The Aces and Eights Storyline is Not Believable

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For almost an entire year, TNA wrestling has been creating compelling television with the Aces and Eights storyline. “Invasion” angles, when done properly can effectively blur the lines between kayfabe and reality. A group of disgruntled workers banding together to initiate sea change in their organization and right perceived wrongs is a tried and true plot device that has, more often than not, lead to increased viewership and financial success (at least in the short term) for the promotion utilizing it. In this modern age of the intelligent wrestling fan, thanks largely to instantaneous streams of information, it is always refreshing when we are granted the rare opportunity to suspend disbelief and think, just maybe, these guys have had enough and are taking over the company. That feeling was achieved with the NWO, Degeneration-X, and, currently, The Shield. Unfortunately, thanks to one seemingly miniscule, but significantly detrimental reason, I do not get that same feeling from Aces and Eights.

In general, I’m a big fan of the angle. I don’t have a problem with the slow building, long-term storyline. As much as I hate forced cliffhangers, I didn’t mind them dragging out member reveals over several episodes. I think it’s great that they are in possession of 2 of the 3 major singles belts, and wouldn’t mind seeing them dominate TNA further, holding every single belt in the company.  These types of storylines create a clear demarcation line between the heels and faces in a company, where previously certain characters’ alignments may have become vague. Characters without direction are given better focus and a more prominent position in the storylines (Mr. Anderson). Other characters that may have been overexposed early on can take a backseat to the more established personalities in the group while maintaining their dominance in a more passive role (Garrett Bischoff). Additionally, the payoff is going to be huge for whoever finally gives the group their comeuppance. I think the storyline was executed perfectly, quite frankly. What I have a problem with is the use of one single word in their promo work: “frickin.”

TNA is trying to separate itself from WWE by being an edgier product. The women wear less, the action is more brutal, the storylines are more adult, and the language is coarser. Appropriately, IMPACT Wrestling is given a TV-14 rating for their efforts. I’m a firm supporter of the “PG Era,” but I also think having a grittier alternative is awesome. Aces and Eights should be the defining angle that cements TNA’s position as the racier program of the 2 major promotions. Instead, we get… “frickin.” No group of thugs in the history of the world has run roughshod over an organization while managing to watch their language so impeccably. It would not have been hard to censor the Aces and Eights members with a delay so that the angle came across as more believable. If the concern was over the children in the live audience being exposed to such foul language, simple: censor the word “frickin” on TV anyway so that it seems like the members are saying the dirtier word.

It is too late to fix this problem. The angle still works and the results will surely be the same. It just feels to me like TNA missed another major opportunity to distinguish itself from the WWE and once again feels like the also-ran so many people are quick to dismiss it as.

 

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  • YM5

    really? I lol’d

  • zip

    lulz, I don’t have a problem with frickin.

  • Michael Phillips

    I think the only thing missing from Aces and 8′s is a knockout, someone like a Gail Kim (who they could be using this new ringpost figure-4) to show that she can been just as brutal. Or you could even go another route, with someone like ODB, who is just one of the guys. Or you could even have Brooke turn on Dear ‘ole Dad.

    A bright Shining spot on TNA is the storyline with AJ styles. I think they are playing this perfectly, my only concern is the payoff at the end. I hope its not a terrible let down on how they have been building this up.

    • bigheadjoe

      Brooke eventually taking Bully’s side would be a good twist. I’m enjoying the angle, I think I made that clear in the post. It’s just hard to believe a bunch of guys saying “frickin.” It wasn’t the easiest article to write. I guess it could have been called “My Problem with the Aces and Eights storyline” and just had one word in the article, but then it wouldn’t be an article right? haha, anyway tomorrow I am posting something awesome, and someone who comments on this post is getting chosen for it.

      • Michael Phillips

        oh i agree with you, and i honestly think if TNA thought they could get away with it, they probably would curse and bleep it. The issue is the new FCC director has already set the hammer down quite often this year already. Even for froidian slip of the tongue…. we had a gal get fired from the news station because she said “good sex” instead of “good success”

      • Sean Patrick

        Wouldn’t Brooke siding with Ray just complete the absolute Attitude Era ripoff of Trips/Stephanie?

  • Danny Morgan

    I read this thinking this was going to be interesting . . . nope its frickin awful

    • bigheadjoe

      I love you too.

      • Danny Morgan

        I do understand where your coming from, but for me the problem is Hogan, tna needs its own face, one of its biggest stars is Hogan . . .that’s a problem for a company looking to be the edgier new show its promoting old faces too much for my like, I understand these faces will bring in new fans and a wider audience but at what cost plus ive seen too much Hogan and sting in key segments taking some attention away from aces and eights . . . and how tough do they look beating up older timers . . . not very

  • Sting’s Dad

    “TNA is trying to separate itself from WWE by being an edgier product”
    -And that ‘edgier product’ is represented largely by Hulk Hogan’s face dominating every single episode. Here lies the reason for every problem that TNA Wrestling currently has. Get this old f*cker off of television, once and for all.

    • Sean Patrick

      Hey, it’s old fricker.

  • zip

    The whole “invasion” angle doesn’t make sense because it isn’t an invasion. It’s just a group of contracted TNA wrestlers coming together to play the big bad guys with beer and bikes. The original Nexus was more like an invasion because the group consisted of failed rookies seeking revenge for their NXT failures. According to the storyline failed NXT rookies wouldn’t get a contract. So they were basically strangers invading WWE. Aces and Eights (stupid name btw.) were always contracted by TNA (except Luke Gallows and Mike Knox).

    • bigheadjoe

      Right, more of a “hostile takeover” I agree but it’s the same concept.

  • D.M.T

    I understand what you’re saying but I expected this article to be good and interesting and it’s neither.

  • Dorie Ann Pope

    Aces and Eights (lol who knew the other term for dead mans hand would translate so well) had and has potential. My problem is the same as the authors here. Look at DX. When they first started they were bleeped all over the place and jaws were constantly dropping at the antics they pulled. It was easy to suspend belief that they were exactly who they portrayed to be. They were smart and it worked for a reason.

    Yet when DX reformed again they were smart. Instead of treading on past glories (Hello Hogan) they took the smart route that benefited themselves and the business. They had established themselves as true forces to be reckoned with and didn’t have anything left to prove. So instead of a redo we got DX part II.

    Would it have worked as well as it did had not DX been the bad boys (and girl..Can’t forget Chyna) they had been in the beginning? Of course not! AND that ladies and gentlemen is the lesson TNA should’ve been paying attention too. Aces & Eights don’t come across as true bad ass anything. Just as some good wrestlers making do with a sl handed to them that had more potential then anyone was willing to let happen.

  • JH

    I don’t mind frickin’ it’s way better to me than a bunch of beeps, what irks me is stuff like the segment where the idea was that bully ray was seriously considering murdering D-lo brown with a hammer on tv after tapping out the week before.

    Also the other problem I have is that they kinda keep teasing Hogan as the guy who could potentially take them out once and for all if not for his doctor telling him he can’t.

  • SdotC

    Really? Of all the things you could criticize TNA, and this angle for, you choose believability? It’s pro wrestling.

    Here’s the title of WNZ’s next BLEACHER REPORT BULLSHT article: “Why no one buys the Undertaker’s “Deadman” gimmick”. And I imagine the article after that will be “Why Jeff Jarrett is the greatest wrestler of the 21st century”.

    STOP IT. Just copy-and-paste the scoops from other sites like we expect, and allow us to comment. That’s what we’re here for. Do I have to go into my 100th rant about how this is clearly just a part of your new deal, requiring a certain quota to be met per month, at the expense of journalistic integrity, and how the 5-year-olds at Bleacher Report aren’t even this bad at it? ‘Cause I’ll do it =p

  • Dmdnj

    Bully ray has always said fricken it’s not to watch the audience it’s just his word he prefers

  • Nick Turner

    the problem I always had with the aces and eights thing is that it just came off as frustrating. when all these guys were flooding the ring and the locker room was fighting them back, and had them beat down, no one tried to take off their masks. There were many many many opportunities to have someone be unmasked. Should have unmasked someone and then had them “fired”. Maybe have the unmasked guy roll over on some of the other people in the group. Have him tell sting who they are and on his way to the ring the gang jumps him. he comes back months later to reveal the traitor in TNA managements midst. Granted this might have happened already cause TNA bores me after repeated viewings.
    I get it, story line, kayfabe, whatever. But when they are “Fighting for the TNA” or whatever, it doesn’t really make much sense to me when they are contracted wrestlers. You bought NWO because as far as anyone knew Nash and Hall weren’t signed with WCW. But when one of your guys that has been around for a while, and is shown to be the leader, the Invasion angle feels played out. I know none of it is real but if aces and eights were such a threat, fire them. I would buy it more if they were just a dominate force kicking ass and taking names. But the battle for TNA as a company, I just cannot buy into it whole heartedly.


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