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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Step in the right direction

Not that it will manifest itself in the Nielsen ratings, but I believe TNA put on the more interesting program last night. Notice I didn't say "superior" or "better." "Interesting" is the word that best describes my opinion after sitting down, thumbs at the ready, to watch the shows.

First, and most likely out of force of habit, I tuned into Raw
at 9:00, when I was presented with yet another conversation between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. I'm into the storyline and can't wait to see their rematch at WrestleMania 26, but how much is left for either man to say? It's Michaels' career vs. 'Taker's streak. I know.

After 30 seconds into that segment, I remembered TNA. Over on Impact, we had Hogan "brothering" his ass off in the ring. Been there, done that, for close to three decades now. But wondering how Abyss and Styles would factor into the resolution of this feud, I decided to stick around. Glad I did because Sting came back and wigged out. Now, most of us in the office knew Sting would be back last night, but we didn't expect him to bash Hogan and Abyss with his baseball bat. Likewise, we expected Rob Van Dam to show up. But we had no idea he would squash Sting within seconds or that Sting would treat him like a human pinata. (BTW, did anybody else notice how small TNA security came up last night-holding Hogan and Van Dam when Sting was the one swinging a baseball bat the whole time?)

And there were other surprises. The Jeff Hardy main event run-in wasn't one of them, nor was the return of Shannon Moore, nor even The Beautiful People Knockouts tag team title win . But the three-way X division title match involving Frankie Kazarian, Daniels, and Doug Williams was an excellent match and Eric Bischoff's X division "pep talk" added some juice. The impromptu match/brawl between Syxx-Pac and and Eric Young was as spirited as anything on either show.

Meanwhile on Raw, we had a six-Diva tag match, Randy Orton fighting with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. and Triple-H throwing yet another temper tantrum, this time in the direction of Sheamus. Really, was there anything on Raw that we haven't seen over and over again at this point?

Bottom line: TNA has something going for it right now that WWE doesn't, and that's unpredictability. I'm as jaded as they come and I found myself compelled to stay with Impact despite the show being built around Hulk Hogan and his woes. My only real complaint about Impact was the main event. With men like Styles, Angle, and now RVD, on the roster, you simply can't give Flair and Hogan 20-plus minutes at that point in the show. But for 100 minutes last night, not knowing what to expect made Impact the more interesting ... oh, hell, I'll say it ... better show.
Frank Krewda


Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Impact's March 8 Nielsen rating was a disappointing 1.0, but that's not necessarily disastrous news to TNA and Spike TV execs.

Of course, they were hoping to match the 1.5 they scored on January 4, and they certainly would have settled for what had become their Thursday night average of 1.3. What this shows me is that, like any other TV show, Impact is going to need time to gain traction in a new time slot.

Since Raw's numbers were also down on March 8, it indicates to me that some WWE viewers sampled Impact, and I would have to think they liked what they saw and could be back for more. That has to be encouraging.

Spike shouldn't insult our intelligence with lame releases stating that they believe a significant number of viewers DVR'd the show to watch it later on. I'm sure that's comforting to advertisers; plenty of people watch the commercials when watch shows on their DVR! They should just be honest and admit that while they were not pleased with the rating, they were pleased with the show and will continue to work hard to reach their goals.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next week. Since the show is taped, there probably won't be any surprise appearances, so we'll find out how many people were actually hooked by the talent and story lines. Plus, a fella by the name of Steve Austin will be guest-hosting Raw.

I think Impact will eventually find its footing and do as well or better than it did on Thursday nights, but for now, the only champagne corks you're likely to see popped by anyone connected with TNA were already done so by The Beautiful People.

--Stu Saks/PWI Publisher

Michael said...

I was wondering what was going on with this blog. I'm glad you started updating it again. I like to check it on a regular basis for your great PWI staff opinions.

I thought Monday night was good. I agree that TNA was more exciting and interesting. The X Division match was awesome. On Raw, Triple H was boring as usual. And, Undertaker and HBK were regurgitating what we've heard many times. I'm sure the match will be a classic, but that segment went on way too long. WrestleMania should be fabulous, and I'm glad that TNA has decided to go head to head with WWE. In the end, this can only mean good things for wrestling fans.

I just got my PWI Almanac in the mail. I'm looking forward to reading it:)

John said...

Don't be surprised with Sting. With the increased frustration between him and Hogan and Bischoff and Dixie Carter signing Hulk Hogan, it was natural for Sting to respond the way he did. I just didn't expect it to come this soon. This could lead to another team, or a "rebel" angle against the company for signing Hogan. And unlike Angle, he won't be swayed as easily because he's been on this road before in WCW and it nearly ruined his reputation and he didn't even know it at the time.

John said...
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John said...
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Anonymous said...

I sure hope that TNA pulls its socks up (as Chris Jericho once said in an interview with Bob Smith) and gets its act together. Right now, they might have the better talent roster but they're not using it properly.