Match of Champions

July 8 07 (June 25, 2007)

I wrote this the weekend before the news of the Benoit Tragedy hit, and compeltely forgot about it, which is why I am posting it so late. The "Match of Champions hasnt' happened yet, so it is still relevent.

I know I’ve bashed TNA unmercifully, and the last thing they need is more criticism, but this past week’s episode of TNA Impact, and the announcement of the “Victory Road” Main Event has p- - - ed me off so much I have to rant some more. As a trade off, I figure talking about TNA’s up coming PPV and it’s Main Event might help create interest in the event, which may counter act my negative rant and help them out a little as well. You know the old saying, “The only bad press, is no press.”

The match that Jim Cornette announced as the Main Event for Victory Road (Live on PPV July 15th) is called “The Match of Champions”. This match pits the World Tag Team Champions (currently Team 3D) vs. the Tag Team of, the World Heavyweight Champion (currently Kurt Angle) and the X-Division Champion (Samoa Joe). In this match all 4 Championships are on the line. If either member of Team 3D scores the victory, that person wins the respective singles Title of the person he scores the win over. If Joe and Angle’s team wins the person who scores the victory wins both Tag Team Titles and will be able to pick any partner he wants to be World Tag Team Champions with.

Are you confused yet? If not just wait because this match creates all sorts of possibilities that accomplish nothing but to further destroy what little credibility TNA Titles have left. For the first absurd possibility let’s consider the fact that Titles in TNA can change hands on a Disqualification. It was bad enough when Abyss won the World Title from Sting via DQ, but what happens if one of the illegal men in this match gets disqualified? If Brother Ray and Samoa Joe are the legal men, and Kurt for example hits D Von with a chair and gets disqualified, who gets what Title? Does Brother Ray become X-Division Champ because at the time of the deciding fall he and Joe were Legal and thus Brother Ray technically beat Samoa Joe, or does D Von become World Champion, because he and Kurt were the deciding factor in the finish? Could a World Title change hands between two people who aren’t even legally involved in the match at the time? That’s got to be good for Title credibility.

Even if you set aside TNA’s asinine disqualification rule this match is still a complete logical nightmare. TNA has created a tag team match where there is no incentive for either tag team to work together, so it should be nothing but utter chaos with 4 people all out for themselves, yet all of TNA’s titles are on the line. World Titles are on the line and being decided in a match that in NO WAY WHAT SO EVER can fairly determine who the better Team or Singles wrestler is, which last I checked was the whole point of World Titles, to recognize who the best is. A simple fact TNA has apparently forgotten.

In theory Team 3D could decide to simply defend their titles and work cohesively but if they do that, the illegal guy at the finish is willingly passing up a chance to be either World Champion or X-Division Champion. If D Von allowes Brother Ray to score a pin fall he would be willingly giving up the chance to hold a singles Championship in addition to his Tag Title. If Titles are to mean anything no one would pass up that chance, so both your opponents and your partner should be trying to make saves at all times during the match.

On the other side of the ring things get even more confusing. Again ignoring the DQ fiasco, if Joe or Kurt aren’t legal they can’t win the Tag Titles but also can’t lose their Title. This creates a situation where there is even less reason for either of these two guys to work together, not to mention the fact that they hate each other. From a logics stand point (I know an absurd concept in wrestling at the best of times) you have two guys who hate each other, who don’t tag together normally as a team, and who have zero incentive to co-operate and work together, facing the best Tag Team in the World (They are World Tag Team Champions after all) who have been teaming together for years, and who have more incentive to work together; if Tag Team wrestling is supposed to mean anything at all, this should be a lopsided match in favour of Team 3D, which of course it won’t be.

If you took 5 guys who were the best 1 on 1 Basketball players in the world and had them play the best Basketball Team in the World in a regular Team game of Basketball, who do you think would win? If somehow the two singles wrestlers with no incentive to work together managed to defeat the greatest Tag Team in the world, they would then at least be worthy Tag Team Champions, as they would have beaten the best and therefore become the best. Problem is TNA has managed to eliminate that possibility as well, because if Team 3D is defeated Kurt and Joe (The team that beat them) don’t become Tag Team Champions the winner of the fall gets both Titles and can then pick any partner out of the blue, awarding someone a World Tag Team Title for a victory in a match they weren’t even involved in.

The only way this could get any better (I’m being sarcastic, you should read that DUMBER) is if Kurt or Joe were to win the World Tag Team Titles and select Judy Bagwell as their partner so she can have her second run as one half of the World tag Team Championship!!!!!

While I will admit this match is a novel gimmick idea, which might create some interest, it is a completely illogical way for a company to determine its’ World Championships, and only serves to make said World Titles completely meaningless. Common sense has to apply at some point. Even if this business is “Sports Entertainment”, it is meant to appear real to some degree. The boys are expected to run their matches as if they really wanted to win, and as an extension of that shouldn’t a company (TNA Management) try to book matches as they would if this was a real sport and they wanted their Champions to be deserving of the Titles they hold?

Would the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Award the 100 Meter Sprint Gold Medal to one member of a 4X100 Meter Relay Team for being able to beat the true 100 Meter Sprint Champion in a relay race where he is forced to run the race with 4 other people he doesn’t like or regularly run relay with? Or better yet in the unlikely event that the 4 singles guys beat the Gold Medal Relay team, would they give all 4 Relay Gold Medals to just one member of that Team and let him award those Medals to who ever he wants after the fact? Of course not and if they did, everyone would come to the conclusion that Olympic Gold medals are just stupid props that don’t mean a DAMN thing.

Guess what TNA that is what you are doing to your World Titles at Victory Road (July 15th Live on PPV). They are now nothing more than meaningless stupid props.

Lance Storm