Booking Blunders in Wrestling History: TNA in 2014

Ok, lets just get this one out of the way; Magnus, I love ya, but your 2014 TNA title reign was absolutely shit. I know it, you know it, even Dixie Carter’s gnome knows it (Clerks 2 reference FTW). Can I do better? You bet your silly asses I can!

First and foremost, lets address the set up. AJ Styles is leaving, TNA can’t lock down a new deal, he’s off in Wrestle-1 and AAA wrestling the likes of Seiya Sanada and El Mesias (Mil Muertes) in TNA title bouts. Ok, cool. Dixie Carter disavows him and launches her own title tournament. The tournament participants weren’t bad. You had Magnus, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Chris Sabin and Austin Aries. Originally you had Hardy vs. Sabin, Storm vs. Roode, Angle vs. Aries and Joe vs. Magnus.

Just make one switch and this whole tournament turns out so much better. You switch Aries, with Sabin, and boom.

So, then you have Aries vs. Hardy, Storm vs. Roode, Angle vs. Sabin and Joe vs. Magnus. Now in this revised tournament, Magnus defeats Joe with a crossface submission. Angle beats Sabin. Roode beats Storm, and they shake hands after. Then Aries, with the help of Rockstar Spud and EC3, help Aries beat Hardy. This cements Aries as the new Dixie-Guy. Magnus ends up defeating Angle clean, with a reversed Angle Slam. The two shake hands, Angle puts him over post match. Arise, again cheats to beat Roode, flipping him off post match.

Then, scrap Dixie Land, and just flat out do a Ladder Match. During the course of the match, Aries will have his crew try to interfere but the faces will come down, determined to help Magnus, allowing Magnus to vanquish Aries with relative ease before getting the title win.

Magnus, instead of getting celebrated, defeats Austin Aries. Now, this is where history has a murky part. If Styles was willing to do the J-O-B for Magnus, great. Have Styles come in, reunify the titles and have Magnus pin Styles clean. On his way out he’ll warn Magnus to watch his back with Dixie. IF he wasn’t willing to eat a clean loss, as some have rumored, then don’t bring him back at all. Simply have Magnus, post match, pull out “Styles’s title” and declare that Styles sent this back and is no longer staking claim to the belt. Magnus’ promo will focus on how he’s defeated three of the best ever to win this belt, and he sure as hell isn’t going to just let a unification match go out the window. At this point he invites everyone on the roster down for an impromptu “World Title” battle royal. This will determine a “champion” of Styles’ unclaimed belt. Eventually Sting wins, and accepts Magnus’ challenge for a unification match. The very next week, the two brawl and Magnus gets the clean win, unifying the titles and becoming the Undisputed Champion of TNA.

Either way, we get to the same point. As Magnus is standing tall, Aries is throwing a hissyfit backstage until Samoa Joe sneaks in and takes out Magnus. He works his knee and takes the titles for himself.

From there we jump to the England tapings where Joe, with Aries, show up, with each carrying a TNA World Title. They both claim that they’re World Champions and have no problem telling the world that. They yammer until Spud, EC3 and Carter come out putting over “Their World Champions!”

From the crowd two angry “fans” jump the rail and begin in on both men, as EC3 and Spud usher Dixie away. It becomes evident that these two men are The Wolves and they’re not under contract with anyone. They just want to fight. They run down Joe and Aries for being “Sell outs”. That their days in Philly meant nothing apparently and that the belts that all four men shared in that other promotion was supposed to bread winners, and not cheats. They came here to show them what it means to be Honorable.

A match is booked, after waivers are “signed” that pit the Self Proclaimed World Champions, against Richards and Edwards. The match goes off for a few minutes before EC3 and Spud throw their weight around and beat down the two Wolves. That’s how the show ends, with all four standing tall.

Next week we see a similar beginning before a “rematch” is booked in the main event. This time, it’s 4 on 2, Aries/Joe/EC3/Spud vs. The Wolves. The match doesn’t even get started before Magnus returns and takes out both fake champs.

Following week, we get Magnus introducing two of his new friends. He acknowledges they aren’t signed but proposed a unique LockDown match. At the event, it’s Title vs. Contracts. If Magnus wins, he not only gets both of his rightful world titles back, but the Wolves get contracts.

Now, we’re shaking up the whole card. So lets get to the other stuff first. The LockDown talent stays the same, I can’t add anyone not on the show. Shaw’s match with Anderson goes off because, well, a lot of guys weren’t available and this needs to run its course. Then the X-Division match shuffles around, because we need to put over the significance of the belt. Which is why Sanada still faces off in the opener, because he needs to put over how good he is and Daniels can do that.

As for Gunner and Storm? I let them drift apart, after Roode talks to Storm one week in England. Gunner thanks Storm for the chance and says “he’ll spare him an ass whopping”. From there on, Gunner will maul various people around the Impact Zone just for funzies. This prompts the returning Lashley.

The Knockout title stays the same. Also, the Wolves never beat the Bro-Man’s this quickly for the TNA Tag Team Titles. In fact, I’m of the mind to have them go over Beer Money in the semi-main event.

That’s what leads us to the main event.

LockDown 2014 Revised Card: All Cage Matches

Lethal Lockdown – Titles vs. Contracts
Magnus, The Wolves, Jeff Hardy and Great Muta vs. Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Rockstar Spud, EC3 and a returning Bully Ray.

TNA World Tag Team
The Bro-Man’s (c) vs. the reunited Beer Money

TNA Knockout
Madison Rayne (c) vs. Gail Kim

Open Invitational
Gunner vs. the returning Lashley

No.1 Contender X-Division Championship Match
Tigre Uno vs. Manik vs. Chris Sabin

I Quit Steel Cage
Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw

Sanada and Yanu vs. Bad Influence

Now the event goes as you’d think. Sanada pins Daniels, Anderson beats Shaw, Tigre beats Manik, Lashley beats Gunner, Madison retains over Kim, Bro-Man’s retain over Beer Money and Magnus pins Spud. The main event is a bit ovebooked. EC3 gets “food poisoning” when he sees Jeff Hardy returning to the promotion. This prompts Dixie replacing her nephew last minute. After all seven men enter the ring, MVP debuts as Dixie’s “back up plan”. This doesn’t work though as MVP opts not to get in a dangerous match right off the bat, cutting a promo on the heels and on Dixie, while putting over the faces as “too dangerous” and he’s “too pretty” to risk this. This allows Magnus to pin Spud after both Joe and Aries scurry away. Magnus celebrates with The Wolves, while Jeff Hardy goes after Dixie Carter as the show goes off the air

The Bro-Man’s, Beer Money, The Wolves and Joe/Aries (now going by “Real World Champions” or something to that effect) now all go for the World Tag belts.

MVP and Lashley will have issues with one another, as will EC3 and Hardy.

That sets up for Magnus to have a huge “coming home” celebration in Orlando. Dixie comes out, and for the next month sends out various indy and main roster talent to take the title. When this fails, she finally comes out a few weeks prior to Sacrifice. She’s got tears in her eyes and she’s crying (or…trying to). She apologizes to Magnus and begs her for his forgiveness. She went over the line. She’s sorry. She can’t believe how crazy she got. What she did. Magnus accepts her apology because “…that’s what being human is, making mistakes.” Magnus really does his best job to put over the idea that Carter should be forgiven.

Carter drops to her knees and mutters, “…no…I’m not sorry for what I did….but for what I’ve done…”. She leaves the ring, and the lights go out. When they come back on, Abyss is in the ring with a barbed wire table. Abyss choke slams Magnus into it as the show goes off the air.

In the ensuing weeks leading up to Sacrifice, Abyss brutalizes people. He’s flanked by Gunner and Shaw, who want to learn brutality from “The King of the Monsters”. The three men assault Magnus on the regular, with only EY and Anderson there to help. The main event of Sacrifice is announced, a Barbed Wire Massacre match. Gunner and Shaw team up to face EY and Anderson in the undercard.

The new Sacrifice Card changes a lot.

Barbed Wire Massacre
Abyss vs. Magnus (c)

Six Man Showdown
Kurt Angle, Lashley and Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin, Rockstar Spud and MVP

Falls Count Anywhere
Bully Ray vs. EC3

TNA World Tag Team Championship Elimination Match
The Bro-Mans (c) vs. The Wolves vs. Joe/Aries vs. Beer Money

KnockOut Title Match
Angelina Love (with Sky) vs. Madison Rayne (c)

X-Division Tag Team Titles
Seiya Sanada(c) vs. Tigre Uno

Tables Match
Gunner/Shaw vs. EY/Anderson

Now, obviously two matches stay the same, but the rest all stay the same. Gunner and Shaw go over EY and Anderson in a bloody brawl to open the show. Then Sanada takes Tigre to the limit and retains the title. Love goes over SKy just like before. Beer Money last eliminate Bro-Man’s to win the tag titles after DJZ costs them the titles. Aries and Joe come to a head after they’re eliminated first. EC3 defeats Bully Ray clean, after a bloody affair. MVP gets a cheap win over Angle, after Kenny King runs in. Then in the main event, blood flies after Magnus drop kicks Abyss from the top rope through a series of barbed wire wrap boards and tables. Magnus leaves bloodied but the champion.

Heading into Slammiversary, Joe last eliminates Lashley to win a title shot at Magnus. Aries and Joe come to blows much to Dixie’s dismay. At the event we shake things up even more so. Throughout the build up for Joe and Magnus, Joe continually ambushes Magnus and tries to break every limb. Both legs, his arms and even goes after his neck, this makes Magnus a wounded champion, and even more so since he “hasn’t had a break” since Barbed Wire Massacre.

MVP would be scheduled to face off with Lashley, but due to MVP’s legit injury has to pull out. Following suit, EC3 and Angle would be booked in a match but EC3 would “injure” Angle, after Angle claimed EC3 couldn’t carry Sting’s jock. This is due to Angle’s ACL injury. Thus, Dixie declares that Lashley will face EC3 at the event.

TNA World Title
Magnus (c) vs. Samoa Joe

TNA World Tag Team Titles
Beer Money (c) vs. The Wolves

No.1 Contender’s Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray

Monster’s Ball
Abyss vs. Shaw vs. Gunner

EC3 vs. Lashley

The Von Erichs vs. The Bro-Mans

Rob Terry and Knux vs. Eric Young and Anderson
(Added to replace the two single matches)

Ultimate X Match
Kenny King vs. Tigre Uno vs. Sanada(c) vs. Crazy Steve vs. Austin Aries

Obviously this event goes fairly predictable. Sanada retains the X-Division title. EY and Anderson beat Knux after The Freak gets distracted by Rebel. Ross and Marshall beat The Bro-Man’s again after DJZ knocks Robbie off the apron, and distracts the referee allowing for Kevin Von Erich to put down Goddderz for his sons. EC3 gets a shocking win after Dixie’s “insurance plan” debuts in the form of Bram. Bram lays out Lashley post matches and bloodies him up. Abyss is upset by Gunner, when he pins the monster. Abyss nods to Gunner as the three “monsters” embrace. Hardy gets the win over Bully, to become no.1 contender. Devon comes down and celebrates with both men.

The Wolves defeat Beer Money clean, and shake hands with the former champions. Then in the main event, Magnus retains over Samoa Joe with the King’s Lynn Crossface.

Now a lot of the summer goes off the same. EC3, Bram and Spud will recruit Rhino, Snitsky and Big Ryck to battle Magnus, and his friends. Magnus believes that Dixie has gone out of her way to drive him out of TNA, like she did AJ Styles and Sting (and says so in promos). Team 3D and Tommy Dreamer eventually join his side, as does Al Snow.

Magnus isn’t just content with beating Dixie’s men, he wants her to relinquish her job. He’ll go out of his way to put up his title if Dixe promises to put her job on the line. Contracts are signed, and we go into that show in New York with Team Magnus going over like before only it’s Magnus putting Dixie through a table after EC3 leaves his aunt to take the bump.

After Team Dixie is defeated in New York, and she’s laid out in the table, Magnus announces Kurt Angle as the new authority figure and they reveal that TNA is now in the controlling interest of “The Board of Trustees”, with Angle serving as their advisor and mouthpiece. This could also be Mike Tenay as TNA was looking for a new play by play guy, and Tenay could of transitioned into this position fairly easily.

Now, Bound for Glory gives us some odd booking issues, as the time difference and taping schedules. However, fuck it. I’m going to go ahead and book it however I want it.

Throughout the summer we got a lot of matches, but one that will now be used is a four way elimination tag team title match. The Wolves, Beer Money, Team 3D and The Hardy’s will face off for the titles in Japan. Now, before you freak out, Japan in 2011 didn’t have an issue with Jeff Hardy entering the country, so I have to imagine he can go back again (Matt Sydal is a different situation, as his drug crimes came with bringing it into Japan, while Hardy’s were well before 2011 and didn’t affect Japan.)

One of the big matches on the original card included Muta and Tajiri against The Revolution. This is where things get interesting. During the summer, Abyss and his legion start tearing up TNA. Bram eventually joins the group, as does Knux and Steve. The six men end up becoming a scourge on TNA leaving people laid out and destroyed on a regular basis. When Dixie’s regime ends, Abyss’s begins. Steve and Shaw go after the X-Division titles, while Knux and Bram form a team to go after the tag team titles. Gunner claims the recently brought back T.V. title in a tournament, and Abyss again sets his sites on Magnus.

To get there though, they have to go through Angle. Angle announces at Bound for Glory, it’ll be Magnus teaming up with The Great Muta, Sanada and the W-1 Champion Kono against Abyss, Knux, Crazy Steve and Bram.

In the Tag Team title match, The Wolves, Hardy’s, Team 3D and Beer Money (or this, minus The Hardy’s if they can’t get into the country), in a tag team title elimination match.

Gunner and Dreamer will face off in hardcore match for the T.V. title. While the Knockouts will be replaced with Gail Kim (assuming she’s healthy) to challenge Havok. The X-Division match will feature a four way dance, with Low Ki, Samoa Joe, Kaz Hayashi and Tajiri.

MVP and EC3 will go at it in a number one contender’s match, with both men playing heels.

Kazma Sakamoto and Hama will face off, and we’ll keep the original tag team match of Novus vs. Andy Wu and Pantera. Tanaka and Manik will open the show as before. If you really want, we can make Joe/Low Ki 1 on 1, with Kaz siding with Manik and Tajiri siding with Tanaka but I like the original idea better.

Bound for Glory 2014 Card
Main Event
Great Muta, Kono, Sanada and Magnus vs. Abyss, Bram, Crazy Steve and Knux

TNA World Tag Team Titles
The Wolves (c) vs. Team 3D vs. The Hardy’s vs. Beer Money

TNA Television Championship
Tommy Dreamer vs. Gunner (c)

Hama vs. Sakamoto

TNA X-Division
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Low Ki vs. Kaz vs. Tajiri

TNA Knockouts
Havok(c) vs. Gail Kim

Wu and Pantera vs. Novus

No.1 Contenders Match
EC3 vs. MVP

Manik vs. Tanaka

In the event, Tanaka goes over, followed by EC3. Then Novus member Kodama pins Pantera, while Havok retains over Kim. Joe retains by making Kaz Hayashi tap, and Low Ki beats down on Tajiri for heat, until Joe returns to make the save. Hama pins Sakamoto. Gunner, in a violent affair, ends Dreamer and retains the T.V. title.

In the main event, The Wolves retain the belts, and all six other men give up the ring to Team 3D.

Then in the main event, Muta (cus god, he’s got an ego), pins Knux to win the match. Magnus though has the spot of the match. With Kono and Sanada down, Magnus takes out Abyss, Bram and Steve with a flying crossbody block that sets up Muta’s win over Knux.

Magnus fends off the Abyss stable throughout the rest of the year, as EC3 beats the likes of EY, Anderson, and others building up his rep. The two will face off in early 2015, where EC3 will end Magnus’s title run after Rockstar Spud, who will have started siding with Magnus after Dixie’s departure, earning the nickname of Magnus’ “Little Buddy”. Magnus will make Spud his manager, and Spud will actually prove to be quite effective as a corner man for Magnus.

So when EC3 ends Magnus’ title run, it’s because Spud flat out screws Magnus. Spud and EC3 will eventually face off in their own feud at the back end of 2015. I fully intend on having Spud and EC3 have their 2015 WrestleCorp Award winning match, just at Bound for Glory and not in England in March.

See, you fix the things at the top, and everything falls into place.

Now, shit goes sideways the next two years…I gotta imagine if I booked the show, and executed it this way (and kept Russo away from TV), then Spike doesn’t drop TNA, we build up the ratings, and really bring life back to the company.