Alternative Impact Booking

February 4, 2012

As you may or may not know, after an almost 2 year hiatus I started watching Impact Wrestling (TNA) again. I heard the show had improved so I decided to give it another chance. I am happy to report that for the most part the show has improved but to say there aren't still portions of the show that drive me crazy would be inaccurate, and the past two weeks have frustrated me enough that I'm starting to lose sleep at night, stewing over how easy it would be to make this show better. To avoid going off on anti-Impact rants I'm going to try to vent my frustration with the show in a more constructive manner. I am not going to yell rant or call anyone stupid, instead I am going to offer my alternative booking (at times agenting or working advice as well) to illustrate how easy it would be to make this show better in hopes that someone will take notice and perhaps learn something along the way.

The main thing that drove me nuts with Impact this week was the handling of the Roode vs Storm program. I won't even get into giving the Storm vs Roode match away for free because that would take an entire restructuring of not just this show but many others. Let's stick with the matches and for the most part even the finishes used on this show. If Storm has to fight both Bully and Roode I would book him to fight Roode last. Roode is where the heat lies and the World Champ should be the main event to the side kick not the other way around.

With Storm having to go through Bully to get to Roode I now understand why Storm is so willing to fight 2 matches in one night (he is so angry with Roode he will do anything to get his hands on him). When you do the Bully match first you allow Storm to dominate Bully and win in the first match to look strong, and you can do the post match beat down injuring Storm's ribs like they did after the Roode match. This gets extra heat on Roode and allows Storm to go into the match with Roode injured. It's more believable that he would fight injured when the opponent is the man he is most mad at. This also protects Bully because in my scenario he is at least losing to the fresh Storm rather than the exhausted pre-injured Storm that beat him on Impact.

With Storm now coming out tired and beaten up, you protect the 1 on 1 fair matchup between Roode and Storm and now Roode can dominate the match because of the injury without making Storm look weak. You can then do the Bully distraction like they did on Impact, and Storm getting pinned by a spear all of a sudden makes sense because Roode would be spearing a man with injured ribs rather than just spearing a dude who had his foot grabbed briefly. Storm then comes off far better because he lost to Roode in a very unfair situation rather than the fairly clean manner that he lost to him on Impact . For my money Storm sold way too much in that first match for a top baby face who was losing.

The only thing my scenario doesn't do that TNA did was, allow for the teasing of dissension between Bully and Roode leading into the 4 way, and allow Storm to stand proud at the end of the show. In response to that I say a wronged Baby Face challenging for the title has always been the best drawing scenario so having Storm standing triumphant before the title match is not what you want, and in my scenario Storm comes off way stronger having won his first match and almost winning the second despite wrestling twice and being injured for the second bout. As for dissension, that can be accomplished on the next show very easily, and even if not a strong revenge seeking baby face is always a better draw in a title match than heels that can't get along. The way they did it "top face" Storm comes off like a bit player in the Bully/Roode storyline. My scenario Bully looks stronger, Storm looks stronger, and Roode gets more heat, win, win, win; with the added bonus of your World Champ being the Main Event rather than the under card, and all you had to do was switch the order of the matches.

I would also like to offer this advice to Mr. Storm: When you get your hands on the man that betrayed you, hit you in the face with a beer bottle, and stole your World Title, don't tie up, trade hammer locks, and do hip tosses, it kills the entire angle.

I would also like to offer advice to poor Mr. Haskins if he is still alive, or any other worker out there who cares to learn something. If you are trying to get over as a high flying baby face, don't structure your matches so you fail every time you go to the top rope. Mr. Haskins tried a spring board off the top rope and got cut off by Aries, who immediately hit a top rope dive of his own to add insult to injury. Haskins later went to the top rope only to get crotched on the top turnbuckle for his efforts, and then in the finish he once again tried his luck from the top only to miss his move and lose the match. If memory serves Mr. Haskins also missed a dive or something to the outside right before the missed spring board, so if you count that he's 0 for 4 from the top only managing to successfully complete a second rope cross body before getting beat clean. Getting beat by the champ is one thing, making yourself look completely ineffective is another. Had he hit all his top rope stuff early and only missed the shooting star we could have written the mistake off as being a rookie and going to the well once too often.

That's my 2 cents,
Lance Storm

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