Friday, 18 May 2012

State of the Stars, Part Two: TNA

State of the Stars, 
Part Two: TNA


The girthiest champion rejected by WWE’s Tough Enough series, now sees the independent and serious grappler prove his new attitude and charisma for rival TNA. What TNA fail to realise is that Aries is the frontrunner to redesign, shape and drive the company forward. He just needs that fully designated faith among all the pushed and fallen guys who are deemed at the top who cannot deliver fluently.


Roode’s World title debacle cost everything dear to him. As a fluke champion in the shadow as real star even when title was restored to him after illogical booking practises has cost the Triple H/D-Generation X rip off character markedly.

Classed by viewers as a wrestler who can do that, Roode, though lacking in backstory, deliverance and style may seem credible on paper, though lacks intensity and that certain panache to getting over as a champion who can contribute with fan respect.


Never allowing himself to be shielded from the limelight, the Hulkster needs to backtrack and remain off TV for a while instead of clogging up vital TV time and star spots on programming that form the structure for wrestling, let alone TNA.


Seen as Hogan and Sting’s playground, the lifetime buddies must cease their endless feuding for no relevance. Creating stories so both can ‘play’ ruins the output.

Moving on, Sting, who picked up the Most Popular of 2011 award in Wrestling Wonders’ awards - Wrestling Wonders Awards, 2011 can capitalise on this, though he needs to be placed with younger stars AND allow them to defeat while remaining equal than inferior as a challenger. Perhaps Sting wont allow them to fully be over him as he realises TNA backtracking on storylines every second means he wont allow  his legacy to be tarnished by cheap decisions, then meaning Sting and others gain nothing from their feuds overall, making the product stale.


Another oldie but goody, Flair may have the natural charisma to remain popular, however, cannot do anything except flaunt himself into the spotlight, which takes away from all he is meant to help. His primary role, as a veteran who can still go, is to talk, and he can do that well, and be a manager/stable leader/business leader role to nurture and get talent across being part of a powerful group.

Examples of this failed in the Fortune stable which shouldn’t have been all about Flair and his nameworth ego.

Since, all of Fortune have not excelled, have they?


Now needs to be presented highly. Also seen as the Shawn Michaels rip off in the D-Generation X TNA portrayal was dismal. Storm must wrestle accurately, and with a structured design on paper as well as in-ring in order to become a name of serious contention. His initial win was only for unpredictable shock factor which benefited no one outright.



The newest signee to TNA has only just begun, though is a pleasing candidate to get the nod.

Silva, must not be messed about with, in order to raise a new star carefully and get over correctly, as Silva has the look, poise and provocation to potentially excel. How he holds his wrestling up, which shouldn’t be too difiicult, will encompass that.


Comeback for Ray has invigorated his former stale approach in TNA. What he needs to further be a star is have backstage and fluid transitions.

Can he be champ? (Well anyone in TNA can, though done so cheaply is not an accolade to claim.) Ray needs to exemplify his poise among the edifice of TNA as a solid foundation before he can move onto anything else. Only fools rush in.


Shelley, and Sabin need to finally be given a sigh of relief and given a hard solid, strong push as tag champions. Every push they had was derogatory, deflated, or detrimental.

Both are aerial enthusiasts who need booking faith to rocket through the tag division in order to restore value to TNA’s tag scene.

Banana Split :)


See Alex Shelley for the majority, though Sabin, as the half of the team that can be destined for greater things could eventually re-enter the X division after Aries has finished creating the exclaimation point on it. Only after. Needs not be rushed, or will risk losing everything.


New, hunky, built, and building strong momentum, Nese should be continually growing before eventually pushed up to the next level, though once again, given time to materialise first.

See following post on this situation here - Tony Nese Released!


Pairing with Samoa Joe and jobbed outright, it seems Magnus has no options with TNA, nor elsewhere. Who would want him outside of TNA? Jobber.


The saving grace in TNA, Williams is one of the few prospects to have a chance to becoming something for TNA’s European market, Brits and indeed, a force to be reckoned with.

Doug has the wrestling knowledge and knows how to put others across while maintaining a story.

Tag and singles are in safe positions with Doug. Needs the Je ne say quoi, to step out of ‘safe’ if to be further a star higher up the card.


It is sad that Joe, in TNA has been exhausted to the point of tiresome. The tag division seems to be his only option, and being here, for him, is danger zone. Needs to prove to TNA he can be a solid singles performer he was a few years ago once more. Doing the whole powerhouse goes through random people thing will destroy that, but must have strong, selective opponents to work wonders with.


Ranked #26 in the Wrestling Wonders Pro 50 of 2011 Wresting Wonders Pro 50 of 2011  Lloyd Allen Jones, the forgotten standpoint of TNA has dipped in company projection. To re-ignite his placement, AJ must become capable in ground work than just flying over in angles.

AJ has not been good at selling any influence that he will be the next superstar of the century or even at all. He needs to project his vocals cleverly and not just for an angle’s sake to stick to the script and expect the wrestling to do the talking. Styles may be levels ahead of some in wrestling work, though still needs improvement, or else will be left behind without the fuller tools. If he doesn’t, Styles will run out of steam and become TNA’s job squad for the rest of his duration (which will be plenty-some.)

Has recently been teased into a romantic angle with company president Dixie Carter.


Once injury is lifted, Angle will be re-introducing himself into placements. Constantly in the title race due to TNA’s misguided vision, Angle has difficult options. He can contribute well to the title and get others across with intent. Though he is constantly in title spotlights which is harming him, others and making him typecast.

Eventually the audience will bore if he is over exhausted.

Needs to possibly guide two new non affiliated stars akin to the Haas and Benjamin days, in order to develop TNA’s stars, and take over one area of the show by holding a division with stability.

William’s could even oppose Angle as his equal in wrestling skill.

Do not, however, fill places with old or already outdated stars. Abyss, Young, Magnus and Joe are not options. They need to be fairly new upstarts. Possibly a foursome in Godderz, Silva and Nese down the line after all have made a couple of months returns to ring could work out. (See Nese for further details.)

VP to all Knockouts, her position is the only credible one. The boot, or Cinder’s slipper fits. Why ruin it? Allow Karen to grow into a further devious role over time. Do not rush it. “All good things come to those who wait”.


While not the best wrestler there, can contribute to raise its pool of talent more than the oldies soaking the sponge. As founder, has lost his role over the Karen/Kurt enarmourment.

He may not have any power, nor get it back, though this can be argued and seen to be the case in angles. Fighting the corporate TNA is an option, but knowing TNA it would be done incorrectly.
Breeding talent, nevertheless is viable. Just don’t spend too long on yourself as that time has past, though you can relish in some of it, as, after all, Jarrett got this thing moving.

In order to move it further, should devise suplimentary angles for talent or indeed scout them to matches.


Obnoxious, disparaging and disgusting in morals, TNA have captured heat with a different style of performer that can only draw attention from those looking in. The problem is that the obnoxious design was built on the distasteful angle from Jesse Sorenson’s neck injury.

In TNA, it seems doing these angles with this kind of booking choice is rotten and can cripple any star attempting to break out.

There is a time and place for all of it. This wasn’t it.

Aside from that, Ion can give a fair to quality match on occasion, though needs a wrestler who knows how to handle high pressure situations as Ion is constantly unstable in the ring and rather catastrophic. He won’t be working with Austin Aries forever…


Out with injury, though upon return can make headway as interesting new upstart while using Ion’s injury angle to his advantage.


In OVW for TNA, is making steady progress. Fluid, strong, and annoying in presentation as a character, Godderz has most options in TNA than most in the company on the roster currently do. Though his training should not be rushed, TNA can keep media and eventually TNA projection on him to build his story and fan interaction once he gets ever nearer to joining the show.

Has many options that should not be rushed and booked stupidly as TNA have done to stars before him.


Yeah, you would though, wouldn't you?

Down in OVW training with partner Godderz, the bulk that is Rob Terry may be impressive, but overall, has been sent for further training for a reason.

What he needs is to support in team structure, and not become the animated, on-screen bodyguard/background goof to others akin to the Williams/Magnus days.

Mustn’t be a powerhouse force only when not having any other back up in wrestling design. Add some ground work to it.


It's Eve, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler!

Once fans got over his bi-sexuality, Jordon actually proved that his eerie, seductive angles can get over and be entertaining. Bring back the O-Zone mixed with minimal matches for now.

Just don’t keep over estimating that a gay man must wear every flamboyant item in the dressing room where all of them look ridiculous. Not all are like that, and this is a misinformed stereotype. Also cut down on the “freak” terms. It helps no-one and causes Jordan and fans to disinterest themselves from the message intended in the angle/s devised.


The biggest waste of time TNA has seen, however TNA have managed to get him over, slightly. While he has a few fans, Anderson is not the way forward, is boring and transcends no star qualities that TNA should secure its purse and remove him from the roster for other deserving stars. However, he is still there and TNA will probably keep him in defiance.

Anderson needs to show he has star qualities in wrestling coherently, as his holds are flippant and hold barely any pressure. It is of lazy action.

If he can listen, then work on the mike skills. Having a few and then not adding to them is no excuse and those could be Anderson’s strengths to begin working on in TNA if he wants to re-shape his position.


Fallen and forgotten. Needs to be re-ignited and given a clear role. Currently no-one knows what he stands for or what he can do as a major player. Needs a backstory and storyline.


May be going back to WWE soon.  Until then, is waiting around in TNA for an option to re-sign. If coming back to WWE (god help us) Morgan needs to cut the cheap gimmick of trying to be angry yet having no passion in that anger.

Morgan can’t get over. At 35 years of age, it is difficult to envisage him as a champion or impressive character in WWE so late in his stages of development. TNA is potentially his only option.


Abyssmal. The Kane/Undertaker/Mankind rip off is completely defunct of any deliverance, style or charisma. Release and be done with it. He cannot give anything successful to the promotion and is a wasted option.

It makes TNA look stupid, ridiculous and inconsistent as a company.


Most already want this one off the TV as instantly as he debuted. The young Bischoff, wonder who he’s related to and how he got the job?, is sadly another David Flair. He can’t hide behind a team of wrestlers to help him in every match.

When he does go it alone fully, he will need submissions to mask his next moves, and have decent speed and ground work.


Another clogging up the company like a sponge sucking the life out of it fans say is now flaunting his offspring. Like David Arquette, could his son lift a world title (!)?

As fans have already emulated enough times, Bischoff was great in WCW because he was booking behind the scenes, not on the TV screens instead.

His “Booking Genius” is slipping the more he is on TV without a reason to appease his own ego. Occasional appearances are fine when they are big announcements, not weak pitter patter.


While amazing as top dog in the female division for TNA, James is now being booked by the organisation erratically which is eating into her star quality being scrutinised. No-one denies her talent, but booked wrong or short-sightedly will cost her talent to become argued or wished to be removed as overkill.

James is placed into matches here and there one week and then the next in the same scenario’s for #1 contender spots, losing titles when TNA gets bored to “shake it up” at the expense of talent then re-book into worthless TV time which actually harms the process, is not beneficial.


One of the few standpoints of Women’s wrestling in the big companies on the wider scale now has full respect and exposure at her call.

Kim can build storylines and powerful forces to re-build a division with different situations every time, and can wrestle perfectly.

Though she needs credible opponents to have matches with and strong outcomes, rather than Kim wins one then her opponent wins one and so forth to be ‘nice.’


Doesn’t add much to the table apart from being a looker. If she is to hold titles, TNA must prepare her for that, if they choose not to, then do not allow her to have a title for fun.

Tess has no respect currently, and needs to learn to transmit wrestling well rather than be masked by partners with or against her. Needs a role. Given a role as champion or just appearing on TV is not a role.


Support system of TNA, Tara can go, however is marred by everyone else around her. After wearing out singles options quick thanks to bookers, Tara is forced into tag or multiple participation which can make the tag division for now, but eventually needs to become a single strong force that takes no prisoners and can dominate along with the likes of James, Kim and others.

Give her a feud over 3 months that has pre-planned angles each week instead of just a 'make it up near the day' script.

Anyone in production knows how to play chess, right?


Has a lovely pink boa on occasion. Has a mini skirt. Has minimal vocal and wrestling talent. What else does she have?

Either add her to a stable with men or give her direction to wrestling areas. Having angles in the Knockouts division that sees her over time become a challenging force working her way through certain ladies will add to her repertoire. If not, she’ll just be candy on a stick.

Hmm a Velvet Sky on a pole match?...


Creepy, eerie and unsure of her intentions, viewers should continue to be mystified by her.  While the ludicrous Winter 'is here but not here' angles royally cocked up, Winter, with Love, has options to contribute to its tag division. Too many after the main title is pointless, let alone being over stacked with females.

Catering to the tag section for the ladies is one of two areas that need attention, and TNA should be utilising this further.


As with Winter, Love has no point in going for the main title yet. She has had it too many times in erratic style that needs her to die down from it and contribute further strings to her bow elsewhere. She can prop up the walls of the tag division for some years before eventually moving back to it should TNA wish.


The female version of Stone Cold Steve Austin should be snapped up by WWE. Though ODB has been neglected by its company that has a goldmine in it.

The fact TNA fail to understand ODB’s popularity and key lines to angles and verbal talent is a socking endictement.

Now marrying Eric Young, ODB can still provide the humour necessary, though needs to deliver the angles allowed by TNA’s script, as she can clearly get them over.

The “STD sisters” and ODB’s talk show were delights. ODB should regain her talk show as a constant, while also being a ringside influence.


Cannot hold any candle to his credibility in TNA. The Santino of TNA, Young has never provided good comedy, only standard to pass the time. It is a shame. His time in the company is passing, and that is all his own fault.

If he wants to be a wrestler, drop the cheap goon gimmick, take it seriously and wrestle with ground and submission work.


Everyone raves about Madison Rayne. While Rayne tries with effort, her wrestling has always been botch o’clock or short of the mark.

Rayne often misses shoulders down, gets up too early or is clearly out of time in her deliverance. This is her key feature to work on.

Rayne also has become tiresome. She needs to protect herself for exhaustion too.

If she can complete these, with further connection to the camera in vocals than just uttering lines, Rayne could re-define herself.

Overall State – Exactly that. TNA is in a somewhat dire state. Angles and deliverance are sloppy. Everything is rushed.

“If you want everything, you’ll end up with nothing.” Focus on TV time for stars, credible vignettes and decent match times with door opening endings.

Stop copying whatever WWE does to fit their line of wrestling structure, because it exposes your own failings. People used to enjoy TNA for the simple fact it was an alternative to WWE and its corporate way of life.

The Knockouts and X division are the strengths of TNA. No one can fault it gives the Women its platform than any other big league, (bar SHIMMER),and the X division is in comfortable hands with Austin Aries, though once Aries leaves that area or loses said title, it will crumble.

TNA will not be the company to become competition to WWE because it makes illogical choices backstage and in company direction where if they need to follow someone else’s business model, they have already lost.

Investing in new stars, and not making everyone new from WWE hired it’s World champion can be beneficial.

Until then, TNA need to shelve the oldies' TV time and focus on youth. While it makes a loss and still gains investment to keep doors open, TNA won’t disappear, but it will forever “Throw the kitchen sink at us” – Vince McMahon.

Either remove some of the people from backstage power, hire others who can devise ways forward, or re-devise roles. Should this not occur, TNA will remain an isle in the waters on its own – it’s there but not noticed.

Welcome to Bermuda!

Part's One and Three (links) are below.

State of the Stars, Part One: WWE

State of the Stars, Part Three: ROH, DGUSA & NJPW

© Max Waltham 18th May 2012

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