HTQ in TNA’s debut on Spike
The opening video package was great, and it really made TNA seem like something special and, more importantly, different to WWE.
The Impact opening is great too. It looks similar to the opening for Smackdown, but it blows that one out of the water.
First up, AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong, and the crowd treated AJ like a superstar when he came out, and that really came across well on television, which is important. We need more shots of that blonde chick holding the action figures. The match itself was a squash designed to get AJ and his big moves over, and it succeeded in doing that. Christopher Daniels came to ringside to help set up their Iron Man match at Bound For Glory, so TNA are already starting with making the new fans aware of the upcoming major matches.
I liked the Monty Brown video, as short as it was.
Monty Brown’s interview was ok, and I think they need to make something out of the “most territorial, predatorial” line, because it could become a good hook.
The Raven angle backstage was ok, and at least they didn’t just go to it and had Shane Douglas act like he was being told about in his earpiece.
Monty Brown vs. Lex Lovett was a pure squash. The Pounce might not seem like much at first, but neither did the Stone Cold Stunner or the Jackhammer, but those moves got over in the same way The Pounce can; booking it like a death move. Give it a month or so of booking The Pounce like that, and it’ll be over like crazy to the new fans.
I loved the X-Division video. It highlighted all of the big moves from the X-Division, which is exactly what it should be doing.
Petey Williams vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin was a very entertaining, high-impact spotfest, and I think it helped establish the X-Division as something a lot different from the WWE’s watered down cruiserweights. The Canadian Destroyer was showcased, which it needed to be. When they went to a commercial during the match, I liked that when they came back the commercial music was still playing. That was a nice touch that I hope they keep doing.
The backstage deal with Douglas, Zbysko and Ortiz was fine, and I got a laugh out of Zbysko mouthing off to Douglas at the end.
I liked the 3 Live Kru video piece.
Rhyno vs. Jeff Hardy was ok, but if they were going to end it in a disqualification, then I would have put another match in the main event slot that they could have ended cleanly. With that said, at least they did a big angle afterwards to try and take attention away from the non-finish. Rhyno and Abyss could make a great monster heel tag team.
I liked that you heard Hardy get booed because TNA could have easily edited it out, but they didn’t, which I think is important when it comes to letting the fans know that if they don’t like a babyface, you’re not going to censor those feelings.
The NWA Title change looked a little low-rent in terms of setting, but at least it shows that title changes can happen at out of the way places.
Jarrett is meant to be a world champion, so why can’t he dress like one? I skipped his promo, so I have no idea what he said, and I really don’t care what he said.
The 3 Live Kru-Jarrett and Lackey’s confrontation was nice, with the Canadian team coming in because of their association with Scott D’Amore, and The Deadly Brothers were very over with the live crowd. Unfortunately, Kevin Nash was presented as the top star, with his coming out last and hitting his big move last, and that’s not what TNA needs. Nash looked like he was having trouble just standing there let alone walking, and I dread to think how bad his match at Bound For Glory match with Jeff Jarrett will be.
Overall There was more good than bad from the debut. TNA looked very different from WWE, which is they absolutely have to do if they are to show any kind of growth and turn into a potential competitor for WWE. It’s by no mean guaranteed that TNA will evolve into a competitor, but the only chance they have is if they are something totally different to WWE, and I think, for the most part, they succeed with their debut on Spike. The negatives are the obvious, with Jarrett and Nash on top. I can understand TNA wanting ‘star power’ on top to try and draw people in, but couldn’t they have come up with a star who doesn’t look like he’s about to break his legs just from standing still? That doesn’t make them look good when one of the guys fighting over their main title looks like he’s about to fall apart at the seams.