Friday, July 29, 2011

The Rumor Killer....

Spike TV is in the middle of a 're-branding', or so it's being called. With the new target demographic Spike intends to go after, it has been speculated that Impact Wrestling could be a casualty of this move. Having said that, Impact Wrestling's rating number show that it's the number one rated show on the network. As the federation on the rise, it helps that WWE Superstars are mentioning TNA by name in their media as well as in radio or talk show settings. Sheamus made a direct reference on a radio interview just a couple of days ago; Jeff Hardy made mention of TNA on The Hardy Boys "Twist of Fate" DVD released while under contract with helps expose viewers of the WWE product to an alternative wrestling show.

Here is the heart of the matter, TNA wasn't mentioned at length during the press conference to discuss the future of the network, which is good news for the TNA product on air. In fact, I still believe there are plans to put on another 2 hour show in the coming calendar year, but that has yet to be confirmed by the officials in TNA.

Despite the lack of mention by those in power at Spike, it seems to me that Hogan, Bischoff, and company need to have a plan B to move with in the event that things turn south in the midst of the Spike reboot. I always pray for the best and plan for the worst. Spike would be hurting for the ratings TNA has been able to consistently provide. Critics can scoff and say all kinds of things, but when TNA hasn't folded after nearly 10 years of business and they show no signs of stopping what they do best, I'm not worried about their future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Respect and Loyalty....

I've got a couple of people in mind to talk about in this column....Mick Foley and Rob Van Dam.  First up in the  on deck circle, Mick Foley. In an earlier column, I gave Mick a great deal of credit for being a class act performer and person. I hold to those statements steadfastly, however, I would like to point out a quick little something. It's been rumored that he is back in talks with WWE. I can understand how the friction was irritating for him in TNA, but WWE has been little more than a once on and off type of relationship, where he gets a payoff and goes on his merry way with little regard for long term commitments. Seems to me the better deal would have been TNA, but who am I?

On to RVD. Generation Me explained their reasons for leaving TNA quite simply...they weren't being used. Seems fair enough. RVD was a bit dismissive by saying never respected the veterans enough to ask for advice. In response they mentioned that they always said hello to him, but it makes me ask one thing....what does saying hello and giving respect have to do with one another? I would at least say hello to an enemy out of common courtesy. I'm not saying they weren't respectful, I'm just saying that both sides are a bit off balance. RVD could have offered to take them under his wing if he wanted to spout his mouth. Generation Me could have asked for help from any of the vets and you can be sure any of them would have been happy to give some helpful advice....even down to going to management to give them more screen time.

I don't want to see any more young guns leave. It's bad for the company, it's bad for them, it's bad for everyone who wants to see them perform. The roster now is right about perfect, save for the few inevitable additions in the up and coming future.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Build a CM Punk Storyline.....

For WWE, the process should have been so simple. CM Punk's 'contract' had expired and he didn't renew it. He cut a dramatic promo on a live episode of RAW that many columnists, including myself, called brilliant. and he faded away. It could have ended there and left the world speechless by Punk showing up in TNA or Ring of Honor or ANYWHERE ELSE. WWE needs Punk and they know it. SO....Punk is brought into the ComicCon stage with megaphone and title in tow. He confronts HHH and presto, instant story beginning.

Here's where WWE made a mistake fatal to the entire story. They brought him back after two weeks. They put him on WWE television two weeks after he left with the title. He could have shown up to hijack WWE's broadcast feed and given HHH a cease and desist order with threats of grandeur. He could have cut through the crowds and screwed John Cena out of the title vs. Rey. Now this is all storyline ideas centering on what Punk could have done.

WWE could have called for a RAW contract signing the week before Money in the Bank. A hidden stipulation could have been put into the document, locking him into contract if the title were to have been won by him. That would have put CM Punk in very good condition to raise a little bit of hell and brimstone on the 'oppressive powers that be'. Why not give Punk a little bit of Stone Cold's feud with McMahon? Why not give it to the young fans who never got to see any of that?

By giving John Cena back the title after losing it two weeks earlier was a bad move. It further contaminates the credibility of the title. Casting an exact duplicate didn't help the matter and by bringing back Punk earlier than they should have, it put a high gloss glare right on the heart of the problem. Now, the creative team has dropped the ball and, unless some ground is made up, the storyline is shot to heck and virtually irreparably so.

I have no doubt that some of the writing team saw this as a good time to play it safe, but when the stakes of loyal fans are so high, this wasn't the time to play it safe. Taking a risk by keeping Cena away from the title and letting Del Rio and Rey fight over it may have been just what was needed to breathe some credibility into Del Rio as well. When this story has run its course, which I predict to be very soon, WWE will realize that hindsight is 20/20.

Two Face......

I've got a couple of things to say about RAW.  First, thanks for bringing back J.R. Second, thanks for bringing back John Morrison. Third, thanks for showing Zack Ryder. Okay, now that that is out of the way, on to my gripes.

-Triple H recast a brand new WWE Title....that looks EXACTLY LIKE THE OLD ONE!! This is absolutely beyond me. TNA stopped using the NWA Title in favor of a belt that has some class. Jeff Hardy designed a title too and even though it was met with criticism, when his reign as champion was over, it was replaced by another classy looking belt. I HATE the WWE belt. I apologize, but when a title belt has the word "champ" cast right into it, it loses something...namely dignity.

- Michael Cole was put into a match last night against Zack Ryder. Okay, if I were to give a guy like Cole a match of that caliber, I would make it an "I Quit" match, where the loser leaves RAW. It seems to me that this would be more welcome than the inevitable drama left to ensue on Smackdown.

- If there is one guy in WWE I do NOT want to see as champion right now, it's John Cena. Here's the fact of the matter, when John Cena and CM Punk had their staredown as RAW went off the air holding the exact same belt, it didn't look compelling to me, it looked like each man was trying to be proud of the same amount of bling. Yep, it's the belt.

My biggest gripe about RAW is that they had all the drama for the two week period after the last PPV only to not continue the build for Punk's return. Having Punk show up at RAW or Smackdown and torment the new champion, whoever it might otherwise have been would be favorable to what they did. Each week we could see a new way to get into the mind of the current champion. Why not run the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon route and force a unification match to unite the belts? Why not trap CM Punk into a contract extension by revealing a clause he hadn't seen when he signed?

My point is allowing time to build up some anticipation. THIS is why WWE is losing ground, in my opinion. They can't build a storyline with a bag of Legos and an instruction book. They can't capitalize on story points (i.e. Michael Cole's situation). They have difficulty giving their women's performers time to explain their character's actions. And finally, and possibly the most important, they can't create new champions without having to remove their push when they start getting over. Rey Mysterio has been done before, and John Cena has been done to DEATH. Think up something new.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Here Comes the Pain....

WWE's "Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century" DVD features a Who's Who of some of the all time greats. One man I was overjoyed to see on the disc was Brock Lesnar. A human wrecking ball of a man, Lesnar MADE WWE the thing to watch during his tenure. Granted he only lasted 2 years, but during that time, he held the biggest titles and made his opponents dread facing him for them.

I would have loved to see him face some of TNA's finest. Brock Lesnar facing Samoa Joe during his undefeated streak would have been amazing just from a booking standpoint alone. Now, I understand his body can't afford the kind of abuses the wrestling world demands, but IF there was a way to give him the kind of one time attraction deal The Undertaker has and IF the storylines were played out and staggered enough to make the payoff worth the time, it might be worth the money to shell out. Fact is, there are few, if any who could contest that kind of athlete, save for maybe Kurt Angle or Joe.

For WWE to be romancing him AND Paul Heyman at a time like this, in my opinion, is good for their business. Don't expect him to appear as an on screen character IF and when a deal is reached. It's been stated by those close to the situation that Brock has no interest in wrestling for Vince again, but rather a backstage hand in training athletes or helping in the creative process might be in the realm of possibility.

Knockouts vs. Divas....

Exerpt from one wrestling news source-

"The Bella Twins took an apparent shot at Rosa Mendes Sunday night on Twitter following Money in the Bank as their fellow Diva retweeted several fan comments during the pay-per-view event advocating that she win the WWE Divas Championship.

A Bella wrote, "I think it's funny when people have to RT something a lot when they don't even have the skill to back it up... #Desperate&Sad."

Minutes later, a fan suggested that Brie learn how to wrestle and could do so by studying footage of the TNA Knockouts. The fan wrote, "I'm actually shocked your match went like 5 mins haha!!! But seriously, learn to work. Watch TNA Knockouts and take notes!!!"

One of the Bellas snarked, "they have the worst matches ever." She added, "Show up to a live event and your mouth will shut up... Like we're in charge of time."

Personally, I LOVE reading stuff like this. It really shows WWE in a negative light when Divas, who've been purchased from a spread in a Hawaiian Tropic ad and tossed into a wrestling ring say stuff fed to them by Vince and/or his cronies.  While, the Divas are right about time being out of their control, there is a world of difference between a match in TNA and a match in WWE nowadays. I will let one of my favorite indy performers plead my case.....

Sure, Danger's comments are a bit dated, but the information is all true. For the record, Gail Kim was the very first Knockouts Champion. The feud that took place was epic to say the least, but it was a number of years ago. I will say this, though. Since those days, Tara (Victoria), Mickie James, and Jackie have come in and have put on some pretty respectable matches and they were former Divas. It would appear that leaving for the competition makes them untouchables in the eyes of WWE talent. Would I like to see a Divas vs. Knockouts matchup just to prove a point? You better believe it. I would RELISH the chance to see something like ODB vs. Kelly Kelly or Angelina Love vs. Alicia Fox. Even Madison Rayne, who was very raw (no pun intended) coming in, has come into her own and could lay to waste all but WWE's elite three, who are true wrestlers in a company loaded down with bikini models.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Road Yet Untraveled....

Hardcore Justice is coming up....but what comes after that. While I've speculated a few things, I have yet to put together my predictions. Firstly due to the fact that the Bound for Glory series has yet to produce a true front runner for the number one spot. Crimson may be in the lead, but the closer things get, I can see things going VERY differently.

I've been looking forward to some returns for BFG, notably Jeff Hardy, but I would put in a guess that at least 2 appearances are likely come that day. I have no evidence to back this up, so don't toss it back if I'm wrong, but I'm getting some definite vibes that a couple more people are waiting in the rafters, so to speak.

WWE's been giving CM Punk a long leash to run this storyline with. I have no doubt Punk has re-signed and is using the time off to sell this to the masses, but there have been distinct differences between him and EVERY other superstar to ever leave WWE, making me believe it's all story.
1. He shows up at Comic Con with megaphone and WWE Title in hand, confronting HHH.
2. WWE suspends the final match of RAW to 'fire' Vince, giving another week of build.
3. WWE planned the confrontation and had handlers bring Punk in the door.
4. They posted footage.

If there was any need for further proof that this is all story, one need only understand that, while Vince has never liked the internet wrestling community, HHH has a lot more business sense in this area. He knows that we teeming masses are MUCH more vast than those who fill up the arenas from week to week. We've been waiting for something controversial and the internet as a tool has only been used a handful of times in the past decade and a half to put together a compelling story.

Friday, July 22, 2011


WWE has taken a page from the WCW school of kayfabe and has gone with CM Punk as their chosen vehicle. In true Attitude Era fashion, at the San Diego Comic Convention, no less, and in front of a following of press and fans, Punk cut through the crowd with WWE Championship in tow and confronted HHH. He stated that he was taking exception to WWE choosing a new champion now that he was no longer with the company. HHH responded in kind by saying that things are now running a bit differently now that he's in charge and that he doesn't have to answer to him.

In a business where the war of words from column writers and internet wrestling analysts like to think of themselves as the saviors of the wrestling business, TNA has been the target of a lot of bad press. Some columnists have accused them of copying storylines and concepts from WWE. Let's do some fair research right now.....

TNA launched Lockdown in 2005. Four years later, WWE followed suit with a Hell in a Cell PPV. TNA's Slammiversary PPV has included a King of the Mountain Ladder Match and, in the case of 2008, showcased 2 such matches. WWE, in 2010, put together a PPV surrounding their own Ladder match centered PPV. While WWE's 'cell' concept was capitalized on by TNA with their 'Lethal Lockdown' match, the cage centered PPV was a TNA concept in the recent past.

While I, myself, have no qualms with WWE putting together concepts that emulate TNA's with a PG spin, I DO have some difficulties with WWE's true and elite fanbase accusing TNA of copycat behavior and spinning WWE's with excuses. Let's be fair and acknowledge that the realm of original ideas in the wrestling world is a myth and that the creative processes of both organizations rely on outside source material to make their respective companies thrive.

On a side note, Vince McMahon has been in talks with network executives and suits to pull some clout and getting CM Punk some television time on talk shows and other outlets to get some more press on the impending feud between Punk and the 'oppressive' *wink wink* upper management of WWE.  While I love the idea of Punk being showcased, I sincerely hope this doesn't cloud the waters, making it hard to see the other potential breakout stars ready to test their brass in the squared circle.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What If?

       I'd like to put something to the fans of the TNA product. Let's say Vince Russo were to retire and allow his spot as head writer for the TNA creative team to be available. Let's also assume that once Bound for Glory has run its course, Hogan will be primarily be a backstage power.  And lastly, let's also assume a couple top guys also retire, freeing up a large sum of money to bolster TNA's budget. I have two questions.....

1. Who does TNA choose to fill in the Creative Team Writer position?


2. If you could pick 3 talents from anywhere to fill the spots left by those top talents?

I've seen the product under the command of great men, creative geniuses of our day. I've seen the product under the command of stale men, whose time has run its course. In my opinion, there are only 2 or 3 guys who would be able to do the kind of things TNA needs to succeed. 
My first choice is Dusty Rhodes. In the days of Jeff Hardy's first signing with TNA back in 2004, Dusty had been the Director of Authority character. The storylines were good back then and gave people a reason to tune into the product.
My second choice is Jim Cornette. I loved his character in TNA from the beginning as the General Manager figure. He was no nonsense; he took no prisoners and he had a nack for putting characters on the map.
My last choice, due in no small part to the conditions attached, is Paul Heyman. While I love his idea to breathe new life into the product by filling it with young talents, I believe this poses a problem that would turn them into WWE, who is hurting for veterans to bring the young characters into the top tier. Unless a talent has the "it" factor from the beginning, he/she will be doomed to fail unless they are given some direction; some training in developing their confidence. 

My 3 picks are for 3 different divisions that, I believe, would take off if they were brought in. First, I'd pick Allison Danger for the Women's Division. Her tenure with SHIMMER, a women's exclusive fed has been good and her experiences with Mickie James, Kong, Lacey Von Erich, and others both on the TNA AND WWE rosters would make her a fitting addition to the Knockouts Division.
Next, I'd snap up Haas and Benjamin as a unit to bolster the Tag Division. I realize this is a bit of a cop out and makes the list longer than 3 people, but this is a unit, a complete package that must be sold as such. Neither man made a lasting splash in WWE, but the two as a unit, did. 
My last pick is Chavo Guerrero. I realize that may sound a bit odd, but hear me out. Imagine someone like Jeff Hardy or Anderson or even Kurt Angle as the champ. On Impact, Chavo comes out and, for 2 or 3 weeks throws punches about old history, remembering how he has each of these performers scouted and knows all their tricks. He plays his character as a truly cold and calculated villain, whose quest for the big brass ring has yet to be realized. I would have him interfere in the matches with all of them, regardless of who has the belt. I would also have him leaving the arena each night unscathed. As the weeks draw near to the PPV, give him a Tag Title shot as the leader of a brand new revived World Elite stable. The man deserved his time in the sun more than Rey Mysterio. I mean no disrespect, but it wasn't Rey's uncle that passed away; it was Chavo's. Rey's first reign could have been later and no one would have been the wiser, but the first one belonged to Chavo and this would be the time to let him shine the way he deserved to then.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And an Added Bonus....

HHH has relieved Vince and revealed himself as the boss. Just as I theorized. I had hoped WWE would run that route. Do I think it'll work? That depends. If WWE insists on maintaining a PG environment? NO. If they roll out the Steve Austin antics and give CM Punk some free space to run? YES. He's arguably the best worker of the mic and can hold his own in the ring with anyone. In my personal opinion, WWE's ability to put together a long program in a PG era has been lacking since the beginning, but I've been wrong before and I daresay, I'll probably be wrong at least once more in my life.

TNA's direction is solid. If my sources are accurate, The Hardy Boyz will be back to full force potentially at or shortly following Bound for Glory. I am beginning to believe Crimson will either be in the main event, or chasing the title for the remainder of the year after Bound for Glory. For that matter, it also appears that Gunner may be on the same course. His character is a lot more versatile than I originally was thinking. He has certainly surprised me with his mic skill and in ring presence as of late.

The X factors in this whole story will be Angle, Anderson, and Jarrett. If they can either be willing to stand aside and let the new breed make their mark, things will be all the better in the long run. Sting will most assuredly be busy with Hogan to finish out his Bound for Glory tenure. Whether he re-signs, I believe, will depend upon how much is left in his tank once the smoke clears on his contract. Angle is around for a few more years on limited performance dates and Anderson is a lock.

I still believe we'll see at least 2 more Knockouts debuting as regular members of the roster and 3 more X Division talents. My best guesses for Knockouts are ODB and Melina as I have my doubts WWE will put up with any more moodiness backstage. Fact is, she's arguably the best women's performer on the roster with the exceptions being Natalya and Beth Phoenix. Her unveiling will be a HUGE bombshell to end off the year or begin the next.

As for the X Division, I believe they have learned their lesson from earlier years that the X Division needs serious storylines to stand side by side with the main events. My guesses for X Division stars being signed? Jack Evans, Zema Ion, and the one everyone will be excited for....Petey Williams, assuming his skills are still up to par. As stacked with performers as they are already, I have my doubts, they will be picking up more than 3 talents to round out the division.

One last item. Look for a second 2 hour show in the next year. With the size of the roster now, there is no way to get everyone spotlight time without cutting gouges into the storyline development time. Hogan has stated that TNA is going on the road for their shows more often. If an every week format works we could be witnessing the rebirth of the wrestling wars, the way it should have gone from the start. My advice? Pick 2 days WWE is NOT on. You can have Impact on Thursdays still, but perhaps pick Saturday or Tuesday to showcase the new show. that you have your bonus column, enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Number 50.....

WWE has finally done it....they've surprised me. With CM Punk as the new champion and Daniel Bryan; arguably the two best performers on the entire roster as forefront as they could possibly have been. The fact that CM Punk is the champion seals it, in my opinion.... Punk has re-signed with WWE with a new contract to reflect a title run and a tale of old. A new belt is being cast and, with it, the renewed story Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels ran more than 15 years ago.  With any luck, the GM will be revealed finally and we'll get a rivalry reminiscent of the great Steve Austin/ Vince McMahon feuds of the Attitude Era.

Now, with this 50th column of this blog, my goal is two fold. I'd like to do an analysis of who the breakout characters of the year were in each of the companies and my predictions for the coming year. Even more than that, however, I'd like to thank everyone who has followed this blog over the course of the past 50 posts. You guys make this an easier task to without further ado...

Is there really any doubt that CM Punk would be here on the list? He's gone from old news to talk of the town with faster than light speed. He's not alone, in my humble opinion. I would place Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan, and Christian (FINALLY) on the list as well. All of these talents have made WWE's talent roster not seem as shallow as it sometimes seems to be. There are great characters on the roster, but with little invested, there is little hope of a return from some, like Zack Ryder. Don't be surprised if Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder finally get some screen time.

I'm taken with the Sting transformation. I love the look, the character, and every segment he's been in since doing the Joker-esque thing. It takes something within a person to be able to sculpt one's persona in this business the way Sting has managed to. He makes each make up personality distinct and reinvents himself very well. I daresay that Mr. Anderson and Crimson rank right in that top tier as well. I had thought TNA was going to drop the ball and let Crimson's impressive debut fall by the wayside. I do wish Matt Morgan wouldn't be forgotten in the mix, but with the BFG series nearing Hardcore Justice, I can see some bright lights ahead for the stacked roster as a whole.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Away.....

Okay, first, I'd like to thank everyone reading here. I do have one request of all of you. I'm looking for something special to do for the 50th post here, which will be the day after tomorrow. I can guarantee this one will be worth long as the subject matter has some substance.

As for now...I'd like to take some time and talk about some stuff I've been thinking about in the past few weeks.

1. What characters would I like to see as the faces of WWE?
Zack Ryder, Tyler Reks, Wade Barrett, Christian,  David Otunga....these all seem like good players and they've got a look that seems to beg for something to be done with their personas. I would push each of them differently EXCEPT Tyler Reks. I LOVE the look. He has a sociopathic look that would lend itself to a Sean O' Haire from 2003 Smackdown. I'm talking a smooth talking creeper. Granted, it wouldn't go well with the PG environment, but I don't like the PG thing anyway, so I don't care.

2. Who would I put as the ultimate stable?
I'd pick a player from every division. I'd go with Ink Inc. from the Tag Team, Winter from the Knockouts, Daniels from the TV Championship, Jeff Hardy from the World Title, and I'd simply leave out the Knockouts Tag Titles altogether. I like the look of a darker, edgier stable group than Immortal or MEM or anything short of Father James Mitchell's New Church faction from yesteryear TNA.

That's all I gots for this time, but I do want to hear some ideas. Toss in one or two.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bound For Glory.....

I am in a state of euphoria right now. First things first...the Bound For Glory series is a great concept that I hope goes a long way to give TNA a huge edge. Crimson, a guy I've been rooting for for a long time, seems finally able to shine and throw down some pretty impressive victories. Though it remains to be seen if TNA management believe him to be ready to take the reins as the new face of TNA, I think he has the tools and is improving by the week.

While Crimson has taken off, talents like Matt Morgan haven't been showcased as much, but I believe that will change in the up and coming weeks. Fact is, with a full month and some change until BFG, I can't help thinking a couple of stakes hikes will be upon us. Maybe a chance for a couple of the underdog performers to get back into the game. Call it 'double or nothing' or something like that. That'd make things a bit interesting in the final two or three weeks.

I do have another thought, TNA has just re-signed Kid Kash. I get the sneaking feeling that at least 3 more X Division talents are coming to mix things up. Even though the contract stipulation made no mention of others being offered contracts, I believe Low Ki and Jack Evans will be back. The one man people are still in knots over right now is Petey Williams. "The Canadian Destroyer" has been gone since 2009, but the memory of his finisher lives on in infamy. Will his return be imminent? My best guess is definitely, the question is when?

One last note worthy of mention is that America's Most Wanted has yet to reform, even though Chris Harris is lingering around the backrooms of the Impact Zone. Keep a watchful eye out as AMW may very well be reuniting as Robert Roode's injury may keep him from defending the Tag Titles in the coming weeks. I would predict him going to Harris and asking him to take his place, putting AMW back together himself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

...And Again.....

I read other people's's true. I like reading what people have to say about the TNA product first, but I also like taking a gander at what people are talking about in other feds as well. While a great deal of the stuff about TNA up until recently was the ''same 'ol same 'ol'', I've been reading some things that have made me proud to be a spokesman of sorts for TNA.

From a piece in Contrarian's Corner titled "In Case You Haven't Noticed"...

In case you haven't noticed, "Wrestling Matters" to TNA. And while we snickered and sneered at the pronouncement they have done everything they can the past several weeks to prove they mean it. The ratings suggest TNA is languishing in near obscurity, but if the jaded wrestling fans start to pay attention, they would see a company providing us the kind of entertainment we've been clamoring for.

Or how about this one from a blog called (I apologize in advance for the title) The PEN15 Mightier titled "TNA>WWE"

Another aspect of Impact I’m enjoying is how well showcased everyone is on the show. This isn’t about how well booked the wrestlers are, but how well established they are. Unlike the standard WWE fashion of overbooking their main eventers on a weekly basis, TNA will use short backstage segments to keep guys relevant. Wrestlers who aren’t in a match can have a quick appearance on the show to ensure they aren’t forgotten. This is an incredible tool. It doesn’t take long for someone to lose their heat in wrestling. As much as I’m not a fan of Drew McIntyre, in no way should he be off Raw as often as he is. He doesn’t need to wrestle every week, but having an appearance here and there will help keep him in the conscious of the fans. Impact Wrestling does a great job with this. Not perfect, but much better than WWE seems to do. 

It seems that people are beginning to say things that aren't just fluff. It's nice to see people finally starting to take TNA seriously again. I'll be the first to admit that the beginnings of the Bishoff/Hogan regime's tenure were rough at best, but now that the smoke has cleared, I think TNA is all the better for it. 

I am also glad that TNA has been remembering the stuff that brought them into people's homes to begin with. Household names, the X Division, and the Knockouts all brought into a complete blend of talent with everything to offer. Things seem to be on track now and all that is left to do is hang on tight, we're in for a wild ride.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Before I go into what may turn out to be a somewhat longer column, I would like to comment on the climate of wrestling. With little news happening up until the past 48 hours, it has been difficult to maintain a daily column, but after much collaborating with friends and discussion with colleagues alike, I do believe an every other day format COULD work out just fine, so that's what I'm planning with a possible bonus column if time allows. And so...thus begins a new chapter in this blog.

CM Punk's contract officially runs out after the Money in the Bank PPV. After a bunch of deliberation from both sides, an agreement was made to extend from the initial June 17th end date until after this month's PPV. WWE is prepared to dump out buckets of money because they understand the problem I have mentioned on many occasions. WWE NEEDS STAR POWER. They need a multitude of familiar faces.

I do hope for a twist in the storytelling by WWE creative as the John Cena/ Punk story is the best thing happening there. For my money, I would have a contract signing next week on RAW tonight and have Punk sign the contract with a scuffle or something just so there aren't any surprises. Advertise that the RAW GM will FINALLY be revealed at the next PPV. You're sure to get some viewers for that one.

The night of the PPV, let Punk win the belt from Cena. In a twist, allow the GM sound to ring out. Then, bring an error signal across the screen with a reboot countdown. Once the graphic reaches the 100% mark, Triple H's music hits and he comes out, dressed in a full suit. He hits the ring and tells the crowd, who are obviously a bit surprised that he is the GM. He then tells Punk that he thinks he's pulled a fast one, but what he didn't read was the fine print. That the contract stipulates that IF Punk won the belt, his contract renews for another 3 years or whatever time span they choose. From then until Wrestlemania, taking liberal pages from the Stone Cold Steve Austin playbook and perhaps even being aided by Austin on occasion, he spends his time trying to get himself fired or released from his contract. THAT is how CM Punk could single-handedly save WWE.

NOW....on to TNA.
I fully expected some new acquisitions for TNA in the recent past, but I couldn't have asked for a better addition than Austin Aries. He was a welcome return, but also returning was Shark Boy, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and the introductions of some brand new talents; Jack Evans, Zema Ion and Mark Haskins. TNA has needed to bring up some new faces to integrate into the fold and mix with their current crop of talent. Without a doubt, the Destination X PPV did EXACTLY what it set out to do...provide some more exposure for the X Division to shine. It was refreshing to see. It was also nice to see Daniels and Styles headlining the event.

I fully expect to see some changes in the up and coming storylines, most of which will put TNA into a brand new that is far superior to before the regime came in. It may have taken a bit longer than some of us old school fans of the product, but it seems that we're over the hump.