By James Guttman
You can hear the whispers in the locker room. They've been growing louder with each passing week.
Yes, one of the most focused and intense former World Heavyweight Champions in TNA history has boxed himself into a corner that he never knew was there. His train of momentum was at a fever pace when he made a choice that has now come back to haunt him. Bobby Roode, a man who prides himself on flawless strategy, appears to have made a serious tactical error.
After years of establishing himself as the TNA's IT Factor, Bobby had finally risen to a spot where his greatness couldn't be denied. That's why his sudden allegiance with Dixie Carter seemed like a stroke of genius. Endearing himself to the TNA President, Roode made sure that her wishes were granted. When Magnus brags about "singlehandedly" defeating A.J. Styles and Sting, the claim could be made that it's Bobby Roode's hand that he's referring to.
One problem, though. Magnus is Dixie Carter's handpicked World Heavyweight Champion. He's her guy and nothing looks like it can change that. By helping him retain the title at each turn, Roode unknowingly constructed a glass ceiling over his own head. Why would Carter allow someone of Bobby's talent a chance to unseat her Champ? The answer is simple - she won't.
So, what happens? He goes ballistic. Shocked over the boss's flippant attitude towards his desire to wrestle Magnus, Roode lost his mind on Impact. By the time security was called to escort him from the building, Bobby's face told the story. Everything he had done to help his career rise had actually hurt him more than any loss. He created a situation where Dixie Carter saw all he was capable of accomplishing. It impressed her, just like he wanted. Only it impressed her so much that she realized there was no way he could ever get an opportunity to unseat her Magnus.
Maybe you're thinking that MVP's arrival could give Roode new hope in the face of darkness. After all, the new TNA investor will lead a team of four against a foursome of Dixie's choosing at Lockdown. The winning team determines the sole voice of authority in TNA. So there's a chance that the Queen of Dixie Land might be losing her kingdom soon. That's sure to help Bobby bounce back, right?
Wrong. The former World Champion scores no points with MVP for the same reasons mentioned above. He's the man who was instrumental in screwing some of TNA's biggest heroes out of their rightful places in the company. As he's bragged about countless times, Magnus would never have accomplished all his dastardly deeds without Bobby. He made it happen and helped Dixie Carter's dreams come true. For that reason alone, it doesn't pay to be Roode in the eyes of TNA's new investor.
It leaves Bobby Roode with no options. As Gunner steps up for his World Heavyweight Championship match on Impact, all Roode can do is watch from afar and know it's not him. There's an irony in all of this, though. The man with the legendary ego has seen it cause his ultimate downfall. The first rule of getting the Champion to give you a shot at the gold is to never let him know that you can beat him. You have to play it cool and hold back from showing the world how incredible you truly are. But, of course, a man with the arrogance of the IT Factor would never do that.
And that's why they're whispering in the locker room.