This is a very off-the-cuff, unscheduled blog, based solely upon an idea I had whilst doing my regular stint on the Ministry of Slam podcast tonight.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
We were talking about TNA No Surrender which takes place tonight, and I admitted that I am a couple of weeks behind on my Impact viewing, so taking a look at the card was a bit puzzling to me, as I wasn't up to date. In particular, the final four of the Bound For Glory series had me scratching my head a little.
You see, at the point of my current viewing (about three shows back) I haven't heard the announcers explain the format of the matches at No Surrender. Or perhaps they have but because I have been watching on Sky+, and hence fast forward liberally, I may not have heard them explain. My understanding was that there would be two semi finals and then a final, in the style of the Rugby Premiership, or football's Play Offs. Apparently, that's not correct.
Instead, the final two matches will simply count toward the general standings, and I am informed that they stand as follows: Bully Ray 49pts, Bobby Roode 42pts, Gunner 42pts, James Storm 40pts.
So then, using a sensible booking structure (that may be my first mistake) I would suggest that what happens is that Bobby Roode wins his match by pinfall, scoring seven points and tieing for the lead with Bully Ray. This then leaves the field open for Storm to win by submission, therefore getting ten points and getting to 50pts, just one ahead of Ray and Roode. Game over. Finito.
Now I'm not saying that's not what they'll do. In fact, it would be an excellent plan. But is there an alternative. Is there that rarest of commodities, a genuinely shocking but logical booking swerve that TNA employ that actually works and makes sense.
Here's how I see it. The first half of the plan is fine. Roode beats Gunner, possibly with Storm at ringside to fend off Immortal interference, and he goes on to 49pts. So the stage is set for later that night, with Storm needing a submission to win it all.
And so that is the talk. He acknowledges it in an interview, the commentators play it up. The match begins. Immortal are represented at ringside, but Roode is there in his partner's corner. As could be the rest of Fortune. Immortal try to get involved, and are run off by Daniels, Kazarian and Styles. In the ring, after dozens of submission attempts which have failed, Storm locks in a submission hold. Perhaps a figure four or a fujiwara arm bar, or something that fits the story. Whatever it is, he has it locked in, and Bully Ray can't escape. It's over.....isn't it?
Not so fast. At the point where Bully Ray looks poised to tap, Bobby Roode slides in......and kicks Storm in the head. He picks up Storm and nails him with a huge spine buster or something. The bell rings.
Storm wins the match by DQ. So he gets three points. He moves on to 43pts. That's not enough. But better than that, Bully Ray loses 10 for being disqualified. He goes down to 39pts. So the table reads Roode 49, Storm 43, Gunner 42, Bully Ray 39. Roode wins. He goes to BFG as the number one contender. It works on every level.
It makes sense. He didn't facilitate the break up before now because he needed Storm's help to gain points and watch his back. Why do it? Well, for one he wants the glory of being number one contender and being the champion. Two, what happened when he was injured? Storm buddied up to Alex Shelley, and defended the title belts. Ok, they won, but Storm was risking Roode's livelihood. How could he?
There is one major flaw. In makes Roode v Storm the biggest feud in the company, and they can't do anything about it at Bound For Glory because it's Roode v the Champ. And there is a further problem, because there is then no heat on the title match, because if we assume Kurt retains, then it's heel v heel at the biggest show of the year. If Anderson wins to make it face v heel that's better, but Anderson isn't over. And who does Kurt wrestle at BFG?
Look, it's not perfect, I admit. But I've only just come up with it. In fact, it could work the other way around. Storm could win the first match, and then screw Roode later on. But I don't feel that Storm would be right as the scheming heel. I'm championed Roode as potentially the biggest star anywhere if he is booked correctly. All the comparisons to Curt Hennig, Rick Rude and others are fair, but I see a lot of 1999/2000 Triple H in him. And say what you like about Hunter, he was a mega heel at that time.
I'll be honest, I think I'd rather see either Storm or Roode win it fairly and have the momentum going forward to face Angle (or whomever) at BFG, but this is a decent alternative. We'll wait, and watch, and see.......