A British Point of View: THE Difference Between WWE and TNA

Martyn Nolan

I just wanted to thank everyone for their respons to my previous article regarding the different weight of wrestlers today. A mixed set of opinions and I hope I have managed to respond to you all with my feedback.

Now…

For the past few months I have neglected my duties of watching TNA… I’m sorry people and I’ll try not to let you down again. 

However as i try to catch up with TNA’s last few months of television one thing has become apparent to me. RVD’s entrance music is possibly the worst entrance music I’ve ever heard!
 
This got me into thinking further about the differences between WWE and TNA.
 
We all know TNA’s booking efforts is nothing short of shocking! But don’t we all criticise the WWE for the same thing?
 
So why is TNA so badly regarded with fans when compared to WWE? I honestly don’t feel the talent is as big a factor as it’s made out to be. When you compare the rosters I think they are currently on par with each other minus some aging stars such as Hulk Hogan and the recent ECW efforts (Sorry I haven’t reached that point yet in my catch up, it’s hard work to try and watch 4 months of TNA’s product all in a short period of time!)
 
TNA’s younger roster (especially the X-Division guys) have matches that you hardly ever see on WWE television, they remind me of some of the classic battles between Taka Michinoku and Brian Christopher for the Light Heavyweight Championship back in 1998.
 
WWE seems to be much more like the soap opera from the 80’s these days with the PG rated era rearing its ugly head and providing matches that are limited and predictable.
 
So why is it that a product in TNA, which isn’t bound by how much blood they display, how many sexual references are made and have a fairly decent amount of talent in the ring receive such poor ratings compared to the WWE?
 
My answer? Adam Pennucci and Jim Johnston.
 
If you’re a big wrestling fan then these two names should mean something to you, in case it doesn’t then let me give you some basic information.
 
Jim Johnston has worked with the WWE since the 1980’s and has produced nearly the entire classic wrestling entrance themes you can think of.
 
Where would the wrestling world be world be without the classic entrance themes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels?
 
Compare this to TNA’s entrance themes and apart from the obvious themes of Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson, I have to think twice about who is about to walk down the ramp. The music in TNA has little to no heart involved. As Daniel Bryan stated on RAW last week, it’s like generic rock music. However in TNA’s terms they don’t seem to even reach Daniel Bryan’s current entrance theme level.
 
Now let’s look at Adam Pennucci, you only need to listen to the wrestlers to know that Adam is a guy that receives a lot of love from all of the WWE roster. You will have heard HBK praise him during his retirement speech on RAW the night after Wrestlemania and Steve Austin on his HOF induction night.
 
Adam of course is the man that puts together the promos that we see day in and day out. Adam has the ability to take a fairly generic match with a basic build up and promote it through a small video which hypes it to something you would take interest in.
 
Look at the current Undertaker and Kane build up. If you have any interest in this match do you think that you would have the same anticipation for the Night of Champions if it wasn’t for the build up created by Adam’s videos?
 
A perfect example was HBK and The Undertaker for this years Wrestlemania. Everyone had doubt’s around January when they heard HBK challenge Undertaker to a rematch at Wrestlemania 26, they wasn’t sure whether it should be done again.
 
Then as time went on the famous promo aired which used the placebo song ‘Running up that Hill.’
 
Now if you haven’t seen this video then I strongly suggest you try to find it on YouTube as it captures the attitudes of the characters and the story in a perfect sense.
 
Granted, it has the two best performers you could ever ask for building up to a classic match but it still needs to be put together in a professional and correct manner. Adam captures HBK’s desperation to face Undertaker and his fight for sanity as every chance he gets to face him crumbles around him, it was memorable stuff and ultimately left you with your hair’s standing on the back of your neck.
 
When did TNA last do that? I would imagine never. The only time I felt genuinely shocked with TNA was when they announced Kurt Angle had signed with them.
 
This highlights TNA’s faults. They use the same sets in the same building for weeks and months on end (I know they have started to change the set recently but it still looks generic)
 
They use generic music to display their talent and they use video packages which all look similar and generic. Is there a common word appearing here? Oh yes, GENERIC!
 
Now I’m sorry but if I have to choose between one of Adam’s promo’s to get me in the mood for a match or watch one of Mike Tenay’s ‘Tales of the Tape’ segments then I know what I’m picking. I see Mike’s ‘Tale of the Tape’ for nearly every match and it just sounds like an opportunity for him to like the sound of his own voice.
 
Now I’m sorry, I used to be a big fan of Tenay when I was younger but he now seems as generic as Michael Cole. The over the top facial expressions which don’t portray realism but do show very bad acting and the seemingly constant need to for them to have to hear their own voices drives me up the wall.
 
Adam Pennucci and Jim Johnston should be in the WWE Hall of Fame for what they have contributed to the industry but never get seen by the public eye. They are always praised by their peers and I think it’s time they receive public recognition! Thank you guys!
 
Comments are always welcome at beansontoastuk@msn.com and if you want to get in touch or follow me then you can visit www.twitter.com/beansontoastuk
 
Martyn
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!