Thursday, 1 May 2014

TNA Analysed - Sacrifice 2014

Well TNA Sacrifice happened.  Yeah I haven't made a wrestling related post for quite some time now with the whole video thing and other developments.  But Sacrifice happens only once a year and at the rate TNA is going down the shitter, it's likely to be the last unless they get a new broadcast partner in the next few months. as you may or may not know TNA these days can only run about four major pay per views a year as a cost saving measure and Sacrifice is the second show if I remember correctly.  This isn't a bad thing really, in fact it's smart on their part.  Monthly pay per views are sometimes draining on myself and fans since it makes the shows in between feel rushed for the sake of story and feuds get little time to develop, let alone asking people to pay each month.  I watched WWF in the nineties and always enjoyed the big four shows from them each year because it was a time to blow off all of the big feuds that had a full three months to build.  The downside for TNA is that their writing is so poor they create boring feuds that go off with a whimper instead of a bang at these shows, or they have big developments on the free show instead of the pay per views, it always confused me.

So what's been going in TNA recently?  For the sake of perspective we have the following feuds going into the show:

  • The beautiful people reformed because STORY! ignoring the months of Velvet Sky and her attempts to obtain the Knockouts title, she immediately turns heel to reform the BP with the recently returned Angelina Love.  Angelina tries to get the current Knockouts champion, Madison Rayne, to join her also but is re-buffed by her, leading to a pointless feud nobody cares about.
  • Bully Ray who had been the mega heel of the company for over a year turns face at Lockdown for no apparent reason other than a mild dislike for Dixie Carter.  He costs Bobby Roode his 10% of a failing company during the lethal lockdown finale and the two begin a relatively lukewarm feud involving tables.
  • Gunner the least charismatic wrestler in TNA history somehow remains popular despite being more wooden and uninteresting than a fence post plays the role of James Storm circa 2011, where he is betrayed by his best friend over title opportunities.  James Storm plays Bobby Roode, the villain who will do anything for a title shot and betrays his friend to further his goals.  The entire feud is just a repeat of Storm and Roode, just replacing Storm as the villain and Gunner as the plucky face.  The issue is that both men are pretty bland to watch individually and their feud is utterly bland to behold.
  • The recently added American Wolves chase the TNA tag titles in an effort to become relevant in the company.  They make very little impact going into TNA largely because TNA has a tiny tag division and they have to work with the Bromans who are essentially a loser heel team played for laughs.  They are the champs simply because there are no other teams to hold the belts.  The main issue with the entire feud is that the Wolves actually lost the belts to the Bromans off camera in a match for a Japanese company making them look weak, while the fans are left in the dark as to what is going on.  This all happened during the UK tour which had been pre-taped and TNA expected us to believe the Japanese show took place between UK tapings somehow.
  • Sanada a recently imported talent from the Great Muta's company holds the X division title and to make sure he goes over well with the TNA fans they have him face another unknown babyface Mexican wrestler known as Tigre Uno.  Both are smiley babyfaces who are great to watch, but why should we care about two good guy's fighting over a belt that isn't being defended or chased by a regular TNA wrestler?  
  • Ken Anderson and Sam Shaw feud over Christie Hemme.  Well Shaw is supposed to be obsessed with her because he has an Oedipus complex and wants to fuck him mum who is also called Christie and is apparently mentally disturbed too.  Anderson on the other hand protects Christie from Shaw and spawns the chant "creepy bastard".  They have fought numerous times now with wins on both sides, but this match will be the decider presumably.
  • EC 3 and Rockstar Spud try their best to make a Willow/Kurt Angle feud work when both are being put over as being weak compared to their opponents.  Spud is really fun to watch and entertaining as hell, while EC 3 plays a great arrogant heel who reminds me of 80's movie jock characters.  Sadly they face off against TNA's answer to the Wyatt's in the form of Willow, a Jeff Hardy alternate character he had back in his indie days and Angle who is back from another round of physical therapy because he is so fucked up right now he can barely wrestle.
  • Then we have Eric Young taking on Magnus in a feud that seems utterly fucked up from the start.  It's strangely coincidental that the small bearded guy who is liked by the fans wins the title when on another show a similar thing happened around the same time, a little before Eric Young I believe.  Also Samoa Joe, the elephant in the room for the company is completely absent even though this entire title feud angle was based around his demands for a fair shot at the title.  Either way the end result was Young winning the belt on free television, Magnus looking even more pointless, Abyss becomes a face again in typical Russo booking fashion and Joe vanishes completely from the picture.
So there you have the build and it's not much.  The show is in Orlando Florida since they cannot afford a decent arena so the Impact zone will have to do, meaning TNA get no money for tickets since it's free and have to rely on merchandise sales and hardcore fans wanting to meet the wrestlers backstage.

The show kicked off with the tag title match.  The Wolves fought the Bromans in a three on two handicap match, presumably working on the freebird rule.  The match was fast and had plenty of big tag double moves and wasn't bad to watch.  The Wolves win out in the end and regain the titles.  Look forward to seeing the Wolves defend those belts every week against the same team for weeks on end.  That's if they even remember to book title matches for the Wolves anyway, knowing TNA they will forget about them for months and just have the Wolves run matches for the lol's.

This is off the top of my head but I think it was the Knockout's match next which both sucked and blowed at the same time.  Something Tazz fantasises about regularly I imagine.  Angelina had Velvet cheating for her the entire time.  The ref played the gormless moron the entire match being distracted by everything.  Velvet eventually sprays Madison in the eyes with hair spray and Angelina wins the title.  Velvet rolls into the ring still holding the can and the ref apparently fails to put two and two together.

Anderson and Shaw fight next in a padded wagon match.  Just think ambulance match and you're there.  The match is boring really, not much happens and the ending takes place backstage.  Hemme knee's Shaw in the balls and Anderson KO's him into the van for the victory.  The funny thing about the fight was the van failing to drive off with Shaw to the mental hospital for a couple of minutes, forcing Anderson to shout at the driver.

Gunner and Storm put each other through a pretty nasty hardcore I quit match for no real reason.  As I said earlier, if you have seen Storm versus Roode you have seen this.  Gunner wins eventually and continues his dominance for some god forsaken reason.

Sanada and Tigre Uno fight.  It's good and entertaining I just wish they would include them in the story somehow so it doesn't feel like a tacked on advert for international wrestling companies.  Include these people TNA they are talented, why hire them if you aren't going to have them face your roster more regularly.

EC 3 and Spud run a slow tag match against Willow and Angle.  The crowd chant boring early on because the heels have to waste time to fill the slot.  Spud is apparently so weak he can't hurt either face and EC 3 is a heel coward so the match devolves into a tornado match with the only offence for the heels coming from double teaming.  Angle eventually clears house and Spud takes three finishers to end the match.  This doesn't setup for an epic conclusion to Angle V. Carter, it just makes the heel look shit and Angle the clear winner.

(Side note) Fuck Willow and his rambling incoherent shit.  Bray Wyatt as a character makes sense, his rants make sense and he is clearly based on mental people like Charles Manson.  Willow however spouts the usual Jeff Hardy rabble which makes zero sense, is annoying and his ring gear is fucking lazy.  He wears Hardy shirts anyway so why bother with the character change?  The announcers call him Jeff Hardy all the time, his masks looks OK but why not make all his gear fit the character?  It's just lazy and another example of TNA trying to ape WWE who they shouldn't be trying to copy.  You know why?  Because WWE mostly sucks at the moment as well.

Bobby and Bully fight a tables match that made we want to sleep.  Bully has lost his powers of evil and now works on babyface logic meaning he loses the match to Roode.  Not sure why Roode has to win this fight really.  He doesn't owe anything to Dixie since she isn't there anymore and should be fighting MVP.  Bully Ray should have won to wrap up the feud.

Finally we have Magnus and Young.  What do you expect?  Magnus to win?  Well obviously not since he was put over extremely poorly as champion even having the company run with him being called a paper champion.  Eric Young "overcomes the odds" and wins.  Magnus is relegated to obscurity once more and we can go back to watching Russo fuck the company once more.

Overall it was a forgettable show.  Some title changes, some big wins but nothing stellar or memorable.  Big names were left out such as Austin Aries, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King.  MVP didn't make an appearance and Samoa Joe continues to avoid the camera somehow. 

My opinion on this show was that Joe was supposed to win the title here.  He was the main focus of the title hunt and had several matches with Magnus, however he vanishes and EY takes the spot.  Joe maintains on Twitter or Facebook that he isn't injured yet never shows up.  I think either he is injured or he is in the middle of contract negotiations.  Either way it put a spanner in the works booking wise and we end up with Eric Young as champ.  I don't dislike him and think he is entertaining but I do question the decision to make him champ.  The belt was dropped on free tv and not everyone was over the moon with the decision, so I think his rise was a mix of Daniel Bryan fever and last minute decision making on TNA's part.

The rest of the show was the usual ho hum crap that passes for booking in TNA.  Very little story but matches go off without issue and some are fun to watch.  TNA just run some stories for so long that it they run into the ground and keep going such as the Anderson and Shaw feud or Gunner and Storm.  I don't predict things to improve though.  With the upcoming deadline for Spike and TNA to make a new broadcast agreement looming we could be seeing TNA transition to online viewing only.  Spike are rumoured to be looking at bringing WWE programming to their network and let's face it if you were in Spikes position you would go with the one that brings in an average of four million plus a week.

Other problems for TNA come in the form of GFW or Global Force Wrestling, the latest company on the market headed by Jeff Jarrett.  Many people within TNA past and present respect Jarrett and if the claims are to be believed the company will have over 100 wrestlers to utilise for their show and have broadcast rights from the off.  With TNA also looking for a new regular home also the company is in dire straits, more so than previous years.  Money is tight, talent is leaving (Christopher Daniels left with Kazarian expected to follow soon), Russo is back on board, they have virtually no new talent to debut along with the other issues it ain't looking too hot for the number two wrestling company in North America.


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