05 December 2013

TNA Thursday Randomania - Dec 5, 2013

- This week, I'd like to begin with a match that we've been reporting on for the last couple of weeks...the one between AJ Styles and Preston City Wrestling champion Lionheart.  Although there were indications that the two men would face each other at PCW's Festive Fury III on December 6th, it now appears that the match will not take place.  From what I understand, both Styles and Lionheart publicly agreed to the match.  Later, PCW announced via their Twitter account that they agreed to host the match on December 6th, pending Dixie Carter's approval.  Since then, there has been no sign of the match taking place nor has there been any promotion or advertising by PCW for a potential face-off between the two.  However, Lionheart is still scheduled to wrestle at the event but his opponent is to be determined.  There could still be one explanation: PCW have been asked by TNA to wait until after tonight's Impact before they officially announce the match.  Could something happen on tonight's show that precipitates an announcement by AJ Styles and/or PCW?  I suppose we will know soon enough.

- Someone mentioned to me earlier that last night's OVW taping was bereft of TNA talent and wondered if it were an indication that TNA's partnership has indeed ended.  I, then, took a look at Brian Cannon's report and I noticed that the only wrestler affiliated with TNA to appear on the show was Evan Markopoulos, and Lei'D Tapa was mentioned by name but did not appear.  Rob Terry, also, wrestled a dark match.  Two things, on this issue.  Firstly, I reported a few weeks ago that a source within OVW informed me the reports that the partnership has ended are "just rumors".  And secondly, many of the wrestlers who appear on OVW TV were in Orlando for the Impact tapings last night.  I think it's important to note that TNA has not made an official announcement nor has OVW so until that happens, I think it's safe to assume that there is still some sort of working relationship between the two promotions.

- Speaking of last night's Impact appears that TNA will have taped (by the end of tonight's final tapings) episodes that will air through January 9th, 2014.  That's quite a few episodes so I imagine TNA will, once again, be heavily criticized but it's important to understand that the company needs this period to re-group financially and creatively.  I've liked what I've seen lately from TNA so I'm optimistic that come Genesis on January 16th, the product will be hitting its stride.  As the new year arrives, I expect TNA to finally put to rest the former regime's storylines and begin to create a new yet familiar identity.  One, however, that will focus on the next generation of wrestlers (Magnus, Ethan Carter III, Samuel Shaw, Gunner, the Bro Mans, Zema Ion, Jay Bradley, Lei'D Tapa) as well as the TNA originals in their prime (AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Austin Aries, etc).  It's a very exciting time to be a TNA fan.

- And finally, I've been closely monitoring the changes that TNA is making to, basically, every aspect of their company and I genuinely feel that Dixie Carter and crew have finally accepted their place within the pro wrestling structure.  It's been a constant struggle for years to try to reach a level in which they can compete with the WWE - a feat that's simply not attainable.  It never was.  From what I can see, TNA are now taking more of a grass roots approach to re-building their brand, here in the U.S. and around the world.  It's a fiscally responsible approach that will better serve the company's needs in the long term.  Creatively, there appears to be a plan in place that favors TNA's own talent and a new emphasis put on creating characters and gimmicks, not simply inserting wrestlers on to a roster that has plenty.  TNA might never be able to compete with the WWE and that's OK.  But it looks like they're re-discovering their niche, the one they enjoyed for so many years before Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff fed them a bunch of bullshit and led them astray for the last four years.  But Hogan was right about one thing...TNA raised the bar, ironically enough, when they chose not to bring him back.

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