Omega Conference Final: DirtyJosé vs. nickb03

Discussion in 'Debater's League 2010' started by Phoenix, Nov 21, 2010.

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  1. Phoenix

    Phoenix WZCW's First Triple Crown Champion

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Since Hogan & Bischoff took the helm of TNA, has the product become too complicated?

    This is a conference final match in the Debater's League. DirtyJose is the home debater and gets to choose which side of the debate they will be on and who debates first, but they have 24 hours to make their choice.

    This thread is for DEBATERS ONLY and will end on Friday at 2pm EST.

    Anyone that posts in this thread besides the debaters, league admins, and judges will be infracted!

    Good luck.​
  2. DirtyJosé

    DirtyJosé Best angle of all: retirement

    Dec 12, 2009
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    I choose to debate that the TNA product in the Hogan/Bischoff Era has become too complicated.

    I choose nickb03 to debate first.
  3. Big Nick Dudley

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Since Hogan & Bischoff took the helm of TNA, has the product become too complicated?

    I will be arguing that TNA's product has not become too complicated under Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.


    When Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff arrived in TNA (on screen) on January 4th, 2010, the wrestling world was beyond curious. We all knew Eric and Hulk had successful, but controversial, reputations in the wrestling business. They said they had come to TNA to "take it to the next level." People were suspicious, but excited at the same time. Both men had been very successful in the past, Hogan especially.

    When I read the news that Hogan and Bischoff were coming to TNA, I was intrigued. Hogan is the biggest name in the history of pro wrestling, and Bischoff had done well for himself in WCW. TNA was rather erratic in their booking prior to Hogan/Eric, and I was hoping they could clean that up a bit.

    Now, it's late November, 2010, and most do not seem happy with TNA's current direction. I will admit I am one of those people. I think TNA is putting out a crap product, week in and week out. The booking is all over the place, there isn't much wrestling on Impact, and mic time needs to be cut in half. To say I am displeased with TNA's direction would be an understatement. However, I do not think it has anything to do with TNA's product being too "complicated." Let's go over some of the bigger angles/storylines TNA has given us over the last year, and I'll show you what I'm talking about.

    Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles w/ Ric Flair

    In January of 2010, A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle were feuding over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. It was a feud originally based on mutual respect, but each had a strong desire to hold the title. Mysteriously, in the weeks leading up to TNA Genesis, Ric Flair was following both men around, making everyone suspicious as to what his real intentions were.

    At Genesis, AJ turned heel, aligning himself with Ric Flair, and retained the TNA heavyweight title. The next night, A.J. and Kurt again wrestled for the title, but Flair had a plan in place. Flair had paid off Earl Hebner, and TNA repeated the WWF's Montreal Screwjob of 1997.

    Did I think this was a smart move? No, it was lazy and unnecessary. I thought it was a piss-poor way to kick of the new Hogan/Bischoff era, and I wasn't alone in that belief. But, was it a complicated storyline? Not at all. Actually, it was a rather basic, simplistic storyline.


    Abyss was taken under the wing of Hulk Hogan, who gave Abyss his Hall of Fame ring. The ring was supposed to make Abyss unstoppable, and all that jazz. Abyss had a short feud with AJ Styles and Ric Flair, but eventually turned on Hulk Hogan. This entire thing was basically a disgrace, and made Abyss look like a fool. It resulted in some terrible matches between Styles and Abyss, and an even worse 8-man tag match between Team Hogan (consisting of Jeff Hardy, Abyss, Rob Van Damn and Jeff Jarrett) vs. Team Flair (consisting of Beer Money Inc., Sting and Desmond Wolfe) at Lethal Lockdown.

    Once again, I'll gladly point out how much I hated this entire Flair/Hogan feud. It took several up-and-coming superstars in TNA, and made them nothing more than background for Flair and Hogan. But that doesn't mean this storyline was in any way, shape or form complicated. It was simplistic, and more than easy to follow.

    Kurt Angle vs. The Top Ten Contenders for the TNA World Heavyweight Title

    After losing to A.J. Styles at Genesis, Kurt Angle was out of the title picture. To prove to himself that he was still worthy of holding the TNA world title, he decided to take on each man who was ranked in TNA's Top Ten Contenders list. If he beat every man on the list, he would then challenge once again for the TNA title. If he lost, he would retire.

    Kurt Angle is a gifted performer, and I actually didn't mind this angle. He had some good matches with Jeff Hardy, The Pope and others. This storyline made sense, and was easy to follow.

    EV2 vs. Fourtune

    For some odd reason, Dixie thought it was a good idea to bring in some old ECW guys (Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Raven, etc.) and have them feud with Fourtune. Dixie had compared the EV2 guys to Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, stating ECW meant to the 90's what Hogan (and Flair) meant to the 80's. This upset Flair to no end, so his Fourtune boys were directed to take EV2 out.

    This whole thing made no sense, and wasn't drawing a dime. Dixie, Hulk, Eric, whoever, basically sacrificed good wrestlers like A.J., Beer Money, etc. in hopes the EV2 thing would work out. In the end, it didn't. It was a failure. But once again, it was about as simplistic as a storyline can get.


    Deception. Sting and Kevin Nash ran around for months telling us how "THEY" were deceiving us. "THEY" were lying, etc., etc. Dixie thought Kevin and Sting were lying, only attempting to help themselves.

    On October 10th, 2010, Jeff Hardy faced off against Mr. Anderson and Kurt Angle for the vacant TNA World Championship. Hardy eventually turned heel, and with help from Hogan and Bischoff, became the new TNA champion. The next night, we learned that Nash and Sting had known all along that Hogan and Eric were up to no good. Hardy was in on it from the beginning, Abyss was still in love with Hulk (?), Jarrett didn't mind his company going to someone else (??), and Dixie was swindled out of her own business. To make matters worse, Flair and Fourtune (now containing seven people..) were also aligned with Immortal.

    Flair said it was because Dixie had dared to compare himself and Hogan to those EV2 bums. Hardy was sick of the fans not really caring about him. Jarrett..well, good ol' Double J was just trying to save his job, I guess.

    Some people may believe this was a complicated storyline, but it wasn't. It was poorly written, poorly executed, and when it came to a head, really made no sense at all. There were holes in the story big enough to drive a train through (Abyss beating the hell out of every member of Immortal leading up to 10/10/10, Samoa Joe's kidnapping, etc.).

    But none of that mattered to TNA's creative team. It seemed as though TNA's creative team wasn't exactly worried about "details." When I think of a complicated storyline, I think about details. And since logic was basically tossed out the window in favor of just getting it over with, I cannot find any complexity surrounding this angle. Go ahead, look for yourselves. This is TNA Reaction, the explanation of how Immortal came to be, from 10/21/2010:





    If you've already watched these videos, don't waste your time. Why do I call it a waste of time? Because they say the same thing, over and over again, for an hour! AN HOUR! There is about 5 minutes of actual explanation, and the rest is jibber-jabber. Most of it describes how it felt to screw over Dixie, and what not. Nothing of substance is revealed here. Like I said, if you're already seen this, don't bother.


    I believe TNA has been looking to create more adult-oriented, complicated storylines. But, I don't think their execution has panned out. They build a storyline (like Samoa Joe being kidnapped), and ditch it when they can't come up with a real explanation. That's confusion, not complexity.

    I'm not denying TNA is rather erratic and even chaotic in their booking. They are, no question there. But that doesn't mean they are too complicated, or even complicated at all. Out of all the storylines I mentioned above, not one of them were too difficult to remember. In fact, seeing as TNA neglects details just about every week, I had no problem at all recollecting everything that has gone on since Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan arrived.

    Chaotic, erratic booking is not nearly the same thing as complicated, intriguing booking. Complicated storylines unfold over time, leaving many clues along the way. Some great examples of this are the original nWo, HHH having Steve Austin run over in late 1999, Austin turning heel at Wrestlemania 17, and Mick Foley getting screwed at Survivor Series 1998. All of those had one thing in common; follow-through. TNA doesn't give their own storylines a chance to become complicated and intriguing. Instead, they look for quick fixes and backdoors.

    Not only do I find TNA's booking to be totally uncomplicated, I find it to be rather lazy and half-assed. Laziness and zero attention to detail do not equal complicated programming. In fact, it breeds the exact opposite. TNA has a lot of work to do, but simplifying their storylines doesn't need to be on that to-do-list.
  4. DirtyJosé

    DirtyJosé Best angle of all: retirement

    Dec 12, 2009
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    Has the TNA product become too complicated?

    Without a doubt, the TNA product under the Hogan era has suffered from over-complication, amongst other things. Immortal has been revealed as the sum of the Russo/Bischoff/Hogan collaboration in creative. Many people feel the build up to the reveal at Bound for Glory was rushed and poorly planned, leading them to assume that things must have been made up as time went on. After spending some time re-watching the past year's Impacts, I can only state that I feel Immortal, or something close to it, was indeed the plan from the very start. Only that could explain the rushed and half assed feeling most all of the major angles this in TNA had.

    Everything was done to get to the Immortal reveal by BFG. Every step along the way never got time to properly and naturally develop because everything was on a deadline. Russo once again had a big plan, with Bischoff and Hogan lending support. Unlike, for example, the "New Blood" angle, Russo seemed to have better planned out the "Immortal" angle. He knew where he wanted certain people to be for it to work in his mind. This is why so many of the angles of this year for TNA have failed. The complications came when trying to execute this on television without allowing each element the proper time to form. These include:

    • Jeff Jarrett's sudden return as a face never gaining true momentum.

      "Yo" in the bathroom while getting jumped by Sean Morley was about the most relatable Jeff Jarrett became as a returning face. This was the guy who had damn near been run out of his own company, both in kayfabe and in real life. Now he was being pitched as the "everyman's hero", standing up to Bischoff and sticking up for Hulkamania. In the long run, his role is important in the formation of Immortal as the deceiver; the one to get in with the TNA established and convince them to stand by Hogan's side. This would have been much more effective if the lines between Hogan, Flair, Bischoff, and Jarrett had not always been so blurry and complicated. ​

      [*]Abyss's angle from Hogan's Chosen to Herald of Immortal being so widely rejected by viewers.

      Perhaps one of the biggest failures in booking all year for TNA has been Abyss. Pushed by Hogan backstage as "TNA's John Cena", Abyss's new Hulk-centric character was never popular amongst the viewers. Consistently scoring low on the "Top 10 Contenders Poll", Abyss nonetheless was featured in the main event scene of Impact for months alongside Hogan and Flair. The concept of pushing Abyss as the TNA brand monster to pushing him as Immortal's muscle, like Jarrett's push, could have been done so much more effectively. The angle didn't need complications such as hall of fame rings, and accusations of rape, both of which were concepts which drove away viewers. ​

      [*]The Failure of EV2.0 to get anybody over.

      "Complicated" is the perfect word to describe the entire EV2.0 angle. Why is TNA promoting ECW, a brand still owned by McMahon? What is with the constant switch from worked-shoot to kayfabe (a Russo trademark)? Again, the concept was a simple as something Dixie brought into TNA failing as a result of Flair's actions, forcing her to seek Hogan's and Bischoff's help. Seems simple enough, so why over-complicate it by tying it to a promotion owned by the competition? Why complicate it by having the EV2.0 treat kayfabe differently from one segment to the next? Why rely on talent many newer fans won't ever recognize, especially when knowing the relevance of these guys was clutch to moving the angle along? Why sculpt an angle that relies on material that you can't use to tell the story properly? Why complicate it by forcing yourself to leave so much out? Russo, Bischoff, and Hogan needed a face army to make a suicide mission, and they picked the most complicated path to tell that story.​

      [*]RVD and the stripping of the title.

      Inbetween EV2.0 segments where kayfabe was shown to be a joke, we're supposed to care about RVD's stretch as World Champion. And then he runs into the wall called Abyss and things get....complicated. RVD is able to win his match with Abyss, but is too injured to continue being champion. He is stripped of the title...and returns to work shortly afterwards. Behind the stage, what really went on was that RVD's initial contract with TNA had expired, and a new one needed to be drawn up.

      This leaves a few questions. If TNA knew that their champion was coming up on the end of his contract a few scant weeks before the big BFG reveal, what not rush to resign him before it could change booking plans? Furthermore, is it possible that the plan itself called for RVD to be stripped of the title to set up the BFG match? And if so, WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT IT'D BE A GOOD IDEA TO STRIP YOUR WORLD CHAMPION OF THE TITLE DUE TO INJURY ONLY TO BRING HIM BACK BY THE NEXT PPV? Less talented writers have found a way in the past to carry an injured champion through a few shows into a PPV without having him fight and without having him stripped of the title. These complications took away from the shock of Hardy turning heel. If RVD had still been champion at that point it would have much more effectively cemented Hardy as having screwed over his friend and his fans to get his wishes.​

    TNA under Hogan/Bischoff has become too complicated for it's own good.

    They came into house talking about blowing away expectations and about changing the way wrestling was done. They declared war on the over-dramatization of wrestling. They planned an entire angle to cover most of the year playing up these very same concepts that they rallied against. To any new viewer trying to grasp what's so different about TNA, these are needless complications.

    Hogan talking about "we're shooting" is a needless complication.
    Team 3D hugging The Gangstas was a needless complication.
    Brian Kendrick in EV2.0 is a needless complication.
    Samoa Joe being kidnapped was a needless complication.
    Stripping RVD of the title was a needless complication.

    The list goes on. I don't buy the excuse of TNA Creative simply being lazy because good wrestling angles shouldn't be very hard to write. I don't buy the excuses of start-stop-pushes because WWE seems to do just fine with those same kind of pushes from time to time. Just like WWE manages to handle abandoned storylines with better grace. The problem is that everything this year has been forced to fit the cookie cutter of Russo, Bischoff, and Hogan's long term plans, and anything which couldn't be reconciled was forgotten with no explanation to the viewers. Planning for their masterpiece storyline has caused them to over-complicate their product.
  5. Big Nick Dudley

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Wait a minute...You say Immortal was a planned angle, from the start, correct? And as a result of being mapped out from the very beginning of the Hogan and Bischoff era, it was half-assed and rushed? Sorry, but that doesn't make sense.

    How do you come to the conclusion that an angle that has been so "half assed and rushed" could have possibly been planned out from the start? If something feels rushed, and is filled with plot-hole after plot-hole, that really lends credibility to the idea of week-to-week booking, no?

    If you believe Hogan, Bischoff and Russo had planned for a huge heel stable from the start, I can almost buy into that. But I highly doubt, after watching Immortal unfold (and turn into complete shit), and almost every episode of Impact since January, that TNA's creative department knew what they wanted at BFG. The Immortal angle, as you have said yourself, has been rather half-assed. A thrown-together mess like Immortal shows no signs of having been planned out in any sort of complicated manner over a period of 9-12 months.

    I could buy into this theory, if I agreed with your premise of Immortal being completely mapped out since last January. But I don't. Even I did agree it had been planned from the start (and I most certainly do not), how is Jarrett's heel turn complicated? Wrestler's "deceiving" the crowd is a rather old trick. It might have been surprising to some fans, but not complicated.

    After watching Jarrett's explanation for going with Immortal, I didn't feel the need to scratch my head and think it all over. He sold out to save his job, period. It's rather simple, actually. He decided going at it alone was pointless, seeing as how Hogan and Bischoff were in control even before they stole the company from Dixie. I'm just not seeing how that is complicated, at all.

    By "lines being blurred between" Hogan, Bischoff, Flair and Jarrett, do you mean all four men secretly being in cahoots the entire time, and no one seeing it? If that's what you meant, the answer is rather simple; no long-term planning had gone into this angle. This angle hasn't been complicated. It's only hard to follow because it was poorly written and poorly executed.

    I agree with the bolded part. It could have been much more effective if it had quality writing and storytelling behind it. It most certainly didn't have either one of those. But that doesn't mean it was complicated.

    How were either of those storylines complicated? Hogan gave Abyss his Hall of Fame ring to boost his confidence. Abyss needed an ego-boost in order to regain his dominance, so Hogan gave him the ring hoping it would help "The Monster" back to his original form. It was a stupid storyline, but there was nothing overly complicated about it.

    Wrong. Idiotic is the perfect word to describe this angle. I'd even take worthless, pointless or unnecassary. But complicated would imply that it took some brain power to figure the whole thing out. Trust me, it didn't.

    Dixie and company brought EV2 in as a last-ditch effort to bring in viewers. TNA thought old ECW fans might be interested in TNA if it had some of it's former stars headlining. This, shockingly, turned out to be false. They attempted to use the EV2 angle as a band-aid of sorts, and it failed..miserably.

    To give itself WWE-like exposure? It didn't work, but that was the goal. TNA was looking to capitalize on nostalgia, and that ship sunk, rather quickly.

    I'm not going to argue with you about the particulars pertaining to the EV2 angle. It was garbage. But really, it was not complicated at all. Dixie and company saw it as a quick-fix to their ratings problem. They thought it would bring in viewers. TNA's creative department didn't take into consideration just how poorly it may be received. The only thing TNA (mostly Hogan and Bischoff, I presume) cared about was increasing ratings in the short-term. I think in the minds of TNA's creative department (once again, Hogan and Eric most likely), they hoped EV2 would bring in viewers for the long haul, but were much more concerned about an initial bump in ratings. They weren't looking far enough ahead, also not realizing that doing something as simplistic as an "ECW reunion" show would not attract the masses. Sadly, no one cared about ECW anymore, especially not when featured on TNA programming.

    TNA came up with an angle, saying their champion was too hurt to wrestle. They had Abyss beat RVD half to death (kayfabe) in order to make this look credible, and it did. An injured champion gives up his title, and a tournament is held to crown a new champion. What is complicated about that?? Seriously, there is nothing complicated about that storyline.

    Once again, we agree that TNA has a tendency to Forrest-Gump their way through certain storylines. But being inept in your storytelling methods does not mean you are being overly complicated. TNA is anything but complicated when it comes to telling a story. They haven't proven themselves to be smart enough when it comes to booking to be viewed as complicated.

    I doubt new viewers saw TNA as having been overly-complicated this past year. New viewers, myself included, saw TNA as a bumbling, stumbling mess. I saw it as a company filled with chaos, and having no long-term direction. TNA seems to step on it's own toes, week in and week out. But nothing they have done has made me stop and think, "Wow, this is really complicated stuff."

    It's pointless, absolutely. But it's not complicated. Hogan, Bischoff and Russo have a track record of believing in "worked shoots." They believe it draws money. In WCW, the nWo was most effective when it was in total kayfabe mode. When Hogan returned at Bash at the Beach 1996, that was the biggest kayfabe moment in wrestling history. It took the nWo to a level where it was able to compete with, and eventually beat, the WWF in the ratings war.

    After Vince Russo came to WCW, and it began "shooting," everything went right down the drain. Ratings were dropping quickly, and it was apparent "worked shoots" weren't getting the job done. But, Hogan/Bischoff/Russo believe otherwise. They have a combined ego the size of the Atlantic Ocean, and they aren't changing for anyone. It's not complicated, it's just stupid.

    It was pointless, but again, not complicated.

    See above.

    This was a blunder, through and through. TNA hasn't even bothered to explain this, and I'm not sure how you can leave such a gaping hole in one of your storylines. But that's TNA for you; horribly idiotic.

    I went over this earlier, no need to be overly repetitive.

    It isn't an excuse if it's true. Besides pure laziness taking over, how else do you explain the Samoa Joe angle (for example) never being explained? TNA could have come up with ANYTHING to explain this. Even if what they had originally planned was no longer a viable option, they could have explained it away in some other way. What did they do instead? Nothing. They just let it go, which sounds extremely lazy to me.

    If they were planning for a "masterpiece" storyline, being too complicated wasn't what caused said storyline to fail. Piss-poor storytelling, lazy writing, and idiotic booking doomed whatever they had planned. I submit TNA was less than complicated. Creating complicated storylines takes time, and effort. TNA has scrapped so many pushes (Abyss as a face is the first to come to mind, The Pope as well), and laid waste to so many angles (Samoa Joe's kidnapping), I think calling them "complicated" would be giving them credit they do not deserve.

    I will say, once again, that I do not believe TNA is overly-complicated in anything they do. They set up basic storylines, but refuse to follow through. You can call TNA's creative department lazy, erratic, chaotic, inept, etc. But you really can't call them complicated.
  6. DirtyJosé

    DirtyJosé Best angle of all: retirement

    Dec 12, 2009
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    Once again, DirtyJosé probably loses the punctuality least this week I had the excuse of a holiday.

    A trend I'm noticing about TNA is that unless one has been following wrestling for many years beforehand, many of the angles launched in 2010 would seem complicated beyond belief. In this example, even assuming one recognizes Ric Flair in the first place, unless they were aware of Survivor Series 97 and the story behind the actions that took place then this angle would seem needlessly complex. Why the significance of Earl Hebner? Why the talk of history repeating itself? No doubt that many of TNA's (and indeed wrestling in general) worst storylines show signs of lazy writing, and a symptom of this is the reliance on history to explain the storyline. Contrast with the Bret Hart angle WWE was running at the time. Even though guys like you and I knew the score, things were shown and explained well enough that even a newer viewer with no knowledge of anything beyond the last year of wrestling could enjoy the product and understand what was going on. TNA's often lazy and rushed approach to unfolding the story of the Hogan era, as evidenced by the AJ/Angle/Flair storyline, leaves the product feeling complicated.

    In the long run, it's clear that the Abyss push was part of the "Immortal" plan; build up Abyss as a face only to have him turn on Hogan, and in the ensuing chaos allow Hogan and Bischoff to take advantage of Dixie Carter. The angle started off on the wrong foot with the needless complication of a "Hall of Fame" ring added to the mix. Not only was the addition of a ring needless because it was a rather childish idea in the first place, but it complicated the situation by diverting the discussion of the angle not from where it was going but to whether or not the ring was in fact a WWE Hall of Fame, why TNA would build an angle around a WWE Hall of Fame ring, and why anyone in back thought that this would be an effective use of airtime.

    This is a great example of how a good angle can be a rather simplistic one as well. Of course, TNA managed to bring complications into this angle; instead of simply letting Angle run roughshod through the roster building him up to Bound For Glory, they chose to make this angle focus on their new Top 10 Contenders list, including the fans poll and Championship Committee. That the angle can be considered successful by any measure is a testament to Kurt Angle's talents to overcome a concept as complicated as a kayfabe transparant process towards determining a #1 contender.

    No one really believed (for very long anyway) that an online poll was going to affect the booking of TNA, as it became very clear that the fan favorites weren't the ones receiving pushes. So why bother? Well, I believe TNA Creative wanted a way to allow Bischoff (in storyline) to take more control of the pecking order with regards to the World Title while simultaneously taking advantage of the buzz over WWE's own interactive format; their new NXT show. Regardless, it became clear pretty quickly that fans lost interest in the online poll and that TNA Creative wasn't really interested in the fan feedback in the first place, and after climbing up to spot number 6 the angle was dropped as Angle was placed into an 8 man tournament for the title, ruining the build to Bound For Glory. Seems pretty clear to me that the Top 10 list along with Angle's storyline to promote it was a needless complication.

    Like the screwjob example, this angle only came anywhere near not being complicated if you happened to have watched ECW during the 90's. Contrary to popular belief, many wrestling fans of the 90's were never exposed to ECW. So not only are you limiting the number of fans that this angle would make any lick of sense to only to fans from the 90's, but not even all of them would understand what was going on. Mr. Average fan sits down, turns on the set, and sees Raven and Sabu and the bWo...if he has never seen these guys before, what the hell is he supposed to think?

    Aside from the complications this angle brought to viewers with the storyline, it also brought complications backstage. A locker room already weary of newer additions like Mr. Anderson and RVD now has to find their self-control when guys like Tommy Dreamer and Al Snow are starting to get more air time than established TNA stars. At the height of the HardCORE Justice promotion, many TNA regulars disappeared from television for weeks. Fans noticed this too, as suddenly some of their favorite stars have seemingly dropped off the face of the planet.

    In the long run, it's clear that EV2.0 served as another Trojan Horse for Hogan and Bischoff (in kayfabe) to allow them to get closer to Carter, but what's less clear to this day is why talent TNA already had wasn't used instead of needlessly complicating the show/angle by including an aspect of the storyline that not only required the viewer to have watched almost 20 years of wrestling, but also built on the history of a promotion which was owned entirely by the competition.

    Having reviewed much of the material, I am forced to state that the pieces for "Immortal" were there from at least close to the start. You say that angles like these were easy to follow, but in your second paragraph here you seem unsure of the motivations of some of the characters involved. Complication in storylines isn't solely an overburden of details or twist, but poorly written, poorly explained, and poorly executed segments which instead of laying out the pieces for the bigger picture only confuses and/or misleads the viewer.

    The complication of the "Immortal" angle is it's scope; this was supposed to be the big picture all along. In rushing through the motions to build for BFG 2010, nothing was really ever allowed to run it's course naturally. You claim that it can't be complicated if it's lacking detail, but really it's that lack of definition and of coherent storytelling that overcomplicates the angle. Let's go back to Mr. Average for a moment; Jeff Jarrett's motivations are coming out as being revenge against Kurt Angle for their personal issues from the previous summer. Of course, none of this has come out until after the turn. Perhaps if hints had been dropped that there was tension between Jeff and Kurt in kayfabe this wouldn't seem so complicated. To Mr. Average, who doesn't usually spend his time on dirt sheet websites, this grudge makes no sense and only serves to complicate the angle.

    I can't speak with 100% accuracy as I'm not part of TNA Creative, but going back over the last year of TNA, I'd have to say that yes, I do believe that "Immortal" was planned long long in advance. How could it turn out half-assed and rushed if it was this planned out? Simple; that's just the nature of long term plans like this when it comes to booking. Overwhelming negative fan reaction, backstage politicking, injuries, and firings all take their toll on the plan. This was Hogan and Bischoff's big shot at recreating the nWo in spirit. They needed to set the stage properly; the nWo's appeal and popularity was heavily based on the setting and atmosphere of Professional Wrestling at the time. They knew they needed to set the mood before they could make their big reveal.

    Week-to-week booking is a silly concept. To believe that any company in this day and age doesn't have to resort to on-the-fly booking for emergencies or sudden changes is foolish. Was not the early Nexus angle forced into week-to-week booking with the firing of Daniel Bryan? Or again later with the loss of Sheffield to injury? Were McGillicutty and Harris really meant to join Nexus, or were they moved there to fill up holes in the team as well as recover from the botched NXT Season 2 ending? But here we are, near the end of 2010, and the Nexus angle, while with it's own critics, is far more accepted than "Immortal". Perhaps that is because though each had to rely on on-the-fly booking to dig them out of unexpected holes, WWE writers managed to continue the Nexus angle with minimal complications compared to "Immortal".

    Abyss coming under the thrall of Hogan seemed pretty pointless at first (during the whole HOF Ring angle), but his place in the "Deception/THEY" storyline and the greater "Immortal" angle was the catalyst that allows Bischoff and Hogan to manipulate Carter. Silly as it may seem to you or I, the signs were there rather early (Team Hogan at Lockdown 2010 was Immortal plus RVD in a bit of foreshadowing.)

    Mr. Average probably doesn't know about Jarrett and Karen Angle's history, so I would imagine that discussion of "husband" and "ex-husband" really didn't do much to explain what Jarrett's beef with Angle is. That is what is at the center of Jarrett's motivations (mind you this was explained on the 10/14/10 episode of Impact, before the "Immortal" video packages from the 10/21/10 episode of Reaction). It's so simple and uncomplicated that even you missed this.

    Well, if all four had been holding hands from the get-go, the events of BFG 2010 wouldn't have been much of a reveal, would it? From a kayfabe perspective, getting the plan to work meant getting Hogan over as pro-TNA, getting Bischoff over as a petty and short sighted schemer, and getting Jarrett over as a reformed and humbled man in search of redemption. Flair enters the picture as a wild card; he's a threat to Hogan's plans from the start, but things change when Dixie brings in EV2.0 (which is why Hogan jumps at the chance to promote them as well). From the perspective as a booker, having these men have no interaction with each other all year would've been a more lazy and poorly executed way to proceed with the angle.

    I'm inclined to believe that most any wrestler, in or out of kayfabe, would receive a major confidence boost from Hulk fucking Hogan giving you a good pep talk (See also: Mr. Anderson during this time). The concept is simple enough, so (again) why involve the WWE Hall of Fame, especially as WWE was building to Wrestlemania (which includes an annual Hall of Fame ceremony)? Once again, it was a needless complication that only distracted from the purpose of the storyline.

    I've already explained how Mr. Average sitting at home probably still doesn't know who most of these guys are/were. From a non-kayfabe approach, as you've taken here, if this was merely a stunt, why was it built into the part of the build to BFG 2010 (as by this point, Sting was already talking about "Deception", a clear marker of the beginning of "Immortal" in earnest)? If it was supposed to be part of the plan, who thought adding a faction that they couldn't even show past video packages of (amongst other limitations) wouldn't come across as complicated? If it was a last minute addition, who thought that sidelining most every other angle on television for the stunt wouldn't create complications with continuity and confuse the viewer base who were waiting to see more about "Deception"?

    Under the weight of the complications in building upon a franchise and brand name that they don't own. Wouldn't you call that needlessly complicating the product?

    So, again, assuming this is the case, wouldn't you call that needlessly complicating the product? They worked pretty quickly to tie in Hogan and Fourtune, so clearly they weren't thinking of abandoning all they had done so far in favor of making TNA the next ECW. In and out of kayfabe, the entire fiasco is quite complicated.

    RVD is back in a matter of weeks, and instead of reclaiming his title he's content to chase Abyss and let three other men compete for his title. Maybe if there were a bigger history between Abyss and RVD this would have made more sense, but there are at least a dozen other ways to have written this angle to fit in the bigger picture without complicating the title scene.

    But it's that lack of cohesive storytelling that drives many to feel that TNA is too complicated at times to follow. I've read before that some feel they need a flow chart to make sense of things in TNA, and I'm inclined to agree. "Immortal" being planned in advance may excuse some TNA shortcomings, but it's the very same poor writing and poor execution that complicate the product when something that ambitious can't be done justice.

    Why does "shooting" fail? Because it complicates viewing the product. It forcefully breaks the suspension of disbelief required to watch the product for many if not most viewers. How are you supposed to be interested if a major figure in the company is talking about how "fake titles" don't mean anything? It assumes that every viewer is an internet smark (by that I mean one who frequents news sites and forums about wrestling), and complicates the product for anyone who isn't.

    Breaking kayfabe on a wrestling program but then expecting us to tune in next week to see what happens? That certainly brings up more questions than answers, so I stick by my declaration of it being a needless complication.

    Remember, we aren't just talking about you or I. Don't forget Mr. Average. Mr. Average wants to know, after being forced to Google who most of these old and ugly EV2.0 guys are in the first place (already a sign of over-complication), where the fuck Brian Kendrick fits into all of this. Has been accepted as an honorary EV2.0 junior cub scout? Was he in ECW at some point? In an already complicated angle, Kendrick's involvement was yet another needless complication detracting from the story being told.

    And needlessly complicated. If there wasn't a scrap of follow-through planned for this, why proceed with the abduction? Remember Mr. Average; guys like you and I can recognize this as an abandoned angle, but many other viewers saw Joe return later and were only distracted by having to ask the question "Dude, what was with those masked men?". Any of a number of cheap excuses could have been given, and many of them would have made some kind of sense. So why complicate matters by never addressing it again?


    1. Composed of elaborately interconnected parts.

    Whether or not you believe that "Immortal" was planned from early on, it's been shown that each member had their own motivations, which played a lot into each member's angles prior to. Jeff is after Kurt, Bischoff and Hogan wanted power, Abyss wanted acceptance, and Hardy wanted to finally force the fans to respect him as the ultimate figure in modern Professional Wrestling. Whether or not you feel these are very complex themes, these are some of the interconnected parts which are major foundations of Hogan era TNA.

    2. Difficult to analyze, understand, explain, etc.

    Once again, you or I may remember ECW, or remember when Jeff got taken off TV last year, or remember the Montreal Screwjob, but many many casual fans don't, and so explaining the concept and plots of angles like EV2.0, or Angle vs Styles, or Jarrett's role in Immortal would be quite difficult to understand, analyze, and explain without being forced to search elsewhere for information. Requiring your viewers to have an extensive knowledge or wrestling is what I would consider having an over-complicated product.
  7. Big Nick Dudley

    Dec 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    First of all, I am pretty sure most TNA fans knew who Ric Flair was long before he walked through the door. But let's say for a second you're correct in assuming most fans didn't know anything about Survivor Series 1997. The Kurt Angle/AJ Styles/Ric Flair screwjob angle that took place on Impact in January can be called just about anything but complicated.

    Flair wanted AJ to win, so he paid off the referee. It was explained quit well afterward. I really don't think the crowd had any problems following this story.

    TNA was throwing a bone to old wrestling fans. Hebner's involvement was far too small to be deemed important. For fans who knew the history of the Montreal Screwjob, they definitely had a better understanding. But not knowing the history of a particular referee is hardly important to a storyline, especially the one we are speaking of.

    If you're talking about TNA's Impact Zone crowd, I really can't speak to their knowledge of pro wrestling, but with how smarky they are, I think it's more extensive than you believe. When I log onto this website, which has as many people talking about TNA as the Impact zone has spectators, I find it hard to believe those people are not at least somewhat familiar with Hulk, Bret Hart, Ric Flair etc.

    Then how do you explain Abyss attacking several members of Fourtune before 10/10/10? With an angle like this, the men who are "secretly" in cahoots the entire time usually avoid physically assaulting one another, if only to give the fans some clue of what is coming (it's called not jumping the shark). How about Abyss attacking Jeff Hardy? And probably the most important would be Hogan and Abyss having hardcore, bloody brawls with now-Immortal-team-members AJ Styles and Ric Flair. Come on Jose, you can't actually believe this was planned from the start.

    Take a look at this segment from Impact this past March, and tell me these men were "secretly" in cahoots for months and months:


    This match easily proves Immortal wasn't a long-range plan. It just wasn't.

    You calling it "childish" is dead on. You're right, it was childish and annoying. But how does that equal complicated? We went over this earlier, and I still do not see where you're coming from. Hulk gave Abyss a ring to boost his confidence. Seems rather simple to me.

    Fans being able to vote for who they want to see go after the title is complicated? I don't think so. Fans, whether it's good for the business or not, want to have input. TNA let them in on decision making, to an extent. Having a group of men decide, along with polling, who should go after a title isn't a complex thing. The Kurt Angle/Top Ten storyline was about as simple as it gets, sorry to say.

    It was needless, but most definitely not complicated. TNA scrapped the whole thing. They were lazy with it, and decided it wasn't working anyhow. The Top-Ten thing didn't fail because it was too complex. It failed because it wasn't used properly, along with most other storylines in TNA.

    Once again, I think you're underestimating the knowledge the "general" fan possesses. These "average" fans didn't appear out of nowhere. I'm really not sure you have any evidence to prove TNA fans of today have no clue what went on in the past 10-15 years.

    You didn't have to watch the original ECW to know what was happening with the EV2 mess. WWE ran ECW programming for a few years, with guys like Dreamer, RVD, Team 3D, etc. Sorry to break it to you, but WWE and TNA do not have two totally seperate audiences. People watch both shows, and have done so for years.

    The backstage problems were not complicated, as I explained earlier. Hogan and Bischoff believe that old-school draws money. They were looking for a quick fix when they brought in EV2, hoping to draw on the massive audience of the late 90's. Did this work? No, it failed miserably. But the guys in the back more than likely understand how Hogan and Bischoff operate. Were the other wrestlers upset? I'm sure they were. But I highly doubt they were confused by the complexity of what Hogan and Bischoff were doing.

    I really can't agree with this statement. As I said earlier, the EV2 angle was used to generate short-term PPV buys, and nothing more. TNA knew ECW (original and WWE's version) still had fans, contrary to what you may believe. The problem with this angle had nothing to do with ECW not being remembered, it had to do with no one caring about TNA using ECW.

    Jeff Jarrett wants needs a job, so he sold out. Bischoff and Hogan are ego-maniacs, and want to control TNA. Jeff Hardy got sick and tired of not being appreciated. Those are basic, simplistic plot points.

    Also, there is a huge difference between poor quality and a complicated product. A complicated storyline is something you follow through on. A complicated angle makes fans sit back and actually have to think about what's going on (like Nexus and the possibility of "higher power"). TNA never lets their angles get to the point where fans have to think about what's going on. They drop most storylines before the angle is given a chance to even become complicated.

    If it had been planned from the start, why did they have to rush for BFG? They rused because contrary to what you're saying, it wasn't planned out that far in advance.

    TNA ignores things like details, and quality storytelling. When you ignore details, you cannot possibly have complicated storylines. Lacking in "definition" and "coherent storytelling" does not support your theory of TNA being too complicated. No one has to sit back and think about the complexities of TNA's angles. The reason for this has a lot to do with TNA, as you said, not letting certain angles "run their course."

    I think you're synopsis of why Jarrett joined Fourtune is off base. Jarrett has said several times "he didn't sell out, he bought in!" Jarrett joined to save his job, his livelihood. His motivations against Kurt? I think he stated why he doesn't like Kurt, but that really wasn't what made him join Immortal.

    We've covered this already, but I'll add a few things. Hogan and Bischoff may have had a long-term idea to create a stable full of heels. But from the men who were selected, it's painfully obvious they had no clue who was going to be involved. As I said earlier, Abyss and Hardy were battering one another for quite some time. Flair and Hogan were busting each other open and bleeding all over the Impact Zone. Of course Hogan and Bischoff had planned to build an nWo-like stable, that's what they do! They rely on the past to sell the current product. Does that ultra-simplistic vision work for TNA? No, of course not. But the strategy is really not that complicated.

    Minimal complications? Firing Daniel Bryan for something that (kayfabe) happened off-screen wasn't a complicated plot point? Nexus works because they have actually followed through with it. Nexus is far more complicated than anything TNA has done. Why is this? Because you actually have to sit back and think about some things Nexus has done. For example, why did they attack The Undertaker? We do not know the answer to this question yet, but we have enough faith in WWE's ability to create complex storylines that pay off. We do not have that kind of faith in TNA's much more simplistic approach of bagging an angle if it's not working out as well as originally planned.

    Yet they all beat the hell out of each other? This example really doesn't support your idea of "Immortal" being planned out far in advance.

    Watch your own clip, man! When Jarrett says "ex-husband" the entire crowd gasps. They know exactly what is going on with that situation, at least most of them.

    I'm sorry, what did I miss? If you watch this clip from the 10/14/2010 episode of Impact, you will clearly see that Kurt Angle had NOTHING to do with Jarrett joining Immortal:


    I'm not sure if you watched this or not, but you're dead wrong when you say Angle was Jarrett's motivation for joining Immortal.

    TNA using WWE, to an extent, is nothing more than an attempt to draw from a much more powerful company. Simple strategy, really.

    Once again, we agree that TNA has done a piss-poor job of booking and writing storylines. But nothing you are saying makes me buy into TNA being complicated in any way.

    No, I would call it an attempt to borrow from something more people watch on a weekly basis. That's about as simple a strategy as you will ever find.

    A bigger history? When does a wrestler return from injury and not go after the man who put him on the shelf. That's Booking 101. You can attempt to make this sound complicated, but it isn't. RVD wasn't worried about the title. He wanted to hurt the guy who hurt him, plain and simple.

    They totally blow an angle up, not doing it justice, and somehow that complicates things? If anything, I'd day they just simplified the hell out. Going to great lengths to provide an actual explanation, that makes sense, would be a complicated task. Bagging it and ignoring details is a much more simplistic route.

    Making the audience wait for an answer isn't complicated, it's common. TNA has really done a poor job of answering questions, but that doesn't mean they are being overly complicated. Dropping angles and ignoring details is an easy way out, not a complicated way out.

    To be honest, I can give you the fact that the EV2 storyline might have confused some viewers who were not familiar with EV2. But how is adding Kendrick a complicated move? If anything, TNA added him for the people who were not familiar with ECW. They added him because he's a guy they recognize. Sorry, but there's nothing complicated about that.

    Not addressing the situation was an easy way out. I believe TNA avoided a complicated storyline by not addressing the issue at all.

    And those motivations were not complicated. You seemed to have no problem summing up each guys motivation for joining Immortal in one sentence. How does that help your theory of TNA being too complicated?

    I really think you're underestimating the magnitude of the Montreal Screwjob. It's one of the biggest storylines in the history of pro wrestling. These people who watch TNA week in and week out are not just brand new to the wrestling world. I also think you're ignoring the fact that TNA has a small, core audience who know exactly what is going on while watching the show. Their audience is rather loyal, no matter how bad TNA messes things up.

    Closing Argument

    I believe TNA's creative department is doing a piss-poor job of booking, writing and choosing who to feature on television each week. But with that being said, they are not complicated.

    I gave some examples of some simplistic storylines earlier, but here are a few more.

    The Shore

    TNA gave a Shore-like gimmick to a wrestler because the "Jersey Shore" show is watched by millions of people each week (unfortunately). TNA also brought in a member of the Jersey Shore cast (J-Woww) in an attempt to capitalize on the shows massive popularity. If that's complicated, I really want to know what you consider simplistic.

    Kurt Angle's Feud with Mr. Anderson

    Kurt Angle won the gold medal for the United States in the 1996 Olympics. Mr. Anderson insulted the military on several occassions. Angle played the patriotic hero, while Anderson went the heel route of insulting his country. This angle was simple, and actually somewhat successful. It was a personal feud, with a lot of bad blood. Not once did TNA attempt to over-complicate this feud.

    Team 3D and Jessie Neal

    Jessie Neal considered Team 3D to be his mentors. Bubba Ray became jealous of Jessie, and decided he was going to teach him a lesson. I'm sorry, I just don't see where this is complicated.

    TNA has a lot of problems, but being too complicated isn't one of them. If TNA ever actually followed through on a storyline (like Joe's kidnapping), I might see where Jose is coming from. But since they usually drop these angles like a bad habit and move onto the next one, I just can't buy into the product being too complicated.

    Rember, the opening question asks us if TNA has become too complicated under Hogan and Bischoff. While I admit some things have been somewhat complex, nothing they have done this year has really required a lot of thinking to understand the motivation of the players involved. Every storyline should have it's fair share of complexities, but to say TNA is overly-complicated is really off base.

    Thank You for reading all of this, and good luck to Dirty Jose.
    Ferbian and DirtyJosé like this.
  8. Phoenix

    Phoenix WZCW's First Triple Crown Champion

    Feb 16, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I'd like to apologise for my delay in judging, but a great debate from the both of you.

    Clarity of debate: nickb03
    Lack of a true conclusion hurts José here while Nick did great with his formatting and understanding of the question.

    Punctuality: nickb03
    Jose's final post was late but that's it

    Informative: nickb03
    Nick was great with bringing out the info early on, but it dwindled down later on. Nonetheless, early stuff earns him the point here.

    Persuasion: Draw
    Once again I have the problem of two great debaters swinging me more times than a monkey in a hammock. When Nick had me early on, José got me back and so on. These two brought their A game, even with José on holiday, they still did great, but neither broke off away for me once again.

    Final Score
    DirtyJosé: 1
    nickb03: 4
  9. Miko


    Feb 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Clarity: Pretty much what Pheonix said

    Point - nickb03

    Punctuality: Jose was late by all accounts

    Point - nickb03

    Informative: Both guys brought the info, and they share the point

    Point - Split

    Persuasion: This pretty much came down to defining the term complicated, neither was able to convince me more than the other, so I'll go for another shared point

    Point - Split

    My Score

    DirtyJose - 1.5
    nickb03 - 3.5
  10. Cena's Little Helper

    Cena's Little Helper Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Jul 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Clarity of debate: Split
    I'm splitting the point here because neither gave a clear interpretation of the word "complicated" in their opening arguments. Jose gave plenty of angles that he thought were complicated, and nickb03's definition didn't come out until his addressed these particular angles in his rebuttals.

    Punctuality: nickb03
    What Phoenix said.

    Informative: nickb03
    Video evidence and shit ton of examples relating to the TNA product. Now, I don't watch TNA myself, but I know Jose is quite the vigilant poster; if nickb03 had posted any incorrect information, Jose would have called him out on it.

    Persuasion: Split
    After an initially uneventful start, both guys managed to put on stellar performances in their responses to each other. Thus, I am splitting the points here.

    Final Score
    DirtyJosé: 1.5
    nickb03: 3.5
  11. D-Man

    D-Man Gone but never forgotten.

    Jan 26, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Sorry guys. I've been a real SHIT with judging on this. It took me forever to find the time to read the last few posts in this debate.

    Clarity: nickb03
    Nick's format was beautiful as usual, and Dirty didn't close it out.

    Punctuality: nickb03
    Jose had a late post.

    Informative: nickb03
    Nick gave TONs of info in this debate. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said.

    Persuasion: Draw
    I agree with the other judges and I must tip my cap to DirtyJose. He did a great job of playing catch-up here. Both of these guys deserve points. Very well done.

    Final Score
    DirtyJose: 1
    nickb03: 4

    Congratulations to nickb03 who moves onto the Debate League Finals!!!!
    DirtyJosé likes this.
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