When Sting was attacked on the June 14th episode of Impact I was slightly interested in who the men were that carried out the deed. It was when the gang beat up both Hulk Hogan and Sting on Impact that I really started to get into the angle. Each and every Thursday since then I have been thoroughly entertained by TNA in general but especially with Aces and Eights. The angle is really working and, in my opinion, here’s why:
The group started off with a bang as they ended Impact by attacking Sting the show after he was announced as the first entrant in the TNA Hall of Fame. The ceremony is set to take place at Bound For Glory weekend which should be very fitting. Aces and Eights then upped the ante and attacked both the Stinger and General Manager Hulk Hogan. In terms of all time stars, these are two of the biggest and it definitely made people sit up and take notice. By having Hogan and Sting involved it is obvious that this is a main event angle and so it kicked it off with the right start. When the faction made it’s presence dominate the following week after the Hogan attack, the choice of Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, and Austin Aries were great ones to continue the angle. They are solid main event players but can all still go in the ring unlike Hogan, and to a lesser extent Sting. Even by disrupting the Gut Check Challenge it really showed the group at “outsiders” trying to mess with all of TNA, not just people with an issue with a few guys on the roster.
I’ve been singing the praises of the pace of Impact in general but the Aces and Eights angle has lead the way in this regard. There have now been two whole episodes of Impact where Aces and Eights have not been shown once. This is showing a lot of patience on the part of TNA and is one of the smartest things they have ever done in their ten year plus existence. They were all over one show and that was the story of the episode since the Impact Zone was left without an authority figure for the night, thanks to the group. The key to the angle, in my opinion, is that even when the group is not on screen, they are being talked about in promos from the main stars of the show. In addition, guys like Devon and Garrett Bischoff are even showing their support for Kurt Angle, Hogan, and Sting backstage in skits. The debut of the backstage promos with voiceboxed messages is another interesting and unique way to further the angle. While it is the main story of the company, I never feel like Aces and Eights is being rammed down my throat.
I have enjoyed this recent twist to the story. Bobby Roode has come out and accused his main rival, Storm, as being behind the attacks. The babyfaces don’t want to believe the heel former Champion Roode, but are still cautious. Add to that the fact that the stable have not touched Storm at all and flee the ring when he runs down to make the save which adds to the speculation that The Cowboy is involved in the group. At this point I will assume that Roode is full of crap and just stirring the pot to get into the head of his former tag team partner but there are a lot of different ways that the story can go. The company keeps me guessing about it, which means that I am invested and engaged in the storyline and that is a very good thing.
As I just mentioned, TNA has really kept fans guessing with this story. Who are these men? What do they want? Who’s behind it? IS James Storm involved? When will they strike next? All of these questions, and more, are being asked by fans all over the Internet. The voicebox used for interviews which debuted on this past Impact is another example of the mystery being used to TNA’s advantage. This is the first time that TNA has really captured my interest for the product as a whole since their initial move to Spike. I was interested briefly due to the influx of Christian Cage and Team 3D to the company but this time by investment is more based the actual stories on the show rather than the wrestlers on Impact. I did care about the Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe matches when Kurt originally debuted in TNA but I didn’t care about anything else in the company at the time. The fact that TNA has resisted the urge to hotshot the angle and start revealing the members is a great move. The longer that fans can stay invested in the story by wondering, AND CARING, what will happen next, the better.
In my opinion, Aces and Eights is the hottest angle going in wrestling right now. The number of possibilities have really gotten me excited about the TNA wrestling product. There are other stories on the show that I enjoy on Impact but the Aces and Eights as the main story has had me looking forward to Thursday nights every week since June. I’m not sure how long it can last, and what the future will hold after the reveal is made, but until then I will continue to look forward to Impact!
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org