May 30, 2012

Random Reax

Can't we all just get along?
This twitter feud between Hogan/Bischoff and Scott Steiner, while entertaining, is getting out of hand. I don't think Steiner is completely wrong about some of the things he's said, but I do think some of his comments have been a bit exaggerated. Then again, I can also say the same thing about the people on the other side of the argument. And Hogan/Bischoff aren't helping the situation now that they're starting to fire back -- I'm looking at you too, Brooke Hogan. By the time this thing is over, there's going to be so many twisted facts and half truths floating around that it's going to be impossible to tell what the situation really is anymore. Frankly, I think everyone involved just needs to cool their jets before they all start looking like overgrown children fighting over a toy they all want. Oops, too late.

But just for the record, Steiner was dead right about the Garett Bischoff thing.

If you don't like dirtsheets, don't read them
It seems like every few weeks, I read some twitter or facebook comment posted by Eric Bischoff about how the writers on or are full of crap and got their facts completely wrong or have no idea what he's trying to do with the iMPACT WRESTLING product and so on. Well, I have to ask, if Bischoff has such disdain for internet writers like these, why does he continue visiting their sites and giving them free publicity?

I don't bother with pwtorch anymore, but I'm sure there are plenty of fans out there that enjoy driving up their web traffic just because Bischoff doesn't like them. Yes, we all know Bischoff enjoys pointing out when the internet gets things wrong, but it irritates me when he often lumps the entire IWC into the same category. There are unbiased sites out there that you can go to for news and opinions and such, but I never hear him commenting on any of those. And as for and -- if you think those sites are so worthless, Eric, just don't visit them anymore.

The Gutcheck angle could stand to be tweaked
Now that we've seen the first two monthly Gutcheck tryouts, I think it would be nice if TNA management added something to the formula. What I'd like to see is them alternating the type of talents they bring in. For the first two months it was X-division sized singles wrestlers, so maybe next month they could tryout a tag team, the month after that a prospective Knockout and so on. Adding some variety to the process would make this angle more interesting IMO, and it's not like each division couldn't use an infusion of fresh faces. Speaking of which...

Can we PLEASE get some new Knockouts on the screen already?
As time goes on, it seems like the number of Knockouts that get featured on the TV show gets smaller and smaller, and as a result, the division feels more and more stale. I had plenty of issues with the previous creative regime, but one thing I appreciated was that Russo tried to give all the Knockouts something to do -- it wasn't always good, in fact, a lot of the time it was really bad, but at least the women were on TV doing things. What we have now is pretty much the opposite, and the only Knockouts we ever see anymore are the current champions, whoever is aligned with them and whoever is feuding with them at the time. That currently amounts to 5 women; the rest of them might as well be ghosts.

I can understand wanting to devote more screen time to certain Knockouts than others, but it's becoming counterproductive. Where we're at now, I'm beginning to wonder why Winter and Angelina are even still on the roster, and Sarita and Rosita aren't far behind them in that regard. Mickie and Tara aren't in that boat yet, but Tara seems to be heading in that direction and Mickie has apparently been supplanted by Velvet and Tessmacher at this point.

The writers have narrowed the focus of the Knockout division so much that nearly half of them have either become irrelevant or will be if this goes on much longer. Meanwhile, what we see of the division on-screen lately seems to be the same women in the same match-ups with slight variations, over and over again.

If management has no desire to utilize the rest of the Knockout roster anymore then they need to think about making some changes and replacing some (or all) of them with new talent that they will actually want to make use of. And whoever those women may be, I think it would be a good idea if they were relatively new up-and-comers.

I hate to be that guy, but it dawned on me the other day that some of the Knockouts are getting a bit long in the tooth. Nearly all of them are in their 30s and 40s now, leaving (correct me if I'm wrong) Tessmacher, Madison and Rosita as the only ones still in their 20s. Age hasn't slowed any of them down yet, but it does contribute to the feeling of staleness that is permeating this division right now.

The WWE Divas division may be kind of a joke, but at least they're not dragging their feet on cultivating their next generation of female talent with girls like AJ, Kaitlyn and Maxine -- all of whom are young and fresh. TNA hasn't been doing that. The Knockout product may be of higher quality than what the Divas offer, but it does not feel fresh anymore and there just aren't many women that younger fans can relate to. Getting some new, younger girls in the mix would be a much-needed breath of fresh air.

iMPACT WRESTLING is going live this summer. Um... so? 
I find myself rather uninterested in this news. Maybe it's just me, but I never bought into the idea that the show being live as opposed to taped would make that much a difference. Sure, it eliminates spoilers, but I tend to think that if someone is enough of a fan to look up spoilers online days or even weeks before the show airs, most of the time that person is probably going to watch the show regardless of whether they like what they read in said spoilers or not.

Maybe I'm way off base here, but I just don't see this as being a big deal, and in my mind, the negatives seem to outweigh the positives. For one, it eliminates the post-production crutch, which they haven't been shy about relying on in the past. Also, it's going to cost a lot more money. And didn't we hear just recently that the company wasn't in a good enough place financially to make this happen yet? What changed?

The production issue I'm not overly concerned with; they did well enough on that end during the ill-fated Monday Night iMPACT experiment. The money issue is what worries me. This could be another case of Hogan pushing Dixie Carter into taking the company in a new direction without really thinking things through, and we all remember the last time that happened. It didn't take a genius to see that if the TV show couldn't even maintain its briefly increased ratings in their normal Thursday timeslot, moving it to Monday so it could go head-to-head with RAW was a stupid idea. But Hogan wanted to do it anyway and now that move is widely regarded as one of the organization's biggest failures.

I know Hogan thinks going live would "solve 75% of TNA's problems" but have they really considered all the variables here? What kind of financial drain is this going to put on the company? Are the potential benefits worth the risk? For that matter, what are the benefits to this aside from stopping the spoilers for a few months?

But this is all just speculation on my part. That aside, I am glad to see TNA taking a step forward, albeit a temporary one. I just hope it doesn't bite them in the ass like the move to Mondays did.

I think I hate the TV title 
When the decision was made to have the TV title defended every week, I thought it was a good idea. Hell, practically everyone did. This appeared to be the first step towards finally making the TV title, not only relevant, but the credible 2nd tier championship the company was lacking -- something to groom promising up-and-coming stars for the main event scene. Unfortunately this is not what's happened. 

Instead, this decision has become a lamentable excuse to extend the pointless Devon vs Robbie E/Rob Terry feud -- a feud few, if any, seem to enjoy -- far passed its natural end point. Making it even worse is the fact that this crap being featured on iMPACT WRESTLING weekly now means that far better feuds, involving far better talents such as Samoa Joe/Magnus vs Daniels/Kazarian are often shunted to Xplosion to make room for it. Devon isn't a bad choice for a veteran to give the title a sliver of validity while some worthwhile young challengers (Gunner, Magnus, Crimson, etc) can be lined up to comprise the title picture going forward, but the same cannot be said for the two jackasses he's been stuck feuding with. 

Why the writers continue to waste their time giving the Robbies title shot after title shot when they've been in the title picture for months and months despite the fact that they've failed to deliver a single noteworthy match, promo, or even managed to get over in the slightest continues to flabbergast me. This feud has never been interesting, not for one second. Robbie E's run with the TV title was one of the most forgettable championship reigns I've seen in years. It went absolutely nowhere, he had no storylines, no feuds, barely appeared on the show and was usually jobbing when he did, then Devon squashed him, winning the title, and proceeded to squash him and Rob Terry again and again in one boring match after another. I don't understand why company management has not yet figured out that this is just not an interesting match-up. 

Robbie E is extremely lazy and painfully boring as a wrestler, and Rob Terry is just plain awful. I will never understand TNA's fascination with these two no-talent idiots. At least with Eric Young you can make the argument that he's very over with casual fans and is a talented wrestler underneath all the goofy gimmicks, but what's their excuse in this situation? The Robbies are not over, not as individuals or as a duo, their quality of performance is piss poor and they continue to do nothing but drag the TV title down to their level. 

This is the last thing that title needs. The TNA TV title has had one of the worst championship histories I've ever seen. The only time it's ever even come close to meaning something was when AJ Styles and Doug Williams were fighting over it, but that brief brush with relevancy was erased during godawful reigns of Eric Young and Robbie E (to say nothing of Rob Terry's run with it), and as long as clowns like these continue to be associated with that belt, it will remain as big a joke as they are. 

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