It's no secret that I've been quite vocal regarding my discontent with the current TNA product, particularly since the live episode of Impact on May 8th. That night, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth for reasons that I've already discussed in my Randomania column, and although I had begun to feel a bit better about the product in the weeks that followed, I could not shake off a feeling of apathy for Impact and the company in general. That was until Destination X on June 10th when for the first time in a long time I felt that TNA, for me personally, may have jumped the shark, so much so that I felt I needed to turn the channel during the show. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing since I became a fan of TNA ten years ago. Although I did eventually watch the remainder of Destination X later on that night, I don't regret making the decision that I made.
I would make the same decision again.
This week, I went into Impact with low expectations simply because my passion for Impact was dwindling and nothing in the previews for this week's show seemed to excite me, and there was a good reason for that. There wasn't much advertised that resonated with me. On top of that, it sounded like another talking-heavy show, which is something unfortunately we've seen more of in recent months and something that seems to occur as a result of taping in the Impact Zone. I've already discussed my issues with Universal Studios in my Randomania column this week so I won't rehash it but again, I need to emphasize that it's all led to my feelings of apathy and frustration for Impact. So as you can see, going into this week's episode, I was not expecting to come away with any positive thoughts or at least an indication that TNA was headed in the right direction. How could they? This was the last show taped during a long set of tapings going back to early May.
And wouldn't you know it...I genuinely enjoyed this week's show. In fact, I think I enjoyed every single moment of the show and was immersed by the action the entire way. A big reason for that was the focus on whom I believe are some of the wrestlers who are part of the next generation of TNA's core, and that's Ethan Carter III, Bram, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, and Jessie Godderz. I realize the first four names on my list aren't surprises but it was the last name on my list that truly stole the show for me this week. In my opinion, this was Godderz' star-making moment and we will all look back on his brilliant promo as the moment he finally arrived. Jessie Godderz is officially now one of TNA's brightest young stars and more importantly, I think he may have convinced many of those who never quite gave him the credit for all the hard work he's put in to get where he is. Make no mistake, folks, Jessie Godderz is a pro wrestler. And from the looks of it, a star.
But back to the show this week, I want to be clear...I enjoyed Impact and I'm liking the direction of many of the current storylines. This week's episode in many ways restored my faith in TNA and it gave me a reason to maybe not be so critical of some of the decisions the company has to make, especially matters such as where they tape Impact or how many episodes they tape per set of tapings. Don't get me wrong, I still believe that the Impact Zone is a crutch for TNA and continues to be an issue for them, whether it'd be creatively or an inability to grow their audience, but I can choose to make a conscious decision to focus on the creative aspect of the shows. Whether I'm able to do that remains to be seen but for this week at least, I can say that Impact delivered in a big way, in my opinion, and I was able to enjoy the show in spite of the crowd in the Impact Zone. As for next week, only time will tell but I will say this, I'm genuinely looking forward to it but I'm also quite aware of the elephant in the room that is Grado in the X Division title match. I feel like I should be confident that TNA will make the right decision and put the belt on Tigre Uno or Low Ki but sadly, I am not. I get the sense that TNA is obsessed with Grado for some reason and unfortunately, they may be willing to test the loyalties of many of their fans who are opposed to him becoming the X Division champion. And I'm one of them. I do not want to see Grado as the X Division champion and I hope, as a fan of TNA since 2005, that the company does not test my loyalty. That's all I will say.