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WRESTLING COLUMNS

I GOTTA SAY THIS
The Redneck White House
November 24, 2004 - by Brad Dykens

Ok, I REALLY Gotta Say This:

I spent the better part of the last 29 months supporting TNA in each and every debate I happened to come across. I could unequivocally stand high and proud and say that I LOVED Total Nonstop Action. Being the puppet master behind this extremely significant and popular website, I realized the influence I had over the general wrestling population. I like to think I helped turn a few heads towards the TNA product over the past two years; All I expected in return was for TNA to continue giving us a great wrestling product. But it seems like that way of life has come to a screeching halt.

--- Cue the stark raving mad theme music.

I can't take it any more! TNA has gone to the crapper! I will stand up and applaud the performers 99 times out of 100 (more so when they appear for other promotions), but as for the office situation right now, I would much rather spit in their faces! However, I should have seen this coming; I always said that before TNA became a force in the wrestling world, they would have to become "crappy" (like WWE). The majority of the wrestling demographic would rather tune in and watch "crap" than real talented wrestlers who work their butts off because they love what they do. Otherwise, ROH would rule the world right now.

TNA was rolling along so smoothly. They had a gradual progression going and week after week we were treated to an entertaining show. The nice thing about it was that the wrestlers and the fans were proud of what they were participating in. Wrestlers were filled with pride, at being part of the evolution of a great wrestling company. And that was reflected in their work ethic in and out of the ring.

I think it all broke down right around the time Kid Kash started complaining publicly about the way TNA did business. He was, of course, briefly suspended but eventually returned under duress. It was interesting to hear one of Kash's claims that TNA wrestlers were only in TNA to get a paycheck until WWE called them. Fortunately, with the exception of Zach Gowen and Paul London, WWE hasn't snagged any of TNAs talent --- yet.

When TNA finally inked a deal with Fox SportsNet to finally get a Television show on the air, I was ecstatic! The fans rejoiced and were treated with 2 or 3 weeks of high quality matches before settling into a weekly dose of squash matches and one good match in the main event. Dispite this, the gradual increase of popularity was still pushing hard, but management (and benefactors) began getting impatient and brainstormed to think of fresh, new ideas to turn the company into something profitable for a change.

Their solution, was BIG NAMES -- yeah, that is the answer! First we were treated to weekly hype surrounding the debut of Hall & Nash into the company. The twist? Who would they side with during the Hardy vs Jarrett match at Victory Road. I don't know about you, but I was bored with the "Outsiders" before they even appeared. Then we had Randy Savage make his genuinely shocking return to the world of professional wrestling, only to QUIT the following day, because he was paranoid of some of the people backstage. The people, or should I say the person, who spooked the "Macho Man" the most, was none other than Hulk Hogan! Hold up, what the heck was he doing there? Oh, another BIG NAME, apparently the guest of Panda Energy's Dixie Carter in the hopes of luring another NAME into the fold. Slow down Miss Dixie, one old-timer at a time darlin'! A few days later we had the return of Diamond Dallas Page to the wrestling scene. Now honestly, this is the kind of guy you want in your company. He won't demand spotlight, he'll earn it; He won't demand the main event, he'll elevate himself (and others); He won't back out of his commitments, he's trustworthy and dignified. DDP is a good move for TNA, so good job on signing him.

Kevin Nash & Scott Hall ended up turning heel (the first of 57 heels turns for Nash in the next 3 months) and joining Jeff Jarrett as the "Kings of Wrestling" and copying all the things the new World order did when it first took WCW by storm. Kevin Nash cut a promo on his first two TV appearances that put everybody to sleep and incited chants of "BORING" from the live audience. Nash's speech went over-time and ended up ticking off several of the wrestlers because their matches, or promos, were cut short or dropped from the show all together. Yes, Miss Carter, let's bring in big names with no work ethic for the short term and piss off our existing talent who has been there for you all along. That's how you get ratings! That's the key to success!

Well Randy Savage eventually came to terms with TNA again and reemerged as kind of a "sheriff" figure. Amung his 'list of demands' was that TNA would hire a security team of his choosing, which ended up being Brian Adams (aka Crush). I still hate that TNA puts all their eggs in these baskets without a contract or legal commitment. You'd think they learned their lesson in October of 2003 when Hulk Hogan had a handshake agreement with the Jarretts, who promoted his a storyline with Jeff Jarrett for weeks, only to have The Hulkster screw them when he changed his mind.

So why am I writing this? Why am I complaining? What triggered this reaction from a man who once stood high and proud and publicly declared his love for TNA? Well I just read that Dusty Rhodes has taken over as the lead booker for Total Nonstop Action. This is absolutely ridiculous. What has Dusty Rhodes done for ANY company that he has been with in the last 20 years? Absolutely nothing, that's what. When he was in a position of power in Crockett's NWA, it stunk; Georgia, it stunk; WCW, it stunk; I don't know what could save them now. I respect Dusty Rhodes as much as the next fan, but he doesn't have what it takes MORALLY to be in charge.

It just seems like TNA has turned into the Redneck White House. It's like WCW all over again, everyone politicing back stage and forgetting that the business IN THE RING is way more important. It's actually worse than in WCW, because at least the wrestlers got paid really well in WCW. TNA wrestlers, however, are not. They have also been extremely unhappy lately. TNA's other booker, the legendary Dutch Mantell, was overheard saying something to the effect of "no happy locker room has ever drawn a dime". Bullshit, WWF 1997 through 1999 was probably their most profitable era and the locker room morale was at an all-time high. Anyway that's all debatable. A volatile roster is not a good thing at all. They talk smack about TNA in the media, and tone down their work ethic, just because they don't care as much.

Ok, no negative rant can be complete without offering some possible solutions. Dusty, this goes out to you; I want you to prove me wrong and make TNA profitable and thrive for years to come and kick Vince's arse. First, get your ego in check and keep yourself off TV. Next, BIG NAMES are okay, but don't let them overshadow the guys who have stayed loyal to you and will still be there when the BIG NAMES quit or jump ship. Why push a guy with a 10-appearance contract down our throats when a guy with a 2-year contract sits on the sidelines picking his nose. And since you only have 10-appearances, then make those geezers work! Put Nash & Hall in matches every week and get your money's worth. I find it absolutely ridiculous that Nash cuts a lazy promo and Chris Sabin works two hard matches in one night and Nash gets the bigger paycheck! Randy Savage, sir, do not be so paranoid. Unlike many of the old-timers this industry has, you still have the respect of your peers, as well as the young lions who are following in your foot steps. You have carried yourself with reverence and shouldn't be afraid. The boys in the back respect the hell out of you and would love to learn from you. Do what Hulk Hogan would never do, and give back to the business that made you a millionaire. You are a true ICON. You always say "Be a man, Hulk", well I say "Be a man, Mach". Anyway, to Diamond Dallas Page, keep doing what you're doing buddy, cause you rule. Nash, earn your money for a change. Hall, stop being Nash's lackey.

Jeff Jarrett, being 'just a wrestler' is not the end of the world. Continue to wear that NWA World Heavyweight title with pride, just like Lou Thesz, Pat O'Connor, Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk, Harly Race, Jack Brisco, Terry Funk and, whooooo, the great Ric Flair! You are the champion and you deserve it, but you need to change your ways to make your reign as champion a truly historic one. And you can do it. Jeff Hardy, hang in there man, you still got magic about you. The X-Division, keep working your tails off; if they don't give you the spotlight, then steal it! You're the stars of the show. Shark Boy, damnit you're the coolest! And to all the veterans in the locker room, Raven, Ron Killings, BG James, Konnan, Marc Mero, Kid Kash, Chris Daniels, step it up and be a roll model for the new guys who don't know as much about being part of a nationally prominent wrestling organization. All of you hold your heads high, don't take no crap from anybody outside the business, maintain the oldschool approach, and do your best to contribute to the progression of TNA, which still has a long time to go before they start kicking WWE's ass.

I'm mad now, but it will go away in time. I want TNA to thrive and never die. This is just a stage and they will get over it and be better off for it. So to all the TNA fans out there don't give up. The Redneck White House will throw a huge party some day and everyone will be invited.

by Brad Dykens


XtremeFalls43 wrote:
Ok let me start off by saying Nice title lol, anyways I am not shocked that TNA is falling apart i said in my column Months ago they were. THey are too much like WCW, with Hogan, Hall and Nash I mean honestly the only one I like out of the three is hall cause he actully is good in the ring, good on the Microphone and just a good Character, and you never hear a lot of probelms with him besides his drinking. Savage is smart but make sure the guy stays if he comes and doesn't wrestle Fans will be Pissed. Impact has always been a crappy show there All Squash Matches I mean at least The Matches on WWE Heat are decent theses Matches are just stupid. Well good news with Dusty he said he was going to push the X-division
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