Saturday, November 29, 2014

Who's the Punk?

Just a couple of days back, CM Punk was asked and appeared on Colt Cabana's show "The Art of Wrestling" and pulled back the curtain on his beef with WWE, which included, but was not limited to being fired on his wedding day, being forced to work with a concussion and a staph infection after being misdiagnosed ringside, and the list goes on and on.

Wrestlers and wrestling personalities have weighed in on the interview; everyone from Ryback and J.R. to The Rock and BG James have tossed their name behind an opinion in the matter and it seems like every has the same thing to say: There's two sides to this. To my mind, I'm dying to know what the second side of this story actually is. Apparently Trips and Vince are up in arms over it and I'm curious as to why, if untrue, they have anything to worry about. After all, they're both bigger than the industry....aren't they?

Ryback and BG James take the far more favorable second story approach to the interview, but The Rock, in kayfabe classic style, says "The Rock has drawn more in one night, than Punk will in a lifetime." I can only shake my head at such a double edged statement like that. On the one hand, it's funny if it's all kayfabe. On the other, it's such an arrogant and unfair way of putting one's two cents into the mix.

Whatever the case, CM Punk has become the single most polarizing performer in the past 5-10 years in the past week. My take on the situation is that some of this confirms what I've been saying for the
past few years about WWE's take on some of their fan favorite talents. At the same time, however, I shutter to think that much more of my suspicions were true from the interview.

Over the years, I've put a lot of labels on WWE, but even if some of the stuff said by Punk is true, I almost feel sorry for Vince and company for how much shame this puts squarely on their shoulders after. I hope that this teaches a lesson not soon forgotten about how to make a performer work as a company cheerleader instead of a workhorse. I think Benoit, Guerrero, Hennig, and a great many others who only got the taste of success even though they deserved the lion's share, would agree.

As for behind the scenes, a great many are in the number who didn't like Punk, but after this interview, there's at least some respect. So many performers are afraid of losing their jobs and for this reason, there are few questions put to the higher-ups, few concerns raised, and even fewer disagreements brought up between said performers and WWE executives. Those people felt vindicated as he became, as he did in the time after the 'pipe bomb', a voice for the voiceless.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Let The Announcement Floodgates Burst.....

For those who are getting like me; a bit antsy and  wanting more in the way of answers as to how this whole thing is gonna go down once TNA is finally done with Spike and running with the Destination America crowd, here are a few announcements made in the past day or so:

TNA's "Best of" specials WILL proceed leading into the New Year's countdown to the best TNA moment special. So for the final two weeks, we'll have the countdown and two other specials that relate to that spirit of things.

Right now, TNA officials are working with Destination America officials on TNA's official reboot, which is expected to tape LIVE from the Manhattan Center. A set of tapings would follow, chronicling the following two weeks and making the run leading into the events of the UK Tour, which is still planning on being run as usual.

Moving forward, Josh Matthews of WWE fame, is expected to take over the task of lead announcer once the Impact machine makes the jump and Mike Tenay will still have an on air role within the company. While there is no word just yet what that looks like, I believe he will have a role in the new programming coming out the door.

This leaves coming schedule puts one of TNA's lead stars in a bit of a pickle....Jeff Hardy, who, once again, will not be accompanying the TNA team on the UK trip and has the next few weeks off as well. Well, on that note, he's taking bookings at 6,000 bucks apiece in Canada, now that any possible legal entanglements have been cleared up.

I've got some stuff to air in the next column surrounding CM Punk and the recent scathing discussion he had concerning his treatment, push/ depush, esc. For now, I'll say that there's a great deal of smoke being blown from both sides of the biz concerning how things played out. SO, until then, Happy Turkey Day...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Counting Down to the Threshold....

Right now, there are more than a couple of things waiting in the wings and we are all a part of history being wrestling history come full circle. In the 90's there was ECW, WCW, and WWF and nowadays, we're being delivered something even more fresh. With GFW and NJPW looking to bridge the pond and put their own brand of programming on US soil via internet means, I think it safe to say that they are sitting in the ECW spot, while TNA and their newest deal and list of potential acquisitions on hot standby. They represent the pre-Bash at the Beach '96 fever pitch of WCW.

A few players right now stand out as way makers, putting the fates of their allies face forward and giving direction to their ships. Sting, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle; all three have decisions to make and I don't think Angle or Sting are going to change their minds as to their sides. Sting has made negotiations for more than one match, or so I'm told and, from all news I've gathered, is still slated to make his final match at Wrestlemania this coming year. Angle looks to make his revelation of a new deal with TNA official in the coming year. The one who has yet to pick a side is AJ Styles. Why do I place him so high? Because in the GFW/ NJPW alliance, there is no man bigger or more important to their platform.

What's so special about AJ Styles that no one else in their stable can compete? Domestic support, for one. As the former golden boy of TNA, the second place wrestling promotion in the country, he has name recognition. If the casual fan has never seen a match, they still know where he used to work and THAT has value. They also know the caliber of the opponents he faced while in WWE's competitor and that, too, has value. Why? For the very same reason I criticize WWE FAR more harshly than any other promotion. When WWE was firing veterans who could have been giving guys like Styles a respectable resume to submit to the masses, TNA was rounding them up and building up Mr. Styles into a marketable commodity, worth every penny in the contract he signs.

As his one-year deal with New Japan comes to a close in the coming weeks, he faces a choice ahead of him. Does he make a TNA return or does he sign with GFW and work them towards their possible launch into the television market. With GFW so far from their deal having ink attached to it, I would not be a bit surprised if he stayed in Japan OR if he entertained the offers TNA is now more willing to offer for his talents. Whatever the case, he's the one man I'm watching the most closely out of all of them....and so should you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Clarity....

Well, well, well....seems I have need to put some clarity to my statements from yesterday. I've watched it back and I still have no idea what all the fuss is about. Before I go ANY further, let's look at a couple of other debuts and do some comparisons, shall we?

1. Goldberg....


2. Chris Jericho.....

You'll notice with these debuts, there are two GLARING differences: J.R at the commentary and The Rock as the channel for the crowd energy. The Rock was the pinnacle of WWE's popular superstars during the eras, or at least shared that spotlight with Steve Austin. Triple H is NOT The Rock and his track record for putting over WCW talents is HORRIBLE. Need evidence?

Scott Steiner.....

This took place prior to Goldberg's debut and once his first official feud was set and Triple H was announced as the first PPV opponent, it was the beginning of the end of his rise and two straight losses via shenanigans sealed his fate and Scott Steiner spent the rest of his WWE tenure relegated to the undercard.

The list of talents Triple H has NOT given credence to is VERY long. So long, in fact, that each of the losses handed to former WCW talents was given on HUGE stages. Scott Steiner's first loss was at the Royal Rumble; Goldberg's first loss was at Survivor Series; Chris Jericho's was at Wrestlemania as was Booker T's. Seriously, folks....Triple H is NOT where Sting should be laying his career to rest.

When WWE first leaked Sting's involvement in the Survivor Series festivities, it was described as an unveiling, which would have given some time to find a suitable replacement for The Undertaker, provided he was unable to fulfill the kind of role requested at Wrestlemania. Not confronting the leader of the establishment, which was his TNA role in virtually every case. Believe me, this isn't me hating on Triple H or WWE in general, it's that in the end, the send-off isn't filled with pomp and circumstance, like most fans want.

Triple H is one of the greatest heel performers to ever grace a WWE stage. He's also one of the biggest player of backstage politics in the history of WWE, placing himself as high as a person can be in the hierarchy as a person can be long before he was running the company on the daily. Triple H can put on a great match with almost everyone, but he only elevates those he deems worthy, and those in that number are few and far between.

I think Sting deserved a better debut and a more proper opponent, one who could pace his farewell match with enough gusto and drama to tell an amazing story in the squared circle and, in my opinion, that man is NOT Triple H. In fact, NO ONE on their current roster has that kind of talent to serve as Sting's final opponent. So this post is, if nothing else, a plea to the powers that be to seek out Sting's final opponent with care and give him the kind of send-off he deserves.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Is Late Better Than Never? Really?

It finally happened. Sting debuted in WWE at Survivor Series. The thing is, by the time he arrived, stared down Triple H, and delivered the Death Drop, the magic was gone and what might have been a very epic debut became what WWE is now....watered down and predictable.

Let's face it, when the news broke about Sting making his debut at the PPV was leaked, I could tell that there was only two places his presence could POSSIBLY go...either during or after the Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose match OR during or after the main event. Seriously, there was no other place where it would even make sense on the card.

What's worse, Sting's debut and, likely, his final match in WWE looks to be against Triple H, which, if true, would be the worst decision WWE has made since going PG. The logical question to ask here is why and the answer is so simple.....because Triple H is the boss. Think about it, people. He's wrestled less than 5 times since losing his hair. That isn't just on TV either. That's cumulative.....across the boards. WWE could not have picked a less suitable opponent, unless it was the Undertaker.

Speaking in terms of booking, logistics, and just about everything else, there is no way Sting wrestles this match and wins cleanly. Triple H has put so many careers on life support that this potential match seems more like a final nail in the coffin that is WCW and, for Vince and Trips, it's the final closing of the book. I mean, what else is there? Sting, Goldberg, Hogan, Bischoff, I think that covers the most important bases.

So I'm asking all of you....is late better than never? As I've said on a few occasions, Sting's best entry point into WWE would have been in 2002-03. Why? Because of where WWE's blue brand was, at the time, in terms of booking. There was virtually NOTHING of note happening aside from Angle vs. Lesnar and, to be fair, the blue brand suffered greatly for it. The Undertaker COULD HAVE had his feud with Sting and have been able to carry himself to a great, and I do mean GREAT match as his bones and joints could have handled the stress. But now? Taker is virtually out of the question for a final retirement match.

If the current plan is scrapped and we get Shawn Michaels OR Chris Jericho, I'm in, but otherwise, I see no point in it and I have no desire to see the shovel of Trips go back to work. For the record, I'll be following WWE's treatment of the Sting storyline closely, but not enough to watch 3 hours just to see the part I want to keep track of. Sorry peeps, but WWE lost my paying business years ago and the ability to keep my attention for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

So is late better than never? For Sting, I say no. If it had been me, never would have been the best course.

Survivor Series and Other Potential Disasters....

Team Cena and Team Authority either ends in a draw or no contest or Cena wins. I simply see no way around that. Further, I see loopholes as wide as the ocean is wide and these X Factors will either come into play, or be held at bay based upon which of the three options WWE writers go with. Want a VERY quick rundown? No problem.

1. Team Cena wins. This option makes sense because you expect it and WWE is not in the business of delivering the unexpected anymore. I see chaos running rampant once Cena's team does come out on top with the X Factors coming into play to help clean house.

2. Draw. TNA did a finish like this once, where the final survivor left standing could not answer the count of ten. This finish does two things, it saves those X Factors until later, but it also draws out the storyline even further and raises the stakes even higher.

3. No Contest. This one brings the X Factors right into the thick of things and keeps the individual feuds of the parties involved moving along the path they're all headed towards Wrestlemania weekend with. As for the X Factors? Bray Wyatt, Sting, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, and Triple H himself. I see this becoming something WWE would do if they really want to put Sting over as the hinge pin and the threat to the establishment.

That's right, Sting and Randy Orton are slated to be used, as well as one more surprise I take to mean Chris Jericho, provided he's free, willing, and the crowd isn't hyped enough about those revelations. I see no reason to believe anything other than those are in the cards, but if there IS another, I would see the Undertaker as a last minute change, but with his health fading as much as it has been, I highly doubt it.

*sigh* People, I am not excited, even about this PPV for WWE and even though Sting may finally make his first appearance with the establishment. I, like a great deal of the fans outside the Sting to WWE camp, truly hoped Sting would remain the greatest wrestler to ever not set foot in a WWE ring, but alas, it appears that will not be the case.

But in spite of everything being said about how great Survivor Series is gonna be, I still say eh.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Who's Coming? Anyone? Who's Coming Back? Anyone?

With everything going on and the whirlwind set to take place in the course of the next month in preparation for the relaunch or even rebranding of TNA, I can safely say there's sure to be more than a fever pitch of speculation going around as to who's coming back or who's sticking around and making a return at the turn of the calendar year. That said, I see no reason not to do a little speculating ourselves as to who could be making a return or debut in the coming year. SO, without further ado, I say we launch into this thing....

1. AJ Styles....When looking into this the right way, I say we look at the obvious first. Styles left TNA after having taped episodes of Impact long ahead of his departure at the beginning of the year. His contract with NJPW only had a year on it from beginning to end. Granted, he's slated to be penciled into the GFW picture for one PPV, but that's only one commitment and he hasn't made a signature on the dotted line for anyone else as of this post. So why NOT TNA? Rumor has it that officials are drafting a new deal to offer him anyway, why not?

2. Melina.....Back in 2012, this was in negotiations, but a deal couldn't be reached, but today? The situation is JUST a little different and with the relaunch, officials ARE in the market for a couple of new talents and, in particular, a brand new veteran with some street cred to boot. Once again, the rumors floating around that officials either HAVE BEEN or WILL BE making an offer to Ms. Perez in the coming month to join in on the launch.

3. ODB....With everything being equal, ODB is just as much of a fan favorite now as she has ever been, but right now, she's not a part of the roster. In efforts to cut costs, her contract was allowed to run out, but my understanding is that she's still on good terms with the powers that be pulling strings right now, so I don't see why they wouldn't bring her back as well.

4. Kurt Angle....With only a single year, according to him, left in his career, he's most assuredly not going back up north, with the expectation WWE has for him working a full time schedule, not when TNA has given him the option of remaining a part time wrestler position AND a full time on screen personality for the brand. I don't see this changing in the next year and further, if things go well, he may even change his mind and put another year on it for good measure and for the amount of leeway the organization has done to keep him in good health.

5. Matt Morgan....Surprised? No one was more surprised than I that the Blueprint had even an inkling of interest in returning to the ring after his last departure a couple of years back. What I didn't know was that the two parties have been keeping in contact ever since that last day. From my sources, he's been keeping in shape and has been planning a return to the ring for about 6 months. Could that return include a final run towards the World Title in the new year? Who knows?

This is just scratching the surface, people. There are more parties in negotiations than there are seasons in the year, figuratively speaking. For that reason, if for no other, I am HUGELY excited for the coming year. You should be too.

Maple Leafs.....

Okay, before I go ANY further, I've been seeing this little trend. Certain of my neighbors in the Great White North are stating, with a great deal of dismay that once this new deal takes effect in January, they won't be able to watch TNA anymore. As I've said before, there are PLENTY of ways to watch TNA and even as we speak, TNA is working on cable carriers in Canada and has spoken to Canadian viewers to that end on Twitter.

IN THE MEANTIME.....I've got some options....both of which I share with you right about now. For these links to work, simply copy and paste the link into your browser and away you go. The directions will work, you can trust me.

1.   http://www.primewire.ag
When this page loads, click the TV Shows tab in the upper middle of the page. It will display a long list of shows. Simply type in TNA or Impact Wrestling in the search bar. CAUTION: If you have ad blocker, put it on for this one OR be prepared to close out of a dozen ad windows before your episode starts. On the plus side, it IS free and the quality IS good.

2.  http://www.bollyrulez.tv
This one is simple as well. Just scroll down the page and select from the most recent episodes list. Once the linked page opens, scroll down and select the stream you wish and away you go. Granted, you may have to watch in parts, but it IS free and it IS good quality and you won't have to turn on ad blocker for it.

My point? You all have options, if you're dedicated and have the ability to do some leg work. Here, however, I've done that for you. This is my thanks to you all for sticking with me through the wilderness leading up to the announcement.

Don't forget to subscribe to the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING YouTube channel for match highlights, the exclusive "Farewell" to Spike Thanksgiving Throwdown Special.

I certainly hope this helps everyone who won't get access to Destination America once the turnaround comes about.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bridging the Gap....

We've got a home, more programming, and TNA's scouts are on the lookout for more talent to restore the ranks, what more can the powers that be want? How about some momentum moving forward? I have read that TNA officials have put together a YouTube exclusive final farewell for Thanksgiving day. What follows? I have a few guesses, but a couple of things are certain.

1. Talents can breathe a bit easier. Now that TNA has a place to call home, contracts can now be offered more aggressively and those in power can pretty much have their pick of the litter of whom they  wish to pull from abroad AND so they can retain those already under TNA's employ.

2. TNA is expected to be a cornerstone on Destination America, slated to have more programming than simply their two hour block on the night they arrive on. What does that mean? I'd venture their One Night Only events, at least another couple of hours of brand new footage, and even some behind the scenes documentary stuff not unlike WWE Confidential from years past.

With all of this good news, there is still one thing to consider: What does TNA offer their fans to satiate their wrestling fill until the first part of January? "Best of" specials? I certainly hope not. One other piece of note to mention....a new logo, new format, and basically a complete rework of the platform might be coming, literally creating a TNA version 2.0 in the purest sense of the words.

Does this mean a more updated camera format or a new stage layout or is this really nothing worthy of note? I truly have no idea. A new logo COULD be cool, provided they allow the FANS to decide where the final lot is cast. They allowed fans to make the decision on the 6 Sided Ring, which was COMPLETELY monumental for any promotion, independent or otherwise. Could the same be said about a new logo? Personally, I'd love a say in this new world we're being asked to share in. I very much doubt WWE consulted their fans when they decided to put something new out there. Just saying.

I think it wouldn't be too great a stretch to see Josh Matthews, who was once in WWE's talent stable on the broadcasting side of things, eventually showing up at the announce table, but for now, he is quietly working behind the scenes. Additionally, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Good 'ol J.R. showed up for an event or two in the coming year. His decision to make a return for the Wrestle Kingdom PPV in Japan to call play by play comes before his blog in support of TNA's new network announcement and a shout-out to that end.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TNA....Welcome Home

Instead of trying to break this down, here's the announcement straight from the office....


As predicted, TNA FINALLY makes their move and announces a new home. Canadians, before anyone tries to jump on the "They're gonna alienate me" bandwagon, there is PLENTY of opportunity for you and yours to get your TNA on. A simple Google search will bring up a ton of sites to stream via the internet. That not quite your style? YouTube fans are streaming all over the place.

My initial analysis says that this is an amazing announcement. Why? A few simple reasons explain it all:

1. Destination America will promote new TNA programming outside of their initial Impact Wrestling broadcast. This one is HUGE because we all know they need the airtime to give each of their divisions room to grow and cultivate. A second show and various specials are included in the contract. It doesn't have to happen right away, but with the sheer volume of performers on the roster now PLUS those involved in cameo appearances AND those on loan from other promotions, you're going to need that added time flex.

2. Destination America is growing. For those concerned that this channel isn't on the grid right now, take heart; the hard copy of the announcement isn't hard to find on the interwebs. Within it, they state that the network is in the top five fastest growing networks since their launch in 2012. With a foothold on one of the Discovery family of networks, there is little chance that TNA will see anything but growth as they are in popular cluster.

3. Most people disregard Destination America when they see it on paper, but with series like BBQ Pitmasters, Buying Alaska, and Buying the Bayou all transitioning from their place on their normal channel to one other form of net entertainment, the shows are getting a whole new audience....the ones from Netflix. If TNA is able to foster a relationship with Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, they could immediately make their mark on ground WWE is fast losing. With the WWE Network being all but a complete bust, TNA's place on Destination America could garner some support by scoring HUGE on Netflix, provided their programming becomes a part of the deal. With WWE having virtually no presence on Netflix, they could gain HUGE ground by putting old PPVs, specials, and even old weekly footage from years gone by.

On the surface, I see this as a major win for TNA, despite the initial loss of Canada as a member of the viewing community on the small screen, but mark my words, this isn't the end of the journey for TNA as they will be trying to circumvent this setback in short order.

AHHH! I almost forgot....I mentioned an acquisition potentially coming in as soon as their premiere episode on Destination America....why don't I just show you?






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Loading.....TNA version 2.0

With everything moving into overdrive as TNA's final new episode on Spike happens in just two days, TNA is in the process of securing some star power going into the New Year and leading into those days. It's conceivable that they could take some down time from Thanksgiving until their launch a couple of weeks later. Who knows? If I were putting this thing, I have a couple of ideas concerning HOW to go about this new move.....

1. You have in the neighborhood of 3-4 days to promote the heck out of this move. Why only this amount? If anyone reading this is at all like me, you plan out your viewing schedule based on channel, show, and time. I would buy 4 or 5 commercial spots on about 5 of the biggest networks in prime time and advertise the move to their new home. Combine this with a HUGE ad for the move on their website, YouTube, and Facebook. People need to know about this because some big things are coming in the new year.

2. Throw a BASH. I don't mean something overblown like the debut of Hulk Hogan, which was so diluted with returns and cameos that it was downright distracting,  but something understated, but HUGE. Pull out the stops on matches and put together some special matches. Heck, make it a 3 hour event, with a big announcement to end the night.

3. Sign a heavy hitter or two. Don't disappoint people with this one. Seriously. Don't bring in any more MMA fighters. EVER. Spike needs no more advertisement for Bellator. They already are doing their own job with that. That said, TNA has to do something big to put this thing over the top. I've brought up the idea of a full blown Faction War with FOUR factions, but it doesn't have to be like that. If TNA signs some big main event names like one who has already stated he wants TNA on his resume in the coming year.

4. Genesis needs to SING. The PPV to start the year has to set the tone for the year and truly deliver in order for them to hit the ground running and bolster the viewing on this new network home. This will mean overtime for the writers to do their thing and make the storylines speak to the viewers and strike interest in the brand right from the start.

This is for a rapid fire transition. Panda will have to fork over some capital for this just to not lose a chunk of the viewership they already have on Spike. This is also assuming that their new home has a decently sized audience already. People need to know there's a new face in town, so to speak. Extra programming is only as effective as the size of the audience who is seeing it in the first place.

Monday, November 17, 2014

More? Seriously?! Yes, Please.....

GFW announced Jim Ross, and that was big news. TNA, not to be outdone, looks to try for one better....

The deal, mandated to come before their November 19th broadcast, looks to provide more than just their own single show on Wednesday nights. No, this deal is rumored to have flex for even more programming. How about that second show I've been asking for? If rumors are true, we'll have that.

AND, with the roster of performers who have been appearing at Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore shows, you can reasonably expect regular cameos from performers with ties there. That includes, but is not limited to, Alberto Del Rio, Eddie Kingston, The Young Bucks, and the return of Bully Ray. Can anyone tell me better news?

The wait on this is almost over, folks....and not a moment too soon. The timing is critical here as TNA's last performance on Spike happens Thursday. This news conflicts with other reports that have stated that TNA will still be on the schedule even as far as mid December. But my sources are telling me that there is NO more new footage and ideas Spike has had for running "Best of" specials until the first of the year have been scrapped. THIS means that the announcement HAS to come in short order. I'll be holding a vigil for this and I'll post just as soon as I find out and give my thoughts, advice, and other miscellaneous commentary on the big exodus from Spike.

AAA, NJPW, Wrestle-1, GFW.....imagine a wrestling conglomerate with TNA in the lead seat, being the only company thusfar with a television contract in the States. Could this combat WWE's juggernaut status? Oh, that I could answer that question with a simple answer, but the fact is, so many factors would HAVE to play out before there could be any kind of competition to even take place. A great many conspiracy theorists have made sport of TNA's move for Hulk Hogan, saying that it was a ploy from Vince McMahon to send in a spy to destroy TNA from the inside out, but when the tactic didn't work the way they planned, I dismissed it outright. The three newest indy charms WWE has gathered could be the same way. Finn Balor, Kevin Steen, and Hideo Itami all come from well traveled and well chronicled independent promotions with running histories of alliance. NJPW, ROH; these promotions have made them internet darlings with the IWC and in a spirit of anti-establishment, maybe it's time to bring things down from the inside. If GFW and NJPW and others join TNA, you could realistically see Bullet Club show up on TNA television, combating their former members with ratings as their currency. Would it work? For some, maybe, but WWE loyalists are a tough nut to crack and I would venture much more would have to happen before a switch would happen, and especially on the long term.

Make no bones about it, right now there isn't even a battle, let alone another war.....but maybe one day....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Good 'ol boy...

In the most recent revelation from the camp of Jeff Jarrett, GFW's very first PPV event, Wrestle Kingdom, broadcasting from NJPW's arena in Japan will feature a very interesting returning legend in the industry. Jim Ross will be doing the play-by-play announcing on the inaugural show. That means that AJ Styles will almost definitely be on the lips of the former voice of RAW. Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? I mean other than Mr. Ross and AJ Styles are playing for the wrong team?

I'll be honest, folks, I'm very sick of waiting on the announcement of a new TV deal on the horizon for TNA. All things considered, it does no favors for the top brass to be keeping such a big secret from the locker room, let alone the fans. In the waiting period, Bully Ray, whose contract expired as recently as the past month, let the brass have it in a Twitter post, stating that the soldiers may as well be dead for as much communication they've received from the generals. It's a very sad day, indeed, for some within the confines of their contract.

Before I get ahead of myself, provided there IS some good news to come from the front lines, I am still holding out a glimmer of hope somewhere that the Carter family is able to put together some funds and pull off the biggest swerve in recent wrestling history by bringing all hands back into the fold and can bolster enough fans to keep attentions reeling for the long haul.

In other semi-related news, Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore is pulling together their very first iPPV and has some notable personalities from New Japan AND TNA's ranks. Among them, Ethan Carter, Austin Aries, Matt and Jeff Hardy, and Velvet Sky. The fact that TNA has allowed each of the performers from their roster to appear on an iPPV when previously they could not per their contract speaks volumes to me about where the climate of the product is and their potential ties to the HOH product as well. Among the names, also, is Drew Galloway, a current member of Bullet Club, of which both AJ Styles AND Jeff Jarrett are members.

So where is this all headed? As I've stated before on a number of occasions, I am of the belief that Jarrett and Bullet Club will be invading TNA soon and will be putting some cooperative juices together to bring in the new year. Once TNA announces their final home for the duration of the year and into the next, I'll say more on where the cooperative might be headed, but for now, prospects are as still as a mannequin.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blind Man's Bluff....

With all the talk of TNA and the new network jump and even the notion of them staying put, I haven't given up hope that the announcement will come with a hefty big name to garner some much needed goodwill and bring shock the masses. HOWEVER, I am not so blind in my fanaticism that I would not acknowledge the possibility that Dixie Carter and the rest of the clan are playing a dangerous game of Blind Man's Bluff, attempting to plant false hope in the fans. But I will offer that IF this is an attempt at business slight of hand, they are doing a very poor job of concealing their cards.

1. TNA made the announcement that Impact would have a Spike TV home until the first week of January and yet they've not taped anything new as of this post, making their new material end in two weeks' time. The week after, Spike TV will be airing a movie in TNA's timeslot. When asked, Spike officials stated that the holiday would be slow anyway, so they didn't want to take the chance of low ratings over the course of the broadcast.

2. My sources are telling me that the shock announcement has to do with Kurt Angle resigning for his farewell year in the sport we all know and love. Will he turn up in WWE for one last hurrah? They'd be fools to not let that happen. As for THAT announcement? I'd just keep watching.

3. The time clock reads three more days and the sources aforementioned have informed me that some time within those days, we'll know for sure where TNA stands, but if "End of Watch" is airing in two weeks and then we have "Best of" specials all the way until the New Year, doesn't it stand to reason that GFW is becoming the one with all the momentum going into that timeframe? Forget the specials, I'm not buying into the notion that TNA won't have original programming leading into the new year SOMEWHERE. That line of thinking makes zero sense in the long run, even from the perspective of one leaving one network to go to another.

But enough about the network or lack thereof....let's talk about something else....like Rey Mysterio, who has been leaving his checks from WWE, which are substantial, I might add, uncashed. This prods the question from me....why doesn't he just send the checks MY way? Right? But the point I'm making is simple. Just how miserable must you be working for the man to leave your checks uncashed and show up without being put on screen? He's been teasing a return to AAA in the coming months, who have ties to TNA and GFW respectively. In the meantime, however, he's still under contract and is likely to remain as such until he either looks at old CM Punk footage and follows suit, leaving it all behind and waiting out the ink on his contract OR he lobbies for his release like other former talents have done in the past. What's your pick?

For me, if the craft has lost its luster and I've just had enough of the schedule and giving it up for king and country day in and day out, I'd follow Punk's lead. On the other hand, if there are a few buddies left in the biz in the company, I might stick it out for as long as my contract lasts and then bolt once the timeframe has lapsed and work elsewhere IMMEDIATELY.




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Long?

So TNA announced last week that the first week of November wouldn't come to an end before the announcement of a new network has been broken. In the meantime, GFW has made an announcement of their own. Apparently, their inaugural event will emanate from the same arena Bound for Glory did this year in Japan. On tap, the clan will feature a who's who of the most recognizable legends and personalities in the form. Among the number will be Dusty Rhodes, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Vader, the Steiner Brothers, and the Great Muta. Considering such a crop of legends, it remains to be seen if such an assembly of legends, some of whom are, as of yet, still under contract with WWE, will cause any legal disputes or if they are on hand to simply provide backstage support for the performers who are still finding their way onto the card to fill out the event.

With this development on the horizon, one might think GFW is poised to take their place on the wrestling scene by force, so to speak, but unless they can round out their resume with television contract in tow, there is little chance anything of consequence will come of it all. Further, without the ability to showcase said legends on screen, if the event is put onto Pay Per View, it'll be a tough sell to anyone who matters (see also TV execs.) to convince them that their promotion is worth sinking air time into. Compoundly, IF this event IS televised in ANY capacity and this legends are shown, WWE will show no mercy in throwing every book in the proverbial library at GFW and the legends in question for their breach in contract.

What this DOES mean for TNA is that they need to put their name on the dotted line and quickly in order to secure any chance of a home base of operations. On that note, taped episodes of Impact Wrestling only run until November 19th, meaning that the announcement and exodus HAVE to happen  within the next few days. So to answer the question at the beginning....within the next couple of days.