New Blood Rising

Mark Madden

The word is that Booker T will ditch TNA and head back to WWE. Scott Steiner is apparently out. Kevin Nash may follow. Are these guys jumping ship, or being made to walk the plank? No one seems to know for sure.

One thing is sure, however: If Booker, at 44, chooses WWE’s breakneck schedule over working fewer days for good money at TNA, either TNA is a horrible place to work or Booker’s a mark, maybe both.

I can’t criticize TNA for going in a different direction. Their current one clearly isn’t working.

But now what? What, exactly, does TNA plan?

Does Vince Russo really think that Amazing Red upsetting Sloppy Joe for the X Division title accomplishes anything? Who is Amazing Red? He’s amazing, and he’s red. What else? Why on earth should I care about him, or buy him as a realistic threat to conquer an established TNA star? The result by itself means very little.

I bet Russo realizes Red is an Internet darling. The message boards will celebrate Red’s win and trumpet the building of new stars in TNA, and Russo can show all that to Dixie Carter, mark #1.

But Amazing Red is just a guy who won a fake wrestling match. That’s all. He’s certainly no reason to watch TV, or purchase a pay-per-view.

But Russo is no dummy. Maybe he figured out the magic formula that started in WCW and spread to TNA: Don’t worry about doing your job. Just keep it.

The Internet provides tangible positive feedback that Russo can show Dixie. She’s a mark. She obviously wants to believe TNA can succeed. Dixie will accept Internet approval as short-term progress leading to a long-term payoff which, of course, will never come. But, in the interim, Russo can find new scapegoats while simultaneously reshuffling the deck, earning more short-term Internet approval and taking this whole process back to square one again and again.

If this sounds far-fetched or convoluted, tell me any gain made by having Red beat Joe.

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