This Week’s Review:
“Can A Bully Get A Table Dance?” ~Or~ “M.V.-ME!”
Greetings, “True-Believers.” I hope everyone’s had a great weekend! I know it’s been over a fortnight & a half (a fifthnight?) since we last looked at Impact together…my bad. Work’s been kickin’ my butt lately, but TNA champion Eric Young has inspired me to dig deeper & try harder. And that brings us to this review. This week I’m going to take a look back at the ups & downs from the past three weeks of TNA programming (including the Sacrifice PPV). So not only are we going to get caught up on the current state of the product…But we’ll also take a look ahead at what’s to come. So without any further ado… Let’s get to the show!
Where We’ve Been:
The aforementioned Eric Young has been rolling along as TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He’s defended the title against Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match, and he pinned Magnus clean in the main event of Sacrifice. The way EY got to the title may have been seen by many as a complete ripoff of the WWE’s current main event story…But over the past month I think there can be no doubt that Young has been booked much stronger than his bearded counterpart in the Fed. He’s now in a program with MVP that win or lose should only solidify EY as a Main Event/Upper Mid-Card player for years to come.
We’ve also seen The Queen Of Dixieland embroiled in a very personal feud with Bully/Baby Ray, and the debut of The Oddities…er…The Dark Carnival…I mean The Menagerie. Also, ECIII, Sanada, & The Beautiful People are still good, Willow & Sam Shaw are still bad, and the defections from TNA have been kind of ugly.
Where We’re Going:
We’re a month away from Slammiversary XII and your top feuds appear to be #EYVsMVP, Dixie/ECIII/Spud Vs. Bully Ray, Angelina Love Vs. Gail Kim, Willow Vs. Magnus/Bram, and TNA Creative Vs. Their Fans.
– The MVP Heel Turn
I’ve been saying for months that MVP is one of TNA’s most complete performers. He’s great on the mic, solid in the ring, and he’s a former WWE star that doesn’t feel like a re-tread. The promo he cut this week about the title being the source of absolute power was excellent (and only MVP could get away with a Donald Sterling reference). MVP also presents a great foil for EY. The flashy heel baller from “Up North” vs. the underdog homegrown baby face champion. MVP’s heel turn also gives new life to Kenny King & Bobby Lashley. “Negrolution” is already on of my favorite stables, and it’s only week one!
– Seiya Sanada
Each & every week, his vignettes are a highlight of the show. Now if only they could give him a good title run. Speaking of which…
– Destination X
Tenay & Taz mentioned in passing that the tenth edition of Destination X (and the second edition on Spike TV) would be occurring later this year. Apparently “Option C” is still in effect, so theoretically we could get an MVP-Sanada TNA title match…I’m cool with that!
– Ethan Carter III
If these are truly the dying days of TNA, ECIII is one of the few highlights. Every week you see how good this kid is. H knows his character, and svn being place in silly storyline (like the Willow feud) can’t dim his light. He’s a Carter…The world of Impact Wrestling needs him.
– The Menagerie
So this is what all those months of Mike Knux vignettes was about?!? This group of misfits? They’re on par with the WWF’s Oddities and the Dark Carnival from WCW. How are these idiots supposed to help the product…Much less save Knux’s father’s carnival? They’ve got a cool entrance and a unique look. But outside of Rob Terry & Midajah-Lite…er…”Rebel”, will any of the guys be on the roster in six months? Probably not.
Other than the unintentional comedy of Jeff Hardy’s falsetto whenever he says “Will-Ohhh!”, I hate this gimmick. It needs to end now.
– Shaw & Gunner
So now we’re gutting “Mr. Intensity” and “Mr. Insanity” as a team? Granted it’s only been a week, but I don’t look forward to Samuel Shaw’s story of redemption (complete with flashbacks to how his mother inflicted trauma on young Samuel).
Lois, & Bram
So lemme get this straight…This guy Bram comes from the UK to supposedly help his friend Magnus get back to his “roots”. In one week he gets a TNA contract, books Magnus in a match, and enters into a feud with “Will-Ohhhh!”. Why? Who? When? Where? I have so many questions about this angle. What was the point of Bram coming to talk sense into Magnus if he’s just going to be another heel? Bram should be steering Magnus towards the path of righteousness…Not getting DQd and jumping guys in the back. Also, can wrestling companies declare a moratorium on bearded white dudes? Enough already!
– The Dixie Carter/Bully Ray Feud
I love me some Dixie Carter! She may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I find her to be an interesting character. I like Bully Ray, he’s a great promo and probably in the best shape of his career. But this feud just isn’t clicking for me yet. The moment at the PPV where Dixie (in a beard!) cost Bully Ray his match was kinda cool. The ensuing on-location vignettes…not so much. Both performers are giving it their all, and a Bully Ray/ECIII program could be good; but I’m just not fully invested in this feud yet. The ultimate payoff to this angle seems to be the fans seeing Dixie go through a table (talk about Russo-Riffic!). And while that would be a cool spot, it won’t man anything unless Dixie goes away for a long time…Which we all know she won’t. I don’t hate this feud, I just don’t quit love it yet.
Final Thoughts: TNA continues to try to power it’s way out of their current state of affairs. They’ve taken some positive strides with guys like MVP, EY, ECIII, and Sanada…But there’s still a lot of work to be done. The past three weeks they’ve released a number of TNA mainstays (Daniels, Kazarian, Chirs Sabin, Hernandez, etc.) in an effort to cut costs. I hate seeing these talented performers go, but given the current creative team…their departures really don’t make a huge difference. In some good news, the WWE is staying with USA/NBC-Universal, so TNA is safe on Spike TV (at least for now). But if they want to re-up that deal at the end of the year, they really need to start producing more compelling television. Hopefully MVP and his new crew can be a part of that change.
Well, that’s it for the recap this week. I hope you guys enjoyed it. As always, any feedback is welcome. It feels so good to be back that I think we should do this again very soon…So join me next week for the fallout from #EYVsMVP!