Sunday, May 31, 2015

The "TWO-FER" Experiment

Destination America is becoming a very different animal than I had initially expected them to be. Why? For starters, it seems they've given TNA something of an ultimatum, meaning that they are looking for a larger audience, something big....something more promising than what they've seen thusfar. While, some like me believe that the current ratings are more than could have been realistically expected beforehand, those in power want more. My guess is that they want something that can rival WWE on some level. Hence their power play. Destination has signed Ring of Honor. The first episode airs this week.

What does THIS show? Right now, the running belief is that they are expecting ROH and TNA to foster some kind of talent exchange and even some runover into each other's shows and perhaps even a special or two moving ahead. It's no secret that ROH has had some hard feelings due to some of their highest tier talents leaving for TNA in the past, and with New Japan on ROH's short list of foreign relations, TNA could use that pull if they want to have any chance of AJ Styles lacing up his boots for one last run in a TNA ring. Is it possible? Maybe. Heck, even Bad Influence aka. The Addiction with their added Chris Sabin ingredient could find themselves back in the TNA spotlight.

From a fan's perspective, this could be a dream come true and could spell something great on Wednesday nights in the land of prowrestling. From a booking and creative standpoint, this decision is dangerous. Why? Both organizations have their own top tiers and both have high standards to uphold and both want to showcase their best talents in a way that makes each look strong and makes their promotion look top notch. How this can be done is of UTMOST importance and creative heads will be beating together as the two organizations have had among the rockiest of histories between allies. This is going to be a tough road, but if both sets of creative forces can co-exist, we could be looking at the beginning of something extremely beneficial for everyone involved.....and could salvage what, right now, looks like a bit of a train-wreck.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Slumber....

How did this happen? Destination America has reportedly just pulled the plug on TNA's lifeline on their network and now, once more, TNA is homeless. After having brought in a new creative mind to aid in their product itself, we now have a very large problem.

When Spike TV let their contract go by and determined not to renew their relationship, I was both upset and yet still hopeful. Now that this has gone down, I have no clue what to feel about it. When Destination America decides that the cost of TNA's product is too high for the kind of ratings it's putting up, even if it leads the ranks of ANYTHING they have on tap for the moment, it makes me question the decision, but I digress. After all, the decision has been made.

So what now? Does the roster throw in their lot with GFW? After all, most of the current talents have contracts that move through the year. So what happens to that? Does this mean that TNA will fold after all this time? For real, guys...this is serious business. It was something of a minor miracle that TNA was able to find themselves a partner in the short term, but I expected MUCH longer than a half season's worth of programming and not this.

It also calls into question this blog, doesn't it? Do I continue to provide whatever passion still exists for the sport of wrestling but for another up and coming fed or do I toss in the towel? I have no clue whatsoever, hence the silence leading me to this point. I've been at this for nearly 6 years and have logged in over 1000 columns on the subject. I've been right and I've been wrong, but now.....I haven't any idea where to go from here and, though I'm sure the team in Nashville is doing everything they can to put together some kind of deal to last through the year and hope someone else picks them up, I can't begin to predict what that might look like.

I've fought hard and done my best to convince the masses that TNA is worth the price they bring to the table, but now.....the curtain falls on Destination America and another chapter may begin OR it may be the end of the war....I'll keep bringing news here as it becomes available, but once the final countdown has elapsed, I don't know what to do next.

What do you guys think? Do I hang it up? Do I throw in my lot with another fed and hope for the best? Do I walk back to WWE and rough it out? Toss in a comment below and let me know what you think?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

12 Hours to Speculate....

So right now, I sit up and read that a former World Heavyweight Champion will referee the title match on this week's live Impact and I wonder who that could be. Since this isn't the open ended "a former World Champion returns" type of deal that will only end in disappointments like Pac Man Jones, I have to believe this reveal will be something special, so I say we do some digging before we go any further......starting with schedules.....

AJ Styles, whom I would have wished for, will be busy for the next two days, in Piedmont, Alabama and working for NWA the following day, making him the first former World Heavyweight to cross of the possibilities list.

Chris Sabin now is under contract with Ring of Honor, crossing him off the list.

Sting is scheduled to be in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania for Wizard World's Comic Convention for an all day VIP event. This crosses the ICON off the list.

Before I go further with anything else on this.....I may have found the solution, provided that TNA sticks with TNA World Heavyweight Champions. Here's the math:

Since the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was first introduced on May 17th, 2007, there have been 16 different World Champions. Moving along the same thread, we've eliminated 3, leaving 13. From there, we can readily eliminate any who are currently on the TNA roster, that number being 10. That leaves 4. Among those in the number:

Samoa Joe, Rob Van Dam, Bully Ray, and Mick Foley

I've been hearing reports that Samoa Joe could be starting with WWE as soon as July and, if rumors hold true, that eliminates him. Leaving just 3.

According to Mick Foley's website, he's still offering a Wrestlemania dream vacation for one "lucky" fan, which all but excludes him from contention, simply from a conflict of interest standpoint and, with his history of frustration with TNA management, I would argue that he's not a viable option....even for a guest referee role. That leaves just TWO.

So we're down to Rob Van Dam and Bully who makes sense? RVD left with the Hogan regime and Bully took Velvet Sky with him......who makes more sense to return? This one should be a no brainer......

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Oh Billy.....

So here's the goal of this column: I want to be optimistic about what's coming down the pike with a new head of creative at the helm of TNA's team. To that effect, I'm going to do some speculating about the kinds of things TNA could do to freshen things up....from a creative standpoint, anyway. In that spirit, here's how I would confront the challenge and how, I can see things moving.....

1. Factions.....Either go big or go home
We've gone around and around about this, but right now, there's two factions running with a third working the Tag Division. I say bring in more factions or give them a break altogether. TNA's faction history is exhaustive, but factions ARE familiar so regular fans are already used to them. This has two effects, though, it forces writers to come up with brand new debuts and it fills the ring with body clutter unless everyone has a role to fill. Also, TNA has never gone full bore with their factions as I've been asking for for years.

2. A brand new gimmick's about time
I had such high hopes for Eric Bischoff's creative direction, but was woefully disappointed when we weren't rewarded with a gimmick match the likes of the Elimination Chamber. TNA needs a new type of match they can call their own. The Survivor Series in a Cell a.k.a. Lethal Lockdown was innovative, but we can do better with more years under the belt.

3. Hardcore.....WWE ain't going there
Elements of the hardcore culture still are out there and TNA has done a FAR better job tapping into said culture and satiating their cravings for blood, sweat, and tears. Under Corgan, I see nothing but the same and even moreso.

4. Expansion.....meeting of the minds
With the Smashing Pumpkins as the "spokesband", so to speak, TNA is going to be able to find their way into arenas they weren't able to before, regardless of their previous history. Corgan has connections, make no mistake and I see grand possibilities as the promotion moves forward.

5. Fresh faces......they've never been here before
Whether it has been by hook or crook, TNA has always somehow managed to pick up some unexpected gems. EC3, Matt Hardy's return, character transformations from existing member of the roster, and all sorts of cameos and true signings, I see nothing to tell me the trend won't continue.

And this is just the beginning, folks. I have every reason to believe that TNA has it in them as well as Billy in him to make this contract something special.....