Why do bad things happen to good fans? Whether it’s atrocious art, ridiculous writing or something else entirely – some crimes against fandom cannot go unanswered. When that happens, it’s time to say “BLAARGH!”
If you’ve listened to any episode of PoP!- Cast Wrestling you are very aware that we are not big fans of TNA Wrestling. Let me be clear in that we are not fans of the product but we are fans of the talent. It is how TNA uses (or in most cases doesn’t use) their talent that makes me want to scream Blaargh!!!!
The first issue I ever had with TNA was the name T-N-A. Wrestling has enough stigmas and stereotypes that it battles with and calling a promotion TNA doesn’t help. Sure we know it stands for Total Nonstop Action but we also know that they came up with the acronym first and then filled in the blanks later. The name did make me cringe a little and put doubts in my mind about the credibility of the promotion. In time that did change when watching the matches but I could see a few people being turned away by this. This also could be the reason that their show on Spike TV is now called Impact Wrestling.
In its inception TNA set itself apart by having a six-sided ring and high pace action. The ring took some getting used to but it became something that was synonymous with TNA. The ring gave wrestlers different angles to work off of and created the opportunity for innovative moves. What do you do when you have something that sets you apart from everyone else? Change it so you can be like everyone else of course. With Bischoff and Hogan joining TNA they brought along changes that took away the things that made TNA unique and enjoyable. Changing the ring was one change another major change was reducing the role of the X-Division.
The X-Division brought excitement and fast paced wrestling. Guys like Jay Lethal, Amazing Red, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Alex Shelley, and many others gave us high flying action mixed with technical wrestling. They were fresh faces that offered something new to wrestling fans and their matches kept you on the edge of your seat. These are all good things right? Then why does TNA put the X-Division on the back burner? Oh yes they want to compete with the WWE and they feel like in order to do so they have to be more like the WWE. WRONG!
I get bringing in big, recognizable names. TNA’s signing of Kurt Angle was a very big deal. I don’t get burying one of the main factors that fans tune in for. TNA didn’t need Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, or Joker-Sting (yes that’s what he will be known as). They did need to keep Jay Lethal and Alex Shelley. They do need to highlight the talent they have like a Samoa Joe, Alex Shelly, and Austin Aries. Remember that Triple Threat Match between Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles? Give the fans more of that TNA. Play to your strengths instead of trying to be the WWE.
TNA needs to stop following the WCW playbook and create its own. Remember that WCW is no longer around and trying to catch the lightning they once had is next to impossible. Yes the 90’s were a pioneering time in the world of wrestling but that time has passed. As much as I love Sting he should no longer be in a main event match. Having Ric Flair wrestle should be considered elderly abuse and the appropriate people should be arrested. You want to have him manage that’s fine, speak on the mic, that’s great, but the minute he looks at wrestling boots someone should rush over and give him a thumb to the eye. That wouldn’t be abuse that would be saving him from himself.
TNA has talent. Guys like Bobby Roode, James Storm, Kazarian, Zema Ion, Gail Kim, and Eric Young are a very talented group. Now use them! TNA shouldn’t be afraid to be different. Take a chance. Some of the things won’t work and that’s fine but when something does work stick to it. Remember how great a PPV Destination X was last year? I don’t understand why TNA went away from that. I get that the Heavyweights and the other divisions need to shine but TNA shouldn’t turn away from what makes it special. People may come for the names but once they are in their seats show them the talent. Show them the future.
As TNA moves forward with airing Impact Wrestling live they have an opportunity to change things up and take some steps out of the shadows of the WWE. They need to gamble a little and showcase the talent that is there. I wouldn’t care as much as I do if they didn’t have the talent and the opportunity to make a real mark in the wrestling industry. My girlfriend Jenn refers to TNA Wrestling as the “cheap wrestling.” Stop rehashing the past, stop being the “cheap wrestling” and deliver the future TNA.