Katz Files: January TNA Report Card!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

The January TNA Report Card

The Kingfish Arnie Katz files his January 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 disappointing Genesis pay per view is past, let’s take a close look at how the promotion is doing in key areas:

Talent Pool

Defections to WWE and some ill-timed injuries have shrunk the TNA effective roster. That was obvious at Genesis, where the promotion had no strong response to a couple of injuries that seriously hurt scheduled matches.

YMA must keep its roster trimmed to manageable size, because it doesn’t do a lot of house shows to offset the expense of maintaining the talent pool, but it may be time to raid the Indies for some fresh faces. A number of interesting wrestlers have come and gone in recent months; TNA needs guys that will stay a while and get involved in the storylines.

Grade: B- (B)

Star Power

The injuries to Samoa Joe and Brother Ray came at a very bad time for TNA, since both were central to the Respect War saga. TNA needs them, especially Joe, back as quickly as possible.

TNA premiered Suicide at the December pay per view – and buried him after that. Knowing TNA, they will probably turn up the heat on the masked man again, but this period of eclipse hasn’t exactly made him a bigger star.

The Knockout Division misses Gail Kim more each week. What babyface can look credible against Awesome Kong? Having ODB win the right to challenge Kong was an acceptable idea; having Kong come to the ring and prove she can destroy ODB with ease accomplished nothing except to downgrade the prospective challenger.

Grade: C (C+)

In-Ring Action

Action is still TNA’s prime strength, but the TV production is getting a little sloppy and long-winded. The result is that there is more filler and less action on iMPACT, though the show remains fairly exciting..

Grade: B (B+)

Booking & Dramatics

Injuries have hurt the booking of the Respect War, but some of the things TNA has done have hardly benefited the story. The Rhino-Sting title match wasn’t very strong and the less said about the six-man so-called “main event” at Genesis the better.

The use of Sting is especially debatable. How can he be presented as a babyface when he is a member of a vicious heel group like the Main Event Mafia? Either Sting has to play a lot more villainous or he should turn on the four heels.

The booking in the Knockout Division continues to deteriorate. Not only is there no serious challenger for Kong, but they have mired the only recognizable tag team, The Beautiful People, in an insultingly ridiculous story.

What about Suicide>

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

This wasn’t a great month for TNA. Factors combined to emphasize the group’s weaknesses and undercut its strengths. As always, better booking would be the single biggest improvement TNA could make.

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]
(1/14/09)