Maybe TNA Wrestling learned from their mistakes with King Mo? So far I have to admit that TNA is on the right track with new signee Rampage Jackson. The former UFC champion debuted on Thursday night and made an immediate impact.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]TNA announced the signing of the MMA fighter earlier in the week and wasted no time getting him on their television show, a much different strategy than they took with their last venture with an MMA fighter. TNA capitalized on all of the instant publicity and immediately got their new star right into the action.
Rampage debuted Thursday night and for everything I have said negative about TNA, they got this one right. Jackson looked like a huge star as you had all kinds of cameras and flashes going off as well as a huge reaction by the fans when he came out. I find it incredibly hard to believe that those were real fans and not plants but who really cares, it looked great. Jackson came with his dog chain ala Junkyard Dog. Not only was Rampage introduced to the TNA audience, he was also introduced to their newest Hall of Fame inductee.
Jackson talked briefly about wanting to be the best before Kurt Angle came out and confronted him. Angle told Jackson that he was in his world now and that he needed to go through him. Jackson snarled back at him. It was an intense moment and Angle was fantastic. Jackson was very good as well although he seemed kind of stiff with the promo. All in all you really couldn’t ask for a better debut for Jackson.
Not sure where they are going here. They could hold the match off until Bound for Glory. Bound for Glory is a few months away which would give Jackson and Angle plenty of time to work out a match. The only issue there is that the match is so far out, there is a possibility fans could lose interest by the time it gets here. It’s risky for sure.
The other alternative would be to have the match on Impact sometime over the next few weeks. If Jackson is serious about training they could put together the match over the next several weeks and shoot it in 4-6 weeks. If it were me, I’d go that route and give it a finish that warrants a pay per view rematch. With ratings declining weekly for TNA I think putting Rampage’s first match on their television show would be a fantastic way to boost the numbers and maybe retain a new audience.
Who is the babyface and who is the heel here? Angle certainly came off as the heel but I am not so sure that will be the case by the time they jump into the ring. Remember when Floyd Mayweather shot his angle with The Big Show for WrestleMania? Mayweather started off as the babyface but the wrestling fans quickly backed their guy in Show. I could easily see that happening here, especially after TNA put out such an emotionally charged video on Angle recently regarding the Hall of Fame. I can’t imagine anyone booing him after seeing that production.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Either way for all of the negativity that was said about the signing, they are off to a great start. Keep in mind that even the biggest draw in UFC history Brock Lesnar was only able to do so much for WWE programming initially. Expecting Rampage to do anything close is just unrealistic. In the meantime I think they have a really good shot of building up something special here if they decide to go with Angle and Rampage on free television.
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