TNA returned to television land Wednesday night with a familiar time slot but on an unfamiliar network. I gave up on TNA sometime in 2014. I actually made a video of me removing the program from my DVR like a twelve-year-old and posted it on Facebook. It was a move long time coming as the product was a reflection of the company. It sucked. It was unwatchable and with so much other good programming available let alone a multitude of other entertainment options there was no reason to abuse myself any longer.
I had only kept up with TNA through the results posted by Kevin on our own site or by other sites giving their TNA Impact Wrestling television results. Nothing, literally nothing, sounded interesting or even remotely close to a professionally run and booked company. I would rather waste five minutes reading than two hours watching live or ninety minutes watching on DVR. The news of TNA losing their television exposure with Spike TV was met with a lot of shoulder shrugs. It meant no competition for WWE and fewer jobs for wrestlers. Let’s get one thing straight though. TNA going out of business at that juncture was only bad for wrestlers looking for employment opportunities. If anyone, I mean anyone, believed TNA was a viable competitive product for WWE, you never paid attention. You deserved to live in the deluded world you had created for yourself. If a company like WWE doesn’t want to sniff the talent you have on your roster then you aren’t competition. Sure it is an arrogant move on WWE’s part but it is also telling that there is not one person they would make an exception for. The WWE product hadn’t been burning it up and an influx of experienced personnel would have been nice. Instead WWE decided to trudge along with their incredibly thin roster while TNA personnel hung in the wind with no deals.
TNA loses their television clearance and disappears for first run content. There were best of shows being aired but everyone understands those are nothing but clip shows when there is no new content. No new content means you can go to YouTube when you want and catch entire episodes or matches if you browse with minimal effort. In the meantime Dixie Carter announces that TNA now has a new television deal with Destination America. Destination America is a network with a fraction of the homes they had previously on Spike TV. It features such shows as Amish Haunting, Mountain Monsters, Buying the Beach, Black in Texas, Buying the Bayou, Deep Fried Masters, Buying Alaska, Living with Ed, Buying Hawaii, Conviction Kitchen, Hill People, Queen City?, Destination Fond Du Lac, Nashville Nelsons, The Science of Water, Red Bareback Outdoor America and My Chinese Roommate.
Not exactly a barn burner of a lineup but it is the television clearance section and it afforded Dixie and her merry band of yokels an opportunity to keep her product alive and well for a few months. It also provided her the chance to fix everything wrong about the television product in the time off. It wasn’t ideal fall backwards and change networks with no first run programming to fill the gap. It afforded the entire company an opportunity for a fresh start and the creative angle to shed the baggage of their poor history. It provided everyone involved a clean sheet of paper.
Apparently Impact Wrestling (notice name change) thought this clean sheet of paper was of the toilet variety. How else do you explain the exact same shit that was produced on Wednesday night?
Instead of taking their product seriously Impact Wrestling management thought that more of the same formula that didn’t grow their company in any shape was the best course of action. They threw out more imbecile characters, knockoffs, countless run-ins and swerves. The show was full of long talking segments that went nowhere and will not engage new viewers. Not one thing on this not-debut episode of Impact Wrestling on Destination America made the product accessible or enjoyable for new viewers.
After two months off, Impact Wrestling stuck with the same plan. Instead of reinventing themselves with action and athleticism they produced the redundant garbage from 2014. Impact Wrestling, and more importantly Dixie Carter still has no identity; still has no plan and apparently no one gives a shit. How else can anyone explain what was presented on television Wednesday? If after two months this was the best they could offer Impact Wrestling will never grow. It will never succeed and more importantly it will never be profitable.
After two months they expected new viewers who were looking for Red Bareback ’s Outdoor America to understand what the hell was going on with Kurt Angle and MVP? They were expected to understand that Kurt Angle was in management when he is dressed like he was getting ready for a night out with his frat bros? They expect anyone to understand what is an Abyss along with his redneck uncle and colorful clown cohorts? How about the issues between MVP and Bobby Lashley? There is the age old shaving the head angle between a smug guy and his dinosaur. Then there is the return of Robbie E who was gone from TV filming The Amazing Race that no one knew about but was enough of an issue to have some woman attack him. All the while a bunch of women compete in a title match by way of battle royal only to have the champ get beat up after and then saved by a woman you may or may not recognize. Oh and then there is the end of the main event with ref bumps, interference, swerve after swerve and a new champion.
This isn’t a matter of taste. It is a matter of storytelling. Impact decided to focus on the same tired angles and poor booking concepts instead of the athletic approach that would have been a nice showcase for their talent. Instead of bogging new viewers down with old ass history that wasn’t even explained all they had to do was watch the action and make their decisions based on pre or post match promos. This isn’t a call for a total reboot at all. The show should have started with a good fifteen minute commercial free X-Division match that would show the athleticism of their product. They should have had a drag out tag match between The Wolves and Hardys to showcase the new talent and established veterans. They should have showcased a sound Knockouts title match instead of throwing it all out there in a meaningless manner. The show should have ended with a strong, straight-forward heavyweight Championship match with a decisive winner. No shenanigans, no hyperbole, no bullshit and nothing insulting. They should have done this and then on their debut Friday show started with some new mature angles with straight forward finishes and no tomfoolery.
Instead, Impact Wrestling failed in every aspect Wednesday. There is literally not one new idea on the show and probably in the company. Literally, nothing good came of this show to make any fan or outside observer want to watch this garbage product. It just boggles the mind that so called professionals would produce this tripe. But the real fool here isn’t Impact Wrestling or anyone associated with the company; I am the fool.
I am the stupid one for believing things would change. Impact Wrestling is like the girlfriend who constantly cheats on you and you take her back when she says she is sorry and will never do it again. You just want to believe her so you take her back. She then comes home and says she did it again and then you start all over again. Each time you get mad at yourself and say you will never take her back but you do. Eventually you say enough is enough and tell her to fuck off and never look back.
Well, Impact Wrestling.