Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TNA Bordering on Self-Parody Now

Just when you think TNA can't get any worse, it puts Melendez's prosthetic leg on the line in a match
Screen Grab via WABC
Just when you think TNA can't hit rock bottom, it finds a crack in the floor and descends a level or two. The latest infamy came in the latest set of television tapings for shows that will air sometime in the year 2175 (note, that number is probably a bit of an exaggeration), and Army-veteran-turned-wrestler and amputee Chris Melendez was at the center of it. Melendez lost his left leg while serving in Iraq thanks to an improvised explosive device (IED) attack. He received a prosthesis, and worked hard to train to become a pro wrestler. TNA took him on as a feelgood story last year, and while I question the intentions of Dixie Carter and her workplace-safety-optional wrestling promotion, no doubt that the man himself has been an inspirational story, worthy of praise and sympathy.

Then, the next round of tapings happened, and hoo boy, let's take it to Twitter user and regular Impact attendee @MrJacobCohen for the scoops:
Okay, no way TNA is going to have Eric Young strip a war veteran of his prosthetic leg, right? I mean, didn't the folks running TNA see what happened when WWE tried to exploit Zack Gowen earlier last decade? TNA can't be that stupid...
Yes, TNA is that stupid.

Granted, no one knows whether or not Melendez had to be dragged into the angle kicking and screaming or whether it was something he was eager to do. The business of pro wrestling is carny as fuck, even today, and when one immerses him/herself into it, then that person can tend to do some pretty weird shit. But I can't help but think that wagering a veteran's prosthetic leg in a match seems to be one of those things that keeps pro wrestling in the bottom tier of public opinion. It's certainly not the worst thing TNA has done this week. I mean, it's making Davey Richards work days after suffering a severe concussion, one that made Gabe Sapolsky stand up and say "Nope, you're not wrestling for me."

But the Melendez thing is something visible and bold that people can latch onto when making fun of the company. Honestly, at this point, TNA's terrible decisions are so plentiful that it's pretty much become a parody of itself, even at the height of the excess brought upon by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The biggest lesson to be learned here, however, is that as long as TNA exists, it will find another false bottom and keep going down. It won't hit rock bottom until it closes, and at this point, I doubt it will ever shut down.