November 20, 2008
Mat Matters: Main Event Mafia a shot in the arm for TNA
By MARK XAMIN - SLAM! Wrestling
Call me crazy, but I think TNA may have something here with the new Main Event Mafia faction.
In fact, the Main Event Mafia could be for TNA what the nWo was for WCW. Granted, the storyline will certainly not put TNA into a favorable position in some kind of "ratings war" with WWE, because TNA isn't there yet and they won't be for five to ten years. But this storyline could breathe new life into a promotion that had been on a downhill slide since late 2006. And interestingly, there are an awful lot of parallels between the nWo and the Main Event Mafia.
Think about it. A group of veterans trying to monopolize the promotion. Yes, I know the MEM's premise is "respect," but hear me out. The very use of the word "mafia" is akin to the nWo, a group of thugs who were out to "take over." The motives of the two groups are slightly different, but at the end of the day, it's the same formula. How about this major similarity -- Kevin Nash. Nash was a founding member of the nWo, and hey, at Turning Point we also saw Scott Hall, albeit his little visit wasn't exactly a welcome one. Yet another similarity, the TNA originals uniting against the MEM the way the WCW stars united against the nWo. Sting has also turned heel, the same way Hulk Hogan did in 1996.
I'm not insinuating that TNA is ripping off the storyline; on the contrary, I think this is exactly what professional wrestling has been missing. The angle forces fans to pick a side. Both sides make strong arguments against the other, and it isn't exactly a black and white issue, it's one with many shades of grey. It's a tried and tested formula, and it's worked for many years. Whoever came up with the idea is deserving of some serious credit.
So where does it go from here? Well, if TNA plays their cards right, new members should be joining the Mafia every now and then. Each should be a surprise, built up for a few weeks. There should be moles working for TNA. There should be some of the very stars that the Mafia is keeping down joining the Mafia. I'm looking at the Motor City Machine Guns as possibilities. All they need to do is come out and tell the Mafia that they respect them and want to join them in their crusade. Think of the rub they'd get, they'd be the hottest heel tag team in wrestling.
But here's where it could get really interesting. Paul London is now a free agent. Sure, there's the 90-day no-compete clause, but if this program can stay hot for three more months, and I believe it can, Paul London can show up with a fantastic angle, claiming it was people like the Main Event Mafia that kept him down in WWE, and now he's in TNA to have his revenge. Trust me folks, Paul London has Ricky Steamboat-type potential. This kid has put on wrestling clinics with Brian Kendrick, Bryan Danielson, and A.J. Styles in Ring of Honor. He is a star in the making and the day will come where the WWE kicks themselves for letting this guy go. London would be a fantastic acquisition for TNA and would fit the bill perfectly for this angle.
So after a couple of dark years, TNA has re-emerged with a renewed vigor, a breath of fresh air in a wrestling world of mediocrity. They say wrestling's popularity comes and goes in waves. Well, this is one wave I will be riding.
Keep your eye on iMPACT. There's something special happening there.
Mark Xamin invites you to share your opinion on this editorial at Mywrestlingforum.com. While you're there, you can play arcade games, gamble credits in the casino, talk wrestling with all kinds of other wrestling fans, and a whole lot more. You can also contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org. He won't bite.