With the biggest PPV of the year for TNA coming up in a week's time, and with a promising Main Event scheduled, you’d be forgiven for asking, "What’s the problem?"
For a while now, TNA has seemed pretty clueless when it comes to titles. Long gone are the days of the good old NWA Title which seemed to be super-glued to the waist of Jeff Jarrett. Now we face short, meaningless title reigns, a lack of hyped title matches, and an apparent disregard to make wrestlers earn their shot.
Since it became the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in May 2007, the highest accolade in TNA has been given the love, care, and attention it rightly deserves. When RVD became champ in April, things were looking up. Even though he may have won it a bit prematurely, we looked forward to a long, successful reign from "The Whole F’n Show."
Yet TNA managed to mess that up in August when after Abyss had put RVD in hospital, he was stripped of the title. I don’t know whether TNA were so desperate for RVD not to lose, but it made no sense. Just two months down the line and he’s back in action.
Couldn’t the World Title tournament that we had, which was a bit of a shambles anyway, have been a No. 1 contender tournament? Would Kurt Angle vs. RVD at Bound For Glory not make more sense?
That tournament was born out of the complete stupidity which was the "Top 10 Rankings." No, no, no, no, no. Terrible idea which at first had some credibility as fans could actually vote (but hey, you hire bookers to make those decisions…)
But as Desmond Wolfe kept winning (which brings back painful memories of his "title match" against RVD where he received no entrance and a five-minute squash match) and Abyss received less votes than Team 3D, TNA took it into their own hands. And there was me thinking that wrestlers should earn their title shots…. Let’s just hope that Angle wins the title at Bound For Glory and is given a long title run.
The next biggest singles title in TNA has had so many name changes, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what it’s currently called. The TV Championship is meaningless. Yes, that’s blunt but it’s completely true.
There was no need for it when it was the TNA Legends Championship or even when it was the TNA Global Championship. The most significant reign of all these belts is probably Rob Terry’s. Terry won the Global Championship at a live event in his home town of Cardiff, Wales.
It says something when I can’t remember many of his title defenses, even though he held it for 167 days. He eventually lost it to AJ Styles (who’s frankly wasted anywhere near that belt) who renamed it the TV Championship. The belt has no meaning; it just seems to be there.
Styles has hardly defended it, and when he does, it’s to nobody. He beat Brian Kendrick on last week’s iMPACT but it’s just as if TNA introduced it just so more matches could be described as "title matches," yet when the title is so worthless, the fans don’t buy into it.
Talking about live events, the X Division Championship recently changed hands not once, but twice. Jay Lethal, fresh off not being on TV for a while, came back to beat Doug Williams for the title. Fair enough as Lethal is a real talent inside the ring. But why there was no build up to this remains a mystery.
Yet just a couple of weeks after Amazing Red won the title at a live event in New York. Yes, it’s his hometown, but it shows how far the X Division in general has plummeted when the title is being exchanged at house shows.Lethal won the belt back just two days later.
The X Division as a whole seems to be in disarray and even though it was once the focus of TNA, it now just seems an afterthought.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The one shining light is the TNA Tag Team Championships. I’ve always thought that TNA was the best place for tag team wrestling, and I still firmly believe that. WWE put too many guys together and claim they’re a team, but you can’t beat two genuine tag teams tearing the house down.
In the Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns best-of-five series you saw some of the best tag team matches in a long time. The tag team division is an exciting place in TNA right now.
On the recent episode of iMPACT, Generation Me and Ink Inc put on a good match, and they both look like great, young teams. Generation Me have been given a new lease of life since their heel turn, which only happened due to London Brawling’s absence at No Surrender.
The Guns finally won the Tag Team Championships in July, and it felt way overdue. Hopefully they will be given a long run as champs, and some of the possible match-ups are very exciting. Let’s just hope we get to see them.
You might be thinking that you can find solace in the TNA Knockouts division, but you’d be sadly mistaken. It’s not just in TNA that women’s wrestling is looking increasingly pointless. WWE have recently retired the Women’s Championship by unifying it with the Divas title, which is a bit of a slap in the face to the history that the belt held.
The Knockouts title doesn’t seem to have fared any better than the rest of the TNA titles, probably worse in fact. The title was won by chance by Angelina Love when she received it out of a lock box. Yes, it really was as stupid as it sounds.
And then there was a couple of months back when Madison Rayne was stripped of the title by a referee! She was given it back a week later, but that’s not the point. TNA isn’t blessed with a lot of Knockouts, and the recent signing of Mickie James should help bolster the division and hopefully give the belt back some meaning.
I’m not even going to start on the incredibly pointless Knockouts Tag Team Championships because, well, TNA has one women’s tag team as you can’t class The Beautiful People as a team right now due to their single’s commitments.
Championships should be the Holy Grail of any company. Each wrestler in his or her particular division should have one goal and one goal only: to become champion. But in TNA, it’s a wonder the wrestlers aren’t begging to be kept out of the title picture.