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The Cradle Shock TNA Wrestling Column

7th July, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Downright Ugly!

Is 2009 the year for TNA?

I must admit I was a bit unsure as to how to kick off my first column for this site so I have decided to do a quick review of the year so far and where it may lead. If you agree with me, awesome! If you don't, take it to the forums! Don't be shy about it either, there's nothing better than a debate, especially in the world of wrestling where there are so many factions of fans with differing opinions on how things should be, whether it be your favourite company , tag team or wrestler this is the place for you!

So here for my first column I will look at The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly that TNA has had to offer us so far in 2009.

The Good

Let's start with the obvious one, the storyline between the Main Event Mafia and TNA Frontline. This has been great for a number of reasons, not just because we get to see a faction of genuine legends going from the late 80's all the way up to present day showing they still got it, there is now a real opportunity to showcase some younger talent and push them to secure Main Event status within the company and show they can hang with the big boys. This has gone well with AJ Styles having a solid rivalry with Booker T over the recently created Legends Title while Angle, Foley, Jarrett and Joe focus on the Heavyweight Title, a big change from the days of Raven and Ron Killings holding the strap. It seems to me though the main purpose of the rivalry was to put Joe, Styles and Daniels in the limelight and get them away from the Tag , X Division and midcard status. With Sting constantly considering retirement, Nash and Steiner racking up the injuries and Foley on a reduced schedule the time will soon come when the young guns will take over the show and there's not many better ways than to do it than this. What better way to confirm your status in a competitive industry than go toe-to-toe with the likes of Sting and Angle and come out on top.

This bring me on to the next best thing this year......BEER!!.....MONEY!! There is no doubt that they have had the best push in TNA since the days of Americas Most Wanted. Again here we see an example of the decorated and successful Team 3D giving the up and comer the chance to go for gold and win the fans over while gaining the respect in the industry. Hopefully we will continue to see them as Tag Champs or at least high up in the Tag division as I don't see either as a successful singles wrestler in the long run. Storm and Roode have a solid history in the Tag division through Team Canada and AMW and hopefully as long as TNA can hold on to them they will be mainstays for a long time to come.

Honourable mentions for 2009 that have been great to watch are the Knockouts Division now that Angelina Love is the champion, I admit it went a bit stale with Awesome Kong as Champ and I had some real concerns when Roxxi was released, then in came Daffney and Tara to the rescue and with Love as Champ there is some real potential for some good rivalries. Also the acquisition of Lashley and Tazz with the possibility of Kennedy and Umaga on the horizon things are really looking up for the second half of 2009.

The Bad

I almost feel bad as a TNA fan that I can come up with so many bad points but here goes. First off Jesse Neal, god I really cannot stand this guy, he is such a massive waste of a match and screen time. His storyline is terrible and nothing short of cringe worthy at best, his wrestling skills are limited and there is just so much more talent on the roster deserving of the space. This links in well with my next major point, there is just so much more that could be done with the roster available. Sabin and Shelley are two of the most talented guys in the company and deserve more of a push in either the Tag or X Division, with Hernandez injured Homicide will be playing a big part in the X Division for the rest of the year at least and give it a much needed boost.

I can't help but feel the X Division has suffered since the loss of Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt, I really wanted to see them more involved in the Frontline angle but there was no coming back for Dutt after the horrible SoCal Val and Jay Lethal wedding storyline. Petey also suffered due to the Scott Steiner and Little Petey Pump idea but it was just outright dull. I will admit I giggled when I seen it for the first time but it got old and fast.

Last point here is Don West, with Tazz coming in I am really hoping that there will either be a 3 man commentary team limiting West and his ramblings or he goes and we have Tazz as a heel commentator. West stammers through his script and even though guys like Jerry Lawler and Tazz are heels they still have appeal and they are damn good at what they do, West just does not have anything going in that area.

The Ugly

In every sense of the word ugly it has to be ODB and Cody Deaner, again this is a bad bad storyline, ODB is great in the Knockouts division and gives great comic relief, hopefully now it is not a Kong dominated division there will be some space opening up for her and she can ditch the redneck. In other Knockout related nonsense please god get rid of Jenna Morasca, Sharmell and Lauren, there must be some women out there that can act better than Lauren or give something better to the company than Jenna. Clearly being the wife of Booker T, Sharmell isn't going anywhere sadly no matter how annoying the crazy banshee is.

Kevin Nash is a strange on for me, don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of the guy he is one of the greats. Sadly he just doesn't have it in the ring anymore, he would be best served taking a back seat in a managerial capacity to the likes of Matt Morgan who could take his place as the big guy of the group. He has the natural talent and could use some time with Nash to smooth out the rough edges.

Ending on a high note for an ugly thing gone right who else is glad Cute Kip is off the scene? Here's hoping he gets some more screen time as the normal Kip and not as the camp pink stylist.

So is 2009 the year for TNA? Not quite yet but it's sure getting there!

Feel free to discuss this on the Smackdown Zone Forums or e-mail me direct if forums aren't your thing.

by Gary Kean

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