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Chair Shots: Dear TNA, If You Don't Care Anymore, Why Should I?
Oct 25, 2013 - 10:43:52 AM
6 minutes and 13 seconds!
That’s the amount of actual wrestling time that occurred in the first hour and a half of last night’s Impact Wrestling show. What’s even worse, is that actually covered two different matches. The first showcased the entire Knockouts roster (all 5 of them) and the second was a squash match with EC III against a jobber. To be quite honest with you, I barely watched the show last night. Between commercials of the World Series, I’d flip back to TNA and every time I did, there were more people in the ring just talking. The first segment with Bully Ray/AJ Styles/Dixie Carter lasted over two commercial breaks and went the entire first half hour of the show. That’s shameful!
19 minutes and 58 seconds
That’s the TOTAL amount of wrestling time on last night’s Impact Wrestling show. There was only one additional match; the rematch for the TNA Heavyweight Title between Bully Ray and AJ Styles. It lasted under 14 minutes. To be fair, it was only about 5 minutes shy of their first encounter at Bound for Glory. Quite frankly, it almost seems like TNA has thrown in the towel. They have no direction, no enthusiasm, and worst of all no leadership. Dixie Carter has no idea how to run a wrestling company, and with her father no longer in charge of the money going into the company, she’s in an even worse position.
For years, wrestling journalists have been saying that TNA is on its last legs, but somehow they continue to survive. But it’s never been more apparent than now that TNA may not see another Bound for Glory PPV. If you watched the BFG show, you probably saw what many people consider to be the worst PPV that TNA has put on in quite some time, and quite possibly the worst PPV of the entire year. The matches were booked horribly, the pacing was incredibly slow, and half of the talent looked like they’d rather be anywhere else than in the ring. When one of the highlights of the night is Gunner and Storm vs. The BroMans you know something isn’t quite clicking.
So TNA had every opportunity to come back strong. They could present a post PPV show that could set the table for some new exciting things. Instead we got promo after promo after promo that basically borrowed from every storyline that the WWE has used over the past few years. Somehow, they managed to make things even worse than they already were. This seemed to be a way for TNA to re-set the board so to speak, but it came off as boring, and not so well thought out. The problems encompass almost everything that TNA is doing right now, and that’s a big hole to dig out of.
The Knockouts- The TNA women’s division currently consists of five women- FIVE! While almost all of those women can perform at a higher rate than the WWE Divas, you can’t sustain a division with so few people. When TNA held their all Knockouts One Night Stand PPV, it was reported that many of the women that used to be in TNA had no interest in returning to the company for that show. That tells you something right there. Over the course of the last year, TNA has lost numerous female wrestlers including:
And now, one of their other Knockouts, Taryn Terrell, is out indefinitely on maternity leave. It boggles my mind that TNA has not tried to bring in more female talent.
There are some logic issues going on as well. At Bound for Glory, Lei’D Tapa attacked both ODB and Brooke, allowing Gail Kim to win the Knockouts Championship. So why, four days later on Impact, would Brooke team with Gail against Velvet Sky and ODB, especially after Steroid Beyonce attacked you and cost you the title. Things like this drive me absolutely crazy.
And let’s not forget that having Lei’D Tapa be Gail Kim’s muscle is another instance of TNA using a WWE storyline in their organization. The current WWE champion, AJ Lee, has her own muscle in Tamina Snuka now, and quite frankly there is no comparison. But even if that didn’t exist, you just can’t get around the fact that there are only 5 active women wrestlers on the roster.
Dixie Carter- Not long after Triple H and Stephanie took their heel turn and became the Power Couple of the WWE, TNA decided it would be a good idea to have Dixie Carter turn heel as well. There really is no replacing originality now is there? Unlike Triple H and Stephanie however, Dixie’s heel turn has been almost comedic. She has absolutely no idea how to play an effective heel character, and her mannerisms and delivery are at time laughable. Instead of coming off as mean and threatening, she comes off as a spoiled child who isn’t getting her way. In my BFG preview column, somebody commented that maybe that’s the way TNA is playing the character. Well if that’s the case, then why would ANYBODY take her seriously as a threat? It just doesn’t work.
So once again, TNA has borrowed from the current WWE product. But when it comes to the TNA Heavyweight Title, they’ve not only borrowed from one storyline, but from several at the same time.
TNA Heavyweight Title- For weeks now, the evil (whiny) Dixie Carter has been trying to keep the little guy down. She’s done everything in her power to stop AJ Styles from becoming the TNA Heavyweight Champion. Sound familiar? It should, because it’s happening on the USA Network every Monday night. But wait, there’s more. AJ Styles is currently wrestling without a contract, and on last night’s Impact Wrestling, after defeating Bully Ray in their rematch, AJ decided to walk out of TNA with the title. Sound familiar again? It should, CM Punk did it not too long ago in the WWE.
So right now, TNA is “apparently” without a World Champion, and much like the WWE did, TNA will have to address that and *SPOILER ALERT* will hold a tournament to determine the new TNA Heavyweight Champion. But guess what, there already is one, which will probably lead to a Champion vs. Champion contest somewhere down the road. So once again, sound familiar? Man, this is getting redundant.
Now you’re probably thinking that I hate TNA, and that’s where you’d be wrong. For the first part of 2013, they had a very good year. I want them to succeed, not just for the fans, but for wrestling in general. There NEEDS to be an alternative to the WWE that is widely accessible to the public. But for so many reasons, they’ve just never been able to turn that corner. Taking the Impact tapings on the road seemed like a great idea. It got them out of a very stagnant Impact Zone in Orlando and gave more the wrestling audience a chance to see the product live. The problem was that they were going to the wrong locations.
There’s no better example of that then the Bound for Glory PPV in San Diego. The event, held in an arena that holds somewhere around 12,000 people barely sold 3,000 tickets to the show. When you’ve never been to a particular area, why would you hold your biggest PPV event of the year there? This is an East Coast company trying to pull a big crowd across the country, with little to no advertising whatsoever. It just wasn’t going to happen. TNA was supposed to be in my hometown, Baltimore, on November 21st for Impact Wrestling. I managed to secure ringside seats a full four days after the event went on sale. There were still entire ringside rows available a good week later. As it’s been reported, that event won’t happen, which actually disappoints me as I was looking forward to seeing wrestlers I hadn’t seen live before like Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, and EGO, but Ticketmaster still hasn’t refunded my money because TNA hasn’t officially cancelled the event yet. It’s simple things like that that will continue to alienate your fan base. Ticketmaster knows the event isn’t happening, but without someone at TNA confirming it, they can’t do anything.
So can TNA survive? SHOULD TNA survive? I certainly don’t know the answer to the first question, but for me there are two answers to the second question. As a wrestling fan of over 35 years, I want TNA to survive. A lot of your casual wrestling fans don’t have the time or knowledge to seek out other online alternatives. Sure there are a lot out there, and many that are a lot better than TNA, but for Average Joe Wrestling Fan, they watch what’s on TV and without TNA, there’s really not much else besides the WWE and Ring of Honor (if you get it in your area).
But as a wrestling journalist who reads the reports and realistically sees what’s going on in the company, I almost want the bleeding to stop. It’s becoming painful to watch, and honestly I may not be watching for much longer. TNA either has to get someone on board who knows what they’re doing, or throw in the towel. I hate to say that, but that may just be the answer.
What do you think readers? Give me your thoughts below!
Until next time,
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