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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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TNA.... On the Comeback Trail?

By @TrueGodImmortal 

I almost can't believe this is a real article I'm writing. I mean, TNA was virtually dead. They're still virtually dead. However, the company is making some headway and garnering some attention for a number of reasons, and while it hasn't really paid off yet in the ratings (at least not hugely) or in the earnings, the buzz is slowly heading their way, and with a move to Thursday nights uncontested in programming (WWE will now own Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for wrestling), they could build their reputation back up. Maybe. Possibly. 

The new additions to TNA are very interesting, as they've managed to bring in new X-Division wrestlers, and sign some big independent names going forward. The addition of Caleb Konley to the TNA roster is sure to be a successful move if they can book him right, and having Moose come in is a huge move. Moose was moments away from signing to WWE, until WWE decides that he would be a small PR nightmare due to his past, and they pass on signing him. TNA picks up the pieces and now people are interested to see where Moose goes in his arrival. All signs point to an eventual Moose vs Bobby Lashley title match, which is too black, too strong and I'm on board with that. 

The Knockouts Division is attempting to be revitalized, and with some of the best women wrestlers in the world residing in that division, I can only hope we see some great feuds and matches going forward. Jade (aka Mia Yim), Marti, Gail Kim, Madison, and many other ladies fill out a pretty decent roster, and if TNA can focus more, they have a solid foundation here. However, the biggest reason for the possible TNA resurgence doesn't come from the Knockouts Division, doesn't come from the always entertaining X-Division, or the new arrivals, but from two wrestlers that are both a bit over the hill, but created the most odd yet entertaining yet stupid yet fun feud and story in some time. 

Of course, I'm talking about the Broken Matt Hardy, Brother Nero, and the Final Deletion storyline. To be completely honest, I've not had the chance to sit up and watch the entire thing. Nor will I take time out of my life to watch all of it, but what I will say is that this storyline is absolutely nuts, and so is Matt Hardy. Matt recreated himself as this outwardly ridiculous character, a broken version of himself, that much like his best time in wrestling (Mattitude... Matt Hardy V1), was so stupid that it was entertaining. This feud, which started as the "Brother Nero" feud, was showcasing Matt hellbent on eliminating Jeff from contention and from the wrestling world. There were twists and turns throughout the story, but Jeff would continue to win match after match and unfortunately, Matt would never let it go. Usually, if you're losing in a feud, the antagonist eventually finds a new target. What was referring about this is that Matt wouldn't stop until his goal was accomplished. 

This was sort of where the "Final Deletion" comes into play. Every match they've had and every moment was filled with absurdity, but in this final contest (it wasn't really even a match), we saw everything that you'd likely not want to see and more. Matt Hardy has some brilliantly stupid ideas, much like I'm sure Jeff does. This feud seems like the workings of two eccentric brothers who finally got the opportunity to create their own story in wrestling... and this is what became of it. Add into this story the hilarious Senòr Benjamin, and then bring in Reby Sky, Matt and Reby's son Maxel (who played a role in this as well.... adorably however), the concept of Brother Nero and his guitar bringing in drones (yes... drones), Matt playing the violin to summon Brother Nero to battle, and.... shit... look at all that already. That's a lot of shit to digest there man. My lord. 

Broken Matt Hardy claiming he was giving a violin personally by a man who died in 1737 is absolutely genius yet so dumb that I don't even know how to feel about it. Add in the Rome burning aspect, Nero the Roman Emperor playing the fiddle (a myth) as it burns, Brother Nero bring summoned to battle by a violin playing, it's all so cluttered and intricate. Take the usage of fireworks, and how Jeff has storied issues with his pyrotechnics... that's a reference back to the WWE days for both men, as are the usage of ladders and chairs. This is essentially the finest example of symbolism in a wrestling feud and regardless of how bad this really is, the outlandish nature of every single moment makes it that much better. Jeff and Matt fight from sun down to sun up, and even that feels like it has a special meaning, one of which I can't even make sense of, but I'm sure there's something behind it.

The Armageddon of Jeff Hardy, the deletion of Brother Nero, is a lengthy battle that one has to wonder what the last purpose is of it. My theory has always been that from the beginning of this story, it was Matt's own mental sickness that's alluded to in the storyline that drove him this far, drove him to betray his brother, and perhaps this is all just leading us to find out Matt's been dreaming this out in his head and none of it really happened. Maybe. Who knows. That's the beauty of this and what's got the wrestling world talking. Matt Hardy leads a storyline in 2016 with crazy hair, an expansive vocabulary, a creative hatred for his brother, and includes his wife, their son, and his wife's father in it all. As crazy as this all is, it's worked. Matt Hardy had his whole Final Deletion segment ripped off by the WWE during their Wyatt Family compound segment with the New Day. Bray could try and rebuttal that he perhaps inspired the Broken Matt Hardy character, and that's exactly what he did, but the similarities are minimal, if any. What is the saddest thing about this, is that the WWE felt the need to rip off this idea. The Final Deletion was zany, stupid, but buzz worthy and entertaining bar none. For WWE to so blatantly rip off the idea, shows that TNA has done something right. 

Now, will TNA emerge as a contender to the no. 1 spot WWE has? Hell no. But can it reclaim that no. 2 spot from either Ring Of Honor (who seems to be on the decline yet again....) or even Lucha Underground? Certainly. TNA could be a viable option once again as a company, something a large number of us didn't see possible over the last 3 or 4 years. Good luck to TNA. It's a long battle ahead. 



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