THE SPECIALISTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 10/23 IMPACT: What I noticed that you might have missed
Oct 24, 2008 - 9:55:07 AM
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By Curtis Shanks, PWTorch specialist
Welcome to the TNA Impact edition of Under the Microscope. We're here to review all those little observations and tidbits you may have missed. This is not a detailed recap of the show, but a review for those of you that saw the show but didn't actually "watch" it.
After last week we know that Mick Foley quit for ten minutes, Kurt Angle hates un-pushed wrestlers, and Roxxi needs her mouth washed out with soap. But what else is there to notice? Let's see what we can spot.
Cue the opening pyro. Every time TNA airs a monumental show, we see the opening videos about triumph and success. These videos often remind me of a struggling college student over-using a thesaurus to spice up a college paper. Tonight we get words such as embark, infused, and endeavor.
Mick Foley has a major announcement tonight, but big announcements are nothing new for the average TNA viewer. What have we seen over the past six years?
TNA launched with weekly PPVs, gained a Friday afternoon TV deal on Fox Sports, started monthly two hour PPVs, gained a Saturday night deal on Spike TV, moved from Saturdays to Thursdays, moved to a prime time slot, expanded from one hours to two, took their PPVs on the road, began running house shows, aired their first live show, released a video game, and now are going to HD. TNA has done a great job of promoting this live edition of Impact, but little has been mentioned about the fact that this is also the first Impact to ever take place outside of Orlando, Florida.
Whose side is Christian Cage on, veterans or youngsters? This has been a major question featured on Impact over the past month. While I am curious of his devotions, an even bigger question looms. ... Whose side is Shark Boy on?
Matt Morgan was much more calm and collected in his backstage promo last week. The streak is over though, as tonight it looks as though Morgan is back on his coffee and energy drinks. I find the relationship between Morgan and "Abby" a logic stretch as well. After absolutely no history, the two began teaming together only a couple of months ago. Yet Abyss still refers to Morgan as his best friend. Give us a back story, why they are teaming, anything.
All the hype for tonight is about Impact being a live show, but you can hardly notice. In the first hour we saw more backstage promos that were likely pre-tapes than we did in-ring action.
Wow, two whole minutes for an X Division title match on tonight's show. And this was one of the matches that was hyped in advance. I understand that guys like A.J. and Joe eventually graduate from the X Division, but that's no reason to throw the rest of the division to the curb. If the trend continues we may see the X title go the way of the Cruiserweight title in WWE - extinct.
Instead of using violent sounding WWE terms such as Vengeance, Armageddon, or Bad Blood, many of TNA's PPV names are optimistic, describing a young company on the rise. In the course of a year TNA gives us events such as Against All Odds, No Surrender, Bound for Glory, and Turning Point.
I just bought my new Motorola Krave cell phone - a fancy little piece of equipment with some awesome features. I've been without a cell for a while, so I've been texting like crazy these past few days, trying to find any chance to use my new toy. But I still am in no way compelled to text into TNA or WWE to determine gauntlet orders, weapon choices, or any of the Cyber Sunday matches. Who seriously wants to spend $7 to opine on seven WWE matches this Sunday?
Awesome Kong is the only female wrestler in WWE or TNA where I have noticed the ring announcer listing a weight during a ring entrance. The TNA Knockouts Title has only been around for a little over a year, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about the title's history. Taylor Wilde's reign ended tonight at 121 days, the second longest reign. Awesome Kong is now the first multi-time Knockout champion. After the first champion was crowned at last year's Bound for Glory, all three title changes that followed took place on an edition of Impact as Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde both won the title on free TV.
You don't need a wrestling microscope to see that tonight's "huge" edition of Impact still felt minor league. The crowd was 200 tops and the arena felt like a step down, even from the bland Impact Zone. To give some credit, the video screen atop the entrance ramp was impressive and this was one of the most vocal crowds we've seen in a while.
If you were keeping score, you noticed that Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Booker T, and James Storm were all drinking alcohol on tonight's show. If ODB and her flask were on tonight's show, that probably would have been five. And if I were shown on TV tonight, that number would have jumped to six.
If you're like me, you were disappointed in Mick Foley's major announcement. It was fairly noteworthy, but way over-hyped. Tonight's show was promoted as HD, but they never said High Definition. It could have stood for Huge Downer, Hardly-a-Difference or Ho-hum Decision.
Tonight's notable MIAs: Consequences Creed, the Superheroes, the Guns, Petey Williams, ODB, and Roxxi.
Numbers crunched harder than an unprotected chairshot to the head: If you read any type of opinionated reviews of professional wrestling on the web, you've no doubt seen complaints about how tag team divisions are lackluster and unimportant. Many tag teams are just odd pairings of singles wrestlers with no real chemistry. Those that are considered real tag teams have a short shelf life, as they are routinely split apart.
While heavyweight titles are still treated with some importance, tag titles seem more like props used in storylines than actual achievements. Being a tag champion isn't as great of an achievement as one might think if you look at the numbers. Sixteen, or nearly half, of TNA's 34 male wrestlers have held tag title gold in TNA. If you were to include WWF/E and WCW reigns, the tally jumps to 24 who have tasted tag team glory and only ten who have not.
Curtis Shanks is a self-described wrestling nerd. Who else would lay claim to keeping up-to-date on the title histories of over 40 independent and foreign promotions? In the words of Adrian Monk, "It's a blessing...and a curse." Curtis encourages anyone with questions or comments to e-mail him at email@example.com.
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