I was listening to the Ross Report hosted by Jim Ross when Good Ol’ J.R. mentioned TNA Wrestling. He gave a few comments on their issues and what he believed they should do to help themselves out. As a pro wrestling fan I want to see TNA Wrestling succeed as does Jim Ross, only the company is a wasteland. It seems like everyday we get closer to their demise. It’s to the point where it seems at any minute news will break declaring “TNA LIQUIDATED, Panda Energy CHAPTER11?”. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. I also feel that’s a horrible way to view any company and yet it’s how most view TNA and Dixie Carter.
Dixie Carter seems to really believe in her company and pro wrestling itself. Only it seems most don’t believe she has a clue what she’s doing and that she doesn’t understand pro wrestling. Here recently she has proven to me she has potential with herself as an onscreen villain. Hell, Stephanie McMahon blew me away at Wrestlemania 30 with her performance. Only none of us want to see Dixie in every segment. Certainly not needed.
My thoughts on TNA Wrestling, immediately I think about the potential they possesses with their talent and television deal. Yet they run the company like a bunch of drunk teenagers. I’m not saying I could run the company better but if I had the chance I would get the right people to make it better, one phone call to Fuj. Though even he might refuse since it’s TNA. They have a solid roster with some stupid characters and a really good history with tag team matches and X-division performances. They’ve managed to use Kurt Angle to give them their best high profile matches during a period when Sting was spoiling the product. I’ve never been a Sting fan. He just seemed past his prime and didn’t seem to ever have his heart in it.
Regardless, TNA Wrestling is where I discovered Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. I’d had seen Christopher Daniels on a ROH show before so I immediately knew him which helped get me into the product at first. Those early days it was very hard to watch at times. Though the stuff I have enjoyed are their moments where they let the talent shine. Solid tag matches backed by an actual tag division. Any real pro wrestling fan has to like tag matches or they just aren’t a pro wrestling fan in my book. It’s not like I’m saying you have to appreciate six man tags or eight man eliminations, even though they’re amazing when done well, just simple 2 on 2 tag matches. It’s simple, if two pro wrestlers can excite the crowd. Imagine what four pro wrestlers can do. Though somewhere tag team matches and tag team divisions haven’t been shown much respect. Tag teams themselves aren’t even shown much respect. It’s blasphemous, I know. Everybody loves a good tag team, am I right? So Dixie Carter we all know you need to concentrate on tag teams again cause it will certainly do you some good. A little surprised you gave up on them. So bring old tag teams back, build new teams, just utilize tag teams like units and not potential main eventers. Allow there to be a division, watch old tapes for fucks sake! Order yourself the Network Dixie and start taking notes.
I do however like that they are gonna concentrate on the X Division title this year. Only it doesn’t seem like I’ve seen enough competition in the X Divivion as of late. I do enjoy Seiya Sanada as the X Division Champion. It’s nice to see a Japanese wrestler on American television in a respectful role. The Okato shit, the burial of Yoshi Tatsu and all of WWE’s ignorant Funaki gags were pretty bad depictions of the talent the Japanese possesses in professional wrestling.
This leads me to my discovery of Japanese Professional Wrestling which was because of TNA airing the Global Impact episode where Kurt Angle wrestled Yuji Nagata at Wrestle Kingdom II. I was hooked from that point forward. New Japan Pro Wrestling eventually became my favorite promotion and recaptured my love for pro wrestling like nothing since my childhood. I at least know that the current product out of New Japan I am watching now is near equivalent to my viewing WWF from 88-92, which was with a fresh young mind capable of absorbing the product as presented.
When I was young I didn’t ask questions besides whether or not the wrestler was a good guy or bad guy. I just enjoyed the entertainment it gave me cataloging all the heels and babyfaces as my obsession got started. Pro wrestling has basically always been pro wrestling since it evolved from the circus. I know some folks, especially older folks believe that when Dick the Bruiser battled in the squared circle up in Indianapolis and the surrounding territory that his fights were real. Obviously that’s not possible so in fact they were all tricked into believing something that was not true. I find nothing more enjoyable than that, Dick struck so much fear into the people that they really believed he was who he said he was in that wrestling ring. They believed he was really busting guys open and beating guys near death with his cousin The Crusher.
I recently listened to Kevin Sullivan comment about how in the territory days the top wrestler usually was given more respect by fans because they viewed certain wrestlers that were over big as more legitimate than lower level wrestlers on the cards. So it was a common trait for top level performers in territories to be seen more believable than the others. That makes perfect sense that the more polished workers would be the more likely to be top workers as well. So Vince hired all the top workers in all the top territories and polished it up real nice and sent it directly into my brain which confused my mind for a long while. It took me some years to realize it was the art and craft in professional wrestling that I love and nothing to do with the stories and theatrics as much as American wrestling had led me to believe.
So I agree with Jim Ross and believe TNA should stop trying to mirror WWE as they only appear as a poor mans version. It’s rather sad actually. Yeah, some people are talking about it but sometimes bad press really is bad press Dixie. It’s like X-Pac heat, they don’t just dislike your character or gimmick they just really fucking dislike you personally. So concentrate on giving the American audience what they don’t get and that’s a company based on pro wrestling with varied styles. Respect pro wrestling and the fans will reward you for it.