No Respect for TNA, Shortchanged, & Outsiders Memory

Mark Madden

NO RESPECT

Many of these columns lately have bemoaned the lack of logic in pro wrestling booking. In that respect, you have to give TNA credit for one thing: Consistency. TNA never makes sense.

Consider the King of the Mountain match. Here’s what TNA wrestler Chris Sabin had to say about said gimmick:

“The rules are a little complicated. I don’t even think some of the wrestlers understand. The thing to look out for in the X Division King of the Mountain match is the action. If you can’t understand the rules, don’t try to understand it. Just try to have a good time and enjoy the action.”

Quite the ringing endorsement!

When you book things that have no logic, whether through laziness, stupidity or to generate “surprise,” you show lack of respect for your product, the business and, ultimately, the fans.

“It’s only wrestling,” is the war cry of today’s bookers, forgetting that the entire basis of wrestling is the suspension of disbelief.

TNA reached new levels of absurdity when Samoa Joe joined the Main Event Mafia out of the clear blue sky. No rhyme or reason, let alone foreshadowing. His character did a 180 without a moment’s notice.

SURPRISE! We really fooled you!

How can Joe and the MEM put aside animosity that’s been generated for months? How can Joe join the MEM so seamlessly after pulling a knife on Scott Steiner? After all that’s happened between him and Kurt Angle?

When did Joe’s character show any signs of devolving into somebody that could be bought, as Angle said during his interview on Impact? When did Joe’s character become someone that would just hand over the world title?

Steiner, Nash and Booker T allegedly allowed themselves to be taken out by Joe because that would convince Joe to join the MEM. Why would that impress Joe or convince him to join? Wouldn’t being punching bags for Joe do the opposite? Who wants to join a gang composed of jobbers?

SURPRISE! We really fooled you!

Then, of course, the MEM turned on Sting. How many times has Sting been turned on during his career? He has to lead the league.

It was TNA’s attempt to recreate Ole Anderson throwing Sting out of the Four Horsemen at the same time as “associate member” Matt Morgan stepped up to replace Sting like Lex Luger replaced Ole back when. Angle should have berated Sting for going to his snot-nosed kid’s football games when he should have been taking care of MEM business.

I can see recreating great angles. But don’t combine them. Let each angle breathe a little bit.

Sting was made to look foolish, and not even for the first time this week. He put up his spot in the MEM when he wrestled Matt Morgan at Slammiversary. What did Morgan put up? Nothing. What kind of a bet is that? I’m going to Las Vegas this week. I hope Sting runs the sports book at the Flamingo.

TNA is god-awful. And things will only get worse.

TNA is crediting his modest tenth-of-a-point ratings jump to Mick Foley, who can no longer do anything at all ring-wise. He’s a cripple. Well, since being a star in the ‘90s is apparently what attracts viewers, that will be the focus of TNA now. To wit, the Dudleys now have renewed focus.

But the Dudleys were never stars. They’ve been support players everywhere they’ve been, including the original ECW. I would say the Dudleys are overrated, but the only people who ever rate them are the Dudleys themselves. As a TNA wrestler once told me, “They think they’re the best tag team in history. But they’re a lot closer to being the worst.”

I’ve long said that wrestling promotions need a quality control editor. Someone who looks at scripts and points out storyline flaws, who tells the booker what doesn’t make sense.

That guy would be TNA’s busiest employee.

SHORTCHANGED?

Hey, isn’t Taz coming to TNA to be Samoa Joe’s advisor? What happens to that scenario now that Joe is in the Main Event Mafia? Is the disruption of that plan evidence that the Joe turn was done on the spur of the moment? Is Taz now wasted money? Why even bother to make plans?

You can’t put Taz with the MEM. If anything, that herd needs thinned.

Taz is physically unable to wrestle. But that’s not stopping Foley.

Will Taz convince Joe to again be his own man, to leave the MEM? It’s way too soon for that. SURPRISE! We really fooled you!

What TNA should do is dump Don West and make Taz color commentator. Taz is better, and TNA could use a fresh voice.

Taz managing a babyface Joe and getting/enabling Joe to incorporate elements of Taz’ wrestling character could have been very interesting. Another decent idea sacrificed at the altar of hasty/illogical booking.

NOTE: For part two of Mark Madden’s exclusive column where he tells a story about the Outsiders getting him his job back at WCW, click the following link. 

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