22 October 2014

TNA Wednesday Randomania - Oct 22, 2014

- This week, I'd like to begin with the current TNA product; the television product, which is ultimately how one should evaluate a wrestling promotion's status and not the behind the scenes happenings, most of which we, as fans, aren't privy to. I realize that there's quite a bit of anxiety amongst wrestling fans as we wait for an announcement on a TV deal to come but I feel that many of us have lost sight of the reason why we are passionate about TNA and pro wrestling in general: the television show. And it's a shame because at a time when there's so much uncertainty, much of it magnified by the dirtsheets, TNA have managed to produce some of the best episodes of Impact in their entire history.  I can't remember the last time we have been treated to the sort of quality wrestling that we are right now and have been since Slammiversary. That's four months, folks. I'll go out on a limb and say that we've watched more quality matches in the last four months than we have in the last five years. You might think I'm reaching but I defy you to recall the top matches during the Hogan/Bischoff and Prichard eras and tell me I'm wrong.  You, undoubtedly, will find the occasional gem such as the Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns tag title series or the AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels Last Man Standing match but overall, the matches were not as consistently good as they are right now.  Simply put, Impact is the best wrestling show on television in the United States. But you'd never know it because most wrestling sites act as if it's all for naught; as if the recent tag title series meant nothing because "it all feels so pointless" until TNA announces a new TV deal. This is the narrative that wrestling sites want to feed wrestling fans in order to invalidate the current product. It makes you wonder...why are they downplaying TNA's product when the same sites, just a few months ago, were pleading with the company to give us more wrestling? Why exactly is that?

- I'd like to follow up on something I said last week.  I mentioned in my column that the TNA roster could look considerably different once the company returns from their hiatus in January.  I think it's important to realize that there are so many factors that go into contract negotiations with cable networks and TNA will more than likely not get everything they want.  What that is, I don't know. But it could be any number of things such as Impact's timeslot, the night of the week the show airs, whether or not Impact will continue to be two hours, etc.  It's these things and others that will determine how TNA proceeds as a company next year and beyond.  This will affect how TNA re-structures their roster and how they will allocate the funds for this purpose.  There's also the possibility, like I said last week, that talents who are currently free agents may not return.  Who those are, I'm not sure, but there are indications that Bully Ray will be one.  Gail Kim could be another. Samoa Joe's contract, I believe, expires in December so he'll be added to that list soon. And then there's the status of Kurt Angle.  This is the reason why any rumor reported by the dirtsheets should be taken with a grain of salt because so much is up in the air.  Clarity will come only when TNA finally announces a TV deal and only then.

- There's a rumor that Mike Tenay's contract will expire before the end of the year, placing him on the list of those who may not return.  I know I've called for Tenay's removal in the past but I'm being very sincere when I say that I have quite a bit of respect for him.  Whether you like him or not, Tenay has been the voice of TNA.  My issue with him, however, is his inability to properly do play-by-play during matches or his lack of enthusiasm for much of the show. I think TNA management have realized this as well since I've noticed recently that Tenay does more commentary than he does play-by-play with Taz chiming in as well. So what should TNA do with Tenay if they re-sign him? I think it'd be a good idea to make him the third man in the booth, the one who provides viewers with the little details about the wrestlers and storylines that make a big difference during matches.  This of course requires them to hire a play-by-play guy and I believe they already have: Josh Mathews. I believe that Mathews is the ideal announcer for TNA going forward because he's young and energetic, but more importantly, he's got the knowledge. He knows the wrestling business and he knows it from the perspective of a wrestler, which is invaluable as someone who's expected to keep the viewers at home enlightened and informed.

- I must admit, when TNA announced that there would be an eight-team tag tournament to determine the #1 contenders for the tag team championships, I immediately assumed it'd be another instance where most of the participants would be made up of makeshift teams. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. After further examining the Impact Wrestling roster, I realized that there are at least eight duos who could team up and it wouldn't come across as random.  It then occurred to me that TNA did an exceptional job for the last few months by cultivating an environment in which tag teams were developing via friendships or alliances. Bram and Magnus. Mr Anderson and Chris Melendez. Ethan Carter III and Tyrus (one could've easily said EC3 and Spud just a few weeks ago). Gunner and Samuel Shaw. James Storm and The Great Sanada (or any combination involving Manik). MVP and Kenny King. Bobby Roode and Eric Young. These teams, in addition to the Hardys and the BroMans. That's nine potential teams right there. Of course I don't think that Roode will compete in this tournament but you can easily replace him with Rockstar Spud and it wouldn't feel random. As for the actual tournament, it's the sort of concept that works so well simply because it keeps the focus on the championships and it will most likely create a feud or two for the teams that are eliminated, although we've already seen some tension or animosity between several of the duos I named above. Thus far, only three teams have officially entered the tournament - the Hardys, EC3 and Tyrus, and The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and DJ Z). Two other teams have been leaked but due to the fact that TNA technically did not announce them, I will refrain from mentioning them but we've added a feature on the sidebar for you to keep track of all the teams in the tournament so make sure you keep checking back in for any updates.

- Incidentally, Sharkboy was officially added to the Impact Wrestling roster on TNA's site today. It looks like he's staying awhile and I'm fine with that.  Sharkboy is very good in his current role as an enhancement talent with a gimmick.  And oh, what a gimmick.  I can't ever remember a time when a wrestler had an out of shape gimmick, let alone one that causes him to run out of gas seconds into his matches. It's a nice addition to a show that's typically no-nonsense these days and one that should provide us with some wonderfully hilarious moments.

- And lastly, I'd like to report a scheduling change on TNAMecca. Starting next week, Randomania will be moving to Tuesdays at midnight due to our newest feature, the Fans Talk TNA podcast, which will be posted on Wednesdays at midnight, with the premiere episode coming to you on October 29th. I hope you will give our podcast a chance as it's an opportunity for us to branch out and through our partnership with FTW Podcast, we can do just that.  Every episode will most likely be about 15 minutes and it will feature some commentary on TNA hot topics as well as a brief preview for that night's Impact. We also encourage you to recommend any topics you'd like to see discussed or any suggestions you might have on how we can improve our podcast.  Please be sure to share them with us in the comments section below. Thanks, guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment