22 January 2014

The Expectations of "Live and Free on Spike TV"

Genesis part one is in the books and this show has received mixed reviews to say the least. There was the usual comments from the peanut gallery who trolled TNA fans, wrestlers and creative team members (Dave Lagana got it particularly bad) on Twitter and then there was the TNA faithful who would find something they liked on the show nevertheless. I believe that a lot of the criticism came from the fact that there was a lot of hype going into this show, not only because it was supposed to be the "dawning of a new era in TNA" but because of the tagline: "Live and Free on Spike TV." This phrase carries a lot of weight to it, more than I think TNA realizes. When you advertise an event as "Live and Free" you're insinuating that I should want to pay for it and I am getting it for free. Fans expectations become high. TNA has done several of these events over the past year since they have dropped to four "live event" pay per views a year. Most have been a success in the ratings and have left fans walking away happily as well. However, after watching Genesis this past Thursday, I am afraid TNA has made a misstep, as Genesis felt less like a "free per view" and more like a regular edition of Impact. We here at TNAMecca get accused of being "biased" towards TNA (if we weren't a little why would we be part of a TNA site?) well folks, I'm going to give a little balance. In my opinion, expectations were not met with Genesis part one.

I'm not saying that Genesis was "the worst show in TNA history" as I have heard some claim it was. In fact, I don't even think it was a bad show at all. I looked at it as a case of overhype combined with what I feel was a little false advertising on TNA's part. When you tell us it will be a pay per view quality event, I expect a pay per view quality event and I expect this because TNA has actually provided us with this in the past. Look at No Surrender in September: that event featured longer matches, a little less talk and an awesome cliffhanger ending like you would see on a show you just forked out $40 for. Turning Point was a fun show that had a big event feel to it. Even the pre-taped Final Resolution had more a pay per view vibe than Genesis did. In one of my posts here on TNAMecca, I wrote about how fans can overhype things themselves,  in this case, I think TNA did it to us. Last Thursday I sat down ready to watch what I thought was going to be a major wrestling event. Instead, I got a pretty good edition of Impact that really didn't stand out from the string of shows that we have seen from TNA lately. I wanted to see more in ring action and less talk, like a pay per view. I wanted a "big event feel" and there wasn't. I don't think I'm wrong in assuming that's what we were getting, I was expecting it because it was supposed to be "Live and Free". Now, there was plenty on the show to like: the 12 man tag, Anderson vs. Bully Ray, The Wolves debut, and some really good story-line progression. All the things I like to see on a wrestling show leading into a big event were there. But TNA advertised this as BEING the big event. If this were just advertised as Impact and Genesis was the following week, I'd be singing a different tune.

In terms of this show being the start of a "new era" in TNA, I have to say that I agree with Chris Regal in Ringside Review this week when he wrote that TNA is laying the groundwork for a new era and Genesis was more of a building block show for Lockdown. Unfortunately, that's not the kind of show most expected out of Genesis part one. It looks like the big event is part two, but has TNA ruined it by what they presented this past Thursday? I hope not, because those that tune out now could be missing something really great. Not only are we going to get the much anticipated cage match between Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle; we have a high stakes World title match between Sting and Magnus; Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin should be a very exciting contest; throw in Gunner vs. James Storm and we have a nice looking event that's "Live and Free on Spike TV." On paper, this looks like a pay per view quality show, but maybe my expectations are too high. 

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