By Scott Whitt
The other day I was listening to Busted Open, a wrestling radio show on Sirius/XM. The hosts are champions of all pro wrestling. They've always treated TNA fairly except for when Bobby Roode won the title and they didn't mention it at the top of the show. You may have heard about Taz calling in and giving them the business about it.
On this particular show they were asking the audience which promotion is the best. WWE is the clear #1 but when they brought up the other promotions it perked my ears. When talking about TNA, some of their complaints about TNA they somehow did not apply to the other promotions. It made me think of how certain rules only apply to TNA.
During the height of Michael Jordan's greatness, there was a book published called "The Jordan Rules". The legendary book followed the Bulls during their 1991 Championship run. In the book, the author detailed certain things that Jordan was able to get away with that others didn't.
This is not to excuse TNA for their litany of mistakes and creating the animosity many may feel. I just feel that since Slammiversary 2014, there has been so much to like about TNA and many of the arrows that are slung are unfair and ignorant.
1) They tape too many shows in a row.
Fair enough but let's look at the facts. TNA usually tapes six episodes of Impact at a time. I wish they did it less but I know why they do it. Ring of Honor typically tapes four shows at a time, as do NXT. Lucha Underground, the new darling of the IWC, tapes two months at a time. They even crowned their champion before the first show aired. The tapings they did in April are for the end of July and August. I mentioned the Busted Open/Bobby Roode episode. There was a caller that said since he read the spoilers, it didn't feel fresh. I guess the spoilers for the other companies never hit the net.
2) TNA is just WWE-lite.
The payroll of TNA has had its fair share of ex-WWE talent, many of them not earning a good return on investment. In the post-Hogan era, we've seen most of them jettisoned. However, at the Summer of 2014 NYC tapings, they brought in Gene Snitsky and Ezekiel Jackson for a show or two as a dig at ECW fans. TNA got hammered over that, even though both were gone quickly. Fast forward to the Fall and Lucha Underground has Big Zeke as their lead heel on their debut episode. Did not hear a complaint about him. Same with Alberto Del Rio.
When TNA was going after Alberto Del Rio, people kept saying TNA is trying to be WWE. Have not heard the same about ROH or Lucha Underground, the two places that he works for now. LU also has John Morrison as one of their top faces, but no complaints about him either. Plus they have Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. All those guys are great and fans should be excited to see them, but they're ex-WWE stars no matter where they work.
3) The show airs on Friday.
The hosts complained about how Friday night is bad for TV and it's tough for them to watch. I think everyone was surprised when it was announced that Impact would be on Friday nights. It is what it is. Friday nights are not ideal for ratings, but Smackdown had decent ratings when it was on that day. So the hosts say Friday is bad but immediately talk about how New Japan is appointment TV. Want to guess what day New Japan is on? That's right, Friday, so I guess they're saying that Friday is a bad night for wrestling if it's more than one hour.
4) The announcers are in a studio.
One of their other complaints was that Josh Mathews and Taz were calling the show in a studio. They had Drew Galloway on and he said that since the shows were taped, TNA was not going to insult the viewers' intelligence but not acknowledging it. I can see their point. I do think that if the guys were ringside it would be better. However, since Impact is a two-hour production and they tape four to six episodes over a weekend, that is a lot to put on two announcers. Not to mention they tape some stuff out of order. ROH and LU tape live but LU does one 60 minute show a night. NXT tapes four 1 hour shows at a time but they rotate their announcers around. ROH's announcers do the same but with just a two man crew. To their credit, many times they do it after a PPV.
Remember, they thought that Taz and Josh not calling the show live was a mistake. Just like the Friday hypocrisy, they did not mention that New Japan is not called live. The show is called in another country, two years after the match happened. Just that doesn't apply, apparently.
The past couple of years have not been kind to TNA. Many of their problems are their own fault and they did take a step back. From switching networks, to reducing house shows and cutting back PPVs, letting guys like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bad Influence and Team 3D walk put a dent in perception. However, I think they've done a great job creating new stars like EC3, Bram, Eli Drake and Magnus.
All I'm asking is that those in the wrestling media should be fair. Don't tell me that wrestler X does too many superkicks while you are wearing a Young Bucks T-shirt. If there is something about TNA or another promotion that you don't care for, then fine. Just don't turn around and ignore that when it concerns another promotion.
- I've been a big fan of Veda Scott and was trying to figure out a role for her in TNA. While she is a capable wrestler, she is an exceptional talker. Using her legit law background, I would bring her in as a representative for Havok. Veda could bring up how Havok was never pinned for the Knockouts title and as she was trying to get her rematch, Kong intervened. Since Veda is a worker, she can interfere and take good bumps, plus she can be the mouthpiece for Havok - her weak spot.
- The other Knockout I've thought of a new role for is Brooke. I think she has done an admirable job with her in-ring performances. Personality-wise, she is pretty generic except for her butt. However, between The Amazing Race and the YouTube videos, we are getting to see another side to her. She is pretty goofy and a bit annoying. I don't mean that in a bad way, though. What I would do is have her talk about how she is glad to be done with Robbie E because she found a real man.
Over the next few weeks, have the cameras show her receiving flowers and talking about how strong the new guy is. At the same time she starts to show a more forceful persona. After a big win, Christy interviews her in the ring and Brooke talks about her new mindset and she owes it to her new man. Then out comes Samuel Shaw in a nice suit but still wearing gloves. He tells Christy to not be afraid; he just came here for Brooke. I would try and tease him rubbing off on her as well as the reverse.