The Columbian Exchange was a widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations, ideas, and best of all communicable disease between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following the voyage to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Lately, I seem to be noticing some blatant borrowing of production and storyline ideas between WWE and TNA. However, it seems like, each company is borrowing the worst concepts from the other. Lets take a look at a few of them.
1. Claire Lynch/AJ affair storyline: Now, I would never have made this connection if I didn’t read about TNA making claims that the AJ Lee/John Cena storyline was a ripoff. For the sake of argument, I’ll keep my opinion on that claim to myself. Someone tell me why WWE would want to take the worst storyline in recent TNA history and use it for the #1 guy in the company? If it was intended to be a slap in the face to TNA, a “this is how it should have been done” type of thing, I think WWE should have made it more obvious. While it was 100 times better executed than the TNA version, I just didn’t feel like it was a good storyline to borrow in the first place.
2. The Show Opening Re-cap Narration: This worked for TNA for two reasons. One, there’s a good chance that someone who is watching the show this week did not watch the show last week. So a recap of the last week or so makes sense. The second reason is because TNA’s promos are usually sub-par. So a narrator voicing over what would be clips of someone like Jeff Hardy, or Hulk Hogan, or dare I say Wes Brisco, is a big improvement. Not to mention the narrator has a good voice and it isn’t over done. Why WWE thought this would be a good aspect to add to the RAW opening is beyond me. The WWE production team is really good, they do a wonderful job of taking okay clips and turning them into a great, exciting, and suspenseful promo videos. They don’t need a narrator, especially the one they decided to use. The intros make me feel like WWE thinks I’m an idiot. The narration is so dumbed down, PG-TV does not mean that everyone has the mental capacity of a 5 year old.
3. Company Factoids: This was what inspired me to write the post. I saw on this weeks Impact that there was a little on screen factoid about the attendance of one of the Impact tapings earlier this month. Congratulations to TNA, this is absolutely something to boast about. This should be a huge sign that TNA taking Impact on the road is a move in the right direction. However, do they have to share that information in such a blatantly borrowed fashion? Do something different! Have the commentators share the information, have one of the wrestlers share it in a backstage segment. I don’t need to see a full-screen fact about TNA every time they come back from a commercial break. Those bother the hell out of me during RAW and Smackdown too. I don’t care that Smackdown was the most socially active show on TV last friday … it’s silly to tell me that every week!
I can only hope that we don’t start hearing the thoughts in Rybacks head on RAW, or start seeing a talking computer on Impact. The sharing, and even borrowing of ideas is something that happens in every industry among opposing companies. I think TNA and WWE have things to learn from each other … but the choices of each so far seem unnecessary.