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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

My Take On 12.22.13: Looking at TNA on PPV in 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 12.22.2013

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. Much like last year, I will be looking back on PPV and iPPV I have watched during the year 2013. I will give the listing of PPVs/iPPVs by the score, the top matches from the company's PPV/iPPV, a quick look at the shows and the best wrestlers on the shows before looking at an overall verdict for the year. I hope that this is something you will enjoy. This year the breakdown columns will include…

  • Ring of Honor
  • TNA
  • WWE
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • Top 15 PPV Performers of 2013
  • 2013 PPV Overview

    AND NOW….

    LOOKING at TNA on PPV in 2013

  • TNA Slammiversary 20137.2
  • TNA One Night Only: TNA 10 Reunion7.2
  • TNA One Night Only: X-Travaganza7.1
  • TNA One Night Only: World Cup6.0
  • TNA One Night Only: Hardcore Justice 26.0
  • TNA Lockdown 20135.5
  • TNA One Night Only: Joker's Wild5.5
  • TNA Bound for Glory 20135.1
  • TNA Genesis 20135.0
  • TNA One Night Only: Tournament of Champions5.0
  • TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown4.0

    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.

  • From TNA Genesis - Elimination Match for the TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy © vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From TNA's One Night Only: Hardcore Justice 2: Bad Influence vs. Generation Me [****]
  • From TNA's One Night Only: X-Travaganza: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From TNA Bound for Glory – Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle [****]
  • From TNA's One Night Only: TNA 10 Reunion: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries [***¾]
  • From TNA Lockdown – Tag Team Title Match: Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo & Hernandez [***¾]
  • From TNA Slammiversary: AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle [***¾]

     photo f0055af2-c2f9-49fb-b24f-cf1e5de46dfd_zps9096677a.jpg


    TNA made a huge change in the way that they did business in 2013, dropping from 12 live PPV events to only 4 (keeping Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary and Bound for Glory). But due to pre-existing deals in the US on PPV and internationally for TV (delayed runs of the US PPVs) they had to still produce events, and the "One Night Only" PPV events were created to do that. Now as an overall theme, I approved of this idea. TNA PPV has not been doing well for the last few years numbers wise on PPV, and at times the shows felt just thrown together and not worth the money being charged. Going back to a WWE style "big four" PPV structure sounded like a good idea for a company of TNA's stature. Also, producing "One Night Only" events with various themes for each show, in theory, sounded like a fun and different thing to do.

    TNA moving to the four live PPVs was an idea I could also get behind from a fan's standpoint and from the standpoint of analyzing the shows. Unfortunately the move did not lead to better builds to the shows, or better booked events. All too often they were still adding stuff at the last Impact or even worse, on the weekend of the shows, with little to no build. The tag title situation leading into Bound for Glory is a great example of this. Tag team champions that were barely on TV and losing when they were, giving way to the new champions, which were a team that was nothing but comedy and losing all the time on TV leading into the biggest show of the year. The X-Division is mostly forgotten leading into shows as well, you would think that with all of this time to build to the big shows that everything would be worked out, but it didn't happen. Part of that is because they run "special editions of Impact," which go by the old PPV names that they are not using right now. They are essentially "Clash of the Champions" style events, which are fine, but they often either interrupt momentum or give away things that could and likely should have been saved for PPV. While I completely understand the need to please their master in SPIKE TV (because if they lose SPIKE TV, they are basically dead) they also cannot screw the paying PPV customer. And yes, I say that as a paying PPV customer.

    And that brings us to the "One Night Only" events. Events taped months ahead of time, and events that have specific themes to them. While the delay in airing these events will cost them buys, because many people do not want things taped months ago, themes like the X-Division, Knockouts, Reunion and others were interesting to me, and was something that TNA could offer from their roster that WWE couldn't. And that is important, because as I have said many times, people do not want WWE-lite, they want something different, and these shows could have been that. Unfortunately, the One Night Only shows were more miss than hit. While the themes of the shows were an interesting hook, they did not deliver for several reasons. While the One Night Only shows were not supposed to be canon with the current angles, it looks completely ridiculous for Devon and the Aces and 8s being around, when the group has been disbanded and most of them are not under contract anymore. Those are the dangers of taping so far ahead. You can get away with it for people that have been part time with the company (Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams for example) because they were rarely on TV, but the Aces and 8s thing makes the whole deal look bad.

    But the biggest problem with their PPV events, and specifically the One Night Only events, is the production of the shows and matches. I want to know who in the hell was in charge of match layout and the layout of these shows, because they committed a crime against the roster of talented wrestlers. The pacing and layout of the One Night Only PPV events was some of the very worst I have ever seen. PPVs constantly ending 15-20 minutes early, filled with video packages lasting anywhere from 4-minutes to 15-minutes (airing the complete ODB vs. EY wedding on the Knockouts PPV was a complete insult to those ladies) and worst of all, killing any chance that the talented roster had to deliver great matches. When you are constantly handcuffing great performers like Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Daniels, Kazarian and others, there is a problem. TNA has damaged the good will that they have with their fanbase over the years, but one thing the fans could rely on was the names listed above to get time and deliver great matches during down times. But they didn't, and it is not because of a lack of talent; those guys are all great. Not putting their best talents in a place to succeed is poor producing, seriously, I am livid with who ever put together these shows because those guys that have been delivering for years deserved better. From an in ring standpoint, this was one of TNA's weakest years ever. And I can say that, because I have watched the promotion since day one.

     photo aaa76c78-a9c3-4065-8f24-65593ddfb8f5_zps5c552d86.jpg


    Unfortunately, TNA PPV is 2013 did not turn out the great performances like past years of TNA PPV have. There was a lot of GOOD wrestling, but not a lot of stuff you'd remember at the end of the year. But going back through the year, Austin Aries was the guy for me. Aries was featured in the following top matches…
  • From TNA Genesis: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From TNA's One Night Only: X-Travaganza: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From TNA's One Night Only: TNA 10 Reunion: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries [***¾]
  • From TNA Lockdown: Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo & Hernandez [***¾]

  • Aries was in the most matches that cracked my year-end rankings, and was also featured in other good matches on the shows. In a way it shouldn't be surprising, as Aries is an outstanding performer, and was certainly in matches that could allow him to do his best work. When you work with guys like Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode, you know you are in for a treat. Aries seems to perform no matter the opponent, no mater the rumors that are going around about the company; the guy goes to work, he does his job and he does it well. Austin Aries is part of a group of talented TNA performers that always get my attention when they are on PPV, and while not as great as his 2012 series of PPV matches, he was worth your money in 2013.

    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, even if the match quality overall was down in 2013.

  • Bobby Roode
  • Samoa Joe
  • Kurt Angle
  • Jeff Hardy


    AVERAGE PPV SCORE: 5.8 {Based on 11 Events} According to the 411 scale, which is what I use for grading the PPVs, that means for the year that TNA had an average rating of a high "not so good" score, closing in on average. This was down from last year's average score of 6.7.

    Final Thoughts: When I look at the year 2013 on PPV for TNA, I see one of the worst years they have produced. While the TNA product has always been hit or miss, and the PPVs frustrating, you could ALWAYS rely on the promotion's talented performers (Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Daniels, Kazarian, AJ Styles, Chris Sabin and others) to deliver some excellent matches; they gave you a reason to watch and a reason to think that it might get better. It is so frustrating to see these talented performers not given the opportunity to deliver like we know they can. If your TNA, and you know you need to deliver something to set yourself apart from WWE, I do not see how you avoid relying on these proven performers. Sure they get TV time and such, but looking at the year-end match rakings for TNA, I am simply disappointed. I have watched this company since day one, and while I have had my issues with them, I could always count on some good and even amazing PPV performances. It didn't happen this year. At the end of the day, unlike some other promotions, I will still cover TNA, because whether some like it or not, they have talented performers and are the #2 company in North America. But they desperately need to find someone who can write for the company, and get some producers that can structure a proper PPV format to allow the talented performers they have to succeed. TNA should be so much better than it is, but for whatever reason, the powers that be tend to always hold the company back. Hopefully they can pull their heads out of their asses in 2014 and let the guys that always deliver do their jobs.

  • Wrestler Of The Year: Austin Aries
  • Tag Team Of The Year: Bad Influence
  • Show Of The Year: TNA Slammiversary 2013
  • Match Of The Year: From TNA Genesis: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 450 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio

    Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.

    Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it…TO CSONKA'S TWITTER!



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