I haven’t missed a single episode of Impact Wrestling over the past 5+ years. During that time I’ve seen a lot of different wrestlers, a lot of different storylines, different announcers, different timeslots, and different philosophical approaches regarding the direction best suited to ensure TNA’s continued growth. Throughout that entire stretch, I found I felt most confident in the direction TNA was going when Bobby Roode was wearing the Heavyweight Title. Going back to the early Beer Money days, I believed everything about Roode screamed ‘champion’, and his 256 day run with the Title did nothing but give credence to this belief. So why is it that TNA seems to be trying to give the championship to anyone in the company but him?
I'm fully convinced Vince McMahon just enjoys messing with those of us who take Professional Wrestling a little more seriously than perhaps we ought. I can find no other plausible explanation for the burial of such a talented individual as Dolph Ziggler. With WWE churning out six hours of weekly programming, new and fresh stars would seem to be at the top of their Want List, but for whatever reason, the ball seems be continually dropped when it comes to the proper way to showcase the talents of perhaps the most athletic wrestler the WWE has seen since the heyday of “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels.
This is not the first time Kane has joined up with a WWE 'Corporation', nor is it the first time he’s come out from under the mask to make an impact on Professional Wrestling. It it, however, the first time Kane has put the entire ‘monster’ gimmick away completely, exchanging it for a suit and tie. I have read a multitude of varying opinions on the move, but if you know a little about the man, Glenn Jacobs, I fully believe the overhaul of the Kane character is going make him even more menacing, even more of a monster, albeit in an entirely different way.
Michael Hutter aka Derrick Bateman aka Ethan Carter III is proof positive that a lack of success within the big, bag juggernaut that is the WWE doesn’t necessarily preclude one from ever making large strides within the world of Professional Wrestling. Though still very early into his run with Impact Wrestling as Ethan Carter III, early returns give every indication that TNA may have just found their next superstar.
For those of us who enjoy his work, WWE’s release of Chris Hero aka Kassius Ohno is more than a little surprising. If you’re familiar with his work in Ring of Honor, you’re fully aware of the level of talent we’re talking about when we mention Chris Hero. Certainly, WWE isn’t so loaded with talent that his release had anything to do with his workrate. Perhaps the rumors of his indifference to regular workouts has some merit. Honestly though, at this point who can really ever be sure what exactly is true or not true in the world of Pro Wrestling. At that same time, who can really ever be sure what is on the minds of those in power at WWE? This much is certain: Hero’s release deprives a good many people the opportunity of seeing a charismatic worker with an old school flare that has all but been snuffed out from today’s Pro Wrestling.
The championship credentials possessed by both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose is the stuff of Indy legends. Both men are multi-time, multi-promotion champions, including World Title runs in major Independent wrestling companies like Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Full Impact Pro. They have each had memorable feuds with the likes of Jimmy Jacobs, Nigel McGuinness, and The Briscoes. Since coming to the WWE in November of 2012, both men have been nothing short of stupendous, regularly cutting the best promo and/or having the best match of the night. Considering on most nights, the shows also includes CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler, that’s truly saying something. However, as great as both of these men are, it’s Roman Reigns, the third member of The Shield that has me most intrigued, and if I’m being perfectly honest, believe he may well have the brightest future of all of them.
A lot of people love to begin with a qualifying statement before burying someone or something, i.e. “I like the guy, but man does he ever smell like hell.” I too am about to start off with a few qualifying statements about Impact Wrestling, but every last one of them is actually 100% based in my true feelings about the company. I love just about everything about Impact Wrestling. Their roster is talented and a pleasure to watch each week. Their production value is very good, despite a limited budget. Their writers continually come up with creative ways to keep older characters relevant, while introducing new characters into the TNA world. Impact Wrestling does an awful lot of things right, but for the life of me, I don’t have the first damn clue what they’ve been doing with their marketing. How many different start/stop, start again campaigns have TNA run through over the last few years? Remember when ‘Wrestling Mattered’? That lasted all of about 4 months.
I just recently completed a five State, nine day road trip with a couple of very good friends. Our trip through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi included way too much barbecue (if that’s even really possible), plenty of late nights, and a whole lot of laughs. It also included several stops at various museums, one being the Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum in downtown Memphis, just off of Beale Street. In addition to being a huge Pro Wrestling fan, I’m also insanely into music, especially older Rock and R&B, so this was a ‘must-see’ for me. To my surprise, however, nestled amongst the awesome displays of Rock and Soul memorabilia, was a single full length glass case containing a ring jacket, tights, and pair of boots from Memphis Pro Wrestling legend, Sputnik Monroe.
I'm on an extended road trip with old friends, so no new post this week, folks. If you're itching to read a little something, check out the 2nd article I ever posted on the Illegal Foreign Object site about the time Skandor Akbar and I made an arena full of people hate our guts.
Disclaimer: This will never, EVER happen, okay? Just having a little fun, so don’t get all bent out of shape, dig?
Stick with me on this, because it’s liable to get a little out there. While I fully believe the imminent demise of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is largely overblown, I also believe there is some truth to the company being somewhat cash strapped. Taking the show on the road was a great idea, but I’m not entirely sure it’s worked out exactly as planned. Yes, the live crowd feel has been a massive upgrade over the sterile, plastic Impact Zone studio crowd, but there simply haven’t been enough butts in the seats. Recent talent releases, coupled with stagnant ratings have done plenty to fuel the rumor mill. Whether there’s any truth to all the chatter, it certainly doesn’t seem completely farfetched to believe TNA is having some serious money issues.