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Falls Count Anywhere


I'm more of a smokebrat.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and Steampunk is alive and well.

The first week of TNA regularly going head-to-head with RAW ended up as something of a disaster. They managed to pull a .98 for the show, less than they were getting on Thursdays. They did hurt the RAW, which was down about .3 in the ratings, but it was really a bad sign that they came out and did such a low rating.

Part of it was that they didn’t advertise what would be on the show and another part is that the audience just doesn’t want to see Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair wrestling in 2010. They debuted RVD for the first time, and the crowd was super-hot for him. They then had him beat down by Sting, who made a regrettable heel turn on the show. They brought back Jeff Hardy, who might be going to prison next week after his hearing, and they set him up against AJ Styles. They hot-shotted everything and while the show had a hot crowd and there wasn’t a lot of switching back and forth between RAW and TNA, they really blew it as far as building a solid audience.

Sadly, the levels for WWE NXT, which has done some really good storybuilding with the Miz-Daniel Bryan storyline especially, is back down to the level that ECW was when it got canned. I still haven’t heard if it was a WWE or a SyFy call to ditch ECW, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. I still think it’s a show with promise, and you can actually see that Daniel Bryan is getting over with the audience, which many folks said wouldn’t happen.

The second week of Monday Night Impact wasn’t nearly as bad as the first. They actually built a little, but I’m not holding out hope for a big ratings gain. The biggest problems are that they’ve managed to become the Hulk Hogan show, and everyone knows it.

That makes it hard for those who don’t want to see Hogan to latch on to the excellent non-Hogan portions of the show. Jeff Hardy is a talented wrestler and he’s over with the fans, but they’ve done nothing to make the fans think that he’ll be given a real chance. RVD got to beat up Sting this week, taking back some of the heat he lost when he was beaten by Sting and not allowed to make a comeback.

The segment still had way too much Hogan in it and it didn’t help RVD completely, but the crowd was into it and that’s what TNA is going to have to latch on to. They’ve still built no new stars, though both The Pope D’Angelo Dinero and Desmond Wolfe have a shot at it as they seem to be taking them both rather seriously. It’ll be interesting to see where they both are a year from now.

Sadly lost in all of this is Samoa Joe, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him leave and head to the WWE or RoH or anywhere else in the near term. He’s too talented to be wasted like they’re doing. There are going ot be a bunch of guys who will be leaving if things don’t turn-around.

Still, the best part of the second Monday of the war was a brawl with the X-Division guys. They brought out guys, they brawled a bit, we saw Daniels take a facefull of ladder and get busted open the hard way. Followed by an awesome dive by Amazing Red from the top of a ladder inside the ring onto a bunch of guys outside the ring.

Yes, these guys include a bunch of folks who you could easily say never did anything of value anywhere, but they’re also great workers and put on exciting matches. They’ll never carry the company, but they’re good enough to hold a crowd’s interest and maybe pop a decent quarter hour rating.

The thing is, the second Monday featured more hot-shotting. The worst of it was Mick Foley was told by Eric Bischoff that he was going to have to clean himself up and he set-up a barber’s chair in the ring. Mick came out and ended up giving Bisch the Mandible Claw and then shaving Eric’s head! This is a PPV-type gimmick and they wasted it on an un-advertised quarter hour which did them no favors.

This is the kind of stuff that needs to stop. They need to use the TV show as a way to get the matches on PPV over. If they get a 1.0 on Mondays, but manage to increase their buyrates because people are more interested, then it’s all worth it. It’s about bringing in money, and the only thing that TNA has over WWE is athletics. They have some of the best wrestlers in the world and it would be great if they gave them a chance to put on good matches, but that seems like such a distant second to the Hulk Hogan show as to be an non-starter.

Still, I like a lot of TNA’s talent, and I hope they start to build, but until they get rid of the booking team, they’re pretty much stuck with what they got.

Chris Garcia

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