Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Worth The Wait....

Apologies for no posts, but with little news happening at the moment and a full schedule in the recent past; the two don't very well go together. HOWEVER, as quite often is the case, I hope you'll find this post worth the wait.

Somebody try to tell me that this doesn't look like an amazing set. It's really starting to look like the mark of a headliner professional wrestling company. SO......in the next couple of sentences, I'm gonna spoil some of the surprise, but I do hope you'll forgive that as I also want to toss in a bit of a prediction as well.

In next week's Impact, Foley gets the boot by the Network, which begs the question...who will confront and stand against Immortal? I smell a return from a top star who has been missing for a few weeks. In fact, I smell a few comebacks in the course of the coming weeks, but I've already speculated about a couple in my last column. I'd put my money on a few more X Division former champs as well as the Enigma Himself in the coming weeks.

I AM curious, though....who do YOU want to see in TNA by year's end? Drop a post and let me know who and toss in a why as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Looking Glass.....

In the course of the next few months, changes are most definitely in store. While not all of these changes will be noticeable to the naked eye, I'm under the impression fans of this brand will be sure to be surprised. To that tune, I'd like to make a few predictions if I may so bold.

Prediction 1.) TNA will be looking to put together a broadcast package to include it's Xplosion show to the Spike network's schedule. That will mean another televised show, something like Velocity or Sunday Night Heat were....another show, albeit an hour long to both introduce fans to new performers, but also to futher larger storylines.

Prediction 2.) TNA will pick up at least 6 more talents to round out their roster. My guess is 3 to put into the top tier to bring up their homegrown talents whether that be in the Tag Team Category or X Division or even the World Title, 1 more Knockout, and a Wild Card to shock the masses. 

Prediction 3.) TNA will drop the Knockouts Tag Titles. This has been needed for quite some time, but I hope they do this sooner than later. There simply are not enough Knockouts to make battling for the belts meaningful. It may have been a nice idea from the beginning with Daffney, Hamada, Kong, Alissa Flash, and Taylor Wilde on the roster to make enough tag teams, it certainly is NOT the case now.

To put a bit of emphasis on the news of CM Punk, I hope he does make a return to TNA. For those of you who didn't know, he was here once already. Granted, his stay was brief, but it would be interesting to see what he might be able to bring to the table. I think he's a very entertaining talent both to watch in the ring AND to listen to on the mic. He plays a heel very well and is able to generate some genuine heat from fans, which is a sign of that X Factor it takes in order to get to that top tier and stay there. I'm sure the writers with TNA would have a field day just finding ways to incorporate his talents with the current crop already on the roster.
Feuds with Angle, Anderson, RVD, and a renewed battle with Jeff Hardy all come to mind on the surface, but an X Division feud with Samoa Joe could make them both step forward in the eyes of TNA bookers across the board. Think about it....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hogan's Heroes and the Land of Opportunity....

I keep hearing a lot of hate on Hogan, Bischoff, Russo, and with all this negative feedback, I feel almost compelled to speak up. Did Hogan's regime put TNA back a ways at the beginning? Absolutely. Have things turned around? In my own humble opinion, absolutely; in fact, they have taken this thing to a higher high. In earlier columns, I have talked about the house show numbers and part of that HAS to come from fresh faces and more recognizable ones as well. Had Hogan not come aboard, RVD wouldn't have and others who were on his tour just before he made the jump himself.

 Bringing Bischoff in was GENIUS. I don't like to quote from WWE source material, but if you go through and watch the Rise and Fall of WCW, you'll find that there isn't a person who is close to this business who doesn't have at least a working respect for Bischoff. His wrestling knowledge and understanding of how the business element of things works gained him notoriety.

I am of the belief that this regime understands how bringing up the undercard to fill the top ranks must occur in order to make the roster a better money maker. WWE let go a LOT of older wrestlers; wrestlers who could have been utilized to make the younger stars famous. Guys like Zack Ryder, who has a ton of talent, but has had to go it alone, for the most part, to get his character over might have made it into the top tiers earlier had he been in a program with a seasoned veteran. A lot of guys could have used that kind of rub to pull them up. With so few veterans left, the WWE staff is scratching their heads as to how to make the guys famous. How can a guy become famous if he hasn't faced an opponent worth bragging about? How many guys can say 'I beat HHH' or 'I challenged Kurt Angle for the title' or 'I took the Undertaker to the limit last month'? The number is getting fewer and fewer.

And THIS is TNA's strength....veterans in respectable numbers and young pups in training challenging for the right to carry a mantle. I understand I got a bit off topic, but you guys need to understand that Hogan and his team of writers and bookers and such are getting these things right more and more with each passing month.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Across the Boards.....

So today I was thinking about all the things TNA has coming....the name change is coming to completion as the Twitter page name has gone to http://www.twitter.com/impactwrestling and the youtube account has followed suit. Who knows how long TNA has left before a potential Impact Wrestling Federation has taken over? This is an exciting time to be a fan as TNA is about  to truly takeoff.


Moving on with life, I thought I would cry laughing when I found out that Kong, who WWE is now calling Kharma is pregnant. How ironic is that? Kong did some amazing work in TNA and it was unfortunate that a select few in the management handled the situation so poorly. I would chalk it up to a rookie mistake on the part of new management. Either way, this was too funny to ignore. "Congratulations" to Kong, "I'm sorry" to the ones she's now working for.

I've heard questions about Jeff Hardy and answers as well. A lot of love for the Enigma and there are high hopes he may be back as soon as the upcoming PPV, but only he can say for sure whether he's 100% or not. I know my thoughts and prayers are that he'll be able to rejoin the cast of talents here to build this new entity up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here's How it's Done.....

Today I'm speaking strictly business. If TNA wants to get ahead of WWE, now is the time. Cancel Thursday's show and go live. You can always return to the current feuds, already in progress next week. Do a tribute show complete with interviews and featuring some dream matches. Drop the characters for a week and do Beer Money vs. Generation ME or the Machine Guns once more or even AMW vs. The Hardys for a night. Throw out the rulebook and put the Dudleys back together vs. the Hardys and toss in Beer Money and the Machine Guns.

Sting vs. Nash would be a throwback, with Hogan coming out and turning on Nash with a leg drop and saluting Randy would be monumental; a testament to one of the most historical events in current wrestling history. How about that? I'm booking the card as I'm speaking. All I'm saying is that there is something missing with Randy's tribute. He became a man without a country, so to speak, in the latter years and it seems like it's only right for someone speak on his behalf; to claim a man who has done so much for all of us who are a part of the business.

When Eddie passed (God bless you, man), WWE featured HBK vs. Rey Mysterio for the one and only time. There were interviews and some great matches that included the 10 bell salute to kick it all off. It's still a tough show to watch even though some time has passed.

A true tribute would seal what this organization is trying to say to people, because "Wrestling Matters" here. I don't think I'm being too emotional about this because Savage is a legend and his legacy DESERVES to be honored. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Business as Usual.....

I mean no disrespect to the late Eddie Guerrero, who received 2 entire episodes of WWE television time, or Chris Benoit, who was given 1 before details came out about the death of his family, but a 3 second graphic and business as usual made me turn off RAW this week. I have no idea if there was mention of Randy Savage during the show or if he got a 10 bell salute, but I, for one, am finished for good with Vince McMahon and his acronym without meaning. An organization gone away from the days of the World Wrestling Federation, whose glory days are long over. WWE stands for nothing anymore, not even World Wrestling Entertainment...and this was the proof. I would have even settled for a return from J.R. making a mention as the show came on the air as he called more matches of Savage's than anyone else on WWE's payroll save for perhaps Vince himself, but since he couldn't be bothered to show up at the beginning either, I digress.

I'm disappointed in the WWE Universe for turning their backs on a man who helped pioneer some of the older performers left on the payroll. You had your chance to make good and honor a legend, but, like most of your current programming and booking, you let it slip away. Here's Eddie's 10 bell salute....take notes, Vince......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLp0yuiZ2vE

From Behind the Curtain.....

I just watched some footage from DDP just this morning and it got me choked up. It's always nice to hear the stories from behind the curtain, the 'where's' and the 'why's' and such behind the storylines we all enjoy watching on the small screen each week. It was awesome to hear and see him tell stories in honor of the legend we just lost this last week. I never heard most of what he said before this morning and it was really moving. With a 10 bell salute to end the vid, it really drove home that the one and only "Macho Man" is truly gone forever. You will be missed.....thanks for putting it out there for us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wmvpNIMK3c

These are the kinds of things I miss from wrestling shows....shows like WWE Confidential and such that had interviews and all kinds of backstage stories and things that give you some insights as to how things work and who does what and how everything goes together. That's the meat and potatoes of this business; giving the fans something to chew on and think about. Some may argue that it takes away some of the mysticism and intrigue of the sport, but I disagree. I would say that it intensifies the desire to do something new. Hearing how things have been done before and tweaking them to find a new spin on a classic story, that's how it's all done.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If We Demand It....TNA Will Deliver...PERIOD.

When I wrote a columns back that TNA needs to bring back the 6 Sided ring, never in my wildest dreams could I have brought myself to where I sit right now....with a sigh of pleasant surprise.

Destination X: The showcase of some of the greatest aerialists and acrobatic talents the world over....and right back in their playground. I love it.

In other news, former Heavyweight Champ, Bill Goldberg met with Eric Bischoff this weekend, possibly discussing potential signing? In another column, I wrote him as a moderate possible candidate for a debut in TNA.

I am anxious to see what RAW has in store for once. Fact is, for someone who has so much for the business these past 30 years, it seems fitting for RAW to pay full on 2 hour tribute to Randy Savage. Should they mess this up, you can bet there will be long nasty letters the world around.

Friday, May 20, 2011

R.I.P "Macho Man"......

"Macho Man" Randy Savage died today in his car after suffering a heart attack. His Jeep Wrangler swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed head long into a tree. His wife was in the vehicle and is in stable condition.

Representatives from both WWE and TNA have issued statements wishing condolences to the entire family of the wrestling great. Savage made appearances in WWF in the 80's-90's as most know. What some do not know is that he also appeared at the 2004 Turning Point and Victory Road PPV's for TNA and teaming with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy against Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall for one of those appearances.

This column is intended to be short this day; a sad day in the history of the sport...a legend has passed. Thank you, Randy Savage, for putting yourself out there on the stage those many years and giving us fans a colorful character to place our hopes in. Your legacy will not be forgotten.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Vince, Why?

Allow me to set the scene for a moment...I realize some might not quite understand why I would be mentioning Vince McMahon in a TNA column, but trust me, you will understand shortly. The Monday Night War was over by a couple of years and things are going well. Things start to get a bit sticky with certain talents not getting over with fans and making attempts to keep to a budget, we now have what myself and other wrestling columnists call "The Future Endeavors Club".

My question to Vince is WHY? Why hire talents without a plan to get said talents over? Vince and his minions hire their Divas from Playboy and sunblock model competitions rather than from the independent wrestling scene. They scout the indies a bit for their male talents, but when it comes to bringing them onto the stage, they can only do one of two things....they play a hype card and then let it fizzle, or they cram a superstar down our throats. 6 months after the push fails, Vince and his lackeys get to thinking. They need to unload some talent as the roster is too big thanks to hiring blunders and since this star isn't getting over, they need to go. We only want talents who will fill seats.

But it isn't only that.....some wrestlers are getting tired of the travel schedule and want/need some time to recoop. The problem is that once a star has taken down time, their push evaporates, save for those who are near the top of the card when they take the time (i.e. HHH, Undertaker, CM Punk, etc.).  The glass ceiling of WWE is very thick and reserved for those who've been allowed to break free of their verbal cues for the most part and are given the pushes they need to keep credibility.  Let's have a look at a few members of the Future Endeavors Club in years past.....

Kurt Angle (We know how that one panned out)
Mr. Anderson (We owe Randy Orton a debt for this one)
Mickie James (Our current Knockouts Champ)
Jeff Hardy
Matt Hardy
Christian (A worthy former Heavyweight Champ)
Gail Kim (The very first Knockouts Champ)
Matt Morgan (Just give him a little more time)

I would call Christian and Gail Kim WWE's worst financial decisions in the past few years. Let me explain.....Christian was put upon right from the start once he returned from TNA. He was expected to lead a 3rd rate show by being crowned it's champion, was drafted to the 2nd place show and finally, was only granted a 2 day long reign as a World Champion of their big belt. Gail's story was a bit different; she has yet to capture a championship since her return 2 years ago even though she won the Women's Championship in her first debut.

While certain wrestlers have succeeded in their repackaging (i.e. John Cena from the purple trunks to his rapper gimmick), while others have been sold out by the company that wasn't thinking about their future in the first place....but I suppose they do "wish them the best in all their future endeavors."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Much is Enough?

TNA has introduced another belt....the Xplosion Championship Belt. It's holder is entitled to a match against any champion on the TNA roster. While it's less bulky and has a nice premise, I feel almost compelled to ask...how many belts do we need? We have a World Title, a TV Title, Tag Titles, Knockout Tag Titles, Knockouts Title, an X Title, and now an Xplosion Title?

My problems with this belt begin with 2 questions....
1. How often will this belt be defended?
AND
2. Doesn't the existence of this belt make it a second rate belt at best?

TNA needs to streamline the championships into 4 belts at most. A Women's belt, a World Title, Tag Titles, and a specialty belt. THAT'S IT! NO MORE! The flooding of belts into the organization makes for titles that have less value. More is actually less in this case. There is not enough time in either a 2 hour program OR a 3 hour PPV to feature 6 belt defenses in addition to whatever feuds are not over a belt. PERIOD. I say cast off the Knockouts Tag Titles and make this Xplosion Title a 2 times-per-year title. The holder has 6 months to vacate the title by making a challenge. Money in the Bank? Kinda, but I like the belt more than a briefcase anyway.

On a more upbeat note, albeit a bit of a spoiler....Abyss holding the X Title does lend itself well to the old X Division motto..."It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits." I do wish this development a bit of luck and a great deal of street credibility to the title. The X Title is worth it considering the caliber champions who have held it. Ron "The Truth" Killings, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, and Jerry Lynn, among others have held this title, giving it a long lineage of great performers worthy of capturing this gold.

Impact Begins.....

Once the words "Impact Wrestling" were said, I was immediately curious as to what that might mean to the roster, to the writers, and to the fans. When I saw this photo, I was taken aback. I like the new logo and I'm almost willing to let TNA go. Writers, bosses, this looks good, even high class, but it's missing 2 sides. I miss the 6 sided ring and I would be willing to let it go forever provided TNA management would use it in a story to illustrate a point. The only reason I was ever upset is that they never told us it would be going away, instead it was around for an episode and was replaced for Genesis.

So it's time to move on....fine.

I've got a top three list of Impact themes that would be amazing to go with this revamping of the current product.

Red- Wasting Time
Decyfer Down- Fight Like This
Disciple- Game On

I've said quite a bit about a great number of topics thusfar in these columns. Now I'm curious what you think, hit me with what you think of the changes. Like em? Hate em? Indifferent?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Aftermath and Replays.....

So Sacrifice is over and even though the victors of this PPV were the fans who were able to see a quality card played out, I was impressed at TNA's wonderful use of history between roster members. Chyna and Jeff Jarrett's history is storied with the Intercontinental Championship in WWF and ending with a Pedigree (HHH would be a little bit upset); Chris Harris and James Storm's history as a member of America's Most Wanted with the Death Sentence finisher; and Crimson's use of a sit-down powerbomb in a revenge match that was a long time coming...I was impressed.

As for replays....if you want the chance to catch Sacrifice and any other PPV the day after they happen, check this site out.

http://www.justin.tv

It's not only PPV's either, it's live presentation of IMPACT WRESTLING and that other company too. I hear Dora the Explorer is the RAW General Manager....but no one can confirm or deny that rumor.

Now that we already know the main event of Slammaversary, it might be a good time to talk about a historical fact.....TNA has a history of debuting new acquisitions at Slammaversary, Bound for Glory, Genesis, and Final Resolution. Might there be a new acquisition? Maybe the return of a fallen hero? I'm cautiously optimistic about what this next card will shape up looking like, you can bet someone won't be happy with what they leave with.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Expansion.....

Before I begin, let me apologize for no updates until now. This host site was down for maintenance and as a result, I was locked out. BUT, now I'm back and this is news.

WWE live show attendance....
May 6 in Dothan, Alabama- 2500 fans
May 7th in Macon Georgia 4400 fans
May 7th in Pensacola, Florida 3500 fans
May 8th in Greenville, South Carolina- 5500 fans
May 8th in Tupelo, Missippi- 3600 fans
May 10th in Highland Heights, Kentucky 2000 fans

TNA live show attendance.....
My 5th in Joplin, Missouri 3000 fans
May 6th in Fort Smith, Arkansas 690 fans
May 7th in Hot Springs, Arkansas 700 fans

These are figures over the course of the last week's worth of touring for both of the most powerful feds in professional wrestling. My point? I'm glad you asked. Since TNA has been more active in their touring schedule, TNA's attendance has actually gone up for live shows, particularly in larger towns and cities. The Joplin, Missouri figure shows 3000 fans. For TNA, this means good things are coming. In an earlier column I suggested that larger towns are the ticket to growing the fanbase beyond their original borders. Here's the proof.

Joplin, Missouri brings fans from Springfield, and up from Oklahoma and Arkansas being so close to the borders. It was a smart move. Likewise, putting a show like that into larger towns in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin can only be beneficial for the expansion. 

Good friends of mine who have attended some of the live shows gloat about how close they were able to get to the performers and how much a part of the action they are. This separates TNA from WWE in that the company is more into fan interaction. 

For those curious, the ratings spiked for Chyna, Mick Foley, and the return of Chris Harris. While I wasn't as keen on so much talk before Harris finally coming out, it did put over the "OH CRAP!" moment pretty well. Well done to Harris and Storm for the stare down. Chyna looked better than I expected. Much more toned down from her WWE persona, but still every bit as menacing. I would like to personally thank Mick Foley for perfectly building her reveal.

I do have one more thing to say in closing. The critics gave TNA a year when they began as a countdown to bankruptcy. Then the countdown was set at 2 years, then 5, and now that TNA is getting bigger, the critics have gotten bitter that their predicted dates have come and gone.  The TNA Nation isn't going anywhere....in fact, we're only adding to the masses.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who's Next?

We've explored the re-emergence of Chyna and the return of Chris Harris. Now, I'd like to speculate on who the next debuts will be for TNA and what it may mean for the rest of the roster.

Highly likely.....

- Serena Deebs- She's been given a tryout and, from the exposure she's already had in WWE, it seems more likely than not that she'll be on the horizon.

- Lita- If rumors are true and Matt Hardy is successful in having the brass in TNA get a hold of her, it also seems more possible with both Hardys on the roster that she'll make the jump. Plus, having Chyna on the roster means another Wrestlemania match up on different battle ground.

Moderately Likely......

- Petey Williams- I've been wanting to see "The Canadian Destroyer" for quite some time now and, with TNA wanting to spend more time and energy on the  Division, they may just look to him to make a return, even if only for a limited engagement. Selfishly, though, I'd like to see him come back to stay.

- Haas and Benjamin- Ring of Honor may have put them under contract, but Kurt Angle is in the business of pulling strings to get them on board and back on TV with TNA. If Dixie and those in high places choose to give Angle his wish, The World's Greatest Tag Team would only add to an already exceptional cast of tag team contenders.

- Bill Goldberg- He's feeling the itch. He's been meeting with WWE, but I don't doubt that once his bridges have been exhausted there, he'll make some kind of attempts to try and get on board with TNA. The questions looming is whether of not TNA will be able to either afford his high price tag or the demands he has in tow.

Not Likely.....

- Homicide/ Salinas/ Konnan- The former LAX teammates of Hernandez were each released for different reasons, but it was made clear that at least two of the three would probably not make any returns to TV; Konnan and Homicide. While Salinas had a shorter stint with LAX, it seemed as though she was a financial buren as they had nothing for her to do but it there and look pretty. With Christy Hemme and SoCal Val, it just seemed as though they had enough eye candy who did nothing in ring. I do hope they bring her back, but I won't hold my breath.

So Much Potential......

Up to this point, I have been a device of reporting news and partial analysis, but if you'll allow me to throw out something new this time. I'd like to spend a bit of time in this column asking a simple question....why not use THEM? Now by THEM I don't mean the storylines that involve a mysterious someone set to reveal in the coming weeks. Instead, I would like to suggest that TNA might think of putting a few characters to good use. Here are my top 5 in no particular order...

1. Samoa Joe.....this guy has been a fan favorite since he came it from the independent scene. He went undefeated for over 6 months and had arguably the greatest match in TNA history back in 2005 at the Unbreakable PPV. The brass seem to have given up on Joe, putting him into one meaningless feud after another, trapping him in the midcard, when he is capable of headlining.

2. Daniels.....his story is much like Joe's, but with a twist. His return was like an appeal to TNA's core fanbase, the ones who've been there from the beginning. I still don't understand why TNA doesn't give him the keys to the city the way they did to Joe upon his arrival. 

3. Pope D'Angelo Dinero......this guy can't seem to catch a break. Seriously, he's a genius on the microphone, can work a match like a veteran and adjust on the fly to whomever he's put up against. In my opinion, he is one of the biggest wastes of potential. TNA has been foolish in not using him to his utmost.

4. Crimson.....here is perhaps my biggest disappointment of this year. His debut was brilliant, his violent Janice scorn Abyss attack made people take notice and then they let it fizzle out. If it had been me, I would have pushed this guy to the moon because it would have made sense.

5. Eric Young.....hear me out. He was  the comedy relief for years in TNA and then he snapped and fought a short battle with Jeff Jarrett, which I thought would end his career, but in a strange twist of events, he became a more determined competitor and even led his own faction with the World Elite stable. He played the part of a calculated leader like the role was in him the whole time and no one knew. I still can't, for the life of me, understand why TNA would let that kind of talent get stagnate.

In my humble opinion, TNA has a billion dollar roster, but are only investing five hundred thousand against the house in a rigged game where they are the only victors. Do your research, bosses, and look at the crowds. You know that if I'm asking these questions, a fair portion of the rest of the fans are too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pure Uncertainties.....

In a live event recently, Ken Anderson took his mic and began his introduction with "MISTEERRRRRR..." and when a fan responded "KENNEDY", Anderson stopped him and replied via microphone. "Kennedy died a long time ago in a train wreck, one that you can now watch every Monday night on USA." Mr. Anderson, you are the boss, man.

So Christian's held the title for 2 days and lost every time since, losing the title as well. Here's my take on WWE politics: Their glass ceiling is so thick and reaches so far, if Edge hadn't retired, I truly believe Christian would never have held the title. Where TNA was smart was that they put the strap on him and cut his restricting strings and let him go. In my humble opinion, Christian is a class act whether a face or a heel and should be spotlighted....period. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see "Captain Charisma" resurface in the land of opportunity, TNA.

Kurt Angle is training for the Olympics. Seriously. While it hasn't been revealed which wrestling event, in any, he's training for, I for one, wish him luck in this pursuit.

Lastly on my topics list is Shane Helms, who went under the "Hurricane" persona was in a serious motorcycle accident last week. Velvet Sky, who had been in a relationship with Helms, has launched a Twitter account and has launched a campaign to raise funds to help cover Helms' hospital expenses. Sky is a golden find. Her and Dawn Marie, who a number of years ago, after being released from WWE upon learning of her pregnancy, also launched a fundraising campaign; a campaign to help support injured wrestlers who have taken the blunt end of the deal from feds who refuse to aid in giving their performers the medical care they need.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

TNA is America's Most Wanted.....

The current plan on the books is for one of the greatest tag teams in TNA history to reform. As reported earlier, "Wildcat" Chris Harris has returned to TNA after nearly 4 years away to challenge with Matt Hardy for the Tag Team Titles at Sacrifice. What is new about this is that America's Most Wanted with BOTH original members is set to reunite with Robert Roode being moved back into singles' action.

Personally, I loved AMW from the beginning. Smooth tags and a solid ring presence  combined with a very original finisher, the Death Sentence, took AMW to 6 NWA Tag Team Title reigns. It's only a matter of time before another reign looms on the horizon.

The tag team possibilities are virtually endless. The Hardy Boyz vs. AMW is TNA's premier dream tag match, but putting the titles on the line in the main event would be guaranteed money in the bank (no pun intended).  Speaking of dream matches, why not a Team 3D/ Hardys/ AMW gimmick match? We're talking about some major money matches in the cards; it's all a matter of whether TNA's creative team is ready, willing, or able to put together the story to bring the match of the year together. Here's hoping....

Friday, May 6, 2011

TNA No More......

An update on the status of the TNA name. It appears that TNA will be dissolved in favor of IMPACT Wrestling over the course of the rest of the year. Now, the logo appearing on the brand has yet to be released, but it can be assumed that there will be an unveiling of the new logo of the freshly rebranded product. For now, however, the TNA will be dropped simply from the show and phased out gradually elsewhere in terms of merchandise and the like.

With this turn on the horizon and Destination X in the near future, it can be assumed that the X Division's former champions who have since left the company, will be making bold and promising returns. Champions like the "Canadian Destroyer" Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, and even Senshi may turn up for the PPV. As reported earlier, AJ Styles, Daniels, and Joe are planned to return to the division for a one time gig.

Pictures of Chyna as she looks on next week's Impact broadcast can be seen here:
http://www.ringsidenews.com/carrierlp/photo/photos-of-chyna-on-tna-impact-which-airs-next-week/

Not a bad picture on the stage of TNA.....sorry...Impact. Here's hoping the rust hasn't gotten the best of her.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And Now to the Drawing Board......

So now we have Chyna for the first time and Chris Harris back in the fold, the natural question is "now what?" Once the Chyna/Angle vs. Jarretts story has run it's course, where does that leave the former Women's champ? The simple answer is that it depends on rust. Just like anyone else who has been away from the squared circle for any extended period of time, ring rust inevitably has set in. Her wild and crazy life has put her into a place where she's not in the shape she left WWE in. Time, substance, and fame have, at least partially, robbed her of some of the stuff legends are made of. Nevertheless, she is of great value to the TNA Knockouts Division as she brings presence that could prove to be the difference maker as WWE usually squanders their former TNA talent and Awesome Kong is one of the best they could have asked for to breathe some life into their dismal Diva's Division.

Chris Harris brings a long history with TNA to the table and a rivalry with his former partner for seeing him to the door in the first place. "The Wildcat", who went by Braden Walker with WWE, was released a couple of years ago after doing very little in his stint with the now defunct ECW brand. TNA was VERY wise indeed for snapping him back up as he still has a number of years left and a new territory left to explore. There couldn't have been a better choice to match Matt Hardy with as both are sound grapplers as well as brawlers. The historical connection is an X factor to watch for as time mentors the prodigal. I pray TNA creative gives him some screen time and leeway to gain the favor of the newer audience.

IMPACT WRESTLING.....truth be told, I kinda like the sound of it. While the sound is appealing, I very much hope they don't plan on scrapping the TNA name. Rebranding could be what this little company that could needs, but this is neither the time nor the place. The TNA name is a recognizable one and it's served them well over the course of their short history. If it were me, I would say get a few more years under the belt and work this rebranding in over the course of those years. WWE's "Get the 'F' Out" campaign worked so well because the audience could get behind the change. The title of the campaign was very much Attitude Era terminology and most of the fanbase had seen the era in its entirety.

With this change, I am curious and hopeful that return to the 6 sided ring, even if it's just as a special gimmick or a target piece to a storyline would do well to communicate the fact that they are truly loyal to the fans and a great deal of the fanbase of TNA miss that staple being around. The nostalgia factor is a factor not to be underestimated. Even the mention that there might be a return to this ring would be enough to bring a few fans back just to see what's up. Once that's done, just keep them coming back. Mr. Bischoff, Hogan, Dixie, I know you can do that. I've seen you guys do some magical stuff and this would be a story worth telling.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Consider Yourself Spoiled......

In a week FILLED to the brim with twists, TNA has made some HUGE changes. In the coming days, we'll look at some of those changes closer, but for now, I will touch on them briefly. Trust me...there are a couple of changes you didn't see coming. One more thing, if you're not the kind of person who reads spoilers....consult with this blog in a couple of days and catch up on what you missed.

1. In a bizarre twist of events, Joanie "CHYNA" Laurer is being revealed as Kurt Angle's mistress. It had been reported that Isis the Amazon had been offered the part, but at the last minute, it was switched and Laurer was signed.

2. TNA has finally decided to put some backing behind Mr. Anderson as he will become the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title in a televised 25 man battle royal. Sting and RVD will still take place, but Anderson will be next in line after Sacrifice.

3. Beer Money was still waiting for opponents for Sacrifice when Matt Hardy debuted another shocker; not in his challenging for the title, but in his choice of partner. Former AMW teammate "Wildcat" Chris Harris returned to TNA and will be teaming with Hardy for the Tag Team Titles. If all this excitement wasn't enough.......

4. TNA iMPACT, as announced by the head of the "Network", who was revealed as Mick Foley, will simply called IMPACT WRESTLING. There is no word yet as to whether or not the letters "TNA" will be dropped totally or if it's simply in reference to the title of the show. TNA had trademarked the name in weeks past and it was speculated there would be some changes like this made, but bringing Foley back to television would be a welcome way to make the announcement.

I'm telling you, one day away from the world of wrestling has warned me to be wary of breaks as I might miss something important. For all the rest of you out there reading this, thanks for reading....you may now consider yourself spoiled.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bringing Back the Power......

The current plan in TNA is that the X Division will be given the spotlight for the upcoming Destination X PPV. Additionally, TNA is planning on bringing back former stars to compete for the event. That being said, it's possible we may once again see Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, and other TNA grown talent mix it up with one night returns from Daniels, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe to the long awaited limelight for the often overlooked division.

FINALLY TNA is seeing some value in a longtime fan favorite division. In my humble opinion, this is what the doctor ordered to give rise to an even higher level.

On a related note, the current AJ/ Bully Ray feud may end in an Elevation X match, which debuted at Destination X between AJ and another former ECW alum, Rhino in 2007. I, personally, have high hopes for this feud as it is coming at a good time to swing AJ back into a title chase once again and Ray is a good figure to usher that chase in. With the Ray/Anderson/Sting match in the history books already, the story seems to write itself.

I would like to take an opportunity to give a HUGE shout out to the NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion.....Christian.  From the first time he won the NWA-TNA Heavyweight Title and solidified himself as a proven top tier contender, I knew it could happen. Fact is, it should have happened earlier, but WWE isn't noted for giving the deserving the best they can ask for in the time span that the fans ask for it. Congratulations, CHAMP!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Slammaversary's Enigma......

The brass at TNA have released the synopsis and promotional poster for Slammaversary IX. Two things strike me as odd on the poster itself. First, the litany of stars to appear stands without one of TNA's cornerstones....Jeff Hardy. Secondly, two non-title contenders are on the poster that don't seem to fit....Douglas Williams and Samoa Joe.  It's been carefully guarded as to when the Charismatic Enigma will re-emerge and wreak havoc once more.

While it's still too early to truly know for sure what TNA's course of action will be for either Hardy brother, it's been speculated that Jeff will be returning to television in the very near future. Additionally, there's been talk of turning the daredevil face upon his return.  Under the current state of events, it does make Jeff's opponent for the upcoming PPV a bit hazy. Guaranteed, he'll be in the top tier as TNA truly wants to keep one of their lead stars as close to the title scene as possible, even if it means bringing in another opponent to the top tier to compete for the number one contender's slot.

I have been hard on Jeff in some of my columns on other fan sites, but to be completely transparent, no one outside of Jeff and those in close quarters with him knows what's become of the Enigma many are counting down the seconds to see. That being said, I very much wish him the best in his journey back to the squared circle.