Column: August Rush: Tito Ortiz’s Return Disappoints Us All


If you saw TNA’s Impact Wrestling show last night, you may have been surprised. Hell, you may have been downright pissed. I was the latter myself. And the reason for this was simply because I wanted to be someone other than who it was.

If you didn’t hear by now, I am sorry to spoil it. The man behind the #August1 warning was in fact, Tito Ortiz. This is actually a return for Ortiz to TNA, as he has been in the company before. I believe it was to ref a match. But it was a long time ago. So this was by no means a debut for the The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.

The 38-year-old former UFC Champion has a lot of wrestling skill, and is known for his great wrestling attack. He had a bit of a falling out with UFC and decided he would no longer be part of the company.

Many felt he would retire as it would be the perfect time for him to do so.

Ortiz has been fighting for well over a decade and most feel that his glory days and prime have long passed. This made several believe he may end up in Pro-Wrestling eventually. The problem with that is, it was not in the way we’d like.

Ortiz signed with Spike TV which would allow him to appear with TNA and Bellator. Bellator, the MMA Company on Spike TV, signed Ortiz to go against Rampage Jackson in the cage. Rampage is currently in TNA and has always enjoyed pro-wrestling. He really wanted to get involved with WWE but there was little interest at the time. And an interest they had was pushed off because he was still with UFC at the time.

Jackson had the A-Team role to go off of, and another A-Team movie would not be outside the realm of possibility due to the success of the first. Because of acting offers Rampage had, he made sure to have openings in his contract with Bellator to do them.

Ortiz on the other hand is really there just to fight. The problem with this whole ordeal is that TNA put a lot of promotion behind the #August1 thing. Many of us wanted to know who it could be.

Some said Adam Pearce. Others said Davey Richards. Some even went as far to say Goldberg, nice idea marks.

But the problem was that none of those men were even considered. This was all for Ortiz. Now, I am not heavily against Ortiz or Rampage being in TNA. But, has anyone seen Rampage wrestle much? Oh yeah, that’s right, Spike and Bellator won’t let him do much of that right now. So, I guess we’re going to see the same from Ortiz.

The two will be there in name only. My guess would be that Ortiz would be involved with Aces and Eights at Hardcore Justice to take on the Main Event Mafia. This would be the time I assume we’d see both actually wrestle.

An interesting possibly to point out, one could purposely hurt the other so that they’d have an edge on the fight. This is possible. But maybe they’ll be professionals about it. This is “professional” wrestling. Maybe something could happen “accidentally on purpose”.

This is pretty much a big promotion for Bellator at the end of the day. It promotes Rampage and Tito. Sooo…how does this help TNA again? Any ideas guys? You with the face, yeah you on the computer, ideas?

Some will say that by having both Tito and Rampage in, that can promote TNA. That makes total sense random person who may have made that point.

But here’s the problem. Rampage may have some popularity to his name still, but people liked him from MMA, not wrestling. If you’re a hardcore MMA fan who didn’t already watch wrestling, chances are you probably won’t just to see Rampage.

We have Ortiz who is an MMA legend, let’s be fair here. But the problem is that no one cares about Tito anymore. He’s not at the height of his popularity anymore. Hell, he had Jenna Jameson and she’s even gone. So why should we care?

Now if TNA brought in guys like Jon Jones or Chael Sonnon, I could see where some promotion could happen. Even then, would TNA see a “spike” in ratings? (Pun intended)

It’s a question that has been asked a lot. However, think about it. No matter the athlete who has joined, a major spike in ratings has never happened. The moment they brought in major names like Jeff Hardy, Sting, Kurt Angle, and others, no major movement was seen. They may have had lower than a 1.0, but even now they are not much higher.

So why would having two people who would probably not draw, help TNA?

The answer is that it doesn’t help them. Spike TV wants to promote the fight, as well as Bellator. A commenter on an article I read today said it best, “this is a weekly, two hour commercial for possibly a 10 minute fight” when talking about TNA’s acquisition of Rampage and now Ortiz.

You have to agree at least a little bit, because both aren’t really doing much but being present. A spot or two is no big deal. And we understand that the two can’t do much with the Bellator deal in play, but that’s also the problem. Since we know we aren’t getting much, why should we care?

A few former WWE/TNA talents had a bit to say on the #August1 TNA promotion. Here is what they said via twitter:

Matt Hardy: “Tito Ortiz, HMMM. Interesting. I’m curious to see which direction TNA goes in the future & what they reap from their recent decisions.”

Tommy Dreamer: “WOW In a bad confusing way. 2 good matches w/lame finishes then the REVEAL? TNA actually had a split second of a buzz.way to ruin it #sobad”

Bob Holly: “All this does is promote the fight for Belatore between Tito and Rampage, does NOTHING for TNA, #impactwrestling”

Lance Storm: And the crowd goes Mild #NotAtypo

When people like Matt Hardy call you out on stuff, you’ve gotten start to think about help. Lance Storm said it best. We were all hyped up….then we saw Tito. It was disappointing to fans and several are outraged, and rightfully so.

Some people are calling this a good business move even after the points above are clear. But to those people, I want you to think. If a bulk of the wrestling fans who watched TNA last night thought this was horrible and did not like it. Then how is that good business?

But this is just one guy’s opinion. Maybe you have different thoughts. Whatever your thoughts are, let me know below.

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