Impact Wrestling Should Turn Austin Aries Heel

Over the past nine months, Austin Aries has been on a mission to prove that he had become a better person since leaving the WWE. This is because Aries was released from the company due to his bad attitude. According to Dave Meltzer, Austin had some heat backstage heat because a lot of people, including the writing team, did not like him. Due to this, Aries developed a plan where he would compete in several independent wrestling promotions to capture as many championships as possible. The plan would put Austin’s personality to the test because if he wanted to become champion, Aries would need to build a good relationship with all these managements for them to put him in title matches. As of right now, it seems like his personality has passed the test because several independent promotions have decided to give him the world championship For instance,  Austin Aries defeated Ricochet on November 20th, 2017 to become the World Series Wrestling champion. In December of 2017 he defeated Marty Scurll and  Mark Haskins in separate matches to capture the Defiant World Championship and IPW: UK World Championship. Lastly, in February of 2018 he defeated Eli Drake to capture the Impact Wrestling World Championship.

Even though Austin Aries appears to have altered his personality, Impact Wrestling should incorporate his previous personality issues into the storyline of him losing the title. For instance, Aries should cut a promo on the next episode of Impact demanding his rematch clause be invoked right away. Pentagon Jr comes down to the ring and gives Aries a rematch for later that evening. During the match, Rey Fenix joins commentary to watch the bout, Austin becomes aware of his presence and is continuously peeking over to make sure Rey doesn’t decide to help his brother. The concern over a potential Fenix interference will end up costing Austin Aries the match against Pentagon. The next week,  Aries should cut a promo stating that every time he is in the ring with one or both of the lucha brothers, it feels like a handicap match. Austin proceeds to ask for another rematch with Rey barred from ringside and Pentagon says that he already beat him. The following week, Austin decides he must take matters into his own hands to get another championship match.

As a result of this,  Austin Aries attacks Rey Fenix backstage sending him to the hospital. The following week, Pentagon Jr asks Aries why he attacked Fenix,  Aries says he did it because Pentagon refused to give him a fair rematch. Pentagon says all you had to do was earn it and Aries replies with I’m better than those scrubs backstage.  Pentagon decides to give him one final match to get retribution for his brother.

How To Rebuild Impact Wrestling

Over the past three weeks, the new regime of Impact Wrestling led by Don Callis and Scott D’Amore has been booking random tag team matches as a way to set up number one contender/title bouts. During the first official episode under the regime, they scheduled an all-star tag-team match between Moose/ Johnny Impact vs. EC3/Alberto El Patron. The following week, it was announced by Josh Matthews that these four wrestlers were going to compete in a fatal four way to determine a number one contender for the world championship. Johnny Impact was able to win the number one contender’s match and earned the right to face Austin Aries at Crossroads. Unfortunately, the new regime decided to set up a bout between Johnny Impact/ Matt Sydal vs. EC3 and Tyrus the following week. In the match, EC3 pinned the new number one contender Johnny Impact by having his feet on the ropes during a roll up. After the bout, Matthews announced that Impact was putting his future title shot up for grabs against EC3 in the main event of the next television episode. Due to this, the new regime is sending the signal to fans that anytime a number one contender or champion is in a tag team match, one of the other competitors will be their next opponent.

However, if the new regime wanted to create worthy contenders for all their championships, they should’ve told Matthews to cut a promo stating; from now on Impact is a place where title shots are earned not given. He proceeds to announce that over the next two months the company will hold a single elimination tournament for every division to establish ranking systems. The winners of these tournaments will get the next shot at their respective champions at the upcoming pay per view event. On the other hand, the other competitors will be ranked by order of elimination in the tournament. For example, if a wrestler lost in the finals he will be listed behind the number one contender.

Furthermore, Impact’s ranking system would be based on how often a person competes and their record against other competitors in the division. For instance, if a wrestler sustains an injury which forces him to miss 3 or more months of TV, he or she will be removed from the rankings. Once the wrestler is cleared to return to action, they will have to beat every ranked opponent to earn a title shot. Not only will previously injured wrestlers have to run the gamut but wrestlers who are currently in the rankings will compete at least once a month against each other to maintain or improve their position. Lastly, if a wrestler wants to join another division, he must relinquish their spot in the current division to join the new division. Once this happens, they will have to beat every ranked opponent to earn a title shot.

In conclusion, the ranking system opens the door for storylines where champions cost competitors title shots or wrestlers cost each other matches to maintain their positions.

The WWE Has Mishandled Woken Matt Hardy 

Over three and a half years ago, Matt Hardy decided to return to TNA because he wanted one final run as tag-team champion with his brother Jeff Hardy. As a result, the Hardy Boys challenged the TNA tag-team champions, the Wolves to a title match the following week at Destination X. The Hardys were defeated by the Wolves in a highly competitive bout. Two weeks later, the Hardys decided to challenge Team 3D to one last match between the two teams and they proceeded to lose the contest. The following week, the Hardys and Team 3D concluded that they needed a best of five series with the Wolves involved to determine who was the best tag-team. During the best of five series, the Wolves lost the titles to the Revolution but still went on to win the series to claim the unofficial title of best tag-team in the company.

Even though Matt and Jeff Hardy lost the best of five series, they were still on a mission to capture the tag-team titles. Due to this, the Hardys entered a number one contender’s tournament to determine which team got the next title shot at the Revolution. The tournament contained teams like the Wolves, Beat Down Clan and the BroMans. Eventually, the Hardys were able to win the tourney but were unable to defeat the Revolution at the Lockdown event. Two weeks later, the Wolves managed to beat the Revolution to capture the TNA tag-team championships once again. Unfortunately, their title reign only lasted about two months because Eddie Edwards suffered a broken heel at the February TV tapings. As a result, they were forced to relinquish the titles which opened the door for the Hardys to get another opportunity. TNA management set up an Ultimate X match for the vacant tag team championships which they were able to win. However, their title reign only lasted about two months because Jeff Hardy suffered a broken leg during a dirt bike accident.

Once Jeff returned to action, Matt decided to exact revenge on his brother for making him relinquish the tag-team titles. As a result, Jeff was attacked by several fake Willows on consecutive weeks. Eventually,  Matt revealed that he was the person behind the fake Willow attacks because he was mad that Jeff didn’t think about how riding a dirt bike could affect their future as champions. The segment unveiled the beginning stages of the Broken/ Woken Matt Hardy character.

Unfortunately, WWE hasn’t put the same amount of backstory into the character as TNA/ Impact Wrestling did. For instance, once the company announced that Jeff suffered a shoulder injury shortly after SummerSlam, they put Matt in generally meaningless matches vs. Braun Strowman, The Miz, and Elias. After losing all the bouts over the course of a couple of months, Matt stated that he was reaching a breaking point. On November 27th, he was defeated by Bray Wyatt which caused him to snap and become the Woken character by repeatedly doing the delete mannerism. In the following weeks, Woken Matt Hardy has just frequently laughed at and attacked Bray Wyatt.

In conclusion, the WWE should have set a meaningful goal for Matt Hardy to chase or have Bray Wyatt take something valuable away as I mentioned in a previous post.

WWE Survivor Series Should Be Connected With The Superstar Shake-up

Over the past thirty years, WWE Survivor Series has been mostly known as a pay per view in which rival superstars/ authority figures are told to assemble two separate teams; to compete in a ten-man tag-team match with elimination rules. For instance, in April of 2003, Linda McMahon hired Stone Cold Steve Austin to be the co-general manager on Monday Night Raw. This is because she and the board of directors determined that Eric Bischoff was abusing his power as the general manager. As a result, they hired Stone Cold to prevent Bischoff from having full autonomy over decisions regarding the show. The segment started a six-month storyline where both general managers would make choices to spite each other. For example,  Austin decided to reinstate the intercontinental championship in his first decision as general manager which overturned Bischoff’s ruling; to unify the world heavyweight and intercontinental championships.

Although these decisions were made with the express purpose of angering Eric Bischoff, it also angered many of the heel wrestlers. The wrestlers felt that Austin was making decisions against their best interests. As a result, wrestlers like Chris Jericho would cut promos calling for Austin to be fired which pissed Stone Cold off and led him to attack heel wrestlers repeatedly. Eventually, those actions led Eric Bischoff to challenge Stone Cold Steve Austin to a Survivor Series elimination match. If team Bischoff prevailed, Stone Cold Steve Austin would be fired but if team Austin won; he would stay as GM and get to attack wrestlers without repercussions. Ultimately, team, Bischoff won the Survivor Series elimination match, and Austin was fired.

However, in the past two years, the  Survivor Series elimination match has been watered down to a contest where Raw and Smackdown compete for brand supremacy. Due to this, the company is currently running the risk of fans losing interest in this pay per view because it’s a few different matches with no story behind them. As a result, the main storyline for Survivor Series should be the draft also known as the superstar shakeup. For instance, the brand that wins the most matches gets extra draft picks, and the number of excess picks is determined by the margin of victory. Furthermore, the winning team of the Survivor Series elimination match can get title shots or immunity from the draft. This will force the GMs to care about every contest because getting more picks increases the likelihood of drafting more star power which will affect ticket sales and TV ratings.

Not only will this move affect WWE personalities from a kayfabe perspective, but it will also impact the fans. The connection between Survivor Series and the superstar shakeup will increase the likelihood of fans being interested; because it could affect the future of their favorite superstar as well as their viewing habits.