I haven’t done one of these in a very, very long tie. For those of you who don’t care feel free to wait for my next blog in which I won’t be talking about professional wrestling. In not then well shucks howdy aren’t you in for a treat. As you may be aware that we are a house of people who do watch quite a bit of wrestling in this house. Todd’s a huge fan of it so as such we do watch what we can. As a diversion from the normal and is something that I like to have on while I am writing. In fact I do a lot of my personal writing while I am watching professional wrestling. I shudder to think of the day that I am going to have to add that to my interview questions. Who is the writer that influences you the most? Vince Russo and then I’ll laugh. I don’t know. It seems to me that I try to write better than Russo just to spite him. I wasn’t around for the first time that he ruined wrestling in WCW but I’ve seen those days. So here it is.
Let’s just get this out of the way. I know that there are plenty of people who love TNA and any critical explantation is going to make some people very, very upset. And no, I won’t argue that the WWE is just doing just fine. No the WWE is not perfect and I won’t even begin to argue that. There is plenty there that makes me upset with the product and I won’t be quest about that when I get to it. However let me go ahead and just put it right here. I will be talking about TNA because that’s what I’m here to do.
I don’t hate TNA. In fact, I watch TNA and I just get disappointing almost every single time because it just fails to meet expectations. Its like visiting a friend who is wasting their lives and talent doing something almost sadly. You know they could do so very much and they just don’t do anything with it. TNA is nothing but wasted talent on something that might not have been able to compete with the WWE but could have been fun none the less. And they did have several things that the WWE didn’t have at one time. For example, I am fond of the X division. There i something that is pretty amazing about the talent there who are probably not what I would consider a level just yet. In fact I can’t think of anything that is better than seeing those matches. I won’t lie, I stayed awake when we watched Hardcore Justice to see the Low Ki and Samoa Joe match and wasn’t disappointed. And the cosmetic change to the six sided ring is wonderful. I don’t know if it makes things safer or not but its such a change. I will admit that I found it jarring when I saw it at first but once it was gone I completely missed that. That being said there are some very big issues that TNA has. Lets just ignore for a moment that there are some serious problems when it comes to a potential lack of funding or the dropping of TNA from its company that is Spike because those are stories that are in the dirt sheets and that’s not what I do. I don’t write for one so I’m not going to even deal in that. And some of those dirt sheets are almost as bad as some of the tabloids.
That being said, there is something very very wrong over at TNA. Lets start with the most obvious. Recently Paul Heyman, who I would kill to have as my personal manager (“My client, S.C. Houff has written the greatest novel of all time.”), was asked about the use of ECW in recent story lines at TNA. With the during the first run of New York tapings saw Tommy Dreamer and the
Dudley Boyz Team 3-D teaming against Ethan Carter III and Rhino who brought men who were in ECW when it had been bought out by WWE. This brought something interesting up. Todd watched ECW when it was around the first time and was a fan. When there was the resurgence of ECW in the early part of the ’00s he was excited. We even went to a taping which had some very amusing moments for us however apart from watching Bob Holly get busted open and seeing for the first time a young CM Punk this did not sait my husband. Recently, we started watching the original ECW on the Network (9.99!) and Todd tells me that his memories were something that was rosey tinted. Heyman himself seemed to laugh and said it was great that people could make money on a nostalgia trip but that didn’t appeal to a wide audience. Todd had said the same thing. A major problem with media today is that those of us who grew up in the eighties and nineties now have purchasing power so its time for people to cater to what we want. You can’t base your whole product model on that. The problem is simple; nostalgia causes stagnation and things aren’t always bright as you think. TNA catering to people who want blood twenty years ago only lasts for so long. Further more going on something like that excludes newer things means that you can’t get a younger audience and that’s the audience you want to grab. You want the family not the guy who has a hostiage girlfriend. Why? Because families spend money to do things. Sorry IWC, WWE isn’t doing business for you. They are doing a job to sell to mom and that little boy wearing the Cena shirt.
While I’m on the subject, this is this another problem really. It seems to me that TNA is booking like it is about seven to fifteen years old. And that would be fine if it wasn’t literally done poorly. I know that you think that Russo is genius but he isn’t and please…just please stop. Many of them are offensive. Not as offensive as say Mexican America which of course pandered to the notion that I’m scared of brown people but really waht I find terrible is the story lines. Case in point, recently Mr Anderson has gotten into a story line with Samuel Shaw. Shaw is an unhinged character who was obsessed with Chrissy Hemme who I assume is the Knock Out with the least amount of VDs in her system. Since the end of that feud, Shaw was put into a mental institution only to be bailed out by Gunner to take him under his wing. I can only assume Gunner has some sort of mental illness training because you know that would make sense. I know that’s knit picky so let me go to the crux of my problem with the story line. Its the rejection of lack of second change given to someone who is attempting to turn his life around. Especially when I assumed that Anderson was a face. That’s the thing. I can’t tell whose a face and whose a heel because not only are turns arbitrary but also extremely confusing and half hearted. It was a lovely change when MVP came in to have someone who was in charge not be corrupt but it seemed that once the WWE went back to using the Authority as a bad guy here came that. The fact that this seems to go against traditional roles just bothers me. This isn’t 1998 when Frank Miller ruled the world. People don’t want anti-heroes. We need good guys and bad guys. This is the most obvious in the Knock Outs when I can’t tell you the faces are. Who are they? I’d say the same consistently through out because I don’t know. People change so quickly it hurts.
I guess what I’m saying is stop. Stop trying to compete with a juggernaut when you don’t have the strength to do so. There is no shame in courting an audience who wants to see great wrestling and things we don’t see in the WWE but damn it be aware. Hard core old school work can only go so far. I mean, there’s a reason CZW is not a household name and a joke among smarks.
Well except for
Dean Ambrose John Moxley.