24 September 2014

TNA Wednesday Randomania - Sep 24, 2014

- I'd like to begin this week with the Josh Mathews story that we reported yesterday. Some have stated that TNA announced this at some point yesterday, but they are incorrect.  TNA never made any sort of announcement about Mathews on social media or even on the front page of their site.  This story was among their latest news listings on their site.  As far as I know, no one within TNA even mentioned Josh Mathews.  I'd like to make that clear because at some point last night, the story was removed from TNA's site as mysteriously as it appeared.  I suspect that the person responsible for editing the company's site prematurely posted the story or was instructed to.  In any case, I believe that Josh Mathews will indeed join TNA at some point.  In which capacity, however, is still unclear, although it seems almost inevitable that he or Jeremy Borash will take over ring announcing duties from Christy Hemme as she takes her maternity leave.  I suspect that Borash will replace Hemme since he's already in the ring in between matches at the tapings and Mathews will take on backstage interviews.  I don't know what this means for Mike Tenay or Taz and how this will affect the announcing down the road and anything I say is mere speculation.  I do know, however, that TNA needs a change in the booth, at least in play-by-play.  Mathews is the sort of youthful and exuberant announcer that could really match the company's current in-ring product.  Tenay can remain a member of the crew as a third man, who provides the viewers with little nuggets of information about the wrestlers, the feuds, the storylines, and the company's history during the show.

- Some of the dirtsheets embarrassed themselves this week by desperately trying to convince their readers that Austin Aries' contract must be expiring soon because he praised his colleagues on Twitter, something many of them did, and he announced that he'd be wrestling at the next House of Hardcore show. The dirtsheets love nothing better than to tease the expiring contracts of TNA talents because it somehow validates their narrative that the company is going out of business.  Incidentally, the Hardys and the Wolves are also booked for that HOH show.  Their contracts must be expiring soon.

- There's been some speculation that TNA could announce a new TV deal this week.  I don't know if this is true or not but I'm hoping we hear something soon.  I'm far more optimistic that Impact will be on TV come the new year than I was a month ago based on information given to us by Dixie Carter on Twitter.  I have a feeling we will all be pleasantly surprised by the network that TNA ultimately signs a deal with because contrary to what the anti-TNA crowd believe, a show that draws over one million viewers every week for an entire year is an asset for any cable network.  I also don't believe it for a second that SpikeTV no longer wants Impact or pro wrestling.  I think UTA played a huge role in making TNA believe that they can improve their rights fees for Impact, leading Spike to balk at negotiations.  Mark my words, SpikeTV will once again air pro wrestling on their network and I have a feeling that Eric Bischoff will be a part of it.  In the meantime, TNA will hopefully begin the next chapter in their evolution on a network that appreciates them and gives them the support they deserve.

- Tonight's show will feature a tournament of sorts titled NYC Gold Rush.  From what I understand, there will be five matches.  The winner of each match will get to compete later in the night in a five-man main event.  The winner of that match earns a shot at any title in the company.  The five match-ups are: Austin Aries vs Knux, Mr. Anderson vs Magnus, Tajiri vs Robbie E, Abyss vs Samuel Shaw, and MVP vs Low Ki.  This is an interesting and quite random list of wrestlers but I'm looking forward to seeing some fresh match-ups, while the usual suspects get the week off.  This keeps things fresh but it also strengthens the company's mid-card by occasionally giving such wrestlers opportunities to compete for title shots. It's also great to see TNA continue to build the show around wrestling.

- And lastly, I'd like to talk about something I've noticed online recently: there's a momentum swing happening and it's in TNA's favor.  Wrestling fans are noticing and acknowledging that Impact is the best mainstream wrestling show in the United States and has been all Summer. If you're a real wrestling fan, Impact is the show that you should be watching and more and more people are.  At a time when the WWE continues to alienate their fanbase for one reason or another (I must say, mocking the fans who ordered the PPV for $54.95 was truly disgusting), TNA has begun to give the fans what they want: less talking and more wrestling. And not just any wrestling.  Gone is the slow pace of the Hogan-era and in its place is the faster pace, especially in the X Division, that TNA was known for.  We're also seeing quite a bit of strong-style wrestling and glimpses of MMA influence.  This is what wrestling fans want to see.  And how about the hardcore matches?  Every week, the TNA wrestlers will do something that will trigger a "Holy Shit!" from even the calmest of fans.  Bobby Roode's Roode Bomb on Lashley over the top rope onto the floor. Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb onto the steel steps, after Lashley moved.  Gail Kim's neckbreaker on Taryn Terrell onto the steel steps. Abyss chokeslamming Bram onto a bunch of thumbtacks. Gail Kim dropping Angelina Love on her back off the top rope onto a chair. Oh, and Bully Ray powerbombing Dixie Carter through a table off the top rope. Nowhere on WWE television will you see or experience these moments. And wrestling fans who have given TNA a chance are liking what they see.  There will always be those who will hate TNA on principle but they're the ones who are missing out on something special while they whine about WWE on social media every Monday night.  I, myself, prefer the wrestling company that puts a smile on my face each and every Wednesday. The wrestling company that genuinely cares about its fans. The wrestling company that prefers to cater to its fanbase rather than their shareholders, most of which who are probably not even wrestling fans. And the wrestling company that is inspiring a true grass roots movement of fans who love pro wrestling. TNA used to like to say that they were building the company "one fan at a time" and quite frankly, never has there been a time when that saying was more fitting than it is right now. One fan at a time indeed.

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