TNA needs to make people care about the X Division again. What better way to do that then letting two of it's best wrestlers go out there and tear it up for half an hour. I have faith these guys could do it because they are both outstanding wrestlers. If not a 30 minute draw, make it a 20 minute draw. Either one will work. Anyway, after the draw, they both earn a title shot which sets up a triple threat match for the X Division title! I think Zema Ion should walk out of this match with the title and go into a feud with his former friends in the Bro Mans as Robbie E is a former X Division Champ.

3) Willow vs. Samuel Shaw
The two most intriguing personas on the Impact Wrestling roster currently are Willow and Samuel Shaw. That being said, I think these two could produce a phenomenal rivalry. What would the basis of the story be? I'm not sure. I have a few ideas in mind, but nothing really stuck out to me so I decided not to include one. With the depth that both characters have, I'm sure a story could be created, it may take some thinking from the TNA creative team (which I don't think they do much of at this point), but there is potential in a feud involving these two. The promos would be outstanding. I think a rivalry between two characters as extensive as these two would be bring a new life to the current TNA product. I'd have Gunner interfere to help Samuel Shaw win thus creating the alliance that was teased on Impact this past week. And the explanation behind Gunner turning on Anderson can be that Shaw is the only person he can trust and he told him to attack Anderson because of their past problems.

4) Magnus vs. Bram
A Magnus/Willow feud isn't something I'd be interested in. Bram has been trying to motivate Magnus in certain ways and since he lost to Willow, I'd like to see Magnus turn on Bram and a rivalry develop between the two. Now wouldn't be a good time for a heel partnership since The Wolves are in a feud with MVP's regime and the only other tag team (The BroMans) are heels. I think this is the best option for the current Magnus/Bram storyline. Magnus certainly needs to be included in the show, he's a former World Champion after all.

5) EC3 vs. Bully Ray
This is the one match that's already announced for the show that I'm not going to change. The build has been pretty good so far. Bully Ray can make just about anything entertaining so I expect this match to be good as well.

6) Abyss vs. Knux - Monster's Ball Match for the TV Title
You're probably asking, TNA still has a TV Title? Yes, they do - it hasn't been acknowleged in forever, but TNA's website still lists Abyss as the TV champion. I think they need to bring it back to television because they have alot of young mid card talent who need a championship to compete for. The current champion is Abyss and I think the perfect person to challenge him for the title is Knux. Knux is a big bad looking guy who could seem like a legit threat to Abyss. This feud could be about much more than the TV Title however. I think Knux and The Menagerie should start harassing Abyss and reveal that the monster has a fear of clowns. It may sound corny, but it would work. The Menagarie is a bit silly any way, so why not run with this story? They can creep out Abyss on a weekly basis and even have Knux beat him after one of the clowns distracted Abyss. This leads to Abyss wanting a rematch, but he wants it to be HIS match this time - Monster's Ball. Knux can say that he'll accept the challenge if Abyss puts the Television Championship on the line. Abyss agrees and the match is set up.

7) Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards (The Wolves) vs. Kenny King & Austin Aries - Tag Team Championship Match
Kenny King started a rivalry with The Wolves by attacking Eddie Edwards on Impact this past week. The Wolves want revenge on MVP so he sent Kenny after them. Kenny King can't take on The Wolves alone which is where Austin Aries comes into the picture. Last week, Aries made the save on Eric Young, but gotten beaten up by MVP, Lashley, and King. Aries should get beaten up like this for another week or two when trying to be the good guy which will lead to him turning heel because "if you can't beat em, join em". Aries joins the faction and aligns with Kenny King to take the Tag Team Championships from The Wolves.

8) Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley
With King aligning with Aries, you're probably wondering what I'm booking Lashley to do at Slammiversary. I considered Bobby teaming up with stable mate Kenny King, but I just don't see that being a good team. I think the best option would be for Lashley to clash with a man who returns with a vengeance for MVP, Samoa Joe. If you remember, Joe didn't like MVP even before he turned heel. The World Title situation got Joe pissed at MVP and ended up causing him to get 'injured'. I think the perfect way to have Joe return would be during one of MVP, Lashley, and King's beatdowns on Eric Young. Samoa Joe hits the ring along with The Wolves to clean house on the faction. Joe begins wreaking havok in TNA because he wants to get his hands on MVP. MVP then says he has a problem solving monster for Joe to deal with - Bobby Lashley. Joe and Lashley had a short feud back in 2009 and seeing them clash was so epic. I think it would be even better this time around and would make for a great rivalry.

9) Eric Young vs. MVP vs. Bobby Roode
Eric Young vs. MVP is already announced for the PPV, but I think Bobby Roode should be added to the match. Alot of people are expecting him to turn completely into a babyface, but that isn't the right move. Roode works best as a self confident heel which is what I think he should be here. But since MVP is the big heel boss, Roode will probably be the tweener in this feud. I think it would be much better than Roode going into full on heel or face mode at this time. How will Roode get into the match? MVP can offer Roode the chance to get into the match if he helps him beat down on Eric Young and win the match and title then Roode will get the first title shot when MVP wins the belt. Roode agrees and signs the contract the week before Slammiversary, but he afterwards he tells MVP that their little deal is off and that he is walking out of Slammiversary with the TNA World Title in his possesion.

So, there you have it. My fantasy card for TNA's Slammiversary event. One thing that TNA has been guilty of is overdoing storylines. For instance, many people said that TNA overdid it on Thursday's episode of Impact with repeated appearances from MVP's stable. This is something that TNA needs to work on and I think building towards this card for Slammiversary would help make it a more well rounded product.

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