Watching So You Don’t Have To: Ten Thoughts on TNA Impact Plus What TNA Can Do to Make “Wrestling Matter”

It is funny that I missed Raw and Smackdown this week, but I am not going to miss Impact this week because of this recap. The Bruins game is on so I have Impact on a stream and Bruins on TV. FYI, since I am doing these reports I am not writing a Friday column anymore. I am just going to write one every Monday at 2:oopm. Last week, I wrote about the WWE heating up and this week I am writing about why the future is bright for the WWE. Check it out. It ought to be good.

1. Ken Anderson and Gunner had a short match where Anderson was DQ’d. I get why they had Anderson become DQ’d, but doesn’t it make Son Bischoff look like a dummy picking someone who could’ve screwed them  out of the man advantage for Lethal Lockdown? In addition, shouldn’t Son Bischoff be upset with Anderson for costing his team the man advantage?

2. MCMG and Joe/ Magnus should have more build, but at least the match does not a hokey story behind it. It is about two of the best teams fighting for the tag team championships. TNA acts as if this is rocket science.

3. Austin Aries and Daniels had a short but good match. The match had a lot of back and forth action with some nice spots. More importantly, the crowd was hot throughout the entire match.

4. You see, I have no idea why TNA refuses to re-build their x-division. Whenever there is an x-division match, the crowd is fully into it and do not have canned reactions. I know one thing: if I were in a situation like TNA, I would start listening to my fans.

5. Why is Eric Young still in silly angles like marrying ODB in a steel cage? I remember when he was in Team Canada. He was athletic, young and had a bright future ahead of him. Now, because of TNA’s booking, he is Eugene 2.0. With glasses and a beard, Young looks like Paul Giamatti. ODB, actually, does not look bad in a wedding dress. I almost said that with a straight face.  Seriously, marriages have been done to death in wrestling.

This went on way too long and could have used the time to build up their important matches on their PPV that is three days away.   Marriages can work in wrestling when an over face or heel who is not a comedic figure is involved. Besides, even if they were, this was not the place or time for this. I cannot imagine how many fans tuned out because of this segment. This is a perfect example of TNA stuck in 1999 and not being in touch with 2012 wrestling fans.

6. Bully Ray gave his team the man advantage after pinning AJ Styles in competitive match that was marred by a convoluted finish. Because Team Bischoff cheated, Hogan came out and made Lethal Lockdown 5 on 5 and then said Bischoff had 3 minutes to pick his 5th guy. RVD was a nice surprise for Team Son Bischoff but got a half-hearted pop for his comeback by the Impact Zone. I still could not care less for Lethal Lockdown, though.

7.  Bobby Roode and James Storm’s buildup video was well done. It explained why the feud and match were important. I do not say this much but great job, TNA.

8. BRUINS WIN!!!!!!

9. The hard sell for Roode and Storm was well done. Both men cut heart-filled promos and sold the belief that these two strongly do not like each other. The only thing I had a problem with was how it ends. What they should have done is have Tenay emphasize the fact that these two are wrestling on PPV at Lockdown. That way it sends a message that if you are missing Lockdown, you are missing something special (see: Jim Ross to see how it is done).

10. Aside from Roode-Storm, I do not feel as if there is a lot on Lockdown that seems important. I mean, the third most important match is Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy and one of the reasons that feud is happening is because Angle dislikes Hardy because he has hair. Additionally, other than Joe/Magnus vs. MCMG, I am not sure what the mid card for this PPV is. I do not believe they mentioned what was on it tonight, either.

Do not get me wrong: I am not saying I am not looking forward to Lockdown. It is in fact one of the very few TNA PPVS I want to see. I am just saying the build seems a bit lackluster aside from Roode-Storm for one of their biggest PPVS of the year…even if the top 4 matches all look like they will deliver.

I don’t say this often but you should give TNA a chance here, because they did a good job in building up their title match and ought to be rewarded when they do a good thing. If the PPV fails and you wasted your time watching it, you can put all the blame on me.

What TNA Can Do to Make Wrestling Matter:

TNA always tries to pride themselves on their wrestling with mottos such as “We are Wrestling” and “Where Wrestling Matters”, but they were misled mottos to say in the least. Here are a couple of things TNA could do to make their wrestling matter:

Emphasize the importance of winning or losing.

That way every single match has some significance, and more importantly, it creates an ability to design angles off the winning/losing. The most obvious being winning and losing streaks, but it can obviously get more imaginable than that. Acknowledging wins and losses makes the wrestling aspect of the show appear as if it matters.

Have more clean wrestling matches.

This allows ref bumps, interference, heels cheating, and any other heel tactics to have more meaning when it happens. I believe the usual viewer rather see matches unsoiled than have matches with lot of shenanigans anyway.

Distinguish the roster and have them have distinct roles.

By having distinguished characters and distinct roles, the audience will be allowed to get a certain understanding of each wrestler – who they are, what they stand for, their morals, and so on. Switching their role right away not only will screw up their characters’ believably but also confuse your audience, which something a company never wants to do. In other words, they should not change wrestlers from heel to face every week. If they did it less often, the fans won’t be confused and would be a bigger deal.

Set in stone rules and regulations to a match.

By doing so, this will not confuse the audience while watching a match because they will understand what a wrestler can or cannot do in a certain match. More importantly, setting rules and regulations helps their heels become more over because it allows them break the rules behind the referees’ back. When there are no rules to break, there is no way for heels to cheat.

Have announcers stress when something important is happening and have them call the matches with a play-by-play style.

Fans listen to announcers because they are the voice of the company. If the announcers do not seem interested in the product, why should the fans?  TNA should have the announcers stress and put emotion into important things and make them call the moves in the ring, instead of talking about something else, because it makes the match seem more important and stimulating.  I repeat, if the announcers do not care or are fooling around, why should the fans take the product seriously?

Have wrestlers be more straight-forward in their promos

Instead of having long-winded, incoherent promos and for the love of god, promos that talk about things 15 years ago, have the wrestlers talk more about what they are doing in preparation for their match, i.e. talk about how they’re getting in shape for their important match or how they are preparing for an upcoming matches. For example, a wrestler an interview talking about how they will prepare against someone with a different style or someone bigger/smaller than them. These varieties of promos will bring a realistic atmosphere to the show.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,