Katz Files: December TNA Report Card!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

The December TNA Report Card

The Kingfish Arnie Katz files his December report card for the good folks at TNA.

About the Report Cards

Each month, I issue a report card for TNA. I examine and grade the promotion in all the vital areas. I discuss strengths and weaknesses and chart the ups and downs. The grades in parentheses are for the previous report card. The grades in parentheses represent the previous report card.

Now that the pay per view is past, let’s take a close look at how the promotion is doing in key areas:

Talent Pool

Christian Cage is off the show and, apparently, bound for WWE. That’s a big loss, because he excellent on the mic and in the ring. It also took him out of the promotion’s main angle at a very crucial time.

Suicide finally made his debut at Final Resolution and should soon be integrated into whatever story line they have planned for him.

“Feast or Fired” will cause a firing, but it may have negligible effect since it’s likely to be Curry Man. He can either apply for reinstatement as Christopher Daniels or else pop back up as yet another masked guy.

Grade: B (B)

Star Power

The War for Respect has enhanced the star power of a number of TNA’s established performers. Kevin Nash, Rhino and AJ Styles are the biggest beneficiaries, but all of the MEM guys (except Sting) have gotten some rub and it has also helped Eric Young.

Suicide is not yet a star and Christian Cage is. That’s a subtraction in the short run, at the very least.

ODV is getting a push in the Knockout Division. The interview segment enhances her status; now she has to fight, and beat, someone in a hot match.

Grade: C+ (B-)

In-Ring Action

TNA generally lives up to its name with strong work inside the six-sided ring. There are still too many chaotic melees and silly gimmicks, but the wrestling on iMPACT is still significantly better than on RAW or Smackdown.

Grade: B+ (B+)

Booking & Dramatics

The War for Respect has already had some notable successes – and some stink-out-the-joint flops. The waffling with the Machine Guns and the seeming abandonment of the original idea for the feud (established stars versus rising stars) are two of the obvious problems.

There are too many screwjob endings and pointless gimmicks. Final Resolution offered bad examples of both. Just about all the matches ended with a screwjob and “Feast or Fired” is just lame. It is a match that tells no story and has no real strategy.

The Knockout Division has virtually no booking. There just doesn’t seem to be much of a plan. For instance, they started a big build up for Roxxi as a hardcore Knockout and now it’s little more than a catchphrase Mike Tenay throws in when Roxxi is on screen.

Grade>: C+ (C+)

Announcing

Things are pretty stable in this area of the show. They same interviewers and announcers have been in place for some time.

Grade: B (B)

Overall

TNA is at a crossroads for the show. The War for Respect can either dissolve as bookers keep adding guys to both factions or it can catch fire as Angle and Jarrett prepare for their showdown.

The X Division should really benefit from a Lethal-Bashir feud. More matches on TV would really help the division. By the same token, TNA probably should cut back on the number of Knockout Division matches unless they intend to introduce someone who can work a believable program against Awesome Kong.

Grade: B (B)

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily pro wrestling column. And I’d deeply appreciate it if you brought some of your friends with you..

— Arnie Katz
[email protected]
(12/11/08)