DR. TNA – A Roode Awakening (Beer Money, Jeff Hardy, RVD)

This past Thursday, we may have witnessed Robert Roode kicking in the door and reminding all of TNA and their fans that he is one of the top wrestling talents on TV today.  I’m not saying that he was previously an unknown, far from it.  He is one of the pillars upon which TNA has been built.  However, prior to Thursday, when I thought of Roode, I thought of Beer Money, which he’s been a part of for several years now.  After this segment I am thinking much differently, though.  If you didn’t get a chance to watch it on Thursday, the episode can be found here.  Start watching at about the 8:30 mark for the Roode promo.

As of late, TNA has done a good job of mixing reality and fan/hater critiques into their angles and rivalries.  Much of what Roode said would be supported by forum contributors across all kinds of wrestling websites.  Now unless you have firsthand knowledge of the situation, your ability to discern between reality and internet rumors is somewhat limited, but I doubt that is the point.

I am not part of TNA creative, so I will not claim to speak for them.  However, I suspect the point of mixing in reality and rumors is that it further blurs the line between reality and entertainment.  By doing this, TNA may believe the fan feels more vested in its programming and its social media outlets.  I, for one, believe it may be working.

Roode’s promo was also reflective of another effort on which TNA seems to have been more focused, as of late.  That is building from within the company.  While Scott Steiner came back as part of the “they” angle, everyone else was already in the locker room.  Now there are varying explanations as to why they chose to make Fourtune “they” and some of the explanations are likely true.

Let’s assume that originally “they” were to be a group of individuals who ended up signing with the promotion who just rediscovered what the Rock is cookin’.  Even if that was the case, there appears to have been a concerted effort to push “TNA guys.”

If you don’t believe me ask Matt Morgan.  Ask Mr. Anderson (yes I consider him a “TNA guy”).

The lack of reliance on their own very talented roster has been a critique by many in the past.  To be honest, it may be a fair critique.  However, today’s TNA seems to be taking that longer term view that many have wished they would do.

This brings me back to Roode.  Roode has been with TNA since 2004.  There are few guys who are bigger “TNA guys” than Robert Roode.  For now, Roode will likely continue his run with Storm as Beer Money.  Perhaps he’ll continue taking a more vocal role within Fortune.  Largely, though, I suspect his role will remain what it is now.

I say this because it would only make sense for Roode to move outside of the tag team picture if he was to make a run at the TNA Heavyweight Championship.  I do not believe that he has held this belt in the past, so if one breaks up the incredibly popular Beer Money team, Roode going for the title would have to be the reason to do it.

The problem with doing that now is that the Heavywieght championship title picture is rather crowded.  Mr. Anderson holds the title.  Jeff Hardy is gunning for it, having just lost it.  Rob Van Dam has a rather legitimate case for pursuit as well, having never actually lost it, at least not in the ring.  Matt Morgan is fresh off a loss in the number one contenders match and has vocally indicated he’s coming back for the title.  Why break up Beer Money just to throw Roode into that mix?

Maybe Roode just prefers tag team wrestling and would rather keep Beer Money intact.  I don’t claim to know.  However, if that is not the case, perhaps before a Roode singles run can happen TNA needs to build up the tag team division again.  Given the injuries and such in that division it may be time to give some thought to doing just that.

However and whever it happens, one thing is certain: Roode has earned his shot.  There is no doubt he has the ring skills and he certainly has paid his dues.  That just leaves the question of how the fans might react to him.  Seems to me if that question had not already been answered, it certainly was answered last Thursday.

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