March 2001, the Wrestling World was shocked to see Vince McMahon on WCW Nitro, the same show that had been trying to put him out of business years before. I was 13 at the time and I knew this was a big moment. Actually I thought this was the coolest thing I ever saw. At the time I didn’t know what McMahon being on Nitro really meant for the industry other than he had bought WCW. I was hoping that Vince would keep Nitro on the air not completely understanding what it was that was going on. Back then we didn’t have anything to go off of. The closest thing to this was Vince buying all the territories but that was a different time and different circumstances.What started as excitement for me quickly led to disappointment when I watched weekly program take a decline. Now the question is, “What does Vince buying WCW have to do with TNA?”
After a while I realized that without competition to the WWE the excitement of the programming went downhill. The Invasion angle could have been the greatest thing to ever hit wrestling television but it fell flat. There was still great matches, with great stories but still there was something missing. The WWE tried to create what was missing with the Brand Extension, which was great for a time. Remember when Smackdown was actually better than Raw? But that died down. After a while we could all see that the WWE was lacking from competition. I started to get the feeling that the WWE would just do things because they could, because for wrestling fans there wasn’t a viable alternative. The WWE didn’t fear the loss of ratings that they did in the past. They weren’t afraid that a company would put them out of business. The WWE had their fan base and it seems that they are happy to keep what they have and not gain anyone new.
If you haven’t heard by now there are reports that Spike TV is cancelling Impact Wrestling. This is a major blow to the wrestling industry unless TNA can find a new home and quickly. TNA’s contract with Spike is up in October which gives TNA a few months to shop their program around. Hopefully TNA finds a new home for the sake of the industry.
TNA has been around since 2002. They debuted on PPV 15 months after WCW went out of business. But for two years TNA was solely PPV and not getting a lot of attention. Finally in 2004 Impact debuted on Fox Sports. It was a great one hour show on Friday evenings. Bad day, and the worst time for a TV show. But in 2006, Impact landed on Spike TV. This was great news. Finally we got a weekly television from another company besides the WWE. I was excited for this. I was excited that I would finally be able to watch TNA on a weekly basis and I haven’t stopped since. But others have. TNA has had its highs and lows and the true fans have stayed. We have supported TNA through the good times and bad. We have taken the negative comments and handled them in our individual ways. But we always believed (it’s so hard to not type BO-lieve) that TNA would become a powerhouse. We always knew that TNA had the talent, they just needed to figure out how to use it. Since Slammiversary TNA has been putting on some of the best shows in recent years. The quality of these shows have rivaled any RAW that has been put on. These type of shows is what we, TNA fans, have been waiting for. They brought excitement, they brought hope, and TNA was finally turning the corner. The only thing they need is to reestablish the X-Division, which they seem to be doing.
Now how does all of this relate to WWE/WCW? In my opinion and I believe the opinions of many others, especially my fellow writers at TNANews, if for some way, somehow, TNA goes under, THAT IS NOT WHAT IS BEST FOR THE WRESTLING INDUSTRY. TNA, whether you like to believe it or not, is the number 2 wrestling company in the United States. You may think the WWE or ROH is better, that is your opinion, but ROH doesn’t have a weekly TV deal the size that TNA had. TNA was the closest the thing we had to having another wrestling war. TNA was the closest thing we had to giving the WWE any sort of competition. If TNA goes under than what? We wait patiently and hope that JJ can do it again? We pray that ROH gets a TV deal? Both these situations could take time. ROH would have to establish itself to the masses of the TV audience. GFW has to just establish itself from nothing. TNA is our hope.
So what is the point of all of this? Well this is a message to all the TNA haters. I don’t understand why you think it is great that a wrestling company is going out of business? Because you don’t like them? But I thought you were a wrestling fan? You should support the industry in whatever way you can. Just because you think TNA is not good programming doesn’t mean that it is affecting the business in any way. It is actually helping it. I am not sure what TNA ever did to you personally to ever wish that they would go out of business. It doesn’t make sense. As a WRESTLING FAN, not a WWE fan, not a TNA fan, not a ROH fan, not an Indy fan, but a WRESTLING FAN, I hope for another wrestling boom. The only way for that to happen is to have more than one company. I hope for the days that everybody knows who all the wrestlers are, not just John Cena. I hope for the days that everybody is talking about wrestling, that I can go to work or the store and hear people talk about wrestling, and not have to log on to the internet or call up my one wrestling fan friend.
What really gets me is that the same WWE fans that are complaining about the PG era and want the Attitude Era back are the same fans that are glad to see TNA in this situation. What they don’t understand is that as long as the WWE has no competition they will not change. PG era can be good, the rating isn’t the problem. The WWE makes a lot of money from being PG which is good for the Industry. But the WWE programming will stay the same with the same people on top, with John Cena’s over the top good guy character still dominating the WWE. Until the WWE gets competition nothing will change.
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