The cat’s out of the bag…yes, I’m a wrestling fan. I’ve been hooked since the age of ten and despite now being in my twenties I still enjoy watching guys in their underwear pretend to fight each other. It’s just something I’m drawn to.
I’ve also always been a loyal TNA fan. They incur a lot of hatred with the online community but I find some of this unfounded. People hate WWE yet accept it as the only wrestling around, not realizing there is an alternative. I compare fans relationship to WWE like a codependent romantic relationship…you hate them so much yet you cling to them. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ‘em.
Continuing these odd analogies, I see TNA as a friend with a drug problem…you really care about and like them, but sometimes they’ll make stupid decisions that make you facepalm and wonder why you’re associated with them in the first place.
So that’s why I’m starting a list of my 5 favorite and least favorite things about Impact’s TNA broadcast. Enough long-winded and boring intros, let’s analyze the wrasslin’, shall we?
The Good Five
1) New announcer- So maybe he’s not new to other TNA fans. It’s been a few weeks since I watched Impact. But I already like the new guy (forget his name). Usually three-man announce teams can be hard to pull off since the commentary gets cluttered but here it runs smoothly. He is excited without being Don West levels of coked up (though I loved West’s heel run). He manages to balance out Tazz’s rambling and Tenay’s pedantic hype. Well done.
2) Tenay notes continuity between Samoa Joe and D-Von- And speaking of Tenay, he had a little thing during the D-Von and Samoa Joe match. Usually Tenay is hit-or-miss with me. At times The Professor is abundant with knowledge and statistics, the heyday of this being his time in WCW. Other times he’s grating to the ears. But he noted this is the first time Joe and D-Von have faced each other in a singles match, only clashing in a tag match from 2007. Normally wrestling has amnesia where if it didn’t happen 4 months ago it’s no longer canon but here Tenay dug back and gave us some history and significance to the match. It may sound nitpicky but I like little things like that. It helps get more into the wrestling.
3) Joey Ryan- I’ve been a big fan of his since his time in the indies with ROH and PWG and man is he on fire in TNA as a heel. He has that great sleazy old-school heel vibe that you don’t see from a lot of guys anymore. At first he seemed a bit awkward on the mic in TNA but now he’s finding his groove. Unlike WWE TNA is actually serious about building up their tag division and Ryan and Morgan, with the mouth and the muscle (where Morgan seems to finally have settled into a decent role), make a great team. I can see Ryan getting a main event push and maybe even the title one day.
4) X Division Match- Wow was that a barnburner. Kenny King is another guy I liked from ROH (yeah, I’m one of those smarks who likes workrate guys who can do flips…so sue me…actually don’t, I’m a broke-ass writer) and it’s good to see him get a push. Last night’s three-way also involving Kid Kash was all sorts of great. TNA has really been not only having decent storylines but matches as well.
5) Female wrestlers’ segment/ Velvet Sky’s return- Along with the tag and X divisions, it seems like they’re taking the women’s division seriously as well (another area in which they trump WWE). Tara has always been a beautiful woman to me but lately she’s showing her funny, charismatic side with Jesse in tow. James looked great as usual and while not the best on the mic got her point across. But it was also awesome to see Velvet Sky back. With all these faces returning and the capable hands of Tara I’m looking forward to it.
The Bad Five
1) Another Styles/Daniels match?!- Christ, how many of these have they done already? Don’t get me wrong, I love Styles and Daniels, but even I’m tired of seeing these two face each other…and I imagine even as best friends they are too. While the opening promo was awesome and it was cool to see a Fortune reunion (and their tights in the main event were hilarious…they looked like 90s WCW jobbers), I groaned when they announced just one more match, we swear, this is it, until next month when we can’t figure out what else to do with Styles or Daniels.
2) D-Von’s heel run and attire- It’s a shock to me that for a guy who almost caused riots in the ECW arena on a regular basis back in the day, that D-Von’s current heel run with Aces & 8’s just doesn’t seem to be working. The crowd seems to care less and D-Von doesn’t seem fully into it. Not to mention his attire looks awkward as hell. The flannel/leather biker get-up is fine out of the ring but it just looks weird to see a guy wrestle in that. Not to mention it has to be uncomfortable for D-Von to move around in it. Yeah, I fixate on weird stuff like that. Some people can get away with street clothes (raven) but most of the time I want tights or some professional-looking gear.
3) Austin Aries demoted/ “Bully” as face/Brooke always involved in angles- Oh, where to start with this? First off, Aries had a cup of coffee as champion and then turns heel just as he’s finding his stride as a face, for no reason. Bully, while awesome and getting over with the crowd because of his hard work as a heel, stays face with the “Bully” moniker. And then Brooke Hogan, who I loathe, always has to stick her face into every storyline because she’s Hogan daughter. It gives Bully and Aries something to do but they both deserve better than this soap opera angle. But hey, at least it’s not as bad as AJ/Cena!
4) Robbie E. can’t figure out an iPad just to get a cheap plug in- Mick Foley would be proud. I’ve never cared that much for Robbie E. and last night my interest in him just sunk lower. While brief that backstage segment where a simple tablet confused him just seemed like a waste of time. We get it, he’s a stupid guido, ha ha ha. It was also an annoying excuse to work in a cheap plug to Geico, their corporate overlords. When Rob Terry is smarter than you, it may be time to call it quits.
5) World title barely focus- For as much good as TNA has done lately this was shocking. I know there was a lot to squeeze into this week’s episode but the world title match barely gets a mention until the main event. As someone who hasn’t watched in a while, that’s bad advertising..I didn’t know who would face off until the end of the show! Roode is great and deserves another run but it may be too soon after he’s been jobbed out so much. And why is Jeff, the perpetual screw-up, champion again? The championship should be the focal point of any wrestling organization. Here it was treated as an afterthought. That’s not good.