When Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling reached a deal with Spike TV to broadcast a live "summer series" for 13 weeks, I dreaded the thought. It meant I would have to start live blogging Impact every Thursday night and the show, for a long time, was almost unbearable.
There were problems aplenty, from old run down fossils getting too much time in the spotlight to the incessant need to cram in 58 segments in just two hours of television to convoluted storylines. It was a mess, really, and sorting it out took more work than it ever should have.
But after some changes to the creative writing team, the product slowly but surely improved. The roster is still bloated but even main event level players have taken time off simply because they weren't being used. Gone is the breakneck pace of times past and rising stars like Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are being given more time in the spotlight.
Unfortunately, it's not all peaches and roses.
Indeed, the promotion has dropped the ball on two of its major storylines over the past few weeks. The first, which almost caused an outright revolt and likely lost a lot of potential viewers, was the Dixie Carter-AJ Styles affair angle that culminated on Impact last week. The big reveal turned out to be an unknown woman showing up on TV to claim that Styles and Carter weren't having an affair but rather helping her, a drug addict, get clean and doing their best to keep it a secret. Even though no one knows who this woman is, so even if it wasn't a secret, no one would care.
The actress who was chosen to portray this woman did a terrible job and according to the Wrestling Observer, TNA isn't happy with her performance. However, the Observer also reveals the storyline was always heading towards this as the big reveal, so it's not like there is anyone to pass the buck off to.
The storyline was left open if they need to go back to it but at this point, that looks doubtful.
The other big angle they ran recently was the three anonymous guys jumping in the ring to attack Sting. But don't expect a payoff to this one anytime soon. That's because TNA apparently doesn't even know the three guys they want to play the attackers. So why shoot the angle at all, you ask?
To get Sting off TV as an easy explanation for why he didn't enter the Bound for Glory Series.
And so, as you can tell, TNA still has a ways to go as far as creative is concerned. Then again, this is pro wrestling and crappy angles are kind of the norm, right?