The Katz Files
Rating the TNA Roster 3
The Kingfish Arnie Katz continues a new, monthly series that rates TNA wrestlers’ recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for major TNA stars.
Check the first column in this series for the long-winded explanation if you haven’t yet read it.
Comment: There’s no telling how good (or bad) Jesse Neal is or will be, based on what he has done so far. He is green and needs a lot more work somewhere that will let him develop a decent character and some facility with the mic and in the ring. At this point, he’s more like a student than a major league performer.
Comment: The old gray stallion ain’t what he used to be. His in-ring repertoire continues to narrow, though Nash can still execute his moves so that they look powerful. He can still be great in interviews and dramatic scenes, though he has a tendency to look bored that he needs to watch.
Comment: TNA uses him as an enhancement wrestler and he does well in that very limited role. He can work and is not likely to get over big with the fans.
Comment: He is simply the top talent in TNA and, possibly, a serious contender for being the best current professional wrestler. Give Hogan and Bischoff credit for turning him back to a babyface, which definitely seems like the correct role for him at this stage in his career.
Lacey Von Erich
Comment: She is very pretty, almost exquisite, but she may not belong in the ring. It doesn’t mater what previous generations of Von Erichs did in the business; Lacey doesn’t have the skill to follow in their footsteps. If TNA does a swimsuit calendar, she should be features, but she is not really a wrestler.
Comment: Madison may be miscast as a member of the Beautiful People. She really isn’t that good looking. Rayne works better than the average WWE Diva, but she is in the bottom half of the TNA Women’s Division. Perhaps she’ll go out as a single or find a more suitable partner after the program with Angelina Love.
Comment: You can’t look at Matt Morgan without being knocked out by the potential. This guy could be a gilt-edged main eventer. He is making progress toward that goal, having tasted title as Hernandez’s tag team partner. Morgan has largely overcome his weakness with the mic, so it looks like the good times will roll for the DNA of TNA.
Comment: He’s not too athletic and sometimes he meanders with the mic, but Mick Foley is still one of wrestling’s unique and special performers. He seldom takes mega-bumps any more, but he gives his all inside the ropes. TNA has handled him badly, forcing too many character turns in too short a time, but he has done a remarkable job of adapting to the chaotic and inconsistent TNA booking.
Comment: These must be trying times for the Professor. E has to keep up enthusiasm even when the storylines are insipid or even nonsensical. Mike does a good job on play-by-play, though n a perfect world, he would be the color commentator.
Comment: He’s still doing the mock announcer gimmick, though now there is an element of laughter in the mix. He had problems in WWE, but he has a legitimate shot at the world championship down the road if he can overcome them.
Comment: The question lingers: why would anyone hire this pair when they already have Team 3D? I know they are Hulk Hogan’s buddies, but it would be better if they found something for them to do off-camera. They re fat, old and slow.
Comment: She puts on a great show, blending ring intensity with an appealing irreverence in interviews. She sure isn’t the classic ring glamour girl, but a lot of fans (including me) are into her “trailer tramp” look.
Comment: He has worked a couple of times in TNA so far and has shown nothing very remarkable. He isn’t awful, but he hardly compares to TNA most proficient performers. The best way to use him may be to give him some wins against bottom-of-the-roster guys and then use him to put over someone with greater upside potential, such as Eric Young or Jay Lethal.
Comment: He is the TNA equivalent of the “Star Trek away team member who is wearing a red shirt. Kyoshi is there to hold up his end of a match that he ultimately loses to a bigger-name wrestler. He does it well, though the fans don’t seem to care much about him either way.
Comment: The War Machine’s biggest problem is that he does a “big man” act though he isn’t all that large. TNA’s most recent story for him died a sad death, since no one cared, and they haven’t yet come up with something for him to do. I’ve always liked him as a tough-and-tumble babyface.
Comment: Wow, could they have come up with a worse angle that the one in which Flair is currently mired? Presumably, Flair and Styles will end up feuding and have some good matches, but it’s painful to watch at this stage. Ric desperately needs to freshen up his act with the mic and, when he laces the boots, in the ring. He still has considerable skill, but fans know what move is coming before he even starts to execute it.
Comment: At least so far, he’s more of a valet than a wrestler, eye candy for the female fans. He has a good look, but right now, it’s hard to say anything more definite.
Comment: The “Nation of Violence” has sunk into the miasma of wrestling history, where it should, hopefully, be forgotten. Joe is so popular with the fans that making him anything except a face is spitting into the wind. It seems like Samoa Joe has been sidetracked for over a year, but there are signs that TNA might actually return him to his rightful place in the elite group.
Comment: This woman knows how to work a match, not just execute holds. Evidently, her time in the indies was well spent. Her current character is all right, though she has hardly stepped out from the mass of Knock-outs. There’s untapped potential here.
I’ll be back on Thursday with another part of my TNA roster ratings. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.
– Arnie Katz