Clues to the Future of TNA

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
TNA’s Future: Signs & Portents
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delves into points raised by the 12/10 iMPACT.

First and last, I’m called upon to make a lot of predictions about pro wrestling. I do it in my pay per view previews twice a month and often speculate on what will happen in the near future as part of the analysis.

Some ring journalists tap into huge reservoirs of “inside knowledge.” A few of the less scrupulous use the secret knowledge to make “predictions” that are actually total certainties at the time they are made.

I base my predictions on analysis, not inside information. If I had such info, I’d give it to you straight if I used it at all. ) There might be considerations of confidentiality or even ethics.)

I study WWE and TNA intently, looking for clues about what might be in their plans, inconsistent continuity and bewilderingly rapid changes of direction and philosophy have made it hard to get those little clues that add up to accurate predictions. TNA had so many false starts and outright mistakes that you couldn’t trust your own eyes and ears.

Right now, though, TNA is moving forward with a single-mindedness of purpose that it has never displayed. The reason is Hulk Hogan. Whomever is actually steering TNA at the moment, the promotion is rushing toward the coming of the Hulkster and the three-hour Monday night show on January 4.

The opening of the 12/10 iMPACT reveals a lot about what’s important to TNA at this moment. Three things got the spotlight:

1 Hulk Hogan
The Incredible One already gets more face time on the show than almost anyone else on the roster and he isn’t even there! Wrestling news sheets and sites may quibble about the degree of Hogan’s control, but it us obvious that TNA is hitching its fate to the man in yellow and red.

2 Jeff Jarrett
I don’t know the status of Jeff Jarrett’s behind-the-scenes heat with Kurt Angle, but his return suggests that there is at least a truce in force. It is equally clear that TNA has a pivotal role for Double J. e is one of the TNA performers who has credibility with the WWE fans – and turning those fans into followers of TNA is surely the first goal for TNA.

3 Desmond Wolfe
The future may change the verdict, but right now TNA gas scored a coup by signing Nigel McGuiness/Desmond Wolfe after WWE passed on him, Wolfe has instantly vaulted into the top rank of TNA and could become a major, long-term heel for the promotion if TNA continues to develop him properly.

Hogan, Jarrett and Wolfe will be key figures in the “new” TNA, but there were others who got big TV time on the show. Foley, Angle, Steiner and Sting all look like members of TNA’s main event group.

Right no, it may seem like Hernandez, Morgan and Dinero are sidetracked in six-man tag team matches, but this could likely be a way to give the trio a common focus (and turn T he Pope into a babyface in the process). This trio may not be directly involved with Hogan, but they will continue to get pushes, because everyone knows they are part of TNA’s future.

That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of Turning Point on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(12/15/09)