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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly (6/24) TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz provides insight and analysis based on the 6/24 episode of iMPACT.
iMPACT continues to provide some of the best sports entertainment on television. The program packs a lot of information into its two hours, though the actual amount of ring action has declined significantly in the last six months to a year.
Let’s look at some of the major aspects of TNA, as presented on iMPACT.
Abyss Turns Heel
There’s no doubt about it, the Hogan-acolyte version of the Abyss character is history. The Masked Monster has returned to his rule-breaking, hardcore approach.
Fans are probably well rid of the miracle Hall of Fame ring and the obsequious mutual fawning between Hogan and Abyss. Those were some very dull TV segments.
The new angle is that Abyss is destroying everything in his path under orders from the so-far-undefined “They.” It would probably be best if this enigmatic power turned out to be a figment of Abyss’ imagination, possibly a subconscious hypnotic suggestion planted in his brain by the nefarious Dr. Stevie.
Having Abyss turn out to be an innocent tool would help explain why he has flipped in the first place. If “They” are real, it’s unclear as to why Abyss would turn his back on his supposed idol, Hulk Hogan, without a triggering incident.
More likely is that “They” will turn out to be some ho-hum gaggle of semi-retired retreads who will make fans wish they’d ignored the whole thing in the first place.
The 6/24 iMPACT put Abyss on a collision course with Hulk Hogan. With any luck, though, Abyss will attack Hogan on iMPACT and hen someone (RVD?) will come out to save the retired champion and take over as the focus of Abyss’ wrath.
The problem with building each pay per view around a gimmick, a recent trend in WWE, is that the competition can easily copy most of them.
That’s pretty much what TNA plans to do for the main event at Victory Road, where Rob Van Dam will meet Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy and Abyss in a fourway contest.
There’s something even better than just hijacking the rival promotion’s gimmick. TNA would gain a lot more by giving fans an improved version of the gimmick.
Rather than have the first pin or submission win the match, it would be more interesting (and less copycat) if the match utilized an elimination format. This match has four of TNA’s biggest stars, so it wouldn’t hurt to have them in the spotlight for 45 minutes or so as they did the three decisions needed to complete the match and declare the TNA Heavyweight Champion.
TNA is demonstrating a distinct aversion to having its champions actually lose their titles via pinfall or submission. That’s a bad sign, because matches that end in screw-jobs, swerves and non-decisions are great, but not when they predominate over decisive finishes.
Though it doesn’t involve title matches yet, Angelina Love’s current program is an example of this philosophy. Why shouldn’t Love gain victories over Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky on the way to her confrontation with the Rayne-ing champion?
A Friendly Partying
The short scene between Kevin Nash and Eric Young on iMPACT means that EY may be on the verge of a new gimmick. (That assumes the break-up of the team isn’t a prelude to releasing Young, which would be a big mistake.)
Maybe this time they’ll give him a decent chance with a solid storyline. For some reason, Eric Young seems to attract sure-to-fail angles like a magnet attracts iron filings.
He sure has had some bad ones. Remember when he was a superhero without powers, but with some kind of split personality disorder?
Eric Young is not, at this moment, a main eventer, but he could certainly work effectively as a mid-card babyface, perhaps as part of a tag team.
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