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April 9, 2011

TNA Impact: The plot thickens with The Network

Much like the anonymous general manager on WWE Raw, TNA has its own unseen entity – The Network – pulling the strings on Impact.

On Thursday night’s show, Hulk Hogan surmised that the person “smartening up” The Network has to be a wrestler.

So, I suppose the question is: Who’s the wrestler?

My guess is that it’s Mick Foley. He hasn’t been on TV lately, but he is still under contract with TNA. It would make sense for him to be the guy sticking it to Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair.

Other thoughts on Thursday’s show:

I like that TNA continues to book Mr. Anderson as a rebel with no allies, although it was obvious that he wasn’t really joining Immortal at the end of the show. I never thought he was going full-fledged heel from the start, but when Rob Terry and Murphy (but not Bully Ray, Matt Hardy and Abyss) came out to celebrate with him, it clinched it. Of course, Anderson turned on Terry and Murphy and attacked them with the pipe he was holding. …

I’m digging the more aggressive Rob Van Dam. He showed a lot of intensity during his beat-down of Anderson. …

It’s nice to see Daniels – who made his dramatic return on last week’s show – back in TNA (I mean as himself, not as Suicide). However, I wish Ric Flair would stop saying that he doesn’t know who Daniels is. I get that Flair is a heel and he’s trying to be a smart aleck, but it’s not doing Daniels any favors. …

In his promo, Flair said: “This is pro wrestling. There ain’t no crying.” Now that’s ironic. …

The Bully Ray-Daniels match wasn’t bad. I know I write this just about every week, but Ray was strong on the mic again. Ray has become my favorite character in TNA. …

The angle from last week’s show in which the Jarretts had Kurt Angle arrested was replayed, and Jeff Jarrett talked about not letting the kids visit Angle in prison. Considering what has gone on with Angle in real life, this just too weird. …

One chair shot to the back is all it took to beat Devon in the tag match in which Hernandez and Anarchia defeated Devon and Tommy Dreamer? Really? …

I wonder if Mickie James will press charges against Tara and Madison Rayne for running over her with a motorcycle and then fleeing the scene. …

I still can’t believe TNA is breaking up Generation Me already. …

I wonder if the drink that Winter keeps giving to Angelina Love is the same one that Jeff Hardy had prior to his match at Victory Road.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 2:43 PM | | Comments (21)


"Much like the anonymous general manager on WWE Raw, TNA has its own unseen entity – The Network – pulling the strings on Impact."

In other words, TNA can't think of anything original so they're just copying WWE's idea here.

For months, I've been thinking that "the network" would be revealed as Vince Russo, and I still have an inkling that it might be him, but as soon as Hogan concluded that it's a wrestler, Foley was the first one that came to mind. The show was pretty good, not too bad but I wouldn't call it great. Good matches all throughout, and they all helped further storylines for the Lockdown PPV. I read online that Daniels is doing double duty as Suicide again, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's the last entrant in Lethal Lockdown. Definitely can't wait for the X-Division Xscape match, mainly because of the return of Alex Shelley, but also because they're showcasing pretty much the entire X-Division on PPV for once. I don't know if they've announced this or not, but it would make sense for the winner of that match to get a title shot.

Except that TNA's version makes infinitely more sense. The Network (aka Spike TV) playing a hand in what happens on a wrestling program on their channel makes much more sense than an "anonymous" GM who sends IM's during a live TV broadcast and has stayed anonymous far longer than anyone would have ever imagined for no apparent reason.

I mean really, this storyline has gone on sooooo long now, does anyone even really care who the GM is at this point???

It's now apparent that the anonymous GM on Raw is anonymous simply b/c WWE has no idea who to put in the roll but feels like they need a heel authority figure to stack the deck against Cena and the like... It's lazy booking and kinda insulting to the fans if you ask me.

Why do I get the feeling the network insider is Bischoff, Flair, or even Hogan? Eek. And I get this uneasy feeling Daniels turns on Fourtune in the cage and joins Immortal, much like Curt Henning turned on the 4 Horsemen at War Games and joined the NWO. Immortal already looks like a bad NWO, with Rob Terry playing Scott Norton. I hate the drug references of RVD and the beat down dragged on too long.

In other words, TNA can't think of anything original so they're just copying WWE's idea here.

ECW's idea.

have you considered Dixie Carter to be the network?

Frankly, I hate the Winter/Angelina angle. For me, it gets heat, such as Xpac heat. Velvet is too good to get sucked into such stupidity. Winter's music sucks too.


On a side note: is that Rikishi-Rock line one of the most long-lasting wrestling punch-lines? I mean there's gimmicks like The Gobbledy Gooker and Shockmaster which are punch-lines, but actual plot points Rikishi running over Stone Cold? I don't know...but it still holds up years later.

Gee im already missing the tna shows in australia since fox took it off the air. Sounds interesting

Hopefully RVD gets the belt back and delivers the 5 star matches each week. Anderson is very mediocre. Not sure what anyone sees in him. It is good to have Daniels back. Though it is far fetched, I would love for Jericho to be the network. Hogan has ruined the Knockout division. They went from carrying TNA years ago to being an after thought now. Very sad.

Very sharp critique/review. I agree with every point made, especially Flair not helping Daniels get over by showing some sort of reaction other than indifference.
TNA is not stellar right now by any means, but I'd be willing to say that this is the longest they've strung together solid characters and plots in a while. Here's to hoping that they can keep this up.
With RVD, Anderson and Ray stepping up in their respective spots, (I refer again to my running argument that this is what happens when you give someone a chance to step up in the first place), TNA has an opportunity right now to build the foundation that might actually break the company through the glass ceiling.
Agree on Generation Me---I think rather than break them up it would be smarter to ease off them for a time until it becomes possible to put them over with a new name and gimmick---as they are the best rivals in terms of in-ring excitement to the MCMG-once Shelley is healed enough to come back.

"This is pro wrestling. There ain't no crying." I wonder if there's crying in sports entertainment?

I think that the whole Network thing is going to conclude with finding out that Dixie Carter is the onle from the Network, and while Hogan gets total control of the company, she has total control of him.

And I agree with your comments on Ray - he's clearly the best heel they've had in a long time, and I'd like to see him get a shot at the world title in an upcoming event. He's really stepped it up lately.

I am hoping that Cyrus turns out to be "the network." That would be new and refreshing...oh, wait a minute.

"I wonder if the drink that Winter keeps giving to Angelina Love is the same one that Jeff Hardy had prior to his match at Victory Road."

As Ron Simmons would say, "DAMN!"

Why can't they call Christopher Daniels, Christopher Daniels?? Why just Daniels? And why can't he be called the Fallen Angel? The Fallen Angel is a good character.

haha not Foley!! I'd die lolol

Why am I not surprised Bully Ray is your favorite character?As someone who has followed wrestling for longer than you were born,I see the same similarities in your personalities.Having once been approached by several area independent shows,I chose not too go down that road due too issues with writers like Vince Russo and the ilk.Add the physical toll on the body and mind,i.e.,the video shown on Scott Hall,and it's sad to watch.Was in Florida when he first appeared on the scene,and was very impressed.Sad to watch.We're about the same age,and after two car accidents,and 17 operations,I can relate.Am still enjoying TNA over WWE these days.Good to see Sting back,but Ric Flair just plain disgusts me.Lost all respect I once had for him.Guess those alimony payments he and Hogan have to pay add up rather quickly.

Is it just me or is Anarchia white?

(Sigh) Im sorry but TNA is gone in the crapper.It's the new WCW without the crusierweights.I'm more entertained reading about Impact than I am actually watching it. Watching feels like work these days.

think they will have rey mysterio be the network and i hope they do. hte reson i think that is because he has been asking for his realse from wwe for a while and i think with wwe bringing sin cara in and with him probaly going to smackdown with the draft rey will be gone and he will prob ggo to tna

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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