EXCLUSIVE: Throw The Bums Out!

Kevin Kelly

Throw The Bums Out
By Kevin Kelly 

A sentiment echoed by many Americans, from sea to shining sea. Single out those who are not doing the job we selected them to do and get someone in there who can. It does not matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, Catholic or Muslim, Black or White, Rich or Poor. Your voice matters!  

Voters get to exercise their Constitutional right at the ballot box but what about wrestling fans? I know fans constantly say “push the young guys”… but is that really the best thing? Give “so-and-so” a push… but is that right? How can fans vote? They do every week. Let’s take a look at the differences between WWE and TNA. 

Injuries force the WWE to quickly elevate some newer talent but these men will never be big players in the company. R-Truth, who I love, has been up and down on the wheel for a while, basically with the same act. They are simply pushing him to now to elevate others very soon. 

Evan Bourne? Same deal… too small, can’t cut promos. Been a jobber for too long. His fans will get hopeful but his role is the same as Truth’s… get over and then get others over. 

Now, I pause for a second to tell you how important mid-card guys like Evan and Ron are to a wrestling company. You have to heat guys up every once in a while, especially when top guys are out.  

But at the end of the day, it’s all about the top guys for Vince. As it should be. Top guys in the WWE are equivalent to Warren Buffet stock picks. Blue-chip members of a very exclusive club.  Invest in them long-term and watch them grow year after year. Cena, Orton, Undertaker and Jericho in 2010 make up the company’s deep threat with Edge, Mysterio, Punk and Sheamus right behind. But with Taker and Orton sidelined, Vince has to get the second-teamers some reps with the starters. 

And guys who work with the top 4 make lots-o-money so good for Evan Bourne and R-Truth. 

The Uso’s have hope for longevity… Samoans have worked for Vince for five decades and Rikishi’s boys have a lot on the ball. But a tag team is only going to get to the middle-top of the card and they will never be in Vince’s Top 4. But, they can have long careers if they watch their weight and mind their personal lives. 

Continued on page two …

 

Now, over in TNA, the big news is the move back to Thursday nights but since no one is still watching the show, the best wrestlers on there are currently performing in a vacuum.  

Ride the “names” for a bit longer since no young guys can get over in the aforementioned vacuum but be ready. Start to identify who the major money players are for 2011 and beyond. And look beyond your existing talent roster. There is great talent available for a song. I know… I’ve seen them… I’ve booked them in Ring of Honor.  

No WWE castoff is going to catch lightning in a bottle, turn back the hands of time or whatever cliché you choose. Not enough to make a difference anyway. Not with the way the company is set up. 

Hold the cards you have right now, TNA but what about those cards? Who’s in TNA’s Top 4?  

Rob Van Dam

AJ Styles

Kurt Angle 

Ummm… 

Jeff Hardy? Can’t invest in him long-term. Could soon be filing his toothbrush into a rudimentary shank in prison. 

And back up… how much longer can Kurt Angle be considered a top guy? His work is awesome but he’s 40, with a lot of miles on him and business interests outside wrestling, how much time does he have left? 

And I throw this out there just to stir the pot and get the conversation going?  

Is AJ Styles really a top guy? Really? Take sentiment out of it. Ask yourself… would Vince McMahon make AJ his long-term investment if Styles was in the WWE?  

Considering the last one that didn’t pan out was Brock Lesnar, (and he’s a Top, Top Guy in UFC so that’s a “tie”) Vince’s track record of betting on “sure things” is pretty good.

Continued on page three …

 

Now, dear reader, you might be saying, “well, Kevin! If Vince and the WWE promotional machine had an athlete like AJ, they would do a better job of getting him over.” You are correct… 

And now we come to where the rubber meets the road (cliché number three)…  

Look at who’s been featured for the past eight years in TNA in no particular order and sorry if I left anyone out…  Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Christian, Abyss, Rhino, Kevin Nash, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Daniels, Low-Ki, Homicide, Matt Morgan, Jay Lethal, Nigel, Elijah…  

That’s a lot of good talent, wouldn’t you say?  

Were any of those guys featured as prominently as the best WWE guys? Were they “over” as much as the Top 4 in WWE? A few of those names used to be in Vince’s Top 4 and Sting would have been there if he ever worked up north. 

So, if it’s not the talent, what’s the problem?  Who’s responsible for writing the TV that gets them over?

It’s not that they aren’t working hard because they do. It’s not because they don’t care because they do. But isn’t this a results-driven business? I don’t see results, do you?  

The only change I would make right now is completely scrap the creative direction for the company and rebuild with the names already in place. And once TNA’s creative team is changed, bring in athletes like Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Find some good, solid, ready-to-go talent in the Independent ranks and get rolling. Steal from ROH because that formula works. Here’s a company with little to no TV that draws houses equal to or exceeding TNA’s house shows. Fans want to watch wrestlers wrestle on a wrestling show.  

Vince doesn’t change his creative formula because it works.

TNA doesn’t change its creative formula despite the fact it doesn’t work.  

The voters in this election speak loudly and clearly with their abject rejection of all things TNA. The wrestling fans know what’s best and it’s time TNA listens to them.

Come November, there will be many changes in the political landscape of the United States of America. Will there be changes to the wrestling landscape?

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