Friday, May 9, 2014

Freak of the Week.....

I'm going to jump straight into nerds-ville for just a moment. During the 10 year run of Smallville, there was a HUGE portion of the show dedicated to, what I call, the "Freak of the week". This, of course, is in reference to the weekly monster that must be dispatched in order to keep the show moving forward from one portion of the arc to the next. In each case, there was a long term villain, but on the short term, you had only the one to deal with every week.

I bring this up to draw a parallel. What has TNA had AT LEAST ONE of in each of the 12 years they've been around? If you guessed "a faction", you'd have won the grand prize. If you don't believe me, allow me to draw up a list....

1. Sports Entertainment Xtreme
2. Latin American Xchange
3. Immortal
4. Main Event Mafia
5. Team Canada
6. The Frontline
7. Aces and Eights
8. The New Church
9. The Gathering
10. World Elite
11. Planet Jarrett

This is just the surface, people. Some of these groups lasted for years while others just a few months, but regardless of how long they were around, it's clear that TNA has been trying to capture that lightning in the bottle phenomenon that was the nWo. To face facts, TNA was able to pay MORE talents per appearance when a faction was running. To be fair, WWE has had MORE of their share, but in that same 12 years, the number has been FAR smaller, particularly of those that have lasted long enough to even show up on a list that WASN'T a rehash of a former incarnation. But before I start sounding like this is yet another WWE vs. TNA column, let me just say that this is merely to illustrate a potential problem for TNA.

Now we have the Menagerie and, as fond as I am of the gimmick they're using here, it's still yet another faction and TNA hasn't had a strong history of making good splashes in the wrestling mainstream with their stables. Maybe 4 out of the list above rank higher than all the rest combined, but aside from the MEM, LAX, Team Canada, and the potential World Elite and the Aces and Eights had, none are infamous. I'm a TNA guy, but now when I see a new stable coming down the pike, I dread a drug out, over thought mess like the Aces and Eights debacle filled with frivolous wasting of time and disappointing twists and, though the final twist might be good, it wouldn't make the climb to get there forgivable.


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