For in 2016, TNA Wrestling revolves in new world built on zany characters, shooting fireworks, movie shorts, and yes, a dilapidated boat. The product has been the most consistent, the most entertaining, and the most innovative it has been for as long as I can remember.
Characters have definition, depth, and back stories. In the ring, we're aware of their storylines, their allies, their enemies, their signature moves, and their finishing moves. Titles feel important, especially the main one in the TNA World Heavyweight championship. And yeah, we've seen some old school elements such as managers, which I think is a major plus for the product.
Some may (and will) disagree, but whether you do or not, you have to admit that TNA has slowly developed a vision and an identity for their product. It's for TV, and they've gone all in on just that - a television presentation.
Yet, with the circus that occurs in Matt Hardy threatening to eat cats, Rosemary talking to trees, Eeeee-Li Drake (three syllable point included) slamming talking buttons, The Miracle cleaning toilets, Abyss' profession of being beautiful, and Maria, some where in this world, still yelling "me or you!", there is Lashley.
The absolute can't miss prospect that once was part of a Wrestlemania headline, eerily along with Donald Trump, is in the middle of what can easily be determined as his best year as a professional wrestler. Oddly, it seems both Lashley and Trump have somehow risen together again. I'll let you figure out that awkward connection.
Nonetheless, in the center of it all for TNA Wrestling, is this legit bad ass of a man with a character that is simple - to collect titles, beat people up, and dominate. It's such a perfect fit with everything revolving around Lashley who looks the part, wrestles the part, feels the part, and now, essentially, talking the part.
There is a specific swag and aura that follows Lashley now, and ultimately, it feels believable. He feels and comes off on screen as a legit threat. Lashley carries a level of authenticity that comes around very few times in pro wrestling. Even when you know it's pre-determined and all just a show, he gives you that doubt that you get lost in.
Of course, the obvious comparison is Brock Lesnar for many. But for me, and not because this is a TNA-centric site, but Paul Heyman speaking for Lashley doesn't allow for that feeling. Lashley walks alone. He carries that swag alone. He talks like a legit competitive fighter. And of course, when he wrestles, it's the icing on top.
Pro Wrestling once had this element of wackiness with legit tough guys throughout it's world. Personally, I enjoy wrestling the most when there are over the top characters that are entertaining and not annoying - there is a difference. However, somewhere in the mid 2000's, wrestlers all became bad asses with real names, similar trunks, the same hard guitar riff music, with the wackiness and the characters became the outlier and at times, non-existent.
The revert back has been a nice touch for TNA. It's been a great fit. The product has brought out an easier-going fandom in me, almost similar to my childhood. And of course, Lashley has me believing in monsters again.
I'm believing in 2016. Are you?
Anyone else find "Broken" Matt Hardy to be the most innovative character in pro wrestling in the last five years? /maybe even more?
Come on, didn't you literally laugh out loud when he said, "I will eat your cats!"?
And isn't the constant biting in the ring a nice refined touch as well to the character?
Eli Drake and James Storm really have some chemistry, huh?
And for the sneaker heads out here, how many pairs of Jordan XI's does Eli Drake own?
The King of the Mountain championship needs a new representing title, that's not an insult, that too, is now just a fact of life. Am I wrong?
Do you also miss squash matches?
Isn't Rosemary strangely attractive? And couldn't you say Bram actually feels like a commendable dude/boyfriend?
And aren't both of those statements odd to admit, since you know, one spits blood, and the other crushed a billiard ball over his best friend's head?
Is it me, or does it feel like DJZ can be a player for TNA?
Should TNA management hire Tyrus to "Fix" their website? Sorry...bad joke. But for real, though...come on, what's with that site?
Isn't the whole tease of Lashley vs. Moose one of those matches TNA can really sit on and build?
As always, your feedback is welcomed below, and over on Twitter at @DomePondering.