I try really hard not to be one of those wrestling fans who talks about the “good old days” and does nothing but bitch about the current product. After all, if I don’t like the current product then I should just turn it off and stop bitching about it. That said, every once in a while an angle or character comes along that just pisses me off so bad that I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer… This happens to be one of those times. If you don’t want to listen to a rant about professional wrestling you can stop reading now.
The Aces & Eights (for those not following along at home) is a faction of wrestlers that was introduced to TNA Impact wrestling fans in June of 2012. That’s right… as of this writing, this angle is over 6 months old with very little direction. We’ll get into lack of direction in a moment. As wrestling angles go in today’s day and age, 6 months is an eternity. Most wrestling fans don’t have the attention span to remember what happened 2 weeks ago let alone 6 months. And when we DO want closure to a particular angle, we are politely told to not look at the man behind the curtain. Remember the anonymous RAW GM, the question on who raised the cage, GTV, etc. This band of assholes (originally dressed looking vaguely ninja-ish if I remember correctly) attacked Sting and delivered a note to Hulk Hogan that said, “We’re not cowards… we’ve got something for you Hogan, wait and see!” Sadly, 6 months later we’re still waiting to see.
Since then, they’ve been running around TNA injuring people, hanging out in their “clubhouse” and cutting promos with voices that make Bane from Dark Knight Rises sound crisp and clear. The comparisons to good stables such as the NWO, The Four Horsemen or the Hart Foundation are preposterous. If anything, they should be compared to some failed stables such as NEXUS or CORRE… and here’s why.
No one cares about these guys!
So far, the guys that have been unmasked have been Devon Dudley, Luke Gallows (DOC), and Mike Knox. Snooze. Let’s face it… outside of the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) which is much smaller and much less important than we wish we were, nobody really knows these guys. Devon is the one with the most name recognition, but the last time he was in WWE was 7 years ago. Anyone who remembers him is probably saying “That guy’s still wrestling?” (Which is another problem with TNA, but that’s beside the point). Gallows and Knox are folks that many people probably don’t even know. That’s not to say these guys aren’t really good ring talent, because they absolutely are. However, they’re still young up and comers that people simply aren’t invested in. Unfortunately with this angle they’re not doing anything up to this point that makes we want to be invested in them.
On last night’s Impact, Aces & Eights reveled another member who do date is probably the biggest “splash” when Taz reveled his allegiance. After I got over my initial shock, I returned to my “Who cares” line of thinking. While it’s cool as hell that Taz is part of this faction he still falls into the “That guy’s still wrestling?” discussion. Unlike with Devon, the answer with Taz is unfortunately “NO”. In fact, he’s never GOING to wrestle again cause in the shape his neck is in it may kill him. So who cares that he joined the group??? At this point, we’re left with 3 guys that no one really cares about, another guy that can’t ever wrestle again, and a bunch of masked guys playing in their clubhouse.
Drop The Sons of Anarchy Bit
I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy. I hear it’s great, but I didn’t start and at this point I’ll probably wait until it’s over to start watching it. But from what I’m told, this Aces & Eights gimmick is copying from what they do, to how they dress to their “ranks”. Gallows is referred to as DOC which refers to “Director of Chaos”. I’m sorry… that’s just fucking stupid. They’ve got “prospects”, a Sgt. at Arms (Devon) and a a whole bunch of other titles that I just don’t care about cause they’re masked guys that I don’t care about. And really… isn’t the concept of a “clubhouse” something you outgrow when you’re like 12? If Sons of Anarchy has these kind of made up titles and a fort they’ve built out of pillows and blankets I’ll probably skip that too.
Suspension of Disbelief
Professional wrestling is all about setting aside logic for a couple of hours each week. Leave your brain at the door and enjoy yourself. But this angle asks a bit much.
- Are we really supposed to believe that TNA wrestling would allow this rogue biker gang to not only infiltrate their show, but to set up their clubhouse backstage?
- I know chairs, tables and other foreign objects are regular in wrestling, but if some group was coming in and breaking arms, legs, etc. on a regular basis wouldn’t you send someone other than 60 year old Hulk Hogan and 50 year old Sting to stop them?
- Isn’t kidnapping illegal? Aces & Eights kidnapped Abyss and held him against his will for weeks. That’s not legal.
- Speaking of Abyss (he’s not Joseph Park… I don’t care what they say), I’m pretty sure they showed Aces & Eights hit him in the head with a ball peen hammer at one point. That kills a man. Period.
So Where Are We Going?
Honestly, I don’t think TNA knows where to go with this bit. Is there ANYONE in pro wrestling that would make this a decent payoff? I really don’t think it is. And unless TNA has somehow convinced the Undertaker to bring back his biker gimmick to be the leader, this is going to be a colossal failure. I’m guessing we’re going to see Garrett Bischoff, Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett be revealed before this is all said and done. We’ll probably throw in a couple of old ECW guys and maybe a Gut Check failure or two. Who… fucking… cares. This needs to be retired the way Claire Lynch was. Sooner rather than later.
What am I missing? Why is TNA investing SO much into this angle that they seem to be booking by the seat of their pants?
UPDATE: I didn’t think it was possible but over the past couple of weeks this angle has actually gotten WORSE. Since I’ve written this the Aces & Eights have added Ken Anderson who SHOULD have been a great addition, but let’s be honest… he sucks. In addition to the flip flopping Mr. Anderson, we’ve also gotten the big reveal of Garrett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe. I think it’s fair to say that we all saw Bischoff coming a mile away. As for Briscoe… again. Who cares. On top of all of that, but now they’re talking about the “higher power” which is just a really poor choice of words after what Vince pulled a few years back. Sigh.