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20 March 2015

TNA Friday Randomania - Mar 20, 2015


- I've seen a lot of praise for last week's Impact, even from those who usually aren't as generous with the compliments for TNA which is noteworthy in itself, but I think it's important to truly understand why this particular episode resonated with so many. It resonated because viewers were emotionally invested. And they were emotionally invested because of TNA's long term approach to booking and storytelling. Ethan Carter III vs Rockstar Spud could not have been the masterpiece that it was if TNA and its writing staff hadn't nurtured this duo as best friends and enemies for the last 16 months. It's due to that commitment and dedication that led to what, in my mind, was one of the most rewarding viewing experiences in recent pro wrestling history. At a time when wrestling struggles to tug at our heartstrings, mainly due to the cynicism of many "fans" that has led to the death of kayfabe, EC3 vs Spud reminded the rest of us that pro wrestling, when done right, can still evoke real emotions. Because the truth is...for me and many others, kayfabe was alive and well last Friday night and we have TNA, its writing staff, and its roster of wonderfully talented wrestlers to thank for that.

- If I could describe last week's Impact in one sentence, I'd say it was the best pro wrestling show that I've had the pleasure of watching in, at least, the last five years. I can't say it enough...at a time when the WWE continues to alienate wrestling fan after fan, TNA is unrelenting in their efforts to inspire a new generation of wrestling fans simply by cultivating an environment in which pro wrestling traditions are respected, not frowned upon. And they've done this with so much resistance from those who would like to see kayfabe die completely in order to push their own agenda: the rise of "real" wrestling. What they don't realize, however, is that pro wrestling and kayfabe will always be one and the same, even at its purest level. The wrestling in Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling is no more real than the wrestling in TNA. If it was, it'd be mixed martial arts.

- I must admit, I was genuinely surprised when Josh Mathews mentioned last week that Lashley and Kurt Angle had never wrestled each other. I had assumed that the two, at some point, met in the ring during their time in the WWE but that doesn't seem to be the case.  This might seem like a minor detail, especially to those who don't consider TNA to be the "major leagues", but this fact doesn't diminish the statures of Lashley and Kurt Angle as competitors. One can dismiss TNA's status simply to indulge their own bias but the accomplishments of a Lashley or a Kurt Angle can not be dismissed or ignored. Here we have two of the most decorated professional athletes that the wrestling industry has ever seen fighting each other for the first time...for the TNA world heavyweight championship. It doesn't get much more prestigious than this, folks. If you're a wrestling fan, this is a must-see match.

- And lastly, the UK shows will come to an end tonight and I can't think of a better way to conclude this year's tour than with Lashley vs Kurt Angle. But there's so much more to look forward to. The feuds between Magnus/Bram and the BDC/Drew Galloway have only just begun so it'll be interesting to see if there's any progression in these stories. After last week's brutal fights, what's next for Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, Bobby Roode, and Eric Young? The Feast or Fired briefcases have still not been cashed in...when will Austin Aries, Spud, and Magnus do so? It's important to note that James Storm did not cash in his tag title shot last year until November so we could possibly see the same happen this year. The situation between Taryn Terrell, Awesome Kong, and Gail Kim is heating up. The announcers seem to be pushing the narrative that Terrell can not stop Kong from winning her championship belt. I have to wonder, what lengths will Terrell go to in order to keep her belt because the writers can not possibly book Kong to disqualify herself every time they square off. And finally, the Wolves are once again the tag team champions and they're defending the belts in an Ultimate X match against the BroMans (DJ Z will be teaming with Jessie Godderz, not Robbie E) and the Revolution (with Manik and the Great Sanada representing Storm's crew). Both of these are interesting developments because they may be hinting at something down the road. Could the BroMans' days as a team be numbered? And what will be the consequences for Manik and Sanada if they don't win the tag titles tonight? Like I said, there's so much to look forward to right now so I suggest you get the snacks ready for tonight, sit back and relax, and enjoy the show.

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