(or “Ten Things I Don’t Want to Hate About You”)

Rather than review the “Best of” show that aired on Spike TV, your Empress of “Impact” has decided to begin 2009 with a wish list for TNA. Many people have commented that this new year has to be better for TNA because it couldn’t possibly get any worse. Whether you personally believe that or not, I have compiled a list of ten things which TNA should make happen in order for 2009 to be their banner year. They are in no particular order.

1.      Get a good heel color commentator. I’m not as down on Don West as a lot of people are, but the dynamic between West and Mike Tenay is off. Tenay used to live up to his moniker of “The Professor.” In fact, my friend Arthur used to say that if Mike Tenay didn’t know what to call the move you just did, congratulations, you’ve just invented one. Tenay no longer lives up to his name. He would be a much stronger play-by-play guy if he had a strong heel color commentator as a foil. This would prove especially true in the Main Event Mafia/Front Line angle. Right now, neither member of the announce team condemns any act of any member of the Main Event Mafia. People’s exhibit A: Sharmell’s interference in the Booker T and Scott Steiner match against Matt Morgan and Abyss. She pretended that Abyss hit her and he fell for it. Instead of acknowledging her sneaky and manipulative doings, both announcers stated that once again, Abyss had lost his focus. No! They should have given the audience a reason to hate the bad guys and support the good guys. They almost never do this. The announce team can help or hurt the product, and right now, they’re hurting it. It could be a wrestler who doesn’t need to be in the ring any longer or someone not currently on the roster at all.



2.      Update the website/Hire a website guru. The TNA website is nearly useless. They need a Joey Styles (in more ways than one) to shake things up and keep it current on a day-to-day basis. For example, right now, there is an X-Division tournament going on. Each time someone wins a qualifying match, there should be a new interview posted with that person. It doesn’t have to be in video clip form, it can be text. Post interviews when there are major character changes or events that are supposed to be a big deal. Let wrestlers post in-character blogs about things that happen in the shows. Feature a “Spotlight” section on a different wrestler every month, or even a different daily tidbit of information on someone. Anyone who goes to Mexico (like the CMLL tournament that a TNA wrestler [Alex Shelley] actually won), Japan (like the second “Global Impact” show at the Tokyo Dome), or Europe (the most recent January tour) should be featured on the site as well. Let casual fans know what you’re doing! Pimp the hell out of any cross-over promotional things that get done, aside from NASCAR. Frankly, I still haven’t gotten over how the episode of “Made” on MTV last year that featured Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin was pretty much ignored by the TNA site, and I wasn’t just annoyed because those two were the ones on it. How can you not market something like that to death? At least once a week, the entire site should be changed. Supposedly, the TNA powers-that-be don’t view their website as an important part of the business. Someone please kick them into the modern era of technology.



3.      Clarify the authority figure situation. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians, as the saying goes. Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Cornette, Tracy Brooks, and whoever else all seem to be in charge of something. Having multiple authority figures works, as long as the hierarchy is clear. For example, Jeff Jarrett has handed over his power as founder of TNA to Mick Foley. As long as Jarrett insists on active in-ring competition, Foley is the head guy with the most power who runs TNA. When Jarrett retires from active competition, he takes his spot and power back, and Foley returns to second-in-command as majority shareholder or whatever his title is. Tracy Brooks is “Knockout Law” and oversees the Knockouts division in terms of title shots and making matches and so on. Jim Cornette does the same for either the tag team division or the X-Division. Letting each of the four title divisions in TNA (not counting Booker’s “Legends” title) have its own commissioner or overseer would actually not be a bad thing as long as it is consistent.



4.      Ditch the Suicide character. His first appearance was cool. The point remains, however, that he’s a character in a video game that came out a long time ago and did not sell well. If all he’s doing is the same thing that Abyss was doing, namely running out during unfair beatdowns and helping the outnumbered parties, he won’t help anything. Use him as a way to bring back Christopher Daniels and be done with him.



5.      End all the “knock-off” characters. We’ve already seen Eric Young ditch the Super Eric gimmick and turn into a regular guy. That’s a start. When Petey Williams returns, he should have completely shed the mini-Steiner look and gimmick. We haven’t seen Stone Cold Shark Boy lately, but he should be done with also. Most of all, “Black Machismo” needs to go away. The ideal time to drop that was when Val turned on him, but that’s neither here nor there. Any character whose gimmick is that of another character or something so incredibly stupid that it hurts needs to go. The guys are good enough to make something else work.



6.        Call Scott D’Amore. The Knockouts division has suffered noticeably since Gail Kim and Scott D’Amore left. While most people are saying that Kim was what made the Knockouts division what it was, and that it would inevitably decline after she left, I would argue that D’Amore was the more important factor. If he can’t/doesn’t want to devote the time to this job, surely he knows someone who could! Taylor Wilde, Christy Hemme, Velvet Sky, and especially Rhaka Khan need some work, whether it’s in the ring or on the mic. I’d still love to see Raisha Saeed hook up with Sheik Abdul Bashir. Gold! It doesn’t help that the best actual wrestler in the division (Angelina Love) isn’t anywhere near a ring because of an insipidly stupid storyline with the fake Sarah Palin. The Beautiful People were the best thing about the show for ages, and they’ve essentially been pulled. This, conveniently, leads me to the next point.



7.      No more fake Sarah Palin. We get it. We get it. How much more outdated and intelligence-insulting can we get? Don’t answer that. There is only one reason for this mess to even be on my tv. Have Daffney reveal that she is the fake Palin (preferably with a scream), proclaim herself the newest addition to the Knockouts roster, and shamelessly mock the Beautiful People for being so dumb that they were the only ones in TNA who fell for her prank. If that isn’t going to happen, someone needs to swim with the fishes.



8.      Give more time to promos and segments not involving Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett/Mick Foley/the Main Event Mafia. There are lots of things going on that would make intriguing subplots, but the audience never gets to hear about it. It’s assumed that we just know. People’s exhibit B: Eric Young slapped Alex Shelley in the Front Line locker room and they fought out to the ring, and there was almost no build. There were literally a few seconds of two guys talking over each other and boom! Whoever writes this stuff is in such a hurry to get to the physical altercation that no attention is given to how the people in question get there. If what we were supposed to get is that Eric Young is completely devoted to the Front Line and takes everything about the “war” seriously, and he had been after Alex Shelley to wear the Front Line shirt for several weeks instead of his Motor City Machine Guns shirt as a show of solidarity, and Shelley continually refused, then show us! That would be interesting. That would provide reasons for things to happen. Why did Roxxi suddenly become a cursing pirate with a lip ring? Why are Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed so buddy-buddy now? What do Jimmy Rave and Lance Rock think of Christy Hemme going out on her own and essentially abandoning the team? It’s not like total non-stop action in the ring is happening anyway, there’s a ton of promo/segment time. Give some of it to the people who could really use it to add more to the overall story.



9.      The Front Line needs some major victories. In the minds of some people, it’s already too late for this. What could have been amazingly cool has been a disaster, and the main reason for that is the complete failure of the Front Line to get any sort of significant offense against the Main Event Mafia. I don’t think it’s too late, but it’s almost too late. The Front Line aren’t underdogs, they’re complete wusses, and no one is going to get behind a faction of total losers. Rhino and Team 3D don’t need to get the wins. Everyone else does, and soon. The fact that the Front Line is willing to take the “by any means necessary” route now that Team 3D and Rhino approve, when they were not willing to do so earlier, is also potentially useful stuff. Different guys in the Front Line can be trying to one-up each other on victories, and as long as they’re beating the Main Event Mafia, it doesn’t matter.   



10.  A Motor City Machine Guns tag team title reign. Oh, come on. You had to know you weren’t getting through a wish list of mine without this. Furthermore, you know you want it too. If the whole point of Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley possibly squaring off in the finals of the X-Division title tournament is to break up the team, the Earth will cease to rotate on its axis and crash into the sun, destroying life as we know it. I know this because I will cause it to happen. Yes, I read too many comic books. If TNA continues to squander the untapped gold mine that is their most popular tag team, they may lose them entirely when contracts come up, which I’ve heard rumored to be this March and April. If the point is to elevate the X-Division title back to its former prestige, that’s great. There are ways to work the transition from one title scene to another. LAX is good. Beer Money is good. The MCMG are just better, they should be in the tag team title hunt, and that they haven’t had at least one title reign already is criminal.    


  1. A plan with no drawbacks! Now, we just need to get you hired, or at least get your foot in the door for an interview. Got any blackmail material on a company higher-up? Being the web guy, you COULD just make some…. 🙂

  2. A plan with no drawbacks! Now, we just need to get you hired, or at least get your foot in the door for an interview. Got any blackmail material on a company higher-up? Being the web guy, you COULD just make some…. 🙂

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