Welcome back to another installment of The Fine Line Between Kendra and myself. It is TNA week! Next week will be about WWE, so if you have any questions for us, send them to me via email at email@example.com, or to Kendra, or even through the comments down below. There is a fine line between sanity and insanity, appropriate and inappropriate, elegance and trashy. Walk the fine line with us!
Overall, has Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan helped or hurt TNA?
Alex: I have been saving this question to answer for a rainy day. Well, it seems like it is quite appropriate now with all of the recent posts here on TNANews.com as well as the “recent” news that Eric Bischoff said he will be leaving TNA Wrestling soon. It led me to this question. I know what Kendra will say about it and while I do see her points, I am going to have to disagree with probably most of it… as well as disagree with all of the IWC.
I discussed Eric Bischoff and what he has done to improve TNA on my recent audio show “The Point of Impact”. I have a couple more things to add to that. Whether it would be Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, or even Dixie Carter… it doesn’t matter. These two are in the company so they have something to do with everything that happens in the company.
I know Kendra will bring up the negatives. She will probably talk about the X-Division, tag team division, Knockout division, the talent the company lost since both came in and the recent talent they added (aka their children). The sad thing is, look at the WWE. Don’t they have a terrible Diva division? Isn’t their tag team division very small? What about all of the talent they neglect and let go through the years? Also, remember Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon when they were on TV in the late 90s early 00s? So, let’s actually look at the positives that they gave TNA. I’m sure no one will like to look there.
If it is negative or a positive, they got rid of the 6 sided ring? Was the ring great? Yes. It seemed like a child’s toy though. It was a smaller ring compared to the ring they have now. It was much more difficult to work in. I loved the ring, and it made them look unique, but they look more professional now. They look credible. The next thing is the talent they grew. They have grown quite a number of talent in the past year and a half. The three big names are James Storm, Bobby Roode, and Austin Aries. Those three all won the TNA World Title. They deserved it. Their great. I also mentioned how the production looks fantastic compared to what they had. I really think Eric is behind this one. He has his own production company. He knows exactly how to film. The way they film backstage segments and the way they use the camera shots really help with the show looks on the TV. I am also going to mention how TNA went live and is “staying” live. First they went live in 2010 for awhile. They then went live through the summer of 2012. Now they are live every other week. AND, they are going on the road with the shows. These two things (being live and on the road) helps the show so much. The last thing is the cut in the pay-per-views. Is that really a good thing? Well, cutting PPVs is cutting their source of income. In TNA’s case, was that really income? We know their buyrates aren’t great. With that being said, I think it is a very wise move to cut the PPVs. They need to focus on building their branding of the PPVs. Build the hype and it builds the buyrates. It creates hype and it creates anticipation. I just hope it works.
Kendra: This is a really interesting question. I’m sure most people will expect me to say that Hogan and Bisch have been entirely detrimental to TNA, but I’m not. Yes, I feel Hogan and Bisch have screwed TNA six ways to Sunday in many, many ways, but not in every way. Right off the bat they nearly destroyed the company with their nepotism and the horrible direction they were taking the company, but they finally leveled that out. One of the worst things they’ve done is take TNA from being creative and unusual to looking like every other wrestling show on TV. Gone is the six sided ring and the majority of the X Division. These are the things that made TNA different and worth the time to watch, but they’re gone. On the other hand, Hogan and Bisch have tried new things that I think Dixie and Jarrett were afraid to try. They tried Monday night. It failed, but they tried. They went live. I don’t think Dixie had the guts to do that. The biggie is that they left the Impact Zone. I believe that Dixie would have stayed there forever if possible. Hogan and Bisch went with this huge A&8′s storyline, and it’s worked – so far.
Back to the negatives, Hogan was all over TV and said nothing about TNA or his involvement with the company. The wrestlers’ contracts have become crappier and crappier with each, and almost every, wrestler getting screwed at every turn. Hogan and Bisch keep claiming they’ve taken cuts in pay, but nothing compared to the rest of the roster, and TNA is bringing in more money than ever. Yes, going on the road is expensive, but not to the point that the wrestlers’ contracts should be cut the way they have been. And then there’s one of the worst thing both Hogan and Bisch have done is the way they work social media. Both of them spend more time being nasty to other people than advertising TNA. Every time I see Lisa Marie Varon posting something online, she’s pushing TNA as a whole. Most of the time I see something coming from either Hogan or Bisch, it’s attacking someone for being stupid, calling people names, verbally abusing the fans, or even, in Hogan’s case, undercutting his own boss! I don’t know any other company where an employee would get away with that! Either Dixie really thinks she needs Hogan that bad, or she has no backbone. I’m not sure the good outweighs the bad that Hogan and Bisch have done in TNA, but I have to put much of the weight of the bad on Hogan’s shoulders because he’s the one who’s really stepping out and opening his big mouth.
Do you think the X-Division can be returned to its former glory?
Alex: This is quite an easy question. Can it? Absolutely! It just has to be set-up right. How are they going to do that?
There are a number of things that I think TNA has to do in order to make the X-Division what it once was. First off, they need to go back to the original rules. They shouldn’t have these Triple Threat Matches. They shouldn’t have rules of how someone loses and they drop down. Also, get rid of the weight limit. Bring back the phrase, “It is not about weight limits; it is about no limits.” That phrase right there is marketable. That’s the other thing. TNA needs to market the division. Make it seem like something out of this world. We don’t see this anywhere else. It is very unique. Lastly, TNA needs to focus on the division. They can’t have a match one week and then not worry about it the next. Yes, I know TNA had a segment about it on this week’s show, but if they want to help this division, they need to show it off. They need to give the fans knowledge of what they are all about. Didn’t WCW usually showcase their cruiserweights weekly? At any rate, the X-Division has potential. They have the talent. They just need to do those things I described.
Kendra: I do think the X Division could return to a great glory, but I don’t think it will ever be its former glory. I truly believe for there to be the stellar X Division matches we once sat watching in awe, TNA would have to bring back the six sided ring. Something about the way those X Division fighters worked that ring made the Division something special. Beyond that, I do think that TNA could do a lot to bring the X Division back to being something very special, and something that would set TNA apart. First thing they’d have to do is commit. After that, TNA would need to bring back some of the bigger X Division wrestlers to work the Division. They’ve done well by bringing back Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams recently, but how long will they be around? Also, TNA needs Amazing Red, Low Ki, Bashir, Kendrick and most importantly, Jay Lethal. They need to get Douglas Williams, Daniels, Kaz, EY and possibly even Aries, AJ and Joe back involved with the X Division now and then. TNA would need a serious focus on the X Division with a couple matches each live show being X Division matches, and matches that actually show their skills and mean something. These are the guys that made TNA worth watching, and they should be showing why TNA is still worth watching.
What would be a scenario where Hulk Hogan would win the TNA World Title?
Alex: I really laughed when Kendra and I decided on this question. I know if Hogan is mentioned, Kendra talks. It’s almost like me with Bret Hart.
The thing is, there is NO scenario where Hogan should be TNA World Champion. I like Hogan. I respect everything he has done in the wrestling business, but it is time to let the future grow. Even if Hogan turns heels and joins Aces, or is face and beats Bully, I don’t see that as a valid way. Hogan should not be wrestling. I like to compare him to Bret Hart. Bret Hart is in much worse shape than Hogan, but they are both the same. While the age is different, there is no one who wants to see Hart as champion. He can’t wrestle. He can’t preform. Hogan, while he can entertain, he shouldn’t be in the ring fighting. It is time to grow the stars like Aries, Roode, Storm, and keep the people like Bully and Hardy going. Hogan is past his prime. I like what he has done in TNA (as explained above), but fighting is not one of them. Some people believed Hogan when he said he “is” going for the TNA World Title. However he phrased it… it doesn’t matter. I think he was joking and just getting people talking.
Kendra: Please, no! Okay, seriously, there’s only one way I could see Hogan strapped at this point, and that’s if he turns heel and goes with A&8′s. It would be the same crappy antics that nWo used to run with, but someone (Bully) would have to take the finger poke of doom, and then the whole group would have to continue to protect Hogan so he’d never have to take a bump. In all honesty, Hogan as Champ is one of the last things I’d want to see in TNA. I’d prefer to see Bisch as Champ, Garett Bisch.
Is Matt Morgan just angry about his position in TNA or has his ego pushed him so far that it hurt him?
Alex: As most of you know, Matt Morgan attacked WrestlingNewsWorld.com and Richard Gray the other day. It came out of nowhere, just like Hogan’s attack. Got to love unpredictability!
I have always been a fan of Matt’s work. I really liked his past work in TNA. He was really making a difference, I thought. I remember his match he had with Kurt Angle at a PPV several years ago. I really enjoyed it. I thought Matt would only be pushed further after that. He wasn’t. He never won the TNA World Title. Now, he is basically popping up when TNA has time for him. Is my views on him still the same? I’m not quite sure. I still like Matt’s work, whenever he does wrestle, but I do feel like he is getting quite upset. I would.
Imagine if you were getting pushed to the top of a company. Imagine if you were facing the best wrestler in the world, Kurt Angle. While Matt lost, it was a high profile match for him. He was expecting much more after that. He didn’t get it. I would be angry. Then, Matt wasn’t booked for months. His contract was expiring and he was about to go to the WWE. He couldn’t with the lawsuit and signed with TNA again. I bet Matt is angry about that too. He doesn’t like his position in TNA. He wants to be pushed further and faster.
I combine that with his ego. We know that Sting told Matt that he sees something in him. He told Matt to grow his beard out and Matt did. Matt knows Sting is behind him and that gave him a huge ego boost. Yeah, like he needs that. It doesn’t matter who is behind you. I mean, Kurt Angle is behind Magnus and Magnus still isn’t in the main event yet.
Matt is frustrated. He wants more. His ego wants more. He freaked out. While some may say he could be in character, I highly doubt that in this situation.
Kendra: I think Morgan is making himself look the ass in so many ways, and it continued this week. TNA could have been a great place for Morgan to grow and return to the WWE as a seasoned wrestler, and a lot more grown up, but Morgan never got what he really deserved out of TNA. Do I blame Dixie? Yes. Do I blame Hogan? Yes. Do I blame Jarrett? Yes, but most of all I blame Morgan. I’m going to catch crap for this, but I see a lot of Morgan’s problems as Morgan’s problems. Matt Morgan has had serious Matt Morgan Syndrome in TNA, and he’s let them push him around into this. If he had pushed, and pushed hard for himself, I think he’d have either gone further in TNA, or he’d have been canned and ended up back in the WWE. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and it seems as though he’s finally becoming a squeaky wheel in TNA – after getting screwed over and stuck back in TNA. The problem I’m seeing about Morgan’s type of squeaky wheel is that he seems to be taking his cues from Hogan. Rather than bettering himself and his work, he’s lashing out and attacking people online. Yes, I’m referring to this week’s tweak at WNW, but to me that’s Morgan being Hogan’s mini me. Hogan’s been going after WNW and Richard, so now Morgan is following suit. In my opinion it’s time for Morgan to step up, stop whining and take control of his own career.
Do you think Jeff Hardy is TNA’s version of John Cena?
Alex: This is a fascinating question and I praise Kendra for thinking of this. While it may seem like a simple question, it goes a lot deeper.
By the looks of it, Jeff is TNA’s version of John Cena with how the fans react as well as how he sells merchandise. Now, I don’t know the official numbers on how Jeff sells, but I am guessing he sells quite a lot. I mean, how can’t he? Jeff is also the top babyface in the company. He is liked by all of the kids. As is Cena. On the contrary, Jeff is not liked by the knowledgable fans. They don’t like Cena either. I, for one, am a fan of Jeff because of what he has done in the ring. I am not a fan of Cena though. The IWC can’t stand either of these two. So, it looks like it is a perfect match. I guess it was a pretty simple question.
I guess I wouldn’t make Jeff the John Cena version. Jeff is outstanding and I praise him on his he is clean now, but where is the satisfaction? WWE has the satisfaction to say that they built Cena up from the very bottom. They worked with Cena for 11 years to get him where he is today. He may be booed a lot, but he sells and is the top seller of the company. He is the company’s top guy. In TNA, they didn’t build Jeff to the top. They can’t get credit for that. They bought Jeff hoping to make money. I would have lots of satisfaction if I built AJ Styles up or Samoa Joe to where Jeff is… to where Cena is. That is what I call a Cena version. Being the top guy and top seller is one thing, but the way to achieve that is quite different.
Kendra: I honestly hadn’t thought about it until the other night. Someone mentioned how women and children love Hardy, and then I got thinking about it. I’m sure Hardy sells the most merch in TNA, and I’m sure most of it is to women and children. Hardy has turned into the eternal good guy after his heel turn failed miserably. All the biggest storylines involve Hardy, as does almost every main event. Also, it seems as though every time they’re on mic, the show gets boring and the only ones cheering them are the women and kids. Even when things are not going perfectly for them, they don’t have the title belts, they’re still the golden boys of the companies. I won’t say Cena’s had the issues Hardy’s dealt with, but that’s about the only way they’re different at this point.
Who do you agree with? What are your thoughts on the topics? Walk the fine line with us!