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 Has TNA found some identity?
Column Posted by The Whole Scoop - With Andrew Vincent on 00:43:58 AM Jul 19, 2011

After watching TNA lately, I've been more impressed with the product and everything on the show than i have been with quite some time. They've seem to keep me entertained basically every week lately and I'll tell you why.

TNA put on all X division pay per view, and they've put a lot of focus on the show, building storylines giving lengthy serious promos and interviews on Impact, thus making it seem like not just an addition to Impact to add a little bit of extra excitement, but actually making it feel like a big part of the show, which has failed to be the case in quite some time.

TNA followed through with what I would say, was a pretty solid X division pay per view, not stellar by any means, but I thought it was without a doubt an entertaining show. It was great to see the return of six sides as well something that the X division had been build upon in the past. Just about every match on the card aside from the Generate Me vs. Eric Young and Shark Boy were good solid matches. At this point TNA has made the television title a joke and regardless of how entertaining you might think Eric Young is, the fact that they've made him being a champion who is only a comedic act and a joker, makes the title worthless in the end. Every title needs to have importance and be taken seriously in order to have relevance, otherwise it's shouldn't be a title.

I was impressed with Jerry Lynn and surprised at his age how well he performed and contributed to making his match with RVD quite entertaining. Lynn without a doubt brought out the best in RVD and probably the best I've seen in him for quite some time. It's admirable to see a guy like Lynn at that age able to still wrestle with that ability and entertainment.

I'm also thrilled to see Austin Aries a part of TNA again and he's brought a funny heelish attitude to the company and shows me great potential to add so much excitement and attitude to the X division that it desperately needs. I think he can end up being that one stand out character in the division itself that catches peoples attention. I see him even maybe at some point being more than just an X division star, because to me he's just that damn entertaining in out and of the ring.

After all the focus on the X division on Impact and delivering on what I thought was a solid pay per view, the question now is this going to be what we see in the future?, or was all this focus on the division itself, only to promote this pay per view?. Now that everything is said and done, will the X division continue to get that strong focus? or will it once again just become only a part of the show? and not one of the main features and drawing point it should be in the future of company?.

TNA has a great opportunity from here to use the momentum they gained heading into the pay per view and after it, by continuing on with the strong focus and hopefully draw new fans to the company and truely define themselves as a great alternative to the WWE and really standing by the statement "wrestling matters". Will they continue to give us something that WWE hasn't been and continue to give us something WCW at one point gave people in the past that helped draw for them in their variation of a solid cruiserweight division. If the focus after the Destination X pay per view doesn't continue to be strong on the division, TNA if they gained new or old viewers back to the product, may just ending losing them all over again.

The Joker Sting. I think this is an interesting approach by TNA. Some people are critisizing the move, saying because they are stealing an attitude of a character from a popular movie and that its not original and it's just stupid. In your eyes whether or not that's the case for you, one thing you have to consider is that Sting has been the same Crow character for so long now, that to many it's probably lost its appeal long ago. I think based on that, TNA taking his character in a bit of a different direction and giving him a more fresh role to play, is a better move at this point than keeping him as the Crow Stinger. Personally there is a lot I like about this new version of Sting.

Firstly Sting definitely plays the wacky, out of his mind Joker character really well. Not only does he portray the out of his mind character well, but he brings a comedic twist to things the way he is playing it, the last few weeks of Impact I found myself laughing a few times. Another thing I like is that Sting is obviously the face standing against Hogan/Bischoff regime and Immortal, yet is doing it in heelish type fashion making his character cutting edge and unpredictable which is always something great to see in wrestling, because these days that's something not seen often. From my standpoint and any one else who can barely stand to see Bischoff or Hogan and maybe even some of Immortal, the Stinger's wild character is making it very much easier to tolerate them and for once maybe bringing out a little bit of enjoyable purpose for Hogan/Bischoff on Impact, even if its minimal appeal.

The women's division has seemingly heated up, I've never been a fan of women's wrestling, but TNA seems to have a lot going with the division and does put on some good matches, so you have to give them credit for that. The women's division and title is one area where they have always kept pretty strong focus on and as oppose to the WWE's women division, most of the TNA women matches actually involve pretty good wrestling, so you can still get your fix of eye candy and sex appeal but not be totally bored by the in ring action.

TNA also seems to have been consistent with the tag division, even though right now because of the Bound for Glory tournament we have seen more of Rhoode revolved around that, they have been putting focus on other teams as we saw on Impact two weeks ago, there was a heated encounter between Mexican American and the British Invasion, followed by a pretty good match the following week between the two. To me that shows stability when you dont have your tag champs on a show, but can still make your division look strong elsewhere without Beer Money's involvement.

Moving forward to Mr Anderson joining Immortal. I personally liked the fact that he was still a heel without being a part of Immortal and even when TNA was teasing that he was not going to join the group, was still coming off strong as heel and not a tweener, so I was kind of disappointed when he did join. But maybe it's a good move because I personally have thought lately that Immortal has looked like a fairly weak faction and adding Mr Anderson will make it look stronger because they have the gold, while Gunner is starting to stand out as a strong threat as well.

In the midst of everything while TNA has older established stars, they seem to putting a lot more focus on newer stars building guys in the likes of Gunner and Crimson. My take on either of those guys is up in the air, I definitely see potential them in both. Gunner is a big guy and a descent wrestler, he portrays himself as a strong heel and if he continues to get better in the ring as a big man who can actually wrestle than he might end up being a future star.

From what I've seen of Crimson I think he has the skills to speak and wrestle, as well as has the look, but I feel TNA has to do a little more to get him over and give him a little more personality. He needs a strong, serious feud with a big name guy that lasts for at least a good month to help get fans behind him or to believe in him and I think the same for Gunner.

While I see some good, there are a few things that I'm not very pleased with at all.

I really don't like what's going on with Samoe Joe, to me without a doubt he is one of the best, yet most underused wrestler's in TNA. He's so underrated and I think if he was given the serious push he deserves he can be a guy who brings a cutting edge and intense attitude something like we saw with Stone Cold in the attitude era of the WWE. I guess TNA doesn't see it and for whatever reason he's in the doghouse and keeps losing like a jobber, its painful to watch someone I see with so much talent and potential get wasted like that.

Why is TNA making the TV title such a mockery. I mean i like Eric Young, but the whole time he's had the title has only been a joke to begin with, from how he won it and how he keeps defending it. I will not lie there is some humor to it all because it's Eric Young and he is like the Santino Marella of the WWE in TNA, but if they are going to give him a title they should actually build the title around prestige in serious matches and actually feuds. There is no reason why Eric Young can't be that funny guy who makes us laugh, but actually wins real matches. He's got the talented to be more than just a joke and comedy act. Among that I firmly believe that every title should mean something and have serious focus or it should not be an existent title or division what so ever. Does anyone even care about the television title?, I could care less about it myself.

Last but not least, what is going on with the Pope. I know he's in this angle with Devon, but it's not enough for me, here is another guy with so much potential and he's proven in the past to be very entertaining on the mic, but TNA just can't seem to get him involved in something that brings out the best in him. He keeps going from bad angle/storyline to bad angle/storyline. He needs a serious feud that makes him come out strong with a guy like Kurt Angle who can bring out the best with him in the ring.

Despite the few disappointments i just mentioned, all in all looking at the big picture right now TNA is at the best I've seen them in quite some time and if they keep going this direction building everyone division like they have been (aside from the television division), I can see some serious growth over time in the future, especially if they can keep the X division going strong and build on it even further after a fairly strong Destination X pay per view.

For the first time in a while it seems like just about everything going on every week means something or gives us something to look forward to next week, as oppose to before and just hoping that we can get more than a good show one week and than a let down the following.

Looking at the Bound for Glory series, the all X division pay per view and TNA trying to put strong focus on building new stars (whether or not you might see them as potential ones), TNA is trying new things and you have to give them credit for that, because you won't succeed if your only trying recreate instead of actually creating. People have been turned away from wrestling for the reason that nothing new, fresh and exciting has been created so hats off to them for at least trying to create, whether or not they succeed.

My perspective on things is, if they continue to build on things the way they have been is that TNA can grow into a strong profitable and enjoying wrestling program, one that we've not seen for quite some time and yes I think more enjoyable than the WWE. The WWE are often at times better than TNA and vice versa, but one thing neither company has been able to do is steadily put on one solid show after another on a weekly basis. Most of the time it's a good show, followed by a weak one or one solid pay per view, followed by a disapointing one. Wrestling needs consistency and the last little while TNA has shown it, whether they can keep showing it, is the question and the challenge. I can only for sake of wrestling that has been so inconsistent over the past few years, that ends up being the case.

Thanks for reading wrestling fans, till next time best of blessings!

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