The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly (6/17) TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz provides insight and analysis based on the 6/17 episode of iMPACT.
The 6/17 iMPACT, taped two days after the highly enjoyable Slammiversary, hit the heights and plummeted to the depths. That’s why this edition of my TNA notebook could (and is) subtitled…
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good: Dueling Flairs
It’s wrong to call the segment that featured Jay Lethal and Ric Flair. It wasn’t good.
It was great. It’s possibly the greatest dramatic scene TNA has ever done. It’s going to lead to an embarrassing match at Victory Road between Lethal and Flair, but taken by itself, this scene was absolutely incredible.
Jay Lethal isn’t the first wrestler to do the gimmick of imitating famous wrestlers. Unlike Charlie Haas, Lethal can apply his mimicry to extended, interactive scenes. He doesn’t just copy the entrance, he becomes the character.
Jay’s Macho Man imitation was sterling, as in the scene with Hulk Hogan on the 6/17 iMPACT. His performance as the Nature Boy, however, carried him to new comedic heights and you have to give credit for that to Ric Flair.
One of wrestling’s great underground commentators, Nic Farey, asked me if Flair knows how stupid he looks in these scenes with Lethal. (He asked it more colorfully, as is his wont, but exact wording might turn OWW into a “for sale” domain name.)
I don’t know and, what’s more, I don’t think it matters. Whatever Flair’s opinion of the angle, he works beautifully with Jay Lethal. He is working insanely hard to get Lethal over, whatever his personal feelings are about TNA’s rising young star.
The Bad: The Knockout Division
Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have a rep for not liking female wrestling and, perhaps as a result, not doing a very good job with the women.
That’s why so many fans, including me, are worried about the departures of Tara, Roxxi and ODB, on the heels of the exits of Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed, represents a substantial reduction of talent. Replacements like Rosie Lottalove, who seems to be very green in the ring, are not the answer.
The Ugly: Awkward Angles
It looks like TNA has decided to forget all the stuff about “deception” and his attacks on everyone from Dixie Carter to Eric Bischoff. Fans will never get the tome wasted on this murky angle, but at least the promotion appears ready to cut its losses and go on to something potentially more interesting.
The other misfire is happening to abyss. They’ve turned him heel just in time to turn the Wolfe-Chelsea-Abyss triangle into a dead issue. Once more, TNA has filled tons of air-time setting up an angle that is now dead in the water.
It would’ve made a lot more sense to hold off a heel turn for Abyss until the angle with Chelsea and Wolfe played out fully.
Fans are going to start kicking back on these “go-nowhere” storylines. Best to get them under control before that happens, because TNA is lost if its hardcore fan-base switches to WWE.
That’s all for today, but I’ll be back on Thursday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back then and, please, tell your friends about the column, too.
– Arnie Katz