Had Ken Shamrock made an appearance, you may have seen TNA's Impact fanbase soar, but with the AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett Hardcore Justice 2005 special guest enforcer Tito Ortiz? Not so much. To tell you the truth, I didn't mind anywhere NEAR as much as some in the internet wrestling community. Do I agree with the hard grading on the reveal? Partially, but when it comes to the show as a whole, I simply don't see it. I mean, I've seen some BAD years in TNA history (2010 being in the number) but when I look at this year? I can't think of a more stable year in terms of storyline continuity other than maybe last year and the Knockouts Division wasn't doing as good in terms of bar setting.
Could the revelation of Tito Ortiz have been done better? Of course, but when I look at footage from Mr. Ortiz from not long ago, I can't say as I'm terribly disappointed. The man can cut a decent promo and probably didn't need a script for his little vignettes. As far as his ability to pull punches and take bumps? We'll see, but if Jackson can put himself in a decent place in a brawl portion of the storyline, I see no reason this can't work for Ortiz as well. Now bear in mind that this depends LARGELY upon how inclined he is to learn the craft for TNA's sake because if he's not willing to pick up every piece of advice and play his part to the letter, the fans will know it and TNA will pay dearly for a high costing mistake. HOWEVER, if Tito Ortiz IS willing to do what it takes and sell this deal like the promos, we may be looking at the best sleeper acquisition TNA has had so far. Only time will tell though and time ISN'T something to be wasted in trying to convince people you've made the right choice in blending MMA and professional wrestling.
Also, for those who have this peculiar idea that TNA is responsible for his being there, you couldn't be more wrong. Granted, they let him into the building and granted, he was on Impact, but TNA hasn't footed the bill for his appearances. Those bills fell on Spike TV. They believe that the blending of the two in certain places could bolster some viewing numbers for both shows. Are they right? I have no idea. I hope so, but historically, it hasn't been successful so far. If the one of the biggest names in wrestling history (Hulk Hogan) hasn't helped and the PR from major publications like Pro Wrestling Illustrated isn't helping, I think we're left with only one reason....brand preference. I've been searching for all kinds of reasons why people wouldn't watch TNA and that's the only thing I can come up with.
It explains the double standards, harsh grading on production, and the complete disregard for longevity in discussions and debates about which is the most balanced product on the wrestling market. I'm sure I come off as a huge mark, whose favor towards TNA completely disregards arguments with merit, but if you've read this column for any length of time, you know that NOT to be the case. I've written MANY columns, chastising my product of choice for seemingly "bonehead" decisions in regards to the releasing of talents, the use of other talents, and the general organization of the product, but by and large, I'm enjoying what I've been seeing out of the show each week and I have no major disputes or gripes of late. For the first time in a long while, I find myself just sitting back and being a fan rather than a critic. It's a good time for that as a TNA fan, at least in my view.