wrestling / Columns

Moose: Making an Impact with a Little TNA

May 18, 2020 | Posted by Dino Zee
Moose Impact Rebellion

Yes, I know, another minor-delay between appearances. I won’t bore anyone with any stories, just know that we’re hoping to be back up and running full-bore from here on out. It’s just been an interesting few weeks, is all.

Before we get to the main focus of the column, though, I did want to return to my last time out, where I wondered aloud whether it as possible that this year’s WrestleMania could possibly end up as one of the worst of all-time.

In my super important opinion, I’d say the answer was a resounding No. I quite enjoyed the show, if I’m being honest. The entire lack of a crowd is just something I personally enjoy, and for much the same reasons that I enjoy it with an MMA event. Just having a really close ear to the action, to every bit of trash talk, to every clang and crash of a body against some type of unforgiving canvas… I’ve seen a lot of wrestling in my life – including a few empty arena matches, sure – but this just all feels so neat. I love it, really.

As for the card itself, I was excited to see Elias pick up a big win. I thought Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan had a really fun match. Owens and Rollins delivered what I expected. Braun Strowman finally got that World Championship victory.

I also really loved Edge vs. Orton. Probably because Edge’s retirement was one of my least favorite thing of the last 15 years,so his return alone was enough to get me excited, but I just dug the overall brutal nature of the match. I know many, many people that were part of the it went on for too long crowd, and hey, have at it. I disagree, we’ll survive. I loved it all.

And of course, we got the absolute wildness of the Firefly Funhouse and Boneyard matches. I don’t think it should surprise my readers to know that I LOVED both matches, though I was greatly disappointed in WWE management for putting all the combatants into such dangerous predicaments with no regard to safety. Always for the headlines, I guess.

The highlight was, during the Boneyard match, my wife looking up to catch a minute of action, before saying This is so TNA of them. Brought a tear of pride to my eye.

All that said, I did have one thought about WrestleMania that sent a shiver down my spine. The realization that this was basically Entertain-a-Mania (“Entertania” belongs to Hoodslam, jerks), and that WWE was able to deliver a product that seemed to be pretty well-received, despite all of the hurdles. The two silliest matches were highlights, and the lack of a pure five-star spectacle was hardly a huge deal.

Maybe I’m overrating it, maybe I’m undervaluing some matches, but man… if Vince looked at that card and said “See? I’ve been right all along, damn it!”… that’ll be kind of a bummer.

Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of it. I also enjoyed Money in the Bank quite a bit, with the Otis win capping off a fun night for us at ZWI Headquarters.

But I’ve also really been enjoying something else, somewhere else. A recent turn of events that has truly piqued the interests of this veteran journalist.

For years, this author questioned the desire. The will to win. The ability to sacrifice. During our days covering the prestigious TNA Grand Championship rankings, yours truly repeatedly asked why Moose, this monster of a man who seemed to have all the physical gifts necessary to absolutely steamroll the competition, why he was so content to settle for terrible decisions, to not try to avenge close championship losses, and to instead just allow himself to be dragged into meaningless feuds that got him absolutely nowhere.

It wasn’t fun to say these things, because all along, I considered myself a fan of the man. But at the same time, he at times aappeared to be entirely too fun-loving to ever fully capitalize on his talents. With or without the support of the fans, Moose always appeared to be focused on the wrong thing entirely. If it wasn’t about respect, then it was about not being recognized for his fashion senses. He’s made some weird choice teamings along the way, pairings that were never going to get him any closer to a World Championship.

And all along, it seemed like he was absolutely okay with it. It was so frustrating, watching this man take joy in hollow victories over guys that bothered him, instead of relishing big victories over people that pushed him to his very limit.

At Rebellion, however, that all changed.

Originally intended to be Tessa Blanchard defending her Impact World Championship against both Eddie Edwards and Michael Elgin, the champ would find herself unable to make the event due to the current worldwide fun. On top of that, Edwards would also be stuck at home, not participating. That left Elgin alone, and the man was guaranteeing that he’d be crowned the next Impact Champion.

And Moose made the absolute perfect move at the absolute perfect time, making his entrance with the old TNA Championship around his waist. Hernandez would crash the party, we’d get a different triple threat, and in the end, Moose was victorious.

Since then, he’s defended the championship against Suicide as well. Is it 2008 in the Impact Zone again?!

Jokes aside, this is easily the smartest path I’ve ever seen Moose take. With Tessa thus far unable to appear and defend her championship, Moose decided that possession was 9/10 of the law, and crowned himself the King of the Castle, and took out two of the bigger guns in the process.

He knows that when Tessa does return, she will most likely be chomping at the big to take out the impostor that tried to assume her throne. Moose got himself a ready-made World Championship match by basically dragging out a relic and talking some trash. But the genius here is that that relic has marketing appeal. You can easily market this as a Champion vs. Champion match. You can make it the old vs. the new, Impact vs. TNA…

There’s no need to get so far ahead of ourselves. For now, Moose is doing the exact right thing. He’s let the entire company know that instead of just calling himself Mr. Impact Wrestling, he was going to go find a championship and defend it while the person with actual claim to that title sits at home and does nothing.

It’s so refreshing to see the direction. Content for so long to coast and be a clown, Moose has found the way to mix his love to clown around with a way to showcase his dominance and guarantee himself some big-time paydays down the line.

Sure, maybe it took a few years, but Moose has finally put it all together, and as a big fan of both Moose and Blanchard, I know I’m looking forward to their impending clash to settle it all.

article topics :

Impact Wrestling, Moose, Dino Zee