Writer’s Note: I would like to say thank you for having me be a part of the IWHeadlines.com team and making “A Chaotic Theory” a part of your reading enjoyment.
This week I would like to do something a little different. Instead of writing in my usual format, I thought I would change things up a little. This edition of “A Chaotic Theory” I would like to issue my own type of grade card for the current state of TNA. I thought since summer was ending and school is now back in session, there is no better time than the present to give my readers a total outlook on my opinion of the TNA brand as it is right now. Since I am the Dean at the school of Chaotic Theories, I have graciously taken upon myself to choose the subjects that will be graded: X-Division, Knockouts Division, Talent, Creative and World Title. The grades will range from A to F, just as if we were in school, of course A is by far the best grade and F, well F is, let’s just say, is at the opposite end of that previously stated scale. I think that just like every other grade school type report card is none other than a progress report to help you gauge where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. As a fan, you always hope for the best for the brand. Sometimes, it just takes an honest opinion and a little tough love.
X-Division – The X-Division, as most of us may already know, is and always will be one of the leading factors in the success of TNA and IMPACT Wrestling. When TNA was first starting out within a national market and producing a cable television program, several fans tuned into see the high lying exhibitions of the X-Division. The matches were exciting and captivating. Although storylines are always a wonderful part of any entertainment product that is being produced, it just wasn’t necessary for the fans to be engaged with the competitors of the X-Division. In recent years though, the X-Division has seen a bit of a drop off in its competition circle. The division, at one time, was almost non-existent. TNA focused most of its energy and television time to the new arrivals of older wrestlers. Recently though, TNA has made an effort to show more X-Division matches and pushing the X-Division title with the Aries born “Option C”, which gives the champion a chance to cash his title in for a shot at the World title. Don’t forget, a lot of TNA’s top talent started within the X-Division, such as AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. The X-Division, in my opinion, offers a sense of validity to an original product. I see a huge rebound in the future for this exciting division. I give the X-Division, in its current state, a grade of B- and I believe I am being very generous.
Knockout’s Division – As most of you know I am probably one of the most outspoken columnists when it comes to the Knockouts. When I first started watching TNA, I was intrigued and mesmerized by the skill and talent that these women displayed in the ring. It was something that wasn’t seen too often within the rings of the WWE anymore, the Diva had gobbled up all of their visual talent. TNA would offer a product that would rival any on a professional wrestling main stage when it came to their women wrestlers. These ladies, would day in and day out, perform at the same level or even better than their male counterparts, so much so TNA was deciding to make some Knockouts matches, main event matches on IMPACT Wrestling. Which was definitely unheard of anywhere within the WWE, no Diva has ever headlined an event before. The Knockouts were a huge draw for IMAPCT Wrestling and the whole TNA brand itself. Talent like, Hamada, Awesome Kong, Taylor Wilde and Sarita all rose to the top in some form or fashion and helped cement the division within the professional wrestling market. A pillar for TNA and its definite rise to success, the Knockouts were “real” wrestlers, with real talent. Sadly though, the division is nothing to what it used to be. To even say the words Knockout’s Division is impossible because you cannot have a division with just four wrestlers. It has become just a sad thought of what it used to be. The talent pool has dried up. Women are leaving the company in packs. Just recently we watched the departure of yet two more Knockouts, Tara and Mickie James have both went their separate ways from the brand, although Tara was released, they knew she wasn’t going to re-sign so they released her with just a couple months remaining on her contract. The story with Mickie James is a little different. She was offered a contract renewal, but simply refused to negotiate and walked away from the company. The Knockouts, were once great, but now are hopeless. I give them a grade of F-.
Talent – The roster at TNA seems to be getting smaller and smaller as each month passes. Although the company may be going through a Hogan suggested “restructuring”, we as fans are feeling the hurt from it. Many talented people are either not being re-signed or won’t negotiate a new contract with the company, for whatever reasons. When Hogan first stepped into TNA as the Executive in charge, a flood of irrelevant superstars came down to Florida to lend their support and open their wallets, for what seemed to be an easy paycheck and a constant vacation. As quickly as they came, they left, went back up north to where home is. It left TNA’s bank balance depleted and the roster emptied. Just like a succubus, they came in and sucked the soul out of TNA and the fans. It simply resembled another WCW uprising. Fans were already completely satisfied, matter of fact, very happy about the talent that was already established throughout the federation. There just wasn’t a need for a change, what they had was working. Although there have undoubtedly been a few bumps in the road, TNA has still been able to retain a lot of great talent who can excite and thrill us every time we tune into IMPACT Wrestling. For that sole reason, I am giving TNA’s talent a grade of B, plain and simple.
Creative – Storylines within TNA have become discombobulated and confusing at best. TNA has never been the top storyline developer within professional wrestling. I can recall, good and intriguing moments on iMPACT Wrestling, at times, but for the most part, they just haven’t performed in this area very well at all. They seem to hold onto stories too long, way past their expiration date. Ace’s & 8’s were one of those moments within TNA that made it exciting to watch on television. Like most stories at TNA, they just held onto it way too long and its usefulness became a detriment to the brand. TNA lacks a real focus in its creative department. Storylines are never really carried out correctly, they have issues attaching segments that are linear with the story and make sense to the audience. And if they do find a successful story to tell, they tell it to death. I think maybe some writers should re-visit their local community college and take a refresher course on creative writing, a little knowledge goes a long way folks. With that being said I am giving this creative team a D+.
World Title – This is probably the most unconventional category within my report card, but I felt it extremely necessary to talk about. The world title, in any federation, is the pinnacle title that guides the brand throughout its complete creative process, from live events to television shows and PPVs. Most main stories are created by what’s happening in the World Title picture. PPV’s are headlined and the focus of the entire brand rests on the shoulders of the World Title holder. With all that being stated about the clearly obvious to any professional wrestling fan, you would think that the World Title of any brand would be the most important and prestigious aspect a brand would want to protect. So answer me this, my chaotic crowd. Why would you want to tarnish the image of the TNA World Title by changing champions in rapid succession or handing the title to competitors and halting their push? It does nothing positive for the company. Chris Sabin, as most of you knew I would be using him as my example, became TNA World Champion in a very unique way, by having a baby face use a weapon to snag the win. It wasn’t the way he won the title that threw most for a loop, it was the fact that no one supported him as champion, not even his own company. Look, it’s really hard to call someone champion just because someone tells you to and just because they are wearing gold around their waist doesn’t make it automatic. We as fans take our World Titles very seriously, it defines the best in the business for us. When you start creating short lived reigns by performers we already had doubts about, creates a combustible formula of negativity and hatred. It makes TNA and the entire brand look cheap and confused and no one wants to watch that. I have to give them a C- for their handling of the World Title recently, step it up fellas…
I am a fan of TNA and iMPACT Wrestling, no matter what you may think. Just because you are a fan, doesn’t mean that you have to be happy with what’s going on. How many times have you yelled at the TV because your favorite team isn’t performing well or being outscored. This is the same thing, just a different outlet. I know that this brand has it in them to rise up from all of this and get back to what made them the federation to watch. They have a lot of work, no doubt about it, but it’s only going to get better if we speak out. Well, my students, as I finish this very long lecture on the report card and current status of TNA, I have to say thank you for allowing my rant to go on just a little longer this week and for having the patience to read it. Always remember, these are all just my own Chaotic Theories….