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WRESTLING COLUMNS

WWE's Loss, TNA's Gain
August 11, 2005 by Gerald Ramey Jr.


I am writing, as the name might imply, on something that the WWE has lost and that TNA has possibly gained.

ANY OF THE WWE RELEASES:

Now this is a truly stupid move on the part of Vince McMahon and the WWE management. Not only have they released capable wrestlers with potential, but people who have a gift and or a passion for the business like Charlie Haas. He hasn't proven how much passion he has but I suspect he has a lot, but he certainly has the talent . WWE has really shot itself in the foot here, because they had and still have wrestlers with potential. But WWE also still insists on forcing "certain" WWE wrestlers down our throat every Monday night ( i.e., Triple H ). But WWE had, and still has, wrestlers with good talent, much like Chris Benoit. But in his case he has been taken from main eventing. It is sad to see how this once great World Heavyweight Champion has fallen. But in Matt Hardy's case he, like Benoit, I strongly suspect will be given a short run in the spotlight on raw with Edge and then will fade into nothing.

WWE's DISRESPECT V.S. TNA's RESPECT:

For anyone who has seen WWE SmackDown in recent weeks you know what I'm talking about when I say "disrespect." For about a month the WWE hyped the return of 'The Juice'' aka Juventued Guerrera. (Not to WWE but wrestling in general). But instead of getting the real Juventued Guerrera, a former WCW Crusierweight champion and a former WCW tag champion, we get a humbled and degraded Latin American. They (more specifically Stephanie McMahon, head script writer for the WWE) showed absolutely no respect to Juventued by having him come to the ring on a lawn mover (gee I wonder what the WWE is implying here). The mere fact that they would come up with such a storyline shows me how truly insensitive the McMahon family is (with the possible exception of Shane). What is even worse, they had Juventued insulting his own home country. An example of this is his scripted catch phrase 'We are not Mexicans, we are 'Mexicools' (Speaking for him and his partners). On the other hand, TNA has respect for their employees. They will give opportunities and dignity to wrestlers that the WWE would never dream of like Ron Killings and B.G. James. What is most important of all is that TNA realizes how important delivering real wrestling is, especially at a time like this. With WWE taking advantage of the world's problems more than professional wrestling it is important that TNA retain its character. Finally, what is most important to me is that TNA respects their fans and their wrestlers, thanks their fans, and respects their opinions. This is quite refreshing.

by Gerald Ramey Jr. ..


Pedro Torres wrote:
Gerald, your article is another example of how many wrestling fans feel about WWE's programming as of late. As we all know, wrestling is, in fact, entertainment. But Vince McMahon has created a series of carnival attractions when it comes to his roster. You have a former talented athlete turned trash-talker in Bradshaw. I still remember all of his stupid remarks regarding illegal immigrants (and who can forget his infamous 'salute' in Europe). Then there's the Hassan fiasco. If this was an attempt to marquee WWE as trash television, then all I can say is: Mission Accomplished.

Various wrestling sources say that WWE's locker room is not what it used to be. Well, I say it hasn't change at all...it's just that problems behind WWE's doors have become more and more obvious. I know I have replied on more than one occassion saying nothing but negative things about the WWE and, in turn, good things about companies like TNA. But the fact of the matter is that TNA is giving his roster pride, personality and the opportunity to shine beyond belief. True, their product is not as 'marketable' right now as Vince's, but these guys can wrestle and will not hesitate to put on a hell of a show (just pick any of their pay-per-views and you'll see what I mean). And why can they give their audience something that WWE can't give its paying audience" Because the TNA wrestlers have their pride and their personality INTACT. They are given the opportunity to be the best, unlike WWE. If Vince says a wrestler needs to put on a clown suit to shine, so be it...if he says that the only way to sign a WWE contract is by throwing up, that's what we get...if he decides to take tragedies and real-life antagonism and turn it into $$$, he will do just that.

WWE has lost...completely. It has lost respect for its wrestlers, its fans, and TV viewers in general. TNA is gaining. So far, it has gained the trust of wrestlers who were, at one point or another, deprived from having any pride or in-ring personality thanks to WWE's 'marketing' strategies. Keep sinking, WWE...keep sinking.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
I dont wanna steal the spotlight but the first half of this column was "stole" from me, i already wrote about that...also the name is kinda similiar.
Chris Petta wrote:
First off let's start by clearing something up. WWE World Wrestling Entertainment high stress on the Entertainment low stress on Wrestling. TNA Total Nonstop Action, enough said right there. The fact of the matter is that now of day WWE is more interested in the shock value rather then the pure wrestling. In TNA's case they are all about the wrestling, get straight to the point get in the ring, and do what you have to do. There is no worries about who's is marrying who and who's cheating on this with the other guy. So now we pose the question WWE's loss is going to be TNA's gain. In the case of Juvi, and Company, if I remember correctly, when they debuted that they where there to cut down stereotypes, but yet they are riding around on lawnmowers, and wearing janitor jump suits. Now we also have Vinny Macs latest brain child, in Kerwin White, but right now that's a column for a different day. Anyways, on to the question about Charlie Haas' dedication and heart to the business. Does any one out there really know his story; we had a man who teamed with his brother for years in OVW. Just before they were to be called up to WWE, Russ, Charlie's brother dies of a heart attack. So now we have Charlie, who is now left with out his partner, but yet still carried and managed to enjoy success with Shelton Benjamin, as a part of "Team Angle" and "TWGTT." Now anyone who is able to carry on after the loss of a partner or in this case a brother shows to me a lot of heart and commitment. It's sad to say that we never got to see Charlie reach his full potential, after Shelton moving to Raw and reaching higher levels as IC champ, and basically leaving Charlie to flounder on Smackdown! Now Charlie will hopefully end up were he belongs in TNA and hopefully we will get to see him showcase his true potential. This also opens to the doors to many different dream matches in my mind. Hass vs. Styles, Haas vs. Williams this just opens the doors too many things. So all in all WWE's lose is TNA's GAIN.
Corey Erdman wrote:
Now, to say releasing Charlie Haas is a "stupid" move on the WWE's part is a little far-fetched. I recognize that Haas is a very capable wrestler, specifically a great mat wrestler. But how could he benefit the company at that point" He wasn't marketable at the time at all, and nor would he have been. He's talented, but he was over-exposed, and didn't have the ring presence and psychology at the time. However, that is what TNA thrives off of. Matches with alot of exciting moves and talent. To some people, mostly the TNA audience, that is marketable. But Haas really wasn't suited for the WWE rings. Plus, there are plenty of great mat wrestlers and former shoot fighters in OVW right now who could easily take Haas' spot, for lesser money. I guarantee you that the WWE will make more money off of Matt Hardy alone than they would have off of Haas, Rico, Morgan, etc. etc. It is a shame that talent gets thrown out like that--and believe me, I mark out for great TNA matches and wrestling talent as well--but you have to remember that the WWE is a business. And not everyone watching wrestling is a smark, or an internet wrestling fan at the very least. The casual wrestling fan for the most part doesn't care. They want cool characters, recognizable names, and huge spots from time to time. Simple.

As far as Juvi goes, I truly don't think he cares about his gimmick. He's generally a virus backstage anyways, and Juvi doesn't do what Juvi doesn't want to do. He could have went back to Mexico and wrestled for quite a fair salary, but obviously he okayed the gimmick and went for it. Vince McMahon certainly cannot FORCE someone into negatively portraying their culture. Nonetheless, it hasn't affected his in-ring performance whatsoever (with the exception of Vince banning the 450 splash, for safety reasons). So, if you're so pro-high quality matches and talent, I think you should look past the gimmick (which I think is somewhat entertaining...) and just enjoy the fact that Vince is utilizing ECW talent.
Dave Hanson wrote:
I couldn't agree more that Charlie Haas was probably the most enfuriating of all the firings. Hell, pretty much all the firings were a frustrating indication of WWE's current trend of inexplicable bad decisions. I even thought Matt Morgan was a guy with plenty of potential who just got saddled with another one of WWE's recent "who the hell thought of this crap and how could an entire team of writers all agree on it and think that it would actually work"" gimmicks. Although, to address something else in your article, I don't mind a guy like Triple H being shoved down our throats every week as much as I do guys like Chris Masters, Gene Snitsky, Rob Conway, and Viscera. How do they expect us to take any of those guys seriously" Triple H is at least a proven main-event talent. And as for what you say about TNA, I agree that they do need to establish themselves as the promotion that respects its wrestlers and its fans (well technically ALL promotions should do that), but I don't think that TNA will really have established itself as a serious threat to WWE until they get a wrestler to WILLINGLY sign with them. What I mean is, a big-name wrestler who was not fired/released, has a choice between re-signing with WWE and going to TNA, and chooses to sign with TNA. And it has to be a big name guy. THAT is when TNA will give WWE it's first scare. And perhaps enough people will start watching feds like TNA and ROH to make Vince go, "hmmm maybe this is the kind of product that fans want now," and have him change WWE back to a more wrestling-oriented promotion. Because as it stands now, with WWE still raking in the money over and above every other promotion, Vince has no alternative than to think that what he is putting out is what the fans really want.
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