These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Oh that's not the best part, the best part is AJ Stylescalling Bischoff out for turning TNA into a WWE ripoff. Why is this the best part? This is exactly what the fans had been complaining about!
After the catastrophic mess that was the Main Event of Victory Road 2011, TNA offered six months of free access to their online on-demand service if you show proof of purchase.
The Reveal of Bully Ray as the head of Aces and Eights is also seen as this. Two weeks later, a series of vignettes which arc weld the entire nine-month storyline up to that point and showed off its surprising amount of depth was met with critical acclaim.
The Knockouts Division: they went from being one of the best parts of TNA (they even main-evented an episode of Impact!) to becoming a shallow parody of their former glory, all in the space of a couple of years. ODB famously tweeted "What is happening to our division?" after watching a "Leather and Lace" Match on Impact in early 2010.
With the return of Gail Kim and Karen Jarrett finally leaving, this has started to be reversed.
Mick Foley went from becoming an actual psychotic berserker capable of taking the world title to being Too Dumb to Live concerning his final weeks against Eric Bischoff.
Matt Morgan: First Samoa Joe came back and murdered him, then Kevin Nash got the tag team titles from him. He's moved from the badass he was into someone who's getting his ass kicked by everyone with a foot.
As a less dramatic example, "Stone Cold" Shark Boy. In the 2008 Rec.Sport.Pro-Wrestling Awards, it came in 19th out of 23 in the "Best Wrestling Gimmick" category, and 3rd out of 23 in the "Worst Wrestling Gimmick" category.
Changing from the six-sided ring to the more traditional four-sided ring. Many fans hate the change (Note the "WE WANT SIX SIDES" chant on the night of said change) while others (particularly the Smarks) see this as an improvement. Wrestlers were won over in good time, though, by noting that the mat was far less stiff to bump on.
Orlando Jordan's bisexuality becoming a part of his gimmick. Even now, the arguments about whether it's a good thing or a bad thing haven't been settled in some circles.
Introducing two characters based on Jersey Shore was strike one; having one of their one of their stars make a one night cameo for $15,000 and humiliating a legitimate wrestler in the longest segment of the night was strike two; hiring another one of them and potentially bringing the first one back is/will be strike three.
Doing away with one of the characters was a step in the right direction, but then TNA brought in a thirdJersey Shore cast member.
Magnus's current run as World Heavyweight Champion. On one hand, he carries himself like a confident heel champion well enough in his promos. On the other hand, the increasing amount of interference needed for his title defenses is being roundly decried as absurd even for a heel.
Seriously, does anybody want Kevin Nash to be on screen?
Yes. If he's behind the mic, he's great. Just as long as he doesn't wrestle.
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Jesse Sorensen showing up at Destination X 2012 and able to walk under his own strength despite wearing a neckbrace and delivered a promo promising he'd be back in the ring.
He has since returned to the ring, but not in TNA.
Dear Negative Reader: When The Spoony One began his short lived webshow Wrestle Wrestle!, he naturally began by criticising iMpact. One of his fans posted a link to the video on Dixie Carter's Facebook page. To the surprise of everyone (including Spoony), Dixie started tweeting him in response, essentially saying he was just being mean for the hell of it. The head of a nationally broadcast wrestling promotion actually took the time to start a flame war with an internet critic. Spoony ran with it for a short time, directly addressing Dixie in the next few videos and even volunteering to join the company as a booker. Dixie realised that spending time arguing with Spoony was counter-productive and left him alone after that.
Eric Young and Orlando Jordan's gimmicks, to many.
The ENTIRE, well, angle involving Kurt Angle, Jeff and Karen Jarrett, and their kids. The pinnacle of this is probably having the custody of their children being part of a stipulation for one of their PPV matches.
Eric Young's concussion gimmick is really nasty, especially in light of what's happened to Dynamite Kid and Chris Benoit.
Austin Aries got some serious heat in May of 2013 for an on-air rib on announcer Christy Hemme. When she accidentally announced Bad Influence instead of himself and Bobby Roode, he responded by cornering her in the ring till she announced them properly, then standing on the turnbuckle with his junk near her face. Christy, and a sizable part of the fanbase, didn't find this so funny, and he was reportedly fined for the incident.
Daffney Unger; her rare appearances on Impact were accompanied by some of the biggest pops of the night, even though she's a heeljobber, which just showed how dumb TNA was in not pushing her as a face when they had the chance.
And now we had Norv Fernum and Dewey Barnes. Anytime they had a match, the crowd seemed to cheer for them despite being jobbers.
Evil Is Sexy: Ever since turning heel Sarita wears about 75% less clothing below the waist and has a wicked smile.
Fridge Brilliance: The "call girl" element to the Shout-Out involving Madison Rayne's "Killa Queen" theme. Madison has had at least two referee seduction angles; one short-lived as a member of TBP, the second on her own and lasting long enough to get her the Knockouts title back for a few days.
Fridge Horror: Here's a scary thought; does anyone realize that, with his recent tag title victory for the Bro-Mans, if Robbie E by some miracle wins the TNA Heavyweight Title, he'll have become a Grand Slam Champion in a shorter time than AJ Styles?!
The pay-per-views from April 2012 onward have been regarded highly by both the wrestling press and internet smarks, following nearly 10 years of TNA being a laughingstock of a wrestling promotion. This started, not coincidentally, shortly after Vince Russowas let go.
Impact has also garnered a positive reaction post-Russo, with critics praising the in-ring focus, building up angles around the titles, and going back to focusing on their current roster instead of bringing in Attitude-Era wrestlers and GM power struggles.
This trope could pretty much be renamed "Shaving the Head" for Kazarian. His recent promo work is vastly improved, and he's just that bit better in the ring, since shaving off his hair and teaming with Christopher Daniels.
Garett Bischoff's promo on Dixie Carter just before Slammiversary. Look at his early-2012 promos when he was stumbling over his words every few seconds. And then look at that. Fuck.
Impact became far easier on the eyes and ears when they traded in the dead audiences and small confines of the Impact Zone at Universal Studios to the vibrant, hot crowds and (somewhat) larger arenas on the road.
Hate Dumb: TNA gets a ton of this, part of which involves comparing anything they do to something WWE has already done (as if WWE nor any other wrestling company that's been around in the last 15 years hasn't stolen or recycled ideas as part of its business model). For a recent example, due to doing a vignette with jump cuts and static effects shortly after signing with TNA, the American Wolves, who have been a team since 2008, are apparently now a ripoff of The Shield and/or The Wyatt Family, neither of which has been together for two years.
What makes the story arc of Miss Tessmacher learning to wrestle really sad is that "Miss Tessmacher" was formerly Brooke Adams in Kelly Kelly's "Extreme Exposé" dance squad with Kelly and Layla El in WWE. In a 2007 interview, she mentioned that if she ever improved as a wrestler she would love to leave Extreme Exposé and strike out on her own. Flash-forward a split and about three years later, by the time Brooke started in TNA as a receptionist, Kelly and Layla had long beaten her to the path of becoming wrestlers.
Then after a couple years she became the Knockouts Champion and (somewhat arguably) the best wrestler of the three, while Layla's had an ineffectual Divas title reign and Kelly's left the company.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian at one time shared the role of the cool maskedvideo game characterSuicide. Originally the character was Kazarian's, but when he got hurt, Daniels ended up taking the role and doing double duty both as Suicide and as himself. They even had each other's back when Kaz reprised the role in the middle of a storyline where the Motor City Machineguns and Lethal Consequences were trying to unmask Suicide to prove it was Daniels. Now, the Suicide character is shelved, the Guns are both gone, and Kaz and Daniels as heels are the most well-oiled tag team TNA's had since the Guns and fellow ex-Fortune members Beer Money, Inc.
12/17/12: Tommy Dreamer got his ass kicked by the Shield in WWE. Exactly a month later on 1/17/13…
The relationship between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels was chock full of Ho Yay, even when they were enemies. When they were arguing over the possibility that Daniels could beat Styles, it seemed like a lover's spat that lasted for weeks. Samoa Joe acting like a jealous third party didn't help any. Keep in mind that Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles have named their kids after each other, so this is hardly a relationship that ends when the match does.
This recently happened again with AJ and Daniels, over the same thing. On the 8/25/11 Impact broadcast, Daniels nearly broke down into tears while explaining why he asked AJ for another rematch (closely resembling an Anguished Declaration of Love) and outright hugged AJ when the rematch was accepted.
Kevin Nash with Alex Shelley, when he managed the Paparazzi (Austin Starr ofter played the jealous third party). Unlike the above, this was done deliberately.
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall have been this. Nearly all of Hall's brief tenures in TNA have seen these two be inseparable. One particular embrace they shared in the ring in late 2007 managed to make Hall look like Nash's girlfriend without at all being erotic. Following Hall's no-show and Samoa Joe's scathing promo on him in 2008, Nash even systematically befriended, mentored, and then betrayed Joe through that year's duration. Over that one promo.
But then, the Clique seem to revel in this kind of stuff, given their history of booking for their own amusement. Shawn Michaels and Triple H have done similar schtick in WWE.
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin are one of the most homo erotic tag teams ever, refer to themselves as Heterosexual Life-Partners, they constantly hug and stare soulfully into each others eyes, and have some of the best coordination of any group ever. Not to mention being real life BFF's outside of TNA along with Petey Williams.
Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan during the first "Immortal" promo had this in spades to the point that Ric told Hogan he was going to get up very morning loving him more than he's ever loved anything else. Hogan then asked if that included his ex-wives. Ric said yes.
More than a few fans believed that the "They" Abyss was talking about was Hogan and Bischoff, and the Impact before Bound For Glory, even more suggested it was them. Come Bound For Glory... Let's just say Sting was right...
When Jackson James first appeared and made questionable decisions that were written off as rookie mistakes, at least one person believed that he was in Immortal's back pocketnote Due to every Smart Mark and his dog recognizing him as Eric Bischoff's son.. Come Bound For Glory a year later and it was revealed to be the case.
Joseph Park actually being Abyss was obvious to many (probably most) fans from the very first time he lost his shitnote and started wrecking shop in a very Abyss-like manner complete with a Black Hole Slam, practically lampshading the fact that they're played by the same guy after seeing his own blood. Keep in mind that this was well over a year before the actual reveal.
Joker Immunity: Dixie Carter has it, but the company in general enjoys this. WCW failed because they alienated fans to the point that they were a financial sinkhole and TBS sold them down the river; ECW was financially mismanaged and had a product that was too violent to get mainstream attention; independent promotions have paper-thin profit margins and fail all the time if they simply don't draw; the WWE and Ring of Honor have to answer to stockholders, network executives and fans and could conceivably fail if people just stop watching. TNA has a guaranteed timeslot on Spike and are financially propped up by a major energy company owned by Dixie's father, this makes Dixie essentially a law unto herself and means that, unless TNA becomes a huge liability, will be funded if people watch or not.
It's pretty much an unwritten rule that Tara has this with every tag partner she has.
Taylor Wilde with Hamada and (previously) Sarita.
Winter with Angelina Love, but subverted with her being pretty much Angelina-sexual.
Love It or Hate It: TNA is incredibly polarizing. One side says that the storylines and writing are so bad that it makes the show unwatchable. The other side says that their young talent is so incredible and the matches are so good that it makes up for the bad storytelling. They're kinda both right.
Most people consider the breaking point the amount of time spent on storylines (i.e. talking) versus the amount of time spent on wrestling. YMMV all around.
One thing about TNA that must aggravate some WWE fans is that they apparently have to assign all of their talent to some ridiculously large faction (Main Event Mafia, Fortune, etc.) in a failed attempt to recreate the magic of 1990s WWE with The Corporation, Nation of Domination, etc. Rather than make the storylines more interesting, this tactic only cheapens them because it locks the characters into stereotyped roles to the point where their only motivation for attacking each other is "one's in Fortune and the other's not," etc.
Misblamed: Writer Vince Russo - fans frequently chant, "Fire Russo!" To be fair, Russo's not the only person involved with the booking (Dutch Mantell was also involved, and Jeff Jarrett had the final say on everything). He gets singled out because of his track record with WCW.
If it had anything to do with Abyss before his Badass Decay set in, it was Dutch Mantell booking it. The first time the "Fire Russo!" chant was invoked (Turning Point 2006, during the Sting vs. Abyss Last Rites match featuring a casket suspended from the ceiling, called a Deathbed), Mantell was later pegged as the guilty party.
According to Internet reports, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have been rewriting the shows.
Despite getting a lot of flack for things he wasn't involved with, Russo is still a horrible writer. When the infamous "DQ in a Cage match" happened Russo defended it saying that there was no reason why DQs shouldn't happen in a Cage match.
The infamous Jeff Hardy vs. Sting Match at Victory Road 11 brought a lot of hate TNA's way, despite the fact, that in the end, Jeff Hardy was the one who showed up completely stoned out of his gourd, and TNA had to choose whether to send him out for a quick squash or cancel their headlining match. We can argue about whether the company making a known substance abuser champion was Tempting Fate to begin with, but in the end, Jeff screwed Jeff.
Hardy himself did catch a ton of heat over this as well, though.
Narm: The Beautiful People, all over. Maybe having your main heels for your women's division, dress, act, and look like pornstars isn't the brightest idea when you want them to intimidate their opponents.
Narm Charm: Abyss clearly was dipped in this as a kid. To have such an obviously Narmy character get such great responses from the crowd every single time is either a sign of this or stupidity on the crowd's part.
Nightmare Retardant: Abyss. He looks like Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz after a botched plastic surgery. Surprisingly he managed to make it work for a bit. Then they had him talk. It went way downhill from there.
Protection from Editors: Vince Russo is to pro wrestling booking what a shotgun is to target practice: just firing a gajillion ideas out and hoping something hits. In WWE, and his early run with WCW, he worked WITH a team of other writers with careful oversight, so the target was essentially a chain-link fence: 1 in 100 ideas "hit", while the rest of the garbage went flying by. Now there's only one other writer besides Russo, Matt Conway, and, well... The chain link fence is more like the broad side of a barn. And whatever he says, goes. And he says a lot of weird shit.
So many times that they're no longer shocking and are often considered senseless.
However, some actually do manage to come off well.
One of the best examples of this going right was the big reveal of Bully Ray being the leader of the Aces & Eights after him winning the heavyweight title. At the time, it seemed like a very Russo-esque swerve for the sake of shock value, since in storyline, Bully had been married to Brooke Hogan and was a firm Face and constant opponent of the Aces & Eights for several months and as such, his Face-Heel Turn was fairly crapped on by the fans. But then two weeks later on Impact, Bully was in a number of monologue segments that had him walking through story arcs and seemingly unrelated events over the past nine months that laid out his master plan from start to finish, showing that the whole plan had a rather astonishing level of thought put into it, even covering Wes Brisco's Gut Check challenge several months prior to the big payoff that had nothing to do with the ongoing Aces & Eights storyline... until it was revealed that D'Lo Brown, who later was revealed as the club V.P., had filled in as a Gut Check judge following an injury to Al Snow and voted to bring Brisco in. Not only that, but Brisco's opponent, Garrett Bischoff, was also later shown to be an Aces & Eights member, making the entire series of events one where a TNA executive had wormed his way onto the judging panel to vote in a new member of his rogue faction after a tryout match where he was the first one to beat an existing TNA wrestler, who was also a member of said faction who arguably took a fall to make his new comrade-in-arms look good. Events like this and many more were shown and explained in what is probably the most in-depth and drawn-out wrestling storyline in the past few years.
The Trope could possibly be renamed in favor of Dale Oliver.
Specifically, most WWE-to-TNA defects get Jimmy Hart Versions of their WWE themes, like Christian Cage and Team 3D. Others who were popular on the independent circuit sometimes get Jimmy Hart Versions of their indy themes.
Tearjerker: After The Naturals defeated AMW to regain the NWA tag titles one of the last images was of them and their manager Chris Candido clutching the belts with a smile on his face proud of their accomplishment despite being in severe pain due to an real life injury he suffered less than a week ago. A few days later he died due to a botched surgery.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The initial reaction to TNA's changeover in 2010 to a traditional four-sided ring, after having been using a six-sided ring for over five years. It can be argued all day as to whether the six-sided ring was gimmickry to begin with, but the fact that the company changed the work environment of a very dangerous profession without informing their employees or production staff beforehand, in order to apparently cater to Hulk Hogan and his friends' wrestling style, makes the hate at least a little justified.
Perhaps the biggest example of this is their "3.3.11" promo. About the only thing different from the "2.21.11" promo was the color.
Fridge Brilliance may apply here: rumours still last that the 2.21.11 affair was to hype Sting's WWE debut, most likely for a match at WrestleMania against The Undertaker, but when Sting re-signed with TNA, they had to change it. The 3.3.11 promo could well have been a we've-got-Sting-and-you-haven't style jab at the WWE.
Except that Sting staying around led to the pathetic "match" with a drugged-up Jeff Hardy at Victory Road.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Much was made about the fact that he stole a golden cape that Hulk Hogan used to wear. Morgan wore it to the ring for several months, never actually addressed the fact that he still had it, and was let go before anything could come of it.
Orlando Jordan, bisexual. The thought of how TNA is pulling this off is so bad it honestly HURTS! Ow...
The problem here is that, in a recent interview, Jordan was quoted as saying that he hopes it helps other people who have problems because of their race or sexual orientation. Really, how in the world is being lowered to the ring wrapped in police tape or squirting mayonnaise all over yourself going to help people?!
The other problem, and the one that pisses off actual bisexual people is that his gimmick of having a female and male partner isn't just bisexuality, it's polygamy, a completely different thing. And the constant association of the two (although TNA is far from the worst there) makes people think of them as sex-crazed and incapable of being satisfied with one partner.
This has seemingly been rectified following an incident with Ric Flair and Jordan's male valet, leading to the latter's apparent dismissal from the company. His female valet disappeared shortly afterward.
Now, Orlando is openly groping his opponents like D'Angelo Dinero during his matches. This just takes the implications to a whole 'nother level. Apparently, Orlando would rather sexually assault other men than try to defeat them in a wrestling contest which, should be mentioned, is his job!
Recently, after Rob Van Dam was forced to vacate the World Championship, a tournament was held to decide the new champion with final four consisting of Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Ken Anderson, and The Pope. All four former WWE Superstars. There were TNA originals in the tournament, but they all lost to the aforementioned.
The treatment of the Knockouts could be seen as this, given that they are paid lower and have less screen time than the male wrestlers. Made worse if the rumor why the "unlucky-knockout-gets-her-head-shaved" angle came to be because the Knockouts were complaining about their lack of screen time was true.
It's even more grating because the promotion is actually headed by a woman, Dixie Carter-Salinas.
To add on to the less than pleasant treatment of the Knockouts, they were shut out of the first TNA Impact video game. TNA thought it would be better to put Mike Tenay and Don West in the game over Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, etc.
There was a storyline where Abyss "won" Desmond Wolfe's girlfriend, Chelsea, that's pretty bad for both of them, but From Bad to Worse, now there's a creepy "rape is love" thing going on between Chelsea and Abyss, while Abyss is portrayed as unabashedly good!
For a couple of months, half of Immortal. Fortune was led by "The Nature Boy"Ric"God!"Flair and consisted of several wrestlers the likes of which have helped build TNA from the ground up yet had a very good case to say that they've been Demoted to Extra for any latest big name veteran fads that may go through the place. When they turned on Immortal using the same exact character premise, the crowd exploded in joy.
Then there are the Jarretts; despite being portrayed as a Card-Carrying Villain and his Golddigger wife, both with a chronic case of Small Name, Big Ego, Jeff and Karen have had fans supporting them over Kurt because it's been documented on-screen and speculated off-screen that Kurt treated Karen like shit during their marriage, not to mention he usurped Jarrett's Spotlight-Stealing Squad power and then invoked Jeff's children into their previous feud. The Jarretts managed to be Faux Affably Evil enough to wear this down in good time, though, especially after filming the kids at home on air to demonstrate what a "perfect family" they were as part of their feud with Kurt.
Then there are ODB and Jacqueline, who had legitimate gripe with being ousted from the Knockouts in favor of the current scantly clad, barely talented pieces of eye candy that currently populate the division. The pair claimed intent to "clean up the Knockouts", and THANK GOD, they were the faces in this feud.
The glaring disconnect of Velvet Sky suddenly cutting "I busted my butt to belong here" promos yet still bending her butt over and getting it kicked the exact same way as when she rolled as an Alpha Bitch with the Beautiful People (aside from the occasional blowoff DDT and pin, essentially winning less believably than Cena) did not help this.
There have been attempts to turn AJ Styles into a Heel, and they've never really worked. He's simply too much of a nice guy to be a believable villain.
Alternately, those heel turns did work, but rather than giving him heat, they worked in that they gave him Character Development, which added some luster to him as a face. It also didn't hurt that True Companions tended to be involved. Prime example would be Fortune, listed above.
When Rhinoturned heel, he told Tommy Dreamer that he was only doing what he had to do to keep his job, and explicitly mentioned that he had to provide for his children. Understandable even in the best of times, and when the economy is as bad as it is, that's about as sympathetic as "heel" motives get.
Dreamer's own heel turn about a half a year later at first saw Bully Ray gleefully forcing his hand in a way that was very much implied to be the same situation. Then he decided AJ and the fans were all Ungrateful Bastards and worked with Bully Ray willingly before leaving weeks later.
Austin Aries has pulled this off recently. Following Jeff Hardy's match with Bobby Roode before Bound for Glory, he came out and cut a promo (apparently completely different from what was scripted) calling out the TNA back room for giving Jeff Hardy preferential treatment, even though Austin was the defending TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Come Bound for Glory, it appeared he had done the impossible once again, by getting the fans to boo Jeff Hardy.
AJ Styles, thanks to a pretty rough 2012, which not only saw him become the victim of a complicated scheme by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian to destroy his reputation via a woman named Claire Lynch, but also saw him become locked out of the TNA title scene until Bound For Glory 2013.
Applied to Jeff Jarrett in 2005, when fans were pleading him to "DROP THE TITLE!" He was called "Triple J" by anti-fans due to comparisons to Triple H. This pretty much vanished around the time his wife died and he took less of an on-screen role with the company.
This also helped go away after two more things: first, the notorious lumberjack strap match where, whenever he was out of the ring, he would promptly be beaten down by sixteen fans with leather belts (some of them actual fans) AND Samoa Joe. Second, for the smarks at least, Hulk Hogan's presence has helped to dull the hate, especially after he essentially buried Jarrett on-screen in a way that almost made Jarrett sympathetic. When he returned to in-ring action, he didn't even have any entrance music for the first few months.
Since Immortal began, several of the members (Hogan, Bischoff, and Jarrett) has been building X-Pac heat due to overexposure and really asinine moments (such as Hogan's "No more kayfabe" promo).
Bubba The Love Sponge had this, chiefly because he was a barely-known radio show host who got into the company thanks to being friends with Hulk Hogan. When he got fired, pretty much the entire IWC exploded in joy.