A few days ago, I was asked by Talon Thorne to take part in my second TNA Insider Spin Cycle. Below is my contribution to the column.
1. In your opinion, was the experiment on Mondays a good risk or did it hurt the product in the long run?
Probably both. Ratings-wise, money-wise, it was a colossal failure that definitely hurt and embarrassed the company, and no one can deny that -- not even TNA themselves, no matter how much they try to. However, it may have been worth it in the long run as it was an excellent sobering experience that may serve them well as a cautionary tale in the future. Now they know that just because Hogan & Bischoff want the company to do something, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea and it doesn't mean it will be automatically successful. Hopefully, this will be a wakeup call for Dixie Carter, who seemed to think these guys had the Midas Touch up until now. If the Monday Night Experiment proved anything, it's that that is indeed NOT the case.
2. TNA has had 4 PPVs with one more this week. What PPV did you think held up best and overall has TNA’s PPV experience been a success in 2010?
Good grief, that's like asking which half-rotten fruit I was able to keep down the longest without puking. Of the 4 we've seen, Lockdown was the best, which is not to say it was a great show. None of them have been particularly great, but Lockdown probably had the most good on it, despite having a lot of crap thrown in as well. Angle/Anderson, AJ/Pope, 2 X-division matches and Lethal Lockdown until the horrible finish were enough to offset the terrible Knockouts match, the Hogan/Flair/Bischoff crap and the abortion of booking logic that forced us to endure a 50-year-old Kevin Nash wrestling not once, but TWICE.
Has TNA's PPV experience in 2010 been a success? Um... NO! For all the proof you need, just look at the last 2 PPVs before Hogan & Bischoff took over. Turning Point & Final Resolution both had better booking, much better cards and overall had better matches than anything these guys have produced.
3. What are your top 3 favorite moments/matches from TNA in 2010?
1. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE (c) vs. AWESOME KONG & HAMADA
-- iMPACT, 1/04/10.
The first and unfortunately last truly great Knockouts match of the Hogan/Bischoff era and a sad glimmer of what the Knockout tag team division could have and should have been before the entire women's roster devolved into a tits & ass sideshow which pushed the Beautiful People and Tara to the moon at the expense of every other woman in the company.
2. ULTIMATE-X: MCMG vs. GENERATION ME
Probably one of the most well-booked and exciting Ultimate-X matches in TNA history and a reminder of how great a feud between these teams COULD be if the writers had actually let them have more than 2 freaking matches before ending it for some insane reason.
3. KURT ANGLE vs. MR. ANDERSON
A fantastic match of the year candidate, which helped elevate what had been a disappointing show up until that point, turning it into something that was actually worth paying money to see.
4. Do you see Tara’s departure from the company as a good or bad thing for TNA?
Both. It's bad because she was inexplicably one of the only women that the writers seemed to genuinely want to devote TV time to, without whom the division may become even more of an afterthought than it is now. On the other hand, it's a good thing because Tara's entire run in TNA was pretty underwhelming, and with her gone, it may force the writers to finally do something with the other women who have been sitting on the sidelines for months while Tara got all the spotlight despite not delivering well enough to deserve it. Sarita/Taylor Wilde/Hamada > Tara
5. Out of the recently released wrestlers from WWE, which one do you see having the most potential and why?
Mickie James. She was the top Diva, the most popular woman in WWE for years and was fired in a way that pissed a lot of her fans off. More than any of the others, Mickie is the person that could make the biggest splash in TNA. The Knockouts just lost the woman the whole division was built around (again). Imagine if Tara left, and then all of a sudden, Mickie showed up to fill the void; fans would go nuts for that! I would still prefer they refocus and make better use of the girls they already have, but I wouldn't fault them for signing Mickie as bringing her in would make a lot of sense, unlike some of those others.
The only other recent release I could see doing well in TNA is Shelton Benjamin and even he's kind of iffy at this point. Call me crazy if you want, but I think the ship has sailed with that guy. Incredible athlete? Sure. But does he have anything else to offer? Not really. He was in WWE for years, flirted with the main event at times, but never rose higher than midcard status. If you can score multiple wins over HHH and afterward sink right back to where you were before, there's something wrong with that. Frankly, there isn't really anything Shelton can do that others in TNA can't do along with a lot of other stuff.
6. What are your thoughts on the Bischoff and Hogan regime so far?
Well, let's see...
-Knockout division -- turned into a carbon copy of the WWE Divas division.
-X-division -- almost an afterthought despite Bischoff's claims that he loves it.
-Tag Team division -- nearly buried by Matt Morgan and the current champions are 2 fat, half-crippled senior citizens (Hall & Nash).
-Abyss, the one young guy on the roster that has had a strong, sustained (if idiotic) push, has been a complete failure if his continued placement in the rock bottom spot on TNA's heavyweight ranking poll is any indication, while the guy who routinely comes in #1 on the poll by a huge margin, Desmond Wolfe, has gone from hot rising star to glorified enhancement talent disguised as a main eventer.
-The top 5 heels in the company recently beat up all the top faces on the show, only to then get their collective asses kicked by Hulk Hogan all by himself, showing every fan watching that a broken down 60-year-old man > every member of the TNA roster combined.
-They gave Rob Van Dam the world title as a ratings stunt and one week later, iMPACT scored the lowest rating in its entire history, prompting SpikeTV to move the show back to Thursdays immediately.
-A no-talent piece of garbage with an offensive, exploitatively gay gimmick is now feuding with a no-talent 'roid-monkey who botches every 5 seconds over a championship that was literally created as a joke.
I could go on, but I think my point has been made.
My opinion of the Hogan/Bischoff regime so far: IT SUCKS!
Hope you guys enjoyed it. You can read what 404, Jonfostersucks and Talon had to say by clicking here.