Sunday, November 10, 2013

TNA Cross Promotion

I'm a big time wrestling fan and I've always been a sucker for a good crossover. Whether it's in the comics, movies, or even professional sports. There have been rumors floating around online that TNA might be looking to sell the company due to poor ticket sales and failure to turn a profit. In the middle of all this, TNA is running a storyline similar to the one WWE did with CM Punk a couple years back.

AJ Styles, one of TNA's top stars whose contract was expiring, captured the TNA World Heavyweight Championship title and threatened to leave with it. The biggest difference with story this time is that AJ Styles is actually defending his title in different promotions around the world.

Starting in Mexico, Styles successfully defended his title against Judas Mesias on Nov. 3 at the AAA Lucha Libre promotion. This wasn't so much a hostile "invasion" as it seems Styles might've been a face during his appearance. Mesias was attacked by Konnan, Hijo del Fantasma, and Texano Jr. after the match was over, prompting Styles to make the save.

This was something that WWE just wasn't willing to do with CM Punk in their angle and hasn't been done in pro wrestling in years. I personally feel that this is how a champion should earn the prestige of calling his belt a "World" title. How can you call yourself a World Champion if you haven't defended the belt against top stars in different parts of the world?

After retaining his title in Mexico, Styles is headed to Japan next to defend his title against this man:

Seiya Sanada

Styles will be defending against Seiya Sanada on Nov. 16 in The Great Muta's promotion, Wrestle-1. Sanada previously worked in All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he first gained prominence as a tag team wrestler before becoming a singles competitor. Sanada is a strange choice for an opponent since he just signed with Wrestle-1 as recently as last month and lost his debut match in the promotion. I'm assuming Styles will retain his title against, leaving him with back-to-back losses.

Meanwhile, TNA is currently holding an 8-man tournament to crown a new (interim) Heavyweight Champion. All eyes are on the winner as it is believed Styles will return after having defend his belt in multiple promotions to unify the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

So far, Jeff Hardy has defeated Chris Sabin to advance to the next round of the tournament. The next match announced is a Submission match between Kurt Angle and Austin Aries. While TNA is promoting their Heavyweight division, Bully Ray made a surprise appearance at House of Hardcore that sparked yet another headline.

Tommy Dreamer founded the promotion, House of Hardcore, in the spirit of ECW. They've only had 3 shows to date but Bully Ray made a surprise appearance at their third show on Nov. 9. Ray issued a challenge to Dreamer for a Falls Count Anywhere match at TNA's One Night Only: Old School pay-per-view event scheduled for Dec 30.

Just as rumors of a potential buyer for TNA begins circulating, the company starts doing some really interesting things with their talent and storylines. Could this be too little too late for the company?