My Two Centsss - I'm Done With TNA and Their B.S.
By Super Chrisss
Apr 13, 2014 - 1:11:12 PM
(Tom Jenner is the man!)
Writer's Note: After a phenomenal Wrestlemania XXX, a storyline/roster "shake-up" on Raw, and the tragic news of The Ultimate Warrior passing away last Tuesday night, I badly wanted to talk about WWE today. There's just so many cool things going on over there that really have me excited for the post-WM season (believe it or not, Ryback turning heel the Raw after WM29 didn't have me glued to my TV screen). Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to learn that TNA has done something which has left me with NO CHOICE but to call the company out on their B.S. If you get offended easily when people say mean things about TNA, I strongly recommend you skip today's column.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you I've been a TNA fan my entire life. I only started following the company regularly when in 2007, my mom decided to extend our television package which included Spike TV. Between 2007 and 2013, I tuned into Impact [Wrestling] almost every Thursday, except when they briefly went head-to-head with Raw, and we all know how that ended. During those six years, there were a lot of good things going in with the product, mixed in with a lot of bad as well (cough*Hogan/Bischoff Regime*cough), but I enjoyed having an alternative to WWE, especially last spring, when I took a hiatus from WWE from February to April. After being a fairly loyal TNA fan for six years, I can safely say that the product has never been worse than it is now.
No, seriously. We're four months into 2014 and I can count on one hand the number of times I watched some TNA programming (and that includes LockDown). And why should I? The company has become a joke. They have nobody that I care about, and have done a pretty good job of alienating their once-loyal fanbase. Don't believe me? Well, let's look at several ways the company has changed since Bound For Glory 2013, shall we?
They booked Magnus as a joke of a champion. Other than Chris Sabin (who I will be discussing shortly) can you name any other TNA superstar who had a worse run as TNA World Heavyweight Champion than Magnus? He held the title for the majority of 2014, and relied on outside interference every single time to not only win the title, but to retain it. When Magnus faced Sting and then Aj Styles, he had legit half the roster come out to help him retain. From that point onward, there was always someone around to give Magnus the assist, be it Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, Abyss, Dixie Carter, you name it. When he dropped the world title to Eric Young last Thursday, it was in a match that featured NO interference at all. To make a long story short, Magnus was the world champion for nearly fourth months, and NEVER retained his belt without a third party (or parties) getting involved. How sad is that?
They're still copying WWE and piggybacking off their ideas. TNA has been doing this for years; a recent example would be the pairing of Austin Aries & Bobby Roode in response to Team Hell No; another would be pairing Gail Kim with Lei'd Tapa after, you know, Aj Lee started hanging out with the Samoan Tamina Snuka. But TNA couldn't have waited to rip off the Daniel Bryan title win at Wrestlemania XXX? Don't you dare tell me that Eric Young and Daniel Bryan have nothing in common. Both of them are small in stature (5'7'/5'8'), both started off in comedic tag teams and were part of stables (Bryan: Nexus & Team Hell No, Young: World Elite & his partnership with Abyss/Joseph Park). Both were once clean-shaven but now have crazy beards, hell, both of them briefly turned heel before the audience demanded they return to being fan favourites. Then, five days apart, they each won a lengthy match to win a shot at their respective company's world title later in the same night and "overcame the odds" to become world champion. But yeah, other than all that, EY and Bryan have nothing in common right?
Remember how I said earlier that TNA used to be alternative to WWE? I don't see any of that happening here...
TNA has scrapped most of their roster and replaced them with new blood. Let me explain how this can be considered a bad thing. Last Monday on Raw, we had a bit of an "NXT Invasion" with Paige and Alexander Rusev making their main-roster debuts, as well as Bo Dallas and Adam Rose being hyped for their impending debuts. We also saw newer guys such as Cesaro, The Wyatt Family, and The Shield be placed into more focal aspects of the show. But we still had the rest of the veteran roster to balance things out, as John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Batista, and even Rob Van Dam were instrumental parts of Raw as well.
Now, could you imagine WWE releasing Sheamus, Orton, Batista, and RVD sometime between last week's Raw and tomorrow's show and repackaging Cena under a whole new persona with a different name and everything. That would be mind-blogging stupid, would it not? Well, not according to TNA, as that's what's been going on in DixieLand these past few months. Veterans and former champions such as Aj Styles, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, and now Chris Sabin, have all left the company, with two others - Christopher Daniels & Kazarian - reportedly on their final days as employees. With the exception of Double J, all have left because either TNA couldn't afford to keep them on their payroll, or they weren't being offered what they felt was a fair contract.
TNA's solution? Let's hire indy guys like The Wolves and use foreign talent like Tigre Uno and Sanada because it's cheaper than renewing veterans' contracts. Oh, and even though Jeff Hardy is still a top draw and one of their last few 'big names', let's lie to our fans by telling him he quit and repackage him as 'Willow' instead. No one will know it's him because he'll wear a mask, scream like a girl, and the announcers will play dumb when calling his matches. Because that's simply a good business move, right?
This is why I can't get invested in Impact anymore. I have no desire to see the likes of Gunner, The Bro Mans, a terribly booked Magnus, and Mr. Anderson all in top storylines while Austin Aries is sitting at home doing nothing, and Sabin (who won the TNA world title LESS THAN A YEAR AGO) is now unemployed. Which brings me to my last point...
If you still have doubts TNA isn't in serious trouble, you're only fooling yourself. This was the main argument from my last TNA column, which upset several people, but the facts cannot be disputed. If TNA wasn't experiencing financial difficulties, then tell me why now, after years of being able to come to terms with their talent over money, they weren't able to offer veterans such as Styles and Sabin enough money to resign? Those are two guys who have remained loyal to the company for a long time, and all of a sudden, neither of them are happy with TNA's offers and would rather take their chances competing for the indies instead? That doesn't make sense. You're telling me TNA couldn't have drawn up some better contracts for two former grand slam champions?
Another warning bell that can't be ignored is the fact that Spike has yet to renew their contract with TNA, which has a lot of wrestlers feeling nervous about their future. After all, TNA won't last long without their TV deal - it means everything to them. If negotiations between WWE and NBC Universal fall through, there's a good chance that Raw ends up back on Spike, which would mean 'bye-bye' for Impact Wrestling every Thusday night. Sure, that weekly 1.0 rating is nice, but Spike would kill to have a 3.0 rating every Monday night instead.
Also, before I forget, LMAO @ Christy Hemme recently joining the TNA creative team. Some people view it as TNA's way of trying something different and she is apparently going to help with the company's appearance and costumes. I look at it as TNA not being able to afford to hire a new writer and are instead giving their employees more responsibilities in order to cut costs. What's next? Firing all the officials and allowing every match to have a "special guest referee?"
I know this article is going to get some negative feedback, but if you insist on defending TNA for whatever reason, I implore you to use facts when presenting your arguments. For example, if your response to a recent TNA live event drawing only 450 fans is "well, that's roughly the same number they drew back in 2010", that's a terrible counter, because it shows that TNA hasn't grown during that time. Most indy shows can draw a larger crowd than that, and they don't have a national TV deal like TNA does.
There was a time when I wanted TNA to succeed. But if Bad Influence does in fact leave the company in the coming weeks, I'm done. If they really feel guys like Gunner and The Bro Mans are more valuable than Styles, Sabin, Kaz, and Daniels, then good for them. I want to see Jeff Jarrett's new Global Force Takeover promotion rise up and potentially sign most of these guys to a contract. TNA is a company being run by dumbasses and I'm holding out hope that Jarrett knows what he's doing.
Because, honestly, I don't see TNA lasting until 2015, and they only have themselves to blame for that.
Your Two Centsss: Do you still follow TNA? Why or why not?
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