Reality From Ringside #61
April 19, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.comTNA Lockdown 2010: The Hangover
Two of my best friends live in a rented home on the northern end of Charlotte. It's a great location; literally a 5-minute walking distance from all the amenities you could ask for, such as a mall, restaurants, and a couple of great bars to loiter at.
Why do I bring up my personal life in this month's TNA pay-per-view hangover? Patience, young one, all will be realized.
What's odd and kind of sad is that whenever I stop by their house to spend a weekend, we end up doing probably the same thing that I would be doing if I had stayed at my own apartment: go to a liquor store for the essentials, then a grocery store for whatever is left in the budget, and stay in while watching each other play video games...
A couple of weeks ago that all changed. With the help of one of my friend's girlfriend, we twisted arms and applied hammerlocks to get the losers out of their cave and actually become a part of society.
TNA's steel cage-themed pay-per-view 'Lockdown' was broadcast last night outside of their own comfort zone, from St. Charles, Missouri. Don't let anyone tell you it was St. Louis... with how much TNA complains about being budget-minded and cost-effective, do you really think they would scrounge up the cash to perform IN St. Louis?
The point I'm trying to make is this: We haven't seen TNA outside of its own comfort zone since last October. While we can argue that the product they displayed was no different to a product they would have displayed in their lair in Orlando, it certainly had a different feel to it. A more positive and extroverted one.
Throughout the program, I found myself not grimacing as much as I used to at every TNA pay-per-view. The lamenting of affirmatives from the crowd was not as ferocious and frequent as they were in Orlando... (huh?)... "Row 3" and "The Bubba Army" were nowhere to be found. This was, for all intents and purposes, the best focus group TNA could find for its product and made the best use of it.
But I'm not a focus group. I've seen TNA, both live and on television (unfortunately). I'm accustomed to the atrocity but also confident in their potential. I'm not asked to chant or hurl streamers into the air whenever a performer's name is called through the PA, nor do I have the emotional capacity to be angry and frustrated at everything they try to accomplish.
I'm not going to pull a Waltman; having a fellow columnist tell you how super-serious I am about my position as a columnist and how I intend to make the most of it... only to no-show for reasons unknown.
Also... (deep breath)... no Icelandic volcano is going to take away my responsibility as a Wrestleview columnist! Douglas Williams has been stripped of his X-Division Title and furthermore has become a disgrace to all of us fellow Douglases!
I once made it to work on time while a plague of locusts had infiltrated Charlotte. On behalf of ‘The Douglas Union’, I hereby demote Williams from Douglas to Trey. Williams will face a 90-day probation period whereby he may then be promoted to JJ-status, as a panel will be called upon to evaluate his character as a ‘Douglas’.
I'm here to provide you with questions we are left with after watching last night's TNA 'Lockdown' PPV. Enough jibba-jabba... Brace yourselves!What storylines/angles are unresolved and what new storylines/angles have been developed?
There are so many complaints we have about TNA, from the logistics and ambience of their Orlando cave to the randomness of their booking and incoherence of their talent in general. However, of all the complaints, one of the biggest that seem to stand out is TNA Creative's inability to construct and resolve storylines and angles properly and effectively.
Regardless of the specific names involved in the process, TNA's angles and storylines occasionally need a flow chart and many tries with the magic 8-ball to decipher.
As many of you know, I'm not a problem-oriented person... I'm solution-oriented.
Let's first look at last night's PPV and logically label what has been resolved and what is continuing based on the matches, their content, and the outcomes. Take note of some of the matches and outcomes that I may leave out of this discussion.Resolved Angles
With Kurt Angle taking time off to recuperate following a marathon-like steel cage match, we should consider this angle decided. By the way, shouldn't their match have been labeled as an 'Xscape Match' since that was the only they could win? Or if this truly was a steel cage match, why didn't all of the other contests have this stipulation?
So what could be planned for the obnoxious guy with the old-school microphone? Make your own predictions, but I sense stereotypical TNA swerve. This will be one of probably 47 heel/face turns we will see from Mr. Anderson this year.Continuing Angles
While this was the prototypical Goliath-squash-David match, I don't see this being the end of it. With Waltman MIA, why not have the Kevin Nash and Scott Hall teamed against Eric Young and a partner of choosing... preferably someone where we could see a battle of generations of sorts? I know this was done with Main Event Mafia... but at least this time around the vision does not seem as talent-burying.Love-Tara:
With The Beautiful People holding all the titles within the Knockouts Division, we could possibly see a worthwhile storyline continue that involves a title while neither party has it in their possession. Questions about their talent aside, this could make for a very interesting feud if TNA Creative knows how to direct it.Dinero-Styles:
I was very skeptical about the direction of this angle after last night's literal realization of the axiom 'The Pen is Mightier than My Own Abilities'. Even though we have seen plenty of title-contenders thrown into the chasm of perpetual obscurity and buried with AJ Styles-brand compost, I still don't think this story is done. Two months' worth of weekly Pope preaching could not have been all for the stabbing of a Bic... here's to wishful thinking.Flair-Hogan:
Never before, since the Austin-Bischoff feud over control of Monday Night Raw, has there been such a battle contested through passive aggression. Assemble your teams and watch them go nuts inside the giant game of Boggle filled with weapons. You damn well know this feud will never end so long as these two are affiliated with the same company. Hell, if Hogan and Flair were employed by Nabisco, we would see this feud play out between Oreo cookies (Original! Double Stuf! Boo! Yay!).
Did you notice anything missing? Yeah... where's the X-Division? Well, funny I should mention what I'm sure you were going to.
Due to Eyjafjallajökull being a bitch, we don't get to see the conclusion of Douglas Williams' slaughter of the X-Division circus clowns. Instead I'm sure we'll get more honor-filled, bromance-inspired ambiguity that only the little gymnasts can provide. I dare someone in the X-Division to appear to be a heel or a face of some sort!Is it still too early to judge the Hogan-Bischoff era of TNA?
January 4, 2010: Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff appear on a 3-hour TNA 'Impact' directly competing with WWE's 'Raw'. TNA achieves a 1.5 rating, its highest ever.
March 8, 2010: TNA announces 'Impact' will be moving to Monday from Thursday in order to directly compete with WWE. TNA ratings start slightly below 1.0 and begin to fade with each passing week.
April 8, 2010: TNA shifts its time slot for 'Impact' on Mondays, from 9-11 pm to 8-10 in order not to completely compete against WWE. TNA ratings slowly rising back, from abysmal 0.5 the week prior to a more stable 1.0.
It seems that all of the complaints we seem to give the Hogan-Bischoff regime center around the content of their programming. Let's be perfectly frank, the reason for their inception into TNA was not to improve the quality of programming. It was to tack on a name to the company and get your eyeballs.
According to Nielsen, Hogan-Bischoff has been a legitimate success. Moving from Thursdays to Mondays, experimenting with timeslots and program placement, these are the baby steps in a company attempting to take itself seriously. People ARE watching... it could be a lot worse and no one could be watching at all.
Don't believe that sign of success by the Hogan-Bischoff regime? How about this: Listen to the archives of Wrestleview's audio content dating back to the beginning of March, leading to Wrestlemania, and up to now. We seem to be talking a lot about TNA, huh? While it may not be the greatest of publicity we give them, it is publicity nonetheless.
While it may be tremendously hypocritical and contradictory of me every time I say this, but I do not wish for TNA to fail. Professional wrestling fans in the United States need a viable mainstream alternative to WWE. However, ever since my prediction last July, I see their demise inching closer and closer. Within the next 4 years to be precise.
Don't believe me? Convince me! Because if you don't... I'll just continue to believe that everyone on this little green orb agrees with everything I say in my columns or on my radio program.
Grow a set! REPLY!!!
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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