TNA isn’t horrible. It isn’t good, either. As of this writing, without spoiling TV tapings from the future, it is a decent product that is still trying to find itself years after being birthed into existence by an owner no longer with the company.
That is worth pointing out, as the overall direction of the company – save for any financial crisis that may or may not be going on – has been steadily, though slowly, trending in the right direction for some time now.
Yes, obviously, there are areas of the promotion fans can be unhappy with. But at the same time, a similar thing even applies to well-run federations like the WWE. After all, nothing is perfect and wrestling is a form of art, and art is really subjective – so none of us fickle fans will ever be satisfied.
All of those caveats and somewhat nice words to the wayside, TNA is positioning itself in a rather weird situation. With far too much consistency as of late, the people in charge of booking the company’s weekly television program have taken a page out of backyard wrestling. Everything is being booked as a gimmick-match or having a run-in or having some form of interference.
TNA needs to stop being so reliant upon all of those gimmicks in matches. A ladder match or a run-in, both of which were featured on last week’s show in four different spots, loses its special feeling when overdone.
Think about it logically: If given ice cream a few times in a summer, it is a treat. Given ice cream every single day, it becomes an addiction you need to have fixed on the regular, which then fuels you for the day. It becomes less a treat, and more a need and expectation.
That is what TNA is doing with ladder (or other gimmick) matches. The company is giving them to us far too regularly. So, now, we expect to get them every single week. It makes other, non-gimmick matches less appealing to boot.
I mean, we just witnessed DJ Z two weeks ago in a ladder match and then fight Bobby Lashley the following week in a ladder match and now you want us to watch DJ Z the following week not wrestle in some sort of fun gimmick match?
I say, BOOOO!
As for the run-ins… This has forever been an issue in TNA. Instead of booking talent to go over clean, it feels like – and the math on this might be slightly inaccurate – that eleventy-billion percent of the matches in TNA end dirty with either a run-in, a cheating wrestler, or some sort of end-of-match tomfoolery. Save for the gimmick matches, which by design have odd finishes, when has there been consistent bookings of clean, non-squash match finishes in a TNA’s product.
Moreover, and I ask this out of sincere curiosity, has there ever been an episode of TNA’s weekly programming that hasn’t featured at least one gimmick match and/or a dirty finish to a bout? Even one?
If TNA wants to get old viewers back, or attract new ones, every week can’t feel like a series of matches with no true victor due to everything being boggled down by dirty finishes and matches with odd things attached to it.
With all of that being said, TNA is a vastly superior product to the one this author was watching at this time about a year ago. There are aspects of it – EC3, DJ Z, etc. – that are truly enjoyable. Thing is, I’d just like to enjoy them, you know, without having all that extra stuff jammed down my face.