I'll admit, I was shocked to see Jeff Jarrett return a couple of weeks ago to TNA by appearing on Impact. The moment made for great television and a great TNA wrestling moment.
Despite the memorable segment, the whole issue of GFW just doesn't connect with me as of yet. Quite frankly, what is GFW? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for TNA having solid and beneficial partnerships with other companies, something it rarely has experienced, but I struggle to become excited about GFW until it actually is a tangible, existing product that this consumer can experience. It's even harder to do so when the roster and "feel" thus far feels like a throwback to the old TNA, or dare I say, Jarrett's way of "doing it his way (or right) this time."
Again, I could be wrong, but I have nothing to go off of until I see a television show or some actual content or you know, WRESTLING!
The talks of invasions, and crossover story lines, and other types of hopes, dreams, and wishes from wrestling fans are fine. All just part of the great essence that makes wrestling fandom - dreamlike scenarios. But for me, it really feels like (possibly signifies?) some TNA fans grasping for more. For something ultimately significant to get beyond the string of behind-the-scenes news, whether they are true or not.
TNA fandom has been tough. Anyone or any website that attempts to portray differently is not being truthful. As enjoyable as the television show has been (not counting this past week, which I found hard to really get into), there is always the constant rumor mill and shakeups that overshadow the product. Reality is: TNA Negative Discussion > TNA Wrestling Product. That may just be a sign of our times as fans. So sad.
Nonetheless, for me, the search is deeper than hopes of invasions, or overcoming negative news. My connection to TNA Wrestling has waned over the years due to one thing - inconsistency. It's TNA Wrestling's biggest fault.
As a fan since day one, I now look at the old guard, the "TNA originals", and wonder countless "what ifs". A group who truly built TNA, but were never - EVER - given an opportunity to run with the ball. Not just hold the World Title, but reeeeeally run with the ball as the faces of the company.
And now there is more negative news with more losses of talent, some thought to be the second crop of TNA branded stars. Guys such as Magnus.
There is also the obvious "lessening" of the company from a touring, full fledged promotion that I once hoped would make its way to New York City all the time, to now having to settle for it existing as a television brand, and only for those purposes.
As a TNA loyal fan since night one, I always come back to what I feel are TNA's most significant moments towards my fandom: 1) Kurt Angle's headbutt heard around the world to Samoa Joe, which proved there was something really special going on in TNA Wrestling at the time, and 2) When Hulk Hogan, standing alongside Eric Bischoff, uttered the words "We're changing it, whether you like or not" inside a four sided ring to the chants of "We want six sides" from the Impact Zone on the January 19th, 2010 edition of Impact.
My light on that crazy fandom for TNA Wrestling flickered out then. The company became just another, like the others. That may sound extreme, but it wasn't by choice. I still support and really enjoy the product. I just never had that overwhelming super-fandom since then.
I'm not sure what the TNA-GFW situation will bring and present. It may very well be something that is tremendous, and I hope it is. However, my hope going forward for TNA, as a company, as a chance to find itself as unique brand, and even to thwart the negative news that plagues it, is not wrapped up in invasions, partnerships, talent-exchanges, cross-promotion shows, Jeff Jarrett himself, reverting back to the "old TNA", or even bringing back more wrestlers from it's past.
In an odd circle of re-birth, TNA has, once again, a handful of names and talent on their roster who have the opportunity to make this their chance to re-build TNA. EC3. Bram. The Wolves. Spud. Jesse. Robbie. And many more who probably will be added in the coming weeks and months.
The current state of TNA and he hope in a GFW involvement seems like another big swing for the fences attempt with band-aid like solutions to real issues. The current roster of core prospects can be viewed as the opportunity for the up and coming stars on this roster to rebuild the company in a new TNA-branded way, and yes, actually carry the ball in doing so.
Call me crazy (again), but TNA might have their second wave of core talent on their hands, all with blank canvases, all with the opportunity to be developed into TNA-branded stars.
If you wanted something to hold on to, something to grasp onto to, something more as a fan, this may just be it.
This may just be the kind of "re-start" TNA always needed.
How great was the moment of EC3 breaking out of the "grapevined" version of Angle's ankle lock from last week?
And wasn't that match a great story told?
Anyone else find Tyrus to be a great fit to EC3's character?
And if you were like me in groaning upon his initial appearance - ugh, great, it's Brodus Clay - then hasn't he considerably surprised you? And we sort of owe the big fella an apology, don't we?
Hasn't the BroMans break up been fun to watch?
Shouldn't Jesse's use of the chair for his Adonis Lock become part of his whole character?
Because quite frankly, how awesome was that?!
Wouldn't you like to see Robbie E continue to evolve and become more serious, bro?
Yeah, sorry, I guess I do too.
How amazing is Bram? And doesn't he have a fitting theme song as well as a terrific nickname in the "Chesterfield Plague"?
Can we get more Bobby Lashley? Dude's a beast.
Can't an argument be made that EC3 is TNA's best developed character - EVER?
As always, the feedback is welcomed below or over in Twitterland at @domepondering.