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Reflections on Chris Melendez`s debut (spoilers?)

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Post by talkingpoint on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:40 am

I`m going to be brutally honest, Melendez looked awkward and moved awkwardly in his debut. Now I understand that he has a prosthetic leg and so will not move as naturally as a fully bodied person. Nevertheless, it was hard to suspend disbelief that he had a fighting chance against Zema Ion. Ion for his part as the heel played it well, getting some cheap heat for chop blocking Melendez. But Melendez`s move set looked very limited and at moments looked a little lost. Maybe I`m being overly critical or maybe my first impression was coloured by learning that they had to reshoot the match as the first time there were too many botches.

However, something did occur to me that I think TNA could take advantage of... create a para-wrestling division. The paralympics have become hugely popular recently and they even had paralympic events during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this Summer. If Melendez was wrestling another paralympic athlete then it would feel far more fair and believable. It may not be the most popular division, but it would be ground breaking and may bring in some new viewers. It would definitely be in keeping with current trends in athletic equality and therefore as professional wrestling is a mock combat sport, TNA would look far more in touch with real athletics/sports.

Personally, I don`t see it happening but it would be a trail blazing move if TNA were to do it.

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Post by DrDeath on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:44 am

Cool


Last edited by DrDeath on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by DrDeath on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:46 am

I watched it this morning and a samoan drop (fall away slam) is not convincing as a finisher

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Post by DrDeath on Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:46 am

Melendez v Zach Gowan?

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:20 pm

talkingpoint wrote:I`m going to be brutally honest, Melendez looked awkward and moved awkwardly in his debut. Now I understand that he has a prosthetic leg and so will not move as naturally as a fully bodied person. Nevertheless, it was hard to suspend disbelief that he had a fighting chance against Zema Ion. Ion for his part as the heel played it well, getting some cheap heat for chop blocking Melendez. But Melendez`s move set looked very limited and at moments looked a little lost. Maybe I`m being overly critical or maybe my first impression was coloured by learning that they had to reshoot the match as the first time there were too many botches.

However, something did occur to me that I think TNA could take advantage of... create a para-wrestling division. The paralympics have become hugely popular recently and they even had paralympic events during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this Summer. If Melendez was wrestling another paralympic athlete then it would feel far more fair and believable. It may not be the most popular division, but it would be ground breaking and may bring in some new viewers. It would definitely be in keeping with current trends in athletic equality and therefore as professional wrestling is a mock combat sport, TNA would look far more in touch with real athletics/sports.

Personally, I don`t see it happening but it would be a trail blazing move if TNA were to do it.


Haven't seen it yet, but from what you wrote it doesn't sound like Melendez is going to become a major fixture on the roster and could end up going the same way as their Gut Check signings.

Or he could end up being another Rockstar Spud type character...can't really use him in the ring, but they'll find something else for him to do.

That said, I do like the idea of a para-wrestling division, but they'd need to sign a bunch of disabled wrestlers...I suppose there must be a few out there. Can't see TNA doing it as they have more pressing concerns getting their core product sorted out, but I'd like to think someone out there might be inspired to pick up the baton and run with it...maybe create an whole new wrestling franchise...
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Post by talkingpoint on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:40 pm

It`s a nice story, but TNA already have an "American hero & patriot" in Gunner who is able bodied and has a lot of main event potential. Right now Melendez is a novelty for TNA. I agree TNA have more important and pressing concerns to attend to and a para-wrestling division is not their priority; but if they manage to get themselves sorted out in regards to a new TV deal and replace some of their old stars then I think it could be something for them to consider. I do believe they would get some respect for giving disabled guys an equal opportunity to follow their dreams. The London paralympic games in 2012 had a very successful marketing drive using the theme of "super human". If TNA were so bold as to create the division I think they should pick up on that - these are people who ordinarily would be disadvantaged but who have overcome the odds.

As for Melendez, right now there`s not much TNA can do with him - he`s clearly not fit for the X-Division, he`s never going to be a main eventer and yet if he loses too many times it may come across as discriminatory. I would have him wrestle the likes of the bro mans or even get in some jobbers from the indie circuit, give him a few wins and then transition him into a non-wrestling role.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:09 pm

Well, saw the show last night and think you were possibly a bit harsh on Melendez.

Don't know if it was edited at all, but from what I saw, for a guy with a prosthetic leg, he put on a decent show with DJ Z. Of course he wasn't going to be a fluid and graceful as an able-bodied wrestler, but he put some good moves together and took a few bumps.

Think the match was kept short out of necessity, with it being his debut and to minimise risk of damage to his prosthetic, but it was better than you made it sound IMO.

Think there is still a problem with him in terms of his character. It would be hard to cast him as anything other than a face...can't imagine crowds booing a 1-legged guy, which sort of limits his usefulness when booking fights.

Think the frequency and duration of his fights would have to be carefully managed too to minimise the risk of further injuries...again limits his usefulness.

As a 1-off show I think he did himself justice and didn't let anyone down, but I'd have doubts about his longevity, unless he were moved to a non-wrestling role.
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Post by Adam D on Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:34 pm

dyrewolfe wrote:Well, saw the show last night and think you were possibly a bit harsh on Melendez.

Don't know if it was edited at all, but from what I saw, for a guy with a prosthetic leg, he put on a decent show with DJ Z. Of course he wasn't going to be a fluid and graceful as an able-bodied wrestler, but he put some good moves together and took a few bumps.

Think the match was kept short out of necessity, with it being his debut and to minimise risk of damage to his prosthetic, but it was better than you made it sound IMO.

Think there is still a problem with him in terms of his character. It would be hard to cast him as anything other than a face...can't imagine crowds booing a 1-legged guy, which sort of limits his usefulness when booking fights.

Think the frequency and duration of his fights would have to be carefully managed too to minimise the risk of further injuries...again limits his usefulness.

As a 1-off show I think he did himself justice and didn't let anyone down, but I'd have doubts about his longevity, unless he were moved to a non-wrestling role.

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Post by Adam D on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:47 pm

I thought Tna was very good again this week.

Melendez was fine. The only thing that was not right about this match is melendez's stance - he is too upright and looks awkward because of it. Not sure if this is something that can change or happens due to the prosthetic.

The segment where the wolves had a back stage video package was excellent. Very impressed.

Roode promo was a little boring but the 6 man tag was very good. Eric young is seriously strong. A few months ago he lifted Aries and lashley on his shoulders, last week he powered out of a submission move and this week he lifted lashley from the arm bar position. Amazing strength.

Menagerie vs bromans was pretty rubbish.

Taijiri match was okay but he really does look old and overweight now )sorry Prometheus)

Havok segment was very good.

Ec3 vs rhyno was okay. Ec3 is great and I am glad he won clean. No spud this week.

James storm continues to impress with his raven/ Wyatt hybrid faction.

And the main event was as good as anyone could hope for. Excellent. Overall, very good show.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:15 pm

Menagerie vs Bromans wasn't a great match but any chance to see Rebel doing the splits is okay with me. Wink

Wish Crazzy Steve would have a proper match at some point and they also need to work out a way to get The Freak into the ring with Lashley.

Taijiri vs Sanada was a good match, I thought. Distinct martial arts influence on their fighting styles. For an "old" guy he can still move pretty well. Agree he looks out of shape, but then Samoa Joe isn't exactly built like an athlete.

Havok was...different. Like the cyberpunk look, but I can't see her fitting in with the rest of the Knockouts (most of whom are on the small side). They already tried a big Amazonian girl with Lei D Tapa and she didn't last too long.

Actually thought EC3 vs Rhino was kinda boring. This was their third(?) match and the ending was utterly predictable. Would be better if Rhino was allowed to look stronger and maybe even win a match.

Main event was very good, although slightly predictable. Assuming The Wolves will win the next one to extend the series at least one match.

Also liked the Wolves' backstage segment, particularly their thoughts on the tag team scene and their suggestion Beer Money might get back together. Could happen if Roode doesn't win at No Surrender and once Storm has finished with Sanada and Manik.
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Post by talkingpoint on Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:21 pm

I really want a Beer Money reunion to happen and I think TNA should do it, both for Roode & Storm to win gold again and also to give the Wolves the rub from beating TNA's greatest tag team! It would also be a great selling point for any new station interested in picking up TNA next year, especially as Team 3D will most probably be gone after BFG.

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Post by Adam D on Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:25 pm

The only reason why I don't currently want it is that Roode is in the main event (although I am not sure about his face run - prefer him as a heel) and Storm is doing the best work of his life via his revolution.

If they can build a credible main eventer and have Storm take Roode into his revolution, it could work.

As for a credible main eventer, they need to start planning post BFG, whether they are going to be about or not - at the moment, it will set them back.

For me the guys who should main event for the majority of 2015, assuming they are still going are EC3, Gunner, Lashley, Joe and Hardy. And have Roode be a heel champ if he gets another run. Those are the 6 who should be main eventing next year.

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Post by talkingpoint on Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:35 am

Adam D wrote:The only reason why I don't currently want it is that Roode is in the main event (although I am not sure about his face run - prefer him as a heel) and Storm is doing the best work of his life via his revolution.

If they can build a credible main eventer and have Storm take Roode into his revolution, it could work.

As for a credible main eventer, they need to start planning post BFG, whether they are going to be about or not - at the moment, it will set them back.

For me the guys who should main event for the majority of 2015, assuming they are still going are EC3, Gunner, Lashley, Joe and Hardy. And have Roode be a heel champ if he gets another run. Those are the 6 who should be main eventing next year.

Agree that the reunion shouldn`t happen now, I too would wait until Storm`s Revolution has run its course. Have Roode be a transitional champ post BFG taking them into 2015 and then build up EC3 to take it from him.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:06 pm

I like that idea.

EC3 would be an amazing heel champ...could probably run as long as Roode did, if not longer (and take Roode's "most dominant heavyweight ever" claim too).

I'd keep Roode face as an "interim" champion, if he won, then have EC3 beat him unfairly, giving him an excuse to turn heel and hook up with Storm again.
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