On the “Hardcore Justice” Impact Special Thursday night, Kazarian won a special ladder match granting him 20 points in the Bound For Glory series. As well, Bobby Roode won a Tables match ensuring he received 20 points and second place in the series.
These matches were interconnected by the fact that Kazarian’s tag partner Christopher Daniels and Roode assisted Kazarian in his win while Bad Influence (Kazarian and Daniels) assisted Roode in disposing Bound For Glory series leader Magnus through a table.
The reason for the assistances came from the August 8 episode of Impact, where Roode proposed a three man team instead of the three men fighting each other so they could have an advantage in the BFG series. The segment reminded me of when Bret Hart stopped the British Bulldog and Owen Hart from fighting each other and sowed the seeds for a Hart Foundation reunion.
The three men are no strangers to working with each other, having all been members of the short lived but extremely popular Fortune. Fortune was supposed to have been the TNA incarnation of the Four Horsemen led by Ric Flair but once Flair joined Immortal instead to manage Gunner (let’s just say the Nature Boy’s decision making has deteriorated throughout the years), the remaining members instead became an All-Star class of TNA originals. AJ Styles, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are all TNA homegrown who time and time again proved to be the best wrestlers in the company. The only names throughout history not known as “WWE re-treads” that could be included in the faction would be Samoa Joe and Austin Aries.
Fortune eventually fell apart due to Daniels hatred for Styles, which Kazarian eventually agreed with. The next person to quit was Bobby Roode, turning selfish in order to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion. But now, all three men have a common goal and with the Main Event Mafia once again returning in a dishevelled fashion and the Aces and Eights reflecting the Mafia by deciding to randomly add an MMA fighter to the mix, it’s a breath of fresh air to see three great rulebreakers see eye to eye.
It’s especially great for Bobby Roode, whose career has been a bit lost since he stepped off the top of the mountain in TNA Wrestling. Unable to find himself back in the World Title scene, he spent time with Austin Aries in the tag division instead. Since then, he’s tried to rebuild himself in the Bound For Glory series but he was going through a string of losses before finding common ground with Bad Influence. This comes as no surprise as Roode has found strength in familiarity throughout his career.
When Roode broke into NWA:TNA back in 2004, it was as a member of Team Canada. Roode was known as the Canadian Enforcer of Team Canada, reminding fans of Arn Anderson in the Four Horsemen. Once the faction was disbanded in 2006, Roode attempted to become the 21st Century Mr. Wallstreet. This included a feud with former Team Canada stable mate Eric Young in what many knew as the never ending feud. Attempts were made to have Roode face popular singles competitors to get better on his own but Roode was lost. After two years of floundering, a chance teaming with James Storm soon led to Roode’s rebirth in TNA as Beer Money Inc.
Beer Money is easily one of the greatest tag teams in TNA history, up there with the Motor City Machine Guns, Team 3D, LAX, Triple X and Storm’s former tag team America’s Most Wanted. Whether babyface or heel, Beer Money defined tag team wrestling in their years together. The two soon found themselves in Fortune, which eventually joined Immortal due to Ric Flair. What was infuriating about this was Immortal made sense as a group of outsiders changing TNA for the worse and it made sense for Fortune, the TNA Originals that have carried the company, some from day one, to stop them. TNA eventually realized this themselves when their hopes to re-form Main Event Mafia died when Kevin Nash and Booker T signed with the WWE and instead made the right choice with Fortune splitting from Immortal.
After years with James Storm in Beer Money and time in Fortune, 2011 was the year it was finally time for Bobby Roode to try singles competition again and boy was he ready. After winning Bound For Glory, he seemed destined to win the TNA World Heavyweight Title in the main event. It didn’t happen, but Roode made up for it only weeks later. It led to one of the greatest World Title runs in recent memory, especially in TNA. Roode didn’t need anyone then. He relished in the fact the world was against him. It gave him more power to have everyone moving their chess pieces first.
But that was then and this is now. Roode needs to find a new advantage, and that looks to be in Bad Influence. Daniels and Kazarian may also be working in the BFG Series to become World Champion but if the three can stick together long enough to at least get one of them in the final four (currently, Roode is second in points behind Magnus while Kazarian and Daniels are only points away from final four positions), they could be the most dangerous unit in the series.
Why would that be? Afterall, Joe and Magnus are partners in the Main Event Mafia and Ken Anderson has Aces and Eights to back him up. The difference is that those factions are at each other’s throats. Nobody is really watching their backs for Roode, Kazarian and Daniels. Or at least they weren’t until Thursday night. There’s still time for the three to sneak their way into position for No Surrender, when the number one contender for the TNA World Champion would get decided.
Even if they don’t achieve their goal as one of them winning the main event spot for Bound For Glory, I don’t see this as some temporary solution. When Aces and Eights and the Main Event Mafia fade away, there will be no void left empty for long. If Roode can convince his former tag partner Austin Aries to join? The four could place a stranglehold on TNA if they so wish. Whether or not they call it Fortune, it doesn’t matter. It would be a guarantee for great main event wrestling.
Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? Find more info at our “Join Our Team” page.