DR. TNA: The Times They are a Changing

by David Roberts

It’s been a while since the good doctor checked in and I apologize for that.  Mrs. DR and I recently added a little guy to the family.  Everything is going well with both of them, but I fell behind on the TNA scene and have just been able to catch up.

While I’ve been slacking there have been a lot of changes in TNA.  Mr. Anderson has healed and is your new TNA Heavyweight Champion.  The Hardys are riding again, this time in TNA.  The Pope appears to be taking a walk on the dark side.  Jeff Jarrett claims to have retired the MMA routine.  Kurt Angle is back in the building and we have a new “they.”

For the haters who complain about a lack of surprises in the booking, the past month has made their argument a bit more difficult.

Let’s not pretend that everything was done perfectly.  I’m not sure that I would have had the Heavyweight Championship on a PPV without having advertised it at all.  I’m not clear there has really been an acceptable explanation as to how Immortal’s goal of holding all the gold gives them leverage in the power struggle angle between Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter.  Also, this whole Winter-Angelina Love angle is more creepy than entertaining.

That said, overall it is difficult to argue that the past month to six weeks has not shown a positive overall trend in TNA programming.

As was widely anticipated, Matt Hardy has joined his brother Jeff.  It will be interesting to see how this works out.  Matt Hardy has had personal issues, but he is certainly one of the top free agents in the business, from a talent perspective.  Certainly, there is uncertainty surrounding Jeff Hardy’s legal challenges, but for now, it’s nice to see the Hardy brothers together again.  Seeing them tag again on Thursday was newsworthy and was a fun to watch.

Another quality match from Thursday’s show was the matchup of the giants – Matt Morgan versus Abyss – which has been a long time in coming.  In a wise move, TNA appears to be continuing the buildup of Morgan as he achieved the clean win over Abyss, which you can see below.  It earned him a beat down at the hands of Abyss and Rob Terry, but the clean win over Abyss shows a willingness to push Morgan higher up the TNA food chain.  Good move.

While I question TNA’s lack of promotion for the match that earned Mr. Anderson the title, he is a great choice for champion.  He is over with the crowd in a major way.  He brings a fresh face to the title picture and having him carry the title elevates him even further as far as status within the programming.  Additionally, TNA seems to be attempting to make up for the lack of publication for his initial title match by a promotional blitz for the night he will have his first title defense.

On Thursday’s iMPACT, February 3rd was repeatedly referenced.  Mr. Anderson will face Jeff Hardy as he defends the Heavyweight Championship.  Additionally, Eric Bischoff declared that Hulk Hogan will be in the building following a resolution to the legal dispute with Dixie Carter, which has been a reoccurring discussion point the past few weeks.  However, what may have been most interesting of promoting February 3rd, was this segment.

It appears that for all the changes, some things stay the same.  As you can hear, “they” are coming.  Only this time it appears “they are coming for “they.”  Yes, perhaps a tad confusing.  Perhaps it’s clever.

I suspect the haters will point to this and claim TNA is already recycling material….again.  Who knows, perhaps they will be correct.  If this is build up to another Jersey Shore type debut (and by that I mean mid to lower tier player) then I’ll consider this a flop.  If this is a major debut or some sort of banding together of major players, then it could be good booking.  We’ll have to see.

Bottom line, it is the opinion of DR. TNA that TNA has made some strong strides over the last few weeks.  It hasn’t been perfect and I’d have probably done a few things differently, but they are taking advantage of more of their talent in Morgan, Anderson and the Pope.  They have also provided some news at their last PPV with the debut of Matt Hardy.  These steps have given them a bit of momentum.  It’s up to their creative folks to build off of that for the future.  Hopefully, they will be successful.

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