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TNA Lockdown 2011 Preview & TNA iMPACT! Report

April 17, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Lockdown 2011 preview and predictionsTNA LOCKDOWN 2011 PREDICTIONS

The seventh installment of TNA Lockdown goes down this Sunday night in Cincinnati. The fourth TNA Wrestling pay per view of 2011 will feature eight steel cage matches. Can Sting survive the challenge of RVD and Mr. Anderson? Will Kurt Angle get revenge on the Jarretts?

Ink Inc. vs. Scott Steiner and Crimson vs. Douglas Williams and Magnus vs. Orlando Jordan and Eric Young. The announcers hinted that one of these teams would be a step closer in the tag title chase, currently held by Beer Money. I think TNA will continue the Steiner and Moore angle, and the Brits are way too easy targets for fan disapproval. Williams and Magnus win, leading to a Beer Money feud.

The X Division Xscape Match. Someone did a terrible job in promoting this, because this was initially a 9-person affair, but the company website is only promoting eight guys. I can’t imagine how entertaining all those bodies in a steel cage will be, but between Amazing Red, Max Buck, Jeremy Buck, Robbie E, Suicide, Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, and Brian Kendrick, your guess is as good as mine. Sticking with a guy that’s gotten over recently, I’ll take villainous Max Buck for the win.

The Pope vs. Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe wins on principle for The Pope being such a terrible character. I hope this match lasts four minutes tops.

Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan. Morgan had his chance in the sun and I really think TNA wants to push Mexican America, who no doubt will find a way to interfere. Hernandez wins.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle. Does management punish Angle for his legal transgressions in this Ultra-male Rules match? First fall is a pin, second is a submission, and if it’s all tied up, someone has to escape. Angle’s kind of been getting worked in this feud, with his only “victory” coming via his wedding crash. Angle wins to appease the Cincy crowd.

Knockouts Title Match – Madison Rayne (Champ) vs. Mickie James in a Hair vs. Title match. Does Madison Rayne lose in her home state to a gimpy James or will James get her head shaved? The latter is way too gross, and I know TNA isn’t paying Mickie to play second string on that fat contract. If she doesn’t get the title now (which Madison’s held surprisingly since October), just fire Mickie and bring up an Indy girl for a much cheaper rate. Mickie wins.

Lethal Lockdown – Immortal (Ric Flair, Bully Ray, Abyss and Matt Hardy) vs. Fortune (Kazarian, Beer Money, and Christopher Daniels). Expect AJ Styles to come back, knock Flair around a bit, and hopefully help Fortune to a win. Which they will need because of the main event…

TNA World Title – Sting (Champ) vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam. A couple of weeks ago I could have guaranteed that the strap was coming off Sting, who was place holding for someone. Now, with my conspiracy theory of Sting turning heel and joining Immortal, I think Sting retains but in a controversial finish that will undoubtedly lead to more whining from Anderson or RVD. Sting wins, but I think it’s RVD’s turn to step up to the main event, leading to a Sting vs. RVD match at the next PPV.

What does everyone think about the card? This is my first TNA Lockdown experience, so I have high hopes for at least four of these matches carrying the show.

TNA Impact April 14

I don’t know why it’s taken this long, but TNA Wrestling’s lack of a top heel since losing Jeff Hardy has become annoyingly apparent. In the main event, Mr. Anderson rolled through the core of Immortal, who either need one of the top faces to turn or will be stuck with Bully Ray leading the charge throughout the rest of spring.

As a result of Anderson turning down Hulk Hogan‘s offer to join Immortal, Hogan responded by putting Anderson through a four man gauntlet, featuring Bully Ray, Rob Terry, Television Champion Gunner, and Murphy. The game plan was simple-the Immortal goons would work over the leg and knee of Anderson to not only humiliate the former champ, but also…help out Sting and Rob Van Dam in the process?

There wasn’t much to see in the actual match other than the leg angle, followed by Anderson completely no selling the injury every time, setting up a Mic Check and finishing off each foot solider. Bully Ray was last out, but ended up taking Anderson to the top of the stage for a Bubba Bomb before Sting could make the save, baseball bat a few people, and hover over Anderson’s corpse in arguably the best shot of the night.

]It wasn’t so much this match as it was the opening and preceding Immortal segments that ate away at my inner voice that was yearning for some legitimate powerful heel to take the reins and kick some ass. Immortal opened up the show by trucking out every member of their faction, something they had cleverly avoided for a couple of months now. You were finally able to see Immortal for what they truly were: aging, corporate figures and hired muscle with no personality. Say what you will about Jeff Hardy, but his Antichrist character held the main story line of TNA together. Pound for pound, TNA probably losing Hardy is much more devastating than WWE losing Edge.

When you consider Jeff Jarrett has run off with his own program, Immortal is essentially a team without a quarterback, which explains their involvement in the upper mid-card Lethal Lockdown match against Fortune. What you have left is a triple threat match for the World title featuring three faces-Sting, RVD, and Mr. Anderson-that is begging for a massive heel turn at Lockdown on Sunday.

Throughout the show, it became more and more apparent that this is probably Sting. For starters, Sting has only been back for a couple of months now, while Anderson and RVD are still huge crowd favorites that always get over on the TNA Impact faithful. When Jeff Hardy turned back in October at Bound For Glory, it was more out of necessity; Sting can still carry promos while putting on decent matches with younger wrestlers. Also, with this logjam of good guys at the top, where will Sting fit in down the road? He certainly won’t be going back to those mid-card stalking angles with Kevin Nash last year. You know, the story he was doing right before he didn’t resign with TNA.

There are also the red herrings in the past couple of weeks that have teased both RVD and Mr. Anderson joining up with Immortal, compacted with Sting giving Eric Bischoff a Scorpion Death Drop and threatening to oust both Bischoff and a lame Hulk Hogan. Perhaps the long term plan is for Sting to take Immortal over, phasing out both Bischoff and Hogan.

In a related angle, Bischoff has also voiced concerned about a “rat” in the locker room who is feeding the network secrets to booking their matches. There’s a possibility this could also be the guy planning on jumping ship and joining Immortal. Whichever way you slice it, the current lineup is doing no one any favors, and the first step in the renovation comes on Sunday.

THE OTHER STUFF

Speaking of Immortal, they gained the man advantage in Lethal Lockdown over Fortune by winning a best-of-3 series 2-0 on Impact. In what I expected to be a corny, drawn out, Dusty finish that went three matches, this actually surprised me when Matt Hardy beat Kazarian, followed by Abyss cleanly beating James Storm.

The Hardy-Kaz match was the de facto best match of the night. I’ve expressed my appreciation for Matt’s improvement on here before, but the guy is going in the complete opposite direction as his younger brother. When Matt Hardy first debuted in TNA, he was out of shape and without direction. But that’s all changed because he has quickly gotten back to his old self and become a staple in the top heel faction. He’s also adapted his move set accordingly to his age; gone are a lot of his flashy dives, which have been replaced with devastating DDTs and a nifty little submission finisher called The Icepick (a weird belly to belly double underhook body scissors combo).

In match two of the series, Abyss waddled around until James Storm made one too many mistakes, like attempting a Last Call Superkick that was turned into a Black Hole Slam. I don’t know what Abyss was doing those two months while he was off, but it has made him even more sluggish and awkward than before.

Teasing the four way tag team match at TNA Lockdown 2011, the opening bout of the evening saw Orlando Jordan defeat Jesse Neal, Douglas Williams, and Crimson, while all their respective tag team partners lined the ring. This match quickly broke down when Scott Steiner and Shannon Moore fought outside, but the best part saw Abyss interfere and brutally chokeslam Crimson on the guardrail, a callback to when Crimson initially laid up Abyss for those two months. Jordan nailed Williams with The Gender Bender (a swinging neckbreaker) for the win.

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In matches I can hardly stand, TNA took their three stalest rivalries and combined them into a 3-on-3 match, pitting Jeff Jarrett, Hernandez, and The Pope against Kurt Angle, Matt Morgan, and Samoa Joe. Nothing really happened, especially when you consider that none of the inner rivalries saw action until the match broke down, Jarrett and Angle scampered backstage, and Pope brass knuckled Joe for the win.

The Hernandez-Morgan feud still has legs, but the other two probably need a curtain call at this pay-per-view for two totally different reasons. The Pope was unnaturally forced to be a heel, leading to the preceding angle with Joe to be obnoxious and laughably bad. While the Angle and Jarrett situation still has the potential to be intriguing, the writers have run out of ideas on this rivalry that has dragged their children and families down with them.

The Knockouts portion of the show confirmed that Mickie James will be fighting for the title against Madison Rayne despite her arm injury suffered at a house show. The tension between Rayne and Tara almost boiled over in a spot you could see from a mile away. I guess that’s what happens when you write Tara in as what simply reduced down to a slave role for The Queen Bee. Later, Velvet Sky called out her Beautiful People bud, Angelina Love, who came out looking like a zombie and no sold every attack from Velvet (take notes, Ken Anderson). If you haven’t seen this stuff with Angelina Love, check it out. It’s creepy, visceral, and relatively fresh, reminding me a lot of the stuff Cody Rhodes is doing over in WWE, sans the microphone work.

VERDICT. A decent go home show with tons of gimmicky matches that at times weren’t always executed properly. The potential for Immortal shake up, combined with a great Kaz-Hardy match and watchable Knockout material? I’ll take it when I can get it, thank you very much. 7/10.

TNA Impact April 14 Results
Orlando Jordan def. Jesse Neal, Crimson, and Douglas Williams in a 4-way, pinfall
Matt Hardy def. Kazarian, submission
The Pope, Jeff Jarrett, and Hernandez def. Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, and Matt Morgan, pinfall
Abyss def. James Storm, pinfall
Mr. Anderson fought Immortal in a gauntlet match to a no contest

Joe Leininger lives in Gainesville, FL and writes for The Playing Field and Destigeddon.

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TNA iMPACT! Results & Report 04-07-11

April 08, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Sting is heading to TNA LockDown 2011For the first time in several weeks, TNA Impact delivered a well written, intriguing, and coherent story line to bolster their headline angle between Heavyweight champion Sting and challengers Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam.

Throughout the first hour of the show, Anderson was finding letters strewn about the Impact Zone, telling of his certain demise and allegedly signed by Sting himself. As Mr. Anderson frantically paced the halls with a lead pipe looking for the champ, he would have comical encounters with the likes of Eric Young and Orlando Jordan, who directed him to duh, the rafters. Alas, it was RVD waiting for Anderson, who received the beating of a lifetime from The Whole F’N Show.

Real Sting, as opposed to Bogus Sting, RVD dressed up as Sting, or Fields of Gold Sting, hit the ring and demanded an apology from RVD for desecrating his good name with these shenanigans. This led to Immortal’s Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan calling for a main event between RVD and Sting, while Hogan later came through with Anderson’s wish to be the referee in that match.

Had they just left this story as is, I would have been fine. The psychology of Mr. Anderson spiraling into the anti-hero role was such an improvement that I hardly considered the tease of Anderson joining the ranks of Immortal to be the icing on the cake. Sure enough, though, Mike Tenay commented on Anderson having an uneasy alliance with Hogan and Bischoff before the main event, and that’s when I figured Anderson was switching over for good.

Or was he? The Sting-RVD match was disappointingly short, but ended when Anderson broke up a Sting finisher to deliver a Mic Check to the champ, allowing RVD to hit his Five Star Frog Splash for the win. Not soon after, Anderson grabbed the belt and planted it over RVD’s head, prompting Immortal’s goons Rob Terry and Murphy to come out as the welcoming committee and hoist the villainous ref over their shoulders. Whether the next minute played more toward his volatile, unpredictable side or his combative, moral side, Anderson basically told Immortal to shove it by lead piping both Terry and Murphy before telling Hogan, “you’re next!”

Tonight’s chapter that will eventually lead up to the title match at Lockdown between Sting, Anderson, and RVD made strides to advance the story but also may weaken the eventual showdown due to the lack of a definitive heel. I’m not complaining all that much—the past several weeks of mailed in openers leading to overstuffed matches and empty threats had my feelings toward the product near an all time low—but in a way the lack of Jeff Hardy‘s larger than life heel persona has to be somewhat filled by a guy who the fans adore, which can cause creative problems. That said, this could also be a good thing—RVD’s legitimate gripe of never losing the title combined with Mr. Anderson’s undying quest for a rematch tell me that one of them will take the belt off a place holding Sting at Lockdown…I just don’t know which one yet.

Another part of this story that they are really pushing is the network’s increasing involvement in match scheduling, much to the dismay of Hogan and Bischoff, who themselves are really coming into those overbearing, evil authority figures that ruled the nWo in the 90′s. When Hogan told Eric that “he doesn’t know the front office side of the business like you [Eric],” it really struck me as a turning point for the duo. With Immortal’s wrestlers clearly being the less talented of the bunch, TNA knows it’s going to have lean heavily on the shady booking and shifty personalities of both Hogan and Bischoff if they want any shot at convincing us that they are the top heel faction in the company.

THE OTHER STUFF

One of the earlier matches that caught my eye was the 3-on-3 X Division tag match pitting Generation Me and Robbie E against Brian Kendrick, Chris Saban, and Suicide. When the Motor City music hit, I became overly excited thinking the electric tag team was back in action, but alas, Alex Shelley must still be injured. His replacement, Suicide, really carried most of the match, starting on offense and later jobbing to the other team, particularly the in sync Gen Me boys. Toward the end of what was the longest match of the night, Brian Kendrick came in and lit everyone up with kicks before the Bucks took control. If you’ve been following Generation Me in the past few weeks, you could tell this was all a work to eventually have them fighting, ending in Max delivering a brutal top rope hanging DDT on his brother, Jeremy. Kendrick cleaned up the wreckage and pinned Jeremy for the win.

The six-man tag was also announced as somewhat of a preview to a nine-man X Division “Escape the Cage” match at Lockdown. While nothing on television is official yet, I can only assume the match will feature these six guys, as well as the returning Alex Shelley, Douglas Williams (assuming he doesn’t compete in the 4-way tag match), and Jay Lethal. Even though X Division champion Kazarian will be tied up in the Lethal Lockdown match, this free for all should still be one of the better bouts on the card.

Bully Ray and Chris Daniels also met in what could be the first chapter in a long, heated feud. Having not seen Daniels in action before, I was quite impressed with his move set and ability to take those devastating chest slaps from Ray. The crowd was really into this match from the start, and Daniels’ finisher, Best Moonsault Ever, put the finishing touches on a great exhibition, until a member of Immortal yanked the ref from the ring, breaking the three count. During the distraction, Hulk Hogan snuck up and nailed Daniels in the head with a thick chain, giving Bully Ray the easy win. Bonus points for the writing of this Lumberjack match—I would have bet my car that Daniels would have found a way to win in his first match in over a year.

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Luckily, the ensuing Jeff Jarrett segment was short and sweet. He started to encase himself inside the ring while the steel cage was being assembled, taking shots at Angle’s storyline restraining order arrest (as opposed to his very real, three sheets to the wind arrest a couple weeks back). I actually found Jarrett quite amusing this week, dropping lines about him and Karen both agreeing that the kids shouldn’t visit Kurt in jail due to his thuggish ways, and how they are better off around him, the “ultra-male.” While I usually find Jarrett annoying and abusive of his front office clout, I will give him credit in completely running with his characters. The fun and games ceased when Angle ziplined into the now enclosed ring, but Jarrett slithered out of harm’s way just in the nick of time.

The opening match was the first official televised debut of the newly named Mexican America tag team, consisting of Hernandez and newcomer Anarchia. Their match against Tommy Dreamer and Devon was short lived, coming to a halt when Rosita ran interference and allowed Anarchia to use a chair on the outside, leading to a win. As MA continued to beat down their opponents under the gaze of a hanging, oversized Mexican flag, Matt Morgan made the save. While I’m kind of over the Morgan-Hernandez feud, I’d love to see Mexican America thrive as the successful foreigner heels, possibly against Beer Money for tag team gold.

I’d never thought I bring this up, but the Knockouts stuff has been pretty watchable as of late. In the ring, Rosita and Sarita defended their tag titles against The Beautiful People, thanks to Winter still having a spell over Angelina, who turned on Velvet Sky at Winter’s command, costing the BP’s the match. One of the funnier scenes was when Velvet had to actually help a confused, zonked out Angelina to the ring, which also prompted Mike Tenay to report in a most professional manner that there’s “no real chance to let the pigeons loose.”

Meanwhile, in the bowels of Universal Studios Madison Rayne demanded Tara performed a hit and run with her motorcycle on Mickie James. I doubt this is a cover to excuse Mickie from the match due to her legitimate arm injury, but I wouldn’t put it past TNA to call an audible, have Tara break away from Madison’s controlling ways and challenge her for the belt at TNA Lockdown 2011.

In the lamest match coincides with the worst angle category (I’m pretty sure that’s how hurricanes are formed), Samoa Joe tapped out Murphy in under a minute while The Pope was on commentary. Joe goes after Pope, Pope bailed, end scene. At least…Murphy got some playing time? Yeah, that’s what I’ll go with.

VERDICT. As I said, the Mr. Anderson story and subsequent Immortal tease was out of sight tonight. Combined with solid performances by Chris Daniels, Mexican America, and most of the X Division guys, I’m calling this show a winner. My one complaint would be match length…the first three matches probably took all of about six minutes to complete. Other than that, this episode did a lot in selling me on Lockdown on April 17th, which up until now looked like mid-season gimmick filler. 8/10.

TNA Impact April 7 Results:
Mexican America def. Tommy Dreamer and Devon, pinfall
Samoa Joe def. Murphy, submission
Sarita and Rosita (Champs) def. The Beautiful People, pinfall
Brian Kendrick, Chris Saban, and Suicide def. Generation Me and Robbie E., pinfall
Bully Ray def. Christopher Daniels, pinfall
Rob Van Dam def. Sting, pinfall, non title match

Joe Leininger lives in Gainesville, FL and writes for The Playing Field and Destigeddon.

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TNA Wrestling One Year Progress Report

March 07, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Before March 2010 if you told me something was happening on TNA, I would have responded, “isn’t that that low rent wrestling on SPIKE that looks like a game show?” That’s probably because for eight long years I never once tuned into Jeff Jarrett‘s second-tier wrestling promotion, but was hooked with the impending publicity of the return of the Immortal Hulk Hogan and the return of live wrestling on Monday night.

I wanted this article to be about the dumb brilliance that was showcased on Impact from Fayetteville, NC and how it represented the little things that TNA Wrestling does right. Instead, we were treated to a taped, bumbling program with fleeting “celebrities,” predictable spots, and an overall product that was just, well…dumb.

Thursday was supposed to be the groundbreaking episode of Impact—the New York Jets’ Bart Scott, Jersey Shore cast member Angelina, and a surprise guest marked by an ominous 3.3.11 vignette to all make impacts on a rare non-Orlando taping of the show. Hours later, ESPN was dissecting Scott’s involvement in the hazardous profession, bevies of wrestling sites were talking about a now 52-year-old Sting winning the TNA title, and no one gave two cents about Angelina. I’m not sure if that last fact is a good or bad thing for the company.

Plain and simple, the Angelina segment was atrocious. Angelina, along with Robbie E and Cookie, came out to confront the Beautiful People and gave this rambling, hackneyed diatribe about wanting to challenge current Jersey Shore member J Woww to a fight on Impact next week. Early reports said she was having cocktails before her segment, which is now totally believable considering she talked like she had never seen a microphone before.

The Bart Scott segments were interesting, but they inevitably succumb to shoddy writing in the Jeff Jarrett/Kurt Angle feud. While Scott didn’t say much, he did get to interact with guys like Hulk Hogan, Matt Hardy, and other members of Immortal, pulling off the whole “hired muscle” gig pretty well. It just sucks that the Jarrett vow ceremony was catatonically predictable…no, seriously, I actually dozed off and awoke to Sting in a bedazzled trench coat and red and white face paint.

In case your toddler couldn’t piece this out, Kurt Angle, being forced to walk his ex-wife Karen down the aisle, wasn’t going to stand for that nonsense one bit and totally smashed the cake and obliterated the ceremony set with an axe! Hold the phone, chief…Kurt seems like a reasonable, level-headed guy. You mean to tell me he was upset that he was being forced to walk his harlot of an ex-wife down the aisle, in a faux ceremony, to renew vows with a colleague he doesn’t care for?

I had someone tell me that TNA did something very similar with a wedding between Jay Lethal and ring attendant So Cal Val a couple of years ago. I guess this doesn’t surprise me the least bit—I mean, axe violence sells, right? Honestly, I wish Angle would have bided his time or played mind games with the couple, complete with the psychotic gaze of a scheming ex. I truly am sorry, Bart.

The rest of the show was riddled with sideshows and slow matches. Scott Steiner defeated Rob Terry, Hernandez and Matt Morgan ended in a count out while some MMA fighter tried his damnedest on commentary to say one thing insightful about the match, Gunner and Murphy were squashed by Beer Money for the tag titles, and Hulk Hogan dropped a line that had me do a double take and press that rewind button on the DVR.

During one of the 8,000 promos on the show, Hulk was talking to someone on the phone about the impending Jeff Hardy TNA title match against the mystery opponent later tonight. It was implied that he was talking to one of the TNA brass about SPIKE, and flat out said that big surprises don’t equal ratings, which in turn do not equal money.

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Uh, Hulk, how are those 10,000 PPV buys doing for you and Dixie Carter? How are the house shows, that at one point were drawing somewhere around 300 people, pulling in that cold, hard, green stuff?

These abysmal facts remind me that, while I still find certain aspects charming, the product as a whole alienates outside viewers, demeans younger talent, and still thinks it’s the 90′s and wrestling is the cash crop of the South. Listed are a few things I definitely think TNA should work on to boast those ratings and money things Hulk was so casually talking about.

TNA IMPACT SHOULD BE LIVE. Even if the early 2010 shows didn’t get great ratings, it takes a little while for new fans to get accustomed to your brand. Thursday should have been the last straw; for Hardy to drop the belt to Sting on a taped telecast is laughable and grounds for a new business model. TNA could still capitalize on their house shows if they tape live on Thursday, and then have next week’s Impact tape the following day. This means every other Impact would be live and they would still have two full weeks to tour, promote, and rest. These live shows are where the big turns, title changes, and new arrivals should happen.

YOU’RE NOT WWE, DON’T TRY TO BE. It’s fair to think that because TNA is second fiddle to WWE that they should be comparable, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The WWE is a global phenomenon that breaches the worlds of cinema, music, and mainstream sports. Vince McMahon brought his brand of entertainment to network television, gobbled up every territory and competitor, and created a monopoly Bill Gates could appreciate. For all intents and purposes, TNA is a taped, Universal Studios version of a violent Double Dare. Shows are taped in front of a studio audience and packaged back to us on cable. The wrestlers aren’t compensated well, and in some cases have to pay for their own flights and lodging.

I don’t have a problem with the independent feel of the company, but the truth is that TNA is financed by a large energy conglomerate, buys up aging wrestlers with name recognition, and valiantly strives for the “wrasslin” of WWE, when it should be trying to be it’s own brand with it’s own specialties (too bad the X Division is MIA). I bet if independent companies such as Chikara and Ring of Honor had the money TNA plays around with, they wouldn’t waste it on slugs like Matt Hardy and various reality show rejects.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD, DAMMIT. For some odd reason, TNA writes in that someone’s forehead will be busted open worse than a Christmas chestnut on a regular basis. Whether you call it blading or juicing, it should remain a thing of the past. If used sparingly, a guy gushing crimson can add an exciting, enthralling element to a match, representing the absolute brutality of worked feud. But when guys are cutting themselves up almost every show it’s just cheap and disgusting, and it was no more evident than in the Knockouts division when a wrestler named Roxxi tore open her forehead and wrestled Madison Rayne for a good seven minutes, drenched in blood. Come on, TNA, Sean Waltman and his Hepatitis C thinks that is vile.

TWO HOURS AIN’T CUTTIN’ IT. I’m not going to suggest bringing back Reaction in its previous format, but TNA really needs some more American air time. They have a supplemental show, Xplosion, but that’s only broadcast overseas and nothing really important ever happens on it, save for Eric Young banging his head and creating a new character with a couple of screws loose.

What I would suggest is to bring back a third hour, but disguise the exact time when the broadcast ends and the recap show begins. Too often main events are squished into ten minute forays of bad acting and predictable endings, when in reality Spike would stand to gain from extra programming that could see Impact last its normal two hours and five minutes or go for two and a half hours. Reaction can be a great promotion vehicle, but an hour of it every week was a bit grating. Which brings me to my next point…

ANOTHER TNA PAY PER VIEW ALREADY?!. I don’t know if prices are universal, but Cox cable charges me $34.95 USD per TNA PPV…all twelve of them suckers. This is a lot to ask of fans who can barely follow the patchwork storylines crammed into three or four weeks of action. It’s embarrassing when Beer Money is out of teams to wrestle for the tag teams belts, so you have to have Ink Inc. come out on stage and in a mere two minutes of talking you have a match at the next PPV. People aren’t buying and I don’t blame them; either lower the price or only have six PPV events a year. I’m in favor of the latter—it allows for more complex storylines and genuine payoff for a fan to finally see which main event wrestler will come out on top. With the right promotion, timely rivalries, and specific dates, I believe TNA could achieve more buy rates for one PPV every two months than two throwaways every month.

While all of this is from a fan’s perspective, it should really hit home with TNA that guys like Scott Steiner are airing their grievances on Twitter with stuff like this: “On the road -did Tv tapings in Fayetteville NC on thursday-TNA needs to go live on Thursdays.”

For a company that is in grave need of much younger talent, it says a lot when an example of an entirely different problem is exposing the root of another.

Joe Leininger lives in Gainesville, FL and writes for The Playing Field and Destigeddon.

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