10 July 2014

TNA Thursday Randomania - Jul 10, 2014

- I'd like to begin with something this week that I feel hasn't gotten enough attention and that's the fact that TNA have pushed all the right buttons lately.  A company, that's often maligned for their poor decisions by their harshest critics, has seemingly turned that proverbial corner and may have found the formula that best works for them.  Firstly, it appears that TNA have a found a way in recent months to combat the constant flow of unsubstantiated reports from dirtsheets by ingeniously breaking their own news via their site or social media accounts.  No longer are wrestling sites reporting what appears to be good news and spinning it to fit their own agenda, as was the case with the initial reports that TNA would be renting the Manhattan Center to tape Impact.  Any objective wrestling fan could see how beneficial these tapings would be to TNA yet all the internet wrestling community focused on was TNA's apparent desperate move to impress SpikeTV.  Or the rumor that some talents would be upset that TNA are spending so much money on booking the Manhattan Center while cutting back on wrestlers' wages.  This, to me, was confirmation that there's a real anti-TNA agenda within some in the wrestling community and that includes some of the more prominent wrestling site owners and reporters.  Luckily, real wrestling fans can now get their news directly from TNA or from sites like this where the facts are reported...and not spun.

- Secondly, TNA seems to have finally fine-tuned their use of established veterans and have begun to use them in a way that's most beneficial to them as a company and the young stars who are part of the current youth movement.  In the past, unfortunately, high-priced veterans were the main focus at the expense of the younger talent in order to justify the money they made.  This no longer appears to be the case.  No longer are savvy veterans demanding high salaries while dogging it after the ink has dried.  Currently, TNA seems to prefer another option: bringing in established veterans for a short period of time in order to put over the core of young stars such as Ethan Carter III and the Wolves.  After going with a youth movement for the last year or so, it appears that management have realized that this particular movement needed an infusion of star power, and I think this is absolutely the right move.

- And thirdly, it looks like someone within TNA has come up with the idea to bring in talents that fill a specific need, such as catering to the fans of a city they're visiting in order to entice them to buy tickets.  This worked perfectly in Texas last month as many wrestling fans in the Dallas/Fort Worth area bought tickets to Slammiversary just to see Kevin Von Erich and his boys make a special appearance.  This was such a brilliant move and the person who thought of it should be applauded.  It's easy to assume that Dixie Carter was the one, being that she's a huge fan of the Von Erichs, but I was told that it was Bob Ryder's idea.  If so, kudos to Mr. Ryder. TNA followed the same formula for the Impact tapings in New York City recently with the additions of Rhino, Matt Hardy, Devon, and Tommy Dreamer.  And it looks like they will again implement this strategy at their Bound for Glory event in Japan later this year, presumably with Wrestle-1 talents. This is the sort of wrestling typecasting, if you will, that's tangible and it shows in ticket sales as well as the fans' enthusiasm at the live shows. Again, it's simply brilliant.  

- I know it's a cliche but I feel I need to use it in this particular case...what a difference a year makes for Michael Hutter.  For those who still don't know, Hutter is none other than Ethan Carter III.  A year ago, Hutter was essentially a non-factor in mainstream wrestling.  He had been released by the WWE earlier in the year and was toiling away in the lower indies until TNA came calling in August.  Since then, Hutter has become one of the company's brightest stars as Ethan Carter III, the entitled nephew of Dixie Carter.  He's become one of pro wrestling's most popular characters, even though he's a heel, and quite frankly, wrestling fans can not get enough of him.  He's also quickly becoming an international sensation, judging by the reaction he's received since appearing at Wrestle-1's show last weekend.  EC3 is a star, folks.  What's scary is the fact that he's still got an upside.  He still has not reached his full potential.  In Ethan Carter III, TNA have a marketable young stud in the prime of his wrestling career.  This is only the beginning for him.  TNA have shown that they are completely behind him so it's only a matter of time before he's a legit main eventor...and eventually a world champion.  The sky's the limit for "young supple Ethan" and I, for one, will be rooting for him.  What a difference a year makes indeed.

- And lastly, Kurt Angle made news again this week in an interview with Jim Ross.  He discussed his TNA contract expiring in late September, which we already knew, and went on to share with the listeners that he had declined a new deal that TNA apparently offered him.  This is not surprising to me as it reaffirms my belief that his desire is to return to the WWE, although he did not specifically mention it.  I have a big problem with Angle's inability to keep his mouth shut about leaving TNA, especially at a time when he's been given an important role on Impact.  Don't get me wrong, when he's a free agent, he's free to sign with any company he pleases but as long as he's under a TNA contract, his main priority is to put over the company that pays his salary.  Of course, there's always a possibility that Angle could re-sign with TNA but I just don't see it.  His desire is to return and probably retire in the WWE and that's fine but by constantly talking about it the last several months, he's essentially made it so that any potential match he teases, like he did last week with Austin Aries, is rendered meaningless because it's likely not going to happen.  One other thing about Kurt Angle, he also revealed some news regarding Sting's contract with TNA.  Let me be clear...Angle publicly discussing another wrestler's contract status in an interview is not only unprofessional but highly inappropriate.  He has absolutely no business talking about Sting's contract, let alone, revealing info that is confidential.  I can only speak for myself, but I'm counting down the days before Kurt Angle's contract expires and TNA can use that money to bring in talents who genuinely want to work for the company.  The reality is that no one within the industry will call Angle out for this because they respect him as a wrestler.  However,  I suspect that behind closed doors, many of the same people would admit to not respecting him as a person.

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