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"God, this was horrible! This show didn't have a single match above two-and-a-half stars. It had one matchnote Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell that I gave minus-five stars!"
—Bryan Alvarez, on Victory Road '09
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) may be somewhat more hardcore than WWE, but it certainly shares its propensity for idiotic ideas.
Important Note #1: If something bad was an isolated incident or simply stupid, it was probably a Wall Banger. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there's a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.
Important Note #2: If you're here to mention the fact that TNA isn't hardcore all the time and proceed to say that's not how ECW played (as TNA has most of the same wrestlers), please don't. Despite its name, ECW wasn't always all hardcore all the time, as evidenced by the Malenko/Guerrero matches.
Morasca could be forgiven for looking awful, considering she has no experience in the ring. But Sharmell's wrestled in the past (even if it's just in a limited capacity), and is the wife of a former World Champion in Booker T, so her looking awful really has no excuse. Thankfully, TNA and Morasca parted ways just around a month or so later.
Sharmell was actually in one of WWE's developmental territories training to wrestle for a little while, but a knee injury cut that short in 2001. It's really the bookers' fault for expecting two untrained people to be able to put on a wrestling match.
Here is the mind numbing match the reaction from the audience says it all.
This event may as well have been called MEM Victory Road.
In 2010, for the second year in a row, TNA held the title of "Worst PPV of the Year", and in this case possibly one of the worst of all time, with the first Hardcore Justice PPV.
First, a general overview of the event despite being an ECW throwback, most of the old ECW stars had to change their names in order to avoid copyright infringement, and since WWE owns the ECW video library none of the old ECW footage could be shown, leaving many watching the show hopelessly confused with no clue why anyone was doing anything. Only two matches had been announced prior to the PPV (and one of those, Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn, had to be changed over the weekend because Lynn injured himself getting in shape for the show). Most of the wrestlers appearing for the show were desperately out of shape, almost all of them were pushing or just under 40 (practically retirement age in the pro-wrestling world), and almost none of the great cruiserweights showed up (leaving the card to be filled with past-their-prime hardcore brawlers). And the mastermind behind the booking? It wasn't Paul Heyman (who feels that TNA isn't ready for him) it was Tommy Dreamer.
Many of the alumni that could have given a great show (Joey Styles, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio Jr) were contracted with WWE at the time and many others (Heyman, Lance Storm, Tajiri, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Tanaka, etc.) are either working for other organizations or have moved out of wrestling.
This PPV was originally to be titled Hard Justice, one of TNA's annual PPV events; this was changed after Dreamer signed with TNA. Instead of putting forth a show based around TNA talent, TNA pushed their talent off the PPV to give the ECW Originals (later known in TNA as "EV 2.0") the PPV all to themselves. The TNA talent would get the following episode of Impact to put on matches originally scheduled for the PPV, and those matches they put on the next night called "The Whole F'N Show" were legitimately good and something a lot of people would've paid for in a PPV. Hardcore Justice was awful both in terms of wrestling and finance. Keep in mind one of the Whole F'n Show matches was the last of the best of five series between Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns, which could have easily been the match of the year for TNA and it got replaced on the PPV (along with its potential revenue) with Brother Ray lightsaber-fighting Balls Mahoney.
Instead of holding the PPV at a location that would have been familiar to ECW loyals (such as the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan or even the original ECW Arena in Philadelphia), the show was held at the Impact Zone, just like many of TNA's other shows.
And because Joey Styles is running the WWE Digital Media Department, Mike Tenay stayed as commentator during the PPV as opposed to an ECW alum with commentating skills that was actually there such as Mick Foley or even Joel Gertner.
The FBI (consisting of [Little] Guido Mariato, Tony [Mama]Luke, and Tracy Smothers, with Sal E. Graziano) was featured in a six-man tag team match against Kid Kash, Simon Diamond, and Swinger. The opening match at a "hardcore" ECW reunion show ended in a dance off.
Team 3D fought Balls Mahoney (wrestling under the name "Kahoney" for this PPV) and Axl Rotten in what is arguably the worst match of the century (so far), culminating in the two men fighting with toy lightsabers and treating a styrofoam head as a steel chair. Yep, TNA gave us a hardcore wrestling show featuring grown men fighting with plastic lightsabers. What's that? Why yes, they did play it straight. Heck, you might think it was pretty damn hilarious.
The match with Tommy Dreamer and Raven was deeply disturbing. Aside from the fact that both men are beyond out of shape, Dixie Carter (the "brains" of TNA) thought there would be nothing wrong with having Tommy Dreamer's young daughters in the front row for a match she knew Tommy would blade for. Apparently, someone should leave a copy of Beyond the Mat on her desk. Never mind the whole story behind it being that Dreamer is somehow surprised when Raven turns heel "all of a sudden" before the PPV (which is like being surprised when the sun comes up "all of a sudden" one morning).
Mick Foley was the special guest referee, and brought out Mr. Socko without a trace of irony, even though at the second ECW One Night Stand, he brought it out to generate boos from the ballroom because the Mutants hate Mr. Socko. (Of course, he was playing a heel back then, but still.)
Furthermore, Dreamer and Raven had a very nice reconciliation in Ring of Honor during the latter's feud with CM Punk that brought the two full circle. Digging up their feud again is just retreading incredibly stale ground.
Watching New Jack inform Jeremy Borash he's basically going to rape him was meant to be funny; instead, it was more disturbing than anything.
Even though this was supposed to be a one-night thing (the tagline for the show was "The Last Stand", playing off the name of WWE's One Night Stand PPV), the episodes of Impact following the PPV turned the EV 2.0 members into a legitimate group, thus ensuring that ECW will never die with dignity.
There's something deeply insulting about the fact these members of ECW thought Vince McMahon insulted their dignity with his ECW revival (something they asked for in the first place), so they went to Eric Bischoff andVince Russo to put together an ECW revival. It's especially galling because the first WWE One Night Stand PPV was actually much closer to a genuine ECW show than anything TNA provided. Then again, Titanic: The Legend Goes On was closer to an ECW gig than Hardcore Justice, so that's not saying a whole lot...
This "attitude" towards Vince and WWE was personified in a promo from Tommy Dreamer on an Impact leading up to the PPV, where he ran down the ECW revival and Vince for firing all his friends over the course of the ECW brand's existence. This is generally regarded as a load of crap, as the ECW Originals had basically run their course by the time the ECW brand hit its stride, and Dreamer being the last ECW Original on the roster had been given the chance to make a farewell speech after his last match in WWE (and this was after WWE had given him a run with the ECW Championship, to boot). Basically, everyone saw through the smokescreen that Dreamer was putting up as nothing more than TNA giving us another addition to the long line of failed, ridiculous, unnecessary shots at WWE that have done nothing to help the company in any way.
ECW fans in general agreed that the WWECW was bad, but not the whole venture. The first two One Night Stands were received well enough and while the TV deal at Sci Fi wasn't true to ECW, the program did eventually improve by finding its own voice. Fans so far haven't been had as much positive comparisons to make with TNA's "ECW".
About the only way this PPV was bearable was if you made a drinking game out of it. Take a drink every time Tenay and Taz screw up by saying "ECW" or by calling one of the wrestlers by their copyrighted name.
On the bright side, the PPV had two genuinely good matches Too Cold Scorpio vs. CW Anderson, and RVD vs. Sabu. Sabu even managed to go the whole match without botching.
Victory Road 2011: For the third year in a row, TNA captures the title of worst PPV of the year with this god-awful show, main evented by a world-title match that lasts 90 seconds. See "Jeff Hardy, TNA Champion" for more details.
This PPV wasn't completely 100% horrible as the only saving grace of this show (if you are EXTREMELY nice...) was the 4 Way Ultimate X match. Other than that, this PPV kinda makes Heroes of Wrestling look like WrestleMania 17 in comparison.
That's only if you're being nice. Matt Hardy was severely out of shape, but was the heel, so he dictated the "pace" of the match, and AJ was demoted to bumping and selling the whole match. Then again, this is Victory Road 2011 we're talking about.
Let's not forget the opening bought to this pay-per-view. Not only are Bully "Don't Call Me Bubba" Ray and Tommy Dreamer over the hill, not only did they choose to open the show with the match absolutely no one wanted to see, not only did it have (the first of many) screwjob finishes, but, to add to the utter insanity of it all, there was actually a spot in this match that consisted of Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer using a blow up doll. IN A HARDCORE MATCH.
Also, a giant plush minion from Despicable Me, that Bully Ray actually sold.
The Matt Morgan/Hernandez First Blood match had Morgan smack Hernandez over the head with a chain. Hernandez crawls to the corner where he can blade for the spot which makes sense... except the camera fixes on him the whole time he's doing it. Then Hernandez gets up and squirts red dye on Morgan's chest. The ref (who was dealing with a fan run-in) runs back in the ring, looks directly at Hernandez's bleeding forehead, and then immediately turns around to call the match in favor of Hernandez due to the red dye on Morgan's chest even though there's no noticeable cut and really looks like it was squirted on from Hernandez's head wound if anything. (facepalm)
If there's any saving grace in this, note that the referee in that match was Jackson James (someone who is known to make screw ups before), and it could be spun into an angle where he's been in Immortal's back pocket. Not to mention him being Eric Bischoff's son.
Sarita and Rosita vs. Angelina Love and Winter is being touted as one of the worst Women's wrestling matches in recent history (despite the level of talent involved way above standard WWE Divas fare), with an ending sequence rivaling that of the infamous Jackie Gayda match. At one point, Rosita was holding one of the championship belts over her shoulder, about to hit Winter with it. Velvet Sky comes in to snatch the title away from Rosita, or at least that was supposed to happen. The problem is that Velvet missed her cue, so Rosita is stuck holding the belt for about ten seconds before this can actually take place. This leads to the end, where Winter rolls up Rosita but the ref is distracted by Velvet. Sarita comes in and reverses the pin, resulting in new KO Tag Team champions. This ending has three major strikes against it.
Rosita is less than five feet tall and looks to be less than 100 lbs. Winter is probably a foot taller than her and weighs at least 50 lbs heavier, and has been pushed as a powerhouse. The pin looked so awkward because there is no way Rosita could have been able to convincingly hold her shoulders down, especially because...
Winter took hardly any offense in the match, so there is no way she was tired enough to lose to a roll-up from someone half her size. Even if she had been caught off-guard, it still makes no sense because...
The ref was out of position due to the Velvet Sky interference, so by the time the count was made, Winter was down for at least a seven count even though it was obvious she could have lifted her shoulders off the mat at any time.
Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson had a really boring match with a god-awful Double Countout finish. The fans in the Impact Zone responded by having a "RESTART THE MATCH!" "NO!" dueling chant.
Lockdown 2011 manages to top Victory Road's record for having the shortest championship match by having one that lasts only 40 seconds. Thankfully it was for the Knockouts title instead of the World Heavyweight title this time. But it gets worse considering that it was Mickie James with a broken arm who managed to defeat Madison Rayne.
The part that really makes this absolutely terrible is that Eric Bischoff and Sarita actually cut two in-ring promos that were longer than that match. Is this a pay-per-view, or a special edition of Impact in a cage?
Bound for Glory 2011 presents quite possibly the most unsatisfying PPV finish since Victory Road, where after months of build-up in the Bound for Glory series, Bobby Roode lost in his opportunity for the TNA World title against an injured Kurt Angle, losing in spite of having his arm under the ropes while Kurt was using the ropes for leverage. This completely soured the PPV audience on what was otherwise a solid card for the promotion. The finish did no favors to anyone, as Angle was working hurt and needed to lose the title anyway, and people are protected due to rope breaks so often that Roode just looked like a choker on the biggest night of his career. Worse yet, it had came out a couple days prior to the event that Hulk Hogan did not believe that Roode was a PPV headliner, and many believe it was due to Hulk's influence that Roode was denied his championship run.
TNA's fix for this problem would be to have Roode's tag partner, James Storm, win the title on the following Impact in a one minute match. Make no mistake, James Storm winning the title was a Moment of Awesome in it of itself, but it could have been so much more had they had Storm win the Bound for Glory series and he wins the title at the Pay Per View, instead of making Roode look like a chump and ripping off the PPV audience with that god-awful finish.
It also doesn't help that they presented the title change on what was otherwise one of the worst Impacts since the infamous 10.14.10 show, complete with the fact that the segment that set up the Storm vs. Angle match was so long it needed three commercial breaks and took about 45 minutes to get through. Meanwhile, there was roughly 6 minutes of that wrestling that supposedly matters to this company. For the record, the hype around the Storm title change allowed this particular show to get one of the highest ratings in the history of TNA, but how many of these interested viewers are going to stay interested after having been subjected to one of the worst shows ever put on by TNA?
The show also featured an incredibly stupid I Quit match between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. For one thing AJ's screams of pain sounded more like he was laughing but the worst part came when Daniels got a chair, set it up on AJ's chest, sat down on the chair, and started CUTTING A PROMO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MATCH. Even worse, in the promo he threatened to murder AJ Styles with a screwdriver and no one did anything about it during the match and no one raised an eyebrow to the fact that Daniels threatened to commit murder.
TNA's popular for great wrestlers like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Desmond Wolfe, and Mr. Anderson, but some of its other angles are almost always hated.
Made even worse by the fact that much of "Total Nonstop Action" is talking, leaving some Smart Marks to call it "Total Nonstop Angles".
The Flair/Fortune angle hasn't been well received, because while the wrestlers are great and Ric Flair still has loads of charisma, they still play the heels. With AJ Styles in your stable, that's a bad idea. The man can't play heel; it's like watching Ricky Steamboat or Rey Mysterio Jr play a heel. And since they're also up against Dixie Carter and the EV 2.0 faction, they're even more beloved by the crowd. For some reason, they're still booked as heels.
Kurt Anglewent on a one-month leave of absence in 2010, thus making his leave of absence pointless, and then said that he would mow through the Top 10 Heavyweight Title contenders in order to prove that he was the best wrestler in TNA. Shortly before he completed this, Rob Van Dam was almost murdered by Abyss and TNA set up a tournament to decide on the champion, even though the Top 10 Contenders system was put up to avoid the need for such a tournament. In order to keep the angle interesting, Angle said that the next match he lost would lead to his retirement, even though everyone knows he'll never be let go by TNA because he's one of the only things keeping them in business. The final four in the tournament wound up all being faces, and Angle wound up wrestling Jeff Hardy in the semifinals. This would've been a good match, but TNA intentionally had the match end due to time expiring because they didn't want to have either man lose momentum. This set up Angle vs. Hardy vs. Anderson as the main event of the biggest PPV in TNA, Bound for Glory.
Many expected Kurt Angle to win the match at BFG (he didn't; Jeff Hardy did), but seeing as how the match was a three-way dance and Kurt wasn't the one who got pinned, by TNA logic this means that Angle didn't lose. TNA pulls these kinds of bait and switch angles all the time.
Joe changed his persona from badass Samoan Submission Machine with an Elvis haircut to a tribal Samoan monster with a penis-like tattoo on his forehead, infuriating countless fans. Fortunately, he still remained a face and was taking out the members of the Main Event Mafia (led by Kurt Angle) one by one. A lot of people hated the Main Event Mafia because it was the umpteenth clone of the nWo stable with no new twist, and most fans would like to see that angle permanently retired. That wasn't what set people over the edge, though after Samoa Joe took out every single member of the MEM, he fought Kurt Angle in the King of the Mountain match (easily one of the worst concept matches of all time) and threw the match away so Kurt could win. This was done with no foreshadowing whatsoever!And the fans were pissed! Russo and the bookers threw five months of buildup out the window just to do something the fans didn't want to see, because they would never see it coming. Yes, they were shocked, but not in a good way, yet he learns nothing.
The acquisition of pro-football player Adam "Pacman" Jones as a TNA wrestler might be the worst acquisition of all time. First off, he got suspended from the NFL after he paralyzed a man in a strip club shooting, and his gimmick was that after an opponent would get beat up he would cover them in dollar bills. Because of his "no contact" clause (imposed by the NFL to prevent Jones from violating the terms of his suspension), he would never do any in-ring action but was paid a lot of money because of his celebrity status. But the worst part was his run as a Tag Team Champion; even though he was morally reprehensible outside the ring and did no wrestling whatsoever, he won the Tag Title. What a classy guy. The worst part is that Jones was only signed on because of Jeff Jarrett's rampant Tennessee Titans fanboyism.
If it weren't for the MCMG vs. Beer Money matches, the TNA Tag Titles would've never recovered from this and "The Band" holding them.
Some of TNA's gimmick matches fall into this territory, mostly because they chose "uniqueness" over "making goddamn sense". From reverse battle royals (starting from the floor with the goal of climbing over the top rope into the ring) but only one takes the cake (and tops Wrestle Crap's "The 8 most needlessly complex or just downright stupid matches in wrestling history") the King of the Mountain match, described by Mike Tenay as "It's actually quite simple." As the Wrestle Crap crew explains it:
"The match begins with five men, all of whom are 'ineligible.' For what, we will explain later. Anyway, to earn eligibility, a competitor must score a pinfall or submission. Now, if you get pinned or submit, you must go into a "penalty box," like in hockey. You will stay in there for two minutes, at which point you can come back out and attempt to become eligible. Oh yeah, eligibility...we should probably talk about that. See, you become eligible to take a title belt, which you must retrieve from a TNA official. Whoever is eligible can take the belt. Oh yeah, and find a ladder. And then climb the ladder and hang it above the ring. Oh, and if the belt is dropped, then the official gets it back. See, it was really quite simple. If you're a rocket scientist who moonlights as a nuclear physicist and does brain surgery in your spare time."
Even dumber was the Six Sides of Steel blindfold match at TNA Lockdown in 2007, and the winner of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's "Worst Worked Match of the Year" Award. As a general rule, blindfold matches are always horrible, but this was beyond even the worst blindfold matches. The blindfolds barely stayed on, not from wrestlers removing them but from not being on tight enough or something. When the whole way your sport can exist is through Willing Suspension of Disbelief, this is not a good thing. Also, Six Sides of Steel matches are supposed to be No Disqualification matches, so what's to stop them from taking off the blindfolds?
Despite being a supposed "blood feud", Chris Harris and James Storm didn't play up the match and instead just wrestled like normal...which wouldn't have been so stupid if they just took off the blindfolds.
TNA fans have a bad reputation, with people (especially Spoony) saying they'll pop for anything. This is the same crowd that didn't boo Jenna Morasca out of the building during her stinker of a match with Sharmell. This match was so bad, the crowd chanted "Booooring" and "We Want Wrestling!" Not getting pops from the TNA audience is like not signing your name on the SATs. What is worse is when the inevitable "Fire Russo" chant came(followed by an inexplicable Goldberg) Dixie Carter claimed the fans were stupid because Russo had not booked that match, ignoring that the match was still bad enough for the impact zone, who forgave such things as last rites matches and rape midgets, to not get into at all.
Speaking of bad Face Heel Turns and horrible angles, how about the dissolution of Christian's Coalition in 2007-08? Let's run down why that failed:
First off, AJ Styles and Tomko grow into a first-rate tag team by backing up Christian Cage together throughout 2007. The Coalition are popular villains due to a comedic bent in their segments in which it's apparent that these guys at least really enjoy working together. AJ's career is saved from floundering and kept afloat through the influx of established name talent which started with Christian and Sting because of this team. Tomko's subtle development as a wrestler and as a character despite being a backgrounder is so popular with fans that they've started to chant his name during appearances with Christian. Styles and Tomko eventually end the aforementioned Team Pacman abomination and become Tag Team Champions at Bound For Glory, TNA's biggest showcase. Yet only a month later, they not only distract Christian by coming out when he said not to, costing him a match that would've got him back in the TNA World Championship picture, but later they go and help Kurt Angle (one of Christian's sworn enemies from earlier in the year and a major league airtime thief himself for months since his own Face Heel Turn) retain said title.
The next few weeks see AJ trying to bring Christian's Coalition and this newly formed "Angle Alliance" together but suddenly becomes incompetent when it comes to helping Christian, with Tomko giving subtle notes that he knows creating an Enemy Mine out of thin air will fail. Heavy implications are made that Kurt's wife seduced and conned AJ into it all. He's eventually humiliated by losing matches that get him into reindeer and turkey suits to the tune of less than no sympathy from Kurt. Meanwhile Tomko has a Crowning Moment of Awesome with his "Tomko's for Tomko" speech, which Kurt (who demanded he pick a side) tries to sucker punch him for but Christian approves of, then starts outright telling AJ he has to pick a side. AJ finds "help" from a bunch of guys but still can't make a decision until Final Resolution in January 2008, where he pretends to side with Christian but then turns on him...because Karen seduced him again in a bathroom stall and told him to do it. How so many of the same purist smarks that were clamoring for AJ to be split from Christian in the first place can look at that and still act like the Coalition is what was holding AJ back is incredible, because this took AJ Styles' character from a lovable idiot kid brother into a complete moron.
Next, Kurt immediately tries to bribe Tomko into the Alliance with Karen, but Tomko declines by citing his wife and kid. Kurt proceeds to disparage his wife leading to and then during a heated brawl between the two. Christian helps him beat Kurt decisively in a match, and even tells him later that the world applauds him for being his own man. Tomko eventually backs up Christian heading into the next PPV, where again Christian is facing Kurt for the title. The whole time the fans are way behind Tomko, chanting his name during his entrance. There were even a couple soldiers in the front row with a wide sign saying "Tomko is Army Strong". Yet what happens at Against All Odds? You guessed it, Tomko turns on Christian cause nobody should've seen it coming. And the explanation given, that Christian promised him stardom for years but he never got it, made the whole turn look six months too late.
Cue an utterly senseless "second husband" storyline between AJ and Karen where she and Kurt suddenly fall apart, a couple of PPV multi-man tag team losses by AJ and Tomko to Christian, and a tag team title loss which has horrible post-booking in itself to set up a tournament which Tomko can't even be part of due to a suspension for missing that year's Lockdown Fanfest, and we end up with Tomko's massive Character Derailment. Returning from suspension, he turns on AJ in a bloody beatdown along with Team 3D, Booker T, and Kurt Angle, all because of AJ and Karen's suspected relationship. He ends up destroying AJ and Christian with the same pack the following week. Soon the Tomko who loyally backed up his friends while advancing his own stand and even taking up for women being verbally abused by their bosses, the Tomko who the fans desperately wanted to cheer for, instead of turning face is replaced with a guy who'd scream out "That's my partner's blood!" and interrupt Karen's talk show to harass her on Kurt's orders and then get squashed by Matt Morgan. His career would never recover.
Later on, TNA would briefly rehire Tomko for an angle involving AJ being repeatedly attacked by a mystery assailant. Midway through it, Hulk Hogan and co. arrived, and AJ was almost immediately turned heel and aligned with Ric Flair. Left with no role, Tomko was reduced to job duty and eventually released. He has yet to resurface, at least in a wrestling ring.
One of TNA's worst traits has to be every gratuitous shot it takes at the WWE. The policy for giving ex-WWE wrestlers a push by taking shots at them is also stupid, even if they deserve it sometimes. The fans are even more volatile towards the WWE, booing them at every opportunity...which is funny because those wrestlers are more or less the same character from WWE, tweaked slightly to avoid legal problems.
They're also a bit hypocritical in that they bash the WWE Divas for just being eye candy and Playboy potential, and then they had Traci Brooks pose for a Playboy pictorial. One that would get bumped from the magazine and relegated to web-only status...so that they could feature a spread ofMarge Simpson.
On the first Impact of 2011, Samoa Joe confronted a paranoid Pope backstage and accused him of spending his charity money on strip clubs and pit bulls, and claiming that the Pope was receiving noise complaints at his mansion. Yep, you guessed it, TNA is giving the Pope a Michael Vick gimmick, and is late on the draw as usual.
The angle was quietly dropped, so thankfully, it wasn't as worse as it could have been.
The gimmick may have been dropped, but the resulting feud was not. Lowlights included Pope making fun of Joe's family by showing pictures of pigs on the video screen (including of pigs mating) and Joe hiring Kazuchika Okada (repackaged as a Kato ripoff named Okato) to follow Pope around with a camera filming his every move.
The completely and utterly deplorable angle between Kurt Angle and Jeff and Karen Jarrett. They are essentially mocking the (possibly messy) divorce between two parents, and attempting to market this to make a profit. Strike One. They then bring in the Jarrett's, and Karen (in an even more annoying voice than VICKIE FUCKING GURRERRO) chews out Kurt, screaming how the children are so much happier with Jeff than they are with Kurt. Bringing the children into an already detestable angle. Strike Two. But wait, there's more! THEN they actually go to Jarrett's household, and film the children, who obviously have no clue what's going on with their parents. STRIKE THREE. You know, TNA have done stupid, horrible, and offensive shit before, but this take the cake. They are potentially scarring the lives of divorced children here. There's no humor, no excuse, and honestly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Angle later lost a match at Against All Odds 2011 where he had to give Karen away at her and Jarrett's wedding, and the feud continued on even after that, this time over Angle's medals.
Not long after this feud was finally resolved, Angle would join Immortal. Yes, the same faction that both Jarretts belonged to. They all appeared to peacefully co-exist, as well, making their ages-long feud completely and utterly pointless.
The way that TNA handled the supposed reformation of the Main Event Mafia was absolutely horrible and showed why this company will never reach the WWE's level no matter how hard they may try. You see, TNA was hyping that on 2/3/11, THEY were coming, again. This took place with TNA newcomer Crimson coming out in a suit and saying that THEY made him an offer he couldn't refuse, and even having Scott Steiner make his TNA return the week before the reveal. The problem is that behind the scenes, TNA had not secured the contracts of Booker T and Sting (this one is debatable, and the circumstances behind that will be covered in the next bullet point), and they granted Kevin Nash his release for whatever reason, allowing Booker and Nash to make triumphant returns at the Royal Rumble event three days after the Steiner return aired. This of course, left TNA scrambling for alternates at the eleventh hour, and they instead turned to Fortune to make a Heel Face Turn, which was a better move for the company anyway as it put four TNA originals in the spotlight for a change. Of course, this would have made more sense if TNA had not ran a segment where Crimson choked out AJ in the back, as well as another backstage segment in which Kurt Angle completely waffled Styles with a baseball bat.
The last-minute switch from the MEM to Fortune also had the unfortunate side-effect of completely castrating the Immortal super-stable. By removing Styles, Kazarian, and Beer Money, the only active wrestlers left in Immortal were Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, Rob Terry, and Gunner and Murphy. In addition to losing the talent of the team, Kaz and Beer Money were the X-Division and Tag Team champions respectively, which means that there was no payoff to Immortal losing those belts, and the ramifications of Immortal losing the belts was hardly even brought up, if at all. On a side note, Kazarian won the belt from Jay Lethal after completely disrespecting Jay's entire family, and not even a month later, Kazarian is a card-carrying babyface.
TNA also wasted the perfectly good plot in the form of Ric Flair having to choose between Immortal and Fortune. Instead of letting the angle progress for a few weeks, they ran through the potential storyline in a hour's time by having Flair Ice all the members of Fortune in the back, and then he costs AJ Styles a match in the very next segment of the show. You would think Flair would have a harder time backstabbing the stable he created in the image of the Four Horsemen!
Now we come to the situation regarding the return of Sting. You see, the night after the Royal Rumble in which Nash and Booker made their triumphant returns to McMahon Land, the WWE started hyping the return of The Undertaker with mysterious "2.21.11" vignettes. The problem was that the first one was a bit too vague, and many got the impression that Sting was finally making his WWE debut. However, it wasn't to be, as Sting had apparently signed with TNA all along. Instead of capitalizing on the situation by hyping Sting's return at some point before 2/21/11, TNA would instead shoehorn their own knock-off vignette for the return of Sting complete with the "3.3.11" date on the February 24th edition of Impact, days after Undertaker made his return, and only one week before the big reveal. Not only would this be missing a huge opportunity to deliver backlash to WWE for their ambiguous promo by saying "no, people, here's the truth, they don't have Sting, we do", if only they had aired this while the 'Taker promos were going on, but it is a clear giveaway that they finally have Sting back under contract and they're so excited they couldn't think a damn bit of it through. In the end, what was really made abundantly clear is how creatively bankrupt and unoriginal TNA truly is. Then comes the night itself. The Network has ordered Jeff Hardy to defend his TNA World Heavyweight Championship that night against a mystery opponent. No point for guessing who went to bed with the title that night. And if you didn't guess it was the past-his-prime near-52-year-old man who took his ball and went home as soon as the evil conspiracy took the seat of power, disappeared long enough for "2.21.11" to spark speculation about his future, and only returned when it was to be given a "shocking" mystery title shot, well then you're either new to TNA or you get minus points.
Particularly jarring is how this flies in the face of everything going on at the time in TNA. Storylines at the time had both Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam gunning for Jeff Hardy's head and championship (the latter of which Anderson briefly had for a month - that "briefly" part does not help the problem). AJ Styles, the leader of Fortune, has been shown to imply interest in challenging for the championship in a moment that teased a future title match between him and Hardy once Fortune got done with their upcoming issue with Flair. The fact that, in the middle of all this, Sting can just come through the backdoor after fading into memory for months and suddenly become champion, provides only two things: slight Moral Dissonance due to this being the most egregious example yet of Sting becoming a knight for glory/convenient hero in TNA, and further proof than before that the TNA Championship is totally meaningless.
In the end, the dates 2.3.11, 2.21.11, and 3.3.11 made two things perfectly clear, WWE will always be the clear #1 company in pro wrestling as long as their next best competition is TNA, and TNA will always be the second-rate Mickey Mouse outfit with the creativity of a Xerox copier. TNA couldn't even be committed enough to keep their talent under contract before their hyped debuts, and when they do sign someone, people will always be much more interested in that talent if they had instead signed with WWE.
Mexican America, dear God. Below will be discussed the fact that TNA just cannot help rehashing takeover storylines and nWo ripoffs, but this has got to be the absolute worst ripoff of TNA's own LAX gimmick imaginable. Hernandez comes back to TNA from working in Mexico with a character cause that's basically the inverse of the same Small Name, Big EgoEvil Foreigner gimmick he played in Mexico in the first place, striking up a friendship with the Mexican-cousins-in-character-only Sarita and Rosita. This eventually goes into full-blown talk about taking over the United States in the name of Mexican America, which in short time is joined by the Mexican wrestler Anarquia. So they've rehashed LAX into this new Mexico-specific group, complete with the rearranged LAX theme song, and there are several issues with this new group that LAX had handled far better:
LAX accounted for all Latinos, and every member in its history actually was a Latino in and out of Kayfabe, which meant they were all free to acknowledge all Hispanic nationalities they ever identified with. Mexican America relied on the group all being Mexicans, but this only fully applies to Anarquia in real life, and Hernandez has Puerto Rican flag designs on his wrestling pants even during the gimmick. This makes for glaring dissonance when the Spanish announce team of Willie Urbina and Hector Guerrero, who were both supporters of LAX at one time or another, are invited to the ring to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican America only to be promptly betrayed by the group due to Urbina being Puerto Rican and Guerrero not hating him.
LAX's special "This is our land" gimmick involved a special tunnel entrance and a D-Generation X / New World Order-like titantron screen effect which looked really cool. Mexican America's involves hanging a giant Mexican flag that is draped down at the end of their entrance while they pose in the ring and then kept in place the entire time they're out there, obstructing the view of whatever is going on for about a good quarter of the Impact Zone.
In contrast to LAX, with heel mouthpiece and manager Konnan, workhorse Homicide, placeholder partners Apolo and Machete, athletic big man Hernandez, ring announcers Moody Jack and Willie Urbina, babyface motivational manager Hector Guerrero, and babyface valet Shelly "Salinas" Martinez all placed in roles they were well-equipped for, all four members involved in Mexican America are either working sub-par, underutilized, or are downright terrible and should've never been hired.
Hernandez lacks the effective mic skills to be a leader and has been reckless in the ring since his return, resulting in a neck injury for Jesse Neal and nearly killing Doug Williams with a Border Toss. Because of this, Anarquia's been written as more of an equal partner to Hernandez than a sidekick. And Anarqua presents his own problem entirely.
Rosita is green in the ring, having only wrestled for about a year before being signed to TNA, and she's less than five-feet tall, making it hard to take her offense seriously. Thus she and Sarita have been put into this group so they could have an impact on storylines without her wrestling much. Even though
Sarita, by the way, is one of the most stellar women wrestlers in the biz and has been a shining light in the Knockout division for some time. Which means instead of using all of her talents, Sarita's being limited to a backup role with the occasional short mic time through no fault of her own. And then we have
To sum up the ridiculousness: Mexican America was made up of a Puerto Rican leader, a Puerto Rican woman, a white Canadian woman (who happened to wrestle in Mexico about six years before), all misused in their roles even beyond that, and one actual Mexican-American who absolutely sucked.
Note: Chavo Guerrero's Tex-Mex team-up with Hernandez in TNA after the end of Mexican America was better than its predecessor stable from the moment Shawn first came to Chavo's aid.
In 2012 we have an angle where Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are trying to prove AJ Styles is having an affair with his boss Dixie Carter which leads to AJ, professional athlete and all, being knocked out by Dixie's non wrestling husband. So Dixie reveals that in reality she and AJ were secretly giving aid to a pregnant drunkard crackhead named Claire Lynch but Daniels and Kaz apparently knew about this the entire time and quickly reveal that AJ is the soon to be crack baby's father. AJ finds this accusation so offensive that he demands to wrestle Christopher Daniels in match with the stipulation AJ will admit to being the father if he loses to Daniels but will take a paternity test to see if he really is the dad or not if wins. Well AJ wins but instead of a paternity test Claire's lawyer informs him that the whole thing was a lie, drug abuse, drinking, pregnancy everything, lies Claire was paid to tell by Daniels. This could at least have worked to make him an even bigger heel but it was never mentioned again. One would think Dixie Carter at least would discipline Daniels and Kaz someway after such a revelation, considering all the embarrassment their lies caused her and her company.
Hulk Hogan Comes to TNA
TNA's decision to replace their six-sided ring with a traditional four-sided ring was met with universal disdain. The change was meant to appeal to the new wrestlers TNA hired (including Hulk Hogan), and the TNA crowd wound up booing Hogan after the announcement was made. Hogan, in his infinite wisdom, tried to stop the booing by saying ["Real wrestling happens in a four-sided ring."
While some say that wrestling in a four-sided ring is better, the wrestlers at TNA had been using the six-sided style for years by that point, had to completely change their style, and weren't told beforehand of Dixie Carter's decision to switch to four sides. No one liked the idea of putting an unnecessary risk on athletes of an inherently risky profession.
One of the biggest problems with the switch had to do with the image of TNA overall: When TNA first started out, the booking, great talent, and excellence on every level, from the X-Division to the Knockouts division to the Main Event, built them a reputation as a good alternative to the mainstream WWE style of Sports Entertainment. A lot of this was because of the fact that TNA emphasized the wrestling over the showy drama, which was still there but definitely less so than 'E. Apart of this alternative style was the use of their six-sided ring, which became an iconic piece of TNA's image over the years. Then along came Vince Russo, who booked the Knockout and X divisions into oblivion and booked the entire show around the soap-opera drama storylines as well as ex-WWE superstars, namely Kurt Angle. This wound up turning what was once a great alternative to the WWE into "WWE-Lite." Still, it was the only other major promotion out there and the six-sided ring was still the stage on which the show was set. Cue Hogan, and that iconic six-sided ring was replaced with a four-sided ring that basically eliminated any differences between the crappy WWE shows and the crappy TNA shows.
TNA also made the brilliant decision to reenact the Monday Night Wars in the first half of 2010, despite the fact that they have consistently struggled to gain a fifth of the ratings WWE gets on its worst days. This in itself was merely a poor business decision, but the angles that were run at the time were easily the worst angles in years, including the Badass Decay of Abyss reaching its low point, Orlando Jordan's bisexuality becoming an angle, Ric Flair and Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame rings becoming more valuable that the actual TNA Championship, Bubba the Love Sponge being there at all, Tag Team Championship reigns so bad they've made the title worthless, and the recreation of the nWo even though everyone involved is over the hill. Within six months, TNA had to switch back to Thursday nights, and actually lost viewers in the long run due to this decision.
Not to mention that even though they aired Impact on Mondays, it also aired in it's original Thursday timeslot, meaning watching on Monday's was pretty much optional. Contrast to the original Monday Night Wars, in which both shows were on Monday with Nitro replayed at midnight.
That Orlando Jordan bit is ridiculous enough to warrant elaboration. To summarize, Jordan was repackaged with a new gimmick that would bring his real life bisexuality into play. The only problem? Instead of being just a badass wrestler who happens to be bi (like CM Punk is a badass wrestler who happens to be straight edge, as a face anyway) Jordan became a disturbing, predatory character similar in subtle ways to Goldust, or a male Lady Gaga. Jordan would actually sexually assault men and women on the roster, most notably So Cal Val, who he molested for several weeks in a row. His antics included spraying lotion all over his chest, wearing a diaper on New Year's Day, and rubbing himself down with a Samoa Joe action figure. They literally do not try to hide the fact that his character was, for all intents and purposes, a rapist. The worst part? He had hoped that his character would inspire real life bisexuals to come out of the closet. Think about that one for a bit.
The nWo reformed yet again under the name The Band. Despite the fact that Scott Hall and X-Pac have gone down the spiral of drug abuse so far that any sane company would think that hiring two 40-year-old geriatrics like them would be moronic. Not only were Hall and X-Pac hired, they won the Tag Team Championships.
As bad as the Band being Tag Team Champions was, the return of the Nasty Boys made Hall and X-Pac look like the second coming of the Rockers. They couldn't move before, but now they were so damaged they couldn't even bump. Did TNA honestly think these clowns were the guys who were needed to win their stupid Monday Night War reenactment?
Bubba the Love Sponge's stint in TNA is regarded by many as the low point in TNA's history. He repeatedly said as many offensive comments as possible, culminating in his infamous quote about the Haitian earthquake
This comment was so offensive, TNA Knockout Awesome Kong beat the crap out of Bubba, and the incident is largely believed to be the reason she was fired.
Bubba's actions afterward, which consisted of deliberately setting up Kong to appear on a "rival" radio show, only to ambush and harass her with a multitude of racial slurs and other insults, eventually got him booted from the company. On the plus side, Bubba's last real appearance on TNA ended with Mick Foley punching him in the face.
Hulk Hogan is on crutches, and would be ill advised to wrestle again. Abyss has never gotten a clean win in the past several months. Eric Bischoff isn't a wrestler. Jeff Jarrett is a dinosaur. Kevin Nash finally retired, so he won't be back. And Jeff Hardy turning heel makes absolutely no sense, was done with no foreshadowing, and Jeff hasn't been a heel since he was in the Brood a dozen years ago. Not to mention that there are already two factions in TNA EV 2.0 and Fourtune, both of which have more members...and both, even EV 2.0, have better wrestlers. What a great idea.
It was also around this time that Ric Flair returned to wrestling. This after getting a massive storyline dedicated entirely to him by the WWE, getting a great match being carried by Shawn Michaels at the following Wrestlemania and giving one of the saddest Goodbye speeches and a MONUMENTAL sendoff (complete with the live audience chanting "Thank you, Flair" over and over again across the ENTIRE arena) by the many of the WWE's top stars and even the Undertaker himself. After multiple retirements in the past, it seemed that Flair would finally hang up the boots and keep his sagging man-breasts in his shirt...only for him to throw all of that by the wayside less than a couple of years later and put Brett Favre to shame in terms of screwing up retirements.
When he dies, he'll probably willingly get the Elmer McCurdy treatment so he doesn't have to stay retired, even in death.
Cue an utterly nonsensical "The Network" angle that started off with the aforementioned title match between Jeff Hardy and a mystery opponent, starting yet another power struggle angle. To get a good grasp on this, TNA has been running a power struggle angle in one form or another nearly non-stop since its inception.
On May 12th, TNA revealed who is the representative of "The Network", Mick Foley. His first acts? Officially change the name from TNA to Impact wrestling and change the company's motto to "Wrestling Matters", and reveal that Kurt Angle's mistress is Chyna. So, how much of this ended up being a failure?
Everyone saw right through the motto change as yet another potshot directed at the WWE, who had only recently changed from World Wrestling Entertainment to WWE. Despite another set redesign, Impact's format remained virtually the same.
So what does Chyna do after her performance after Sacrifice (which all she did was about three poorly executed moves)? Return to starring in pornography.
And the icing on the cake? Foley is fired as the representative of "The Network" in less than a month after the reveal. Here's the kicker, Mick Foley made it very clear that he was done with TNA when his contract was over, which was in September. So when he asked for his release, they gave it to him while in the middle of a storyline.
October 14, 2010 (or "How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Shocking Swerves")
The October 14, 2010 episode of iMPACT the one immediately following Bound for Glory and the big "THEY" reveal was so colossally awful in every way, it has its own folder.
The show opens with Hulk Hogan talking, and it would be almost an hour of promos and non-wrestling segments before the first match. (That match ends up going for about ten seconds, since it's the Fingerpoke match discussed below.) In total, TNA had about 16 minutes of wrestling on a two-hour show and since the main event bled into the aftershow, ReAction, it's more like 16 minutes of wrestling in a three-hour show.
retreads of the Four Horsemen and the nWo, respectively
This is several times worse than when Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon buried the hatchet on Monday Night RAW. How much money could be made with Flair and Hogan as the mouthpieces of the two groups while using the younger wrestlers who can actually work to carry the load? You could appeal to the older market by having veteran names waging one last war without the downside of actually seeing them wrestle, all while appealing to the younger fans by having hot commodities like AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy feud. It doesn't matter now, though, because Vince Russo threw it all away for a cheap shock.
It's also completely out of character. Hogan and Flair are in a blood feud, and have never gotten along in any way up until this point. How in the hell are people supposed to believe they'd bury the hatchet for anything when they've spent the last several months giving each other hell and they've practically been feuding with each other on-and-off since The Nineties?
Let's ignore for a moment that Flair and Hogan even being nice to each other flies in the face of all previous storylines, TNA or otherwise. Let's pretend for a moment that pissing away the chance to have the TNA Originals (Fourtune) fight Immortal is about as stupid a move as one can make. Let's forget all of that for a moment and talk about the obvious problem with this you have a group now consisting of ten guys, all heels...with nobody left to fight them. Is there anyone left backstage? Samoa Joe, Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, D'Angelo Dinero, and maybeSting. That's it! Assuming they all work together, that's five against ten, two to one odds. So unless every match is a handicap match in their favor, then the faces can't possibly compete...and that assumes they all work together, despite the fact that Sting is a questionmark, Joe hates everyone, and Anderson's pretty much a heel to begin with. Now you'd think Vince Russo would be to blame for this one, but that actually isn't the case. In a ReAction interview following the event, even he said he didn't like this storyline, and was just being pressured by Hogan and Bischoff to keep going with it. When Vince Russo, the worst wrestling booker in existence, doesn't like a crappy idea? Chances are you should not do it.
As of this writing, Jeff Jarrett has taken out Angle, Joe, and Anderson, and Abyss has taken out "The Pope", leaving absolutely nobody to stand against Fourtune and Immortal. On the positive side, Matt Morgan and Douglas Williams are hinting that they're breaking away from Fortune (Matt pretty much turned face after his impromptu Chain Match, and if Ric doesn't give Douglas a push he'll go too). So the big heel alliance has been cut down to eight instead of ten, but aside from Matt, Douglas, Sting (maybe), RVD (who's suffering from "paranoia"), and EV 2.0 (who won't work with anyone) the odds are still stacked against the faces. Way to go, Hogan and Bischoff. Way to f*cking go.
Never mind the fact that the crowd has been desperate for the chance to cheer Fourtune. Flair and AJ in particular couldn't get heel heat these days if they were lighting fans on fire. The crowd loves Fourtune, and Immortal (as shoddy as its inception was) was the perfect heel foil for Fourtune to get over as faces. However, that would make too much sense.
And now they've turned against Immortal come 2-3-11, being revealed as the "they" in another "They are coming" storyline. Thus giving the feud that should have been in the first place. The worst part? This would never have happened if Kevin Nash and Booker T didn't jumped to the WWE (The "They" was originally going to or at least implied to be the Main Event Mafia).
There is also RVD and EV2.0, the reason Fourtune joined forces with Immortal in the first place. There's already problems within the ranks, and that's not even getting into the problem of having what essentially amounts to three different stables being the focus of every show.
Oh, yeah. And um- that whole problem about Flair and Hogan being nice to each other when their entire careers they've been in a blood feud? Yeah, that's still an issue. Because Flair, within an hour of his return from Europe after Fortune's face turn, turns on Fortune for Immortal. Some see a silver lining with the idea that Ric Flair might be the man secretly getting Immortal Screwed by the Network, thus meaning he's been in on Fortune's turn all along, but to this point the guy who calls himself God has practically been booked to have sold his soul ever since 10/10/10.
And what did J-Woww do during her one appearance? Get into a backstage catfight with Cookienote newcomer Becky Bayless as a Snooki lookalike, the valet of new wrestler Robbie Enote a Paulie D parody. Truly, money well spent.
And what show did the morons run her segment up against? Jersey Shore.
WWE did run their own variant of this. With the parodied Snooki getting a win at Wrestlemania. Perhaps a Take That of their own?
TNA post-Bound for Glory 2010 has become so eerily similar to late WCW, it simply can't be a coincidence. Between an over-bloated nWo expy, the Fingerpoke of Doom title matches, episodes of almost all talking, and Katie Lea Burchill Winter pulling a "Warrior in the Mirror" on Angelina Love on the following Impact, it seems like Russo is homaging/parodying/copying the worst moments of WCW. Don't be surprised if J-Woww pulls a David Arquette (followed by Dixie Carter pulling a Vince Russo) or if Dinero gets beaten in a field by Immortal with bats pretty soon.
The hour-long postshow, ReAction, was dedicated to showing how Immortal was formed. When you need an hour just to explain an angle, on top of having practically an entire two-hour show filled with nothing but promos...doesn't that seem a little insulting to the audience's intelligence?
What the hell happened to the X-Division? Once regarded as a landmark in wrestling, ever since 2007 TV time for it decreased dramatically. X-Division matches are rarely seen on TNA anymore, and even the current champion (whoever it is) isn't even in the top contenders for the TNA World Title.
At one point, Abyss won the X-Division title. Yeah, Abyss. That alone tells you how far the X-Division has fallen. (Though, with Eric "I hate cruiserweights" Bischoff and Vince Russo in charge, it shouldn't come as a surprise.
The Abyss: X-Division champion angle did eventually have a payoff, with Brian Kendrick becoming the savior of the X-Division and winning the title at the X-Division themed PPV. The problem here was that the Kendrick vs. Abyss match saw both Immortal and THE ENTIRE X-DIVISION run in, making Kendrick's win come off as a fluke.
Abyss would get his rematch on a following Impact...in an Ultimate X match, effectively putting Abyss in the underdog role, which should almost never be done when the Heel outweighs the Face by over 100 lbs. It also was another example of TNA putting lame gimmick matches on free TV, when they could be used as a PPV attraction.
Following Kendrick's victories over Abyss, The Network would ensure that Abyss could never challenge for the X-Division, by instituting a weight limit. While this may not be a major loss, guys like Samoa Joe and Sonny Siaki have proven that a heavyweight who brings something different to the table can thrive in the X-Division, and this weight limit ensures that will never happen again.
Not helping is the fact that the weight limit turns the X-Division into a glorified Cruiserweight Division. For those unaware, Eric Bischoff hates Cruiserweights, so that means that the X-Division is never going to be part of a main event.
Although it seemed this was being slowly phased out when Samoa Joe challenged Austin Aries, in what would be his second-to-last title defence, for the X Division Title at Slammiversary 2012.. It looked to have been removed entirely when Rob Van Dam beat Zema Ion for it at Bound for Glory. Following the match, Zema took to Twitter and complained that RVD was above the weight limit. No one listened to him.
TNA was ignoring the weight limit long before then, as Doug Williams (who is just over the weight limit) still competed in X-Division matches. What is the point of instituting something if you're not going to adhere to it?
As of April 2013, the weight limit is back (230 lbs. now) and, inscrutably, every X Division title defense must take place in a triple threat match. Can't defend it in a singles match, can't have more than three competitors vying for the belt...nope, just a flat three. Completely unnecessary adjustment to the rules that will force a third wheel in feuds that could easily get by with just two of the wrestlers.
The TNA Legends/Global/Television Championship. Easily the most pointless, extraneous, convoluted title ever brought to the sport of pro wrestling. The amount of levels it fails on are astronomical:
First, as the Legends Championship (introduced by Booker T during the Main Event Mafia angle), the rules said it could only be won and fought for if you're a "legend" in professional wrestling. What the fuck does that even mean? Are there forms you have to fill out to qualify as a "legend"? Can "legend" be measured or determined in any way whatsoever? No, it can't. Not to mention that a title that most of your roster can't compete for due to bullshit rules makes the concept of that title inherently pointless.
Eric Young won the Legends Championship from Kevin Nash in October 2009 and renamed it the TNA Global Championship as part of his "World Elite" gimmick. This fails on so many levels:
How was Eric Young even able to qualify for winning the Legends Championship? He was 29 at the time, nobody knows who he is, and he hasn't won a major title once. Why did that match even happen?
When Eric won the title from Nash, it was decided that the title couldn't be won by an American on American soil. Almost all of TNA's shows take place in America, and most of the roster is American, even Samoa Joe. That goes beyond pointless for a title. The Million-Dollar Belt is more legitimate a title than that.
After all of this, Eric Young dropped the belt to Rob Terry in Wales so Young could feud with the Band after it reunited for the 715th time, even though Terry is a Welsh wrestler. If the title can't be won by an American on American soil, what makes it possible for a Welsh man to win it on Welsh soil?
"Global" = "Anti-American". That's your answer.
It wasn't as much as that the title was Anti-American as that Eric Young stated that he refused to defend the title against an American or on American soil. When he was scheduled to defend the title against Ayako Hamada (whom he wanted to add to the World Elite), he stated that he would make an exception to his refusal of defending the title in the US.
AJ Styles promised when he won the Legends/Global/Television Title that he'd defend the damn thing every week, because that's the whole point of the TV Title. He has defended the Title precisely five times (once against Rob Terry, once against Brian Kendrick, once against Stevie Richards, and twice against Douglas Williams) since he won it, and the last time was on Pay-Per-View. So why does this damn belt even exist?
In 2012, Devon would win the TV title, and TNA would institute a mandatory weekly title defense policy, a move that everyone felt was a long time coming. It literally took two Impacts for Devon to be left off the show, and he would later leave TNA while holding the title when his contract expired.
Because Booker T was bitching and moaning about not having a title around his waist, so Russo let him make one of his own.
The really sad thing about this is that a "global" championship could have worked. By having a belt that anyone from around the world can compete for T.N.A. could have brought in all sorts of talent. Can you imagine "Kenta vs. A.J. for The Global Championship?" This title could have been something special if they had introduced a new one instead of trying to recycle Booker T's weightlifting belt and someone on T.N.A.'s booking committee knew what they were doing.
Just to note, Abyss won the TV title after AJ was legitimately injured. Abyss was not seen with the belt between then and when he was murdered by Crimson. What's up with the belt? It's disappeared.
Abyss was stripped of it on account of being dead and it was put on Gunner. Yeah... Gunner. Oh, and Abyss came Back from the Dead the next week making the stripping of the belt entirely pointless. Naturally.
Not even Gunner has it anymore. He lost it on the 5/27/11 edition of iMPACT Wrestling to Eric Young after Gunner tried to convince Young to remake the Fingerpoke Of Doom Match again. Young sold the poke (no surprise), but then reversed it into a Small Package when Gunner went for the cover. So now Young, still in his "concussion-induced idiot" gimmick, holds both the original TNA World Championship belt andBooker T's weightlifting belt the TNA Legends/Global/TV belt. Why, TNA?WHY?!?
The recent major storyline has just proven how much of a sad joke the Knockouts Division has become. Since Bound For Glory 2010, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan have stolen the company from Dixie Carter, have been abusing their power to put Faces in blatant screwjob matches (such as Mr. Anderson in an Ultimate X match with a dislocated shoulder and hyperextended elbow) and, for added fun, allowed Abyss to abduct audience members. The Knockouts not only do not care about these horrific chains of events but are more concerned with a stupid feud about Madison Rayne being the champion. This could've been saved if Madison and Tara were part of Immortal but since they aren't it just makes you wonder why there hasn't been a single interview or promo from any Knockout about the new regime. The moment that may have truly and forever buried the Knockouts Division was the first Impact of 2011. In order to retain control of the company Eric Bischoff and Immortal need to get all of the titles by Genesis because as Mike Tenay says, "titles = power," so he places a "bounty" on the titles Immortal does not have, namely the Tag Team Title, the X-Division Title, and the Television Title. So apparently the Knockouts Titles carry no power and are inconsequential to the fate of the company.Is that what you're saying Eric? Mike?
Oh the Knockouts Tag Team Titles got far worse on February 28, 2012. On that night the new champs were crowned. They were ODB and...wait for it...Eric Young. Even worse, they've become the longest reigning champions in the belt's history (though this is mainly because they're both barely even on TV.)
Rob Van Dam wins the TNA World Heavyweight Championship not so bad. Except that AJ Styles, the man many consider to be the greatest wrestler alive, was completely decimated by Van Dam. RVD then says in an interview that he won't drop the title to anyone who didn't work in the Attitude Era not so good. TNA nearly uses up all the guaranteed appearances for RVD in his contract, so they book him into an injury angle that lets him vacate the title without having to lose a match to anyone Wall Banger of epic proportions. It's just another reminder of how badly TNA is mismanaged, and another thing people will point to when the inevitable Death of TNA book is written.
Death of TNA, the answer, not nearly soon enough.
Made even worse because Van Dam came back in a month anyway. Thus, him forfeiting the title meant absolutely nothing (just like 90% of TNA angles) and did no favors to the World Title's already astronomically-low prestige.
He came back the same night TNA crowned a new champion, which means he never missed a single title defense.
Let's put it this way when a company's top title is placed in lower importance than an item associated with your competition (Hulk Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame ring) and is vacated for two months because of horrible management in the same year, that title now means less than the WWE Blockbuster Championship!
The TNA Knockouts Championship deserves its own page on here with the amount of times the creative team have played hot potato with it. See the Wall Banger entry for details on the infamous Lockbox fiasco but Madison Rayne ended up as a good champion for a few months...before she lost it to Angelina Love via DQ and then was immediately awarded it back on Impact. What's worse is that they counted both title reigns instead of just admitting their mistake. Then Angelina wins the belt back (legitimately this time) a couple of weeks later. Then she loses it a few weeks later to Tara who lays down for Madison Rayne to win the belt back on the next episode of Impact.
The hot potato games started up again when Mickie James and Winter started feuding. Winter won the belt but then Mickie inexplicably won it back in her rematch two weeks later. Then she defended it two weeks later on a PPV and Winter won the belt back in the exact same way. It gets worse - Winter lost the title at Bound For Glory to Velvet Sky and in the meantime was only featured on TV twice between the two events, despite being you know the champion. And then Velvet drops it to Gail Kim four weeks later. Gail has managed to break the hot potato streak but TNA's restraint can only last so long...
Oh dear. Signs of it starting again have appeared when Madison Rayne beat Miss Tessmacher for the belt at Hardcore Justice... Then immediately dropped it back to her on the following Impact.
November 18, 2010 (or "How I Learned To Stop Caring About TNA Or Pro Wrestling")
Hogan: "Well, brother, we're lightening the load around here. We're trimming the fat. We're thinning the herd. I mean, you know, it's pathetic. It's pathetic, that Dixie would let this company get in the shape it's in. It's her train of thought! Raven? Who hasn't had a damn shower or bath? Y'know, with RVD, and that whole crew out there? They meant to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan, who sold out Shea Stadium? who put 94,000 people in the Pontiac Silverdome? who slammed a 700-pound giant? They mean to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan means?
"No wonder this company was in the shape it's in. It's time to get rid o' the trash, the garbage, the worthless piece of crap out here, and we started with Dixie Carter. Yeah, we're gettin' very real around here. We are so, real, it's unbelievable. Because, if you don't get over like I said, you're fired. If you don't draw numbers, if you don't entertain, if you don't put asses in seats, if you don't put the coinage in the piggy bank, you're fired. No more games. No more "Kayfabe." "It's a work." "I've won 34 tag team belts." Who gives a damn, how many fake belts you won!? If you don't draw money, you get fired around here. If you don't put asses in seats, you're gone."
...So when are Bischoff, Hogan, and Russo getting their pink slips? And when is Team 3D going to give Hogan a 3D for completely burying their incredible accomplishments?
Brother Ray was so pissed at Hogan for those comments that he would break up Team 3D, rechristen himself as Bully Ray, and then join Immortal!
You know the answer to that question. It's never. TNA will die, and Hogan, Bischoff, and Russo will continue on blaming everyone but themselves. And five-ten years down the line, we'll probably go through this EXACT SAME SITUATION AGAIN.
Also that night Ric Flair admits he's banged a horse. It...wasn't a great night for wrestling.
Jeff Hardy, TNA Champion
A reign so inept, it deserves its own section.
On October 10th, 2010, Jeff Hardy wins the TNA World Heavyweight Title... after the title was vacated for what ended up a pointless reason, a heel turn with no foreshadowing, an angle designed as a carbon-copy of the formation of the nWo, and said nWo rehash being named Immortal and thus guaranteeing a certain spotlight-hogging geezer more time in front of the camera. Suffice to say, it wasn't a good beginning.
And this is without mentioning the fact that all this was to put the title in the hands of a potential drug convict that proceeded to remodel it into a silver Aztec sun belt. When you are shooting to become the #1 wrestling company in the world and you are turning your World Heavyweight Championship into secondary silver, you know things are not running smoothly in the organization.
Ok, so we've gone a while with Jeff Hardy as champ. Even if you ignore the incredibly stupid stuff that got him there. The past couple pay-per views have had Matt Morgan and Hardy fight it out for the Championship. Then, at the Final Resolution pay-per-view on Sunday, Dec 5, 2010 Hardy shows up and is messed up, allegedly from traveling too much. Also, on Wednesday of that week he's got a court date where he is facing serious charges for possession of opiates and cocaine. So, might TNA have him drop the title in order to ensure that their World Champion, not suddenly find himself in jail? No, they don't. They let him keep it, and then tape the next few weeks of Impact in advance so they can go on Christmas break. And it does not even seem as if he's going to drop it at the next pay-per-view. Also, how the heck does TNA determine who's the number one contender? It seems to always be whomever is most convenient.
Advance one month to TNA's first PPV of 2011, Genesis, on January 9, 2011. To start things off, Jeff Hardy was not billed as defending his title on the PPV at all. However, immediately after a rather mediocre #1 Contender Match that saw Ken Anderson defeat Matt Morgan, Eric Bischoff came out and announced the title match would be done immediately. Ken Anderson then proceeded to no-sell two Twists of Hate and a Swanton Bomb (and Mr. Anderson was in the middle of a concussion storyline) before pinning Jeff Hardy for the title, but not before a number of attempted run-ins. All to cap off a PPV that's been largely derided as a contender for Worst PPV of 2011.
Hilariously enough, Anderson wore Jeff Hardy's customized clown-shaped belt as TNA World Champion. What happened to the old belt that actually looked like a championship? Eric Young found in the trash (sounds about right) and now considers himself the TNA World Champion because this is exactly what your title needs to build legitimacy.
Moot point, for Anderson promptly drops the belt back to Jeff Hardy at Against All Odds.
Victory Road 2011: A title match that lasts 90 seconds. The final match of the card was Jeff Hardy vs Sting for the TNA World Championship. However, it took Hardy close to six minutes to head to the ring, visibly strung out. Shortly thereafter, Bischoff comes down to announce it as a No DQ match, but apparently this was a cover-up to hide the fact that he told Sting to forcibly pin Hardy down as quickly as possible before someone got injured. 90 seconds later (this includes 60 seconds of stalling by Jeff Hardy), a visibly pissed off Sting hit Hardy with a Scorpion Deathdrop and forcibly kept him down for the 1-2-3. One of the performers in the main event was so impaired that that he couldn't even work the damn match without there being a real possibility of him injuring someone. If he really was so bad, WHY DID YOU EVEN HAVE HIM GO DOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE!? Change the damn main event, turn it into a three way between Sting-Anderson-RVD since their match ended with a countout (stupid in of itself), and actually give the fans something to go home with. Seriously, does anyone in this company know how to run ANY business?
Jeff Hardy clearly came out in no condition to perform. Before the match even began, the ref held up his own arms in an "X", a signal to the back that something was wrong. Sting, the ref, and ring announcer Jeremy Borash were visibly not happy with the situation.
And Sting refusing to risk his life and well-being with this man, hooked the leg completely over Jeff's torso so he cannot kick out. This raises the question of just why would TNA trust this man to put the lives of their workers in the hands of an irresponsible Jeff Hardy, much less the top prize of their company?
When fans started to chant "BULLSHIT" after the match, all Sting could do is nod his head and say "I agree, I agree." And he said it loud and clear on camera.
Anderson was added to the match making it a 3-way bout. Despite the contest involving 3 competitors it doesn't even reach the 10-minute mark before Sting pins Anderson after a Scorpion Deathdrop.
As a post-script to all of this, Hardy returned to TNA later in the year (after his drug case had finally been settled) to begin a feud with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is the co-founder of the company, and in various promos done after Hardy's return, he ragged on Hardy and told the audience that nobody had any confidence in Hardy any more. Hardy — who was not only allowed to work a match while he was in no shape to do so, but now has what amounts to a felony drug conviction on his record — was cheered by TNA crowds upon his return (though how much of the cheering was real is debatable, since TNA is known for using "canned" crowd reactions on taped shows). To recap: Jeff Hardy, a perpetual fuck-up who very nearly gave TNA the worst PR black eye since Jesse Neal said he was on food stamps, is the good guy — and Jeff Jarrett, one of the founders of TNA and a man with a vested personal interest in seeing the company succeed, is the bad guy.
Amusingly, the live audience for the Bound for Glory PPV may have shown how bad this return feud is. In a promo given by Jarrett where he berated Hardy for coming back to TNA, Hardy comes out (in a shirt with his own mugshot, which says a lot about his sense of humor or that he still isn't taking the whole "convicted for drug felony/ruining his career/ruining his reputation" thing seriously). They come to blows, and have to separated by event security. So what gets the most heat in this? Cheers for Hardy "trying" to atone for his mistakes or Jarrett standing up for his company? Boos for Hardy being selfish or Jarrett for being a complaining heel? If you said the biggest moment was the crowd chanting from D'Lo Brown, well, you would be right. At this point, the only way this feud would be worse is if the two men fought for the right to use the name "Jeff", but that's a ridiculousidea, right?
The feud ended with Sting firing both Jeff and Karren Jarrett and giving Jeff Hardy a future title shot.
And in a few months that last idea was actually done in another feud—for the right to stay in TNA and to use the name Bischoff.
Jeff Hardy is not allowed in the UK, due to his felony conviction. TNA, in their infinite wisdom, decided to keep advertising him for their 2013 UK tour anyway when tickets went on sale eight months beforehand. A few days before the tour is scheduled to begin, Hardy is pulled from it, with TNA citing an "injury" (which turned out to be caused by a Nancy Kerrigan-esque strike with a hammer, which was undersold like crazy). Normally this wouldn't be such a bad thing, but Hardy's still their world champ (despite TNA having had an opportunity to pull the title from him immediately before the "injury") and TNA's taping a month of Impact episodes on that tour, meaning that the world title won't be on Impact for a solid month. At the UK shows, his absence was not addressed beyond flyers. Nobody was fooled.
What makes it worse is that immediately before he was kayfabe injured, Hardy defended his title against Christopher Daniels, a man who (along with his tag team partner, Frankie Kazarian) was one of the most entertaining performers in TNA during 2012. Not only that, Daniels is a longtime veteran of TNA who has always worked his ass off to give the fans a good show. If anybody ever deserved a run with the world title, it's Daniels. Prior to this, TNA seemed to want to keep the title on Hardy to keep him happy so he wouldn't go and sign with WWE. That's likely the reason they had the previous champ, Austin Aries, drop it to him. Since Hardy wouldn't be able to visit the UK, however, there was no reason not to have him drop the title to Daniels (which would have made smarks everywhere ecstatic) right before the UK tour, let Daniels go into the UK as champ, and then have him drop the title back to Hardy immediately upon TNA's return to the United States. That way they could keep Hardy happy (probably), mollify the UK fans by at least giving them a world champion even if it wasn't the one advertised, and show some gratitude to a man who's done a lot for the company over the years. Instead? They let Hardy beat Daniels clean and then hog the belt for the next few weeks while doing absolutely nothing.