While the show was far from perfect, as several problems with matches, presentation and storylines were apparent, the anticipation, energy and desire was there, inducing what can easily be considered the biggest night in the company’s short history.
It’s been a long time since anyone could say that professional wrestling was unpredictable, but seeing the likes of Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair, Val Venis, The Nasty Boys, Orlando Jordan, Scott Hall, Shawn Waltman and Shannon Moore, in addition to Hulk Hogan’s debut, all featured on the three-hour show, TNA did an excellent job of giving wrestling fans a legitimate reason to tune in.
Nonetheless, the question remains if these superstars were on one-night stints or have an intention to join the company on a permanent basis.
Either way you look at it though, you can’t deny the fact that TNA is trying.
It’s in Vince McMahon’s best interest to take a look as well, because the last time this happened he almost lost it all, before turning up the heat to a degree that melted everything in his path and gave him the virtual monopoly he has today.
During the meltdown however, wrestling fans enjoyed some of the greatest moments the sport has ever seen and saw the sport garner the most recognition in mainstream media than it had previously.
The way it seems is that while the WWE is middling and running out of new and fresh ideas, TNA has enough sense to understand that real fans, the ones that watch every week, want to see great wrestling action and less talking. Proving this was the excellent women’s match between Tara and DDB and the fantastic main event between Kurt Angle and AJ Styles, which will go down as easily the best match on cable TV in nearly a decade.
When push comes to shove, WWE may have a bigger budget and better accommodations for their stars, but TNA has hungrier athletes that can get it done in the ring in a way that few in the WWE can.
Regardless, if Dixie Carter doesn’t play her cards right with Hogan and company- that all won’t mean a thing. A definite shot in the arm at the moment, the long-term presence of Hogan could be more harmful than revolutionary.
Hogan, Eric Bischoff and the rest of the company claim to be ready to push younger stars, but seeing the way the show ended, with Mick Foley getting beat up by the former Wolf Pack and Hogan and Bischoff looking on, you hope that there isn’t a makeshift reunion in the works. As it stands right now, all four of them, Hogan [whose intro music is eerily reminiscent of the old NWO tunes in WCW], Hall, Nash and Waltman, are charismatic to a point, [in spite of the ridiculously long spot with all of them in the ring together] but lack the ability to mesmerize in the ring anymore. Seriously, what hardcore wrestling fan wants to see these guys going at it in the ring anymore? Their best days are clearly behind them and essentially, all they have now is “name” value. If anything these guys should be used in the Jake “The Snake” Roberts way, the true master of the buildup story-line, let them talk and build het and then let these young guys come in and take care of business in the ring. Win-Win for everyone involved.
Instead of throwing as many former or side-stepped stars on the TV, Dixie Carter should have asked for more out of the Abyss/Samoa Joe and D’Angelo Dinero/Desmond Wolfe matches, which could have been much better and could have cemented the true ideal of the company: great wrestling.
Putting Hogan back in the spotlight however is a bigger short-term ratings boost and right now, Carter and her compatriots are too busy trying to put a pick-axe to the McMahon glacier that is now the industry: big, slow, and melting at its core. That being said, it’s fair to say that the young guys may have to hold on a bit longer than they’d like.
If Hogan’s goals are what they seem, then giving camera time to his former “allies” is a direct contradiction of that.
However, at the very least, there were enough good things to keep fans coming back.