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The NWA TNA week 30 Preview, February 4, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Feb 8 2003, 01:39 PM
Post #1





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Last week’s TNA was a straight mix of interesting and not interesting. Tony Shiavone and Mike Tenay killed a whole lot of time and the Rock and Roll Express main evented the show. Still…the Raven/Jeff Jarrett feud had some good build and the AJ Styles quest for the NWA title continues to be fascinating. You can read Dames Diatribe of the event here

Before we get down to business I’d first like to thank Dave Dymond for his plug in his latest “Skeptic Tank” column for 411wrestling. You can find that here. Of course we all know Dave Dymond as the authority on Mixed Martial Arts right here on thesmartmarks. It’s kind of funny, Dave has said that the columns by Dames and myself are what got him to take a chance on TNA, and his preview for UFC 40 was what got me to take a chance on the world of MMA. As someone who has gotten burned out on WWE (actually I believe this speaks on both Dave and I) TNA and MMA are two great places to give a try for your entertainment.

My rant last week about the “big 3” garnered me some responses (this being one of the few times). To say that people’s opinions on my rant were varied would be an understatement. In fact there is a thread in site feedback started by RickyChosyu that is still going pretty strong. Of course it fell into a Russo bashing thread for a while…but they always do nowadays. Make your way to the Site Feedback section if you want to check it out or add some opinions of your own.

Today is a proud day for me, as it marks the first time I can actually have a mailbag to give answers to actual email response! Now I’ve gotten a few emails here and there in the past but never really more than like one per column. These three emails will give you an idea of how different some of the reactions were. One is positive, one is negative and one is right in the middle. I take that as a compliment.

“bryan,

this is maybe the 5th story i've read on the smart marks site (just found it tonight)... and i wanted to read your rant because it was mentioned in dames' diatribe... i'd just like to say one thing.

holy fucking shit. this may be the best rant i'll ever read regarding wrestling. nwa should hire you if only for how good it was.

~josh”



I have to say, the man makes a point. Ok, seriously…thank you Josh. If you’re new to the smartmarks site I think you’ll find that there is a lot of good stuff on this site. And if you want to read a real good wrestling rant check out the aforementioned Skeptic Tank article on 411. For another good TNA rant check out this column from the observer site here.




“I don't agree with all of your viewpoints, but I have to commend you on your comments in the latest NWA-TNA preview on your site about the state of wrestling. Very well-spoken.

I traditionally work on Wednesday evenings, otherwise I'd support NWA-TNA a lot more than I have. Thankfully I know someone online who sends me tapes of their stuff, and I've been impressed by what they have to offer.

Coming up in February, some local wrestlers from Gateway Championship Wrestling(an indy fed in the St. Louis area) will be getting NWA-TNA tryouts; hopefully you'll get a chance to see them on XPlosion(if not on the main show). I'm a big fan of them and attend a bunch of their shows, and I'm hoping that they'll make the most of their chance to shine in front of a larger audience. If I remember the dates right, Matt Sydal(who wrestles in GCW as simply "Matt") will be getting a tryout on 2/5. Then on 2/19, Delirious, MsChif, "The Irish Luchador" Billy McNeil, and Daizee Haze will be getting tryouts. Just my own personal shill for the local fed. (IMG:http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

-Patrick”



Well, I wish them luck, and if my clock is right the first of those tryouts should be tomorrow night. That’s one of the things I really like about TNA, they actively go out and try to find new talent to bring in for a shot. Sometime after the show (probably the next day) head over to 411wrestling and look for the TNA report by Ashish. He always talks about the guys getting tryouts before the ppv hits the air. Anyone named the Irish Luchador just has to find his way on to my TV. That is a cool name.


“Dear Brian,

I read your "review" of TNA/NWA on thesmartmarks.com. May I ask what makes you so spectacularly special that your opinion is so highly sought after and desired? You have slandered every wrestling aspect of the business in your opinion and it makes me wonder why you are a fan in the first place.

Being a Nashville local and a TNA frequent, I experience the show live week after week. Those of us who are regulars have gained a kind of bond and relationship that we play off of each other. I'd like to think, at times, we are as much a part of the entertainment as the wrestlers themselves. So, as frequents, TNA respects our demands and opinions enough to give us what we want.

Of course, since you are not a local, you would not be familiar with The Goddess Athena. Being a local, I am. How do you think any wrestler got their start? By getting a shot! That's all TNA is trying to do for Athena -- give her a shot. She has gained the love, respect and popularity in Nashville community by giving the business her all for the past 4 years of her life. She happened to be in the right place at the right time when TNA took over Nashville. If you gave her half a chance, and had a decent disposition about the wrestling business, you would notice that she's just trying to make a name for herself worldwide like any other wrestler.

One last note--if you think that you have all the wisdom to run a wrestling business, then I suggest you start one of your own. I'd love to see how the fans would react to a perfectly run organization since you apparently have all the answers. You should make an effort to view a show live someday and have the guts to meet some of the locals face to face. I'm sure they'd love to hear your opinions.

Katie
Nashville, TN”



Usually I am told that I go too easy on TNA because I got hooked on the product. So this letter caught me a bit off guard. First of all, I don’t know that anyone seeks out my opinion…I’m really just the preview guy. However, since I do watch the show and have been among their biggest supporters on the board I think that it would be only fair to discuss some of the mistakes I think they are making. Just because my opinion finds its way onto the main site doesn’t make it any more “special” or well informed than anyone else’s. It’s just that, my opinion. I could have just as easily written the ten things I think TNA is doing the most right but I pretty much already do that every other week.

Onto the Athena thing…again, I understand that the live crowd likes her and that she is trying to break in to the business. All of that is great. But it shouldn’t give her a get out of jail free card when she fails to entertain the viewers at home. I don’t think my opinion has anything to do with not being from Nashville…it has to do with what does and what doesn’t work for the much larger home viewing audience. That is after all where TNA gets most of their money.

Lastly, I’d love to go see a TNA show live…I don’t know that a threat was necessary…but at the end of the day I am a fan. In fact I’m a huge fan of TNA. I’ve been writing these previews since near the beginning…and I started out doing them just for the message board. Then MrRant at Smarktalk.com let me put them up there, and then the Dames let me put them at smartmarks too. The point is I’m a fan who only started writing these things to try and attract other fans. That is still the point of this column. At the same time I can’t ignore what I see as very real problems and expect anyone to take my opinion seriously.

If anyone else would like to send me feedback you can send it to [email protected]



Now then, let’s get into what I wanted to talk about today.

Vince Russo recently did an interview with Xtreme Mayhem. You can find a recap of that interview here:here.


What I want to focus on is just one thing that Russo had to say during the interview. We all know that he is an on air character, and a sweeping majority of people really don’t like that. On top of being an on air character he also has a role to play behind the scenes. This is what I want to look at today. For the purposes of this discussion we will only look at the time period after Vince Russo unmasked as Mr.Wrestling 3, as I have no idea what his role with the company was before that date (how much of the Jerry Jarrett/Russo problems were true, if he really took a few weeks away from TNA and whatnot). Anyway…Russo offered the following as his current job description:

“He said he was given a roster and his goal was to put every single guy over.”

Now let’s see how he’s done with that.

AJ Styles

I believe that the single best thing that TNA is currently doing revolves around AJ Styles and his quest to be the NWA heavyweight champion. I give them high marks for not going the “AJ is too small” route and instead having an “AJ has to pay his dues” storyline. The difference is that at the end of this storyline AJ can be a believable NWA champion despite being a cruiserweight. Styles seemingly stands in the middle of the entire S.E.X. vs. TNA feud (especially when we consider the Raven/JJ/Styles confrontation from last week). Russo gets a big thumb’s up on Styles.

Triple X

Low Ki, Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels hadn’t been on TNA for a long while before they returned and joined S.E.X. during week 25. And they were given a BIG return, main eventing that show and the next two as a group. The following week Ki and Skipper were put over America’s Most Wanted for the NWA tag titles and Daniels was in the main event once again. Last week Ki and Daniels were overseas, but Skipper was there to run in on the main event and add heat to the tag title picture. They came back as stars and have been treated as such ever since. Russo gets a thumb’s up on Triple X.

Amazing Red

Red was already very over before Russo returned, coming off of a huge win over AJ Styles and barely losing to Jerry Lynn on the show that saw Russo come back. However, I don’t think TNA has held a match more intended to put someone over than the main event of week 25 where Red continually fought off Triple X before eventually losing. From there Red spent some time overseas but this week he will be put right back into the title picture. Russo gets a thumb’s up on Red.

Kid Kash

Kash was given Trinity as a valet, which I felt was a real good move as it gives Kash something that he was lacking and can now be a top X division player. Russo gets an easy thumb’s up on Kash.

Jerry Lynn

He’s been taken out of the X division…which I felt was overdue. However he’s been pretty lost in the shuffle in recent weeks. The upcoming Truth vs. Lynn feud should fix that problem, but until it happens Russo gets a thumb’s down on Jerry Lynn for losing one of his best wrestlers in meaningless matches for the last month.

Ron “The Truth” Killings

Russo is the guy who put the mic into the Truth’s hands way back in week 6…which led to the Truth having a breakout run as NWA champion. However, like Jerry Lynn, Truth has been lost in recent weeks. Again the Lynn/Truth feud is a good answer for both guys…but it hasn’t happened yet. Thumb’s down for Russo.

America’s Most Wanted

They finally got their belts back from the New Church, only to have Triple X steal them away. AMW were already break out stars before Russo came back…and he hasn’t done anything to get in the way of that. They main evented this past week’s show (Their first Main Event I believe) and have a high profile rematch with Ki and Skipper on the horizon. They also have been paired up with Truth and Lynn as standing for the top guys in TNA’s fight with S.E.X. Russo gets a slight thumb’s up for AMW…for not continuing to slowly portray them as stars of the promotion.

Sonny Siaki

Nothing sticks to Sonny Siaki. They gave him the X title and a valet…and still no one cares about the guy. Russo gets a thumb’s down for Siaki…for not only failing to get him over but also for taking so much time and effort to fail.

Jeff Jarrett

After winning the title, Jarrett’s title reign has (In my opinion) been booked very well. Raven and Styles are both gunning for him and Jarrett has looked strong in his title defenses. At this moment in time the NWA title looks the strongest it has since TNA started. Russo gets a thumb’s up for JJ.

Other Positives

Slash and Brian Lee returned last week to a huge reaction. Too soon to tell how this run will go for them but they have been put in a position to be big stars.

David Young has looked very strong in his matches against X division guys. I don’t think he’s far away from being a believable X champion. That says a lot for the guy who had the horrible Miss Bobcat angle at the start of the promotion.

Raven is the biggest star in S.E.X. He hasn’t been around long enough to judge, but his debut alone puts him in the plus column.

Other Negatives

David Flair. I still don’t know what the point is of having him on the roster.

Jorge Estrada. Not worth the effort.

SATs. They should have been real hot coming off of the week 25 main event (easily their best effort in TNA). Instead they were barely on the show last month…and when they were there was no purpose to it.


Other People

BG James. They gave him a slightly interesting angle with his brother a couple weeks ago. Other than that he’s still a waste.

The Harris Brothers. Haven’t been on TV all that much. When they are it wasn’t very good.

Mike Sanders. If the HEY! Returns he’ll go in the plus column. If it does not he’ll go in the negative column. It is that important to me.


So there are some positives, some negatives and some wastes of time. The main thing the Russo return has brought is that more and more TNA wrestlers have had angles and feuds to work with. More storylines is a good thing. There is still a ways to go, however. Of course this does nothing to discuss Russo’s role on air…but I think his behind the scenes job is going better than some give him credit for.

And now onto:

The Week 30 NWA TNA Preview

As is usually the case…I can preview exactly 3 matches on tomorrow’s show. None of them have anything to do with the NWA title…I have no idea what the plan is for that.

Sonny Siaki vs. Red

This is for Siaki’s X title. They have met once before and Siaki won that one. I’m going to be frank here…Siaki has to lose the title. I don’t care if he loses it to Red or to Kid Kash…but it has to go. Red would be a perfect fit. He’s over and he actually wrestles the X style. Unfortunately…I don’t think they are going to do the switch. S.E.X. just gained control of the Tag titles and they are trying to get the NWA title away so they can have all three. Match was OK last time.

Truth vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Sanders vs. David Flair

As they continue to try and have every possible combination of these four in a match… The real story here is the Lynn/Truth feud that’s coming up. This match is only here to serve for further development in that area. Of special interest to most of the viewing public is whether or not Sanders will bring back the “HEY!”. It may get him a face reaction but his matches will lose something if people are sitting around waiting for it and it never comes.

Elix Skipper and Low Ki vs. Slash and Brian Lee

This is for XXX’s tag titles. Slash and Lee are playing faces now so the crowd is going to be HOT with chants of “Evil”. Jeremy Borash’ column this week said that Father Mitchell would be returning this week. The stage is set for what should be a pretty wild match. I’ve become a big fan of Slash, as he’ll pretty much let people do anything to him and when one of his opponents is Low Ki…that should get interesting. Skipper and Ki will likely retain.

Konnan sit down interview

This week Konnan will finally let us know why he has been beating up X division wrestlers for weeks now. I’m real interested in where they take this as the idea of Konnan bringing in luchadors to fight X guys may become a reality. I hope that’s the way they go as it would give the X guys something interesting to do.


Let’s see what else is going on.

I don’t know where the Raven/JJ/Styles thing is leading. Russo did challenge JJ to give Raven a shot this week, but there has been no confirmation that the match will take place. Larry Zbysko is now Styles’ manager so we’ll see where that goes.

Kid Kash and Trinity are in the midst of a big push so it’s likely they’ll appear in some form.

AMW lost last week to the Rock N’ Roll Express so they might get their win back this week. That would make sense…but again…I have no idea.

Also…it’s been a while since the Koloff/Rhodes feud has been brought up…so we’ll see if they go back to it now.


Until next week…email me at [email protected]
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