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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

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My Take On 12.25.12: Looking at TNA on PPV in 2012
Posted by Larry Csonka on 12.25.2012





WELCOME!
Welcome back to the latest edition of My Take On. It is that time of year when I use the column to take a look back at the year that was. A new thing I will be doing this year is looking back on PPV and iPPV I have watched during the year. I will give the listing of PPVs by the score, the top matches from the company's PPV and then look at some sub-categories before looking at an overall verdict for the year. I hope that this is something you will enjoy. I will be doing columns on the following companies and their PPV…

* DGUSA & EVOLVE < -- You can click that!
* Ring of Honor
* WWE
* TNA


AND NOW….



LOOKING at TNA on PPV in 2012

THE PPV SCORES
THE PPVs:
* TNA Destination X – 8.3
* TNA Hardcore Justice – 7.7
* TNA Bound for Glory – 7.5
* TNA Turning Point – 7.5
* TNA Slammiversary – 7.4
* TNA Sacrifice – 7.2
* TNA No Surrender – 6.7
* TNA Final Resolution – 6.6
* TNA Victory Road – 6.5
* TNA Against All Odds – 6.5
* TNA Genesis – 5.0
* TNA Lockdown – 3.0

As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.


THE BEST MATCHES
* From TNA Turning Point - TNA World Title Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries [****½]

* From TNA Slammiversary – Tag Team Title Match: Kaz and Daniels vs. Kurt Angle and AJ Styles [****¼]
* From TNA Destination X – TNA Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode [****¼]

* From TNA Bound for Glory – Street Fight – Bobby Roode vs. James Storm [****]
* From TNA Bound for Glory – World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy [****]
* From TNA No Surrender – AJ Styles and Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian [****]
* From TNA Hardcore Justice – Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe [****]
* From TNA Hardcore Justice – TNA Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode [****]
* From TNA Sacrifice – AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle [****]
* From TNA Destination X – Last Man Standing Match - AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels [****]

* From TNA Bound for Glory – Tag Team Title Match – Daniels & Kaz vs. Angle & Styles vs. Chavo & Hernandez [***¾]
* From TNA Destination X – Bound For Glory Series Match: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe [***¾]
* From TNA Slammiversary – X-Division Title Match: Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe [***¾]
* From TNA Sacrifice – Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray [***¾]
* From TNA Lockdown – Bobby Roode vs. James Storm [***¾]
* From TNA Victory Road – Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy [***¾]
* From TNA Against All Odds - TNA X-Division Title Match: Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley [***¾]
* From TNA Turning Point - James Storm vs. AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode [***¾]
* From TNA Final Resolution – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels [***¾]

WORST PART OF THEIR PPVS



The worst part of TNA PPV in 2012 was that TNA did not stay the course of their booking, and give the fans what they wanted on PPV. Now, before you get upset, yes people were happy that Austin Aries won the TNA World Title. That is all well and good, but that is not what I am talking about. TNA's grand plan was to make James Storm the guy, brother, and they had the chance at the Lockdown PPV, which as essentially in Storm's home town. Instead of having the big feud and resolution at Lockdown, where it made sense, TNA made Storm look like a goof by costing himself the match when he kicked Roode to the floor. Storm then went home, and everyone said I was too harsh on the product, and that I shouldn't worry, because this is ALL PART OF THE GRAND PLAN for Bound For Glory. Storm came back to little fanfare, took the early lead in the BFG Series, but when TNA changed their minds and put the title on Aries, and there was no big title payoff for Storm. He got "revenge" at Bound for Glory, but then, just weeks later, Roode fucked him over again and took a title shot from him. The feud isn't resolved, Strom didn't win the title, they built him up twice and he failed each time. And now, now he is just another guy on the roster. TNA had the plan, they had their guy, but they decided that Aries getting the win (which was great) and then getting to drop the title to Jeff Hardy was more important. Jeff Hardy isn't moving ratings, ticket sales, PPV buys or anything these days, no matter what his inner monologue tells you. I am not saying Storm would have been the guy to do it either, but the fact is that when you build up a guy repeatedly, an then that guy, a baby face, continually fails; the audience will give up on him, and I feel that is what TNA did with Storm. And now, as they go into 2013, they have a similar long-term story with AJ Styles starting. TNA, if you're reading, please listen. Stick to your game plans and see them through, you'll be better for it.


WORST PERFORMERS ON THEIR PPVS



Again, I do hate discussing the worst stuff of the year, but it has to be done when doing a complete look back at the year. Looking back on the year it was a bit difficult to pick the worst PPV performers, and while the Knockouts had a rough year and Crimson and Garett Bischoff were pretty bad, I have settled on Robbie E and Robbie T. While this will certainly keep me off "the list", these men have been dreadful on PPV. Their series of matches with Devon surrounding the TV title and the matches with the Robbies teaming to face Devon and Garett were not good at all. Robbie E has been wrestling since 2000, and while he has put a lot into the gimmick, he is simply not a good professional wrestler. He has been with TNA since 2010, and despite TV time, Jersey Shore angles and the fact that he was given title runs, he is not over, at all. The man has go away heat. Rob Terry (Robbie T) has been in wrestling since 2007, starting in WWE Developmental, but besides being a big jacked up dude, he really hasn't improved much at all. There is a reason he was sent off to OVW, and it isn't to give them star power. At the end of the day, I had to make the call as to who was the worst and the Robbies had to take the bullet this year. While guys like Garett Bischoff and Crimson are green, and RVD may be unmotivated, it is easy to see the bad in a promotion when you have guys like Aries, Joe, AJ, Angle, Storm, Roode, Kaz, Daniels and Bully Ray putting on such good performances.


BEST PART OF THEIR PPVS



I felt that 2011 was a down year for TNA as a whole, but especially on PPV. They seemed to focused on the Hogan-Bischoff vision of things, the PPVs were not as good, and they were not putting the right performers together to deliver on PPV. But thankfully that changed in 2012, as they rebounded PPV wise, but most importantly, they went back to what they were good at, putting the right guys together and letting them do their thing on PPV. I really enjoyed the wrestling on the TNA PPVs this year, and as you can see from the list above, there were a lot of good matches to watch. Guys like James Storm, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Daniels and Kazarian were the standouts for TNA this year on PPV, and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that those are the names that appear the most on the list. TNA decided to keep things simple, put the guys that work well together in matches, and give them the chance to shine, and they did. While there has been some repetition, which has annoyed fans, the fact is that when I pay for a PPV event, I do not want to hate it. I want to enjoy the show I paid my hard earned money for, and TNA did a much better job of that in 2012. We can discuss TNA's business model all we want, their low attendance, anemic PPV buys and questionable booking, and those are all fair things to discuss. But they have improved their wrestling on PPV this year, and it is something I appreciated and have no issue praising here.


BEST PERFORMER ON THEIR PPVS


When ranking my top PPV performers, I always consult my year-end listing of PPV matches. When you have a match that hits ***¾ and above, which are in my opinion the top tier of PPV matches, you make the list. Roode, Daniels, Angle and Aries all had good PPV outings this year, but the name that appears on the list the most is AJ Styles. AJ makes the list eight times, and that is why he is my best performer for TNA on PPV. AJ has great tag matches teaming with Kurt Angle, he had great matches with Daniels and Angle in singles bouts, and also in multiple man matches; the bottom line is that whenever AJ Styles appeared on PPV, the man busted his ass to make sure that you got your money's worth. AJ has been nicknamed "Mr. TNA" almost since day one, and when you look back on the history of the promotion, it is more than a nickname. He has stayed with the company, he has performed on a high level for years, and even in 2012, he still delivered, and delivered well. Now I just said, "even in 2012," and that has nothing to do with age or anything like that. For most of 2012, AJ was either in limbo or in the horrible Claire Lynch angle. While angles like this can and have demoralized performers in the past, which can lead to uninspired and or poor performances, Styles continued to thrive in the ring. Now it doesn't justify the booking, but Styles was able to take chicken shit and on PPV, made some delicious chicken Cordon Bleu. TNA made strides in 2012, but the booking of AJ Styles was not part of that. Thankfully for wrestling fans, AJ Styles was on the case, and when PPV time came, he upped his game as he always had, and despite the booking, had a tremendous year on PPV. In my opinion (and according to my ratings) AJ Styles was a top 10 PPV performer in 2012, and of that, I have no doubt.


OVERALL IMPRESSION OF TNA PPVS

AVERAGE PPV SCORE: 6.7 {For 12 PPV Events} - According to the 411 scale, which is what I use for grading the PPVs, that means for the year that the 6.7 gives TNA Wrestling a "high average" on PPV for 2012. I do feel that TNA was better on PPV in 2012 than 2011, but also, I still feel that they often take one step forward and two steps back. I spend the money on the shows, and thankfully did get some very good wrestling, but the product is still a bit too inconsistent. Overall Verdict: TNA had highs and lows once again, but once you take in the cost point of the shows, I can't call the year in PPV completely worth it. There are a few shows worth checking out, and the matches I have listed above, but if you did not watch the whole year in PPV, I think your bank account is thanking you. I fully support TNA cutting two PPVs next year, as I feel that it will allow them to build to bigger shows better, and will be better for the paying customer.

BEST PERFORMERS: While I did name my overall best performer, I do want to make mention of the overall best performers for the promotion. These men are the ones that have consistently delivered when appearing on PPV. Besides AJ Styles, I would also like to mention the following…

* Austin Aries
* Kurt Angle
* Christopher Daniels
* Bobby Roode

And there is my look at TNA on PPV in the year 2012. I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading!

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