Hulk Hogan: This is undoubtedly my biggest hope. Hulk Hogan had his issues with Dixie Carter, faced Sting (the former general manager), had a quick face turn, and then…Sting is gone? And now the Hulkster is in charge? Maybe he didn’t show up at the wedding to support the union of Brooke and Bully, but in fact knew what was going to happen and wanted to make sure that a) his daughter was protected, and b) to throw off any suspicion that he could ever be involved. It was a red and yellow herring all along! He carries the weight and respect to make perennial employees like Devon and Mr. Anderson follow his lead, and I truly doubt the strippers and beer are a big enough pull to abandon everything they’ve done for TNA in the past. I think Hulk has laid some serious groundwork in the progression of his character from “invulnerable dude who should shut up and get off of my television” to “genuine and conflicted father and businessman,” and the reveal, if handled with the same aplomb, could be a defining moment in TNA history.
Jeff Jarrett: See: slapnuts, #. See also: history of TNA, 11 years of
Eric Bischoff: His son is in Aces & Eights. Traditionally he is arrogant enough to believe that if he is involved in something in the back, he should be involved on television. It’s a total copout, but TNA has proved they are not above using him as a crutch to fall back on.
Bully Ray: Monster heel to doting husband and son-in-law? Doesn’t care about anyone but himself to I would do anything for Hulk Hogan’s love, and I would do that (that being Brooke Hogan)? It’s a stretch, for sure. Earning the trust of Hogan, Sting, and by extension Dixie only to join his brother and betray them all would be the ultimate dick move, but it’s not one I would be against. As a main player in the epic saga of Hulk Hogan, this is a totally understandable and acceptable option.
Sting: Maybe everything isn’t sunshine and roses and awkward nicknames at the top. Maybe he’s been bromancing the Hulk out of a secret resentment: His fame, his popularity throughout his career, the willingness of Dixie and the fans to forgive him for his Immortal transgressions. Maybe it stings (ha!) everytime Hulk calls him the greatest wrestler of all time, because in his mind it’s true, but the number of Little Stingers vs. Hulkamaniacs is so disproportionate has taken him to a dark place of jealously and anger, and if he can’t have the number one legacy, he’ll do whatever it takes to steal what little Hulk has left.
Abyss: You know, Joseph Park’s brother? The timing is right, and “he’s a crazy effed up monster who likes pain and wants to cause pain in new and creative ways” sounds legit. It’s a long shot, but we all know Abyss to be an intelligent fellow. Maybe Joseph Park is part of the long con. The odds are doubtful, but hey, it’s not Jeff Jarrett, and no one would see it coming, so sure, why not.
AJ Styles: Oh, AJ. TNA’s default wrestler. Need a guy in the X-Division? Why not AJ? Need a guy to further a storyline but not actually take anything away from it? Why not AJ? Aces & Eights started before the whole Claire Lynch fiasco, but using that as the true tipping point into madness and resentment for the company would take some creativity and continuity black spots, but if done right it could be the most brilliant move of AJ Styles’ career.
Kurt Angle: A long-shot for sure, but turning “the guy who got played” into “the guy running the game” is a viable storytelling option. It’s not one that should happen, but again, it’s not Jeff Jarrett, soooo….
Karen Jarrett: The only acceptable Jarrett. It makes little sense, but she’s nice and pretty and I miss having her on TV. And how cool would it be to have a woman avenging her husband, and being a true force to be reckoned with? When I say she is the only acceptable Jarrett, goddamnit I mean it.
Bruce Pritchard: He’s been a bit of a mysterious figure thus far. We know he’s there, we know his title, but he doesn’t really serve much of a purpose on the show he’s on all the time. He’s heavily involved in the Gut Check decisions, and as we have seen many a Gut Check participant-shaped Aces & Eights member. We already know he has a thing for ill-fitting leather outerwear. This could be the introduction of a whole new power player.
Scott Steiner: Maybe this whole “suing TNA because he’s crazy as balls” thing is just a work, and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding.
So tell me, who do you think is the higher power? Will TNA roll this storyline into a ball, turn it sideways, and then drop it? Will we see what could turn out to be one of the most interesting and well-planned storylines in the company’s history? How crappy is it gonna be when all of this conjecture is rendered moot by the appearance of Double J because we can’t have nice things? Sometimes I wonder if Aces & Eights are getting better, or if my ideas of what could happen are just getting more and more grandiose to the point of justifying what’s happening on screen, so definitely let me know what you think of the directions this could go in in the comments below.
Until next week, keep those thinking caps on, and #VoteJosephPark!