After this week's Impact, I've got some questions to get off my chest.
1. What purpose did Shaq serve other than getting people in the door to begin with?
2. Is Brooke Hogan helping the Knockouts Division?
3. When are we finally going to see someone important from the faction revealed?
4. Is the TV Title truly going to be up for grabs?
This week, for once, I was frustrated. Not as frustrated as a fellow columnist who happens to write for one of WWE's strongholds, but frustrated nonetheless. I have HUGE problems with columns that slant so far into the land of Connecticut, there's no grace or forgiveness for a company trying to work their way to the top. Call me old fashioned, but a fair and balanced perspective seems like a decent way to go about things and even though my biases are towards TNA, I still like to write FACTS as I pull WWE news either from direct internal sources or from press releases. My opinions towards WWE are just that, but for a popular wrestling website to only utilize WWE fanboys as their basis of opinion is disgraceful. You want a good TNA perspective? Try asking a TNA fan. If I didn't feel my venom towards WWE were warranted, I would simply stop mentioning them, but I feel that some venom is good for WWE because they need to know that most wrestling fans aren't stupid and the best way to change the current product is to voice discontentment. End fairness rant.
I, however, have some forgiveness, but this week felt pointless. For once, I was ashamed of what I saw in the misuse of Joseph Park, the Shaq letdown, Brooke's appearance on camera, the continued conversation about Aces and Eights without enough revelation to keep the story interesting......I had to shake my head at the backwards step TNA made this week.
We lost some momentum. Open Fight Night was a bust. There. I said it. I hoped and have been hoping for just one of their contestants to win a match against their opponent, but so we've seen nothing on that front. It still is a good concept, but TNA doesn't need jobbers, they need good, decent, great spots filled by local talents who can get the job done, not have the job done.
Brooke Hogan hasn't helped the Knockouts Division. I'm sorry....I wish I could say otherwise, I really do and I gave it some time to try and move past my feelings that it was a waste of time, but Traci Brooks SHOULD have been able to run with it.....NOT Brooke. Being apologetic about the situation doesn't help things and I hope TNA can do the right thing and allow Brooke an out that isn't at the expense of another Knockout leaving.
Shaq claimed that he'd be back to have Hogan's back and we never saw him again. That was a slap in my face as a fan. I felt cheated and slighted. I will never say I felt WWE slighted, because the wrong wasn't THAT extreme, but it was a shame we couldn't see Shaquille used in a productive way to further the Aces and Eights storyline AT ALL.
I have been writing columns in favor of TNA for a long time, even before this blog, but this week gave me pause. I was genuinely panicked. My first question was how is TNA going to salvage this in time for Bound for Glory? Can they really do it? Now clearly, the answer is YES, but how? MY answer is simple......
1. Put Brooke's job on the line in the Knockouts Title match. If Tessmacher wins, Brooke stays, but if Tara wins, she gets the title and Brooke leaves. Problem solved.
2. Never, Ever, EVER bring a celebrity like Shaq into the Impact Zone unless you're prepared for him or her to do some damage. Toby Keith did damage; there have been many an NFL player who have done damage, but with Shaq, it was a promise unkept. Stop....just stop.
3. Slow down the OFN concept and rather than forcing it once per month, give it a break and try again on a smaller scale. Let's spread the concept out over the course of the months. Let's try one call out per episode of Impact.....a call out that will further one of their feuds. Spotlight the X Division and put it as the main event for a feud.
4. Aces and Eights need to be slowly peeled back. Putting a match together involving a mask stipulation might be a nice touch. Fact is, I'd even be interested if the leadership core kept the faction together for a while after they were revealed just to carry the storyline a bit further if they want, but to go month after month with no new revelation as to demands just makes meaningless violence, which is NOT the proper way to garner fan support of the product.
5. Devon is gone. Let's address that. Weekly defenses of his title were neglected on Impact and that needs to be changed IF the title is to remain a part of the product. Simply doing away with the belt without addressing it is not the way to go about it. The fans need to know what belts are still being fought over. Let's go back to doing that, shall we?
These suggestions are few, but simple. I truly believe TNA is the better product out there, but without forward motion, it won't be long before other critics return to their old ways of looking at TNA if some changes aren't made in the coming weeks.