16 January 2015

TNA Friday Randomania - Jan 16, 2015

- It's the season premiere of Impact Wrestling on Destination America tonight at 9PM EST (6PM PST for our West Coast readers) and quite frankly, it feels like the new era officially begins tonight. At least that's what Destination America wants us to think with their continuous advertisements for tonight's show. But they've been advertising tonight's Impact as the season premiere since early December so it's obvious that this was their plan all along. And a good plan it's been...with constant ads on Destination America, in fact there was an ad for Impact during almost every commercial break.  This week, Discovery joined in with a promotional blitz that saw commercials for TNA on networks such as USA (during WWE RAW), the ESPN networks, NBA TV and more as well as an ad in yesterday's USA Today. Incidentally, that was a half page ad. Let me repeat, a half page ad in USA Today. I'd say that Discovery Communications have advertised Impact more and to a broader audience in one week than SpikeTV did in several years.  Let's also keep in mind that SpikeTV's era featured legendary wrestling icons such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, and others and they never seemed willing to go that extra mile for TNA.  In comparison, Discovery has much less star power to work with yet it hasn't stopped them from featuring the likes of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in a newspaper which vies with the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times as having the widest circulation in the United States. All this money and support from Discovery for a network that reaches about half of SpikeTV's households is an indication that they have faith that TNA's brand awareness, beyond that of the Nielsen's families, will grow that of Destination America's. This is not about Nielsen's ratings, folks. This is about Destination America growing into a major cable channel, which will give Discovery more leverage when it's time to negotiate a new deal with cable and satellite providers.

- But Discovery's benefit doesn't end there. Internationally, the company will benefit from TNA's popularity by airing Impact on networks they own in countries that don't already do so. This week, there was a report that Impact will begin airing in Germany in March on Discovery-owned DMAX, a free to air network with significant reach, even in surrounding countries. However, I don't believe either TNA or Discovery have made an official announcement so I would consider this a rumor until then. But my point stands.

- I've closely monitored the real life friendship between MVP, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, and Homicide for about a year now, ever since MVP joined TNA.  MVP has often tweeted about his crew, the Wu-Tang of Wrestling as they refer to themselves, and admittedly, every time he has, part of me hoped that somehow they'd find their way onto the TNA canvas.  This is one of the reasons why I've enjoyed the alliance between MVP, Lashley, and Kenny felt like a nod to the real thing. Although I resigned myself to the fact that we'd never get the real thing, I will admit, the arrivals of Low Ki and Homicide last Summer did not go unnoticed by me. I immediately began to wonder...could the Wu-Tang of Wrestling become a reality in TNA? So imagine my euphoria the moment Low Ki and Samoa Joe removed their masks to reveal that they had aligned with MVP, Lashley, and Kenny King, although it still remains to be seen if Lashley is still a member.  He looked a bit surprised by the events that closed the show last Wednesday. I absolutely love this faction. It takes the concept that TNA started in the Spring of 2014 and essentially raises it another level, or many. I have a feeling that MVP, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, and Low Ki, whom I imagine are confirmed members, will wreck havoc on Impact, the likes of which we haven't seen in pro wrestling. The BDC, as they are known in TNA, will be looking for blood I imagine so it'll be interesting to see if the company's babyfaces can get as equally down and dirty.

- I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Eric Young. I'll say this, EY's heel turn on Impact last week was one of the most shocking things I've experienced in pro wrestling. It was something that never crossed my mind in the weeks leading up to the January 7th debut. Never once did I consider the possibility that Eric Young would betray Bobby Roode yet once it happened, my mind went straight to that moment last November when EY had become a victim of Lashley's wrath simply because he was Bobby Roode's friend. And that's what makes this a successful heel turn. As shocking as it was, I can almost feel EY's bitterness and understand his motivation. I say almost simply because a heel's motives aren't always rational or based on reality but in this case, the dynamic between Eric Young and Bobby Roode is so complex that I can't help but have a little sympathy for EY. Tonight, their personal war begins when the two collide in a No Disqualification match. I'm sure this will be their first of many battles and matches so I expect something to happen tonight that takes this feud to another level. And I, for one, can not wait.

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