Friday, August 19, 2011

Their Own Worst Enemy

By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter
Photos come from

Do you know how hard it is to write about TNA without complaining about TNA?  As stated several times in the past, Kevin and I try not to be negative for the sake of being negative. We would rather write positive pieces that promote aspects of the wrestling business that reinforce why we are wrestling fans. I have been racking my brain for the past two days trying to find a silver lining in the TNA universe to write about. I’m still searching.

My first impulse was to write about how for some reason the people in charge feel that in 2011 fans want to see Sting vs. Ric Flair and Sting vs. Hulk Hogan. Not only does TNA think fans want to see these matches, but that they will PAY to see them. With a roster full of young talent eager for their chance to shine, why can’t TNA understand WCW’s heyday was 14 years ago?  What is their obsession with living in the past?  Throw in the way the booking is leading to a Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn match at Bound for Glory which coincidentally is in Philadelphia, you know, home of ECW, and I really start to wonder what separates TNA from Wrestlereunion.

On the other end of the spectrum, when TNA decides to push young talent, they pick talent that is either not ready for the main event (See Crimson) or they pick bland, stale WWE rejects (Mr. Anderson).  Name a star that TNA has created (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels garnered a reputation in ROH) and has kept in the spotlight.  Now name stars they had that were replaced as soon as the 90-day clause was up on ex-WWE wrestler’s contracts. I guess as long as WWE keeps releasing talent, TNA will continue to have a roster. I expect to write a column in May 2012 talking about new TNA Champion John Morrison.

After deciding not to write an entire piece on the bad booking, I thought about writing about the upcoming potential TV title match between Eric Young and Scott Baio. I have to admit that I like less than stellar television shows and “Charles in Charge” is in my top ten ‘80s syndicated shows list. I also enjoy the goofy Eric Young character. I know the idea of Eric thinking because he’s the TV champion he can only defend the title against people who have been on TV is pretty hokey but there’s something about it that amuses me. Maybe it’s the fact it’s not taken seriously. Or the fact the TV title was previously the Global title and before that it was the Legends title and thanks to TNA’s poor booking the title really is nothing more than a prop so who cares if it’s being played for laughs. But really, how was I going to get a 700-word blog out of this match up?

While surfing the Internet last night, I saw an ad on a wrestling site promoting next week’s Impact taping in Alabama. I like the idea of TNA getting out of the Impact zone. What I still fail to understand is why they are taping the show on a Thursday night.  Do they not realize that’s when Impact airs and by having house shows or TV tapings on Thursday takes away viewers?  Granted, it’s a small percentage of their audience that will be at the live show. But having not seen the latest episode of Impact means the audience won’t know which wrestler turned from face to heel or heel to face and will therefore give them the wrong reaction when said wrestler is in the ring. Plus any major events will be online before Impact has finished airing. Remember last time TNA taped Impact outside Orlando? Impact ended with a promo teasing the return of Sting. An hour before the tease aired, the result of Sting winning the TNA Title was already on every wrestling website.

This blog didn’t go the way I thought it would when I started writing. I had intended to write about UFC leaving Spike and what that means for TNA. Honestly though, I don’t know what it means. As long as Spike is happy with the numbers Impact gets then that’s really all that matters. TNA can continue to run a tribute show to the past and have twists and turns in their stories that even M. Night Shyamalan would call preposterous but at the end of the day as long as Spike keeps Impact on the air, that’s all that counts.

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