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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - General Impressions of NWA:TNA?
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Oliver
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#1 Posted on 26.1.05 0551.55
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0552.28
Last weekend, ESPN Classics Canada showed a NWATNA marathon, featuring several two hour PPVs back to back, many which included matches in the TNA six sided ring.

Now, I'd never caught an NWA show before this marathon; so I was quite interested in seeing what's been touted as a family friendly alternative to mainstream professional wrestling.

WHile some of the wrestling was quite impressive (I'm thinking of Daniels, AMW, Styles, and a handful of others) I don't think it's correct to call them "family friendly" as there were certain instances of extreme violence that left me relatively shocked. Seeing Vince Russo, for example, hit Percy Pringle (a/k/a Paul Bearer) over the head with a "soap box" and have Percy bleeding profusely, with no effort to hide the carnage...I don't really know.

There are other instances, like vicious chair shots, plenty of guitar shots from their HHH (Jarrett, who never seems to let go of the title) and their continued dredging up the past (i.e. mid 90s WWF, the nWo, etc. etc.), possibly confusing casual fans that I found to be really odd.

For some reason, I wasn't very impressed with the shows.

So...the question I pose to the W's here (which is possibly explained considering the lack of conversation on the fed here) is...what does everyone think of NWATNA?


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The Lord of Bacon
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#2 Posted on 26.1.05 0651.14
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0652.52
    Originally posted by SOK
    I don't think it's correct to call them "family friendly" >


What they mean by "family friendly" is that you will never see a Katie Vick story line.
Matt Tracker
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#3 Posted on 26.1.05 0707.46
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0709.55
I think they're straddling the line between cutting-edge effort and tired writing. The performers, in general now, are willing and able to go out and entertain the fans and do so with novelty, skill and basic storytelling. Considering how young the company is, that's where they need to focus.

But when they try to develop angles -- main-event title feuds, competing stables, almost anything involving the women -- they're old hat. They have a sizable lot of credible performers and seemingly not a clue what to do with them, and the ones they DO push strain credibility.

I know he's the guy who started the company, and I know he had some marquee heel value years ago, but Jeff Jarrett has no business being a long-term champ. According to the TNA site, he's had the belt since June 2004. He's never been more than a main-event mouth on a midcard body, and the fact that he's fending off young performers whose reigns would interest me far more discourages me from buying the shows.

And the alleged commodities of Nash, Douglas, Badd, BG James, and Piper -- minimal effort, age, and injuries have taken their toll. I simply have no wish to watch a show and play nostalgia or watch someone perform well below their career zeniths. I'll leave Raven off this list because he, at least, seems willing to make young guys look good. I'd much rather see young guys develop in the ring, busting their humps and hoping to establish themselves with the audience.

They have the resources to put on a good show, but get in their own way, and that seemingly cluelessness makes them appear bush league. I wisht them well and hope for more.

(edited by Matt Tracker on 26.1.05 0622)
Tenken347
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#4 Posted on 26.1.05 0742.01
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0743.41
TNA is the epitome of bush-league wrestling. They don't have enough money to do things the same way the WWE does, but they try to anyway, and it just comes off looking cheap. They've got a bunch of young and unique guys that they should be putting at the top of their programs, but instead they're pushing has-beens like Kevin Nash and never-wases like Jeff Hardy. Apparently, all you need to be in a TNA main event is to have been a WWE mid carder that got fired. Meanwhile, you've got guys like Monty Brown sitting around with their thumbs up their ass. You may not like Brown, but he's definitely a unique commodity that would set TNA aside as a different product than the WWE. But instead, we get Jeff Hardy wrestling Jeff Jarrett for the title.
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#5 Posted on 26.1.05 0748.51
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0749.20

The storylines have gotten a lot better recently with Dusty Rhodes as the head booker.
Karlos the Jackal
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#6 Posted on 26.1.05 0805.00
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0805.38
I really enjoy TNA, although it's often an exercise in frustration, because everything Tenken and Tracker say is exactly true.

I really like the X Division and I usually like the Tag Division, but the Main Event almost never interests me -- I never was a big JJ fan, and his opponents are, for the most part, uninspiring. I was hoping that they could shift in Brown and Garza and, I dunno, Abyss and maybe Raven and Roode...but with Garza's departure and the #1 contedership apparently going to Nash -- Jeez, of ALL PEOPLE! -- I'm becoming even more disinterested in the Main Event.

Impact is really feeling like it's treading water, too, which doesn't help. Too much squash for me, and the storylines seem so abrupt and arbitrary. Before, they would have been having qualifying matches or tournaments and stuff to determine the #1 contender, but now it's just handed to Nash? I guess to keep him out of the ring as much as possible? Feh.

On the other hand, I've enjoyed the last couple of TNA PPVs a lot more than the last couple of WWE PPVs -- again, despite, not because of, Jeff Jarrett and some of the other "old timers." (This trend of liking TNA PPVs more than WWE's will not last long -- Against All Odds isn't shaping up all that great [Nash! Nash!] and the Rumble is, you know, the Rumble. Still, I've been feeling like I've been getting my money's worth.)

I should also mention that the Pringle blade job (which was HUGE) took place before TNA was calling themselves "family friendly." (Back before they were trying to get an afternoon basic cable show!) They used to be all "edgy" and shit -- guys would swear on the mic, and they had dancing girls in cages, and there was an occurance or two of toplessness. Oh, and a midget beating off in a trash can.

--K
Oliver
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#7 Posted on 26.1.05 0827.41
Reposted on: 26.1.12 0828.39
    Originally posted by Karlos the Jackal
    I should also mention that the Pringle blade job (which was HUGE) took place before TNA was calling themselves "family friendly."
It may be of interest to say that the guys at ESPN Classics Canada are calling this the family friendly show, even while showing the edgy stuff.

If I had kids, I'd never let them watch it.
BigSteve
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#8 Posted on 26.1.05 1330.35
Reposted on: 26.1.12 1331.35
Well, first off, you've got Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett, as I'm sure you all know is best known as a WWF and WCW mid-carder. He also had a run at the top in WCW, but that was circa 2000 when they did atrocious business and had horrible shows. One of his main opponents/fellow main eventers was Kevin Nash. They had matches that weren't good, and they drew buyrates that were very, very bad (fraction of what WWE does now, when business is way down). Keep in mind that this was five years ago, when these guys were younger. So I guess I'm saying that Nash vs Jarrett at Against All Odds really sucks.

Plus TNA's storylines, as has been mentioend, are almost non-existant. It seems like nothing captivating or truly exciting ever happens (though, to be fair, that is largely true of WWE right now). Of course, I can hardly ever stay up to watch Impact because it comes on late at night around here, so I'm not a rabid follower, but I have a general sense of their product.

There's also plenty of good things. They have pretty strong Tag and Cruiserweight divisions, which WWE doesn't push at all. They have some phenomenal talents like Styles, Daniels, Skipper, AMW, and many others. A lot of people complain about how TNA is a squash-fest, but I kind of like that, just because there are limited match up possibilities that you have before everyone has faced everyone and no matches are fresh. This is one of WWE's biggest problems, a lack of marquee, never before seen matches.

Overall, I enjoy TNA for what it is: an alternative, but not a competitor to WWE.
Destrucity
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#9 Posted on 26.1.05 1433.42
Reposted on: 26.1.12 1434.10
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Plus TNA's storylines, as has been mentioend, are almost non-existant. It seems like nothing captivating or truly exciting ever happens (though, to be fair, that is largely true of WWE right now).
On that note, I was just thinking that TNA is a very old-fashioned company, which I think is kind of their point sometimes, but old-fashioned isn't always good. I believe it was a Chris Daniels/A.J. Styles confrontation that tipped me off to the problem. Daniels beat former WWF Wrestling Challenge jobber Buck Quartermain good, then got on the mic to tell Styles that he was the best wrestler in the X Division and deserved a title shot at the next "mega event," goshdarnit. Then Styles came out and said by gum, yes, Daniels could have his title shot. So Daniels proposed a match later that night (day?), and if Styles couldn't win, he'd have to give Daniels his title shot. (This seemed to be a little odd considering Styles never said Daniels couldn't have a title shot.)

Anyway, this whole bland little incident reminds me of why the WWF started referring to its creative team as "writers" -- and when they started having a creative team in the first place. That segment wasn't "written." It was "booked," like in the old days. You could describe what happens in one sentence (Daniels complains he's not getting title shots, so the champ offers him one, which leads to a match later) and you could easily come up with it on the fly five minutes before the match.

I realize a lot of people are nostalgic for this sort of thing, but it just seems old. Honestly, that kind of thing was on the way out by the early '80s. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't good. I realize it's better than wrestling over a shampoo deal or something, but you gotta have the failures to have the successes.
Brian P. Dermody
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#10 Posted on 26.1.05 1451.24
Reposted on: 26.1.12 1451.43
On balance, I'd say that the Daniels/Styles confrontation was marked with an economy of storytelling, particularly when juxtaposed with the earlier segment, which I believe point more toward the problems with TNA.

A hokey looking press conference where (and I'm trying to remember the principals here) Tenay announces Nash/Jarrett at the next PPV for the World Title. Any questions?

Well of course, smart guy, it's a press conference. But they didn't even come up with fake publications. If memory serves, there were three people with questions, Jeremy Borash, Don West and Dallas Page. Jarrett did a yeoman's job of trying to put over the importance of the World Title, but that was undercut by Nash's claim that he's only in it for the money. Add a drowsy Scott Hall next to him and Nash's cutesy "insider/shoot" comments and I was relieved to know I wouldn't have any need to drop money on this show.

Then came the Daniels squash and promo to set up the match with Styles. I don't think it's misplaced nostalgia to say that a simple "I know I'm the best, having the belt would prove that, you have the belt, I'm going to beat you" story was a breath of fresh air. I think it's because, yes, it is a throwback to the kayfabe days, but it also makes the X Division title look important, look coveted.

In addition, Daniels is the hungry (de facto) heel here, and you can build him up to the PPV as soundly beating X division faces, telling Styles his days are numbered. Just a little menace.

I'd sit through a dozen of those happily if the other option is this mess of an angle between Angle, Big Show and JBL.

A little simplicity can be a nice change of pace.

Overall on TNA? I love the X Division, I have little use for the top of the card, and I think a lot of the stuff in between is just that.
TheMikeSays
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#11 Posted on 26.1.05 1733.29
Reposted on: 26.1.12 1733.59
I didn't read many of the comments but I'll answer the topic-starters queries.

    Originally posted by SOK
    Last weekend, ESPN Classics Canada showed a NWATNA marathon, featuring several two hour PPVs back to back, many which included matches in the TNA six sided ring.

    Now, I'd never caught an NWA show before this marathon; so I was quite interested in seeing what's been touted as a family friendly alternative to mainstream professional wrestling.

    WHile some of the wrestling was quite impressive (I'm thinking of Daniels, AMW, Styles, and a handful of others) I don't think it's correct to call them "family friendly" as there were certain instances of extreme violence that left me relatively shocked. Seeing Vince Russo, for example, hit Percy Pringle (a/k/a Paul Bearer) over the head with a "soap box" and have Percy bleeding profusely, with no effort to hide the carnage...I don't really know.

    There are other instances, like vicious chair shots, plenty of guitar shots from their HHH (Jarrett, who never seems to let go of the title) and their continued dredging up the past (i.e. mid 90s WWF, the nWo, etc. etc.), possibly confusing casual fans that I found to be really odd.

    For some reason, I wasn't very impressed with the shows.

    So...the question I pose to the W's here (which is possibly explained considering the lack of conversation on the fed here) is...what does everyone think of NWATNA?




I dunno who said it was "family friendly alternative to mainstream professional wrestling". For one, it's not an alternative. TNA does pretty much the same stuff as WWE. They can claim they're the alternative all they want, but there's so many parallels and similarites, it's scary. Take the upcoming "Tables, Ladders, & Chairs" match for example. That's not alternative in the least. And they booked Jeff Hardy to do it.

TNA are huge pretenders to the throne. ROH or New Japan or even HUSTLE would be an alternative, but TNA is sports entertainment with a few better workers (basically the X Division) who are occassionally allowed to go all out (specifically on these monthly pay-per-views).

Also, what you were viewing was during the Russo Era. Russo's idea of booking was that TNA, by being exclusively on PPV, meant they could do whatever they wanted, without major censoring. He suggested they call it "TNA" with the pun FULLY intended. The Jarretts (his filters, for the most part) probably came up with the "Total Nonstop Action" moniker. So when they were exclusively on PPV, they were trying to appeal to internet fans, not families. That's changed a bit now.
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#12 Posted on 27.1.05 0000.06
Reposted on: 27.1.12 0002.53
I was much more of a WCW/ECW fan in the 90s than WWthenF, so I was thrilled when Impact finally hit my TV after several years where the ONLY wrestling on my cable system (that I didn't have to pay extra for) was McMahon's. (I mean, I do watch and enjoy the WWE shows, but I do get bored with WWE's style after a while.) I watch Impact weekly (when they don't succeed in hiding it by announcing a fake time slot change!) and at times I've been thrilled with it. But this week's show was one quite good match and 50 minutes of utter garbage.

I mean, you're putting together a PPV around Jarrett vs. Nash? Hey, I'm as big a Nash mark as you'll find. I still wear my nWo Wolfpack shirt, and, heck, there's a friggin' Nash Beanie Baby on top of my dresser. But *I* don't want to see him in a main event anymore, especially a singles match, and I don't think anyone else does. He doesn't even bring the good mic work anymore, which used to be his strongest suit. ("Ummm, I want to win this match because I want to make more money. Jeff's the champ, so he makes money. I want to make money and, um, I want to make more money. Can I go now?")

And DJ Ran didn't even fully capture how incredibly awful that whole "press conference" thing looked. Jeez, could you AT LEAST tell the jobbers pretending to be reporters to pretend to be writing or operating recording devices, or something? And this was, like, a ten minute segment. Given that WWE regularly shows clips from *actual* press conferences, they might as well have just put up a chyron saying "Our product is cheesy and inferior".

As for the rest of the show, the matches, excluding the main event, were mostly useless squashes, and the one tag match that had some reason for existing quickly degenerated into a shmozz. Oh, but we did book a match in which Jeffrey Hammond, out of the clear blue sky, is suddenly booked to wrestle on the PPV. Say WHAT? Not enough Jeffs cluttering up the card already? Oh, and Raven, who still hasn't finished his issue with DDP, which could be interesting, is suddenly jawing with You Will Vaguely Recall The Name Of...Dustin Rhodes.

But perhaps the most telling moment of the show was one probably few fans noticed: The bottom-of-the-screen "news crawl" contained a reminder that the Hardy/Hall match at the last PPV had Roddy Piper as guest "refereee". That's right, "refereee". Maybe somebody got into Hardy's supply of "reeefer". B^)

Pretty frustrating. I don't expect every match to be a classic, and I know they're working within a budget. I'm not looking for heavy plot development and skits anyway. It's really simple: just put on matches that fans will enjoy, and that will look somewhat interesting to channel-flippers. Is that too much to ask? They've actually managed that at times, but it seems they've made a conscious decision to concentrate on squashes. Come on, folks, what are you saving the matchups for? If you're going to go anywhere as a company, you need to develop the fan base NOW.

Oh, and, yes, get the belt off Jarrett. Someone remind me to finish the song parody about the "Kings Of Wrestling" I've been working on.
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#13 Posted on 27.1.05 0042.38
Reposted on: 27.1.12 0044.36
I think Nash can legitimately help TV ratings. He usually makes for interesting television, he's funny, he's got a bit of a name, and can get people over by association. People will tune in to see what he has to say. On the other hand, I do NOT think Nash sells PPVs. I have enjoyed Nash a great deal over his career, but even I have never bought a PPV on the promise of seeing him wrestle. Outside of the early versions of the NWO, which as as much concept as personalities, Nash has never drawn money for -anyone-, and he's not going to do it for TNA. But, of course, if he wasn't going to be a main eventer, he probably wouldn't be there in the first place.

I enjoy a lot of the wrestling on TNA, but I never bought Jeff Jarrett as anything above an IC title contender in the WWF, and I never will. Plus, I'm still pissed that, after working his ass off and getting mega-over, Raven never got a title run during TNA's first year.

On the whole, I don't mind watching TNA at all. Hell, I loved WCW, and that's basically what TNA feels like to me. But I haven't paid for it yet, and I don't see myself doing so in the foreseeable future.
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#14 Posted on 27.1.05 0951.17
Reposted on: 27.1.12 0952.42
That's really the best comparison to make. TNA is like WCW at the end of its run. Which, I mean, still has some things to recommend it, but I don't know that setting up your promotion like that is the best way to stick around.
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#15 Posted on 27.1.05 1026.27
Reposted on: 27.1.12 1026.46
I too caught TNA for the first time last Friday when my new DirecTV system was finally turned on. Here's my impressions:

Talent: Good, except the old guys. I really like Styles - he seems to have "it." Dusty Rhodes is an embarassment to wrestling and television in general. What a fat, blated, incoherent moron.

Ring: I dig it. The six-sided thing is definitely a gimmick to differentiate from WWE, but it opens up new possiblities.

Production: Ridiculously bad. The camera shakes so much during announcer segments and interviews, I got sea sick. It really looks second-rate. Not to mention EVERYONE'S entrance seemed to be the same "back camera shot with ominous smoke and silhouettes" thing.

I hope it improves. I liked watching it, but I can see how average viewer would say "CLICK."
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#16 Posted on 27.1.05 1435.56
Reposted on: 27.1.12 1439.41


Different periods in TNA's history will give you a very different impression.

Being on PPV only allowed them to be very bloody in the past. Right now I'd say that Impact! is TV-Y7 and the PPV's are TV-14.

I consider TNA to be far "classier" than the WWE. They don't insult my intelligence.

True, there is some politics, resulting in a few older guys holding the spotlight, even though they can no longer keep up with younger talent.

But TNA does have a lot of talent, and they know how to use it. They listen to what the fans think. They...damn, I'm not very objective, am I?

I went to see TNA live several times at the Asylum. It was unreal. I'm addicted now. So maybe I'm not objective. But give TNA a chance.

oldschoolhero
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#17 Posted on 27.1.05 1443.57
Reposted on: 27.1.12 1444.01
"I consider TNA to be far "classier" than the WWE. They don't insult my intelligence. "

Juh?

I've flicked in and out of TNA on The Wrestling Channel ever since it kicked off last year, but the first full show I sat down and watched with the December PPV (Turning Point?) that aired over here last Sunday. They have some outstanding talent, and are cornering the mrket in the areas that WWE is criminally neglecting (most notably the tag team and cruiser divisions). But, as much as those work, you're not going to sell a promotion based on them to anybody other than hardcore fans. The ME is what will draw people in, the undercard is what will keep them hooked. ANd right now the ME scene stinks to high heaven.

I'll second the criticisms of the production values too. It's a little unfair to put the boots in over such a money-related issue, but even with the cheesy FX et al there re basic mistakes being made left, right and centre. The production truck is constantly missing moves and cutting when it should stay focused, stuff like that. They don't seem to realise how much that sort of thing can affect how matches come over on TV.
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