My Weekly TNA Notebook

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My iMPACT (5/28) Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz highlights the major developments and discusses what they mean.

”King of the Mountain”
Slammiversary’s double main event is shaping up as a tremendously pair of outstanding matches with great interest for fans. Credit good booking for both and some very exciting qualifying matches for the TNA World Championship “King of the Mountain.”

Despite the probably non-appearance of Samoa Joe (see below), the set up for this has worked pretty well. TNA writers sometimes have trouble communicate character motivation and keeping it consistent, but they’ve done pretty well this time.

Mick Foley’s statement about not defending his title more than once a year is a red flag that the title will change in this match. I’ll save the predictions for later in the week, but the match has some excellent candidates to wear the gold. That raises the uncertainty, which boosts the match’s excitement.

The introduction of the X Division “King of the Mountain” match has gone even better. It’s built on the premise that the heel Machine Funs and the babyface Lethal Consequences are united in a desire to unmask Suicide.

The preliminary matches, rather than being qualifiers, have served to establish that cooperation between the two teams is only a sometimes thing. The booking of the “King of the Mountain” will pivot of the attempts of these antagonistic factions to work together and Suicide’s ability to play them off against each other so he can climb the mountain, place the belt and retain his championship.

A Note from the Kingfish
Trying new things is part of the fun of doing a column like that. As an experiment, I am overhauling the format of the Notebooks to highlight the key points instead of embedding them in a recap.

There are lots of recaps, including one right here on OWW by Jay Shannon, so no one who wants one will go without,. On the other hand, there’s very little intelligent analysis; that’s the aspect I’ll stress in the Notebook series.

Who’ll Replace Samoa Joe?
Taping two or three complete episodes of iMPACT in one extended session certainly saves money. That’s the reason TNA does it and you can’t knock

Unfortunately, it makes it much more difficult to react to unforeseen circumstances like the recent injury to Samoa Joe sustained at a house show. Unless the severity has been vastly overstated, it seems unlike that Joe will be able to fill the spot in the “King of the Mountain” match. TNA has put a lot of effort in reinvigorating Samoa Joe and now all that work us likely to be undone.

If that comes to pass, who should be his replacement?

The person who is added, must be antagonistic to Kurt Angle, because that would’ve been the role Samoa Joe would’ve assumed in “King of the Mountain.”

That means TNA could find itself in the faintly embarrassing position of substituting Sting for the Nation of Violence. They have a feud going and would be expected to attack each other. Furthermore, as the recent ex-champion, Sting has a natural interest in taking the title away from Mick Foley, another of the Icon’s enemy.

The Striped Shirts
WWE’s recent decision to no longer refer to the official by name looks like a backward step. Referees, from Red Shoes Dugan to the brothers Hebner to Danny Davis to Shane Sewell, referees have often played important parts in the pro wrestling show. WWE has scrapped that in one stroke, turning a potential character into someone as anonymous as the timekeeper.

TNA, which got a lot of mileage out of Sewell-Bashir, has now made Earl Hebner the central figure in the Jeff Jarrett suspension subplot. Earl has done good work before. He and his brother pulled off the “Dueling Hebners” storyline in WWE. He also had a key part in the screwjob ending of that infamous Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels match.

Now Earl has helped push the war between Jarrett and Foley to the next level of intensity. It wouldn’t be surprising if Earl ended up as the third man in the ring when it comes down to Jarrett versus Foley.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a fresh installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends. That includes you, Nic Farey.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(6/15/09)