Sunday saw the second of TNA’s four pay per views this month with “Lockdown.” The event this year broke the mould of the how the event usually runs, with only three of the matches on this years’ card being cage matches in contrast to the all cage match affair that Lockdown usually is.
However, the big talking point coming out of the event is that the leader of the Aces and Eights stable has been unveiled. After months of speculation, guess work and teases, the man who is the President and mastermind of Aces and Eights was revealed to be Bully Ray.
In the main event of the show between Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray for the World Heavyweight Championship, the Aces and Eights surrounded the two till they were back to back when Devon threw a hammer to Bully Ray and he clattered Jeff Hardy with it, signalling his alignment with the stable and heralding the Era of The Bully in TNA, as Ray claimed his first World Championship.
While this was welcome to say the least (a face called Bully? I mean come on), I’m not particularly hopeful of this turning the angle around.
Yes, Bully Ray is a decent leader for the stable. However, the stable is still packed with mediocrity. Mike Knox and DOC are passable at best I suppose, although the fact they’ve lost pretty much every singles match they’ve ever contested they’ve not really been booked as a threat, especially seeing as Knox was just pinned by Eric Young of all people in the Lethal Lockdown match.
You have Garett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe. The fact that KURT ANGLE had to sell for Wes in their match I thought was ludicrous and I would’ve had a similar reaction to the Punk fan after the Rumble if it hadn’t been about 2.30am and I wasn’t already in bed. Does anyone see Garett and Wes as a threat to life in TNA as we know it? (outside of being pushed into spots they don’t deserve and are not ready for) Anyone? Didn’t think so.
Anderson and Devon are alright. Nothing special but again passable. They aren’t the kind of names to get anyone excited though, especially with how Anderson has been used and portrayed on TNA TV. And as the Vice-President you have D’Lo Brown. I’m not knocking D’Lo in terms of talent or ability, but…he’s retired. He’s not been in the ring in forever and hasn’t even been a reoccurring character in TNA. He’s appeared every few months but that’s it. And now he’s the second in command of the main heel group in the company? He’s not a big enough name to be accepted as having that role.
We still have no idea of their motives either. This all started about a year ago when Sting was attacked then Hogan was attacked. Even now we still haven’t been told why Aces and Eights are attacking TNA in the way they have what their individual or collective motivations are.
My money was on Jarrett being behind it as revenge for Sting being inducted into the TNA HoF while he was overlooked and unceremoniously fired by Sting from the company he founded. Devon’s contract was allowed to run down too before he was resigned: so there was logic for his defection. Garett and Wes…I’ve no idea, for Wes something about Angle being a dick. Anderson because Aces and Eights attacked him and TNA replaced him (we’re getting flimsy here, surely Anderson would’ve rationally wanted revenge for Aces and Eights taking him out…?). D’Lo, Doc and Knox’s motivations….I’ve no idea. Knox and DOC have no history with TNA while D’Lo said something about TNA having his back then his boys were actually the ones who had his back. If you’re confused reading that last sentence I apologise, but you’re not half as confused as I am trying to rationalise it.
There’s no consistent logic or reasoning behind these guys. IT’s just a bunch of random people thrown in a stable. TNA have to explain why they targeted Sting almost a year ago, what their beef is with Hogan and why they’re targeting TNA. Hopefully now that they have a leader we’ll start to see establishment of their motives and rationale for their actions.
I hope anyway.
So, that’s the Aces and Eights discussion done. However, I’d like to give a few random (mostly flippant and irrelevant) shoutouts and observations on random things that happened on the show too.
-A botchtastic opening three way for the X-Division title. Congratulations on avoiding death to the three of you. That was seriously nasty.
-Robbie T for his amazing talent in the ring. Man he can go.
-Magnus for looking so stiff when he was throwing punches. Literally looked like “Ok, I’m going to throw a punch, now you throw one, now I’ll throw one ok?” Very mechanical.
-The crowd chanting “TNA” during Velvet’s match. And her face when she was trying to sell pain. She looked happy and quasi-aroused. Maybe that’s a bit far, but she wasn’t selling any pain, that’s for certain.
-The guy with the “I’m a Vince Russo Guy” tshirt. I popped for that.
-Brooke Hogan’s sensational acting abilities.
-Hulk Hogan’s burial of Jeff Hardy and the crowbarred Hogan reference. Hogan outdid himself (again). He really is a force of nature, kudos to you sir.
You can follow Michael on twitter on @MichaelBrown_91
The Vince Russo shirt was a highlight for me too, alongside the “Hulk Hogan: King of the Sextape” sign at the start of the PPV. Thought I was seeing things with both, but nope, it was there!
While I expected Bully Ray to join the Aces, I didn’t see him being the President, and think it’s a crap idea. At least with Jeff Jarrett or Eric Bischoff, there’s a reason for those guys attacking Sting and Hulk Hogan. But when this all began, if my memory is right, I think Bully Ray was feuding with Joseph Park? So, it seems strange they’d make us believe he was behind this from the beginning. No doubt the reason will be something like “I never won the World Title, so wanted to use and screw you guys to get what I wanted”.
As for the group itself, I just don’t really care for them. Apart from Bully, Mr Anderson and D.O.C., the group is just a random throw together band of misfits….or to put it better, J.O.B. Squad v2. Knox (or Knux, or whatever he’s called) has a good look for the faction, but I just find him dull, Devon I’ve never cared for, Taz is constantly “pissed off” and making some of the worst attempts at sarcasm or insults, D’Lo’s never been anything more than a bobblehead, and the less said about Brisco and Bischoff Jrs, the better!! They don’t look threatening, and as you’ve pointed out, lost more than they’ve won. How is that supposed to make this group look good?
Oh, and one last positive, off topic but to do with the PPV…..thank goodness the Hardy Party is over!!!
Quality column, Michael!
I read this the day you finished writing it but only had the chance to comment now. I fully understand what you’re saying and the whole Aces and Eight storyline is really confusing but maybe tonight’s episode will have some answers. Perhaps their only real purpose was to get Bully Ray world champion. Hopefully tonight they will elaborate on why they exist in TNA.
I have to respectfully disagree about some of the points you made about the Aces & Eights. Yes, with guys like Knox, Devon, Brisco, Garett, and etc. being in the group it does make them seem mediocore on the surface but TNA has made them look really strong and smart. Being one step ahead of the TNA roster. They have done a great job of establishing D.O.C. as a threat with how he took out Sting months ago. Anderson has adjusted well too. Bully being the President ill say isn’t attractive but you have to admit the work he’s done recently has been good. As far as their motives, it will be revealed in due time. I think the reason why they have done this is because of Hogan and how he’s running the company. Guys like Wes, D.O.C., and Knox joined the group because they haven’t gotten their fair shake in the business. For D’Lo, its because he hasn’t liked how things have been ran behind the scenes. For Devon and Bully, they were tired of not being used as top guys. That’s just my speculation though.
Good column Mr. Brown. Totally agreed on the X-Division match, I feared for Kenny King’s well being. My god lol
After Devon was revealed as a member I heard him say Aces & Eights was going to “destroy TNA” and I immediately lost interest. Why would you destroy the company that’s putting you on tv? That’s just stupid. Let’s just suppose this isn’t a storyline and these guys are actual thugs who showed up one day at the Impact Zone and threatened the wrestlers with weapons. THEY’D BE ARRESTED! They aren’t employees of TNA. So call the fucking cops on them! The whole angle has been stupid from the very beginning. I’m probably going to post something on my own blog page about how I would’ve done it differently because this has been a major fucking disappointment.