DR. TNA: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Ugly of Thursday’s iMPACT

This is going to sound odd, but I found last week’s iMPACT, with admittedly relatively little wrestling, to be superior to this week’s show, which actually had wrestling.  It seemed this week’s show was all about building the perceived invincibility of Immortal/Fortune and the underdog status of, well anyone else.  It that sense, it was tremendous success.  In other ways, I felt the episode fell a little short.

First, let start with the good.  There can be no doubt that the strength of the Immortal/Fortune faction far over powers the diverse group of individuals that, to date, stand individually against them.  Lest anyone dispute that, I give you exhibits: A – Mr. Anderson versus Kazarian, B – Beer Money versus Rob Van Dam & Sabu, and C – Samoa Joe confronting Jeff Jarrett.

However, none of them may have better epitomized this than Mr. Anderson’s X division match with Kazarian.  First off, Eric Bischoff takes Kazarian, a former X division champion and member of Fortune, and pits him against Mr. Anderson, who only had one good arm.  (For those not familiar, to win the match one must carry themselves across a cable suspended above the ring and grab a large “X.”)  Then of course, there’s the issue of Fortune themselves.  Well, if you didn’t see it, you can guess what happens.

I’ll also put into the “good” category the further selling of Jeff Hardy as a heel.  I wrote last week that one of the charges some have leveled in saying his turning heel was a bad idea was the notion that Jeff Hardy could not adequately sell himself as a heel.  Can we put that notion to rest?

After seeing him the past couple weeks, I think that everyone, including me, may have drastically underestimated his ability to portray more than one type of persona.  Jeff Hardy has largely wrestled with the same type of personality throughout most of his career.  It seems that has allowed many of us to believe that was all he was capable of doing.  He has proven that notion wrong minute by minute since Bound for Glory.

Last week, a reader of this column astutely pointed out the similarities between Hardy’s promo that week and past mic work of Raven.  There is some validity to that and you could see it again in the taped response to RVD and Mr. Anderson early in Thursday’s iMPACT.  However, his work attacking people in the ring and his mic work following those attacks have been unique and effective in securing his heel status with the fans.  This week was very useful in furthering that effort.

Now for the ugly.  I have prescribed patience at times and at other times have called for an outright overall in the creative department of TNA.  This week’s prescription is to carefully monitor and if symptoms do not improve, consider treatment.

TNA is in desperate need of a strong face and soon.  I do NOT subscribe to the hysteria that some of the haters have been screaming since Bound for Glory, in which they decry the current story line as one that cannot work because of XYZ rationale.  I believe this could work very, very well for TNA.  However, soon, as in possibly next week, there needs to be some reasons for the fans to cheer.

This week was a two hour beat down of anyone who doesn’t draw the ire of the fans the second their music starts.  After a while it became evident that if the Pope made an appearance to bless a child that one could expect Ric Flair to assault him.  It seems TNA feels the need to build fan hatred of the heels as they currently stand.  That is a good thing, but don’t forget people like to cheer now and then.  Sooner or later, they are going to need a reason.

The foundation is there for a strong face entity to counter Immortal/Fortune (by the way can we come up with ONE name for them).  The Pope, Mr. Anderson, and RVD are all strong wrestlers who are popular with the fans.  Right now, the groundwork seems to be established that they must stand together or fall separately.  If that is the case, bravo to TNA.  If not, there could be trouble.

If there is going to be a faction the size of Immortal/Fortune, there needs to be a faction to go head to head with them.  With that, we not only get unpredictability, but the drama that could come from recruitment across factions.  I hope that is where we are headed.  If so, I’ll soon be moving this out of the ugly column.

With that, we move to the next column: the not so ugly.  Actually, if you have not yet picked up on the play on words, this is meant to hearken back to the classic Clint Eastwood movie.  If I was accurately labeling this, I’d be calling it the “oh my that’s hot” category.  I’m referring to Mickie James/Sarita match and build up.  I do not have video of the promos, but they were amazing.  The match itself was also quite hot.  And you know what?  I have got to give them credit.  It was a pretty good match.  Point goes to the ladies on this one.  Well done.

With that, it’s time to recognize my high note and make a timely exit.  See ya next week.

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