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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.

The Handling of Taz
Bringing in Taz as Samoa Joe’s mentor and then switching him to color commentator did a great job of deflating the excitement and blunting the impact of a major on-air personality.

The “Taz as mentor” storyline added up to nothing. There were no great scenes between Joe and Taz and the Samoan Submission Machine lost one and won one while Taz stood at ringside

Had Taz’s debut as the mentor sparked anything interesting, it might’ve justified und killing fan reaction when Taz came out to the announce table on the 8/20 episode of iMPACT.

TNA handled the announcer change badly. Don West should’ve left shouting about the conspiracy against him because of his Main Event Mafia affiliation and he should’ve had an encounter with Taz as the new color man arrived.

Once again, bad booking backfires on TNA.

The Tenay-Taz Talk Team
Despite the inept creative work, the actual change should be an immense benefit to TNA and its TV audience. Taz can be the best color commentator in the business when he gets involved and his edgy style complements Mike Tenay’s professorial demeanor.

The first Tenay-Taz iMPACT had some rough spots, but time and mutual familiarity should cure those. Taz must learn to pick his spots a little better and Tenay needs to get used to the fact that his sidekick is not merely an echo.

Taz made several on-air statements that indicate that the storyline with Joe is finished. That’s good, but I would like to see it go further. Taz shouldn’t be in any way part of the Main Event Mafia, though he should definitely continue to praise MEM members when appropriate to his character. They’re unlikely to do much with the Taz-MEM connection now – they didn’t do much before, either – so dump the excess baggage.

The Matt Morgan Push
When Matt Morgan came out toting an ax handle to confront Kurt Angle and the Main Event Mafia, I suddenly thought, “They’re going to fix it and get it right.” Then they ended up teaming together against Brother Ray and Brother Devon in the main event.

When The Blueprint did that abrupt about-face and started claiming that Kurt Angle is a living saint, I again assumed that TNA would now push things toward an open confrontation and have Matt Morgan a solid babyface in time for the next Pay Per View.

Turning Matt Morgan babyface is certainly the right idea, at least to judge by fan reaction in the iMPACT Zone, but it’s taking much too long. Morgan is made to look stupid and crazy by turns, which is not the way to build him into the kind of card-topping star that TNA so desperately needs.

The creative committee needs to make a firm decision about whether Morgan will be a face or a heel, for now, and get him into that spot as quickly as possible. The fans want him to be a babyface, but it could be legitimate to make him a heel first and then have him rebel against the MEM, somewhat like Sting did.

The Kingfish’s Quick Hits
* The referee “get tough” policy should produce few matches that end with outside interference, but let’s hope there is some point beyond that simple fact. Something should be done with Slick Johnson as a crooked official.

* Velvet Sky looked outrageous in the locker room scene. She might not be the greatest wrestler, but she sure does make a powerful physical statement.

* Didn’t it seem like the whole show was full of stuff intended to get TNA through a difficult night in the wake of Angle’s out-of-ring troubles? The Styles announcement and the Lashley visit to the announce table, to cite two examples, added up to nothing.

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
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