Who Are They? New Blood Courses.


Since their match in the summer of 2012, Roode and Aries struggled to regain the same dominance. This is why I needed to put them together, because Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries at Destination X 2012 remains one of the best main events I’ve seen in the past five years. If you have not seen the best of The Dirty Heels, I suggest you enjoy it in the video below.

Eric Young


“Super Eric!” – Wow, Eric Young in NXT. He’s been highly entertaining the past year with his completely insane heel character, so it took me back a little when he debuted on NXT and challenged Samoa Joe. Not because I’ve seen Joe vs. EY several times before, but because I want EY to continue portraying the character he had in TNA. He hasn’t changed his look, so it tells me he might switch back real soon.

Who is Eric Young? Well, he’s amazing. Here’s a guy who was highly praised by Chris Jericho a decade ago, well before he got to a main event level. He can do it all, he can be a good guy, he can be a bad guy, he can evoke any emotion, and his promo work is highly underrated. He’s not going to pump out 5-star matches left-and-right, but what he does do is entertain. He’s been entertaining for a very long time, and has changed gimmicks more time than I care to count. Originally he was one of the key players of Team Canada, alongside Petey Williams and Bobby Roode. Soon enough, he started portraying a paranoid character, as he warned others that Sting was coming when he clearly wasn’t. My favourite gimmick was Super Eric; he dressed up as a super hero, and while the fans knew who it was, the wrestlers didn’t (acted dumb), and the gimmick was very well-received by fans. “Super Eric!”

After Super Eric, his character turned more serious. Before the arrival of Hogan (and co.), stable warfare was rampant, and in the middle of that was the World Elite leader Eric Young. He was cool, he was bad, he was calculating, and once again, the man found a gimmick that worked, as the leader of the World Elite stable. When Hogan (and co.) entered TNA, World Elite was immediately disbanded with no warnings or mentions, leaving EY with no purpose. Soon enough, a heel EY emerged, and aligned himself with “The Band” alongside Nash, Hall and Sean Waltman.

Again (!), The Band abruptly disbanded, leaving EY in the cold. A short time later, EY emerged with a “mentally challenged” gimmick. He was soon referred to as the clown of TNA Wrestling, and no one had an idea what was happening in his matches. It’s hard to describe how he worked, as the matches were so random .. but funny at the same time. Often he would try to wrestle the referees, forget match stipulations, and think his opponent is a friend and he shouldn’t be wrestling them. It was around this time he started growing the beard (“I’m the only one who can have a beard!”), which he still has to this day. And yes .. he grew his beard before Daniel Bryan, for anyone who wants to label EY as “another Daniel Bryan”.

His career went downhill from there, as his character continued to be a little random, but not as much, and soon enough he was hanging around with equally insane female wrestler ODB. They did crazy stuff together, and their relationship grew to the point they got married (storyline) in the ring. They even became TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions together! Yes .. EY held a women’s championship for over a year, til the company remembered they had the titles and deactivated them. EY’s years of loyalty to TNA was rewarded as the company started building him as a serious competitor. He won the TNA Television Champion, and promised to defend the title every week on Impact. He was a fighting champion, and the ultimate good guy for a while. After losing the title, EY was pushed to the main event scene against TNA World Champion Magnus.

Coincidentally, EY defeated Magnus on a pre-taped episode of Impact which aired later in the week, during the same week Daniel Bryan won (and was screwed out of) the WWE Championship. I couldn’t understand it, because .. while EY deserved a run with the title, many fans couldn’t take it seriously, and others claimed TNA was trying to “capitalize” on Daniel Bryan’s popularity by having someone similar (because of the beards ..) win the title later in the week .. although the episode was taped before the Daniel Bryan win. EY has never been anything like Bryan, so it was a confusing time.

EY’s biggest match of his career came at Slammiversary, when he defeated Lashley and Austin Aries in a three-way steel cage match in the main event. EY lost the title on the following Impact to Lashley, and never regained the title. EY turned heel again shortly after, and displayed intense and psychotic tendencies in a feud with Bobby Roode. EY’s character evolved over time, til he started referring to himself as a “wrestling god”, and always reminding everyone how he’s the best, and will do what he wants, when he wants, and with no remorse. Again, the man behind Eric Young showed his talent, and portrayed it to perfection.

His final days in the company saw him win the TNA King Of The Mountain Championship, and a friendship formed between EY and Bram, an English lunatic with the same lust for violence. After EY and Bram challenged Beer Money for the tag titles and failed, the news of a contract dispute came to light, and soon enough, EY’s character threatened to walk out with the title and Bram. After some thought, Bram refused to leave, and instead challenged EY for the title. EY was a true professional, and put Bram over in the process. What can we learn from his career? Often enough, wrestlers stick with one character for their entire lives, but in EY’s case, he’s portrayed many contrasting characters, and there’s plenty of time for new ones in NXT, and hopefully, on Raw and Smackdown as well.

Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

“The Club” – We know Luke Gallows, we remember him as Festus, and we remember him as CM Punk’s lackey in the Straight Edge Society. What some may not remember is “Doc Gallows” in TNA as a member of Bully Ray’s villainous stable the Aces N’ Eights. He was one of the driving forces behind the group, and it was really important for him to get the experience.

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