Friday, 31 January 2014

It's All Been Wasted Time

When was the last time Samoa Joe did anything important?

Image © Jason Garber courtesy of Flickr.

In the past two months, he: lost to Magnus in the Heavyweight Championship tournament; got taken out by EC3 in the Friends of AJ storyline; and beat up Rockstar Spud.

So in other words, jobbing, getting beaten up, and accomplishing something that a stiff breeze could do equally well.

So I ask again: when was the last time Samoa Joe did anything important?


And I don't mean that as a slight to Joe. He's one of my favourite TNA wrestlers: endlessly versatile, charismatic, and popular with the fans. But it's precisely because Joe is so great that his enforced idleness is so frustrating.

As I said in my review of the first half of Genesis, it would have been easy to set up a feud between Samoa Joe and EC3. After all, EC3's primary opponent, Sting, had moved his focus onto Magnus, and EC3 assaulted and injured Joe's knee.

There was motive. There was opportunity. There was potential.

So what did TNA have Joe do?

Squash Rockstar Spud. The wrestling equivalent of kicking one of those small yappy handbag dogs: easy to pull off and technically justified, but you still look like a jerk when you do it.

TNA could have started a feud. Instead, they wasted Joe's time and ours. Fantastic.

And the problem is spreading, too. When did Bad Influence last do anything beyond interfere in the main event?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When they lost to Kurt Angle two-on-one. And although the match helped given Angle momentum for his facedown with Bobby Roode, it's killed Bad Influence's momentum dead.

And what's more, their feud with Eric Young and Joseph Park seems to have fizzled out and died without ever reaching a clear resolution. Bad Influence spent an age investigating Park and his law firm, and trying to unravel the mystery of his identity. Were those plot threads ever resolved? Of course not.

Yes, there was the Monster's Ball handicap match that Park won, but that didn't answer any lingering questions.

And now the feud has passed on to the BroMans and Zema Ion because... TNA suddenly remembered they have a Tag Team Championship that should be defended occasionally? It's really not clear.

And where does that leave Bad Influence, possibly the most charismatic tag team in the company?

With no enemies, no momentum, and nothing to do besides add extra bodies to the overbooked main events.

Makes perfect sense.

I know that you can't touch on every storyline and every feud in every show, but when you have wrestlers as awesome as Samoa Joe and Bad Influence wasting their time in supporting roles and squash matches, you're doing something wrong.

Please, I'm begging you, give them something worthwhile to do.

Because honestly? At the moment, you're doing the wrestling equivalent of hiring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Robert Downey Jr for five minute non-speaking cameos in a movie.

Or to put it bluntly, you're wasting their talent and our time.

Image © FrankWilliams via Wikimedia Commons.

– Stark

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