The NWA TNA Week 36 Preview, March 19, 2003
The NWA TNA Week 36 Preview, March 19, 2003
Mar 29 2003, 06:00 PM
It’s that time of the month again…
Let me try that again…
TNA will be making their monthly trip into the homes of Australian wrestling fans this week. That means that Jeff Jarrett will make his monthly appearance in the ring. Oh…but he won’t be defending the title! It’s been four weeks since he has defended that title…which means we’re only a few days away from the mythical and almighty “30 days” clause where the champion has to defend the belt at least once every 30 days. I don’t know where the rule started…but it’s being broken here. Not having your “World” Champion defend the belt in over a month in a company that banks on a weekly pay television show is asinine and constantly disappointing. More on this later.
There’s also that whole war thing. If the clock on MSNBC is correct…the countdown to war ends at the same time TNA begins. I have nowhere to go with that without getting into political beliefs…so we’ll leave it at that.
Last week’s show was the usual mix of average and slightly above average…with a terrible segment thrown in for fun. Dames’ Diatribe has been up all week…so you probably already know this.
The highlight of last week’s show for me had to be D-Lo Brown’s arrival. What a great segment that was…and it even made me look forward to a Sonny Siaki/D-Lo match. Of course now that I look forward to it…TNA decides not to give it to me right away. I’m getting sick of that too. I look forward to Raven vs. Jarrett and two months later I still haven’t gotten it. I look forward to Raven vs. Styles and it takes a month for them to give me that…and then they pull a non-finish. Anyway, since TNA decided to push Brown right away a bunch of people came out and said that it makes TNA look like their a minor league organization, since he was jobbing on Heat recently. Guess what? TNA IS a minor league organization! Shocking I know…but the fact remains. If I wanted to see a company try to run head to head with the WWE I would miss WCW. I don’t. I always looked at TNA as the only independent organization that I have the opportunity to see regularly. I don’t know what’s wrong with that. If I had a local indy fed that gave me weekly shows for ten bucks a ticket…I’d be down for that. TNA is all of our local indy fed. They have a (for the most part) regular group of wrestlers that we watch grow into characters and pushes…and (in my case at least) enjoy seeing the company itself develop its identity and push for mainstream recognition.
I hope TNA makes it big one day, but not for the reasons most probably do. I don’t want TNA to get a TV deal so that they can have a ratings war with Vince McMahon. In fact…that’s the last thing I want. I want TNA to make it big so I can, from my couch, watch what it takes for an indy promotion to make it in the current industry. Putting the show on pay per view took balls, no doubt. Whether this works in the long run remains to be seen…but I’m enjoying the ride. I don’t know how many people thought there would be a week 36 for TNA…but here we are. It appears that TNA’s pay per view arrangement may be enough for the company to weather the storm until bigger opportunities present itself…but the problem continues to be getting people to pay for this show. Since I still can’t seem to get my look to the future of TNA off the ground for this column…here instead are the bps21 TEN COMMANDMENTS that I would like to see TNA do EVERY WEEK in order to create some certainty in the minds of viewers. It is my opinion that what TNA needs more than anything is to allow all viewers to know that when they order a show there is always a certain number of things that they will see for sure when they agree to pay. Then each show would obviously also include new things that you wouldn’t see every week. Pay for the certainty…stay for the innovation…so to speak.
1. The World Champion will compete on every show. I don’t even know why I have to write this down…this should be a given. The guy holding the strap has the stigma of being THE TOP GUY on the roster. You’re asking me to pay ten bucks a week for a show where the top guy isn’t competing? Screw that. The Champion should wrestle every week. He doesn’t have to defend every week…but he should be in the ring. Not only does it make the viewer happier to see the guy who has risen to the top of the roster do his thing…but it only adds credibility to the title itself. Aren’t those two things major goals for a wrestling organization?
2. The X division title will be defended on every show. This one is pretty obvious and TNA has been doing a good job of it lately. The X division is still pretty much TNA’s calling card. A guaranteed X division title match every time I order makes me happier to part with my Andrew Jackson.
3. Another X division match will take place every show. That’s right. Two X matches GUARANTEED! There are usually two anyway…so this isn’t a stretch. The point is that with two guaranteed X matches on the show, viewers will know that at least one fourth of the show will be some fun action.
4. One match every week will be a #1 contenders match. It doesn’t matter if the match is for the X title, Tag titles or World title…but the match should happen. This way viewers a guaranteed an important match that could, in some cases, serve as another main event feeling match. If a guy who the viewer likes wins a title shot for the next show…they’ll likely order that show. Oh…and the #1 contender that is crowned WILL receive that title shot the very next week.
5. One twenty minute match every show. Whether it’s an X title match, the main event or a tag match doesn’t matter. There are enough people on the roster that can put on good long matches that this should be a reality. This would also result in cutting stupid five minute Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Disgraceland matches. Nothing wrong with that.
6. One sit down interview every show. This won’t prompt anyone to order…but I think the Mike Tenay sit down interviews are a great use of three minutes. It lets the viewer get to know more about the talent (where they came from and what their motivations are) and can be used to further angles on occasion (the Konnan interview comes to mind).
7. Announce at least three matches at the end of the broadcast. Let’s pretend that someone who orders TNA doesn’t use the internet (not likely…but let’s pretend). When a show goes off the air with no talk about the next show…why in the world would they order? Under my new rules this should be real easy. You already know that there will be an X title match the next week…and you should know who the challenger will be since in this reality we think ahead when we book. That’s one. Someone just won a #1 contenders match…and if it’s not for the X title than we have another match set. That’s two. The World Champion will be competing…and if the #1 contender wasn’t for the World title then that’s another match they should know a week in advance. That guarantees two matches that are known…with the possibility for three. The next show will also feature a #1 contenders match of its own…announce the participants and you have three announced matches for sure…and maybe even four. Sounds plausible to me. Plus…it just makes my job easier.
8. The show will always begin with an X division match. It doesn’t matter if it’s the title match or the other guaranteed X match…those matches are designed to get a crowd lit up. Nothing bothers me more than agreeing to pay ten bucks and be immediately presented with a long promo. X matches can set the tone for the whole show.
9. The show will end with a wrestler. This can be known as the anti-Vince Russo rule. The last thing you see on a show is what you are most apt to remember all week long. When it comes time to order the next show…I don’t want Vince Russo sitting in JJ’s driveway in my head. The shows will now either end with the finish of the Main Event (more on this next) or a post match run-in to set up something…or even a promo as long as a wrestler does it. Erik Watts and David Flair do not count as wrestlers.
10. The Main Event will always have a winner. The finish doesn’t have to be clean…but it has to exist. Last week Raven and Styles had a non-finish to end the show. Bullshit. That’s what I think. If they wanted a non-finish than the match should have been earlier in the show. AMW vs. XXX could have easily main evented the show…and there was a winner! Never again.
Once all of the TEN COMMANDMENTS are met your built in audience will be much happier to pay up because they know that the company did everything in its power to put on a good show. Then you have guys that come and go every week to add in for the gravy on top. You can still have the surprise appearance. You can still have the promos. You can still have the weird angles. But they don’t have to be the focus of the show. I hate the idea of a surprise appearance bailing out a show that wasn’t very good to begin with. I like it a lot more in combination with a 20 minute match, a clean finish to the main event, two X division matches and a #1 contenders match. I’m sure most of you would too.
The NWA TNA Week 36 Preview
Konnan & Mystery Partner vs. Jerry Lynn & Mystery Partner
Konnan’s mystery partner is Juventud Guerrera, according to Meltzer. Sorry if that spoils anything for you. Paul London was supposed to be Lynn’s partner but he’s still sick…so they’ll have to come up with someone new. Any way you slice it this should be a good match, and with Konnan now physically involved…his side may even win one. I’m looking forward to seeing the Juice again.
XXX vs. New Church
This is for XXX’s newly won tag team titles. I’ll give TNA a point for continuity. The tag belts were held up the last time these two teams fought…so it only makes sense for Slash and Brian Lee to be the top contenders. XXX is, of course, Christopher Daniels, Low Ki and Elix Skipper. No word on which two will be in the ring. Last time Ki and Skipper had a good match with the Church and I expect no less from this one. XXX retains.
Jeff Jarrett & D-Lo Brown & Dusty Rhodes vs. The Bitter Second Generation Semi-Stars
For those who don’t know (and I envy you) the bitter second generation semi-stars are David Flair, Brian Lawler and Erik Watts. They’ve been beating on Jarrett for weeks and Dusty gave them a talking to last week…so I guess this makes sense. Except for D-Lo. For no apparent reason he ran in to save Dusty last week and now he makes his in ring debut in this match instead of the Sonny Siaki/D-Lo match that should be happening. 6 man tags usually mask the faults of the weaker wrestlers…but there is no good wrestler to tag in on the one side. If they keep the tags coming this could be watchable. I still believe Jarrett can carry people…probably not these people mind you. D-Lo should add a whole lot of heat to the match if last week is any indication. It will be interesting to see where D-Lo goes after this. He has to feud with Siaki soon, right?
AJ Styles vs. Raven
After last week’s non-finish, this is a hardcore ladder match to crown the top contender to Jarrett’s NWA title. They did pretty well last week so this should be just as good…only with more weapons and high spots. Raven should win. He has a destiny, you know. At least the ladder match guarantees a finish this week. Styles is making everyone look good lately.
Outside of those matches TNA also promises appearances by:
America’s Most Wanted (YEAH!)
Kid Kash (YEAH!…also the X division champion)
Hacksaw Jim Duggan (YEA…wait…what the hell? BOOOOO!)
And there’s always more floating around.
I expect to see Red and Kash have some kind of confrontation about Trinity helping Kash win. “Ace in the hole” Sonny Siaki should have something to do with D-Lo Brown. I assume Hacksaw should be returning a job to Mike Sanders. Boy nothing kills S.E.X. cred more than losing to Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Final note: Lollipop is HOT.
Till next time email me at [email protected]
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