Saturday, June 30, 2012

What Saves Robbie?

I've said it twice so far. Robbie E. doesn't deserve his spot in the Bound for Glory Series. Okay, that makes three. My point is, it's important to not only understand why AND what would make him more deserving. To make my case, I would like to begin with the title he's held.

In recent years, the TV Title has lost more credibility than the WWE Diva's Division and his reign has truly only been against one opponent. In fact, Devon has been the biggest star he's feuded with so far. Not a good sign. As far as I'm concerned, the fault of this lies every bit as much with TNA creative as it does with his character that he has yet to capitalize on. He has a body guard....fine. He's got a character steeped in popular culture....fine. But he isn't compelling to me as a contender just yet. Why?

He's predictable. Yeah.....I can guess his next move before he comes out the curtain. He also isn't a true threat to anyone's championship for that reason. Let's change that.....shall we? What would make him dangerous?

1. Take away his defender. Robbie T. needs to be given a different role. On solution is to turn him against his handler. Another is to do a simple break and have him be the target of someone NOT in a feud with Robbie E. Give them two different targets and you'll have break without it being official.

2. Coordinate. As a tandem, they lack some chemistry. They still have to look to see where the other is in relation to the ring. A good tandem doesn't need to do that. The New Age Outlaws, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudleys (Team 3D), America's Most Wanted, and a great many wonderful tag teams; they all had one thing in common: chemistry.

3. Intensity. Let him pick up a few tricks. Make him the leading man in the Sting beatdown. Does he have a good reason? If you know how to play the cards, he does. Sting is the defender of Hulk Hogan; he's the right hand man, as it were. Robbie is bitter that he's been given nothing but crumbs for the time he's been in TNA. He's decided it's time to pick up the pace for his shot at greatness. The problem is, Hogan can't be intimidated or bent to his will, at least not without some convincing. Sting is the answer to all of that. Take out Sting, you have ammunition. Think about it, it could all play out with Robbie E., Robbie T., and a new recruit...Chris Masters.

There are other ways to give a man like Robbie E. some chops and get him noticed, but these three DIFFERENT tactics could gain him a following. I must warn that picking the first option makes the other two useless, but by using the 2nd and 3rd option in concert would make him a star. How do you save Robbie E.? Change his outlook and the outlook of those watching.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Return of the Icon......

The three man beatdown of Sting a couple of weeks ago gives the Icon an opportunity to get some much needed rest. That being said, as the premium attraction of TNA, Sting's return is planned for Bound for Glory, the story ramp beginning to unfold either in the week before or the week after No Surrender, which will also include the final Bound for Glory Series Tournament that will determine the World Heavyweight Title challenger for the following month's PPV.

While the event is still fresh in the minds of the creative team, no word is being said as to whom TNA is planning on being the leading man behind the beatdown. Why? Because the story hasn't been written that far as of yet. I've made a few speculations as to who the leader of the band could be. Now whether or not others will fall victim to the same beatdown as Sting is entirely a mystery, but I can certainly hope so as to keep the storyline fresh in the minds of TNA fans as well. Keeping the mystery masked renegades as a pitfall of the Bound for Glory Series would make everything just a bit more interesting, much like a rogue Samoa Joe did last year when he put Matt Morgan and at least one more on the sidelines.

SO.....what could Sting's match at Bound for Glory consist of?

Last Man Standing?
First Blood?
Iron Man?
Street Fight?

And who could be his opponent?

Jeff Jarrett?
Chris Masters?
A Bound for Glory Series contender?

Speculations will continue to swirl even as the summer moves forward and Bound for Glory draws nearer. Which also brings another thought to mind.....Dixie Carter has just announced that this year's Bound for Glory will come to a city that TNA has never been in. Any guesses?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bound for Glory Series remixed Pt. 4....Daniels' Deal

I've been told that Daniels will never be anything more than an upper mid-card talent. I don't buy that for a single minute. He's got a working persona. He's one of the TNA originals who paved the X Division road as it were. Don't be fooled into thinking he's too small. He's one of the quickest and best workers TNA has on their entire roster.

Daniels can work a match against a performer of any size and make the match look like a classic. He can also sell offense like an insurance agent. You'll buy it because he's that kind of talent. His accolades are a very impressive read, to say the least as a multiple time X Division and Tag Team Champion with honors of pioneering Ultimate X. Daniels can cut a great promo and his best work took place as a front running member of the X Division a few years back. He can cut the promo of a champion and he can play both heel and face roles with the best in the business.

I believe Daniels in the Bound for Glory Series in name alone gives the tourney some teeth as a determined performer with the experience and knowledge to lead TNA into a new championship era to rival the "selfish generation". Do I think TNA has in them to pull the trigger and give him a run with the big belt? I'd like to think so. They gave Bobby Roode, who had been a man trying to shake the dust of Team Canada from his trunks for years, a shot. They gave the remaining partner from America's Most Wanted a shot (albeit a short shot). Why NOT Daniels?

Bound for Glory Series remixed Pt. 3.....Magnus Rising....

Ever since teaming with Samoa Joe, I've been very impressed with TNA's British big guy. He's a good performer. I like his look, and the chemistry between the two, he's been given a decent opportunity. To be blunt, even being put into the Bound for Glory Series is a big step up, as far as I'm concerned. So what does he bring to the table that the others on the card don't? I'm glad you asked.

First thing's first, he's already a former Tag Team Champion. That's a step in the right direction. He's got a pretty linear career, with his title run in the recent past and his entry in the tourney. Considering how early in the tourney we are, I see no reason why he couldn't gain some pretty respectable points in the coming weeks. He's as tough as one can ask for.

I'll grant that Magnus isn't very flashy on the microphone, but that has never stopped TNA from putting a person into contention for the big gold belt before. I love that he's a relatively new face for them to be getting behind even in the most basic way of putting him into the Bound for Glory Series. If there is a better time for TNA to debut Magnus as a front runner, I don't know when that would be. When TNA goes to the UK for their next year tour of Europe, it would be nice for one their own to be holding TNA's biggest prize.

While my position isn't without flaw, I believe TNA has it in them to build a few surprises into the Series. Few surprises would be quite as unexpected or welcome as seeing a newcomer into the main event level. Under those pretenses, Magnus seems about as unexpected as they come.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bound for Glory remix Pt. 2....Pope's Possibilities.....

He's a wonder when a microphone is put in his hand and he can put on a decent match to boot. Pope D'Angelo Dinero has been on the back burner for too long. His arrival in TNA just a couple short years ago was a welcome addition and it allowed the one time Elijah Burke of WW/ECW fame to break out and showcase a well honed craft.

Once his storyline feud with Devon had run its course, however, Dinero was left on the sidelines. I believe he has it in him to be a world champion. I believe he just needs for the powers that be to let him loose and allow him the freedom of character to make a decent storyline to catapult him into the main event.

I want Pope D'Angelo Dinero to succeed in this Bound for Glory Series because a brand new champion isn't one thing that comes around very often and I would daresay that it doesn't happen often enough in this business. TNA has been very good about creating stars out of their ranks and not relying fully on former WWE talents. Since he hadn't established a run in WWE, I count Dinero from the ranks of TNA before I consider him one of them.

Whatever the case, Dinero represents a dying art, the ability to transform script into ad lib and write story with his words. Few people are able to make a promo feel like it had been on his mind all day long and it took a microphone to bring it out. The Pope can. Who would I hope for as his opponent?Austin Aries. A microphone duel like that would be priceless, to be sure.

The Bound for Glory Series re-mix: Pt. 1

I have to admit, the prospect of adding James Storm to the Bound for Glory Series has me a bit confused, mostly because the plan ultimately is to reignite the Bobby Roode rivalry. In contrast from last year, however, Samoa Joe is actually in second place. Seriously, this makes the current year something interesting. I am legitimately curious if TNA has it in their plans to make things unpredictable by creating a new winner.

If I was a writer for TNA, I would pick somebody COMPLETELY out of the realm of normal. So who would my winner be? One of three choices......D'Angelo Dinero, Magnus, or Daniels. Why these three? Because none of them have ever held the World Title. Why not Bully Ray? Because I don't believe he needs to win the Bound for Glory Series in order to win the World Title. He simply is that talented as a heel and a performer. Why not Robbie E.? Because I don't believe he deserves his spot to begin with, at least not as of yet.

Over the course of the next few columns, I'd like to explore what each contender could bring to the table as a champion. For the time being, let's explore where each are in the standings.

Magnus and Pope each have 7 points and Daniels has 5. These standings are a far cry from the lead, but I would be absolutely surprised if TNA didn't have some plans to stagger those standings to make things a bit less predictable.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Right now there are 11 active Knockouts on the TNA roster. Of that number, 4 are swirling around the Knockouts Title at any given time. This, to me, means that there SHOULD be at least 3 teams fighting for the TNA Knockout Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, Eric Young has been out of action for two reasons. First, he has undergone reconstructive throat surgery. Go ahead and laugh. About a million jokes are to be found in that last statement. Second, Animal Planet has taken him on as the host of a show on their network, which, as it turns out, happens to tape on Thursdays.

TNA is of two minds on this. They want to have Young on the show, but they are also glad to have the added exposure on a new channel. I enjoy the humor he nearly always brings to the show as well, but it does seem that his role as co-holder of the Knockout Tag Team Titles has run its course. That being said, a storyline must exist to remove the belt from them that would put this division back into the realm of importance and into prominence.

Angelina Love/Madison Rayne

That is my solution to the current Knockouts Tag Team dilemma. I think that incorporation of every division would greatly improve the quality of the product. Dixie Carter announced the formation of at least one more, possibly two new TNA shows. This will allow far more time to showcase even this potentially profitable division.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Debuts.....Feminine Flashbacks

I've given my top 5 TNA debuts, but I never gave my top 5 Knockouts Debuts. That category is more specific as the Knockouts Division is still newer than the World Heavyweight Title scene. Just like before, there is some definite trivia to go along with my picks and there was certainly fanfare for each of my picks. no particular order.......

1. Tara......

In the weeks before her debut, she had made the decision to retire from wrestling as her television time had gone down faster than the Diva's Division's credibility. WWE had put her in a role to put over the typical models and Barbie dolls they have come to employ now. She was sick of the games. Hence her arrival.

2. Mickie James.......

Without using the same story, Mickie James was actually released in spring cleaning before her arrival in TNA last year. She was quite possibly the most shocking release WWE made that year. What can I say? Their loss has been our gain.

3. Gail Kim.......

Her first appearance in TNA gave the Knockouts Division undeniable credibility. Her becoming the first Knockouts Champion made her undisputed, having won the top title in BOTH top wrestling companies the world over.

4. Taylor Wilde......

When Taylor Wilde arrived in TNA, Awesome Kong had been in the middle of an undefeated streak and, in nearly Kurt Angle tactics, she broke the streak and made herself a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately for wrestling fans, Taylor made her impact and before the riggers cut her livelihood short, she retired to pursue further education and settling down.

5. Roxxi Laveaux......

Why her? Because she was TNA's hardcore Knockout. Sure Daffney was there, but Roxxi not only came first, but she was a TNA original Knockout. TNA should have given more credibility to the only woman to shave her head for the sake of a TNA storyline. It'd be nice to have her back.

Friday, June 22, 2012


For once, I have to say, I am filled to the brim with questions. It all mostly stems from the hard numbers of TNA's television ratings. There was a time when TNA was getting consistently between 1.10's and 1.20's , but in recent weeks, we've barely seen Impact march any higher than 1.05. What does all of this mean to the product? Is TNA actually failing to deliver? What do the people really want to see?

I have been scouring message boards and other online columns and I think I've come up with a few reasons as to why things are looking more rough and tumble in the ratings department. Why don't we have a look?

1. Family Matters......Brooke Hogan and Garett Bischoff have made TNA's top brass look like opportunistic, self serving maniacs who are looking to fatten their egos by putting family in high positions of power. I don't believe this is fully the case, but it does give off a definite air that direction, perhaps even without them fully seeing that.

2. Depushing the X Division.....Austin Aries isn't the only name on TNA's X Division roster. TNA had some genuine success with Doug Williams holding the belt for the division and he even added a personality to his own character to boot. Kid Kash would have been another name to keep the belt warm for a while, having been a strong X Division contender in earlier years of TNA.

3. Two Knockout Show.......Gail Kim and Mickie James were, quite bluntly, the most often used Knockouts on the entire show for the past few months. Even when Velvet Sky won the title at Bound for Glory of last year, her reign was put to an end by the returning Kim. Since that time, Mickie and Gail have dominated the spotlight until only recently, when Tess began her own reign.

4. The TV Title competition.....I can't tell you guys how tired I am of Robbie E. He seems to be the only guy who can lose over and over and over again and yet never lose his place in line for a chance at the title. How frustrating is it that TNA can't pull their roster together and make this belt look legitimate again. They had done such a good job by making it necessary to defend from week to week, but having the same guy every week makes for too little change.

5. Dangling Carrots.....Matt Morgan is my best example of a guy who was never given the proper chance, regardless of how much he gave to the company. Yes, he held a little bit of gold. Yes, he was given a couple of really good pushes, but when he dropped into the injured reserve, TNA wasn't as supportive as they needed to be. Fact is, they should have given him a reign, a massive, lengthy World Title reign.....but they didn't, and now he's off to what might become greener pastures for him.

Regardless of the reasons, TNA needs the ratings to show something good is happening because it truly is the best wrestling program on the landscape right now. All I can believe is that time will mend the ratings drops and will eventually pull back up once again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Waging War......

If someone were to have told me that Slammiversary would have nearly double the buys of last year's event 5 months ago, I would have called them crazy because they hadn't gone into promotion mode for that PPV. But lo and behold, Slammiversary pulled down nearly 15,000 buys. Last year's figure was 7,500, for the record. Now, I grant that this is nowhere close to WWE's PPV buyrate, which garners double and triple digit thousand buys each month, but this is HUGE for TNA. This marks the first TNA PPV where things look like WWE might have reason to be a bit nervous.

Moving forward, I've been giving TNA's two division deficits a lot of much needed thought and I believe I've come up with a solution. Remove the weight limit and put Pope Dinero, Doug Williams, Robbie E., Alex Silva, Mark Haskins and Joey Ryan into the mix with Kid Kash and Zema Ion. Put these teams together.....

Magnus and Rob Terry
Samoa Joe and Crimson

That makes 4 teams including those already feuding in storylines as well as over the titles. Combine that with the 7 talents I've mentioned for the X Division and now, the benches are empty and you've got a perfect blend of talents to make it interesting again.

Yes, WWE has their Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H match planned for SummerSlam, but the Bound for Glory Series is in full swing right now and begs for full attention, not to mention the three hottest frontline stories in professional wrestling today. SO, as we march through the summer months, prepare to be entertained as things begin to go into overload.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


If this were an option 5 years ago, I would have been against it because the climate wouldn't have been right for it, but right now, there are some things taking place that simply beg me to talk about. The largest of these things happens to be in the realm of the WWE Universe. It seems that there is a certain young talent who has held nearly every title to be held in WWE who may be on the way out. Now, if the rumors are true, we may get a chance to see some kind of magic take place that would blow the minds of a great many wrestling fans the world over......a crossover years in the making.

Imagine it......the event at the end of Impact last week being explained in a series of vignettes. A shadowy figure whispering that things are about to get a whole lot more dangerous for a living legend like the Stinger. Suddenly Sting's baseball bat doesn't seem all that helpful as each time he looks to get close to the man behind the curtain, he's gone. His mind games continue until the week before Bound for Glory when an announcement is made to change things. A match has been signed that will make the critics take notice and move TNA into a brand new era. Sting vs. the mastermind who will finally reveal himself at the event.

Sting comes to the ring with a big entrance. He stands in the ring as the lights go out. Strobes illuminate as a few final words come across the jumbotron. "All legends fall eventually....." At that moment, the lights concentrate on the man who now stands in the middle of the stage. Randy Orton has arrived in TNA. Just picture it. A year ago, I wouldn't have cared less, but now, that would be a game changer in virtually every sense of the words. Randy Orton could have a real lasting impact on the climate of the wrestling world with his very first appearance if it were against the Icon himself.

From there, can you even imagine? Orton vs. Styles. Orton vs. Aries. Orton vs. Crimson. Orton vs. Roode. Even though Crimson isn't the most charismatic or the best in ring tactician, Orton could, quite possibly give him the best match of his career so far. If WWE decides to let Orton get into the open market, TNA will strike faster than even the Viper, himself.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I've done some thinking about some of my favorite debuts and, even though I've done something like this before, I think it's nice to see them once again. TNA has had some true great classic debuts and I think we should have a are 5 starters for you.

Team 3D.....
Because I have to give a bit of trivia....When Team 3D arrived, they had had some disputes with WWE over the trademarking of their in ring personas. That being said, they were required to adhere to a dress code that was outside of what they wore in WWE. That meant no camo shorts. That meant no glasses with tape on the frame. It meant a whole lot of changes for them and so, if you look closely, you'll see a t-shirt that may have only been available for a short time from TNA. The print says "Trademark This!"

Jeff Hardy.....

Jeff Hardy was a shock because he'd been away from the game for nearly a year before returning to the ring in a new company on the rise. TNA couldn't have picked a better opponent and the debut was one of TNA's finest free agent acquisitions of the recent past.


Christian had been working without a contract before coming to TNA. His final date with WWE was paid as an independent date from his contract, which had expired only a week before he was to appear as an option for one of WWE's cyber PPVs. The following week, he had a bombshell for the wrestling world as he landed in TNA.

Kurt Angle......

His announcement as TNA's newest acquisition in 2005 cemented him as 'THE GUY' and they couldn't have picked a better place for him to begin his TNA career. At the time, Samoa Joe had been in the middle of a nearly year long undefeated streak, much as Crimson was later. TNA couldn't have picked a better time to debut one of their greatest assets.


This was something unexpected as RVD had appeared as a surprise entrant to the Royal Rumble the year before. It had been supposed that he would remain on the WWE roster after that time, but TNA had a surprise for the fans of Mr. PPV.

A bit of trivia and some good performances and you get something special.


WWE just had their answer last night. No Way Out has been touted as a disaster by some critics. In a recent poll, of a possible 700 votes, only 245 gave the PPV a thumbs up vote. For those of you math majors out there, that's only 35% of the vote. This, folks, should be a sign. Vince, however, has very little regard for the fans and his head is too firmly focused upon his new network launching this fall to care what's happening on his shows currently running or PPVs for that matter.

TNA, in stark contrast, is far more focused both in their progression of storylines, which is something they have worked very hard in improving on this year AND elevating new talents into the main event tier of the card. The rotation of DIFFERENT talents in the main event title scene is FAR larger than WWE's right now. To be clear, though, TNA nearly always puts their World Heavyweight Title match at the end of whatever PPV is currently running. Where WWE seems to view the title as merely an afterthought.

This kind of development is something that TNA needs right now. It gives them a chance to continue to do what they are excelling at without having to worry about what the competition is doing. Since WWE has dropped the ball with every major TV storyline since CM Punk's infamous pipe bomb promo last year, TNA has used the momentum to their favor, capitalizing upon what was considered the most controversial decision of the last year in not giving Bobby Roode the World Title at Bound for Glory only to give it to him 2 weeks later.

The only two reformats that need adjustment right now are the Tag Team Division and the X Division, which is on the verge of collapse without enough depth or focus. A few more talents and we'd be looking at a resurgence, to be sure, but with Alex Shelley, Anarquia, and Matt Morgan gone, Mexican America, Crimson/Morgan and the Motor City Machine Guns are no more. That's three pretty critical teams not vying to capture Tag Team gold. Granted, Crimson was turned, but even if he hadn't been, we'd still be one big man short.

Thankfully, TNA has always been good at making the Tag Team Division look more powerful than it is by putting a great deal of spotlight on whatever teams are fighting for it even if there are only two major teams at the moment. It's that fact that grants TNA some time to get their division back into working order. The X Division, however, may yet be a different story provided Austin Aries does what many believe he will this Thursday night on Impact. I, for one, hope TNA is able to capitalize on their successful run of Aries in the X Division and pick up a few more talents to fill out that division as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Value of X: Part 2....Austin's Choice

I titled this column the way I did to communicate the value of Austin Aries to the X Division, what happens if he leaves the division, and what happens to the top tier if he joins up there. So, since there is much to discuss, let's get right to it.

Austin Aries is now the longest reigning X Division Champion in TNA history. He's charismatic, he can work his tail off and carry the division like few on the roster today. All this is stuff that is almost second string argument now since I've been saying it for so long. What most people don't realize is that he's contemplated retirement in the recent past. In his last run with TNA, he never won a title and now that he's back, he's not only won the biggest belt for his specialty, but has carried the division nearly single-handedly on his back and for longer than most currently in the division. He's on par with Jeff Hardy, Ray and Devon, and RVD in terms of age. You'd never know it, either.

If Austin Aries turns his belt in this coming week on Impact, the X Division will have to be given to someone and those in line for title shots are thin, at best. Kid Kash could do the job, but not for the long run. Zema Ion could do the job eventually, but not in his current state. The only two potentials I'm seeing have yet to compete officially in the division. Joey Ryan and Alex Silva. Ryan could do it and probably quite well, depending upon how his character plays out with the crowds. Silva is still untested, so his ability to do the job could be called into question.

TNA's main event scene is filled to the brim with very good potentials. Jeff Hardy, RVD, Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode, just to name a few. And with AJ Styles and Kurt Angle always hovering around the title scene, there are more than enough names to headline PPVs. The question there room for one more? I believe the answer has to be yes. Do I believe he's ready to lead the company into the summer? I do think TNA needs a title change, even if it's only to freshen the main event and give something new to the fans from what we've been seeing for the last few months. I think it best for Bobby Roode to encounter someone who can play higher impact hardball than what he's used to seeing from his challengers. I think it'd be nice to see Bobby Roode overwhelmed for once.

Do I believe that now is the time for Austin Aries to ascend to the title of World Champion? It would be a nice change, but I don't know if those in the upper echelons are willing to give him his dues just yet. I hope I'm wrong, but I get the feeling there is still at least one more feud between him and the World Title belt. One thing is for certain, though, the Greatest Man That Ever Lived isn't going away without the chance to prove himself.


R-Truth is now off the active roster and on injured reserve as is Alberto Del Rio. A broken foot makes defending the Tag Team Title very difficult and a concussion makes headlining problematic at best..... Let's have a look at the list of the inactive....

Alberto Del Rio-severe concussion
R-Truth- broken foot
Evan Bourne- broken foot
Randy Orton- suspended
Rey Mysterio- suspended
Sin Cara- suspended

This is a substantial piece of the top tier, make no mistake. Yes, Mysterio and Sin Cara are readying themselves for return, but there is no place for them as of yet. While the flip-flopping of WWE's writing team has been able to fool a fair portion of the masses so far, they won't be able to forever. There are signs of dissension from within with Brock Lesnar and Triple H's storyline as the only money making feud going into the summer.

The question probably on your mind as you read this is "So what? I was wanting to read about TNA, not WWE." TNA's roster has one injury to speak of right now on the active roster....Chris Sabin, who tore his ACL during Ultimate X this past week. That only makes 2 injuries on the entire roster.....Chris Sabin and Jesse Sorenson. I, personally, hope for the speedy recovery of both, but I'd say TNA has the lion's share of luck in this area, but considering the lighter schedule they employ, I doubt luck has much to do with anything.

Does WWE have any true money feuds aside from Big Show vs. Cena right now? Nothing worth mentioning. Once Chris Jericho returns in the coming week, we may see something, but in TNA, we're seeing the Bound for Glory Series, Abyss vs. Bully Ray, Kaz and Daniels vs. AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, and James Storm's ascent to take on Bobby Roode, not to mention the most recent attack on Sting this past week. Right now, TNA is leading the charge going into the summer with bigger feuds and a healthier roster of talents to carry them out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shattered Icon......

It was a nice twist of story to include a beat down at the end of Impact this week. I very much hope there is some kind of revelation as to the identities of the three attackers who stormed the ring this week to take out the Icon. The orchestrator of the attack, I'm sure will make his presence known. As to the henchmen, that may or may not come to light. For whatever reason, sometimes the henchmen become characters to the story, some times they don't.

Think back to all the times they didn't.....far too many times, right? In this case, I hope they come to the limelight. Those were not small guys, either. TNA could use at least one or two more just like that on their roster. I do look forward to next week to see how this all plays out. The storyline is compelling with its timing and the potentials who may have reason to harm Sting in the first place. Shall we explore a few?

-Jeff Jarrett....This would be a perfect time to bring him back for an angle. Jealousy over the first spot in the Hall of Fame. "How dare you thank me when you know all along that spot was mine..." That's the spirit of the feud.

-Bobby Roode....This is simple revenge carried over into the next chapter. His hired guns need not be revealed as of yet. He was embarrassed for the 2 weeks leading up to Slammiversary and, I'll bet, he hasn't forgotten.

-Matt Morgan....This, I'll admit, is a bit of a wild card, but one good angle leading to a possible title shot and victory sounds like a winning deal to me. What's the motive? I have no idea, but it would be fitting to put him in a high profile spot.

-Chris Masters....I believe it would be a great place for a debut to take the focal point of a top storyline in TNA's programming. I love the idea of someone like Chris Masters picking a target like Sting to begin his run.

That's just 4. I'm sure there are others in the ranks who have just as compelling of a reason to begin a run like this. The weeks to come are sure to be interesting, to say the least. TNA is doing some good things here. I look forward to where this all leads.

Friday, June 15, 2012


So the lots have been cast and the competitors have been chosen for the Bound for Glory Series.
Samoa Joe
Pope D'Angelo Dinero
Jeff Hardy
AJ Styles
Kurt Angle
James Storm
Robbie E.
Bully Ray
Mr. Anderson

Do I agree with the competitors? That will depend ENTIRELY upon how each character grows and progresses through the tourney. I DON'T think Robbie E. deserves his slot, but if he can convince me, I'm sure he'll be able to sway the masses as well. Outside of him, I see no problem with the choices made by the brass hats. I can only surmise that the battle royal on Thursday was to introduce the competitors because there are no points totals posted on the TNA website and there is no mention of battle royal eliminations in the official rules of the Bound for Glory Series.

In spite of A Double Austin Aries not being in the tournament, the sacrifice twist makes me interested to see where they have in mind to take this. It makes zero sense to keep the World Title around the waist of Bobby Roode if they intend to push James Storm vs. Bobby Roode for the World Title at Bound for Glory. It makes the Bound for Glory Series look like a joke. I'm betting on a title change between now and Bound for Glory with the potential for two completely new performers vying for control of TNA's biggest prize. I expect a marquis name like Jeff Hardy to be in the main event and one newbie to the top tier as well. The final month will be FILLED with build and mind games to set the stage for the grandest stage TNA has.....Bound for Glory.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I've been writing here for quite some time about the vast differences in talents between TNA and WWE, but now I think explanations are beginning to materialize. Since Triple H has become one of WWE's signature decision makers on a production level, he has signed his own hand picked staff and those have been from two different worlds.......writers from soap operas and production people with a background in sports. Going further, the current belief from the top is that the independent circuit isn't producing enough of the kinds of talents WWE execs are looking for to carry the workload.

So where does WWE believe the best talents are found? a roundabout sort of way. The belief is that it's easier to train an athlete to become a wrestler than it is to train an indy performer. Not only that, but it is those people WWE want to be the ones shouldering the company. Whereas TNA continues to scour the indy circuit, looking for those able to cut promos, take bumps, and throw clotheslines. Is it really any wonder WWE programming has gone where it has? They are claiming to be legit, but when the people putting the show together and scouting for talents aren't looking for wrestlers to begin with, what can you really expect?

The Gut Check Challenge may be just what the doctor ordered for TNA as it is producing decent talents so far. Alex Silva has passion and could become something special. Joey Ryan IS something special, but only needs the venue to showcase. If there is any doubt, look up some of his work in Ring of Honor. THIS is where TNA succeeds in general....they want wrestlers, they want wrestling people.....except for Brooke Hogan, but we'll see where that road leads. TNA wants to live up to their moniker and become a place "where Wrestling Matters."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Series 2......

TNA's blockbuster creation, the Bound for Glory Series is back, new and improved, with all the bugs and kinks worked out. The problem with last year's event was consistency. TNA would state their rules and then tweak them as the series went along. THIS YEAR, however, things have been simplified. The points system remains the same, but the end result gets simple.....very simple.

Points are awarded not only by IF you win a match, but HOW you win as well.....
-Submission victory......10 Points
-Pinfall victory................7 Points
-Count out victory..........5 Points
-DQ victory....................3 Points
-Draw.............................2 Points
-DQ loss......................-10 Points

These rules may look simple, but it gets far more so. The top points holders will be locked into a bracket and will compete in the final leg of the series at the No Surrender PPV. The winner from there will move on to compete in the Main Event at Bound for Glory. Simple, yes?

Speculating on the participants should be fairly easy as you can basically just name those who are receiving the most amount of screen time. By my best guess so far, I'd say we're looking at.....

Bully Ray
Jeff Hardy
James Storm
Austin Aries
AJ Styles
Samoa Joe
Kurt Angle

Why these 12? Why not others? THAT, I believe, we will find out for sure this week on Impact Wrestling on Spike. Whoever the top contenders are, you can be sure we'll see some of the best rivalries and matches going into this summer as the top prize is worthwhile enough to bring it all to the dance.


I've been reading all of the feedback and polls and such from fans covering the Slammiversary celebration and I've come to the conclusion it was a success. Fact is, almost every review from fans and critics alike has been positive from top of the card to the bottom. The rare oddity who didn't enjoy the PPV had no convincing arguments to put forth and I dismiss it as mere apparition. In any case, I believe TNA played their cards well and showcased everyone properly with as much fanfare and such as they could muster. I do have a question, though......where was Jeff Jarrett?

In all of the glint and the flashbulbs and photographs taken, I have yet to see hide nor hair of TNA's founder. I doubt anyone is more surprised than I that the many time TNA World Champion was absent from their 10 year celebration. Was it storyline? Is there reason to be nervous? I have no idea what the story is, but I hope Jeff Jarrett and family are doing well in their absence.

I believe TNA is still on the rise as they move out of the PPV. Sting, Tess, James Storm, Crimson, Devon, Madison Rayne, Abyss, Austin Aries, and a great many others have a decent story to tell this week and I have a hunch we'll see the better parts of those stories this week leading into the build for Destination X. A softened Bobby Roode will await the challenge of Mr. Anderson as his assault at the hands of Sting at Slammiversary may be just the opening a new challenger needs to remove the belt from the champion.

Look for the contenders for the renewed Bound for Glory Series to be announced this week as well as the preliminary rounds are decided. I look very forward to seeing who TNA's brass have in mind to push for the World Title picture leading up to that PPV. I make this prediction for anyone curious.....Bobby Roode won't be the World Title holder going into Bound for Glory this year as the feud between he and James Storm continues coming close to the PPV. If things continue to play out as they are, I would bet on Jeff Hardy, RVD, or even Sting to hold the World Title with Austin Aries or Matt Morgan (if he's still around by that time) challenging for the big gold going into Bound for Glory.

Bound for Glory is going to be special this year as it is every year, but I look for some special fanfare to be presented as the unveiling of the Hall of Fame happens and new inductees are entered in. I could see such names as Jeff Jarrett, Dusty Rhodes (who served as a leading booker for a time), Ken Shamrock (TNA's first World Heavyweight Champion), or even Kevin Nash entering the Hall in the future as names of note.

Monday, June 11, 2012

From Here.....

With the lights still flickering from Slammiversary, the question of where to go from here is fresh on my mind. And with that thought ringing loudly, I think it best to bring everyone up to speed. SO.....if you haven't seen the show and don't want to be spoiled, feel free to read this at a later time, but if you don't mind, please continue......

Crimson has been defeated by James Storm. This could mean the beginning of a decent rivalry for a month or two to prep Storm to return to the Bobby Roode feud in time for Bound for Glory. I'm betting on a Sting/Roode round two in the coming month or so as the end of the PPV led me to believe it's inevitable.

-Tessmacher now holds the Knockouts Championship. I don't look for it to be a very long reign, but it will quite probably look to be a month or two long as things seem to be moving that way for now.

-The Tag Team Championships are now being guarded by Angle and Styles. I gotta admit, I couldn't have called that. While I have no doubt the pairings will last a couple of months, I doubt there will be any less bad blood with each meeting. I also have no doubt that the matches will be great as well.

-Abyss returned for a momentary bit of revenge on Bully Ray, allowing Joseph Park to come out the victor. The problem? Joseph Park and Abyss were never in the same place at the same time. Could we be looking at a split personality? That would certainly make things interesting, that's for sure.

-Austin Aries is still on the rise and Samoa Joe looked like a million bucks as well, just like the man leading the masses to believe "Joe's Gonna Kill You!" Aries, I have written before, is the man to watch this year and, I believe, he'll hold the World Title before year's end.

-I'm seeing a feud brewing as Karen Jarrett may find herself back on Impact soon. Her tweets have become a bit angry towards Dixie Carter and it's tough to tell whether the heat is legit or if we're seeing another form of storyline foreshadowing.

-Hernandez was booked in a match against Kid Kash, for whatever reason and the idea, or so I'm told, was to communicate his strength and make him look like a contender. Did it work? Somewhat. But I still hold that his footing in the company is weak now and this may be his last run with the big dogs unless he is able to step up his game.

-Madison Rayne is getting involved in the Robbies/Devon/Garett fiasco and I have no idea where this is going. I can only hope TNA doesn't sabotage her character by toning down her manipulative nature. She's a puppet master and communicating that will only progress her character. As for the feud, I still hope the Robbies and Garett disappear for a while, but I fear we may be getting them in larger doses in the coming weeks.

The stories are good, no doubt about that. I just hope that things continue to simmer and raise in intensity and the feuds working would carry strong into the summer months. Thursday will be a temperature gauge and will determine how forward to this summer we should look. So pull up a chair and keep watching, we may just see what the doctor ordered for TNA to pull ahead of the goliath.


If there was ever any doubt; if fear had shown through before; if WWE ever had an edge over TNA, you'd never know it from last night. Passion, power, unpredictability, potency, and straight up talent rocked Texas as Slammiversary crowned new champions, broke opponents and tables alike, and delivered EXACTLY where they said they would. I, for one, was in awe of the night and I know most critics and skeptics were as well.

As hands were raised in toast, in victory, and in applause, quite possibly the biggest things to be surprised about in the PPV came through and, save for the AJ saga, which is still looming, every finish came as a surprise. I grant that not every finish was clean, but every finish WAS interesting. Even though Bobby Roode retains, Sting showed for all why he IS Hall of Fame material. I ask you all, who is better suited to introduce the return of Sting as the number one moment than the man who was his partner for that match, Christian? It was bittersweet to see the Instant Classic in the ring as it's with the knowledge that no follow up will be had from him and no stories can be told in ring for the next PPV.

What moment was my favorite? Do I say that it was the return of James Storm as he snapped the year long streak of Crimson? What about the X Division encounter between two champions? Could it be the crowning of new Tag Team Champions? How about the beginning of the very first reign of Tess? The announcement of Sting as the first inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame? I truly can't name one moment I liked over another as this was the crown jewel in TNA's year so far.

To go even further with the high standard TNA has set, it has been announced that the hugely successful Bound for Glory Series will be back for another round of competitors and the first matches begin this week. The tournament that rewarded Beer Money with their slots in the top tier is certain to put someone else in the spotlight, with expectations of golden opportunities. Last year, Bobby Roode went to the dance and, even though he didn't capitalize at Bound for Glory, he eventual victory cemented himself into history for TNA. Who's next? My money is firmly place behind a man whose moniker is one that deserves to be tested. That's right. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived.....Austin Aries.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Slammiversary X......

Since tomorrow is the big day and since it's become commonplace for me to give my two cents concerning the matches of the night, so I shall once more. This one is special, though. This has to be done in such a way as to give my thoughts without speculating on the major events of the evening. MEANING, that I won't guess who Crimson's opponent will be and so forth. That being said, here we go.....

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe for the X Division Title...... I love both guys tremendously, but a colleague made  a very bright observation. If TNA is looking to keep Magnus and Joe together to hold down the Tag Team Division, holding the X Title would not do Joe any favors trying to defend two titles at the same time. My pick is Aries retaining the belt.

Gail Kim vs. Tessmacher for the Knockouts Title.....I've been saying it for months that Gail needs to lose and even though I thought it would be Velvet taking it away from Kim, it wouldn't surprise me to see a brand new champion to start things fresh for the division. I say Tessmacher wins her first major title.

Daniels and Kazarian vs. Angle and Styles.....With the way Impact played out, I think this one looks like a no brainer, but TNA has a way of proving me wrong from time to time. My pick is Daniels and Kaz, but the biggest stage of this year might have something special in mind to carry this feud on into the future.

Crimson's Open Challenge.....The streak is going to end Sunday, I can feel it. And Crimson is going to go out of his mind crazy. My pick is for his opponent, whoever it might be.

Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park......Simple answer is nobody wins. That's right, I'm going to guess that it goes to a no contest.

Jeff Hardy vs. RVD vs. Mr. Anderson for the Number One Contender place......I love every one of these guys, but I have to go with my gut and say that Jeff Hardy will be the one to cash in ultimately on the long road back from oblivion.

Bobby Roode vs. Sting for the World Heavyweight Championship......If my logic is right, I'm going against the masses. A great many people are thinking that Sting is going to walk out as champion, but I've just got this feeling it'll be Roode who retains.

Garett Bischoff and Devon vs. The Robbies.....Garett and Devon. Not because I care about the match, because I don't, but because they're good guys and the bad guys are on a losing streak and I think that will continue.

I only have one more guess on the night. TNA will do a possible match for the Knockouts Tag Team Belts and I believe ODB and Eric Young will lose them here.

That's it. Short and sweet, but there is so much planned for the evening that I couldn't even begin to speculate how well things will play out. I only ask you all to tune in and find out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

2 Days Remain.....

2 days remain until perhaps the biggest celebration of the year. Fireworks and fanfare await to fly in the face of the critics who said it was impossible. Will there be passion? Count on it. Will each performer bring their best? Without a doubt. A few surprises? Place your bets. I've put together my finest guesses for a few of the surprises in store, but about three or four surprises remain and the top brass in TNA headquarters are being VERY tight lipped as to what those surprises hold for Sunday.

1. AJ/Dixie/Daniels/Kazarian.....This saga has been picking up steam and the most recent interruption has made Sunday a critical day to determine what is what in it. The question of what Dixie has done will come into focus Sunday and in the days that follow.

2. Abyss' Part in the Bully Ray/Joseph Park match.....I've written before that this is the most interesting Abyss story in quite some time. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that since the days of Dr. Stevie, NEVER has there been such an interest in the bulky Kane/Mankind hybrid as there is now. It should prove very interesting to see how the rivalry will play out.

3. Crimson's Open Challenge......I, personally, love the way TNA has played this streak and, as it turns out, the Crimson character. I'll admit, I wasn't sold, at first, but he's won me over in recent months as a solid competitor for the top prize TNA has to offer....the World Heavyweight Championship. So, who will be the potential streak breaker? Just wait and see....

4. TNA's First Hall of Fame inductee......TNA would not be without a founder. HOWEVER, it also wouldn't be without a first World Title Victor. Whoever is in the envelope in this last day, will walk out having made history for the first time....the spokesman for the next generation will hold something one step higher than the best in the world right now. And THAT says a lot when you look at how far TNA has come.

So we wait for the curtain; we wait for the tickets to be punched; we wait for the chances; we wait, ready for war. There has never been a better opportunity to go back and watch the highlight reels and updates than now. There has never been a better time to cross the line and not look back than this weekend. Celebrate 10 years. Celebrate 10 more.

The Rumblings Return....

The Slammiversary rumblings are in full bloom and I've got some light to shed as a result. As the days grow closer, more tidbits begin to appear that reveal pieces of the grand plan. The fact of the matter is that TNA has a couple of aces to play in their deck of cards. SO...without furthering the suspense, I say we get into it....

First on the guaranteed guest on the Slammiversary VIP list is a former World Heavyweight Champion. He is a certified Instant Classic. That's right....Christian Cage will be on hand for the TNA 10th Anniversary and, in my opinion, is among the few former TNA employees worthy of a bit of camera time. Throw in the fact that he's the current reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion and it becomes something extra special. Whether or not he'll be given a microphone for the festivities remains to be seen, but Ric Flair's induction to the WWE Hall of Fame this year allowed TNA to negotiate for Christian to return to TNA for one day to film an interview spot for future TNA DVD releases. TNA President Dixie Carter tweeted that Christian will be on hand for the weekend event.

Two names who have competed recently with TNA are possible opponents for Crimson's open challenge: Gut Check Challenger Joey Ryan and former WWE undefeated streak holder Chris Masters, who wrestled a dark match against Robbie E. at this week's Impact Wrestling event. Another name rumored to have been tossed around is John Morrison, who would be making a first time appearance on camera in nearly 8 months. Whether any of these potentials will answer the open challenge of Crimson or not is uncertain, but one thing IS certain.....Crimson has a great deal to fear from whoever is coming for his challenge this Sunday.

Last on the agenda, TNA's live broadcast summer has been a HUGE morale boost for the locker room and even though ratings haven't reflected whether or not the change from taped to live broadcasts has been successful, it's being said that this is the best decision TNA has made in quite some time. For me, it has changed this fan from being a critic back into being a kid again, cheering for some of the best stories and characters on screen in a long time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's Next....

I've made no secret of my distain for the writing surrounding TNA's Abyss character, but what's happening right now has me intrigued. By introducing Abyss to the current storyline involving his brother and Bully Ray, TNA and, as it turns out, Eric Bischoff, have stumbled onto something worthy of taking seriously. I find myself as less a critic today, having been taken in by such a surprising twist of events and wonderful revelations in the story.

It isn't only the Joseph Park/Bully Ray saga that has my attentions, but the fact is, the more people that get involved with the Dixie Carter/AJ Styles situation, the higher profile Styles becomes. And it isn't only him, but so too are Daniels and Kazarian, being the catalysts for the story coming to light, as it were. With Kurt Angle, a former adversary of AJ as an ally, it makes for a compelling set of circumstances. With each week, we are left wanting to know what is truly going down.

What isn't surprising to me is that both storylines are getting the highest rating segments in virtually every outing thus far. I do have a question to send out into the deep pockets of the TNA mail room and, ultimately, to the creative staff at large.

Can we expect to see the Bound for Glory Series make a return for the summer months? If so, who is to rank highest among the creative team's collective vision?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It All Falls Apart.....

As the time passes, I'm beginning to feel like things between TNA and WWE are really coming to blows, and not just those involving the lawsuit up and coming. No, I'm talking about the recent nosedive in RAW's ratings and WWE's recent difficulties in wrangling their talents in and getting everyone on the same page. Every time I talk about the differences between WWE and TNA I bring up the scheduling differences, but it really wears on stars of both organizations across the board.

Vince and his lackeys are doing re-writes all the way until mere hours before air time for both shows and it's been said that he's getting tired of it. Let's face it, people, the man is in his 60's and is having some problems connecting with the current voice of the people. If that weren't enough, his performers are getting knee deep on Twitter badmouthing the product or their lack of use or whatever their current grievance is. Combine that with lowering ratings, near impossible negotiations with Brock Lesnar (the only male Diva on their roster, I might add), and dealing with violations of the Wellness Policy from some the highest ranking members of their roster and it's plain to see that WWE is facing some severe problems in maintaining order.

While TNA isn't without their problems, nearly all of the current problems are rather superficial and, in comparison, easier to manage. If anyone needed further proof of how far WWE has sunk, let's have a look at an age-old Superstar having a cold one with one of TNA's finest......

Without reading too far into the photo, Steve Austin was at the CMT Music Awards and shared a beer with a man whose TNA theme is also the theme song for Austin's new reality show which premiers this week on CMT. I believe you all remember James Storm.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2 Days and 5.......

2 days until the next Impact and 5 until Slammiversary. Only a couple announcements remain. Dixie has just announced that her explanation of the AJ Styles situation will be at the top of the broadcast this week at 7 PM Central Time. The last couple of matches will also present themselves as I still hold that we're going to see a return or debut at the event itself, if not before. The idea here is that TNA wants this to be something special and they truly want to make something big happen to hook people with the PPV.

Now, exactly who is coming? I've got a few guesses, but keep one thing in mind.....nothing is guaranteed in this business. My guesses for return....

Jeff and Karen Jarrett- This one is easy. Jeff is a strong front runner for the first inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame.

Ken Shamrock- I'm guessing some of you are surprised. Well you shouldn't be. He's TNA's very first World Heavyweight Champion and one of the all time MMA greats. He's another front runner, to me, for the TNA Hall of Fame.

Petey Williams- I always bring him up. Why? Because he's arguably the most popular TNA original they ever released from contract. The Canadian Destroyer deserves his spot back and I hope TNA is willing to pay top dollar for him to have just that.

My guesses for debut.....

John Morrison and Melina- Their time is limited here. If they want to be remembered as top tier talents, they need to get some exposure and Slammiversary is a good way to spark that.

Chris Masters- I make no secret over my hopes that he'll surface in TNA, but somehow Slammiversary seems like the best place for former WWE talents to debut, at least this year. The bigger the talent, the more exposure Slammiversary brings as it's the 10th one in succession.

Haas and Benjamin- The World's Greatest Tag Team would be an AWESOME addition to TNA, however, I do have my doubts about how reasonable this prediction this is. IF Kurt Angle got his way, they have a contract still drying right now and are just waiting to make their first appearance. But who knows what that looks like?

Monday, June 4, 2012


I believe that now is a good time to update you all on the status of the WWE vs. TNA debate. Since the smoke has cleared, so to speak, regarding Alex Shelley and Ric Flair, it seems best to allow whatever speculation about the status of Matt Morgan to rush by. His status still remains up in the air, but that doesn't mean he's out just yet.

In any case....WWE is losing their top tier. Randy Orton has been suspended for his 2nd violations of the Wellness Policy. That's a 60 day offense, guys. Not good news for the blue brand. While he continues to serve his sentence, Rey Mysterio is also serving a suspension for a Wellness Policy infraction. This trend, coupled with poor writing and a summer program that notoriously drops off until SummerSlam, is doing terrible things to the product. With the lawsuit between TNA looming on the horizon involving Brian Wittenstein, it seems clear to me that things are only going to get tougher for the big man on the hill.

To contrast, TNA is ramping up for their 10th Anniversary celebration and I see no sign of slowing, even with the losses of a couple of their veterans from the roster. Is the loss evident? of course. But does it mean collapse? Not at all. In fact, the Open Fight Night concept is doing such things for the product, even more of the critics are taking notice. By also incorporating MMA's fanbase in the inclusion of King Mo and their ongoing attempts to bring in professional sports celebrities, TNA is stretching themselves in as many ways as can be done without putting themselves in financial jeopardy.

WWE may have picked up what TNA has lost so far....perhaps. But they have the built in disasters of WCW in their ranks. The suggestion to run RAW for 3 hours every week is a mistake they will live to regret. Mark my words. It didn't work 15 years ago with WCW; it won't work now....particularly with the cast of players and shot callers behind the scenes. What the white collars and pencil pushers in the upper echelons of the Titan Tower are thinking with this idea, I doubt we'll ever know, but one thing is for very certain, they have their work cut out for them, because TNA is on the rise.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Give and Take.....

A possible problem may be brewing for the former TNA World Tag Team Champion Alex Shelley. In reports unconfirmed, Mr. Shelley was never actually directly contacted by WWE. Further, any and all negotiations have been made quietly by an anonymous friend who works within the white towers at WWE.

The point of all the negotiations? The point of entry. Where does Shelley land once he's set foot on WWE soil? FCW? That's what Alex Shelley is trying to avoid. Vance Archer syndrome. He's a former TNA guy and he wants to be a part of the main roster. Why? He feels that he deserves it. Does he? Now THAT is another point of negotiations. People in the top brass, particularly Triple H have stated that a lot of the guys who come into WWE come from the indy circuit. Shelley doesn't fall into that category. In the same statement, Hunter said that most of those guys needed to be trained all over again because of the kind of format WWE performers adhere to.

So....if and when Alex Shelley does resurface, will it be on RAW, Smackdown, Superstars, FCW, or right back with his tag team partner competing for more gold? That, folks, is one question only answered with the passing of time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Live Impact Revisited....

With all of the fanfare and the gusto and the hype given to the first live Impact Wrestling broadcast of the summer, there was little change in the viewing habits of the masses. In fact, the overall average rating was lower Thursday than it had been up until then. What does it all mean? One thing it could mean is that TNA played it safe when they could have taken some chances. This much seems like something a lot of fans were hoping for.

My opinion is that they DID play it safe, but quite often, when TNA tries to take chances, they overcompensate, which does the very same thing in the wrong direction. So on one hand, you could not take chances and risk losing viewers that way or take chances and risk overwhelming them and it would have the same effect. Which is better? Simple answer. Take fewer chances. Play it safe. Let WWE make all the mistakes and play it smarter than they are.

I do have a few thoughts about the show.

1. Brooke Hogan won't work. Go ahead, TNA. Prove me wrong.
2. The AJ/Daniels/Kazarian feud needs to ramp up if any progress is going to be made.
3. The card for Slammiversary is going to be VERY interesting. Joseph Park vs. Bully Ray? I wonder....
4. Where can we bury the Robbies? I said it last time, Robbie E. needs to step away from the TV Title.
5. 5 matches have been set up. Perhaps 3 more remain in order to fill out the card.
6. A Hall of Fame for TNA seems too soon. I'd give it more time, at least until they've gotten themselves more cemented into the realm of popular culture.

In any case, TNA has strides to make if they want to be brought into the limelight for something putting the stomps to WWE. It could happen, WWE was almost replaced just 15 years ago.