CUT THE BULLSHIT
Since the dawn of time… OK, since the dawn of professional wrestling on cable television, there has been one simple formula for success. You can dress it up with fake lashes, hair extensions and make it look as pretty as you want, but the formula is always right. Are you ready for it?
FREE TELEVISION IS FOR STORYTELLING. PAY-PER-VIEW IS FOR PAYOFFS.
In 1987 Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant packed the Silverdome because they did all the legwork on episodes of Piper’s Pit. The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin saved the WWF in the war against WCW because they made Raw is War must-see, destination television every Monday night, continually end-capped by awesome pay-per-views.
There’s nothing worse than overly long episode of really boring television that lead absolutely nowhere, because the even-more-overly long pay-per-views are filled with bullshit finishes and constant shenanigans. My absolute biggest pet peeve is when a wrestling company ruins the main event of one show that I paid for, just to try and sell me on a second show where they definitely won’t (but probably will) pull the exact same stunt.
Slammiversary committed none of these sins. With the exception of the two opening bouts, which were both great and did exactly what they set out to do in hyping up the crowd, every single match on the card was built upon months of story-driven television. Each of them ended with a conclusive, satisfying finish that either wrapped up a program appropriately, or built upon its existing material to take the story into its next chapter. From a booking standpoint, the show was very near flawless.
One of TNA’s most consistent criticisms for years – and this is something the new Impact regime seems to be doing a great job of fixing – is that they overbooked the hell out everything they ever did. Every match was filled to the brim with screwy finishes, run-ins, returns, debuts, bloated factions that constantly got involved in everything, etc. Creative writers who are more obsessed with getting their own absurd ideas over instead of actually benefiting the talent they’re writing for, are one of the biggest plagues on this industry.
So kudos to the new Impact Wrestling team for hooking me on excellent television over the last three months, and when the time came to wrap it all up, they delivered a three-hour pay-per-view full of nothing but great matches that made the entire roster shine like diamonds.