[Let’s face it, Wrestlegasm.com isn’t the place to come if you’re a TNA fan. Hard as we try, neither Andrew nor myself can face whole episode of iMPACT! especially since the old man took over. We realise this is doing you TNA fans a disservice, so we’ve invited Lucy to give you her opinion on how things have panned out in ‘the other franchise’. Make her feel welcome and enjoy reading. – Ray]
Despite what many people have to say about TNA, they’ve a lot going for them. Although they’ve so much going, they still leave fans scratching their heads sometimes.
TNA grabbed the bull by the horns and went head-to-head with RAW on Mondays, then they realized they were failing. They changed their plan to go head-to-head with RAW for only an hour. When that failed, they decided to move back to Thursdays. Then there was Bubba and some new ranking system, The Band and Dixie Carter tweeting all these cryptic messages about surprises in store for TNA.
My point? TNA HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING!
I hate to presume that I know more than this whole company, full of people who have been in the business for years, but they make me wonder sometimes.
With so much potential and ability, you’d think they’d have a great shot at, if not being able to compete on Mondays, at least getting wrestling fans to switch over to their show on Thursday, when there’s no other wrestling on. That hasn’t been the case though. Regardless of what ratings say, a lot of the fans, me included, are unhappy with things in TNA.
I find they’re notoriously hit-and-miss with show. It seems as though even when they’ve got something great they just can’t follow it up.
Criticism is no good when it isn’t constructive, so these are a few things I see that can be reevaluated by TNA, in hopes of improving.
First off, get rid of those who’ve been wrestling for over 15 years, can barely walk and have no business still wrestling. I hate to see someone lose their job, but I think it’s fairly obvious that some wrestlers just shouldn’t be wrestling anymore.
Secondly, they need to stop with the random storylines that go absolutely nowhere. How long was Samoa Joe gone before they even made a mention of him? Unless I’ve missed it, they’ve yet to explain the story behind who/what/why Joe was Joe-napped. Didn’t they learn when someone was mysteriously attacking AJ Styles? We learned Tomko did it. They did nothing with it and now I don’t even know if Tomko still has a job with TNA. The trouble with a storyline they drop and don’t follow up on is that we don’t forget it. Just stop the random kidnappings and attacks. Please.
Wrestling fans are so very picky; we’re never quite satisfied with what we’re given.
We’re told we can’t have blood in one company, so TNA tries to deliver it whenever they can, but there’s no reason to have that amount of unnecessary blood on their shows. Maybe this is a personal pet-peeve of mine, but I don’t care to see Abyss and/or Ric Flair bleeding every week on iMPACT!.
These problems are all very manageable.
Men like Hogan and Nash, no matter how big a name they are, they don’t belong in the ring anymore. Hogan doesn’t really wrestle anymore, but he is on TV a lot. The show shouldn’t be written around him. As for Nash, he looks like he can barely make it to the ring. He’s one of the lucky ones who have something to fall back on, so perhaps it’s time to retire?
I’ve neglected to mention Ric Flair and that’s with good reason. Unlike Hogan, Flair’s been in the ring wrestling, but in the time that he’s been with TNA he’s already given back a lot. AJ is phenomenal, but the poor guy couldn’t cut a good promo to save his life before Flair and now, his promos are actually quite good. Flair has also done something that TNA’s failed to do in the last few years — get guys like Kazarian and Jay Lethal over with their newer fans.
The ridiculous storylines are just that. I think it’s pretty fair to say that fans are not looking for outlandish stories that end up going nowhere. When all else fails, stick with the classics – a face looking for redemption, a heel looking for vengeance. They work when they’re done right. As for the amount of blood that TNA uses, there’s really no excuse for it. It’s not necessary.
A big obstacle TNA is dealing with right now is the fact that not too long ago they prided themselves on their Knockouts, tag-team and X-Divisions. Finally, perhaps their biggest obstacle is keeping up with something that works for them.
Both the Knockouts and tag-team divisions were exceptional once upon a time. Instead of quality entertainment and matches with Angelina Love and Kong, we have Lacey Von Erich making-out with a midget. Instead of 3D showcasing tag-team wrestling with LAX and Beer Money, INC. we have teams thrown together because they share the same hair style.
The Knockouts have definitely lost out on the departures of Awesome Kong and Tara, but they’ve got other females like Love, Roxxi and Hamada, who should be given the chance to elevate the Knockouts to where they once were. They’ve no need to reduce their Knockouts to segments like that Von Erich’s. Let them wrestle and give them a chance to build stories and rivalries with each other.
As for the tag-teams, throwing guys together because they can isn’t how they’ll elevate the division or their company. Sometimes it can work for a while, but what’s happened to Generation Me and the Motor City Machine Guns? Both are great teams who are capable of delivering matches to remember. They’ve given the titles to a team of two men in their fifties! Why not give those other tag teams a shot? They’ve proven why they’re great, so give them a shot at reviving what’s becoming a lost form of wrestling.
In the early years of TNA, the X-Division was the crown jewel of the company. You can’t abandon what brought you to the dance in the first place. There are so many great wrestlers with huge potential, but are never utilized. The Guns, Amazing Red, Kendrick and Douglas Williams are used so little that fans either forget about them from one week to the next or even worse they just don’t care. There’s potential for exciting matches and stories in the X-Division; they’re more than capable of stealing the show when given the opportunity.
TNA’s biggest difficulty at the moment is that they can’t hold any momentum they’ve built. Matt Morgan’s program with Kurt Angle — hit. What did they do with the newfound momentum behind their rising star? They allowed him to fall off the radar a bit and brought him back into the tag-team scene with Hernandez. After the great program he had with Angle, they could’ve at least tried to follow up with another big feud to see how he’d do – miss. No matter how great one particular story or wrestler is, they’ve got to follow up on momentum or they’re end up back at square one every single time.
Although TNA clearly still has problems with their product, I do honestly think that they’ve taken steps in the right direction.
One thing that I’ve liked from the TNA writing staff is that they’re able to work a broad story and manipulate it to do the most good. If you know me, I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but please indulge me on this issue once more.
In the past, TNA has been able to take one idea and branch it out to make it five more. They did it with Sting and the Main Event Mafia and they’re doing it now with Flair, Styles, Abyss and Hogan.
They took this idea of Flair vs. Hogan and worked it to include Styles, Hardy, Dinero, Abyss, RVD, Beer Money and Wolfe. They let go of Hardy, let him do his own thing with Anderson, let Abyss and Wolfe do their own thing, brought in Sting and Jarrett to finish something they started a long time ago and also included Jay Lethal and Kazarian, letting them get their own deal with Styles and Flair.
Instead of a ‘start and end’ feud every couple of weeks, they’ve let it run and turn in other directions.
They’ve got the right mindset; it gives others the spotlight when they otherwise wouldn’t have it and continually changes the scope of their shows so that nothing becomes too stale.
Although easier said than done, TNA needs to let their Knockouts wrestle and showcase what was once a great assist to the company; they need to allow tag teams with the skill and popularity to elevate their division to do so and finally TNA needs to understand they can’t rely on another company’s past to help get them to the top. They have to risk going with something new, gambling on wrestlers they haven’t gambled on before.
Once they’ve build up a fresh product, made new stars and capitalized on what the WWE lacks, maybe they can go ahead and give that whole Monday Night Wars thing another shot.
Lucy has her own blog here. Check it out.