Recently I was invited by Talon Thorne to participate in the first ever TNA Asylum Spin Cycle for his new website. Below is my contribution to the column.
1) Slammiversary will represent the 8 year Anniversary of TNA. In your opinion, where does TNA sit when talking about success and quality?
Something TNA loves to mention over and over again is that most people said they wouldn't last 6 months. Now they're a profitable company 8 years later. That in itself is a huge success they should be proud of. However, when talking about quality, you only need to take one look at the TV show to know that TNA needs to shut their pie hole. The product has been getting progressively worse for several years now. The Main Event Mafia burying all the young talent for an entire year was bad enough, but just when that had been done away with, Hogan & Bischoff showed up, and ever since then, they've been systematically destroying everything that made TNA what it is.
There is no excuse for the show they're putting on right now. Pushing no-talent idiots like Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry, bringing in worthless has beens like Scott Hall and the Nasty Boys, putting Sting back in the world title picture when no one voted for him in the polls, giving themselves hugely excessive amounts of screen time that should be going to the young talent, the complete burial of the Knockouts and X-division, idiotic creative decisions that no one in their right mind would make. Do I have to go on?
Is TNA a successful company? Yeah. But as we can see, clear as day, success is not necessarily determined by quality.
2) What was TNA's best year and why?
Probably '05-'06. Back then, TNA still had an identity and they were proud of it. They weren't trying to beat the WWE at their own game (which is impossible), they were just trying to be as good as they could be, and it showed. To look at what TNA was delivering back then as compared to what they're delivering now is, quite frankly, pretty depressing.
3) What were your favorite TNA moments from its 8 year history?
When the X-division was at its peak and those guys were delivering fantastic matches that really meant something every single night. When the Knockout division actually felt important and they were delivering matches the WWE Divas couldn't touch. This was when TNA had a clear alternative to many key weaknesses in the WWE product and they reveled in it. The Unbreakable 3-way, Gail vs. Kong, when the Ultimate-X actually had feuds that built up to it rather than just being a randomly thrown together, meaningless spotfest to pop the crowd. It didn't get better than that.
4) TNA seems to have scrapped the King of the Mountain concept for Slammiversary. What are your feelings on this?
This is a stupid idea, and one that I really don't understand. Bischoff has been so adamant about giving each PPV a distinct identity and now he's taken away the match that made Slammiversary stand out from all the other PPVs TNA puts on all year. And to make matters worse, the match they're giving us instead is Rob Van Dam vs. Sting, a guy who (judging by his continued low placement in the polls) no one even wants to see in this spot.
Plus, Sting can't go anymore. It's obvious. It was obvious a year and a half ago when he phoned in his performance at Genesis. All due respect to the man, but the bottom line is he just doesn't have it in the ring. And now we're going into one of the biggest PPVs of the year and instead of being excited for the main event, we're wondering if the world champion will even be able to carry his challenger to a good match. Someone please explain to me how this is better than King of the Mountain.
5) Knowing what you know about this year's Slammiversary lineup, how does it hold up to years past?
This is quite possibly the most underwhelming card in Slammiversary history. Brother Ray vs. Jesse Neal, Sting vs. RVD, the Band vs. Matt Morgan and a mystery partner, etc, etc... I'm not excited for any of these matches because TNA hasn't given me a reason to be excited about them. The build up has been lackluster at best, I don't expect these matches to be very good and in most cases, the payoff is something I'm not even interested in. I don't want Sting to be the world champion, the Band as tag team champions are an absolute joke, but I don't want Morgan to win the tag titles back either. Instead, I'm just wondering why the MCMG aren't getting their tag title shot here, why AJ Styles isn't in the main event instead of a 50-year-old Sting, and so on. This is not only a weak-looking card on paper, it's probably one of the weaker cards put together by the Hogan/Bischoff regime so far, and that's saying something.
6) Pretending TNA created a Hall of Fame tomorrow, who would be your number one nomination?
Come on, that's easy. Who else but AJ Styles?
Thanks for reading. To read what the other panelists had to say, check out the TNA Asylum Spin Cycle at TNAsylum.com.