DR. TNA: Immortal, but not Invincible – Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy

Admittedly the headline for this week’s column seems a bit odd given that this Thursday’s iMPACT featured the Immortal/Fortune faction winning every match in which they participated.  However, before dismissing the notion, hear me out.

Last week, I wrote of the need for TNA creative to give fans a reason to cheer.  Contrary to the conventional wisdom you may have read elsewhere, I continue to believe that with a strong, popular face faction competing against them, the Immortal twist, especially the Jeff Hardy heel turn, can be a good angle for TNA.  My fear was that there has recently been little for the fans to cheer.

I must applaud you, the readers, for cautioning me to have the very same patience in the development of this face faction that I prescribed for people in regards to Immortal angle.  Just as Immortal developed over several months, it is reasonable to allow some time to develop the circumstances under which a few popular faces could band together.  In fact, if this happens too quickly, one could argue the angle would seem forced and be less believable to the fans.

However, while we allow for this time to develop, there is still a need to give fans a reason to have hope, a reason to cheer.  This week the fans got a couple reasons to cheer, a glimpse of dissension in a previously united Fortune, and a potential new free agent in the face/heel rivalry.  All are good developments and give fans a reason to believe there may be a day when the heels of TNA can be defeated.

The show’s reoccurring theme was Fortune member Matt Morgan’s objection to Eric Bischoff booking Mr. Anderson in a steel chain match with Jeff Jarrett.  Morgan was concerned because of a concussion Mr. Anderson had suffered the previous week thanks to a Jeff Hardy chair shot.  Morgan appealed first to Ric Flair, then Eric Bischoff, and finally to Jeff Jarrett directly.  In each case his pleas for this match to be canceled were rebuffed, with Jarrett reacting the harshest.  In response, Morgan hooked himself to the chain and took on Jarrett.

Morgan took the loss in this match and honestly I would have rather seen him either pick up a win or at least not lose cleanly to Jarrett.  Also iMPACT ended with Morgan getting a beat down for his efforts.  However, the reason I view this positively is what you hear during the match.  The fans had a reason to cheer and cheer they did.  If you missed it, I’ve included footage of the match below.  Take note of the fans.

Given the treatment Morgan received, one can assume that he is no longer a member in good standing with Fortune.  This is good for a couple reasons.  First, Fortune/Immortal is just too large in terms of numbers at this point.  With this and the apparent disharmony between the group and Douglas Williams, Fortune can trim its numbers and become a leaner, meaner group while putting a couple free agents in play to add some drama.  While Williams is not typically going to be a main event contender, Matt Morgan, a 7 ft, 310 lbs, former college basketball player is a guy that will close out some shows.  This will be an interesting angle to watch unfold.

The second segment worth noting because of the fan reaction featured the Pope.  If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I believe the Pope to be one of the brightest stars in TNA.  There is no doubt that Rob Van Dam will be face number one in any faction put together to rival Immortal.  However, I must humbly assert that the Pope needs to be number 1A.

Skip to the 3:15 mark in the clip below.  This was classic Pope and the crowd loved it.  If I was put in charge of TNA booking, I might institute a rule that every show would have a certain amount of time reserved for the Pope to work the crowd.

Now I know that later in the show Abyss ended up pummeling the Pope and throwing him into his own casket.  However, again the Pope gave the fans a reason to cheer while standing up to Immortal and the fans enthusiastically took advantage of the opportunity.

I realize that being able to cheer during a match or a segment is far different from the old adage of “send the fans home happy.”  That said, I’m going to take the advice of the readers and allow a bit of time for this to develop.  Hopefully when the angle is in full swing, we see strong factions competing for talent.  For now, I’m happy to see progress towards that point.

To that end, in closing I’d like to solicit some more input from you.  I enjoy reading through the comments and have noticed some excellent ideas.  Please keep that up.  I don’t want this to replace that reader involvement.

However, in addition, I’d like to give the readers more opportunity to participate in this column.  As such, I’m considering doing a “mailbag” type piece from time to time.  The first one I’d like to do is one focused on who should be the main faces rivaling Immortal/Fortune.  Have some fun with this.  No limitations other than a realistic expectation that they would be a part of TNA’s roster.  Click on the link at the top of the page and give me your thoughts on the who, what, where, where, why and how your idea could occur.

Look forward to reading your thoughts.  Until then stay classy Inside Pulse readers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,