DR. TNA: February 3rd

February 2nd, the year of our Lord, two thousand and eleven, marks not only the day before the much hyped “February 3rd” episode of iMPACT, but also marks a shift in DR. TNA’s column publishing.  From hence forth, we shall aim for Wednesday publications. 

With the new day, will also come a slightly new format.   I still plan the same conversational type read that I hope everyone enjoys, but given I’ll be aiming for the day before iMPACT, rather than the day after, the doc has got to change it up a bit.  Nothing big, there will probably just be less recapping type columns and more analysis with a bit of preview thrown in for good measure.  So with that, let’s get to tomorrow’s big episode.

I’m going to come right out and admit, I’m excited for Thursday.  Yeah, I know it’s not cool to admit you’re excited for iMPACT and yeah, I know I’m supposed to retain at least the smallest shred of the appearance of objectivity.  However, I try to be honest with everyone, so I’m just going to admit it.

Now, given that TNA has created this excitement, the onus is on them to deliver.  Here is what we know about tomorrow’s episode:

1)      Either Dixie Carter or Hulk Hogan will likely be there gloating that they have regained/retained control of TNA.

2)      Mr. Anderson will have his first TNA Heavyweight Championship title defense against Jeff Hardy.

3)      New “they” will reveal themselves when they come for old “they,” old “they” being Immortal/Fourtune.

4)      Scott Steiner is involved.

Number four is likely the polarizing component of what we know right now.  I can hear the TNA haters yelling from the roof tops that this is just more evidence that TNA will use “has beens” or “WCW/WWF cast offs” at the expense of younger TNA talent.

First off, I would pay good money to see one of the haters sign a document that they won’t sue, then walk up to Scott Steiner and call him a has been.  That guy is still freaking huge.  However, if they were willing to do that, or frankly even if they weren’t, I’d tell them that those aren’t totally unfounded fears.

TNA has a very talented roster.  One could make the argument that they actually have a more talented roster than the good folks digging out from the snow up in Stamford, Connecticut.  I’d also agree that TNA has fallen prey to the instinctual urge to go for the crowd pop now at the expense of building momentum for a younger guy.

However, nothing says what I called for last week, the continued push of what I see as the five most important wrestlers to continue advancing, cannot happen in conjunction with whatever is planned for on Thursday.  In fact, I see signs that I have reason for optimism.

First, Jeff Hardy is currently Immortal’s biggest star.  I mean no offense to Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan.  Obviously, they are arguably the two biggest stars ever in Professional Wrestling, but Jeff Hardy is the biggest current star in Immortal and likely all of TNA.  On a very big night for TNA, Jeff Hardy is wrestling Mr. Anderson, one of the very guys I believe must continue to be pushed by TNA.  Admittedly, there are ways that this go wrong and not be a positive for Mr. Anderson, but he was made the Heavyweight Champion leading into this date, so I’d say that is a good sign for him.

Second, before the lights went black, the sirens blared and Scott Steiner came out to save everyone last week, who was the guy who tried to save Angle and Crimson?  If you didn’t see it, I’ll give you a hint.  It was the same guy who in a matter of a few weeks went from Ric Flair’s bodyguard to TNA Heavyweight Champion contender.  Also, since losing the number one contender match he has been given a near Bill Goldberg type push.  It’s Matt Morgan and he appears to be involved in whatever angle is being developed with “they.”   This is also a good sign.

I’m not here to tell you that the haters have zero validity in their criticism.  However, I am here to tell you that I am looking forward to Thursday’s episode.  I am looking forward to seeing who comprises “they”.  I’m looking forward to seeing how “they” work in with the existing angles.  I’m not hand wringing over if TNA will forget about its existing talent.  I’m also not convinced we are discussing either/or scenarios.

Only time will tell if my optimism is founded.  However, for now, I’m looking forward to what I hope is a great show.  Hope you are too.

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