September 2, 2015
This past week we learned that A) Universal Studios dropped their TNA section indicating that they weren't returning there anytime soon, B) A number of international Discovery Networks replaced IMPACT with other shows, C) TNA has still not announced any future TV Taping Dates, and D) TNA Executives are dodging the TV question to focus on other positive things the company is doing. I want to be wrong about this but until TNA does something to point things in the other direction, it is cause for concern.
At this point I expect TNA to air their remaining episodes on Destination America up to Bound For Glory. After that, we will see a focus on Live events including a possible India Tour. I was one of the original people who thought TNA would use their content filmed on July 22-25th (ONO "Tournament" content) to fulfill their international TV deals. These episodes may or may not air in the United States (possibly on the TNA Website). In the meantime TNA will likely try and negotiate a new domestic TV deal.
My true concern is that when October rolls around, the passion among TNA diehard fans and even TNA fanboys will not be as strong. There is nothing worse than having lukewarm interest in your product. Lucha Underground left us with a hot cliffhanger show with fans needing more. What will TNA leave us with?
*This Global Force Wrestling hostile territory seems like familiar ground, only this time, they are racing against the clock and therefore it feels rushed. I'm kinda disappointed that TNA took the predictable route by having GFW turn into an invading force. While there are interesting elements to it, I hope it doesn't burn through a potential long-term relationship that could do more for both companies in the years to come.
This week's episode opened with GFW in the ring. Jeff Jarrett explained their actions last week. He wasn't originally part of the plan by quickly come on-board. I like them tapping into the real life issues between Jeff and Dixie. At this point in the night, I was dying for a shoot-out between Jarrett and Carter. I didn't know if Dixie could hold her own in that scenario but we would soon find out by the end of the night.
Chris Mordetzky ran his mouth an put out an open challenge that was accepted by Lashley. There are a few people that can the "oh shit" reaction from me and Lashley is one of them. He is like the Hulk from the Marvel Universe. He nearly beat Chris after a Spear until GFW guys came in for the attack.
This transitioned into the next segment as The Wolves tried to make the save only to be beat down. Jeff teased a little surprise when Karen brought out the Tag Title Feast or Fired briefcase won by Nick Aldis (aka Magnus). This was a cool little way to tie up loose ends. Trevor Lee and Brian Myers should have immediately won the tag titles but it took a bit of interference for them to do so. This killed Myers/Lee as a threat since they should have been able to do so without any help. TNA hasn't positioned GFW as much of an in-ring threat since this whole thing began. They all need help to win matches against TNA talent.
This was followed up by Bobby Roode vs PJ Black for the King of the Mountain Championship. I am not really a fan of Roode being a "TNA guy" especially after his issues with TNA management for the past month. I kind of wish he was out for himself here. Roode and Black had a good match here until the ending of Sonjay Dutt coming out for the interference. He was eventually taken out by Drew Galloway with that running kick of his. Roode then caught Black on the ropes with the poorly named Roode Bomb to win the KOTM Championship.
I'm hoping this leads to Jarrett getting pissed at Black for losing and then the Darewolf showing up in TNA in the future.
The highlight of the GFW/TNA stuff was the segment between Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett. Dixie was confident in her delivery and got some good points in on Jeff. While I don't agree with everything she has said, especially with some of the bad decisions she has made, she is a sympathetic character that you want to succeed. The high-risk, high-reward challenge of a winner take all match was right down her alley though. It is what she has done the past few years, which not always have paid off.
Her team for Lethal Lockdown makes sense with it being The Wolves, Drew Galloway and Lashley. While all are new to TNA, they don't have a connection with Jarrett which makes them turning on TNA less of an issue. I loved Dixie's line about investing in people as well. Just an interesting segment. I would have loved to see more of it.
I do have an issue with Lethal Lockdown airing on IMPACT in two weeks. Bound For Glory is only a few weeks after that. Its the biggest show of the year. I may be old-fashioned in thinking that the biggest matches should be reserved for the biggest shows but I think its an idiotic move to blow this match a few weeks before. This has been a TNA thing to do for the past year though so it doesn't really surprise me.
*Kenny King made an appearance after a hiatus. He spoke about leaving the Beatdown Clan behind him and moving forward. I was a face promo. He has been underutilized this past month. He has the charisma to do great things in TNA. Tonight he laid out an open challenge. It was accepted by the Human Hate Machine, Bram.
The situation with Bram sucks. He was one of the few guys I actively watched TNA for. While this isn't TNA's fault, if Bram is done with TNA, it impacts my enjoyment of the product even more, but I digress. I don't understand Kenny King returning to lose to Bram. He should have had a different opponent and he should have won this match.
*I marked out at the return of the Beautiful People. I also recognized how much I missed Madison Rayne, one of my favorite lady wrestlers in the world. The problem here is that TNA's storytelling has been horrible. It feels like they missed out on three or four chapters of a story and are pretending like the fans know everything that happened. Why does Velvet have issues with Taryn Terrell? Why are Angelina and Madison helping Velvet after recently having issues with her? Why is Rebel part of the Dollhouse?
The Dollhouse vs The Beautiful People in a tag team match at Bound For Glory would have been a fun one. We know we won't be getting it though as Angelina Love is currently pregnant.
*I enjoyed the main event between EC3 and Matt Hardy. While I don't buy Matt as a World Champion, these two had another good match. I liked the stip involving Jeff Hardy. We should get some good comedy over the next few weeks involving EC3 humiliating Jeff as his personal assistant. This is a perfect time for pretapes involving these two. Hilarity will ensue! A normal person would guess that EC3 will keep humiliating Jeff until it is revealed that Jeff will be EC3's opponent at Bound For Glory. Stay Tuned!