Posted by Christopher Bell
Should TNA have a hall of fame? This question has been going on since it was created. It was a surprise. After all, TNA is only eleven years old. Should they wait until later to have a Hall of Fame? Has the company been around long enough?
I think that they have. A Hall of Fame could be a great thing for TNA. But why did TNA create a Hall of Fame? Many people say that it is to copy WWE. I do agree with this. It makes sense. If you follow Eric Bischoff on twitter, you see him constantly praising TNA. On TNA, many times has WWE been praised. In WCW, Bischoff took risks. In TNA, he respects WWE too much to take any risks. He even praised their Total Divas show, nothing WWE does could ever be wrong. Now, it wasn’t always like this. When Bischoff first came to TNA, he took some shots at WWE. I especially remember the one where the show comes back from a commercial break and Bischoff is talking on the phone. He tells the person that they are not going to have a guest host and that the idea is stupid.
What is the point of a Hall of Fame? It seems like there is none. In pro wrestling, it seems like more of a gimmick. There is no building to represent the Hall of Fame filled with wrestling gear of the superstars. There’s just a list. When there is just a list and there is no more of a difference between a person who is in the Hall of Fame and one who is not, then what is the point? This problem must be fixed. I have a solution. Every person that goes into the Hall of Fame is now retired. This means no more legends. This means that right now, Sting and Kurt Angle would be retired. This makes the Hall of Fame mean something. Now, when we hear who is going to be in the Hall of Fame, we know that their time is short. We think back on their career and savor the rest of the time that we see them.
If we do have a TNA Hall of Fame where the wrestlers getting inducted will retire, then we should have two wrestlers go in to the Hall of Fame every year. You might say, “Two wrestlers every year? With TNA only being around 11 years, how could that be? How could we have two?” Well, it would be very easy. We would have more than enough for two a year. There is another problem that I have with the current Hall of Fame. The only people in the TNA Hall of Fame are not known for their TNA career. Sting is known for being in WCW. Kurt Angle is known for being in WWE. I do not want to take anything away from these two incredible wrestlers. For many years in WWE and TNA, whenever anyone would ask who my favorite wrestler is, I would say Kurt Angle. Sting’s feud with the nWo is legendary. People say that anyone could have been Sting but I disagree. Then his feud with Jeff Jarrett to remove the cancer in TNA is something I won’t forget. In my opinion, we need people who are the faces of TNA to be in the TNA Hall of Fame. I have many suggestions, or nominees, for who should be in the TNA Hall of Fame.
The first that should be inducted is Jeff Jarrett. In June 2002, Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett created Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The show aired weekly pay-per-views until landing a TV deal with Fox Sports Net in November 2004. In October 2005, TNA landed a deal with Spike TV. Robert Carter, Chairman and CEO of Panda Energy bought most of TNA in 2002. Jeff continued to be a minority owner until 2009, when Robert Carter bought out his share making Carter the Owner and Chairman of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Jeff Jarrett is what some people call a mid carder. There are people who think that he should not be the face of TNA. Trust me, Jarrett has that ability to make people love him and hate him. He also has great wrestling ability. I remember back when he was a heel and I used to hate him. I used to seriously be against him and couldn’t stand him. He just has that factor to make people feel that way. He is one of TNA’s all time best heels, if not the best.
The second should be “Father” James Mitchell. James Mitchell started in TNA on June 19, 2002. Mitchell was the manager of a group called The New Church. The New Church was a powerhouse team. Malice was called a monster but every time the group came out, the one that shined was James Mitchell. He was the right man for the gimmick. It suited him perfectly. From 2005 until 2008, James Mitchell became the manager to “The Monster” Abyss. The two fit together perfectly. James Mitchell is most certainly the best manager in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling history. There will never be a better manager in the company.
These two people would be very easy to induct into TNA’s first year of having a Hall of Fame because they are not on television anymore. All TNA would have to do is have them return for a while and have a little presentation for them. It wouldn’t be something huge like big names who are still wrestling for TNA. Plus, you cannot argue the impact that Jeff Jarrett and James Mitchell have had on this company. The only way you would be able to is if you just started watching TNA within the past few years.
The third person I can think of putting in the TNA Hall of Fame is Mike Tenay. Tenay has been calling play-by-play for TNA since day one. He has been the face of TNA as far as the announcer’s booth goes. People such as Don West and Ed Ferrara have come and gone but Tenay stays. Mike Tenay is considered “the voice of the fans.” Tenay even got to make the major announcement of Sting signing with TNA. Mike Tenay has called everything of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling including weekly pay-per-views, Impact Wrestling, Xplosion, and every monthly pay-per-view. Keep on rocking that tuxedo, Tenay!
The fourth person I would put in the TNA Hall of Fame is Don West. Don West brings the excitement every time he is on TNA. No matter what he is doing, whether it is color commentating, or doing his insane deals, you know that Don West will bring passion and heart. Every time I think of Don West, I think “Unbelievable! Just unbelievable!” I will admit that seeing Don West doing color commentary and being the merchandise person for TNA made me want to buy TNA merchandise even more. I don’t even know who Jimmy Jay is. Quite frankly, I don’t really care. But with Don West selling merchandise, it has an effect on people.
These two people would work for TNA to be in the Hall of Fame and retired because they have been with TNA for such a long time. They are not wrestlers like AJ Styles that we need to worry about what year we want to put him in the Hall of Fame so we can see more of him. Don West is already out of the company and Mike Tenay is almost sixty years old. These men have done great things for being the announce team in TNA and it is time for both of them to be recognized for their work.
The fifth person I would put into the Hall of Fame (which is who would be inducted next year) is AJ Styles. AJ wrestled in the first match on TNA’s first ever show. On TNA’s second show, he won the X-Division Championship. On the third show, he and Jerry Lynn won the NWA-TNA Tag Team Championships. Ever since day one, AJ Styles has been the poster boy for TNA. Whenever you think of WWE, you think of John Cena. There is a reason. He has been at the top of the company for the past ten years. TNA has been doing the same thing with AJ Styles. True, TNA has not done as well of a job as building him up as WWE did with John Cena but Styles is TNA’s Cena. Whenever you see AJ Styles in a match, you always know that you are in for a treat. AJ Styles is TNA’s best homegrown superstar. Even though Dixie Carter says that TNA made AJ Styles, it is hard to imagine what TNA would have been like had he not been the star.
After TNA puts Jeff Jarrett, James Mitchell, Mike Tenay, Don West, and AJ Styles in the TNA Hall of Fame, I am fine with Sting and Kurt Angle being put in. The only other stars that would be considered would be Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Robert Roode and James Storm. These are all TNA originals. Though they are originals of the company, it is arguable that they haven’t done as much for the company as Kurt Angle and Sting have. Kurt Angle and Sting have put the company on the map and truly made it legitimate. When Sting and Kurt Angle go there, you know that is an actual show worth being named the second biggest professional wrestling business in the world. It is as if Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe decide to jump ship from TNA back to Ring of Honor. Fans of wrestling everywhere would have to think of Ring of Honor as a higher top tier company and product awareness would increase. Or what if Robert Roode and James Storm decided to go to Absolute Intense Wrestling and form Beer Money Inc again? Would that not make more fans interested in AIW? In this perspective, what Sting and Angle have done for TNA is more than Daniels, Kazarian, Samoa Joe, Robert Roode and Storm have done.
TV-14 vs PG Era
When I think of the PG Era, I think of all of the finishing moves. Everyone seems to have a striking finishing move. Kofi Kingston has the Trouble in Paradise. CM Punk has the Go To Sleep. The Big Show has his Knockout Punch. Finishers aren’t what they used to be.
The main thing that we all think of when we think of the PG Era is how watered down the superstars’ characters have gotten. John Cena used to be about ruthless aggression. I remember when he first came out to Kurt Angle in his debut match. I loved Cena when he first came into the WWE. He was really something special. In 2002, John Cena turned on his tag team partner Billy Kidman after they were eliminated in the first round of a tag team tournament. John Cena would become a rapper who would rhyme on the microphone and came up with the slogan, “Word Life.” Back then, Cena was awesome. We could really get behind him.
Nowadays, its all about “Hustle Loyalty Respect.” You can’t even call the FU an FU anymore. Now, its the Attitude Adjustment. You also can’t call his submission finisher the STFU anymore. Now, it is simply the STF. Now, Cena seems very lame as a face. He is always the face no matter what happens. We are sick of him being pushed down our throats. We’re so sick of it that no matter how hard Cena tried to be a face, bans started booing him loudly. In my opinion, John Cena needs to turn heel. He needs to have a dominant reign as a heel wrestler for at least a year. Then, after he is on the top for a very long time and looking unstoppable, many wrestlers ambush him and attack him. They attack him so bad that he has broken bones and is gone from the wrestling business. After two or three months, we see Cena’s close friend coming to his aid at his home. Cena says he doesn’t want to come back and that he is very frustrated about being stripped from the WWE Championship after the ambush from thugs. Now, he is out for a very long time and has lost his title. We could also have him have a girlfriend at the time and him lose her because of his injury. It seems that he would have to hit rock bottom. Meanwhile, the group of thugs now control the show and are dominating everyone on the show. They take over like the nWo. After many months, John Cena finally comes back. The thugs have a match against a group of the company’s top babyface wrestlers then continue to attack them afterward. John runs out after the match to save them and the thugs escape the ring. The next week, Cena cuts a promo about his injury and how great it is to be back. He then addresses the thugs who costed him everything that he had and wants revenge. The story can progress from there. It would be a long and drawn out story that could definitely work.
One other person you all have heard me talk about before is Kane. Kane debuted in WWE on October 5, 1997 at Badd Blood: In Your House. Kane interrupted The Undertaker’s Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels to give him the Tombstone Piledriver. Kane was a serious monster back then. He won his first match against Kane won his first match against Mankind at Survivor Series. After Undertaker’s match with Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble, Kane locked the Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire. Undertaker escaped before the casket was lit on fire. At Unforgiven: In Your House Undertaker beat Kane in an Inferno match.
Nowadays, Kane is a joke. For the past few years, he has been a comedy act. He will be a comedy act one week then WWE tries to tell us that he is a monster the week after that. One week, we are laughing at him and thinking him as something of a joke then the next week WWE tells us about how scary he is. It makes no sense. In my opinion, the ending of the Attitude Era and the unmasking of Kane ultimately hurt his career.
WWF Attitude Era
What everyone says is the solution to this problem is to bring back the Attitude Era. Do we really want to see The Brood again? Do we really want to see The Godfather? Do we want to see Val Venis one more time? How about another DX Reunion? How about the nWo, or excuse me, The Band coming back together? Just ask Eric Bischoff. When he first came to TNA, he tried to make the company just like late WCW. The 90s are best left to the 90s. They were awesome at the time but no matter how great something was, if you make it happen today, it just won’t work. You have to always be moving forward. If you are thinking about the past too much, you will fall behind. You need to be ahead of the game.
If we do not want to see the Attitude Era, what do we want to see? We want to see people with great wrestling ability being packaged with the right gimmick. Triple H’s Hunter Hearst Helmsley character was annoying. I felt that I very much wanted to like his character but just couldn’t get into it. Glen Jacobs made his original debut as Dr. Isaac Yankem. Believe it or not, his character was a dentist. The Rock didn’t really start to soar until he was the leader of the Nation of Domination. Why we love Austin Aries is because of his superior wrestling skills and his gimmick of being the Greatest Man That Ever Lived. Why AJ Styles is soaring is because of his “No One” gimmick. It seems to suit him very well. Much better than the Ric Flair gimmick anyway. Just think of what Robert Roode would be like as a face. Just think of what Daniels and Kazarian would be as babyfaces. Luckily, they are heels in E.G.O.
The PG Era is very watered down. This is one reason why I have loved TNA over the years. But what is wrong with the PG Era isn’t just that you can’t hit people with a chair or shed blood. What is wrong is who is being pushed. No matter what era wrestling is in, if you have the right people being pushed to the top of the company, like WWE has smartly done with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, then you will soar. But if you have the wrong people, like Mark Henry and The Big Show, then it will plummet. The problem is not the rating. It is who is being pushed to the top of the spotlight and how their gimmick is.
Tag Team Division
July 20, 2006 the tag team champions Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles were in a giving mood. The two had contracts for all of the other teams in TNA to show that they were fighting champions. Konnan spoke up on the microphone and told them that they were ducking LAX. While the team went over to give Konnan the contract, they were ambushed from behind by Hernandez and Homicide. Konnan ended up signing Daniels’ contract for him. He did it after Daniels was beaten down to a pulp and signed the contract with Daniels’ blood.
What I loved about the Latin American X-Change is that they were real. The whole story felt realistic. The story was that they felt they were being held down by TNA because they were Latinos. Let’s face it. If your in America, you have to be White, Christian, and if your in Kansas or anywhere near here, Republican. If your not those, you will be prejudiced against. It’s wrong but true. LAX felt like the tag team champions were ducking them. They felt like the tag team champions were the poster boys for TNA and had everything handed to them. Does a story get more real than this.
America’s Most Wanted
On June 26, 2002, Chris Harris and James Storm teamed together for the first time. The Dupps were originally scheduled to wrestle but refused to wrestle against the openly gay tag team The Rainbow Express. Backstage, James Storm and Chris Harris got the question if they would wrestle. They weren’t dressed for the occasion but charged out right away. They ended up winning the match. On Septmeber 18, AMW wrestled in a 20-man Gauntlet for the Gold match for the vacant NWA World Tag Team Championships. AMW and The New Church were the finalists. From there, a tag match took place. AMW won the match and their first NWA tag team titles. When Amerieca’s Most Wanted were a young tag team, one would think of how Marty Janetty and Shawn Michaels were. They were young, fast paced and full potential. They were entertaining. As they grew over the years, they feuded with many teams such as New Church, Red Shirt Security, Triple X, The Naturals, Team 3D, and LAX. America’s Most Wanted is now most known for their breakup which featured James Storm hitting Chris Harris with a beer bottle.
Motor City Machine Guns
In April 2007, the Motor City Machine Guns first came together. They were originally called the Murder City Machine Guns. On TNA Today, Alex Shelley said that the team wanted the Murder City name and calling the Motor City name the PG version. In October 2007, Team 3D faced the Steiner Brothers. The Motor City Machine Guns ran in the match to stop Team 3D from cheating. The Steiner Brothers won the match. The next month at the Genesis Pay-Per-View, the Motor City Machine Guns defeated Team 3D. At the same Pay-Per-View, Team 3D ambushed Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt after their match. Team 3D made a war on the whole X-Division. This feud mainly consisted of Team 3D vs the Motor City Machine Guns and Jay Lethal. On May 16, 2010 at Sacrifice, the Motor City Machine Guns beat Beer Money, Inc and Team 3D. This earned the team a chance at the Tag Team Championship. On July 11 at Victory Road the Motor City Machine Guns beat Beer Money Inc for the vacant TNA World Tag Team Championships. This was the first time they had won the belts.
What makes the Motor City Machine Guns special is their chemistry. If any tag team should define Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, this is the team. They were together from 2007-2011 and briefly in 2012. The Motor City Machine Guns is an example of what TNA has been great at. TNA has been great at making their own tag teams and stars. This is what TNA needs to do more often. No one cares about Team 3D, the Nasty Boys, and the Steiner Brothers. No one cares about the Band. What we care about is America’s Most Wanted, Beer Money, Lethal Consequences, and the Motor City Machine Guns. TNA needs to be constantly creating new stars and tag teams. This next tag team is an example.
On December 26, 2009, Dixie Carter announced that TNA officially signed the team called the Young Bucks to a contract. The length of the contracts was one year. The team was renamed Generation Me with the two wrestlers as Max and Jeremy Buck. The two spent their career as a tag team feuding with the Motor City Machine Guns. Generation Me was fast. They were young. They were hip. The crowd loved them. These stars had potential through the roof. Ever since they debuted, they stood out even more than the Motor City Machine Guns. I was just begging for TNA to give them the chance to be the number one tag team in the company. The feud with the Motor City Machine Guns did wonders for the team. The only problem is that the Motor City Machine Guns needed to put Generation Me over and pass on the torch. It was the right thing to do. Generation Me are superior and much younger. Sadly, this team was mistreated during their time. They ended up feuding with each other. They also had a story with Tara. These went nowhere. It seems that many people blame Generation Me for walking out of TNA. I don’t blame them.
Gunner and James Storm
Before talking about the way the current tag team division is, I feel that we need to discuss what makes a great tag team. What makes a great tag team is chemistry and a reason for them to be together. James Storm and Gunner have no reason to be together. From the start, the only thing that made sense for them to be together was that they both have facial hair. This does not make them a group. They seem more as individuals mashed together and called a group. LAX’s purpose for coming together is that they felt held down because of prejudice and decided to join together. They worked as heels to go against “the poster boys of TNA.” America’s Most Wanted were a young tag team that dressed the same and reminded people of The Rockers. The Motor City Machine Guns had incredible chemistry and fast paced action. They were always a tag team that you wanted to watch. Who didn’t love the Motor City Machine Guns? It was the same with Generation Me. The only difference is that Generation Me was younger and arguably a better tag team than the Motor City Machine Guns. Their chemistry was incredible. Even though I can’t stand the Bro Mans, they have more chemistry than Gunner and James Storm.
Often, I have heard that Gunner looks like a dominant heel. To this, I am 100% on board with. Gunner has the look and wrestling skills to be a great heel in the business. He tries to get over as a face but the fans don’t care. James Storm has been a part of America’s Most Wanted and Beer Money Inc. He is a very successful tag team wrestler. It is as if TNA now feels that since Storm is arguably the best tag team wrestler in the business, or at least one of the best, that they can put him with anyone. It doesn’t work and it will not work. This tag team needs to break up soon and fast.
What TNA should do is go out and find new stars for their tag team division. If you look at the division, you will see Eric Young and Joseph Park. I cannot deny Eric Young’s wrestling ability. Though he has been a comedy act for most of his career, the man is a great technical wrestler. The Joseph Park character ran its course a long time ago. It is long overdue to be done with. Bro Mans might be the worst tag team in TNA because I haven’t seen either of the two do anything special. The only reason they are in TNA is because of their gimmick. Whenever I see Chavo Guerrero, I think, “Didn’t I see him in WCW in the late ’90s?” Chavo Guerrero needs to go. He is living off of his name. Hernandez also seems to be living off of his name. It hurts to say this because I love what Hernandez has done in his career. But the fact is that Hernandez is now 40 years old. He was phenomenal as a character with the Latin American X-Change. But nowadays, it is as if TNA is forcing Chavo Guerrero to be the new Homicide of the team. It does not work.
Who TNA Should Hire- Greg Marasciulo
TNA should hire Greg Marasciulo. Greg Marasciulo is better known as Trent Barreta from his time in WWE. I will be the first to admit that I do not watch WWE. There have been times over the years where I have turned it on just to see what it was like. Then when I see The Great Khali or Hornswoggle or Mark Henry, I am once again reminded of why I do not watch it. Greg Marascuilo looks to have all of the talent to be the future of TNA. He has the look. He has the physique. He has the wrestling skills. This man should be a champion in TNA right now. I would make him the X Division or TV Champion and wouldn’t waste time doing so. Ever since he made his debut, I remember being impressed with his in-ring ability and look. He has everything that a professional wrestler could ask for. Since his release, he has been working in small independent promotions. This man deserves much better. I would love to see more of Greg Marasciulo in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. By the way, he is only 26 years old.
Who TNA Should Fire- Rob Terry
TNA should fire Rob Terry. Rob Terry is a man that reminds me of The Great Khali or The Big Show. Terry has a certain look about him but no professional wrestling skills. I am not against big men being in TNA. I was very much for Tomko and Lance Hoyt in TNA. I feel that those two men can actually wrestle and entertain. Rob Terry is only called a professional wrestler. I am not sure if he can actually do any professional wrestling moves other than the basics. In my eyes, Terry is not an actual professional wrestler. He is a bodybuilder. The only reason that he gets such attention is because of his physique. His physique is incredible but sadly, that is all that he has. If we are to consider Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as the top promotion and treat it as so, then it deserves the best wrestlers. If you were to ask me if Rob Terry deserves to be on the best wrestling show in the world, I would say no in a heart beat. If we want TNA to be the best wrestling show in the world, we need to treat it as so. Terry has done absolutely nothing for TNA.
Here is my up to date roster for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling:
Hulk Hogan (he is still on TNA’s official roster)
Must hear interview
Must read interview
This is a must read interview with Kurt Angle. He talks about rehab, WWE, Bound For Glory, putting God first in his life, and coming back to TNA Wrestling.
If you have questions or topics that you would like for me to address in my column, you can ask me at ask.fm/chrisinmac Follow me on twitter @TNA_is_Best
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