|AJ Styles wins
Photo from TNA Wrestling
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter
I want to start this off with a disclaimer. I hate being negative about wrestling. I hate being negative in life in general. I’ve tried to have a positive outlook, especially over the last year. I’ve been a fan of TNA since day 1. Longtime readers of the blog may remember my live recap of last year’s Bound For Glory weekend where I said the weekend was a better experience than Wrestlemania weekend. With that said, what I’m about to write is very disappointing and frustrating.
After watching Bound For Glory 2013, I can no longer tolerate TNA/Impact wrestling. I’ve felt this year has seen TNA regress from the positive strides they made during 2012. The Chris Saban World Title win seemed like something that TNA had to do to make Destination X feel important instead of something that happened organically. Aces and Eights started falling apart with no one in the gang having moved up the pecking order in the TNA roster. Bringing in Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz only to have them removed from television a few weeks later. And then there was the release of several underutilized wrestlers that when asked about the cuts, Dixie Carter had this to say: “I think part of our problem is that we didn’t turn the roster often enough. … We have to be able to do that to where we can shift and make talent appear fresh ….I know that our competitor lets people go constantly. We had not done it in a long time, and I think because we had not done it in a long time, that it raised some eyebrows. … It’s time for us to bring in some new faces… It’ll freshen things up somewhat.” How bringing in new Jobbers (which is essentially how the cut talent had been portrayed) to wrestle the same core group of guys who have been the focus of TNA for the past 7-10 years freshens up TNA, I don’t know. Maybe I should tweet #AskDixie and she’ll let me know.
Giving all the steps back, my interest in TNA has dwindled over the past six months or so. Initially I was excited for BFG to be taking place in San Diego and was going to once again take part in the weekend festivities. However, I wanted to wait until the show got closer before buying a ticket, as I was afraid the main event could end up as Bully Ray vs. Hulk Hogan. I have zero interest in ever seeing Hulk Hogan wrestle another match. As the months went by and the likelihood of the Bully/Hogan match seemed less and less likely, I found myself overall not caring about anything that could take place on the show. So instead I opted to stay home and watch instead of making the two-hour drive to San Diego.
|Gail Kim & Lei'D Tapa
Photo by TNA Wrestling
If I had started this blog off by saying I watched a wrestling show last night and on the show I saw a women’s champion winning with assistance from a muscular female of Southern Pacific heritage, the owner of the company trying to prevent the fan favorite from winning the title and that wrestler winning the World title even though he doesn’t have a contract, would you think I was watching a TNA show or a WWE show? For some reason TNA can’t comprehend the idea of presenting a different wrestling product than what WWE is doing.
If I watch RAW on Monday, why would I want to see the same thing on Thursday? I don’t even watch Smackdown because I feel it’s more of the same of what happens on RAW. TNA has a roster full of talent that could go out and wrestler amazing match after amazing match yet bad writing is overshadowing the wrestlers. With Hulk Hogan’s contract expiring and TNA making budget cuts, there was hope that the focus could be taken off the General Manager and put on the people actually doing the physical part of the job. I forgot that we live in a post-Montreal Screw job era and wrestling shows can only operate under the direction where the person who owns the company and has the power to fire people must instead make life miserable for the wrestlers fans cheer. So instead of simply phasing Hogan out, we get the unnecessary heel turn of Dixie Carter. To be fair, I have also stopped watching RAW on a regular basis because I don’t enjoy seeing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
|AJ & Dixie (not at BFG)
Photo by TNA Wrestling
I can’t think of anything that happened at Bound For Glory that has me looking forward to what’s going to come next in TNA. With AJ Styles winning the World Title, even though he “doesn’t have a contract” makes me fear we’re going to get more Dixie Carter trying to get the title off of AJ. Again, it comes down to do you want to see Stephanie McMahon torment Daniel Bryan or do you want to watch Dixie Carter harass AJ Styles. For my time, I’ll pass on both.
Sorry TNA wrestlers. You are extremely talented and I wish it were still 2004 when I could see you on Indie shows. Unfortunately it’s 2013 and I don’t want to sit through Community Theater retelling of WWE stories.
I’ll continue to monitor what happens in TNA and will hope they right the ship and finally after 12-years will create their own identity. However, given the track record of the last 11-years, I don’t see TNA management learning from their mistakes. Or more accurately, I don’t think TNA management sees their mistakes.
When will Chikara rise from the ashes and bring entertainment back to wrestling?