My TNA Notebook

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly (5/20) TNA Notebook

The Kingfish Arnie Katz provides insight and analysis based on the 5/27 episode of iMPACT.

Life After Retreat
The show has improved significantly since losing the Monday Night Showdown and the 5/17 episode represented continued advance.

The show had a couple of excellent matches, including the main event. The rest of the matches weren’t nearly as good, but still graded out in the B/C range, as opposed to the D/F range. (I’m strongly opposed to the D/F range, a rating that all matches on the TNA and WWE shows don’t always escape.

Maybe it’s that moving the show has reduced the pressure. Hogan, Bischoff and Flair feel less need to take over the show, which puts the spotlight back where it belongs, on the roster talent.

All three appeared on the show, but they didn’t dominate it. Hogan’s scene with Mr. Anderson was just plain terrible and Flair’s rant when he came out with his group was generic, but at least they functioned as part of the overall show.

The Rankings
Despite minor imperfections, it’s mostly “so far, so good” for the new gimmick. Bischoff did a god job of introducing it on the 5/20 iMPACT and they carried the concept forward on this episode in three distinct ways:

1. Kurt Angle got a lot of mic time to talk about his intention of fighting his way up the rankings. The next step, hopefully on the 6/3 installment, would be Angle actually starting that climb by fighting the 10th-ranked guy.

2. The announcer invoked the rankings in every match that involved a ranked wrestler. Having the fans vote on the rankings generates some money, but it’s going to cause problems. Beating someone ranked higher should rise and someone who loses to a lower-ranked opponent should fall.

Maybe TNA should have a “People’s Rankings” as well as the official ones. That way, the fans could tell the company whom they like and the company could adjust the results to fit its needs without having to honor the illusion that the fans are voting on the official rankings.

3. They made matches between ranked wrestlers.

Now, TNA must keep updating the rankings, adjusting them as they present matches that involved ranked wrestlers.

The Kingfish’s Thought of the Week: Teasing trouble between Brother Ray and Brother Devon is not very effective. Professor Tenay to the contrary, this is about the 10th time they’ve done this and the tension always evaporates without incident. I’ll apologize if this leads to a match between the brothers, but otherwise, I wish they’d give up the repeated teasing of a family feud.

Murky Motivations
Having the announcers say they don’t know why someone is doing someone is not a good substitute to having actual motivations. Fans are more comfortable when events seem to have a cause-and-effect relationship.

Sting’s motivation is both unknown and incomprehensible. Doing the same thing with Mr. Anderson is overkill.

That’s all for today, but I’ll be back on Wednesday 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
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(6/1/10)