Hello one and all, its that time again , time to look into the world of TNA Wrestling , with Wrestling 101’s dedicated TNA Column. In this week’s edition I intend to look into the many misconceptions people have about TNA, plus my thoughts on some possible TNA signings and much more!
I’ve been a fan of TNA since its debut in the summer of 2002, the main reason I was a fan from day one was because TNA was something different, something new, and something exciting, that’s what my thought was anyway. And now 3 years later, its still the way I feel, I still think TNA is a very exciting and fresh promotion, that has come a long way in 3 years, but I, like many other fans know it has along way to go before it can pose a threat to the WWE, but I digress.
Over the last few months I have really started to enjoy TNA much more than I ever have, I’m not sure why that is, whether it’s the improvement in the TNA product, or whether it’s the disappointment in WWE I’m not sure. While I’ve really appreciated the TNA product, one thing I have learned over the last few months especially, is that not everyone is going to agree with your thoughts and views, its just the way people are, everyone is different and has different views. Some fans like WWE, some fans like RoH, some like TNA, and some like all types of wrestling, from hardcore matches to technical matches, every fan has the right to enjoy what they want. I have no problem with people not liking TNA, each to their own, I don’t particular like the sort of ultra violent type of wrestling which knocks about from time to time in various promotions, its what I call “garbage wrestling”.
Anyway, going back to TNA, a lot of the negative feedback I have read over the past few weeks and months has been a mixed bag, a lot of it has been justified, and I would agree with it, but a hell of a lot of the feedback has come from people who probably haven’t even watched a full TNA show. Countless people make statements like “TNA Sucks, its just like WCW” or “TNA is rubbish, its full of WWE rejects”. Now as I said, everyone has a right to their own opinions, but for crying out loud, if you are going to make a statement at least say something that is actually true, let me elaborate.
Firstly, to compare TNA to WCW is like comparing chalk and cheese in most respects, WCW at one point was a multi million dollar company with Ted Turner backing it, while TNA is a relatively small national wrestling company with finances that would even touch Turner‘s. WCW also had TV shows broadcasting on many of Turner’s channels, such as TBS & TNT, while TNA only has a 1 hour TV show on Spike TV, which hasn’t even started yet, the list of differences is endless. But I think many people look at TNA as a modern day WCW because it is not the WWE, and WWE loyalists will compare the fact that TNA is an upcoming promotion that one day could pose a threat to the McMahon empire, and they will just give negative feedback on the company without even giving it a chance.
So as I was saying, the biggest misconception people have about TNA is that it is like WCW, well this couldn’t be further from the truth. The main differences between TNA and WCW is that TNA is actually thinking about its future as well as the present. Since its debut in 2002 the list of new and young stars that TNA has created and elevated is long, stars like Monty Brown, Abyss, AJ Styles, Team Canada, America’s Most Wanted , Lance Hoyt and may more, and while these stars may not be bona fide wrestling mega stars, but they are well on their way to becoming some of the best names in wrestling today.
Now with WCW, the management was so keen on pleasing the older more established veterans that they never really thought about the stars of tomorrow, and many say this is what lead to the eventual downfall of WCW. In 1996 WCW was using stars like Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash in their main events, by 1999 WCW was still using the above 3 names in their main events. WWE in 1996 used stars like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Sid Justice in their main events, by 1999 WWE was using new stars like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H in their main events, creating a new, exciting and vibrant product to watch. I would say that from 1990 – 2001 WCW only ever created one wrestling megastar and that was Bill Goldberg , and they made a mockery of his character towards the end of his WCW stint, but that’s for another day.
Even when TNA has brought in older guys like Randy Savage, Kevin Nash and DDP, its not been at the expense of the TNA’s “home-grown” talent, in most cases these older guys have been brought into to help the younger talent and get them more established, and this should always be the case, the guys like Nash, Savage and DDP have all had their time, its time to make room for the new generation. In my opinion, that’s what sets TNA apart from WCW, the fact that TNA is about the future and not the past, and while I don’t deny that cosmetically TNA could be seen similar to WCW, deep down the critics who make the comments such as “TNA Sucks, its just like WCW”, need to look a bit more deeper down and think about what they are saying.
Right, so for the people who moan and complain about TNA being a wash of ex WWE employees I now want to challenge that argument. Firstly, by the look of the TNA roster at the moment they are a number of people on the roster who have worked for the WWE, but there is a hell of a lot of people who haven’t. Just take a look at the list of TNA Champions at the moment , X-Division Champion Chris Daniels, to the best of my knowledge he has never been a contracted WWE superstar, and I’m sure the same goes for the NWA Tag Team Champions Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens , and that only leaves the former WWE, WCW & ECW employee Raven, who has worked for the WWE, as well as nearly every other major wrestling promotion from the past 10 years.
Looking at TNA most of the ex WWE employees they have on their roster are actually good, talented workers, take Rhyno as a prime example. Rhyno was never really used correctly in the WWE, whether that’s the WWE fault I don’t know, but as I see it, he is a talent worker, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t have been hired by TNA, its ridiculous to think that TNA are going to turn around and say to Rhyno “Look, you are a good worker, but we can’t hire you because you worked for the WWE”.
TNA seems to be taking ex WWE talent that have skills, but didn’t have the opportunity in WWE, or elsewhere and TNA is giving them an opportunity, and I cannot see anything wrong with that. As long as the stars can bring something to TNA, I see no fault at all in bring them in. BG James, formerly Road Dogg in the WWE was brought into TNA in 2002, since coming to TNA he has completely had a revival in his career, and along with Ron Killing (ex WWE employee) and Konnan (ex WCW & WWE employee, albeit a brief WWE employee) , these 3 have formed one of the more entertaining factions in TNA with 3 Live Kru.
At the end of the day, a company cannot work on the basis that it can’t hire talent if they have worked for another rival company, not only would it be a stupid move, the company would be cutting its nose off to spite its face. As long as the guys coming in can bring something to the product and have good skills then it should be irrelevant if they worked for the WWE. Don’t mistake me, TNA has made some questionable signings in the last 3 years, but everyone is allowed to make mistakes, aren’t they?
– Nash to return?
Well it looks like Kevin Nash is on his way back to TNA, is this a good move, or a bad move I’m not quite sure. On one hand you have Kevin Nash, who has name value to any wrestling fan, the former WWE & WCW World Champion could potentially attract a few more buyers for TNA’s “Bound for Glory” PPV in October. On the other hand, what role will he have? And will it be at the expense of any of the younger talent. The worst thing in the world would be for Nash to come in and get a victory over someone like Abyss, AJ Styles or Monty Brown, and going by his track record , I’m not sure if Nash would be willing to put any of those guys ‘over’. Maybe its just me being too cynical, or maybe not?
– TNA & Hart to join forces?
You must have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about Bret “The Hitman” Hart and WWE working on his new WWE DVD project together, its been talked about for weeks now. But what’s also appeared in the last week is that Hart doesn’t want any involvement with the WWE on screen product, and after the DVD is finished, he probably won’t work with the WWE again, apart from a possible Hall of Fame induction in 2006. So, with that being said, reports have been knocking about regarding Hart and TNA, last month at the NWA Legends convention he said he would like to work with TNA backstage, but not as an on screen talent. On screen or off screen, having Bret Hart working for TNA would be awesome, I’m sure Bret would help the young talent of TNA no end.
And if he had an on screen roll, well, that would be great to, and it would be a major feather in the cap for TNA, to have yet another legend work for the company, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
– Jeff Jarrett rant part two
He is still there! Yes, Jeff Jarrett is still in the main event picture for TNA, and he seems to be overshadowing everything that Raven & Rhyno are trying to do. For the sake of TNA fans, and the TNA product, Jeff Jarrett needs to take a break from TNA screens, as I said last time, he has become boring, stale and really annoying, please Jeff , for the sake of your character and TNA, take a break.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen TNA’s last PPV offering, but from the reports I’ve read it seems like it was a blockbuster of a show. By all accounts, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Daniels and the rest of the TNA crew put out a fantastic show, some say it was even better than WWE Summerslam, which I’ll reserve judgement until I have seen ‘Sacrifice’. However, its nice to seen TNA are keeping up with consistency, hope it continues.
Anyway folks, I’ve probably bored you enough for this column, I’ll be back next time with another TNA column, thanks for reading.