TNA Impact!

Thi Them

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The cheers weren't that loud for Sting; it seemed more like several vocal fans. The problem with that segment was that AJ didn't get to defend himself. He got like what, 2 lines in? How about instead of being implicit with how he was with the company from the beginning, he should've reminded the fans that he was. He should've brought up all the titles he's held.

I like that Joe and AJ are getting more of the spotlight. A minor problem with their characters now is that they sort of whiners. The writers need to fix this problem immediately.

It's been really awesome how Angle has been putting over AJ. I'm really surprised by how many times Angle has lost now.

So Mick Foley is with TNA now. I don't really have any thoughts on that.

Casey, I know you're a fan of Creed. Do you like how he's been doing? His real life interviews have been really good.

~T
 

Casey Trowbridg

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Thi, I'm going to have to disagree on the Sting interview. It was so bad that in his interview that will air I think this week, he acknowledged the fact that he didn't get booed.

As for Creed, I like those interviews he's done. The biggest reason I like them is because he told us pretty much the same information last October and I think that's kind of cool.

As for how he's done. I think he's doing fine. I'd like it if they gave him some more promo time to see what he can do with it. I think they want to do something with him and see something in him. I am more interested in how other people are taking to him because I like the guy too much to not have a bias.

As for Mick Foley I'll put it this way.

My sadness level over Gail Kim's departure from TNA is greater than my happiness level towards Mick Foley's arrival in TNA.
 

Chris_Morris

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This week was the first time I've watched TNA in awhile (other than the horribly wrong Sting segment last week). My thoughts:

I really like Creed, and see star written all over him. The fact that he seems like a genuine guy outside the ring is what will help propel him to the top.

How gutsy is it to have the Sheik's music start with the sound of a plane falling and exploding?

The NB v MC redo? I don't see it working. I don't ever see Sting getting over as the heel. Ever.
 

Casey Trowbridg

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Mick Foley made his TNA debut at a house show in Long Island last evening. Probably a good idea to do that since he does live in the area.
 

Thi Them

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I think anyone can get over as a heel, as long as they put effort into it. Sting just didn't seem like he was trying. If the fans start cheering, simply tell them to shut up.

I liked AJ's promo backstage, but it should've been done in front of the crowd last week.

Samoa Joe came off looking weak like AJ did, when he was in the ring with Sting. Joe and AJ can get the best cheers, but when the were in the ring with Sting, the fans just didn't seem to care for them.

~T
 

Andres Munoz

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I haven't been watching for a while and just caught the Sting segment that was supposed to get booed but didn't. One thing that got my attention was when AJ came out and said something like "you paved the way for me??? who do you think built this company??" and the crowd had no reaction to this statement.

What do you guys think about that? Did A.J Styles build TNA?
 

Casey Trowbridg

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You can't just be a heel by trying really hard. Fans need to want to hate you and if they don't want to hate you then telling them to shut up isn't going to change things. When WCW tried this with Sting in 1999 they had him and Lex Luger (who people did hate) do a 2-1 beatdown on Ric Flair in Charlotte.

Sting was still cheered.

When he originally turned heel, he turned on a recently turned back babyface Hulk Hogan.

He was cheered.

Nobody wanted to cheer Goldberg when WCW turned him heel, so they didn't and it was forgotten about a few weeks later. Nobody wanted to boo Steve Austin in 2001 when he turned, so they didn't even when he beat up Jim Ross in Oklahoma.

Plus, in this specific angle, what exactly did Sting say that was untrue and even more why would anybody want to cheer Styles/Joe the way they're currently being booked? Think about it, Sting keeps out-smarting both of them and leaving with the upper hand, and A.J. and Joe are booked as criers and winers almost all of the time and who wants to cheer that kind of person. Add to that the fact that the whole point is that Sting is claiming the young guys don't show enough respect and most people probably agree with him and who's the one they're going to cheer?


Saying shut up when you're getting cheered even though you are trying to get booed, may get you cheap heat but it won't last and isn't the kind of heat you need if you want to do an angle like this successfully.

It isn't Sting's fault that this has backfired so bad because I told everyone exactly what would happen a month before they started this nonsense, and I wasn't the only one who knew this was coming. His promo the first week was a great promo, he was in to what he was saying and it would've been a great heel promo. It wasn't a great heel promo because everyone agreed with him, because all the faces in TNA ever do is wine and complain about stuff (remember how earlier this year Samoa Joe complained about his contract and how much money he was making every week, yeah I want to cheer that guy!) and because Sting gets the upperhand he comes across as cool and those guys like idiots.
The only way this doesn't fail even more spectacularly than it already has is if they can find someone to play offof Sting who the fans will want to cheer more than they want to cheer him. Mick Foley may be that guy, we'll have to wait and see. I really doubt Jeff Jarrett is going to be that guy.

It isn't Sting's fault, it isn't Joe or A.J.'s fault it is the fault of the creative team for 1. trying something nobody wanted to see in the first place (Sting turning heel wasn't exactly on the wishlist of fans everywhere) and 2. not having the logic or sense to know how to do it effectively once they started.
 

Thi Them

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The Dudley's are a great example of how to be heels, by insulting the fans. Sting should learn from that if he wants to become a better heel. The crowd starts cheering? Say something to make them boo. Really, it's that simple. No, it's not cheap and temporary. If he keeps doing it, the fans will start to hate him. Keep in mind, this is the Impact Zone with many of the same fans in the crowd week after week.

I don't blame AJ and Joe at all for not getting any reaction. The writing team gave them not much to say at all. Like I said, what AJ had to stay backstage should've been done with Sting in the ring.

~T
 

TonyTone

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If that's the case, then how would/do you explain Stone Cold Steve Austin's "failed" heel turn? Not trying to be argumentative...just wondering what your take is regarding SCSA's heel-turn attempt--do you think fans would have (eventually) accepted him as a classic heel, regardless of whether SC put in the effort to try to turn heel?
 

Thi Them

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I can't say I remember much about Austin. But I'm sure he still had the same personality and mic delivery. Something that could've helped with his heel turn was for them to give him a more heelish theme music, like one that Regal has. It doesn't help for him to have the same music that fans will instantly cheer.

A perfect example of a heel turn is with Chris Jericho. He's totally committed himself to being a heel. He has been able to change the way he talks, the way he moves, his facial expressions. I was never that big a fan of him, but he's done an excellent job at being a heel. If Jericho went back to the type of heel he was in WCW, he wouldn't be boo'ed like he is now. It's not enough to just do bad things or say bad things, it matters how one does those bad things and how one says those bad things.

~T
 

Casey Trowbridg

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Just when I thought Sting's heel turn and this subsequent program based around it couldn't be any more of a disaster, well...they proved me wrong.

Mistake #1 from last night's show. Heels should never be the ones to toss out challenges to babyfaces, unless they plan to either have a bunch of guys jump the face before he can answer or plan to run away once the face does answer. Yet this is lost on the Mt. Rushmoore of Moron that books this show. But, that's really a minor thing considering what came next.

They gave away the return of Jeff Jarrett for free. So if you were planning on purchasing this show to see Jarrett's return, well TNA just saved you $30.

If that wasn't bad enough, his return came across so lame and like not a big deal that I've talked to a couple of people who have dubbed it the least memorable return in Wrestling history.

However, iMPACT wasn't all bad last night. I loved Christian's promo. I really loved the Beauty Contest stuff especially the final segment. I also totally loved, loved, loved, the Frank Trigg A.J. Styles stuff. Frank Trigg belongs in pro wrestling, he really does and he comes off like a cocky heel without telling anyone to shut up and he's only been doing this a few months.

I'm looking forward to certain things on Sunday. Frank Trigg Vs. A.J. Styles, even Taylor Vs. Angelina and the 3-way X-division title match. The ladder of Love storyline makes even less sense than the Sting stuff.

I've put up some No Surrender Polls so you can predict the winners of each match, predict whether Mick Foley will appear and indicate your purchasing plans for this event.

I wish we were getting less than 9 matches on this show because there's just not enough time for that many especially with some 3 stipulation matches.
 

Thi Them

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JJ's return was pretty bad. They should've just saved the whole thing for the PPV, instead of trying to tease it by not having him say anything or not coming to the ring.

The worst thing about Sting was that he's saying how AJ didn't respect someone like Angle. That's fine if all they did was wrestle, but there was the long history of Angle mistreating AJ and really beating the crap out of him at times. It just doesn't make sense at all for AJ to respect Angle.

~T
 

Casey Trowbridg

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As a result of Hurricane Ike, Booker T was unable to make it to tonight's PPV event. The 4-ways to Glory will now feature Christian, Angle and Samoa Joe.
 

Casey Trowbridg

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The final segment tonight with Jarrett, Sting, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley was maybe the best thing on iMPACT in ages.

Angle and Jarrett were both especially great.
 

Thi Them

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Good stuff from JJ and Angle. Foley's appearance was weak, though. I also liked how Angle made sure he was coming across as a heel. As I said before, all one has to do is trash the fans, which Angle did and it elicited an anti response from the crowd. I hope Sting learned something while he was just standing there and watching.

~T
 

Casey Trowbridg

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Cheap heat. Why not suggest that he make fun of the local sports team next?

It isn't that he trashed the fans, it was that he came off better than everyone else, he put himself on another level. He claimed accomplishments that weren't his and he denegrated a man who everyone knows went through a lot of personal pain and tragety. That's why he was booed not because he took 3 seconds to call fans ass holes.

If all you had to do was call fans names and they'd boo you, Rock would never have gotten cheers. Remember how Rock would make fun of fans, interrupt his own catch phrases and say they weren't worthy of him?

It was shortly before he was turned face because they loved him so much.

Getting good and sustained heel heat involves more than making fun of fans. Ric Flair made fun of fans for years and was still cheered. Plus, in the day of the internet and with the fans being more in on the act than ever before, they're not going to care what you say to or about them, if they like you they're going to cheer.

Drawing heel heat requires playing on fans natural emotions, you've got to give them a good reason for them to hate you. Part of that comes from the baby face pointing out reasons for why fans should hate their rivals.

Lets look at the reasons Samoa Joe gives us for why we should hate his opponent.

According to Samoa Joe, we should be booing Sting and cheering him because unlike Joe, Sting doesn't go out on the road and spends time with his family.

Yes, I'm supposed to hate Sting because he spends time with his family and I'm supposed to cheer A.J. Styles because he never sees his kids. Yeah, Sting is such a dislikeable man because he spends time with his kids. I hope fathers across this country don't follow Sting's example because it could ruin society if parents actually wanted to be there for their kids.

I'm also supposed to hate Sting because he's got a sweet contract from TNA. So I am suppose to hate a man because he was offered a good deal and he didn't turn it down? What a stupid reason for me to want to hate this guy. It doesn't play on the heart strings of anyone because anyone watching this knows that if TNA were to offer Samoa Joe a Sting contract, he'd trip over his own wrestling boots he'd be in such a hurry to sign that deal. We especially know it because I could've sworn that for the first 1/3 of this year, Samoa Joe did nothing but bitch about his contract on their TV show.

I wonder how the great heels of all time like Piper and Flair would react if they were told that all they really had to do was crack on the fans and they'd get booed. The Horsemen didn't need to 4-on-1 Dusty Rhodes in a parking lot and break his leg, they could just come out, insult some "fat boy" in the first row and boom instant heat.

I suppose the Freebirds weren't good heels because instead of insulting the fans, they mocked and denegrated the Von Erich family at every turn, screwing Kerry out of the world title in the process. Part of being a good heel involves being paired off with someone that people actually like. The Horsemen had their Dusty who people liked, Piper had his Hogan, and the Freebirds had their Von Erichs and Vince McMahon had his Steve Austin. Jericho has his Shawn Michaels and Edge has his Undertaker.
Sting isn't paired with anyone that is likeable which is why that given the choice, fans have cheered Sting and booed Samoa Joe. Sting speaks the truth, Samoa joe complains. Someone recently said in regards to this angle, that a good heel speaks the truth but it is the kind of truth the fans don't want to hear. Jericho in the feud with Michaels has told the truth about Michaels' character the whole time but since the people like Shawn it isn't something they want to hear. Sting has told the truth about the actions of Styles and Joe and because the fans generally agree with him, they cheer him and boo the geek squad.


Sting's promos have been good since the "turn" other than the one at the PPV where he lost his way in the middle. So it isn't his fault, he can't get booed he was given bad material in the first place because the reasons we're supposed to want to boo him come across as good reasons to cheer him instead.

The fact is that I called this as a failure before the angle even started. I knew what was going to happen and why and I wrote a lengthy column about how foolish it was that they were going to try this. So, they tried it anyway and everything I said would happen, has happened. Fact is, Sting calling fans assholes wasn't going to change things for one second. He might get the people in the building to boo him for a second by calling them a name but the TV audience isn't going to care that he called them assholes. They like Sting and Joe and Styles have done nothing but complain.

Fact is that the process and what makes a good and sustained heel involves a whole lot more than simply badmouthing fans. You need a lot more and you always have. It is a cycle, strong heels make strong babyfaces and strong babyfaces make strong heels.

People loved the Von Erichs, The Freebirds attacked and opposed the Von Erichs, so the Freebirds were hated. They love the Von Erichs and hated the Freebirds so much that it turned an entire territory in to the hottest wrestling company in the country for a time.
 

Thi Them

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All Sting had to do was trash the fans. Like I said before, the Dudley's really knew how to do it. It's not enough to make fun of a local sports team; in fact, some fans enjoy that and it makes them laugh. But if Sting saw that the crowd was reacting favorably to him; he could've said something to make them shut up to set the tone for his promo. Angle did a great job; he wasn't his usual self on the mic, and his mentioning the crowd just created more hatred among the crowd for him.

~T
 

Thi Them

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I was starting to lose interest in TNA again, but the last two weeks have been very good and compelling. I think TNA has something really special with this whole "respect" angle if done right.

When did Booker T start talking with his new accent? I only noticed it last week.

Any idea who Suicide is? Low-Ki? Kaz?

I wonder if Christopher Daniels will return for this big angle. He's been sorely missed, even though I'm a fan of Curry Man. We're missing out on some really great matches for the past year.

Sting did a much better job on his promo this week.

~T
 

Casey Trowbridg

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Suicide is Kaz.

I'd like to see Daniels back as it would make sense seeing as how he's been name dropped a lot lately.

I have no hope that TNA is going to do the Main Event mafia angle the right way, but to be fair it isn't like they've given me a reason to think they might either.

Booker's accent is perplexing and we'll just leave it at that.
 

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