10 Current Things Wrong with TNA
It's a bit ironic that TNA's latest free pay-per-view was titled No Surrender, as it seems that's what the company is about to do.
It won't go out of business entirely (yet), but it looks like the days of being on the road are over.
In an interview with Pro Wrestling Torch, Dixie Carter revealed that going on the road was going to cost around $600,000 to $700,000 every time out. That's a colossal amount of money for a company of that size.
As many had predicted, taking TNA on the road has not worked out. The group may soon retreat to a sole location with a scaled-down roster.
It's actually pretty sad to think about considering how much hype the company was receiving when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff first came in.
It's not like TNA is without fault, though. There are so many things that are wrong with the current product that a retreat was all but inevitable.
Here are 10 current things wrong with Impact wrestling that have created the mess it is in right now.
Gunner and Storm Have No Chemistry
TNA used to have a great tag division.
But long gone are the days of Beer Money, L.A.X. and the Motor City Machine Guns.
As it stands right now, the entire division has been pretty much gutted. We're left with The Bro Mans, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero, Bad Influence and Gunner and James Storm. That's it. Four teams.
The top team in the division is Gunner and Storm, who don't seem to belong together. They vaguely look alike, which appears to be the only reason for the pairing.
On promos, Storm still comes across as the fun-loving redneck who just loves a good beer and a brawl. Gunner sounds like a crazed maniac who will murder you if you look at him the wrong way. He's also a babyface.
It would be better for them to split the duo up. Storm still has potential to be one of TNA's top babyfaces if the company got behind him, and Gunner just looks like a natural heel. Or they can just keep feuding with Chavo and Hernandez and further bury the entire division.
Jeff Hardy Beat the X-Division Champ in 4 Minutes
When T.J. Perkins puts on the skull mask, he suddenly morphs into the masked avenger Suicide...er...Manik.
So far, things have gone fine for him. Unless he tries to take on anyone outside of the X-Division. Then he proves he's out of his league. When he took on Jeff Hardy, he lasted a mere four minutes before taking the clean fall.
What about all that garbage from just the week before about Hulk Hogan comparing Manik putting on the mask to Hulkamania? Did Hogan ever job in four minutes to anyone?
TNA has made its X-Division title so worthless these past few years that it's hard to be that surprised. Still, Perkins (and the rest of the division, for that matter) deserves better than to be buried in such an inconsequential match.
Joseph Park Is Going Nowhere
Joseph Park debuted on the Mar. 8 episode of Impact looking for his brother.
Mar. 8 of 2012.
That was 18 months ago.
How has he not found him yet? Shouldn't the police have been involved at some point?
This angle is drawn out to the point beyond being ridiculous and is now just lazy storytelling. TNA clearly had no end game in mind to where this was headed. It was fun at first, but it just feels so pointless.
Abyss has shown up a few times only to disappear again. Nobody questions it. To add to the mindless repetition of it all, Park just pulled the "see his own blood go crazy" routine on the Sept. 19 episode of Impact and has been doing that for over a year!
At this point, nobody cares. Eric Young is kind of on the case, but the story has stretched out so far beyond its expiration date that no matter what the payoff is, it will fall flat.
Dixie Carter Turned Heel
No! No! No! No!
You might as well start off with Daniel Bryan's catchphrase, as TNA appears to lift everything else from WWE.
There are two major wrestling companies in America today. Both of them currently have their owners portraying heels. Shouldn't TNA be trying to differentiate itself from WWE and not blindly copy it?
Can't the wrestlers just be the stars of the show for once?
Ever since Hulk Hogan joined TNA, all we've seen is authority figures dominating TV time. First Hogan and Eric Bischoff flopped with Immortal, then Hogan became the GM babyface and involved himself in every top storyline. Now Dixie is putting herself on TV.
She's no Vince McMahon, she's no Triple H and, sadly to say, she's not even a Stephanie McMahon. Even if she was as good as Meryl Streep at acting, this would still be a terrible idea. Enough is enough with on-air authority figures.
Do A.J. Styles and Bully Ray Care About Each Other?
Imagine WrestleMania being one month away and the two men in the main event are not focused on each other.
This is what we’re watching right now.
Bully Ray has been more concerned with Mr. Anderson and the dissolving Aces and Eights lately than his upcoming title defense. A.J. Styles has been cutting promos on Dixie Carter.
What an absolute mess.
All those months to set up The Bound for Glory series, and the guy who won doesn’t seem to care. Had Magnus won, it would have made at least a little more sense, as it could have been the culmination of the Aces and Eights-Main Event Mafia feud.
TNA instead with went Styles, but until very recently, he was a crybaby emo kid who was mad at the world. He was abruptly turned babyface because of Kurt Angle's absence. Seeing him take on the leader of a Sons of Anarchy rip-off gang doesn't feel fitting for the biggest show of the year.
This looks to be the least dramatic Bound for Glory main event since Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett in 2005.
There Are 2 Active Knockout Wrestlers Left
If you want to see something depressing, go to the TNA roster page.
No, not the fact that Abyss is still the TV champion. There you will see the names of seven women. So TNA has a Knockouts division of seven women, right? That's pretty small, but at least it's something.
Not so fast.
You can't count Brooke Tessmacher. She hasn't wrestled since Apr. 10. You can't really count Velvet Sky. She hasn't wrestled since June 19. Taryn Terrell is now on maternity leave. Christy Hemme is retired from in-ring competition.
Now we're down to three.
Oh, and Mickie James? She doesn't even work there anymore.
That leaves two. Two women. Gail Kim and ODB.
The once thriving, exciting Knockouts division has been reduced to two competitors. Perhaps TNA shouldn't have let so many talented women go the past few years (Angelina Love, Daffney, Tara, Winter, Hamada, Awesome Kong, Alissa Flash, Sarita).
Nah, spending all that money on Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson was a much better investment. Right?
The Main Event Mafia Has No Purpose
Poor Mafia. Two members of that group are already gone.
What we're left with is Sting, Magnus and Samoa Joe. That's not really a mafia—that's just three guys who like to hang out on Thursday nights.
The goal of the the stable was to get the title off of Bully Ray (which it briefly accomplished) and to disband the Aces and Eights. That group is now down to Bully Ray, Knux, Garett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe.
That's not even a fair fight.
Sure, Mafia can take on EGO, but Kazarian and Christopher Daniels have been pushed as comedic figures for so long that they don't feel like equals, either. While the first Main Event Mafia wasn't that great, that rendition looks like the Four Horsemen in its prime compared to these guys.
Tito and Rampage Are Gone
Well that was just embarrassing.
Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson joined TNA, were given a bunch of TV time and then were both pulled from the show. Nothing was accomplished.
Did the company learn nothing from King Mo? That makes three MMA crossovers who did absolutely nothing for TNA. What made it even more surprising was how bad Rampage and Tito Ortiz were in the wrestling world.
While they came across as charismatic in the past, they just seemed nervous and uncomfortable on the mic.
It's hard to fully blame them, though, as TNA bungled the entire story right out of the gate. Rampage was set up to take on Kurt Angle after a heated face-to-face showdown. The next week they joined forces.
Let's also not forget Tito trying to murder Rampage with a hammer to the back of the head. Only in wrestling, which is probably why Bellator didn't want those guys there to promote an actual fight.
Chris Sabin’s Title Run
Chris Sabin did win the world title, right?
It doesn't seem like it anymore. At the time, the entire title win just reeked of desperation. Fans were not clamoring for a Chris Sabin title win like, say, a Daniel Bryan title win.
We were just given it out of nowhere, and fans accordingly acted lukewarm to it.
TNA didn't help, though, as it didn't treat Sabin as a star. The shows didn't revolve around him. He was being big-footed by the Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray storyline.
So, the company switched the title right back to Bully, then Sabin became all emo (much like A.J. Styles, which didn't work either) and then he turned heel against Manik, who can't last four minutes against Jeff Hardy.
Bound for Mediocrity
What can TNA possibly put together in less than a month to make Bound for Glory a must-buy pay-per-view?
Who is Sting going to fight? Garett Bischoff?
How about Jeff Hardy, the man who main evented last year's show? Or Austin Aries? Nothing obvious.
TNA has absolutely failed this past year to create any compelling, money-drawing storylines for its biggest show of the year.
The feud that took up the most TV time was the Hulk Hogan/Bully Ray/Brooke Hogan drama. Brooke is no longer with the company. Hogan isn’t going to wrestle. What a colossal waste of time.
Some speculated that Hogan would step into the ring to fight once more. It wouldn't have been great from a technical standpoint, but it would have been something.
Now we have nothing.
Unlike WWE, there are no special attractions like an Undertaker or Brock Lesnar to come in. There are no month-long feuds that are about to boil over. It's just a flat product with a fraction of the roster that was employed last year.
If TNA has lost this much momentum in one year, it's scary to think about what it will look like next year if things don't drastically change.