27 March 2015

TNA Friday Randomania - Mar 27, 2015

- It's the end of this year's UK tour and the start of the episodes of Impact taped from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. Yes, the dreaded Impact Zone. I wasn't very happy when TNA announced that they'd be returning to Universal Studios for Impact tapings in March but I understood the decision to do so. It's a reality that I must accept, and although I have my moments in which some frustration seeps out, I think I have a pretty good grasp of the situation. I get it. But sitting here today, I'm not dreading the return to the Impact Zone as much as I thought I would. In fact, I'm feeling strangely optimistic about the next few weeks. And that's a testament to TNA and the product that they've put out in recent months...a product that, from week to week, continues to raise the bar just enough to make you want to come back for more. I admit, TNA have me hooked, and they have me hooked in a way that I haven't been hooked in years. This is pro wrestling (and sports entertainment) at its finest, and I simply can not get enough.

- I think one of the biggest reasons why I'm not dreading the upcoming Impact Zone shows is the amount of shows TNA taped during their recent tapings. Initially, we were led to believe, or assumed in some cases, that TNA would tape 7 or 8 episodes of Impact (during four nights of tapings), but we now know that they only taped six. We know this because TNA have announced a live Impact taping on May 8th (again at the Impact Zone), which is exactly six calendar weeks from tonight. I can deal with six episodes, especially if the latter ones are to build the live show.

- Now the question becomes why does TNA need four nights of tapings in order to tape six episodes of Impact? The answer is they don't. TNA have not announced anything publicly nor has there been any rumors by credible sources but it appears that the company has been taping matches for Xplosion at a much faster pace than they have before. As far as I can tell, TNA have already taped over 25 matches for Xplosion that have yet to air since the start of the new year. That's at least two dozen matches in the can. They presumably also have more in the works with another four nights of tapings in May. One has to wonder why TNA are so rapidly taping matches for a show that typically features one match per episode per week. If the status quo remains, TNA have already taped a match for the episodes of Xplosion through the end of August, and we're not even done with March. I don't want to presume anything but I think the writing may be on the wall with this one, folks. 

 - One more reason why I'm optimistic about the Impact Zone tapings? A new set of tapings always seems to bring with it a sense of new beginnings: fresh feuds or storylines, or in this case, fresh new faces.  We've already heard of at least four new faces who appeared at the recent tapings and I must say, I'm excited for all four, although I don't believe all of them are long term options, and I have a feeling that at least one of them will make his or her debut tonight so look for that. I intentionally did not mention their names for those who don't want to know. For everyone else, click here to access our New Talent Tracker.

- And lastly, Kurt Angle is the new TNA world heavyweight champion, and that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I thought Lashley's reigns as world champion were fantastic. He was as dominating a world champion as we've ever seen in TNA but I feel that Lashley simply was not the same after he split from MVP. Say what you will about MVP but under his leadership, Lashley was a destroyer that dominated his competition with a physicality unparalleled in pro wrestling today. But Lashley was simply not the same as a character without MVP, who did an outstanding job as his spokesman. I don't know where TNA goes with Lashley now but I wouldn't be against him re-joining MVP or perhaps hiring a manager who can speak for him, similar to the way Paul Heyman does for Brock Lesnar. I like Lashley and I believe he can be a valuable part of the Impact Wrestling roster but I'd like to see TNA use him in a way that highlights his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses.

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