Sunday, February 6, 2011

"They" Return...


by Chad Smart

Yes, another TNA themed post.  I do have some other topics up my sleeve, but since Kevin takes care of the Raw and Smackdown reviews and post of his other post deal with WWE, I try to stay away from WWE so there isn’t a lot of repetition. 

One thing I left out of the Vince Russo review was Vince’s comments on TNA management and the difference between Jeff Jarrett’s business philosophy and Dixie Carter’s philosophy.  He said Jeff tries to run the company like a wrestling company while Dixie point of view is to run it like any other entertainment company.  To me that’s more re-enforcement of the opinion Dixie knows very little about the wrestling industry.  Again, not that I’m some master business manager, but if you don’t understand the industry you’re working in, how can you run a successful company?

On this week’s episode of Impact, we got the revelation of the new incarnation of THEY. And it turned out THEY was basically the same THEY as before as Fortune turned on Immortal. Before last Saturday the rumors were THEY were going to be a returning Main Event Mafia. Then Booker T and Kevin Nash showed up at WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay Per View. Add in Sting’s rumored WWE future appearances and half of the Main Event Mafia was no longer associated with TNA.  That leads to speculation Fortune was an audible play to become THEY.

If it was the case or not, the Fortune turn makes little sense.  First, if the plan was for THEY to be the MEM and TNA started the angle without having Nash, Booker and Sting under contract, that’s inexcusable business.  Who would plan on doing a high profile story without having the participants in place?  If Fortune was the plan, what’s the impetus for them turning on Immortal?  Sure, Eric Bischoff has belittled AJ Styles over the past couple of months. And the case could be made that Bischoff was bringing in ex-WWE guys (even though it was just Matt Hardy) and putting them above the TNA originals.  But, and I could be wrong, has there been any foreshadowing of AJ being disgruntled? What about Beer Money and KAZ? Add in Crimson, Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle and how does this make sense? It feels like another turn for the sake of a turn.

Now, with that said, if all TNA cares about is ratings, then they must be happy today. The rating for Impact was up over last week’s ratings and was one of Impact's top five rated shows.  It’ll be curious to see how next week’s shows does in the ratings.  Will they continue to build an audience, or will fans that tuned in for the reveal of THEY (and how many were curious because of Nash and Booker showing up in WWE) come back next week?  I will give TNA credit.  They seem to have garnered some interest in Impact.  While their product still doesn’t excite me, I still want to see TNA succeed.  I just have one request for them. Can they please end the Dixie Carter/Hulk Hogan power struggle? Get rid of Hogan and get Dixie off TV. Who cares about who has power? I want the focus to be on the guys in the ring. Is that too much to ask?

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