Chair Shots: TNA's Genesis or the Beginning of End of Days
Jan 17, 2014 - 10:24:40 AM
Welcome back everyone to the column that’s about to lay down some whoop ass on the previous owners of my new house for not telling me they had a water problem in the basement- Chair Shots! So last night was TNA’s Genesis, and the first time I’ve watched Impact Wrestling in about two months. From all reports, TNA was promising new stars debuting, a new direction for the company, and a new attitude going into 2014. So with those statements, TNA piqued my interest. Over the last year, they’ve let go a lot of very good talent, but also some dead weight, most recently Wes Brisco and Jay Bradley. What new talents would TNA be able to secure with the troubles that are already surrounding the company? What new direction would they take? So at 9PM EST I flipped on Spike TV and saw……the same old thing.
When TNA went to just four PPV’s a year, they promised that their other PPV shows would be free on TV with a PPV quality feel to them. Most recently, these shows have been run over two episodes because, according to TNA, there’s just too much going on to contain it to one episode. So tell me TNA, if that was the case, why in the course of two hours did you only have four matches? Why was there more action backstage then there was in the ring? Why were the “new talents” you promised only shown for a couple of minutes talking, not wrestling?
The show started as most TNA shows start nowadays, with Dixie Carter in the ring. LordsofPain posted a news article today where just released TNA star Jay Bradley talked about the bad press that Dixie Carter gets. He was quoted with this:
"Unfortunately, I think she has become the Internet Wrestling Communities scapegoat for anything that goes wrong. How that happened, I really don't know. As far as the internet wrestling fans that are diehard in general, they are some of the most passionate people out there next to like fantasy football guys and NASCAR fans. The unfortunate thing is you do something positive, they'll give you an inch of praise. You do something slightly negative they don't like, their going to give you a mile of hate. Sometimes I don't want to say less is more, but they always can't sit back and enjoy a lot of times, they are hypercritical about things. I do think she (Carter) gets a bad rap."
Well that’s all well and good Jay, but who else is there to blame? For the longest time, it was Dixie Carter that was pulling the strings at TNA. Her family was backing the company, but a lot of what was going on fell heavily on her shoulders. This is a woman that had no previous knowledge of the wrestling business prior to jumping in head first with TNA. Now, it appears as though most of her power has been stripped, and Dixie is more or less an on-screen presence. She probably does have some power still backstage, but without the family support, she’s not as in control as she once was.
But having her in such a prominent on-screen role isn’t such a good thing either. She doesn’t come off as threatening like The Authority does. She doesn’t come off as the “spoiled rich girl” like Stephanie can. The fans don’t seem to care one way or the other about anything she says. They aren’t booing her because they hate her character, they’re booing her because they want her to shut up and get out of the ring.
As wrestling fans in today’s era, we’re used to in-ring promos. They happen all the time in the WWE as well. But TNA seems to have the problem of letting them go on for way too long. One of the last shows I watched had the opening segment go over two commercial breaks, and well over half an hour with ZERO in-ring action. They just drag and drag and drag. Last night’s was no different. Dixie touted her new champion. She ran down AJ Styles. She praised the wrestlers that supported her. Then Sting showed up.
Let’s talk about Sting for a moment. I’m firmly convinced at this point Sting is just going through the motions. He couldn’t have seemed less invested in his promo last night. On a side note, I did find it hysterical that Sting’s promo took place directly in front of a sign that said “No Standing. Please Be Seated”. But anyway, Sting basically cut the same promo he’s been doing for the last several months. It’s basically “Hey, I’ve got a bat. I’m pointing it at you. See, it’s shiny and black. I’m going to hit you with it.” I’d almost rather hear him say that now. At least it would make me chuckle. As per usual this time of year, the talk of Sting’s contract has come up again, and *SPOILER ALERT* the actions that transpire on next week’s Impact Wrestling will further exacerbate that talk. I really don’t want Sting in the WWE, not at this late stage of his career. Not only is his quality of work greatly diminished, but I don’t think he’d get the reception that the WWE would hope for. Maybe 10 years ago, not now.
Back to the show, and we have a 10-person cluster-mess match that featured almost half of the TNA locker room, but oddly enough Sting and EC III just disappeared after the commercial break. The match itself was fine, but the roster is so thin at this point none of it was anything we’d hadn’t seen 100 times before. So far, forty minutes into the show and I’m basically watching just another episode of Impact.
Back from break and we have yet ANOTHER in-ring promo segment, this time with Austin Aries, Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky. You know, I was all for Chris Sabin’s comeback from his back to back injuries, but since his return I probably haven’t disliked a wrestler more. He had an undeserving title reign, and for the last few months he and Aries have been passing the X-Division title back and forth more than a joint in Miley Cyrus’ dressing room (or more than Miley Cyrus in her own dressing room). Finally, we’ve yet another match for the X-Division gold on next week’s show, with Velvet in a cage. OK, I can get down with Velvet Sky in a cage, just as long as there’s some stripper music playing and a change machine so I can get some 1’s.
And there are soooo many backstage segments. You know this because there was a backstage segment where Simon Diamond told the cameraman to shoot EVERYTHING going on backstage, right before Samuel Shaw beat the living snot out of him with his cross-trainers. Now this is actually something that intrigues me. Samuel Shaw’s character is a loose cannon, possibly psychotic, potentially a serial killer. Where will TNA go with this? He seems to be playing the part well, and when someone immerses themselves in a character like he seems to be doing, I’m along for the ride.
The rest of the show followed suit, another rematch between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson, a Knockouts title match that lasted 4 minutes, and the eventual encounter between EC III and Sting. The 2-hour Genesis show, which was too packed to fit into one program, had a grand total of 25 and a half minutes of wrestling action on it. 4 matches; 25 minutes. Does that sound like a new direction to you? Does that sound like the birth of a new TNA? But wait, didn’t TNA promise new talents debuting? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they did but in yet another backstage segment.
If you follow Dixie Carter on Twitter, it was fairly obvious to everyone that The American Wolves would be showing up in TNA at Genesis. While I didn’t expect streamers or balloons, or trumpets playing I did actually expect to see them wrestle. Well that didn’t happen either. Dixie told them she was excited for their try-out match next week, only to be informed by Richards and Edwards that the “new TNA investor” already hired them. That was it! And guess what *SPOILER ALERT #2*, they don’t wrestle next week either. So for all the hype, all the promise of NEW TALENTS, the American Wolves show up for about 2 minutes, without a live crowd reaction, and that was it.
Now I know what some of you are thinking; if I don’t like it, then don’t watch it. And you know what; I did that for about a month or so. I hadn’t turned on Spike on a Thursday night for some time. But I keep hoping upon hope that there is something that TNA will do that will get them back on the right track. There NEEDS to be a viable, widely available alternative to the WWE. There just has to be. It’s good for the fans. It’s good for the wrestlers. And mostly it’s good for professional wrestling. But for a company that promised a new GENESIS last night, all they delivered was the same old thing we’ve been seeing for months.
TNA, I gave you another shot, but until you do something to get your act together, I’m done!
Until next time,
Chair Shots has its own Facebook page now. Find it here.
Chair Shots on Facebook