The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of TNA Impact Wrestling (6.19.14)
Posted by Justin Watry on 06.19.2014
411's Justin Watry looks at the latest edition of TNA Impact Wrestling…
TNA Impact Wrestling is officially on the road (for now at least). What that means for their future remains to be seen. No need to remind everybody how last year went with TNA leaving their cushy Impact Zone. However, it is sure to be a fun ride regardless of how long it lasts. Okay, no more blabbering about nothing. I think I wasted enough space. When finished with this, go read my new column already posted. For now, bring on TNA Impact Wrestling using my classic Good/Bad/Ugly format to recap!
The Good Big Brother 16 Players! - All new people. That is excellent. As usual, the rumor mill was wrong. No returning players. No family twist. None of that garbage.
Knockouts - Usually the best part of the product. The Beautiful People and their outdated nonsense was kept to a minimum. Taryn Terrell is back. Gail Kim did not speak THAT much on the microphone, and while not much, this at least moved the whole feud forward. Short yet effective segment.
Kurt Angle - I will put a positive spin on this but with some reluctance. If Kurt Angle plans on leaving the company in a few months, then TNA should use every ounce of his name value possible until then. If he plans on staying put, then let the man heal up and NOT travel from city to city for simply backstage. Kind of torn really. The man is hurt, so it is just a tough situation with a legend banged up and on an expiring contract.
The Bad Big Brother Twists - Eh, a few of the added on twists have been revealed. Seems messy. I will wait until it is all revealed, but yikes. Does not read very encouraging.
Opening Segment - Last week, I had one small request for TNA Impact Wrestling. Start the first back on the road taping show with something (anything!) other than your run of the mill talking segment. Maybe a big X-Division showcase. Maybe something wild backstage. Heck, have Sam Shaw stare at the screen for 15 minutes straight. Not like television ratings can get much worse. so what happens? Yep, a standard talking segment with the heels that accomplish nothing. Perfect. To be fair, at least TNA did go right into a match, but that is another mess of itself...
Eric Young VS. Kenny King - ...because it just never ends. How one company can repeatedly do the same thing AND getting negative results, yet keep doing it year after year after year is just mind boggling to me. When I read earlier this week, there would be a TNA Title match on Thursday, I laughed. Of course, there would be! Of course, why would there NOT be? I know TNA has another four months until their next pay-per-view, but they also had 4 (I think) title matches in between Lockdown and Sacrifice in a matter of 6-7 weeks. Thus, as we have known for years now, it is not like it really matters when it comes to their PPV events. Eric Young defeats Kenny King (losing yet again since coming back to TV) in a matter of minutes. I yawned, and the show continued with a giant brawl. All of the TNA standby ideas wrapped into one here - talking segment, quick pointless title match, and a brawl! Zzzzz...
MVP Role - I can excuse the stumbling promo he delivered. MVP is a pro; he did have an off night though. he real problem is him being ALL over the show. Keep in mind I was in FAVOR of MVP heading to TNA months, Well, the long honeymoon phase is over. Just too much MVP, way too much. Before he heel turn and since, it is just ridiculous. Now being injured, you would think that means a reduced role or even off TV entirely. Nope, just more of the same. Seriously, I liked MVP going to TNA. Not anymore. No reason he has been on the show so much the past few months. TNA gets two hours a week, and it is just astonishing how they waste the first 30 minutes without even blinking. Not even firing Earl Hebner can make this tolerable. Sorry.
Tag Team Title Match - Well, sure. Another title match without any build or hype. The Wolves retained which was the right move. Without any actual division though, it is not like they have any opponents to feud with. Samoa Joe and Austin Aries should be well above the tag straps but whatever. Jeff Hardy, oops WILLOW, is paired up with Abyss. In June 2014, Jeff FREAKIN' HARDY is in a mask teaming with Abyss and going for the tag titles. Goodness gracious. Oh, and there will be a second tag title match later. Sure, whatever.
Tommy Dreamer - Of all the people who just left TNA. Of all the rumored financial stories. Of all the turmoil going on. With everything this company has gone through the past year, somebody decided to bring back Tommy Dreamer (and Matt Hardy). It is 2014, right? I though we already ran the ECW well dry a few years ago. So tiresome. Is there any point to this besides giving TV time to Dixie Carter...and having Tommy Dreamer on screen to cry some more? I can not think of one reason for this outside of more non-wrestlers to talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. Ugh. I actually do not mind Dreamer, but come on now...
Second Tag Team Title Match - No thank you. Heel authority figure or no, guys should not compete twice on the same show, much less more than one person. Felt like TNA had no way to fill two hours tonight.
Followup - One of my biggest issues with TNA. Never any consistency week to week. Where was Mr. Anderson? James Storm? Gunner and Sam Shaw? Bully Ray anywhere? The X-DIVISION?!?! Are we thankfully done with The Menagerie? Just happens way too often. Guys and gals are there one week, then gone the next, then appear for a few weeks, then disappear, then brought back, then off television, etc. No, we need the usual opening segment, TWO tag title matches, TWO TNA Title matches, and Tommy Dreamer yelling at Dixie Carter! Yeah.
The Ugly Big Brother Casting - Besides passing up on me, there is another big issue. In the introductory interviews with the new cast, the large majority of them admitted to being "recruited" by CBS. That is disappointing. A few had to apply and go through the whole song and dance (hello!). However, for most of them to just be friends with the casting directors or simply slide by the whole process puts a damper on the season before it even begins. Some even admitted to never watching the show, waning to be on Survivor/Amazing Race instead, and so much more head scratching quotes. Just a huge turnoff.
First Impressions - Seriously, go back and watch the first two seconds of Impact. The entire building was dark, and it looked like 50 people were there standing by the guardrails. No joke, it looked like 50 people were there. Imagine somebody turning on Spike TV to watch for the first time. Just terrible. Attendance was estimated at 550 fans (just Google pictures), so that is not surprising. A roaring start on the road, I must say!
Wrestling Twice - Should not happen barring a major exception. Just to get the point across, I am posting BOTH matches with The Wolves.
Dixie Carter - Why is she still on TV? Same with Rockstar Spud. Never in my life will anybody be able to give any good explanation for them being on a wrestling show. It is like TNA purposely does things to NOT make money. Live event attendance, PPV buys, TV ratings, etc...
Bobby Lashley Is TNA Champion - Well, that is an upgrade from Eric Young but not by much. No mic skills. Little to no personality. No name value despite what anybody says. Bobby Lashley is forever known as a WWE bust, an MMA bust, and the guy who points at his opponents in TNA. Not that this will shock any of you, but Lashley has added zero extra TV ratings, zero extra PPV buys, and zero more butts in the seats with attendance. In other words, him being TNA Champion will result in...more of the same. I must admit though, even I thought TNA would know better than to ever put their top prize on Bobby Lashley just a few months after he came back. I was wrong. They just did. Would not be out of the question to imagine the belt going to somebody else soon. Bobby Roode came from the crowd afterwards and attacked the heels. Maybe he turns face and wins the belt? Nothing is out of the question - Bully Ray in New York City? For now, Lashley is TNA Champion. Think about that...
The Eric Young Experiment - ...and so it ends. Welcome back to reality Chis Sabin 2014. The first week after Eric Young won the TNA Title, 400,000 viewers stopped watching the show. No NBA was on. No big special. No built in excuse. Just a massive drop. Since then, it has not been any better. Near record low 0.6-0.8 quarter hour ratings were popping up, all with Eric Young in the main event. Not to toot my own horn, but surprise, surprise - I called it dead on. The first chance TNA got with a "live" Impact show, they switched champions. You know, because PPV means nothing to them. All about that beloved 1.0 number every Thursday. Never forget that. Just as I predicted two months ago and even earlier in the week. EY never should have been TNA Champ. His 'crossover' appeal does not exist, never has existed, and likely never will. People did NOT want to watch him treated as a main event wrestler. Total joke of a decision from the get go. As mentioned above, ask Chris Sabin how that goes - remember him? The guy out of the company. Now the inevitable slide back to the mid-card begins for Eric Young. I tried to warn all of you...oh well, just another embarrassing moment in TNA history.
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Thanks for reading. What did YOU think of TNA Impact Wrestling tonight?