The NWA TNA week 34 Preview, March 4, 2003
The NWA TNA week 34 Preview, March 4, 2003
Mar 29 2003, 05:59 PM
I pretty much enjoyed last week’s show up until the last segment, which seems to be the common thing nowadays. Solid matches in Kash vs. Cross and Styles vs. Sandman, really good match from AMW and the Hot Shots and a really really good match from Lynn and Juvi. Vader wrestled in a bad match but the crowd loved it. What time is it? It’s time to use Vader in a meaningful role! You can read Dames’ Diatribe on the event on the smartmarks site.
Next week I’m going to use the preview to take a somewhat in-depth look forward at the future of TNA and many of it’s stars. Before we get to that however, I’d like to use this week’s preview to take a look back at something that I wrote over a month ago. In the Week 29 Preview (which you can find in the archives on thesmartmarks message board) I wrote a lengthy rant on the “Big 3” and the different philosophies on listening to fans. After that I wrote a ten-item list about things that I felt TNA needed to change. Let’s see if any of it did. We’ll go with simple Pass/Fail.
1. Sonny Siaki. This isn’t a knock on Siaki’s talent. Jerry Lynn proved that he was carriable, which is better than a lot of people that take up my TV screen. The problem is with his push. It has to end. Siaki’s push stands in direct opposition to the TNA “philosophy”. He’s the one guy they won’t stop trying to force-feed us, while everyone else is pushed on merit. Even B.G. James and the Harris brothers have been knocked down to second fiddle…but Siaki remains. His holding of the X title makes it that much worse, since the X division was the first thing that started to shape TNA’s identity. Yes, as Russo would say it is just a “prop”, but that specific “prop” holds a great deal more meaning to the viewer (thanks to the efforts of Lynn, Styles and Low Ki) than most.
They took the title off of Siaki. Major plus for that. The sad (or is it funny) part is that now that Siaki isn’t the X champ I find him funny. His “Ace in the Hole” gimmick is perfect for his character and watching him try to give advice to the S.E.X. troops is entertaining, to me…anyway. Pass.
2. David Flair. I could almost understand what they were going for here. The name “Flair” joined up against the side of tradition makes me wonder what the story is. However, they never actually made any mention of what he is even doing in TNA, or even with S.E.X. Instead of a storyline where Flair (and I’m not going to pretend he has any discernable talent) explains his motives…we get “what’s in that sack he keeps hitting people with?”
They did try a sit down interview with Flair…but he wouldn’t come out of character long enough to explain anything. Then he was off TV for a couple weeks and returned with Erik Watts and Brian Lawler to run what must be a bitter second generation group. So this KIND OF goes towards what I was saying…but I have a hard time giving anything involving Flair a passing grade.
3. S.E.X. I actually like the S.E.X. storyline for the most part. It has given almost everyone in the company a storyline that streamlined the faces and heels for easy recognition, and furthermore has given most people individualized feuds or stories that they are currently involved in. However, if they are not the N.W.O. and they are there to “save wrestling” (as Russo often says)…how exactly are they going to be doing this? I never understood the concept of a group of wrestlers taking over something by winning wrestling matches. On one hand the idea of S.E.X. is better defined than that of the N.W.O. (mainly because of the stigmas carried by Russo) but that makes winning “rasslin” matches seem even more futile when you are representing “Sports Entertainment”. Where does this storyline end? What are the motives attached to the group? It’s not that I’m not into it…I just need some development in these areas. The only outcome I can see making sense at this point would be for Russo’s group to somehow take control of the show and have classic “Russo booking” reign while the TNA stars try to battle back. I am not against that role reversal storyline…I just want to know if that is what S.E.X. is aiming for.
No…I still have no idea. I find the idea of having Disco Inferno doing “character development” for the groups as funny…even when I know nothing good will come of it. We know they hate Tradition and that they hate Jarrett. Why? What is there motivation and how do they plan to achieve whatever goals they have? Still no idea. Fail.
4. Konnan. It’s only been two weeks since Konnan started running in after X matches and taking out the competitors. I want to know where this storyline is going, and I want to know sooner than later. Normally I could wait to see how it plays out…but this is KONNAN and while it may have my attention now, it won’t be long before my subconscious turns it off because it’s Konnan. We have been discussing this on the message board and I think there are a lot of people that are curious where this is going. Is Konnan targeting David Young for a feud for some reason? He’s been in both matches Konnan ran down after. My favorite idea came from syxx2001 and BoboBrazil, who brought up the concept of having Konnan lead a group of of luchadors into TNA claiming that the X division’s highspot style is killing luche libre wrestling. How sweet would that be?
And it IS sweet. I never knew Konnan was this good behind the mic, and if last week’s Lynn/Juvi match is any indication…this angle so totally rules. Pass.
5. Athena. I’ll admit I thought it was hilarious when Russo brought her out a few weeks back to “Give the fans what they want”. I’m over it now. I understand that the live crowd pops for her…but the audience at home does not. Bring her out after the dark matches and before the camera goes live to pump up the crowd…but keep her out of the ring and off my screen. Thank you.
Haven’t seen Athena in weeks. Pass.
6. New X division talent. Every week seems to herald some surprise appearance. Whether it is Piper, Rhodes, Koloff, Raven, Flair, Sanders… You know what would surprise me most now? New X division talent. I read that Xavier had a great dark match with Kid Kash last week, so put him on my TV already. Bring back the Briscoes too. They can bolster the tag team division as well as the X division.
Paul London and Juventud Guerrera have debuted since then. I’d imagine that Konnan will be bringing more people too…so I’ll give it a pass.
7. Dead Weight. Every company has them. Be the first to do something about yours. Trim the fat…they’re only costing you money anyway. I’m a pretty lenient guy. David Flair and B.G. James can stay. The Harris boys and Jorge Estrada have to go. There…wasn’t that easy. It’s like give and take.
Well…B.G. James left…but the Harris boys main evented last week. Flair returned and Estrada disappeared again. I don’t know. Fail because not only did the Harris boys main event…but Flair brought Lawler and Watts WITH HIM.
8. Redefine “The Truth”. Last weeks little angle where Mike Sanders told Truth that he couldn’t be in S.E.X. may herald the beginning of what I’d like to see the Truth do next. The Truth is a dynamic character. He should be allowed to do what he does best…and he can’t do that teaming with Jerry Lynn to fight the evil sports entertainment. Slowly break him away from the TNA faction. I don’t want him joining Russo either. Truth is his own man. In some ways, Styles almost has his storyline already. Why would Truth fight alongside JJ when JJ holds his title? Why would Truth join Russo when Russo is the one who cost Truth that title? The answer is that he wouldn’t. And that’s why The Truth should forsake this whole S.E.X. vs. TNA storyline to go after the title. The angle should be that the title is SO important to him that he is willing to stand alone to get it back. It only makes the title seem that much more important as well as puts The Truth back where he belongs…in the spotlight.
Too soon to tell. They have pulled him out of the monotonous Flair/Sanders feud. But they also ended his Lynn feud before it got started. Lynn moved on to better things with his feud with Konnan…what Truth will be doing remains a mystery.
9. Pull the trigger on AJ Styles. I don’t know when his quest to win the title will end…but I do know that he should win it on his first shot. Otherwise the whole quest was meaningless. AJ is now an important figure in trying to break down the cruiserweight bias that the WWE seems hell bent on continuing to make the people buy into.
10. Slowly move towards taking the show on the road. I’m not a math major…and I don’t know what the costs would be. However, I do know that there are several areas that TNA could take their show too that are STARVED for live wrestling of any kind. I’ll use my current situation as an example. I live in Buffalo, NY. We get WWE here maybe once a year. Now, when ECW was around Paul Heyman found that there was money to be made by bringing his outfit through town as often as possible. Buffalo, not surprisingly, loves an underdog. Go to a WWE event today in Buffalo and you’ll see that RVD is still the most popular person in the business to us. TNA should start that relationship with this and many other towns. Not only will people turn out to see the show, but there is no better way to advertise the product than to bring it to the viewers front door. That’s why musicians go on tour.
This one was going to take more than a few weeks to get done, so I feel bad giving it a fail rating. But dammit…
The NWA TNA week 34 Preview
They’ve announced two matches so far this week, which is twice as many as last week. They both look more interesting than last week’s announced match too.
Raven vs. Sandman
This is a “Clockwork Orange House of Fun” match. Yeah. All we know about it is that you have to throw your opponent off of Raven’s perch through two stacked tables to win. The rest of the “Creation” will be unveiled on Wednesday night. Hey…you know what I really wish TNA had? A cage. The final AMW vs. New Church match SHOULD have been a cage match…and the final Raven vs. Sandman match should be too. Anyway…Raven and Sandman aren’t lighting the world on fire with their matches or anything…but it has been entertaining crap for the most part. Sandman has actually been a decent pick up for TNA. He’s over as hell and it gives Raven something to do while Jarrett and the NWA title do other things. Raven’s title shot will come sooner or later…so Sandman takes the fall here. I do hope that they keep him around though. I don’t know what they could give him to do…but he entertains me.
Kid Kash vs. Red
This is for Kash’s X title. Red has been overseas a lot lately, which is why he still hasn’t won the X title. They seem to be building up Kash and the X title slowly so I don’t expect to see a change here either. That being said I think this match will be real good. Red is fun to watch and Kash has improved a lot since winning the title as he has slowed down and is actually wrestling now instead of just waiting to hit a big move. I’ve been impressed with Kash.
Like every week…we have no idea what the rest of the roster is doing.
Will AMW finally get to face XXX in the NWA tag title match finals?
Will Konnan bring in someone else to face Jerry Lynn?
Will AJ Styles end up in S.E.X. for good?
Will we find out what’s going on with the Truth?
Will Vader be back? Low Ki? Juventud? Daniels? London? Skipper?
Will they REALLY make us watch JJ vs. Lawler/Watts/Flair?
Find out Wednesday I guess.
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