Well, it seems that TNA has finally served their purpose. That purpose, at least for many, was to make WWE better.
However, they have completed that purpose in the most peculiar way possible. We all hoped that TNA would grow to be a huge success and cause WWE to take notice and improve. Instead, they have become so horrible, that many view WWE as being better now than before TNAâ<80><99>s existence, just for the mere fact they arenâ<80><99>t TNA. The fact is that TNA has become so blatantly bad the past few months that many fans, even the die-hard TNA marks in the iMPACT! Zone, have begun to turn on their savior. â<80><9c>This Is Stupid!â<80> chants ring a bell anyone?
What I find most interesting about all of this, is that the majority of TNAâ<80><99>s fans have claimed to like it in hopes that one day TNA would become so successful that they would light a fire under the complacent powers that be at World Wrestling Entertainment. This of course would make the wrestling business fun again. To see two companies fighting it out for ultimate supremacy would be a delight for wrestling fans all over the world, and might even make some new ones, just as the Monday Night War did in the 1990â<80><99>s.
Yet even though TNAâ<80><99>s product has gone in the wrong direction, their existence has not gone without merit, and I shall explain why. WWE, at least to me, just seems to be so much better these days than the past few years. Perhaps itâ<80><99>s because they are developing a better product. Maybe their stars are becoming more over. Or maybe itâ<80><99>s because that people have become so disenfranchised with TNA that they are saying: â<80><9c>You know what, maybe WWE isnâ<80><99>t that bad.â<80> When WWE is compared to TNA, you canâ<80><99>t blame anyone for thinking that WWE has the superior product.
I say this only because for the past several months, since Vince Russo and Kurt Angle came into TNA, the product has gotten worse with each passing week. iMPACT! is not an hour full of wrestling. Instead, itâ<80><99>s an hour full of skits with small wrestling matches in between. The PPV buy rates have nearly been axed in half since Genesis, and hardly seem worth the money. Kurt Angle, who apparently was going to turn TNA around, has become just another guy on the roster whose momentum is all but dead. The product overall is a disappointing circus full of watered down WWE skits.
Now I hate to sound like a broken record with the TNA bashing column. But my point here is that in essence, TNA has done what many fans wanted them to do: make WWE better. Many feel that that has happened, since TNA has become so hard to watch that WWE is the only viable TV wrestling option.
Yet why has this phenomenon happened? Why has TNA become so poor? Well one reason: they are obsessed with WWE. They are essentially becoming the very thing they have sworn to destroy. I shall explain.
When Total Nonstop Action Wrestling arrived on the scene in June of 2002, many didnâ<80><99>t it give it much notice. It was just another indy fed; another attempt at promoting by the Jarretts; another place where indy workers could show their stuff. However, there was one substantial difference they had from all the other indy promotions out there: they wanted to compete with WWE.
While they didnâ<80><99>t declare their intentions to compete right off the bat, one could only assume their goal from day one has been to bring WWE down. For evidence, one can look at the fact they ran right out of the gate airing weekly pay-per-views. They didnâ<80><99>t start with house shows as many upstart promotions do; they went straight for the big time. Then, they went after financial backers, TV deals, and former WWE stars just so they could be on the level of WWE. By this point, if you still werenâ<80><99>t convinced that TNA was made with only the concept of competing with WWE, then look no further than the NWA website itself. For a long time, on the list of NWA promotions, TNA was listed as â<80><9c>NWAâ<80><99>s attempt to compete with WWE.â<80>
There it was, in black and white. Iâ<80><99>m not sure it still says that, but at one point, thatâ<80><99>s all the NWA had in regards to describing what TNA actually did. To actually make the goal of your promotion to compete with someone else is just setting yourself up for failure. Constant copycatting and emulating leaves no room to be original, and eventually you end up bringing nothing new to the table, only an inferior product that people will enjoy ten times more from the competing company.
An analogy Iâ<80><99>d like to use is that TNA is like that average guy or girl you knew from high school. It was the kid who had the average clothes, average grades, and average friends. Nothing special, but not a disaster either. However, they would always be overshadowed by the more popular kids; the ones with the good looks, good grades, and exciting social life. In turn, the average guy would attempt to emulate their social superiors, and copy them to the point where they were just cheap rip-offs. In some circumstances, that person tries so hard to get out of their â<80><9c>averageâ<80> lifestyle, that they become literally obsessed with being better than the popular kids. In the end, all their effort becomes a waste of time as they come to understand all they will ever be is blatant rip-offs, and that they canâ<80><99>t pretend to be something they are not.
So TNAâ<80><99>s mindset since day one has been that of the average high school kid. They are completely obsessed with beating WWE, that they have copied them to the point of being a cheap rip-off. For instance, the very first NWA champion of the TNA era was Ken Shamrock, a former WWE star. While he was more known for his MMA days, his small WWE run was good enough for TNA to justify putting the belt on him. TNA started out with pay-per-views, in an attempt to snag an international audience rather than go for the regional or internet fans. They brought in country music stars, sports teams, actors, and other entertainers to seem â<80><9c>cool.â<80> As time went on, they went for every WWE wash-out they could muster their hands on, until they came to the point where they signed a broken-down man in Kurt Angle to boost their ratings and interest.
Essentially, they bring nothing to wrestling fans but a watered down version of WWE. They are not the alternative as they claim to be, but rather a fourth rate promotion whose only reason for existence is to beat out WWE.
And just like that average kid in high school, they are probably coming to the point where they canâ<80><99>t possibly believe that they will ever be on par with WWE. This is for one simple reason: They are not WWE!
All in all, the reason for their downfall is because they are obsessed with WWE to an unhealthy level. Instead of concentrating on their own stars, angles, and concepts, they consistently look to WWE for ideas. Thatâ<80><99>s been the ultimate problem. They canâ<80><99>t be themselves. They donâ<80><99>t know how. What they fail to understand is that you canâ<80><99>t be better than something else if all youâ<80><99>re doing is copying them. If they truly want to be the alternative they claim they are, they shouldnâ<80><99>t even think about WWE! They should concentrate on their own stars, matches, gimmicks, and angles. In time, without knowing it, they will become differentâ<80>“and possibly betterâ<80>“than WWE.
But to make problems worse, instead of fixing their current issues, they look to the future. They look for that new star, that new time slot, or their next big show. Once they get out of this mentality, it should only be a matter of time until they begin to improve.
So for the time being, we can accept that TNA has done their job. They have become so horrid that they have made WWE seem so much better in comparison. Letâ<80><99>s just hope that some wising up begins soon. Obviously, we want more than to just perceive WWE as being betterâ<80>¦ we want to see TNA get better! They have endless potential, and hopefully in the coming months they begin to fix those tiny problems that have turned from mountains to mole hills. Then they can fulfill their purpose the proper way by making WWE take notice.
We all want to see TNA get noticed, and start putting on tremendous shows. It can only be for good wrestling!
First off, thanks for reading! I know this wasnâ<80><99>t my usual run of the mill column, but I really wanted to play this topic out and I hope it came through! Before I go, there are a few things Iâ<80><99>d like to plug!
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Until next time, this has been From the Eye of the Dragonâ<80>¦