* Remember this is a subjective piece there's no right or wrong answer or opinion at the end of the day. I wanted to do this piece because I feel like I more than any other wrestling media member out there have a unique perspective on what happens on all four of these weekly shows.
TNA also made their official switch to Wednesdays nights on June 3rd as well. Over these past four weeks you seen three major storylines progressed in this month programming. The Dirty Heels and The Wolves engage in a best of five series to crown a brand new TNA World Tag Team Champions. The personal love feud between James Storm, Magnus and Mickie James. Ethan Carter III has progressed to the main event scene and has became the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. There's positives and negatives that come with TNA in the month of June. I won't harp too much on the outside the ring issues because everybody is saying the same thing and nothing's original. On a television side I feel that TNA has been 50/50! The backstage promo's and pre-tape vigenette segments has been good with the exception of the segment with James Storm pushing Mickie James off the rail tracks, but hey I give them credit for doing something out of the box and not just having all the segments of the show happening inside the iMPACT Zone. I feel that Josh Mathews has been dragging down the TNA product from a entertainment stand point. He doesn't get me emotionally connected with the stuff that's going on in the ring i'm sorry. I feel he has the personality and the emotional level of dry wall. As far as the action in the ring is concern. I liked the action there was probably one week where I was just indifferent to the matches that were going on in the ring on a particular episode, but besides that I felt that the in-ring action has been good to okay at best. I give TNA credit for building EC3 the right way, but at the same time I think we've seen WAY too much of EC3 throughout the broadcast of TNA. With TNA comes a sense of deprived emotion because obviously the show is taped with the expection of this week's show, but even then the taped experience of TNA is what it is. I'm not a guy who's interested in SPOILERS as you'll see in this article, but you can tell by the "live" crowd that nobody cares what's going on the ring. Unfortunately controversary creates $$$ and everybody has their mind set on the upcoming cancellation of Impact on Destination America in September. Throughout the craziness we've crown a new X-Division Champion in Tigre Uno. The Wolves & Dirty Heels are dead even in the best of five series. Taryn Terrell has became the longest reigning Knockouts Champion, Velvet Sky return to TNA and The Bro-Mans disbanded. One of the major issues that I've had with TNA besides Josh Mathews is the lack of build or awarness of the upcoming TNA Slammiversary PPV. Not only is their not any championship matches on the card, the guy who's the cover boy of the PPV and YOUR World Champion Kurt Angle, is not competing on the show. TNA has been building up this EC3 and Angle program for two months and with this being the first LIVE TNA PPV since Bound for Glory you would think that you would have a major match with EC3 and Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary, but of course that's not the case because TNA put themselves in a corner in putting this match on a tape edition of Impact which will air next after the PPV. It just doesn't make sense too me. I thought Bound for Glory was a flop even though got their product showcased in Japan last year. I thought TNA was going to bring it this month their product and their build to this PPV, but neither happen and that's unfortunate with everybody counting down the demise of TNA in Destination America.
Josh's Grade for TNA in June~ C-
NXT has been one of the most highely touted products in the professional wrestling/sports entertainment world in the past year. NXT has seemed to change the game in the business with the acquisition of Samoa Joe and the rise of talents like Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Enzo & Cass, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. Being a guy who covers the TV shows each week I have a different perspective on NXT then most hardcore wrestling fans who bloviate over the LIVE NXT Takeover Specials that happen on the WWE Network. Obviously NXT is in a different position then all the other wrestling shows that occur on Wednesdays because you can catch NXT on-demand on the WWE Network any time you want and we don't have a scaling information as far as ratings is concern with the NXT product on the WWE Network and NXT has a very limited commercial aspect to their show which plays to NXT's favor with having longer matches and steady flows to the show. I think that at times we over-rate NXT just because it's a product that's appealing to the hard-core wrestling fanbase as opposed to the staples of WWE programming Raw and SmackDown. Don't get me wrong I love covering NXT and I genuinely look forward to covering NXT each week with the mindset that I'm getting to see the progression of these talents as they take their journey to the next level of WWE. I think that at times the Full Sail Crowd can get annoying at times and doesn't help with the story that's being told in the ring or on the mic. I feel that commentary has been okay at best. Maybe it's me, but I don't enjoy the current landscape of WWE commentators because honestly who's who? What role are their protraying? What's their purpose being on the commentary table? I feel right now WWE struggles with their heel color commentator department every time I tune into a WWE show that's not name Raw or PPV's I feel that the heel commentators on the other shows sound exactly JBL, once again like in TNA there's no genuine emotion from the commentators because they're trying to get themselves over with how over top "douchy" they can be. I don't feel that every single wrestler that's performed needs to be a broadcaster. I would be perfectly fine with one commentator on the show or at least one color commentator who isn't trying to be Bobby Heenan or whatever and the color commentator WANTS to be there. From a in-ring product on the weekly NXT shows are hit and miss. Obviously you have your usual cast of characters, but sometimes with the in-ring product on NXT it's just there and while the NXT crowd is loud for the sake of being loud they're not bringing you in from a emotional standpoint and I'm just being flat out honest. I feel at times the shows are hit and miss especially with character development where the NXT system has totally shifted their focus to the popular indy guys and the great divas division in NXT. I feel that the "Developmental" get tossed to the way side and you can see that with talents like Baron Corbin, Mike Rallis, Elias Samson, Mojo Rawley, Bayley, Jason Jordan, Tye Dillinger and the NXT Tag Team Champions Blake & Murphy etc. The talents are there, but it's like ok what's next? On a positive note seeing talents like Finn Balor, Tyler Breeze, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe is tremendous and they never disappoint. I feel that the main event level depth is small and with the injuries to Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami there's a lawl in the NXT main event scene. I've enjoyed the Finn Balor mini-documenatires that have been airing on the weekly programming as the WWE Tokyo, Japan 4th of July Special fastly approaches. With that said I feel that NXT is hit and miss with their weekly shows and at the same time there's hidden gems in the process.
Josh's Grade for WWE NXT in June~ B-
I've been a Ring of Honor fan since the beginning of the compnay. Unfortunately I've had to find different means to watch their product over the years because Sin Clair Broadcasting Group doesn't air their product in Chicago. We got one outlet in Rockford, but that's it. If you never heard or seen Ring of Honor before, basically the company is based around putting on the most entertaining and pure professional wrestling in the world. You don't get a over haul of storylines, but there's characters in ROH if you watch the product. The company has a great collection of the best unknown stars in the world and ROH has been a proving ground for talents who moved on to the WWE and have main evented WrestleMania's and won World Championships. When I heard that ROH was coming to Destination America I was really excited because I always wanted to stay in-tune with their product, but just never had a chance to see it, but now that I do what I've notice is this. ROH doesn't have the production machine behind them like a WWE does or even a Lucha Underground does, but ROH is a fun product to watch if you just enjoy the pure wrestling part of the product. ROH is the home of the fanbase which has inspired today's wrestling fans or as I call them "Eberts" where their expectations are at a all-time high and they're hyper critical even though 30 % of that audience don't have a clue what their talking about. If your a casual wrestling fan and you want to watch wrestling for the entertainment this may not be the show for you. This is going to be a transitional period for the company because ROH is airing their weekly syndicated shows which air on Saturdays in your local Sin Clair markets, but that show is broadcasted on Destination America every Wednesday, so I can't really judge them based off of storylines or etc because I'm new to the weekly syndicated shows and it's just different, so as ROH progresses with the network I think fans should give the company some time as they present their product to a massive amount of new wrestling fans. From the in-ring stand point we've been seeing the taped Global Wars shows from Toronto with the mixed rosters of ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling, so that's been alot of fun to watch. Some of the matches that have stand out to me in this month's Ring of Honor TV is Dalton Castle vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Bullet Club vs. The Kingdom, Roderick Strong vs. Nakamura, Moose vs Cedric Alexander and Bullet Club vs. Chaos! From a storyline stand point we've seen the hatered between Steve Corino and BJ Whitmer and The Decade using Corino's son Colby to get destroyed in the ring each week, so BJ can get inside Steve's head. Also we've seen the build towards the epic Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe battle at Best in the World. Best in the World was a good PPV wouldn't say great, but Roderick Strong became the number one contender to the ROH World Championship, Veda Scott and Cedric Alexander turn their back on Moose, The Addiction one up reDRagon and Jay Lethal became the ROH World Champion. I feel that Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are one of the best commentary duos in the business. I like the sport presentation of ROH yea they don't have the best production in the world, but I enjoy their product and I'm excited to see what ROH brings with their product in the following months on Destination America.
Josh's Grade for ROH in June~ B+