You know what? I think really the only thing worth noting this week was the continuation of the Aces & Eights story line. Nothing went forward in the "AJ is the Father" angle, mercifully. Matches were matches... nothing too memorable. And the Gut Check guy got a chance to have his match and be voted into the TNA roster after Joey Ryan attacked Al Snow. By the way, if you don't follow both of those guys on twitter, I would really recommend it. They are pretty fun reads by themselves, and then the other day they got into a twitter fight that lasted for four freaking hours. Anyway, since the Aces & Eights story line has spawned a few theories, that will be my focus for this segment.
1. James Storm is the leader, Bobby Roode is exposing the truth. Kind of a dumb theory, but not without its bases. James Storm does have reason to have all the guys who have been attacked taken out, and it all goes back to the title. Hogan & Sting are the men in authority who could have given Storm another shot. Austin Aries is the man who took the title from Roode. Kurt Angle and AJ Styles ended up bystanders who were taken out for being his opponents. However, here's where it starts losing sense. Kurt Angle's attack put James Storm a match down in the Bound for Glory series. If you're on top, you want to stay on top any way you can. It would have made more sense for him to fight Angle (if he loses, he doesn't lose points unless it's a disqualification), and have the guys take out Samoa Joe's opponent last week. As it is, taking that match away from James Storm essentially opened the door for Joe to pass him up and take the lead in the series. The only way to save this if this is the payoff is that Storm doesn't care about the series anymore. But if it is Storm, and it is about the title... Bound for Glory is kind of his goal on a silver platter. So overall, not really a good choice. Also, it's painfully obvious that the Aces & Eights are trying to misdirect our attention away from the real leader. Which brings me to...
2. Bobby Roode actually is the leader, and the team is backing off Storm to misdirect. This one makes a little more sense, of course. It's still about the title, but it's personal towards Storm as well. Storm is the guy Roode took the title from, and he knows Storm will be working his way back into that picture sooner or later. Now he's trying to make him look bad to keep him out of the picture. Roode doesn't have the cushion of the Bound for Glory series under him, so it can't sit too well with him that one of these 14 guys will win an opportunity to compete for the belt that he feels should still be around his waist. Again, Hogan is the authority figure who made the decision to let Aries compete, Aries is the guy who took the title, and Sting is the big name that sends the message "Don't Fuck With Us." The rest has been an attempt to make Storm look as bad as possible to keep him out of the title picture. This to me seems like the most plausible, and obvious, choice. But they could always swerve us with a third option.
3. Jeff Hardy is sick of this shit. I said before that I wanted Chavo to be involved for some reason, but I'm backing down off that now because there is absolutely no reason for it. However, someone like Hardy, or even Bully Ray, who have been in contention several times in the last year but never quite touched gold, might just have the motivation to start taking out his competition in the series, and the authority figures who might stop them, in order to gain the advantage. Bully Ray is fantastic on his own. He's one of those one-man wrecking crews that doesn't need extra muscle to fight off opponents. And while I'm not crazy about the idea of Jeff Hardy being in the title race, I've always liked him better in a team atmosphere. Maybe a heel turn, and some back-up muscle would be... well, entertaining. He can talk about how the "Creatures" who cheer for him secretly talk about him behind his back, how nobody in the locker room respects him despite being over a year removed from the Victory Road debacle, and now hard work and dedication hasn't paid off, so now he has to take more drastic measures. I'm telling you, it could WORK.
1. The Miz has Staying Power. I mentioned that I marked hard for the return of Miz at Money in the Bank, and even harder for his Intercontinental Championship win on Raw 1000. I got home from work Friday night just in time for the show to begin, and wouldn't you know it? Miz was the first thing on the screen. In no uncertain terms, he let the "Peeps" know it was their votes that brought the title to him in the first place, and when Christian showed up to invoke his rematch clause (does "You don't get to choose when" only apply to world championships?), he got the chance to prove that he deserved to hold the title by beating him again. Getting the show-opening match on this week of all weeks, and being allowed to showcase his talent surely must be a great compliment for a hard-working Miz. And hopefully it means all of Cody's work restoring the title hasn't gone down the drain after all.
2. Chris Jericho, Professional Troll. Well, Jericho was at it again this week. After Sheamus won his match against Cody Rhodes, it looked like Ziggler might cash in his briefcase. However, Sheamus was far to alert and ready to fight for Ziggler's tastes, so he backed down. Before he could slink off, however, Jericho came out of nowhere, to toss him right into a devastating Brogue Kick. Afterwards, he climbed in the ring himself and delivered another Code Breaker. Now, here are three beautiful little touches that made this encounter so mark-worthy for me: #1: Jericho was wearing Ziggler's shirt. #2: At one point when you could see the Titantron in the shot, you saw on it a shot of Jericho with his head settled on his crossed arms over the turnbuckle, shaking his head and clearly saying, "Poor baby." #3: That dismissive little shrug just before Jericho hit the Code Breaker. All this feud needs is Jericho's head through his own Jeritron, and possibly some abuse on a close family member. At SummerSlam, you can expect an amazing show of amazing wrestling, where Jericho will ultimately squeak out a victory, only to be totally decimated by Ziggler afterwards. That's right, Jericho is now Shawn Michaels, and that is just fine with me. Cause you know what? After this exhibition, Ziggler will begin to become a household name, and it will give him the boost he needs to be a credible World Heavyweight Champion.
3. Damien Sandow is a Martyr, and He is Pissed. After the Big Rub from DX on Monday, Damien Sandow now proclaims exactly what he warned them before hand he would become. He is Our Martyr. But the moniker came at a cost, and now he's really pissed off. He took his frustrations out on Yoshi Tatsu on Friday, and DAMN! was that ever a brutal beatdown. Not only did it serve to vent his own frustrations, it's also sent a clear message that he will be a force to be reckoned with. I expect he'll have his first real feud very soon.