This weeks edition of TNA! Impact comes to us with a new feel, there’s a particular energy about it that I felt-- a spark of that energy that TNA once had but seems to of faded over the years like a distant memory due to the animal inside it craving so badly to compete with WWE.
A spark that has long faded due to their desperation in wanting so badly to be “an alternative” for wrestling fans that it consumed them to the point that they forget WHY they wanted to be an alternative.
A desperation that is felt through their promos, their booking, their talent, their visuals, their storylines—the entire product, which just screams “PLEASE WATCH US”.
Trsut me, I still feel that desperation, but this week it was a lot easier to cope with, for the most part.
Firstly it’s nice to see the commentary team back at ringside, which is another example of TNA trying to hard to be innovative and different.
I’m enjoying The Pope on commentary, he brings flavour to the announcer’s desk as though it feels like there is finally some colour back in commentary—there’s personality again. With all due respect to Josh Matthews, he is a mic-man, nothing more. He isn’t a play-by-play announcer, especially not a leading one. He has no credibility to his name.
TNA – You need Matt Striker, the talent this guy has to put over a product is phenomenal – I used to love his commentary work in WWE as he educated us. He’d talk of old wrestlers and their history in way that made it relevant to what we were watching on screen. The way he compliments the story that is being told in the ring in this business right now—is second to none. No, Matt Striker’s name isn’t THAT much credible either, but he is a great talent and would suit the role of lead play-by-play announcer on TNA perfectly.
As for the show…
We are straight away teased with a “mystery opponent” for Kurt angle, of EC3’s choosing. Ethan Carter does his best to build up this mystery opponent, but may I ask why the first thing he said was “Hash-tag Impact Live”. Are we really at the point now where even the talent are nothing more than walking billboards for “Please watch us”.
I get it!
You have to promote, you want to trend—the more people talking means more eyes on your product, therefore more cash—I get it, I truly do.
But don’t shove it in my face straight away. We get enough of this from Raw.
Let me get into the show before I even think about tweeting about it. Social media is something that happens naturally for people, not when its forced. Things such as Twitter are just reflections of our personal thoughts. Instead of looking as twitter as a whole, realise that each one of those accounts is an actual PERSON and not just a number.
Instead of MAKING us talk about you, give us a reason TO talk about you. Its clear TNA don’t understand the psychology behind how and why people use social media.
The only thing in pro wrestling that has truly been lost, is the art of patience.
Its like TNA’s mentality is “all we need is that one good show to turn everything around and they will love us again”.
They’re clutching at straws, throwing every single thing at the wall to see what sticks and it’s gotten us to where we are now. A show full of people that I just do not care about.
I used to love James Storm and Bobby Roode, together and as separate entities. I hate to say this, but I don’t care for them now. I used to love Ken Anderson, hes another that’s just faded away over time. Austin Aries, yet another.
Kurt Angle, the only person on their current active roster with any real credibility, but hes been cutting the same promo for the last 15 years.
I know that this is me nit-picking, but everything is just so mundane on TNA. It irritates me because they have SO many advantages over WWE.
I don’t want to hate on TNA, I LOVE their production. I love the set, I love the stage. I do hate the 6-sided gimmick and I don’t understand why the mic covers are so disgustingly big, but visually the show looks fantastic—I’m a huge mark for the crane! And they do a great job at shooting wrestling. But its ridiculous how many advantages they have over WWE and they choose to use hardly any of them.
Ok, so Ethan Carter.
There has only been a handful of people in this industry that can talk utter sh*t on the mic and get away with it. So when Ethan Carter starts saying “Raise your heroes from the ashes and I will sacrifice them upon my alter of perfection” – Im not sitting here going “wow, that was powerful” – im sitting here questioning why hes talking utter sh*t.
It wasn’t a badly written promo—it just didn’t suit his character – At all.
Sacrifice and alters are both very religious symbolic things, why are these relevant to your character or to this particular angle? They’re not – someone just thought, “That sounds cool, lets do that”.
It frustrates me as a fan to watch it, simply because TNA are looking in the right direction, but they’re doing it all the wrong way. There is no real creative direction there. Theres just ‘ideas’ and that’s it-- They don’t explore those ideas and when they do, they do take them very far.
It used to be that a promo like that was a plot device, a promo like that was used for a reason – to build to a particular match for example. But now they are written simple because “it sounds good”. – there is no logic to it and when you’re cutting promos like that just for the sake of a quick pop, you’re jading these types of promos for when you really do need them.
I know so far this has been a very nit-picking entry, but it’s the little things about TNA that drive me crazy – like, why is Matt Hardy a threat to Kurt Angle exactly? Why is he more of a threat than Tyrus? Who’s twice his size..
You had Vader on the show.. YOU HAD VADER. And you chose to put Matt Hardy in that role. That is shocking to me.
And at the end of the day, its still only Matt Hardy.. Does that mean Grand Master Sexay is a threat, too?
Ok, so lets rewind to a few months ago, one of my first ‘Brand Speaks’. We discussed Grado, and I said it then, and I will say it now – I don’t believe that he will get over on a national platform. Not because he doesn’t have the talent – because he’s a great asset to any wrestling organisation. But because I don’t feel that a big enough organisation are willing to invest in him enough to allow him to reach his full potential.
What you need to understand about Grado is the reason he is so loved on the British circuit is because he has something that hardly anybody else has – presence.
(Authors Note: Another example – Marty Scurll – Fantastic presence.)
A HUGE – if not the MAIN factor of this for Grado is his entrance.
‘Like a prayer’ is his magic. Not some generic, crappy club music that TNA use.
Obviously in a real world they would love to use that song as his entrance but that’s where, as a business you invest in your product, you pay for the rights to that song because the turn around will be worth it when his shirts are flying off of the shelves.
Anyone with a pair of eyes can see Grado HAS the potential to be very popular which in turn will be a huge asset to TNAs merchandise, but because they’ve tried to replicate it by cutting corners, he doesn’t feel the same. The magic has gone and I can already see the cracks in the pavement. The crowd don’t care. Not really. Not the way that should.
Yes Grado is entertaining to those who find slapstick humour amusing, but without that magic, that’s as far as he goes, and the reason that’s bad – is because they don’t realise what they have. I’m afraid to say Grado is TNAs Santino Marella.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Like always—whether you agree or disagree, I thank you for your time.
I’ve been Jake Jesus, and that’s whats best for business.
Follow Jake on Twitter: @IAmJakeJesus