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Sloppy Booking spoils Bound for Glory 2010

Let’s see if I understand this: RVD defeats AJ Styles for the TNA World title, then he defeats Jeff Hardy in a title defense to remain champion. At this point, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and Jeff Jarrett collude with Abyss to take out RVD and put the title on Jeff Hardy. Bischoff announces a tournament to crown the new champion and Hardy ends up in the finals of a tournament that no one could know that he would even advance in, let alone wine. Hardy reaches the finals while Jeff Jarrett is arguing with Kevin Nash and Sting about Hogan and Bischoff, luring Samoa Joe and The Pope into their border war. Then, when the time is right, with a referee knocked out by an inadvertent clothesline from Kurt Angle, Bischoff and Hogan come out to secure the victory and title for Jeff Hardy while Jarrett and Abyss look on and come to the ring to celebrate, meaning that Jarrett, Bischoff, Hogan & Hardy are the mythical “They” that Abyss has been babbling about ever since he unexplainably turned his back on Hulk Hogan and became a deranged monster once more.

For those who do not understand this, this is how the TNA creative staff chose to payoff the Abyss monster story line and the conclusion of the promotion’s “biggest PPV of the year,” Bound for Glory 2010. They felt that Jeff Hardy could not win the title without a heel turn because that would cost the group Kurt Angle in the process and who really wants to see another face versus face RVD/Jeff Hardy match? By having Jeff Hardy cheat to win with the help of the powerbrokers of the federation, then Kurt cannot leave and TNA gets a fresh face as champion, considering they decided not to open the book on the Velvet Sky era as Knockouts champion. However, due to more sloppy booking by TNA creative, you get a Jeff Hardy heel champion and an angry RVD and Kurt Angle as his first two contenders, meaning that the long awaited RVD/Kurt Angle match becomes a top contender match instead of a title match, and because Samoa Joe lost to Mr. Anderson, he is not a threat to the title. In order for this plan to work, someone had to knock out the ref during the match, but who knew that this would happen? Would the plan not work if the ref had stayed vertical during the entire match or would his decision just get overturned? The sad part is the fact that Jeff Hardy has not been a heel since he and his brother were managed by Michael Hayes, and that was not the hottest angle at that time in history.

TNA has long been accused of sloppy or lazy booking, and BFG 2010 is no better. The Hogan/Bischoff era began with Hogan and Bischoff arguing about Bischoff’s horrible treatment of Jeff Jarrett and ended BFG with the two of them on the same side, which Jarrett has been defending to Nash and Sting for the past two months while Sting and Nash have been trying o convince the world that they the two of them were in fact the good guys and Hogan and Bischoff were on the wrong side. There was, of course, no payoff having Sting and Nash be proven wrong, so the two of them had to be right all along, and Jarrett, Hogan and Bischoff had to be evil, possibly in league with Abyss, but who knew that it would involve the world title. The title victory was a surprise, but having the federation’s power brokers being revealed as “they”, in opposition to Dixie Carter was not much of a surprise, considering how large her role on television had become.

TNA has a sizable roster of very talented performers, but having Styles, Kazarian, Morgan and Beer Money be pawns for a Flair/Foley feud while giving jobs to older than necessary ECW alums is a waste of some very talented individuals. It would be much better if TNA creative would take advantage of the roster and create compelling story lines that require entertaining matches to resolve. That is what the fans wish for, and would like to see delivered. Double swerves only serve to disgust the fans and make us long for the days when wrestling was about “wrestling” and not about soap opera tales of intrigue and subterfuge. For this being TNA’s “biggest show of the year”, is seemed like as big a waste as the rest of the shows lately, and that is very bad for a federation that is trying to grow their audience. Becoming the anti-WWE does not mean becoming WCW version 2.0, but sadly, that is what TNA has become. Be careful what you wish for…

Eric E. Jenkins is an author who is currently writing “Dead Too Soon”, a book chronicling the careers of and paying tribute to many of the wrestling stars who passed away very young. Eric also hosts a classic soul radio show that can be heard each Wednesday Night from 9-10PM Eastern time on the Red River Radio Network and online at redriverradio.org. You can read excerpts on “Dead Too Soon” at www.ericejenkins.com and you can comment to this article at [email protected].