Monday Night Wars: Part Two and a Half

After the success of their January 4th show, TNA and Spike TV have decided to move Impact! to Mondays permanently, starting tonight. In the exact same 9-11 timeslot that WWE’s Raw runs in, no less. This effectively marks the return of the “Monday Night Wars,” or so the TNA side would have you believe. But I’m not sure it will be much of a battle for either side.

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I thought the January 4th Impact! was awful. The writing has not improved much since then, and in fact, the amount of wrestling on each episode seems to keep decreasing. The in-ring work is their best asset! And they’re reducing it in favor of all their horrible pseudo-realistic vignettes and promos. Feuds have been starting and ending faster than middle school romances. For instance, AJ Styles feuded with Christopher Daniels in December, with Kurt Angle in January, with Samoa Joe in February, and now with Abyss in March. It’s one thing to have variety, but it’s another thing to kill things while they still have life and potential. Has Joe even been on TV since their pay-per-view match last month? I feel like I haven’t seen him in forever. With Daniels, it feels even longer. New fans are going to forget who some of these guys are if they keep disappearing for many weeks at a time. Then there’s the X-Division… or is there!?

And that’s one of the big problems with TNA that Hogan has only made worse. The size of their roster is huge. Looking at their website, and excluding the announce teams, I count 63 different on-screen personalities or wrestlers. And that doesn’t include new acquisitions like RVD, or people without contracts like Jeff Hardy, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman. And I did count Kazarian and Suicide separately, since they’re being used separately, and someone else is supposedly going to take over as Suicide anyway. But looking at WWE’s Raw roster, I count 36, also minus the announcers. But there’s always at least one guest host to take a 37th slot, and it doesn’t include Bret Hart, or Batista (who is still considered a Smackdown talent), or any of the other occasional crossovers. So on average, that’s 27 more people TNA has, but they seem to want to keep bringing in new faces for the sake of hype.

Names and hype were the only things the previous Monday show had going for it, with very little substance. They may have kept up their ratings throughout that night, but those numbers didn’t follow them to Thursdays. Their reasoning, based on that one test show, was that wrestling fans apparently want to watch it on Mondays rather than Thursdays. It obviously couldn’t have anything to do with the quality of the product or the amount of stunts they pulled for that particular show, right? Nope, must be Thursdays.

Once again, I seem to be ranting more about TNA than WWE, but TNA are the ones who need to step up. Instead, they’re becoming worse than they were before, and have very little to show for it. I want them to improve, but they’re being so random and inconsistent. It still feels like watching WCW circa 2000. They need to give people something to talk about and get into besides just “OMG JEFF HARDY.” I do like a few of the current angles, but for the most part, it’s been laughably bad. Come on, TNA. Give me something that I can watch non-ironically. Make me want to shell out for your pay-per-views.

WWE, meanwhile… The guest hosts are still bad. I “like” bad humor, but most of the time it’s just bad-bad instead of funny-bad. I don’t even know who tonight’s host is, beyond hearing “Criss Angel: Mindfreak” stated a few places here and there. What is he, a magician or something? If so, I expect there will be lots of horrible Hornswoggle jokes, since he’s supposed to be “magical” and all that. Gwah.

I wasn’t able to get this online by 9 PM, and the shows are already 25% over now. But no, I’m not watching either of them live. I’m a modern person who prefers to watch television on my own time without being dictated by network schedules, but that’s a story for another day. I’m not reading any spoilers, either, but I’ll probably watch at least one of the shows sometime tomorrow. I’ll likely have many things to say about both shows, but I figure TNA will end up getting the brunt of it, again, since this is a much more important show for them.

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Categories: Contemplation, Pro Wrestling

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