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WRESTLING COLUMNS

TNA: Anti-WWE
August 1, 2005 by Paul Quinn


As a huge wrestling fan since '97, I've seen every big PPV and over a dozen WWE, WCW, and ECW shows live. For years I've been reading columns from other wrestling fans and I decided to write my own. I'm going to tell you why TNA has a shot to be good as ECW, and as big as WCW.

TNA have a lot of positive things going for them. The biggest I feel is the frustration and anger for the WWE. They need to capitalize on those negatives and become the anti-WWE. This coming fall will be huge for them with a Spike TV deal. They will have national TV exposure and their popularity and fan base will double with the audience. With Vince not giving the WWE fans what they want to see, by forgetting about ECW and cutting fan favorite superstars, while pushing guys like Chris Masters. I truly believe Stephanie and the current creative writing team could be the downfall of this company. With the stupid, 'soap opera' storylines and angles they are turning the casual fans away and making the hardcore fans, like myself, unhappy. Most of the matches are pathetic and the shows are almost unwatchable.

So what's the answer for TNA..." Paul E. Heyman. One Night Stand drew a bigger buy-rate than any TNA or ECW PPV ever. Real hardcore wrestling is in demand, people are sick of the Heidenreich's and the Viscera's of the world. TNA has the talent; they now have a decent timeslot on a decent station, now they need the man who will create that buzz, that attitude, that excitement that TNA needs to challenge Vince. I'll have Heyman book over 13 Hollywood writers any day. Beg Joey Styles to come and do what Vince neglected to, have a real ECW invasion.

TNA has great potential in their locker room, with a huge upside if they play their cards right. First off, push the x-division, push a legitimate tag team division, and showcase a hardcore division. They made a great move by putting the belt on Raven, then bringing back Sabu, and signing Rhino. Keep Samoa Joe and go out and signs guys like the American Dragon, and feature the best wrestling. Bring in the Dudley's and Charlie Haas. If you don't think Vince fears TNA as competition, why do you think in a month he swooped up Matt Hardy, CM Punk, Spanky, and James Gibson"

They need to incorporate Shane Douglas's Hardcore Homecoming into the TNA product and run house shows all over the country. You can't stay in Orlando forever. ROH does very well touring the Northeast. The only other major problem with TNA is Jeff Jarrett. This guy is doing nothing for them, he's bringing them down, and the guy is as bad as JBL.

That brings me to another topic, completely off of my column but I got to say it. First off JBL has no business main eventing or wrestling for the World Title. He manages to have the worst match at WrestleMania, with John Cena, while Triple H has a great match with Batista, then has two more even better. Then Batista's drafted and wrestles JBL at the GAB and when the match sucks, instead of blaming JBL for being a poor worker, they blame Batista for being green. Not only is this guy not a wrestling God, but he's not even a good wrestler and he's definitely not entertaining. He doesn't deserve championship push, and you if don't think SmackDown! needs Brock Lesnar, you're an idiot. JBL doesn't draw; nobody pays to watch him perform. He's the main reason why ratings and attendance is down. He doesn't have heel heat, he has your a worthless piece of shit, get off my TV heat!

The second off-topic rant I'd like to make is to justifiably bash on the 53 year old Hulk Hogan. He may be immortal but he's not ageless. Is it me or has Hogan been old and slow forever" I'm so tired of Hulkamania. To me he is the most over-rated, un-talented star ever. The guy can't take a bump; Christy Hemme could out wrestle him. I'll always remember his backstage politics in WCW, demanding titles and refusing to job or put anyone over. Hogan's making wrestling look bad and taking away all credibility to the business. He makes wrestling look fake because in reality, the only two people he could beat are Moolah and Mae Young. He could never wrestle, but now he can't even pretend to and fake his way through a match without making it horribly painful to watch.

by Paul Quinn ..


Ben wrote:
This is the first time I've ever posted back, but I felt I had to for this one. Jeff Jarrett created TNA. It is his brainchild. Ever heard of the 'Jarrett' upstart promotion" His family are the mcmahons of TNA. I'll Agree with you, TNA does have the potential to be a great promotion. It has guys like AJ Styles, Elix Skipper, The Fallen Angel, and they go out there and give it 200%, to make TNA the thing it will become if they keep it up. TNA have a strong champion in Raven, and even if it's a long reign, it wont be looked on as a Triple H/Jeff Jarrett type dominance. He will show the world that this company is legit when they move onto Spike TV. So, In all, get off Jeff Jarrett's back! TNA can, and will be huge, and they should try to MAKE their own talent i.e. AJ Styles, Abyss, Monty Brown, they all made it big in TNA. If they could do that more often, we have nothing to worry about.
John Schwarz wrote:
i think someone hear needs a serious re-education in the wrestling business but here it goes...

you think that one day TNA can be as big as ECW or WCW right"" well hate to burn your barn but their both out of business as a result of stephanie's stupid soap opera storylines and their respected video libraries are the property of a billionaire (that fears the 20 million dollar in debt company known as TNA) named VInce McMahon and with out him nobody would know who Paul E is...

So for you to say that VInce fears TNA is trivial. TNA where their top starts are 40 and older in Kevin Nash, Sting had a run, Raven is 42, and Jeff Jarrett thinks hes the "King of the Mountain in TNA" hey man whatever you say just take a look at ur ratings. also JBL is doing a good job carrying Smackdown which is averaging a 3.2 rating if memory serves me, now that might not seem big but to put it in retrospect is about twice as many viewers that watched that than they did WCW Nitro or Thunder combined when WCW was going under.

Paul heyman cant save TNA, its because of Paul Heyman that ECW folded and anyone else that tells you different needs to watch either "The rise and fall of ECW" and while your at it check out the Monday Night war to refresh your memory of who is still around and if you still cant figure it out by the end then look at the cover, those two faces are the property of WWE.
DLMD9@aol.com wrote:
How pathetic, you spent that much time bashing Hulk Hogan" First, Hogan can wrestle, if you ever get a chance watch some of his matches with, Flair, DDP, Sting. Just because he's a brawler doesn't mean he can't wrestle. Second Hogan didn't put over guys who were not main event material. He lose matches to guys like Goldberg, Flair, Nash and Sting because they were the top guys. Third when it came to titles it made since to give him the belt because the fans would pay to see him with it. Hogan is one of the biggest draws in wrestling second only to Andre The Giant of course. You give him the belt because it's good for business.

And as far as TNA goes the only way TNA has a chance to succeed is if they bring in wrestlers a lot of people want to see. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels might be some of there top talent, but barley no one has ever heard of them. That is the key to rising up from the small leagues and taking on the WWE they need bigger names. Other wise it's ECW all over again.
Pedro Torres wrote:
Great article, Paul. I don't understand why some people don't quite grasp the idea that TNA is in fact the future of pro wrestling. For one thing, it is not viewed--much less labeled--as 'Sports Entertainment' as Vince prefers to call his 'product.' TNA is offering the true wrestling fan an opportunity to watch talent work their butts off, day in and day out. Just like there are hundreds-if not thousands-of Indy wrestlers who have potential and enthusiasm to put on a great show, there are those who deserve a spotlight: TNA deserves a spotlight right now. This company, from what I have seen as of late, is cutting away the 'excess fat' that WWE currently has: wrestlers who can't job...athletes whose in-ring ability is mediocre and/or repetitive...people who have no knowledge of pro wrestling, yet are hired as part of 'creative team' when, ultimately, the wrestler is the one who must show creativity night after night in a squared circle...wrestlers who are told that their wrestling moves--once inked as their signature moves--are now 'unofficially banned'...etc. etc. etc.

If this garbage is what makes WWE the 'major leagues' of prowrestling, then I guess I'll stick to the minors, where the real wrestling is going on. TNA is doing a great job and things are only getting better for them.

There is, however, one thing that I would like for them to correct, and that is the constant name changing of some of the people on their rosters (Dallas-->Hoyt; El Leon--->Apollo; Outlaw, Michael Shane, etc.) Guys, unfortunately if you keep this up, pretty soon TNA will stand for Trading Names...Again. But aside from that blemish, Total Nonstop Action has proven to be a great wrestling organization and will be a jewel in the crown called Spike TV. I hope that the wrestling fan is aware of that. TNA is here to stay!!!
Mathew Gunn wrote:
I couldn't agree with you more.Great column but i disagree with bringing in former wwe stars because soon they'll have no home grown stars left.I am currently ditching WWE because at the moment it sucks.The diva-search is the biggest pile of shite i have ever seen.They basically all get contracts anyway.I'm starting to buy tna wrestking products and figures.I hope WWE goes down the drain to be honest.
John Lay wrote:
Hey I think that column was really great and said some things that needed to be said. I'd like to take this opportunity to respond to John Schwarz: The person who needs a serious re education in the wrestling business is this guy. First off ECW died because Paul Heyman was a poor businessman and WCW/WWE stole all of their good talent away. Secondly, WCW died because of the AOL/Time Warner merger, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff's bad booking, Eric Bischoff allowing the wrestlers to have creative control of their characters written into their contracts and Vince had to have something called the Attitude Era (which he got the idea from Paul Heyman when he saw how popular ECW was when they were counter culture) and some guy you might have heard of: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN! Seriously Stone Cold made as much if not more money for Vince than Hogan ever did with the merchandise sales, the TV ratings, the PPV buys and the ticket sales. Vince almost went bankrupt and if Stone Cold plus a few other guys like Undertaker, DX, Mick Foley, the Nation of Domination with the smart writers hadn't stepped up, WWE would be dead. If the AOL Time Warner merger hadn't happened, the new talent flowing into WCW along with getting rid of the fogies, would have resurrected that company. There were some great ideas flowing around like the Cruiserweight tag division. Paul Heyman can definitely save TNA because he ran ECW on a small budget, smaller than what TNA has I would be willing to bet because he is such a creative genius. If Paul Heyman stays away from the business end of TNA, Paul Heyman is the fresh breath of air the TNA booking committee needs after the disastrous run w/ Dusty Rhodes. As to that idiot DLMD9@aol.com goes, Flair, DDP and Sting CARRIED Hogan to the good matches he had. Any good match he had, he was carried to it because it's pretty cut and dried: HOGAN IS A HORRIBLE WRESTLER! Always has been, always will be. At least in his prime it wasn't so hard to carry him but seriously watch HBK and Hogan's tag matches, did Hogan take bumps" No it was HBK doing the work, Hogan coming in at the last minute and looking like some invincible fool that doesn't bump for anybody. HBK played politics just as bad as Hogan but HBK was worth it. Hogan has never been able to make a wrestler look good because he is so horrible, he needs good wrestlers to make him look decent. TNA does not need a whole lot of bigger names, once they get on Spike and start getting decent advertising then a lot of people will be able to see who AJ and Chris Daniels are. The last thing TNA needs to do is waste a lot of money (that they don't have) by going after the old fogie talent.
Adam Scanlon wrote:
This article was a sham and here is why. You talked about how terrible WWE's top contender for the World title JBL is a no talent wannabe wrestler your wrong. It's true JBL does even come close to wrestling at Lesnar's level, but his charisma on the mic is unbeatable. He the kind of character that can make you boo him in a matter of seconds. Lesnar never had alot of talent on the mic so he had someone else do the talking for him(Paul Heyman, Vince Mcmahon) or he let his actions speak louder than his words. JBL was desperately needed and after Brock Lesnar chose to leave. JBL was a good replacement. JBL kept the belt warm for Cena. Even after losing the WWE title he remains a top title contender. Now they're ready for Randy Orton to shine and take over the Smackdown(who is just as great as Brock Lesnar!).
MJG orifice wrote:
hmmmmmm, interesting i remember Heyman, i was a kid and he showed up on this wrestling show that wasn't WWF, with something either a cell phone or a tennis racket, i forget.

i stopped watching shortly after this prissy whiney guy dressed like a rich old money New Englander named Hunter Hearst Helmsley showed up, i couldn't tolerate him or a lot of the others that were there, a couple years ago i ran into an old friend who had broken into the industry and made me say " maybe it would be a good way to downtime my brain"

now WWE is getting more and more painful by the week, i started watching Lucha Libre, cool wish I spoke Spanish, as a real world fighter ( spent a bit too long on the streets) i could really appreciate what these guys were doing athletically, also the almost kabuki like formula in Mexican match writing.

now i start looking into the whole smark thing ( as I'm told it's being called) i could care who's jobbing to who, i watch for three reasons storyline, athleticism, and spectacle, and watching the behind the scenes stuff adds to it all for me.

So WWE vs TNA, well as i said I watch for three reasons lets take them one at a time. Storyline the most important part of MY enjoyment of wrestling is storyline i can appreciate a Benoit vs Regal match but honestly i had more fun with HHH vs Batista, not because I like big sweaty guy vs big sweaty guy but because i liked the storyline, of Batista not being as dumb as he was being treated.

TNA has been too new to me to start any great storylines but i like the start of AMW vs Team 3D , and the iron man challenge between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, so lets assume that storylines will be better in TNA than WWE ( ok lets PRAY)

now WWE has some great talent , a lot of it is less than well used, but lets leave that between the writing staff the management and the wrestlers.For now lets agree than HHH, Shelton Benjamin,HBK,Taker...yadda da yadda da exist the sportsmanship is there while not present in every match you get a good dose every week between the two shows.

Now personally i actually like Smackdown more than Raw, however with Impact goddamn that was impressive, until i saw Abyss the sportsmanship is not just the shows of strength, it's degree of accuracy and believability, Abyss may have it most days but not this week, in fact most of TNA's heavy weights left something to be desired with one major Surprising exception ( note i find that I should not have been surprised but i was introduced to this character in the WWE) Rhyno, big greasy nasty Man beast Rhyno was a surprise to me that i loved how he's being used, nice work. i'm about to dismay that brut force will be overlooked in TNA like skill is in the WWE when I see Kevin Nash come in, the man is a great platform for more talented wrestlers, he's like the kick ass bassist of the wrestling world cool so maybe the precision will come as they get more exposure.......

last but not least is Spectacle GIVE ME MY EYECANDY, i own a wrestling video game , i spend 1 hr designing a character and 3 on his intro .I want explosions and entrance music played by Motorhead, i want divas in bra and panties matches not every week and I would love it if the misogynistic gimmick match were used to showcase real talent, but if your going have T and A then use it. Where does WWE fall down , here they have an unparalleled opportunity to give us a super heroic, world where passions and rage rule the world, instead we get cheap no risk bullshit. I would watch Jazz, Victoria, and Molly Holly Carry Lita and Trish though a hundred matches, because i get both great wrestling and sheer eye candy ( now Gail Kim, Victoria, and Trish fall into the rare space where I get to have my cheese cake and mark out too) i like too see Kane choke slam someone through the Flaming Table of Doom, my favorite character of all time is the Undertaker because, it's just so surreal to see him do what he can do at his size.

having not seen any of their specialty matches, and having seen a couple matches leading up to bound for glory be WAY too choreographed i worry for the spectacle, take the time put the polish on it give me a world where "the pounce" makes me think it's impressive

my solution for TNA go slow put your efforts into young wrestlers and use your older better known stars to bring fans in. Don't try to beat WWE in 5 years shoot for 10. but I predict in 5 yrs they will start drawing away some major talent.

Advice for the McMahon's ( yes I realize they wouldn't take it ) Hire writers from the only world with characters as ludicrous as wrestling... comic books ( i know it sounds stupid) but these guys who write modern comics deal with the same kind of characters that you have. Start using the characters, you have three truly Evil heels HHH, Angle, and Orton. You have These "have to do the right thing " characters, and a couple of "i'm going to make you pay characters" the rest of your characters are gray area wannabe's who are merely arrogant.

Angle going after Sharmell was deplorable, disgusting, and unforgivable, i loved it where was it's counter balance, when did Booker T or Sharmell for that matter get Heroic.

You killed Muhammad Hassan and Davari by going to far you forgot to balance the story line.

if mid garrote Benoit had come out to stop them , your degrading mockery of a international tragedy becomes a statement of support and victory over tyranny.... you need a couple psychologists on tap and if you are going to be the place for spectacle then do it don't say you are sports entertainment, just be entertainment.....
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