The Crow's Nest - Why TNA Should Absolutely Fear GFW
By The Crow
Apr 29, 2014 - 8:05:25 PM
1) Why TNA Should Absolutely Fear GFW (04/29/13)
If there's one thing you all should know about me by now, it's that I'm a huge TNA fan. I've watched the company grow pretty much from day 1, and I've stuck by the company through every success and failure that TNA has experienced. From weekly PPVs to a weekly deal with Spike TV to the rebranding, I've seen it all.
Lately I've found it challenging to really get behind the TNA product because the quality just hasn't been there. I don't think it's quite as abysmal as some people, but there's just nothing that's really drawing me in. It hurts me to say that, because Eric Young is FINALLY the World Champion, and I find myself just not caring. Young has been with the company for over a decade and I've been a big fan of his work through that time, but when the company finally decided to give him the big one, the lack of booking really took away from the impact it should have had.
But booking mistakes aren't news when it comes to TNA discussions. On top of uninspired booking lately, you have to look at what happens off-screen. According to reports, wrestlers are being asked to take significant pay cuts to help save money, and others are just being released because TNA has no idea what to do with them. Naturally this has resulted in some names leaving the company either because they were released or they didn't renew their contracts. Some of these names were relative nobodies that the company had only invested a little time into, but others were bigger deals. Names like AJ Styles, Sting, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin and Jeff Jarrett have all left the company, with other names such as Kazarian being rumoured to be leaving soon as well.
Not surprisingly, money has reportedly played a big role in most of these departures. I'm sure other elements such as poor booking decisions played a role as well, but money was definitely a major contributing factor.
But you don't need me to review these points. News of these releases and departures have been all over the internet for a while, particularly the heavily discussed Sting situation.
With talent like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Sting and others, the question on everybody's mind is always "where will he show up next?" The WWE rumours usually pop up pretty quickly, as do the "he's coming home to " rumours. But in the case of Jeff Jarrett neither of those things were ever really discussed. Most people assumed he would either end up taking a backseat role in TNA, quietly retiring, or that he'd leave the industry altogether. No WWE Legends contract rumours, no "I hope he comes back to " sentiments, nothing.
But then, when he finally did leave TNA, the rumours started pretty quickly that he was ready to create a brand new promotion, likely partnering with his friend and country music megastar Toby Keith. Sure enough, Global Force Wrestling was soon announced, and Jarrett has since been promoting the ever-loving hell out of it through social media.
Recently a news story came out regarding TNA's concern over GFW, specifically how they're attracting some major names to work with the company and how Jarrett had a presence during Wrestlemania 30 weekend despite not even having announced anything concrete yet but TNA had nothing. With GFW set to begin putting on shows within the next 6-7 months, TNA doesn't have a lot of time to come up with a strategy to compete with the new promotion. TNA is scared right now, and you know what?
They should be.
This is the perfect opportunity for a new company to rise up and take TNA's spot as the #2 North American wrestling promotion. Big names are leaving the company, finances are obviously becoming a problem, they could be losing their deal with Spike TV, and the fanbase has cooled down significantly since the brief spike in popularity just a year ago.
TNA has just had so many problems over the past 12 years that I wonder if they can recover quickly enough to stop the momentum of Global Force Wrestling. People are talking about GFW with excitement and curiosity, wondering what's going to happen with Jarrett's second attempt at starting a promotion. Will former TNA guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley and others come wrestle for him? Will top free agents finally sign another TV deal?
There just isn't that kind of positive press going on for TNA right now. It's become the default state of a lot of wrestling fans to trash TNA, just like it's the default state of a lot of music fans to trash Nickelback. They may not even watch (or listen to) the product, but because everyone else is trashing it, they figure it must just suck.
More importantly though, I think a lot of people are just tired of giving TNA second chances. Despite flashes of brilliance, I don't think TNA has ever really gotten out of second gear. For every step forward, it seems they end up taking 2 steps back. For those of us that watch more wrestling than just WWE (not that there's anything wrong with only watching WWE) GFW could represent a fresh start that TNA seems incapable of achieving.
But the biggest reason TNA needs to be afraid is simply because GFW represents actual competition on the same level. TNA has tried competing with WWE before, and we've all seen how poorly that worked out. But GFW is bounding onto the scene with money, celebrity endorsements and employees, hype and most importantly a TV deal with a fairly major channel. GFW is essentially starting on the same level as TNA, and that is absolutely reason enough for TNA to be afraid.
I can't wait for Jarrett to release more concrete details about GFW, because I'm really excited to see what he's going to do this time around. I stand by my belief that he's learned from his mistakes and will start things off with a bang. The man's obviously been doing his homework, touring around the globe to scout talent.
At the end of the day though, TNA needs to be aware of the new kid in town. Like I said earlier, it's the perfect time for a new company to unseat TNA from their position, and Jarrett is the perfect guy to get it done.
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