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The Katz Files
My Weekly TNA Notebook: The War Begins!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delivers his report and analysis of TNA special January 4th three-hour show.

It was the best of shows; it was the worst f shows.
The matches, except the eight-man fiasco that opened the show, ranged from very good to outstanding.

The Angle-Styles main event deserves special praise. I made both look good, kept them both babyfaces and left room for a rematch.

The show also had a lot of hot air and dull drama. Was Hogan channeling the Ultimate Warrior or something? He just kept talking and talking and never did say anything.

The scene in which Hall, Waltman and Nash confronted Hogan and Bischoff was full of sound and fury that signified nothing. What the hell were they arguing about? I got that Nash, Hall and Waltman like to party, but does that mean Hogan and Bischoff don’t like to have fun? The Hulkster kept yammering, but he never actually said what it was that he wanted the three guys to do!

It was full of promises and portents; it was packed with warnings and foul omens.
Most of the “old faces” who showed up on iMPACT are too far past the end of their ring careers to thrill any but the dimmest fans, but there were some new and returning performers who still have upside.

First and foremost is, of course, is Jeff Hardy. If the Charismatic Enigma is really going to commit to TNA, he could be X Division Champion immediately and a World Championship a little farther down the road.

It looks like Sting and Jeff Jarrett are both back. The former has reached an advanced age for an active wrestler, but he has had a lot of time off over the years and takes good care of himself physically.

The way Hogan jumped on Jarrett after TNA’s founder made what seemed like a well-received speech from center-ring, suggests that Jarrett will be one of the leaders of whatever group opposes him. What is hard to understand, though, is how the world’s biggest ego Hulk Hogan, a man who constantly praises himself in both the first and third person, can attack Double J for using the word “I.”

It was a night when everyone with access to a microphone brayed about “change”; it was a evening when very little actually changed.
There was a lot of blather about how everything had changed, but it wasn’t strongly reflected in the show.

It would be much better, after weeks of promises, if TNA made the changes. It’s much more effective to show than to tell – and fans are still waiting to see what Hogan and Bischoff plan for the promotion.

The Gravy Train Runs through Orlando
The most important thing for Dixie Carter to understand is that it is not 1990. That was 20 years ago. Frankly, a lot of the “old faces” Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have brought to TNA look like it has been a mighty hard two decades.

TNA isn’t going to get very far with the Nasty Boys, Sean Morley Sean Waltman, Scott Hall and Raven. And unless Ric Flair has got a time machine stashed away someplace, the Nature Boy is not likely to do more than provide some good mic work.

Saying that TNA isn’t going to reinvent the past is encouraging. Actually not dredging up the past would be even more encouraging.

Nobody Asked Me, But…
… Was the opening match intended to be the “old” TNA at its worst? If not, it certainly gave that impression – and provided a sharp contrast to the high quality wrestling in the main event.

… Didn’t you want to smash the television when, after making us watch all that dull limousine footage, Hulk Hogan said he’d been “in the back all day”?

… Was that strip poker story the worst attempted humor in the history of TNA? Admittedly, that’s setting the bar for failed humor pretty high, but it was certainly a contender. I think it could even have qualified for all-time worst if they’d somehow got Hornswoggle to play Val Venus’ role.

… Didn’t those Foley segments seem strange when they also ran repeated spots for Epics, which identified Mick as the show’s host?

If the goal was to run WWE out of the market, the three-hour iMPACT fell far short of its objective. If they wanted to get folks to tune in Thursday and give the new regime a trial, then it most likely succeeded.

That’s all for today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with my report and analysis of the ¼ RAW. I hope you’ll come back then and, please, tell your friends about the column, too.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]