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TNA: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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TNA is what it is. You may love it, you may hate it. But most likely, since you are a wrestling fan, you find yourself watching it every Thursday, or at least some Thursdays anyways. Some of the product is pretty good right now while others parts are well….just God awful. Likewise, there are other things going on with TNA that cannot even be described as good or bad, but just plain ugly.

First, AJ Styles has a new gimmick and has completely reinvented himself. AJ was over as a babyface with his previous gimmick but let’s face it, he was no longer the face of TNA. Unless Jeff Hardy has another relapse or goes to WWE after his contract expires, he will continue to be the biggest fan favorite in TNA. So rather than be #2 and run the risk of going stale, AJ reinvented himself with a new look and gimmick. AJ is over big time as a tweener and keeps us wondering where he stands and what his next move will be. As a result, AJ continues to have a spot on the card (which is hard these days with Aces & Eights, Main Event Mafia and the Hogans taking up over 50% of the airtime). Same thing goes for Mr. Anderson. Instead of another cocky heel in TNA, he is adding star power to Aces and Eights and helps give them a mouthpiece and credibility. Going from “The Asshole” gimmick to Aces and Eights was a good move in my opinion.

Second, it is Bound for Glory Series time. The BFG Series is the one thing that TNA does that no other promotion does or copies. This original point scoring tournament is TNA’s version of the Royal Rumble (by that, I mean only done by that promotion and winning it results in a title shot at their biggest PPV of the year). The BFG series means we are now treated to meaningful matches, the occasional upset and quality wrestling. In theory, right now should be the best time of the year to tune into TNA.

Third, the emergence of Chris Sabin is a breath of fresh air. Maybe he will be a transitional champion or maybe he can carry the strap. At this point who knows but good for TNA for taking a chance on a guy who has starred in the X division and tag division.

Fourth, Dixie’s TV time has been minimized. Any angle Dixie has been involved in has been horrible. Most of us are still trying to get the Claire Lynch saga out of our memory. Fortunately, Dixie has now removed herself from TV minus the occasional cameo.

Lastly, Magnus has received a push and is hotter than ever. The BFG Series is a platform for stars to emerge and I have really enjoyed Magnus’ work over the last month.

First, Jeff Hardy is the top draw in the company. Right now he is not involved in an angle. How is this good for business? This would be like WWE not involving Cena in an angle.

Second, Hogan and Brooke are getting too much TV time. Yes, I understand that Hogan is still a draw and helps sell tickets which is more important now than ever since TNA is on the road. However, Hogan does not wrestle. Therefore, at the end of the day, how is he helping TNA generate more PPV buys?

Third, this lawsuit angle has insulted the intelligence to every loyal fan. Bully Ray has won multiple matches the last few months via use of hammer. Meanwhile, Hogan and Dixie were both shown panicking in the back because of the pending lawsuit. Why were they panicking because a world title match ended with a hammer shot since that has been the norm since Hardy dropped the strap?

Fourth, why has Suicide dropped his name? Worse yet, why is Manik doing promos with his mask off? Why is Hogan telling us what Suicide’s real name is and then saying he will go by "Manik" opposed to his real name? My guess is that this must have been Bischoff’s idea since things went so well for Mysterio when he dropped the mask back in WCW...oh wait, that was not the case at all.

Fifth, holy shit is Joseph Park becoming intolerable. Making matters worse, it appears that Eric Young will be playing scientist/detective until Park realizes he is Abyss. While I give TNA credit for this angle being original, it is not over. If the angle is not over, it needs to be dropped and not shoved down our throats. Only thing remotely similar (and this is a stretch) that I can recall is in WCW when Pillman worked as the Yellow Dog. Only difference is the dog was over, Park is not.

Sixth, I get the concept of the Main Event Mafia. They are a babyface stable to battle with the Aces and Eights. Meanwhile, Rampage and Magnus get a platform where they can get put over. However, why in the fuck is Joe in this stable? Why is everyone wearing a suit except Rampage? Why is Angle wearing a $2000 suit with a tee shirt underneath? And why is Angle wearing a pair of $5 back of the comic book sunglasses?

Lastly, Kurt Angle was kidnapped but miraculously returned to the arena at Destination X later that night. Taz is all of a sudden missing and we still do not know who the driver of the truck was. Ironically, this is déjà vu booking by Eric Bischoff for those who recall the “Who was driving the Hummer” angle back in WCW. Adding to the chaos of this angle, the driver of the truck when Angle was kidnapped has yet to be mentioned, even though Angle has been back on the show the last two weeks since the kidnapping.

First, TNA has received some negative press about the recent roster cuts. Being that TNA is a privately owned company, I am not going to criticize their roster cuts. Who am I to say anything without ever seeing their balance sheet. Meanwhile, everyone they got rid of was not over. Christian York, Joey Ryan, Jesse Sorensen….big deal. These guys were not draws. Sure maybe they were booked wrong; however, these guys will have a better chance of getting booked correctly in another promotion opposed to TNA having an epiphany that they are misusing talent. As for the behind the scenes employees that were terminated, I have been less than impressed with the booking, production and product in general. I only see change as a good thing.

Second, the gutcheck challenge is a joke. If TNA wants to be the #2 wrestling company in the world, I would like to see ROH talent, New Japan talent and top tier independent talent brought in. No more of these no name newbies who wrestle one match, get criticized by the judges and are never seen again. I don't understand why TNA brings in these no name newbies and just books them into the ground. Meanwhile, guys like James Storm are not even on TV half the time because his spot on the card is being used for a gutcheck match. Perhaps it would be better TV if TNA actually promoted the gutcheck talent with vignettes and attempted to book them in way where they at least have a chance of getting over.

Third, the rumors of TNA not paying talent on time and experiencing high costs of operating on the road/outside of the Impact Zone are anything but good. Established talent from other promotions may think twice now before signing with TNA. Also, we really don’t know if TNA opted to go on the road. This is just a theory of mine that is probably wrong but perhaps Universal Studios told TNA they were not going to renew their lease.

Also, why in the fuck has the TV title been suspended? I guess once again TNA needed to confirm to its fans that they are not able to properly book a mid-card division.

Finally, the recent departures of RVD and Matt Morgan are a cause for concern. RVD has immediately become a relevant character on WWE. RVD was anything but relevant during his last few months with TNA despite being the X division champion. Meanwhile, if Morgan goes to WWE and gets over, it really is going to get TNA talent thinking why should I renew my contract when it is up. Morgan has a great look but TNA had him wearing that ridiculous robe that Hogan wore in the 1980’s. It reminded me of Kevin Nash playing the Oz character.

WHAT IS UNFORTUNATE: Last year Roode was the champion until he was finally defeated by Austin Aries at Destination X. Option C was a great concept and very original. Meanwhile, Hardy would then go on to win the title at BFG, TNA's biggest PPV of the year. Alas, AJ and Daniels were feuding for the final time and had a great match despite the ridiculous Claire Lynch Angle. Point being, the homegrown talent was finally shining. RVD, Angle and Sting were still around, but they were not in the main event. It seemed like the stars were finally starting to align for TNA. However, TNA has taken a step back this last year. Aries and Roode are now stuck in a dysfunctional tag-team. Christopher Daniels is back in the mid-card. Jeff Hardy isn’t even involved in an angle. Former TNA Champion James Storm is barely even on TV anymore despite being a tag-team champion. I thought these were the guys they were building around?

What could be detrimental to TNA in about a year:
WWE has its best roster in years. Between WM 26 and 27, WWE took a big hit in talent losing HBK, Edge, Batista, and Taker & HHH (as full time competitors). However, their roster now has top notch part timers (Rock, Brock, RVD, Jericho, etc.), 2 main event draws in Punk and Cena, rising main event stars in Bryan, Ryback and Ziggler, a strong foundation (Orton, Cody, Sheamus, etc), solid mainstays (Big Show, Kane, Henry, Christian, Mysterio), quality mid-carders (Miz, Kofi, Barrett, etc.) and fresh new blood (Cesaro, Fandango, Shield, Wyatt Family, Damien Sandow). Most importantly, WWE has a plethora of prospects in the pipeline that will see the main roster in the near future (Corey Graves, Bo Dallas, Adrian Neville, etc.) Don’t get me wrong, WWE has its issues too but where I am getting at, is because of this “loaded roster” there are only so many spots on the WWE card right now. And in about a year, some guys will be promoted from NXT and others will get the axe known as “Future Endeavored.” As a result, this could mean instead of TNA relying on their own roster, they will once again pick up WWE’s garbage. Ultimately, this could lead to a situation in 2014 where Drew McIntyre will be facing Zack Ryder at Bound for Glory next year while two guys like Joe and James Storm are not even on the card.

So what does TNA do in order to prosper….I have no idea. But like I said, I enjoy what they are doing right now with Chris Saben, AJ Styles and Magnus. As a result, I will continue to tune in and just hope for the best.

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  1. JohnnyV123's Avatar
    Hey really good blog! I almost entirely agree with all your points. I would have added that it seems like there are no real stories or feuds going on at Impact right now.

    Yeah MEM and A&8's are feuding I guess, but there hasn't been much heat there. I also am very confused by the Angle getting taken away in a van yet showing up later in the show thing. There should be some individual feuds going on within the two groups. It looks like they are developing some angle with Roode so that's good but doesn't seem like there is much going on with Aries or Hardy though like you said.

    You also should have mentioned the Knockouts have been on a bit of an upswing. Mickie James delivered a great promo a few weeks ago and the Gail Kim vs Taryn Terrell matches were both excellent. They will need some new blood sooner rather than later though.

    Tag teams are also at one of their lowest points in the company. Why should I care about Gunner? He beat up a few guys and then won the tag belts on his return. Alright.....The Bro Mans team could be funny jobbers but we need some real teams so someone looks like a credible threat to those titles especially when Hernandez and Bad Influence are busy in the BFG series.

    Joseph Park was ridiculously over, but we need progression. You can't keep doing the same thing and expect people to cheer. The character doesn't need to be done if they can do something new with it. If they want to start actually trying to solve what's going on with him that would be a decent start, but if it's anything like in the past that one mention will be all we hear of it for 3 months.

    X Division guys need to start having more feuds and not in three way matches. Kenny King and Chris Sabin had the one good confrontation recently but that's about it. Give a reason for me to care about Sonjay Dutt beyond his in ring talent.

    I think cutting the talent that they did was a smart move if they bring in new people and give them a chance for success. Whoever this August1 person is I have some hope that's the new direction the company is taking.
  2. Pagey21's Avatar
    Tna is just ugly
  3. Itsonlyleggy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pagey21
    Tna is just ugly
    Very constructive argument there. However, you're dead wrong. TNA has its downfalls, but when they get it right, they can beat anything anyone else can do. Case in point - the Sabin/Aries/Manik 3 way for the X division title a couple of weeks ago. A masterclass in how to pace a match. Phenomanal action, good storytelling, and a great finish. Tore the house down and showed Raw up for the 3 hour snore-fest it's starting to become. That week it was Cena/Del rio in the main event and a Bray Wyatt promo to finish. I know what I'd prefer to watch.
  4. Pearl River Plunge's Avatar
    Great blog, and I agree 100%. I just start to get into a good match, and the next segment is just plain unwatchable. Sad but True.
  5. weems's Avatar
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I just hope that TNA is able to stay in business and continue to offer a nationally televised product that provides an alternative to WWE.

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