Last night on the ESPN 2 show Quite Frankly with Stephen A Smith several TNA wrestlers appeared to promote the move to Thursday nights on Spike. It was a wrestling themed show for most of it, with Jeff Jarrett, Nick Bockwinkel, and Mike Tenay discussing the evolution of the business in the first segment. The second segment had another discussion about the current product with Jarrett, Monty Brown, Jackie Gayda, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (a friend of mine works for the show and told me they were trying to book Bret Hart and/or Roddy Piper, but couldn’t get a commitment from either.)
The overall theme of the discussions were how competition is good for the business, and how both TNA and the WWE will prosper because of it. They hammered (no pun intended) this point down about 3,000 times. They also continually brought up how WWE is more of an entertainment based, whereas TNA is more in-ring based, but did not do a good job of explaining how TNA still has entertainment values to their booking. The way it came off to me was that TNA was trying to make themselves look like a pre-determined UFC.
The most interesting part was Jackie having to explain the role of women in wrestling today. Valentine came off as woefully ignorant, as he frequently did not answer the specific question that was asked of him, stated how he has never watched TNA (he did admit that he was biased due to him breaking in with the WWE and being a member of the Hall of Fame), and on the overall, came off as an aged has-been who was jealous he doesn’t have his spot and success he did in the 80’s, a lot like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.
The one thing of note to discuss was the mentions of steroids and drug abuse. Smith brought up MLB’s drug policy, and how the WWE had one now too. Jarrett (who was billed as being both a wrestler and part of TNA management) and Tenay both stated how TNA handles drugs on a case by case basis. Tenay gave a more logical response by saying how the TNA schedule is very light, and many of the wrestlers work the indys, so it’s not feasible to have one when they only see the workers 4 days a month. Jarrett basically said it’s just case by case.
Overall, nothing earth shattering was brought up on the show. I suppose for a casual fan who doesn’t know a whole lot it was a nice inside look at the life of a pro wrestler. The Thursday night move was plugged as well.
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