My Weekly TNA Notebook

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz wrestles with some of the major issues raise by TNA’s weekly TV show.

An Ode to the Cluster Schmazz
When in doubt, goes the conventional booking wisdom, send out everyone and let them brawl. That’s the type of thinking that inspired one of the most amazing, “everybody in” donnybrook that lit up the 8/6 edition of iMPACT.

The industry term for this kind of action is “cluster schmazz.” Well, it’s actually a bit more colorful; it’s a word that rhymes with “luck,” “duck,” “much” and “pluck.”

About the only way if could have gotten wilder would’ve been to have Mike Tenay, Don West and Jeremy Borash to assault each other in an announcers three-way dance.

The breathless action of a cluster schmazz of this magnitude is riveting while it is happening, but it seldom adds up to very much. TNA talent did pair off against their current foes, but it’s hard to point to any storyline advancement coming out of it.

Well, sometimes the big picture has to wait on the back burner.. That was one fantastic pier-six brawl, wasn’t it?

The Faction Faux Pas
Merging the Main Event Mafia with the World Elite looks like a mistake from almost every conceivable perspective. Let’s run through a few of the major problems:

* The World Elite is a second-rate group made up of guys who have yet to prove themselves as major players in the wrestling show.

* The addition of the World Elite pretty much kills the premise of the Main Event Mafia as a group of wrestling champions.

* The merger enlarges the group to ridiculous size. WCW made the same mistake with the nWo and this expansion is likely to have the same lame result.

TNA has mishandled the faction war pretty badly, undercutting some nice mic and ring work by Kurt Angle, AK Styles and others.

Here are three things that might help:

1. Define the TNA Loyalist faction, including a name and a stable roster. You can’t have a feud when it’s unclear who is fighting.

2. Get Traci Brooks out of the Main Event Mafia. Her inclusion serves no purpose and she would be better as a foil for Sharmell and Jenna Morasca.

3. Realign the factions one more time – and then leave the rosters alone (unless there will be one, final betrayal at Bound for Glory.The problem is that the bookers have made so many frivolous changes that it is hard for fans to trust the sincerity of any TNA wrestler.

The Respect Feud has had some great moments, but it has also suffered more than its share of awkward ones. The switch of Samoa Joe to heel sticks out as an unwise move, but there have been others.

It looks like this mammoth storyline is intended to reach some sort of climax at Bound for Glory. That plan may need to be modified, though, because all the screwing around sabotaged the presentation of a believable, coherent, consistent story.

It isn’t too late to do better. TNA needs to come out of Hard Justice with everything in place for the drive to Bound for Glory. Otherwise, this year-long arc could end with a whimper instead of a bang.

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.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(8/10/09)