The Fantasy Book on Being a Grumpy Old Man (Perspective on TNA feat. Lashley, Matt Hardy, and Eddie Edwards)

Well, hello. Nice to see you. It’s been about a week, so it is nice of you to stop by. What? Why do I have this hose? Because I am going to turn it on you whipper-snappers. Get off my lawn!!!

You see, I have been trying to watch a little more TNA the past few weeks. Why? Well, obviously it is because I am a masochist. But I haven’t seen much of TNA lately, and I was curious. I used to enjoy TNA way back in the day. I enjoyed watching AJ Styes, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Abyss, Awesome Kong, Sonjay Dutt, Monty Brown, Scott D’Amore’s Canadian contingent, Alex Shelley, Low Ki, and my fantasy girlfriend Velvet Sky. But I did hate when TNA started signing all the WWE cast-offs, and I loathed the time period when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff had power.

But I have been off the TNA bandwagon for a while. I think I am actually justified in that though. But I have heard a lot of buzz about some of the unique things the company is doing now. So I’ve tried giving it a bit of a try again. Nothing ridiculous like watching the show every single week, but I thought I would check it out a little bit. Wow, was that a mistake.

As you could probably tell from the opening of this column, I am open to the possibility that I am old and just don’t “get” what TNA is trying to do. Even with that being the case, I am still grumpy enough to run down a number of things about TNA which need to go. Here we go…

  • Billy Corgan. Billy Corgan needs to go. Unless he wants to play a Smashing Pumpkins song to open the show every week, I don’t really need to see his cue ball head on my screen. For total disclosure, I actually like the Smashing Pumpkins. I even think that a lot of their most pompous work has some merit. Plus, “Today” is one of the greatest songs of all time. But, I have always thought Billy Corgan was a bit of an ass. In fact, I like to refer to him by a term that Tony Kornheiser used to use about former Ravens coach Brian Billick. That term is “preening schmo.” Seriously, doesn’t it fit Corgan perfectly? My dislike for Corgan goes back to my college days. It was my freshman year at college, and the Smashing Pumpkins were performing in the basketball arena on campus. The show was good, up to a point. For some reason, Corgan and the rest of the Pumpkins were very slow to come out for their encore. The crowd, being mainly tired and stressed college students, began getting a little restless. At some point, some toilet paper was thrown on the stage. Before the band even returned to the stage, I might add. Toilet paper! Nothing dangerous; not a bottle or anything. Toilet paper. Apparently, this was disgraceful for Mr. Corgan because when the Pumpkins finally came out to start their encore set he decided to lecture the crowd about proper concert-going behavior. Apparently having a little fun while waiting for pompous and coddled rock stars to grace us with their music is uncool. Well, you can guess what happened then. Yep. The Pumpkins started playing something cool, it might have been “Siva,” but it was a long time ago. And someone up behind the stage got cute and threw another roll of toilet paper on stage. It didn’t hit anyone, but Corgan saw it. And he stopped the song half way through. He took his ball and went home. Well, he took his band and went home. It was quite the dickish move. And because of that I don’t want to see him on my television. It’s great that he likes pro wrestling and wants to do something other than music, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Preening schmo.
  • Hey, the six-sided ring is back. That’s cool. Like I said, I haven’t watched TNA in a while and last I remember, Hogan made them change to a traditional 4 corner ring because he couldn’t work in something different. Of course, he couldn’t really work at that point anyway, so it was pointless. Somewhere along the line they switched back to the six-sided ring. I applaud that decision as the six-sided ring gave TNA a different look and feel, something unique to them and interesting. But I realized something when watching the past couple weeks. The six-sided ring worked when TNA had a bunch of smaller X division guys jumping all over the ring. When you put bigger guys in there, the ring just looks small and the action looks stilted. One example I will give is just look how Moose or Lashley seem to take two steps and are at the other side of the ring. It limits the effect of their power moves. And just makes everyone look even more like they are thinking about the next move instead of having matches flow effortlessly. In fact, that is probably the best way to say it. The bigger guy matches in the six-sided ring don’t look natural, they look like they are taking too much effort.
  • The women, excuse me, the knockouts of TNA are in sad shape right now. I remember way back when The Beautiful People were running rampant over everyone and were so good at their mean girl act that WWE basically stole it. Back then we had Roxxi doing amazing things, Tara kicking butt, Awesome Kong crushing everyone, and even Gail Kim prior to her Marriage Impossible. Now we have Gail Kim, a bunch of nobodies, and Maria Bennett, who can’t wrestle a lick. I love Maria, but she shouldn’t be wrestling, she should be managing the Kingdom. Or at least her average husband. Basically, this division made me sad. It went from being very impressive and felt like a real revolution that WWE needed to jump on to being a poor imitation of something the WWE is doing much, much better. Way to go, TNA. Thanks for regressing.
  • The X division is a shell of its former self. Granted, the X division never had a strict focus. Anyone could compete. There were no size or weight restrictions. Most of the wrestlers were flippity-floppers, but not all. The best I could determine was that you had to have “it” to compete in the X division. Which is why Alex Shelley trying to train Kevin Nash to be an X division wrestler was hilarious. And why the AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels/Samoa Joe feud and battles were legendary. But now, I don’t know. I heard that Shane Helms took over the direction of the X division, and Shane Helms definitely does not have “it.” I know I may just be showing my age, but I am not feeling these X division guys. I’m sorry, but DJ Z is barely Braun Strowman-opponent level. Maybe it is just me though. I’ll let Grandpa Simpson sum it up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV0wTtiJygY
  • The Grand Champion? Damien Sandow? Wait, he is now Aron Rex. What a lame name. But back to this championship. What the heck is this? A bunch of rounds? Judges? Just give me a wrestling match, for crying out loud. If I wanted to watch pointless fake fighting, I’d watch boxing. This whole thing has a Brawl-for-All feel to it for me. Where is Bart Gunn when you need him? (I believe that might be the first time in humanity’s existence that sentence has been uttered.) You want a new championship, fine. The King of the Mountain title thing was death anyway. How about this, and I’ll give it to you for free. Call it whatever you want, but the rules are simple. Ten minute matches only. The champion has to win within the time limit. If it goes ten minutes, the challenger gets the belt. Force the champion to push the action. Make it exciting and energetic. Call it whatever you want, but I have a feeling it would be much more interesting than this Grand Champion garbage.
  • I don’t know even half of these wrestlers any more. That is not really TNA’s fault, but they haven’t created any stars to transcend their company. I mean, EC3 is probably their best “home-grown” talent, and he is unwatchable. I barely remember Lashley from his WWE days, to be honest. And it looks like he has gotten better, but pushing him as a poor man’s Brock Lesnar just looks desperate. Plus, having him destroy EVERY division in your company is pretty dumb. Especially when you have him lose just a few weeks later to a tag team specialist. Yes, Eddie Edwards, you may be a good wrestler, but you are a tag team specialist in my eyes. You have very little time to change that opinion, by the way. Most people never get past it. Look at the Hardys. Look at the Dudleys. I could go on and on. Yeah, I hear you spouting off with, “But wait, Shawn Michaels!” But you better think long and hard before comparing yourself to one of the all-time greats. Plus, that Wolves tattoo on your shoulder looks infected. You might want to see a doctor about that.
  • Hey, there’s Cody Rhodes! Yep, there’s Cody Rhodes. Uh huh, it’s cody rhodes. joy.
  • Mike Bennett is okay. He never set the world on fire in ROH, but he is serviceable in the ring. He also plays an arrogant heel well. Plus, you know, Maria. But the dude isn’t a miracle. Get a grip, TNA.
  • I have to apologize here. I can not remember who on the Inside Pulse staff made this statement about Moose, and I can not remember it completely, but I will try to do it justice. In ROH, Moose came off as a superstar who was bigger than the promotion. In TNA, he comes across as just another guy at best. That is not career growth. I am a big fan of Moose. I think he has tons of talent and should be a superstar. But this TNA run is doing him no favors.
  • Decay? I am not opposed to this faction. I tend to like the “darker” characters in wrestling – Undertaker, the Wyatt family, Raven’s flock, etc., so I am okay with this apocalyptic grouping. The only problem is I have seen this already. And done better. For example, Rosemary. I like Rosemary a lot. But isn’t she just doing the whole crazy Daffney thing from WCW? Abyss? Your crazed monster act has always been a bit of a Mankind knockoff. Finally, Crazzy Steve? You aren’t Raven. You aren’t even Stevie Richards. And two Zs in your name? Is that REALLY necessary? Come on now.
  • And finally, the thing most people are talking about when it comes to TNA… something that is very, very different than anything we’ve seen in wrestling before… something cinematic and very abstract… Broken Matt and the obsolete and deleted Brother Nero. And while I would love to spend the next 78 pages of text explaining all of this and why my grumpy old ass doesn’t like it, I will just summarize and end with this – Dear Hardy Boys, WHAT THE F*CKING F*CK?! D*MN, GUYS, SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE F*UCK OF THE HOLIEST OF F*CKING F*CKS? WHAT IS ALL OF THIS F*CKING SH*T? PUT DOWN THE F*CKING METH! AUGH, I CAN’T TAKE THIS F*CKING INSANITY ANY MORE!

And with that, I shall close for today. Enjoy your week!

 

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