Reality From Ringside #48
January 18, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of

TNA Genesis 2010: The Hangover

I must come out and admit something? this is quite possibly the toughest pay-per-view hangover I?ve ever been given the opportunity to write.

Two weeks removed from TNA achieving their highest rated television program ever. A pay-per-view card that was thrown together in the same time span. So many drastic changes to a company within a pay-per-view in comparison to their past events. It’s so difficult to choose a handful of questions to bring up when so many more can be introduced.

I should begin with my thoughts on Genesis first? it’s very difficult for me to admit this, but I was actually entertained. While last July I predicted TNA to fold in 5 years, I?m not reneging on that. Just because I enjoyed the show does not necessarily mean that I have now believed the impossible from TNA, they can actually compete with big brother.

So many changes? so many questions? alright, let’s roll up the sleeves and dive in?

Will the card structure for Genesis become the new norm for TNA PPVs?

Eric Young and LAX (Homicide and Hernandez) defeated Jimmy Rave, Kiyoshi, and Sonjay Dutt.

Alex Shelley defeated Chris Sabin in finals of 8-man tournament to determine the new X-Division champion.

Referee Shane Sewell defeated Sheik Abdul Bashir.

Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm) defeated Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed and Matt Morgan and Abyss in a 3-way dance capturing the TNA World Tag Team Titles.

ODB (scored the pinfall), Taylor Wilde and Roxxi defeated The Kongtourage (Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed, Sojourner Bolt) in a 6-woman tag team match for a future TNA Knockout championship match; the woman who scored the pinfall received the title match.

Kurt Angle defeated Jeff Jarrett in a no disqualification match.

Sting defeated Rhino retaining the TNA World Heavyweight Title.

Mick Foley and the TNA Frontline (AJ Styles and Brother Devon) defeated Cute Kip (substituted for Kevin Nash) and the Main Event Mafia (Booker T and Scott Steiner) in a 6-man hardcore tag team match.

This was the card that I saw at last year’s Genesis PPV in Charlotte. Half of the matches involved more talent than a typical tag team match. Five of the eight matches consisted of stipulations or special results according to the outcomes.

When a crowd needs to be prepped for a match with rules, stipulations, and figuring who is involved? it falls flat on its face every time.

Last night’s Genesis was a complete overhaul of TNA booking. No multi-man matches. No stipulations. No ramifications to remember when a winner is determined. Could this possibly be the new protocol for TNA booking? I certainly hope so.

While I was watching the show, I would be thinking about my father and how he would be reacting watching this. He went with me to last year’s Genesis and would riddle me with questions throughout? ?Who is that?? ?Why are they doing this?? ?Can you keep up with this?? I feel that if my father and I were watching last night’s pay-per-view, he would have enjoyed it and had been able to follow it.

I can hear you on the other side of the monitor going, ?But I?m not over 55, Doug! I can follow what happened last year.?

TNA is trying to capture a new audience, not maintain what they have right now. The majority of professional wrestling enthusiasts have been pre-conditioned to WWE-style production quality and in-ring performances, not the fast-paced break-neck speed of a TNA match with limited to no selling of maneuvers or reactions to the crowd surrounding them.

TNA wants to grow. In order to grow as a company in an industry, assimilation to what the market is accustomed to is essential. As this new conformation continues, you may see TNA slowly drift back to what they were known for? that is all dependant on if they are satisfied with their newfound protocol or not.

From ?Six-Sided Ring? to ?Squared Circle?: How much of a factor does the ring itself play into TNA’s ?changes??

When I saw the traditional wrestling ring, my heart leapt out of my chest. Normalcy had finally come to an organization that had none. We can answer this question through three different categories? let’s begin with the matches themselves that are housed within the ring.

The matches have now been dramatically slowed down. With more distance to cover between the ropes, the action inside will not seem as high-strung. I can already hear the arguments coming from the other side?

?X-Division matches are supposed to be fast! AJ Styles thrived in this ring! The action was great and kept me on the edge of my seat!?

Of the 20 wrestlers that performed last night, only half of them I would consider on an X-division level of performance. Do you envision Kurt Angle doing 450 splashes? Do you see Abyss uncorking a moonsault anytime soon? How about Ken Anderson, would you trust your brand new marquee talent in climbing the top rope?

Sure the action will be slowed down, but that is all to help the viewer and potential TNA consumer follow it. Seeing bodies flip and twirl in the air and within the ring does not immediately cause a typical professional wrestling fan to think ?wrestling?? they?re thinking gymnastics (like I have been).

The next category: logistics. What I mean by this are the camera angles, the production of the match for the television viewer. With four sides, a cameraman can cover much more ground quicker and give the viewer a better angle to see as much action as possible.

With 6-sides and, at the time, more bodies flipping and flailing around, the limited number of cameramen could not keep track of what was happening and could not get the proper angles. Having a traditional ring will help the production quality of each match tremendously.

Finally, look at the changes to the talent roster. You are a young man trying to make his way into professional wrestling. You have attended handfuls of training camps and are performing in a local independent federation hoping to break it into the big leagues. Would you feel more confident in yourself knowing that TNA now ?looks? just like the federation you?re in now?

Sure your final goal is to make it to Connecticut and WWE, but wouldn?t you feel a lot better knowing that there is a solid company in Orlando that is slowly growing, making the assimilating changes, and could be just as lucrative for you professionally?

This may seem far-fetched to some, but I would not be surprised if there are some young men right now feeling more confident in knowing that TNA is there to not just help them professionally but also exploit their talents for a world to see.

How does TNA now cope with ?Row 3? at the Impact Zone?

The chants of ?We want six sides? echoed from the front rows of the studio. As Hulk Hogan stood in the ring hyping his first PPV with TNA? the chants hit him. It came out.

“You had it and it only got you so far,” Hogan said. “Now we’re taking you all the way, jack. No more stinking play pen rings. We’re changing it whether you like it or not.”

TNA wants to grow. Assimilation is one of the first steps towards their growth. Perception is the second.

If a viewing audience tunes in to TNA and sees a great wrestling contest in front of their eyes, what will they be thinking when they hear a crowd of voices drowning out the announcers and voicing their own Cheetoh-infused, Mountain Dew-fueled trite? Who are they to believe: The product or the prognosticators?

It still amazes me that TNA gives out free tickets to anyone who wants to watch their shows at Orlando, regardless if it is a television taping or a pay-per-view. You would think that a company that has survived for seven years would have enough confidence to think that people would actually pay to see them perform. Charging people admission to see your product is a definite start, especially in the philosophical arguments that would follow involving Row 3.

You are standing their arguing that the product you are watching is horrible and that you don?t approve of it, yet you bought a ticket, gave Dixie your money, and have not left the arena. You may be a black sheep but you?re still in the herd trotting along never to stray.

Screening the audience can be a start as well; not just by names, but by demographics. TNA does not need 80% of their live audience to consist of males 18 to 30. Imagine what would happen if we saw a studio with more children and affluent adults in the seats. Would we hear more cheering if more women were in the crowd?

Row 3 of the Impact Zone has embodied everything that I have always despised about some professional wrestling fans? claiming a higher acumen for the industry and isolating anyone or anything that does not fall in line with their opinions.

I would think that if you were an avid fan of professional wrestling, in particular a certain organization, you would want to see it grow. You would want to see TNA become the anti-WWE, not just visually but financially. You would want to be a part of something so revolutionary that you would invite everyone to come see it.

Keeping an organization to you and maintaining a status quo does not foster growth. Without this ?change? TNA would have become defunct through atrophy, withering and decaying from within.

Let’s just say that I still think TNA will fold in five years?. But it will probably be on the fifth year that it happens. Here’s to hoping I?m wrong.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

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