I remember in 2010 I was thinking both of them were going to be major hits with the company (them and Desmond Wolfe/Nigel McGuiness). Unfortunately, Pope kept getting hurt and became the victim of bad booking while Anderson turned heel & face so many times that people stopped giving a shit. Seriously, I think he had 3 or 4 turns in 2011.
This. I'll admit it, the main reason I still watch wresting these days is for the storylines/characters. Entertainment. Though I'm not a WWE fan...go figure, right? ;-) Anyway...yeah...in 2010, Pope & Anderson = entertainment. They were seriously my top 2 reasons to watch Impact then (Wolfe wasn't far behind), even more than my WCW/NWO fanboy nostalgia due to the whole Bischoff thing. Which is amazing, considering I wasn't familiar with them from WWE at all (don't watch, nor did I know Wolfe from ROH). They were THAT good. Can't remember who my top guy was in TNA before they came onboard, I guess Sting and Raven, my original reasons to watch. Seriously thought Anderson and Pope could help TNA turn the corner. Sucks it didn't happen that way.
I wonder if Anderson just lost his hunger after he became champ, like maybe that was his top goal in wrestling and, after winning, he felt he achieved all he wanted to achieve, so he stopped caring/trying. At least he's heel now, though still not wowing me on the mic like he used to. And I don't see him as a follower. But while I know its cool to hate him now, I'm not ready to count him out yet.
The Pope...some of his critics say his gimmick's over the top, but compared to guys like Joey Ryan (who's growing on me, hehe), I just don't see it. I just see charisma...like a modern day Slick who can also wrestle. And maybe its just me, but I liked his angle with Devon and the kids. Though I tend to go for the crazier angles like that (reminded me of Raven and Sandman), psychological stuff like that interests me more than just 2 guys acting macho and butting heads over a belt or being the best or whatever.
Just found out he was let go via this topic...that sucks. They've let some really entertaining people go lately (Pope, Shelley, Kendrick, Winter). Sucks when storylines I'm into get no resolution...I thought those Russo days were behind us. But I guess no booker will ever push/properly use ALL the guys you want...it is what it is but maybe someday they'll be back. Also sucks that apparently his scenes in the Batman movie got deleted :-/ lol Did anyone see him in there? Because I've watched twice and haven't seen him yet.
Well...ranting aside, I'm normally a pretty positive guy, and at least guys like Aries, Bad Influence, and Park are still entertaining, plus wanting to know how Aces & Eights plays out, so I'll keep watching.