Total Nonstop Agony: The Wrestling Retirement Home Where Everyone Slowly Dies
Helping the environment is important but there comes a time to stop recycling crap.
Hulk Hogan made his Impact debut on January 4th, 2010, eleven years to the day since the infamous fingerpoke of doom. Less than a year later TNA, the innovative alternative to the mainstream, has become extreme only in its awfulness.
As a TNA fan, it saddens me that in recent weeks the experience of watching the show has become like two hours in the company of a dying, comatose relative. I dutifully sit next to the television and look for signs of life, but the prospects seem exceedingly bleak.
Usually when you find yourself in a coma, you can at least rely on the wisdom and expertise of the dedicated hospital staff.
Unfortunately TNA is on life support and under the care of Bischoff and Hogan—men whose decision making has often made the moment General Custer shouted "charge!" seem astute—so things aren't likely to improve.
So just what has TNA got completely wrong recently?
Too Much Talk
The most recent episode of Impact ran 45 minutes before any match action, contained four matches in two hours—none of which followed a natural wrestling format—and even had its own fingerpoke of doom moment.
The name of the company is Total Nonstop Action.
Europeans sometimes unfairly question whether Americans understand irony. Could TNA stop providing them with ammunition?
Too Much Focus on the Elderly
Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, Mick Foley. Men at least double the age of TNA's demographic.
Certainly they still have something to offer, but all need to take a step back and allow focus to be on younger members of the roster. The reason Evolution was so successful in WWE was partly due to Flair's involvement as a support to Triple H. Fortune suffers from his overbearing presence. AJ Styles should be leading the group, not Flair.
Too Much Nostalgia
ECW was phenomenal but it's time has passed. Flair and Foley are legends, but time and age have caught up with them. The Nasty Boys were not very good twenty years ago. How about maybe moving on? 1995 was a great year, but someone ought to tell TNA management that we don't need to see it repeated and diminished over and over.
Too Little Thought Behind Storylines
Just because a storyline isn't anticipated doesn't make it a good idea, and there's nothing edgy or cool about being controversial for controversy's sake. The "They" storyline isn't clever writing, it's just convoluted nonsense.
Turning Jeff Hardy heel might have made more sense if any attempt to construct a story around it had been made. Without wishing to sound all James Lipton, what exactly was Hardy's motivation?
An Angle turn might have worked, the veteran selling his soul for one last taste of Gold. Anderson could have proved he was the ultimate asshole. Instead we have Jeff Hardy, one of the most natural faces in wrestling, forced to be bad.
For all his amazing skills in the ring, the uncharismatic enigma has very little skill on the mic. The best idea might be to have him come out with a blackboard and scrape his nails down it repeatedly: The crowd would hate him, and it would still be less excruciating than any heel promos he tries to cut.
Too Little Communication
Was RVD told his match with Abyss at Bound For Glory had a revenge angle? The complete lack of ring psychology was painful to watch. Van Dam showboated and coasted his way through the match. What was called for, given the recent history of the participants, was an aggressive, focused and violent approach. Add to that Abyss appearing at the end of the pay-per-view in seemingly perfect health, and you have a complete mockery of a match.
Too Much Ignoring The Roster
TNA has great wrestlers but assumes the audience would prefer to listen to old men talk. A two-hour Impact show featuring barely any wrestling moves—let alone matches—is basically boring. Dull. Pointless.
So, the only hope is that we get a Dallas angle. Jeremy Borash wakes up, Awesome Kong gets out of the shower and the last ten months have all been a horrible, horrible dream.
It would be less ridiculous than the current writing.
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