Thoughts on TNA's Current Affairs
by, 03-04-2012 at 03:28 AM (3502 Views)
This may not be my blog, but I found it interesting to re-post in on here to have the people's opinions:
A little advanced warning though. Point #2 contains spoilers for this week's episode of iMPACT. IF YOU DON'T WANT THE RESULTS OF THIS WEEK'S IMPACT TO BE SPOILED FOR YOU, DO NOT READ POINT #2 ON THIS LIST. YOU HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY WARNED. DO NOT BLAME ME IF YOU SPOIL THE SURPRISE FOR YOURSELF.
1) Chris Masters wants to make an impact
I knew it was only a matter of time before this happened, especially given that he's a part of the Ring Ka King roster, I'm just surprised it took this long for him to directly express an interest. I'm a big fan of Masters, and it's really too bad that WWE didn't do more to push him upon his return to the company. His in-ring work improved quite a bit during his latest run and his matches on Superstars were regularly the better ones on the show. Character-wise he was kind of weak, but only because he wasn't given a whole lot of time to develop a new one. His "Masterpiece" gimmick was a great bit of entertainment, and I believe that had he gone back to that he would have been a staple of the upper mid card in WWE today. Unfortunately things don't always work out the way we'd like them to.
Would Masters be a good fit for TNA though?
If the X-Division didn't have the weight limit of 225 pounds as they do now, I'd love to see him there. It would be very much like Doug Williams' time in the division where he's not exactly your typical X-Division competitor, putting Masters in the perfect position to come in as a top heel with some kind of "I don't need to do backflips to be better than you" gimmick.
Since that's not a possibility, Masters could come into the TNA mid-card and finally give the belt some much needed credibility. Robbie E is entertaining and all, but he doesn't have the kind of lasting power that a guy like Masters has. Masters is talented enough in the ring that he can work with a variety of opponents, and given how deep the TNA roster is, that's a lot of potential feuds to have.
I don't think he should be rushed to the main event since he's largely untested in big-time programs, but I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility if he shows that he's capable of carrying the mid-card as TV Champion. Either way though, I think Masters would/will be a great addition to the TNA roster as they'll give him a chance to shine and show the fans what he's truly capable of doing.
2) Mr. Anderson returns to iMPACT
As many of you may know, I'm what you might call a "big fan" of Ken Anderson. That being said, I'm not above criticizing him when I feel like he screws up. In fact, I've said on more than one occasion that my biggest complaint about Anderson is that he only ever seems to be at his best when he is pursuing the World Championship; but when he finally captures that belt or isn't involved in a main event program at all, he just seems unmotivated and sloppy.
Anderson hasn't appeared on TNA programming for close to 4 months now, and hasn't even appeared at live events since January. The creative team of TNA used that old excuse of "sorry, we have nothing for you right now". Now that he's returning, it makes me wonder what his place is going to be. The main event scene is pretty congested right now, he has no established partner that he could be put into a tag team with, and I would argue that he's too big of a name to bother with mid-card titles. What does that really leave him?
Well according to the results of the upcoming episode of iMPACT, Anderson is about to be placed into the ongoing storyline between Kaz, Daniels, and AJ Styles as Styles' partner. It's an interesting placement given that the two don't really have a lot of history with each other, and given how often Anderson seems to switch between being a heel and being a face, I have to wonder how long this is going to last.
Is Anderson finally going to find his place in the company as a face (or at the very least a tweener)? Or is he going to end up turning on Styles within a couple of weeks? Hard to say, but I'm hoping for the former here. Anderson is never going to be able to progress as a wrestler if he doesn't establish a firm character for himself, and choosing one alignment is crucial to that.
I'm excited for his return and very curious to see where it leads.
3) Ric Flair and the WWE Hall of Fame
So if the news reports are to be believed, Ric Flair is going to be at the HoF ceremony regardless of whether or not TNA allows it. At first glance, this may not seem like a major news item, but there's a few consequences that need to be looked at.
Say that TNA decides to refuse Flair's request to attend the ceremony, but he goes anyways. Do you really think that TNA is just going to sit back, shrug their shoulders, and say "oh well, that's Ric for you!". No. Flair will at that point be in breach of his TNA contract, and TNA will be well within their rights to take legal action against him. I'm pretty sure Flair can't afford a big lawsuit given how public his financial troubles have been, and honestly he would be stupid to risk everything to go to a ceremony that really doesn't mean anything important anyways.
Would TNA be in the right by refusing Flair's request? Absolutely. Flair is under contract to their company and they have every right to restrict his appearances with other companies. But does that mean that TNA should refuse Flair's request? In my opinion, absolutely not. TNA should be supporting Flair all the way.
By having Flair appear at the WWE HoF Ceremony, TNA stands to benefit from exposure as fans may see Flair and wonder what he's been up to lately. Maybe those fans go ahead and check out his Wikipedia page, see that Flair's been involved with TNA for a while now, and check out an episode of iMPACT. That sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
As for Flair actually appearing on camera, that's a decision that I think should be up to WWE. TNA should support it for the reasons listed above, but does that mean that WWE should be rushing to put him on camera? My answer to that is both yes and no. Yes, because it's bound to get a reaction from his fans, ESPECIALLY if they let him give a speech. But also no, because at the end of the day he is still a member of a rival company, and no matter how small TNA may be compared to WWE, it just doesn't make good business sense to promote your competition for free.
I do think that WWE and TNA are going to come to some sort of formal agreement, and even if TNA charges WWE a bit of coin to let them use one of their talents, the pros far outweigh the cons of letting it happen. I just hope that in the case of TNA refusing the request, Flair is smart enough to listen. He can't afford to be unemployed right now, and the chances of a return to WWE might not be as hot as they once were.
4) Vince Russo to shoot, LIVE!
Yesterday a news article popped up that said that former TNA head writer Vince Russo would be participating in a live shoot interview on June 1 as part of the "Legends of the Ring" weekend. I was pretty excited to see this at first if for no other reason than Russo has proved in the past he's not afraid to say some controversial things. Unfortunately, he's also shown in the past that he's capable of (and likely to) spin some facts to make himself appear as the victim who the world conspires against, refusing to acknowledge what he has done wrong.
Given how his tenure in TNA ended (being demoted from his Head Writer position) I'm certain he'll have some things to say about Dixie Carter and the rest of TNA management, and I'm pretty excited to see how that turns out.
I've made it pretty clear that I'm happy about Russo being out of TNA as I feel he has been a major part of why TNA hasn't evolved a whole lot over the past few years. Given how TNA has improved over the past little while (more on that in a bit) since Russo was removed from his position at the top, I'd say that my accusations were at least somewhat well founded. But that's besides the point here.
This shoot interview is going to be worth the watch. Russo may be an arrogant son of a bitch, but if this shoot is anything like his shoots from the past, it's going to be a must-see. It's still a couple months away from happening, but you can bet I'll be watching on June 1.
5) TNA fails to make an impact
Reports state that the March 1 episode of iMPACT drew their lowest ratings of 2012 so far, and a lot of the mindless TNA haters out there are taking this as an opportunity to have a laugh. Similarly, a lot of Russo supporters are taking this as an opportunity to say that this proves Russo was not behind TNA's failure during his time with the company. To both of these groups of people, you clearly don't have a clue about what's going on.
Yes, the ratings for the episode are unimpressive. To the company, that probably doesn't look so good. But how on Earth does that affect the fans?
That particular episode of iMPACT was actually quite good, contrary to what the ratings may say. The thing about TNA and these ratings are that there is no correlation between the ratings and the quality of the show. Same goes for WWE. RAW may draw a 3.2 rating, but that doesn't mean the show was good. If iMPACT had been promoting some huge debut/return to the company or the continuation of a big storyline leading to a PPV, this kind of rating would definitely indicate something was wrong. But for your average weekly episode?
This is just another example of people hating on TNA because they think it's the cool thing to do. If people bothered to watch an episode of iMPACT with an open mind and make ANY kind of effort to enjoy the product, they would be pleasantly surprised to see how far they've come. TNA is far from perfect, but they've at least been better than RAW over the past few weeks.
All in all, this rating means nothing to me as a fan. Sure, TNA is going to need to strive for higher ratings if they ever hope to be seen as real competition in the North American wrestling market, but considering how far they've come in the relatively short amount of time they've been around, I'd say they're doing just fine. I know that TNA is improving, whether or not the ratings reflect that is not relevant. Get a clue haters.
So give me your opinion on this blog, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, give me your rebuttal and it better be a pretty valid point.