If you watched Impact Wrestling last Thursday night (the nine of you besides me), you heard Hulk Hogan’s “big announcement” about the title pictures in TNA. If you didn’t watch the show (everyone else), allow me to fill you in. Hogan called all current champions into the ring-save for ODB and Eric Young, because they were on their “Honeymoon”-and told them that, starting next week, TNA would feature “Open Fight Night” once a month.
What is “Open Fight Night”? There are a couple of aspects to it. First off, each OFN, a wrestler outside of the company will get a tryout match, and if Hogan and three unnamed judges like what they see from said competitor, he or she will be offered a TNA contract. Second, anyone can challenge anyone else on that night, and if the challenged wrestler is in the building, he or she has to accept and take the match. Furthermore, if a champion is challenged, the match is automatically for the title.
[adinserter block=”2″]This might sound like a decent concept on paper, and it could be. However, the chances of that are very slim, and the reason for that is quite simple. Any time TNA announces a major change, specifically involving increased competition and a bigger focus on championships, they keep it going for a couple of weeks before forgetting about it altogether. Don’t believe me? Take a look at TNA’s track record. In the past, TNA has increased focus on both the tag team and X-Divisions.
It works for a few weeks, getting fans all excited with promises of more action and deeper divisions. And then…nothing. It’s forgotten about in a few weeks, and we’re back to square one. Look at TNA’s current tag team division. The champions are mash-up team of two guys who were doing nothing as singles wrestlers in Samoa Joe and Magnus (although I admit they make a surprisingly good team), and their only challengers are the awfulness known as Mexican America, the Motor City Machine Guns (who have only had one run as champs despite being one of the best teams in the world), and, to a much lesser extent, the Robbies.
As for the X-Division, despite the fact that the current champion, Austin Aries, is one of the best wrestlers/performers in the world, the belt is being treated like an afterthought. Instead of being in awesome, highly competitive matches like he should be, he’s instead stuck in a meaningless, go nowhere feud with Bully Ray that will likely see him get buried due to Dixie Carter’s girl boner for Ray. And it hasn’t just started with him; the belt has been nothing but a prop for most guys for quite a while right now, bouncing around from guys who aren’t in the company anymore (Daivari and Brian Kendrick), to “comedy” acts (Eric Young), to guys who have absolutely no business holding the belt (Abyss). And the Knockouts aren’t safe, either. The tag team titles were added to that division because, at one point, there was admittedly a lot of depth. Now, there are two regular teams and the belts are held by a “comedy” act, with one half not even being female.
Anyone remember the “TNA Power 10”? No? Didn’t think so. Let me refresh your memory. When Eric Bischoff first took over as the TV figurehead for the company, he created the “Power 10”, a top 10 list that would be constantly updated based on win/loss records and performances, with the 10 men on the list being considered the top 10 challengers for the World Championship. Again, it was kept around for a couple of weeks, and then never mentioned ever again. It was never explained why it was dropped or where the guys on the list would go from there in regards to challenging for the belt.
Most of them have gone onto do nothing but flounder in the mid-card since then, not even getting within sniffing distance of a World Championship match. Sadly, this isn’t even the first time this kind of thing has happened, either. During the weekly PPV days, TNA once tried this same thing using a Russo brain-fart, the “Reverse Battle Royal”. The first 10 men to get in the ring would be in a gauntlet match following, with the order of elimination equaling the placement in the top 10, with the winner becoming the number-one contender to TNA’s then-main title, the NWA World Championship. I can’t remember who won (I believe it was Ron “R-Truth” Killings), but I do remember that the title match was never happened, and the rankings were completely forgotten immediately following that match.
[adinserter block=”1″]As you can see, TNA’s track record for this kind of thing is far from stellar. They can slap whatever name they want on it now, but it’s still going to be the same thing we’ve seen over and over again. As I’ve said before, I would love nothing more than for TNA to succeed. I know it doesn’t seem like it in my columns, but it is true. The U.S. needs a strong number 2 promotion, and based on their funding, TNA is the best chance of that happening. On paper, OFN sounds like a great idea, and a pretty good concept that could really help things out. However, based on TNA’s past, I’m not holding my breath on it succeeding.
Hogan said this would happen at least once a month from now on. If this thing goes past 3 months, I will be absolutely shocked. I guess time will tell, but for now-because watching TNA has programmed me to do so-there is very little hope.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XDustinEFLX, and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: