Welcome again to another week of Headlines & Scrutiny. Thanks for coming. First off, I’d like to wish all of you a happy and thankful Thanksgiving holiday to you all and hope that you are able to spend this thinking about, or even better, with those who you care about most because they aren’t a guarantee.
NWA:TNA on PPV this week was headlined by Dusty Rhodes and Jeff Jarrett in the “Fan’s Revenge” lumberjack match, and it was far from the strong main event that any PPV needs. I don’t know where such a mentality stems from, but TNA is not a premium alternative of a good deal on PPV, nor is it WWE caliber programming. This is a weekly PPV, not RAW, and each show needs to be strong and satisfying and build to the next. At this, with or without Dutch Mantell, TNA is failing overall. If the product were televised and the objective was drawing ratings, I would probably be less harsh, but that’s just not the case. TNA has decided that the revenue comes from doing weekly shows on PPV with a small secondary revenue stream that is merchandising. That means the programming needs to be strong, and I’ll tip my hat to character development. TNA needs a strong tag and X Division and they have neither. Both need to be strong enough to support the main event position on broadcasts.
On the subject of the X Division, the conclusion of X’s contribution to TNA has been a measly job to Chris Sabin. By itself, the match and booking was fine, but at the expense of the entire X Division and its competitors, it may be close to one of the most ignorant decisions made by the company this year.
TNA has been trying to come up for a name for Shane Douglas’ new valet who’s real name is Tracy. After several weeks, they settled for Tracy but this week she is apparently “Traci.” The important thing is she has breasts and clips on to Douglas. She, of course, is the first member of Douglas’ new stable, the Francine manqué, if you will. Anyway, Douglas scouted Dutt in his match with Michael Shane and then swerved him in the end and it was Shane, who is very impressive as the company’s X Division champion, who Douglas had already recruited. The finish was Shane over Dutt in 6:21.
Konnan, Ron Killings, and B.G. James (3LK) are now the NWA Tag Team Champions, going over Glenn Gilberti, Simon Diamond, and Johnny Swinger in 8:58 for the vacated belt. America’s Most Wanted is also going to be challenging for the belts soon.
The feud with Raven against the Gathering is back this week as Raven went over Legend and then in a match with Kevin Northcutt, Abyss ran in, and C.M. Punk and Julio Dinero ran him out for Raven and Raven scolded them. It’s about time for a little substance in this feud for the viewers to chew on and they did just that last night, with both sides teasing turning before Raven agreeing to team with them once more next week against Abyss (TNA’s new favorite heel) and the Red Shirts (there is more on that team in the notes on next week’s show at the end).
Jarrett started the show with Don Callis and the Redshirts (I’m not sure there was any explanation as to the reason for such allies but then again I don’t understand how Eric Bischoff represents Teddy Long’s interests on Raw, but somehow he does). They rang the bell for Hogan’s career with the image saying 1978-2003. There is something pathetic around building a show around to someone who has never stepped foot in the building or put pen to paper and signed a contract and backed out of a PPV once, risking there chances of having another. He finally did the “with me or against me” promo. I guess that’s the explanation. Watts returned to get his ass whipped. I’m blasé to this because Jeff Jarrett is a very bland figure as champion and he hasn’t really brought anything to the table. The Jeff Jarrett match with Dusty Rhodes ended at 6:20 with a no contest. Jarrett got whipped when he went out of the ring but Dusty didn’t “out of respect.” Everybody ran in for the finish.
Roddy Piper sent in a taped promo and the message was that he was coming back. He hinted at coming back for Hogan, but first Hogan needs to come at all for that to be possible. On May 18 of this year, at WWE Judgment Day 2003, Piper was defeated by Hogan in Mr. America garb in 4:50.
Next week: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett for the World Title. Plus, Raven and the Gathering team up for what Raven called “one last time” against the Red Shirts (now consisting of Legend and Northcutt) as well as Abyss in a six-man tag match.
News: The disenfranchised Jerry Lynn did an interview with Alan J. Wojcik (http://alanwojcik.tripod.com), and as mentioned last week, he is no longer working with TNA, especially after not signing a contract with them (which also means from their side of things that they are not obligated to book him). Lynn said his tenure with the company began when he was working for WWA and he was approached by Jeff Jarrett and Jeremy Borash and he agreed to be a part of it right on the spot. He liked the idea of getting several hours of alternative TV for the same price as a WWE PPV, but he says that the fan’s reaction to paying that price is due to ECW and WCW not being around anymore because they had issues with paying the extra money, while a few years ago, many fans bought all three PPV offerings in one month. He said that he likes the idea of the X-Division. He also discussed the lousy rehashing of the Justin Credible ECW feud in TNA saying that it was “a big joke.” He continued, “I told them I wanted to stretch it out to build from the ECW history. TNA told me it would last three months. Well by the time we got to the first match I knew it was over before it began. They gave us six and a half minutes and that included when we went over the rail and brawled into the crowd. The next three matches were gimmick matches and that was it for the feud. It wasn’t given a chance.” And, finally, he discussed the end of his tenure with the company. “I didn’t understand the whole quitting angle they wanted me to do. As you said they had Don was suspending me and then I would bitch about not getting a pay day. Then I wrestled and then left right after the match and quit. Why would I quit after bitching about not getting a payday? I didn’t know it was a quitting angle, I think they tricked me into it because they told me I was going to leave frustrated not quitting.”… Teddy Hart is auctioning off the ring trunks he wore during his appearance on TNA on Ebay for $1,000… Abyss is a former Oakland Raider and has a master’s degree in marketing, according to Jeremy Borash… TNA has said that most cable provider affiliates will be on board with the special package deal purchase plan starting in January where you get a month’s worth of TNA for $34.95, for the die-hards… Ryan Wilson is expected to be replaced entirely in the Red Shirts by Legend… Following WWE’s similar course of action, TNA has reduced the amount of positions in the area of production for the purposes of cost reduction.
Matchmaker: Trevor Hunnicutt
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