03 July 2014

TNA Thursday Randomania - Jul 3, 2014

- Tonight's episode of Impact will be the first with Kurt Angle in charge of wrestling operations so I'm curious to see whether or not he will make any changes.  Last week, as his first acts as the new Executive in charge, he booked the Bobby Lashley vs Eric Young rematch for tonight, and reinstated Bobby Roode.  Interestingly enough, Angle's feud late last year with Roode was one of the most vicious in recent years so to me, it was a strong indication that he will be unbiased in his decisions.  This is one of many reasons why I feel that Kurt Angle is the ideal candidate for the position of general manager.  The biggest reason, however, why this is a brilliant decision by TNA is he will now be featured on Impact regularly as opposed to getting paid to sit at home while he recovers from serious knee surgery until his contract expires.  He also represents a new era in TNA which will presumably feature more wrestling.

- Speaking of 'more wrestling', I've been trying to figure out why it is that some have been complaining about 'too much talking' on Impact in recent weeks.  It's as if a group of fans woke up one morning and realized that there's, well, talking in pro wrestling, something that's been the case since the early 80's.  Any fan who grew up watching pro wrestling, like me, in the 80's or after, knows one thing: there has always been talking in wrestling.  The sports entertainment industry was built on the ability of its stars to portray a character and yes, speak into a microphone.  This is nothing new, folks.  Yet, I'm seeing some criticizing TNA for too much talking. So the question is why? The mainstream wrestling industry hasn't changed much in this regard for thirty years but all of a sudden, you'd think Impact had turned into the Young and the Restless, according to some.  I think this is a simple case of revisionist history by these fans, who have apparently convinced themselves that pro wrestling featured less talking in the past.  These same fans will tell you that the Attitude Era was one of the best in wrestling history yet they won't tell you this: that particular era was so successful in large part due to the wrestlers putting themselves over on the mic.  The biggest stars of the Attitude Era were the wrestlers who cut the best promos and were involved in the most outlandish non-wrestling segments.  This is a fact.  Unless, of course, you think Steve Blackman was the biggest star of that time.  I think fans need to realize that pro wrestling or sports entertainment is best when it's a spectacle that includes promos.

- I won't reveal any spoilers from the Impact tapings in New York City but I think judging by what I saw and read, TNA are intent on making Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards of the Wolves into huge stars by the end of this year.  At the very least, they will be the hottest tag team in the industry.  It looks like TNA set this plan in motion two weeks ago when the Wolves defended their titles twice in one time against three quality teams, one of which saw Richards and Edwards pin Jeff Hardy's alter-ego Willow clean.  Tonight, the tag team champions will defend their titles against the BroMans and the Menagerie in a three-way title match.  And in a few weeks, the Wolves will face off against arguably the best tag team in the last 15 years, the Hardy Boyz.  A win against the brothers Hardy would catapult any tag team.  But what would it do for the careers of one of the hottest tag teams in wrestling right now?  It would make them stars.  Richards and Edwards have been indie darlings for several years and as much as indie fans will hate this, it means very little in the grand scheme of the wrestling industry.  The Wolves are about to embark on a true journey of wrestling stardom that involves the likes of two of the most successful tag teams in pro wrestling history ever, the Hardy Boyz and potentially Team 3D.  Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are about to cross paths with tag team royalty so I hope they are fully prepared to embrace their fate as the next top tag team in wrestling.

- Samuel Shaw is making his return to Impact tonight and I, for one, can not be happier.  I'm curious to see how the writers proceed but looking in from the outside, I can't imagine a scenario in which Shaw does not turn on Gunner, officially triggering a feud between them.  In the meantime, it sounds like TNA will look to redeem Shaw's character so I will enjoy it while it lasts.  Samuel Shaw, whether heel or face, is an intriguing character so I hope TNA give this storyline the proper attention, starting with tonight's developments.

- And lastly, I'd like to discuss this recent wave of positive energy that has permeated the internet about TNA.  I think it's a sign that real wrestling fans still have faith in TNA as a brand and a wrestling promotion, rendering all the reports of their demise pointless.  Some had an agenda with the hopes that TNA would finally prove them right after 12 years but instead we're witnessing a rebirth of sorts.  It was an ordeal that began last Summer.  TNA was forced to make changes in every area within the company in order to be able to sustain a long term future.  Many saw a company closing its doors.  I saw a company finally acting responsibly.  TNA are now taking the necessary steps to grow the promotion in a responsible way and that involved taking a long look in the mirror and realizing that TNA are not the machine that is the WWE.  TNA needn't worry about the WWE and simply focus on creating their own identity - the return of the six-sided ring is a great start - and their own niche within the wrestling industry.  TNA is at its best when it caters to the pro wrestling fans who like a little sports entertainment in their product.  That's what most pro wrestling fans want.  And from the looks of it, that's what TNA is going to give them, but do so in their own unique way.  As many of you know, I attended one of last week's shows at the Manhattan Center and what I saw was a passionate and savvy fanbase that ate up everything TNA fed them.  Some of them even came back for more the next night and the night after that.  There's nothing better in pro wrestling right now than an energetic TNA crowd who lives and breathes the genre.  I've always felt that TNA fans are more wrestling-savvy than your average WWE fan and after being apart of it last Wednesday night, I can say that I was dead on.  If the crowd in NYC had such an effect on me, just imagine the effect they had on the wrestlers and every TNA employee sitting in the back.  I have to think they all felt like stars.  I've been saying it for the last couple of weeks and I'll say it again...TNA is alive and well, folks.  And I encourage anyone who's been on the fence about TNA or stopped watching recently to get back on the bandwagon because things are about to get good.

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