March 25, 2014

Ask FK... 09

Why can't TNA get additional programming (Xplosion, Knockouts spinoff show) on Spike/Viacom?

Could be any number of reasons, but my guess is it's because TNA is privately owned and not under the Viacom umbrella. If Viacom owned TNA I think they'd probably support the company more than they do now.

King of the Mountain Match can return in the Slammiversary of this year?

I hope so. I never agreed with them getting rid of it. The rules definitely needed to be simplified, but the match was a fun annual tradition that helped Slammiversary stand out from the other PPVs and I've missed it since it's been gone. I say get rid of the penalty cage and the hanging-the-belt stipulation. Just make it a big 6-man ladder match where you have to pin someone to qualify to go for the belt and I think it would be just fine.

Do you agree with me when I think Madison Rayne needs some sort of gimmick/theme change?

The opposite actually. I've found Madison to be a good deal more tolerable since she came back as a face than she was during her heel run, which I couldn't stand. All things considered, I think her gimmick was a big part of the problem. I much prefer her this way. I'm still not a big fan of Madison Rayne and I never will be, but so far her push hasn't been making me want to bash my head against a wall, and that's a big step up (admittedly, she earned a lot of points when her return killed the push of ODB. lol). Though I do agree her theme music doesn't really fit her persona anymore.

Would you be for a faction of new knockouts to take out the old guard? No one on the roster needs to have another run with that belt.

YES! That's exactly what I've been wanting to see for a long time. That, to me, would give the Knockout division the drastic shake-up it needs. Unfortunately TNA seem to be maddeningly resistant to the idea of breaking any new ground with their women's division, preferring instead to keep the stalwarts (Gail, ODB, Velvet, Madison, Angelina, etc) firmly ensconced in the same spots year after year after year, and they're really stifling the division's long-term health by doing this. Those women aren't going to last forever. Is TNA still going to have Gail, Angelina et al as the top Knockouts 3 years from now? 5 years from now? 7 years from now? Where does it end? What are they going to do when those women retire? They haven't groomed anyone to take their places when that day comes.

You can't just rely on the same people indefinitely. It gets old and fans eventually lose interest. Ironically the WWE has done more in the last few years to create new female stars than TNA has -- hell, the woman that I'm most excited about in any of the big companies these days is Paige. One of the reasons why the AJ Lee character is as hot as she is (or was until WWE got lazy with the booking of her) is because she's new and fresh and different. You wouldn't get something like that from Layla, Alicia Fox or Rosa Mendes at this point, or any of the other women who've been there for a long time. That new car smell wears off after a while, they've become stale and irrelevant, and that doesn't seem likely to change unless they get drastically repackaged (which is probably not in the cards).

The same principle applies to TNA. They only seem to want to roll with the same handful of women over and over even though those people have been there for years and have nothing new left to accomplish, and for whatever reason TNA isn't willing to really give the ball to anyone else. And on the rare occasions when they actually do (ex. Brooke), it doesn't last.

I don't care to see any of these women win the title again. They've all held it multiple times now, we know what we're going to get from each of them as the champion and it's old news. Nor do I care to see the Beautiful People get back together just so they can rehash a gimmick that was beaten to death and played out a long time ago. If/When it happens, they'll just end up doing the same stuff they did before and it's never going to be as fresh as it was the first time they did it.

If TNA wanted to bring back TBP, I think a much more interesting way to do it would be to bring in 2 or 3 new girls and do an angle where they call themselves TBP and kind of hijack the gimmick, claiming that they do it better than Velvet & Angelina ever did and that this is the new and improved version of the group. At least that would be something new that we hadn't seen before. Frankly, the idea of V & A getting back together just bores me at this point -- we've seen that many, many times now. I don't want to see it again.

TNA is getting rid of veterans like Daniels to make wave for the new talent since TNA is now going young and many originals that have been there for years are now are on the chopping block, thoughts on this?

First of all, we don't know that they're getting rid of Daniels, just that his contract expires soon and needs to be renegotiated. If it is, he'll be back.

As for the rest of it, it seems to me like simple house cleaning, getting rid of talents that weren't working out or had gotten stale in order to make room for newer, fresher stars. WWE does this annually (at least when Linda's not running for senate) and it's the kind of thing TNA really should have been doing periodically for years as well, but really weren't until now.

I'm not sure what took TNA so long to do this. Maybe because they've always considered themselves a "family company" and liked to be loyal to certain people even if it didn't make the best business sense to do so. Unfortunately that's how a roster gets stale. What we're seeing now, I think, is TNA trying to make up for lost time, revamping their roster, repackaging certain talents and getting rid of others who had outlived their usefulness or cost too much money to keep. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be happening to such a degree if they had started doing this from time to time several years ago, but better late than never. It needs to be done if they want to stay in business.

Do you think TNA is heading in the right direction?

Yes and no. Focusing on younger talents and developing new stars is good, but the booking constantly seems very counterproductive. On a well-booked show the storylines should enhance the wrestling, make it seem meaningful and vice versa, but too often in TNA we see the storylines overshadow the wrestling and make it mean less. This becomes a big problem when the show starts to lack satisfying payoffs to feuds and whatnot that should happen in the ring. Storylines are important, but not to the point where they make other aspects of the show feel like they don't matter.

Look at the finish to the world title match at Lockdown. Abyss shows up from out of nowhere and aligns with Magnus. This didn't feel like a payoff the writers had earned by building it up or alluding to it beforehand, but rather like some completely random plot twist done only for shock value that didn't even make sense in retrospect. The Abyss swerve wasn't organic to the story or the match, therefore it wasn't satisfying to the audience. So something that was probably intended to cause surprise and excitement in the fan community ended up being a source of anger and confusion for a lot of people, hence the "Bullshit!" chants in the arena.

Another example of this was Magnus vs Joe with MVP handcuffed to Abyss at ringside. The whole segment was more about MVP and Abyss than anything else, and the writers tried to get so overly creative and make it so much more complicated than it needed to be that it ended up taking away from the world title match, rather than adding another layer to it.

TNA have had problems like this for years and it's lead to them making a lot of mistakes creatively. Unfortunately they don't seem to learn anything from these experiences and end up making the same mistakes over and over again, somehow expecting things to turn out differently each time. They have a great roster, but unless someone backstage changes their mindset when it comes to creative, the talent, the booking and the show will always be held back.

are sanada and tigre uno now an official team? but how is he going to defend the x title?

He's already defending the X title in Japan. I assume that's why they put the belt on him, to get the company more exposure in that country. And there's no reason why Sanada can't defend the title on iMPACT. Unless him and Tigre Uno are tagging together every week he should be able to do both.

Are you being too hard on Angelina, she not bulimic, she has abs but just skinny thats all

Angelina is not just skinny, she's skin and bones. If you can count her ribs when she inhales, that's not a good thing. I'm not trying to be critical of her. I say this out of concern and nothing else. Angelina looks unhealthy. Being thin is one thing, being scary-thin is something else.

I interviewed Sara Del Rey on a podcast once and she said she was an advocate of female athletes putting on weight because it gave their bodies a bit of a cushion, which helped with their wrestling and taking bumps and whatnot. I seriously wish Angelina would take that advice because she looks like she's one bad bump away from her body snapping in half like a toothpick.

Should TNA do a Knockouts World Cup?

Not much point in doing it unless it were a vehicle to introduce some new talents to the roster. Like if they were to have an international Knockout(s) come in, win the whole thing and then stick around in TNA afterward, that might work. But if it was just a tournament with no real purpose other than having a bunch of matches and was won by a girl who's already on the roster with all the other women disappearing once it was done, then I don't see what it would really accomplish and bringing in all those people for it would just be an extra expense that the company doesn't need right now.

Do you think the Knockouts have gimmicks/personas like Willow, EC3, etc. (Not them in general but some sort of characters)

No. That's one of the problems with the Knockout division these days, IMO. A lot of the unique characters and personalities it used to have kind of fell by the wayside over time, and the ones that are left (ex. ODB) are just old and tired now, and not bringing anything new to the table. The division we have today feels a lot more generic than it used to be. This is why I've been wanting TNA to go after women like Shanna and Nikki Storm because they have original characters that are already fully formed and wouldn't have to be developed from scratch by the writers.

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