It definitely felt that JB was depressed when hearing of Adam Jones. Dixie Carter is excited and trying to sell it when JB’s thinking, “What the hell?” Whenever TNA tries to hype up someone big, it’s Tito Ortiz, King Mo, Rampage Jackson, and now Pacman Jones. Someone big and hyped up means a celebrity. When it is a huge wrestler, it will be announced at a Pay-Per-View such as Kurt Angle or a surprise debut such as Christian Cage.
“Wrestling fans want WRESTLERS.” We do not tune in to see a special guest host every week. That makes us want to turn it off. We do not tune in to see baseball stars come to TNA. The only exception that I can make is that it was entertaining to see Floyd Mayweather in WWE. With his personality, anything he does is entertaining.
TNA has been brought up on wrestling. It thrived on independent wrestlers. When you think of TNA, you think of Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, James Storm, Shark Boy, Eric Young, Abyss, and other originals. You might even be able to make an argument for Kurt Angle as being up there since he has spent more years in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling than WWE. TNA had the slogan “We Are Wrestling.”
Do I think TNA can thrive and defeat WWE someday by focusing on wrestling? Actually, yes. The reason they have not gotten to the level WWE is at or even close has nothing to do with wrestling vs. sports entertainment. It has to do with the overall product.
You might argue that Jeff Hardy and other greats from the WWE are good for TNA. On the flip side, if TNA would not have paid so much attention to people who became someone in WWE, they could have made Samoa Joe, Kazarian, Austin Aries, Desmond Wolfe, and many other wrestlers that could have made Total Nonstop Action Wrestling so much better. Instead of focusing on wrestlers who just came for a quick pay day without giving their full effort (Example: Rob Van Dam) TNA could have given Kenny King, D’Angelo Dinero, the Motor City Machine Guns, and many other wrestlers who have made TNA what it is today. They could have kept the amazing wrestlers that they have released over the years and used them to their potential.
When TNA thinks it has to take stars from another promotion (WWE and WCW) and make them the main star of their show, it just winds up making TNA look weak. It makes TNA look even more like the red headed stepchild. It makes TNA look even more like it can’t do anything on its own so it needs everything that WWE can give them. The more time goes on, the more TNA embraces how long they have been in the wrestling business. It is as if they are saying, “Look everyone! We are still here! Can you believe it?” It makes them look second class to WWE.
Whether they actually are second class to WWE or not is not the point. TNA needs to make itself look first class. It needs to build its own stars into household names. They have done a very poor job of this. TNA needs to slowly build its product from the ground up with top quality wrestling and top quality stories with the best wrestlers.
“TNA’s core fans are professional wrestling fans.” This is very true. While WWE has been brought up on sports entertainment (Andre the Giant) TNA has been brought up on wrestling. TNA has been about the best wrestling in the world. At times, it has definitely been the best wrestling. There could be no argument made for WWE, ROH, PWG, AIW, AAA, CMLL, or any other promotion having better wrestling matches. I still think TNA has great wrestling matches. The Full Metal Mayhem match with Chris Sabin and Jeff Hardy was amazing.
TNA – give us real wrestlers. Give us Samoa Joe. Give us Amazing Red. Give us Alex Shelley. Give us Kazarian. Give us many other wrestlers who I will be hiring. Give us wrestlers who actually wrestle and make us want to watch them. Give us wrestlers who will make us want to chant for TNA over and over again. We need that kind of action. Let WWE have the Great Khali. Let WWE have The Boogeyman. Let WWE have The Spirit Squad. Let WWE have Hornswoggle. Let WWE have Mark Henry. Let WWE have The Big Show. Let WWE have Big Daddy V. Let WWE have Ryback. All of these have characters but cannot wrestle.
There are many times where fans will be all for a wrestler because of their promo skills. They will be all for them because they can be entertaining backstage or calling someone out. The fact is, if the person can’t wrestle, it doesn’t matter how good your promo skills are. A professional wrestler needs both. Most of all, they need wrestling. Randy Orton has been criticized for not being good on the microphone. We as wrestling fans do not care because we know he is a great wrestler and entertaining to watch. If you are a great wrestler, we will give you a break if you are not the best at doing promos.
Who are some wrestlers who are great at both? If you look at Christian Cage in TNA, he showed that he could do both. He was always entertaining when cutting a promo. He was always one to watch. D’Angelo Dinero was a great wrestler but also shined as his charisma was as high as the roof. Samoa Joe is entertaining on the microphone and can still usually give a great match. AJ Styles has been criticized for his promo skills over the years but has always been one of the best wrestlers in TNA. Over time, AJ Styles has improved on promos.
For you to just be great at promos is not enough. If you are just great at promos and nothing more, then you belong in World Wrestling Entertainment. I see WWE as being all about the bright lights and production. It’s also all about being a spectacle. You don’t need wrestling skills to be in WWE. Wrestling skills is an afterthought over there. All you need is to have a certain character and you are set.
TNA needs to embrace being a show about wrestling. When Eric Bischoff came to TNA, he mentioned that WWE is afraid to call their wrestlers as wrestlers. They are sports entertainers. When we are watching a sitcom, we do not need the sitcom to tell us it is fake. We know it is. This is how it comes off with WWE. It embraces just being a spectacle. TNA needs to call its wrestlers wrestlers. They need to embrace the slogan, “We Are Wrestling.”
Do we really want to see another Diva Search? Do we really want to see another Bra and Panties match? Do we really want to see another wrestler such as Ryback or Big Daddy V take over the show without having wrestling skills? We do not want gimmicks. We do not want the bright lights. We love the improved production that TNA has showed but it also needs to stick to its roots. TNA’s roots is fast-paced wrestling action. TNA is known for being the alternative to WWE. Instead of trying to copy everything that WWE does, TNA needs to grow its own talent and slowly build up its product so it can become the #1 wrestling show out there. It is possible. The only question is, will TNA actually try to be the #1 wrestling show in the world or will they admit defeat to the WWE by continually mentioning WWE on air and copying what WWE does?
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