Editor’s note: OWW is pleased to welcome Steve Cheeseman to the staff. Steve will write a weekly opinion column entitles “Falls Count Anywhere”. Here is his first edition…
Should Vince McMahon Buy TNA?
Since the end of WCW, promotions everywhere have had to fight an impossible war with Vince McMahon’s WWE just to get by. TNA was no exception. Since its inception in 2004, by then promoter’s Jerry and Jeff Jarrett, it’s been an uphill battle. Drifting from FOX, to Webcast, and now Spike TV, there has been very little stability. With the Jarrett’s, Eric Bishoff, and now Dixie Carter running the show on and off screen, it’s looked more like a WCW replica. Especially seeing as the bulk of the screen time over the last ten years has gone to aging former WWE/WCW superstars way past their prime, such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, and Booker T. Sting is the exception to the legends, as he still gets plenty of pop, and doesn’t look like he’s going to have a stroke with every move. There is some great talent with TNA. Bobby Roode, James Storm, Austin Aries, Chris Sabin, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Also, how about Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle. They are still great talent when healthy. However, the product being produced is simply boring, and it shows. Lately, there have been reports of talent not getting paid, as well as medical costs not being covered. This is very unfortunate. So what could be done?
Since Ted Turner is out of the “rasslin” business, unless a group of investors will come out of hiding, “Hey Vince, what do you think?” There is no question, that WCW was a complete different style of entertainment. WWE would be storyline first, wrestling second. WCW would be wrestling first, storyline second. At least that’s my opinion. In my mind TNA is pretty much destined to be a hiccup in the history books. It is a company with great potential, destroyed by terrible storylines, and bad bookings. This doesn’t have to be. I think the superstars within TNA would compliment what WWE already has.
There is no question, there is great talent within NXT, but imagine another invasion angle with TNA. The potential matches that could be produced, would be simply incredible. For example, Austin Aries or Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (amazing matches in ROH). AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan, Chris Sabin vs Cody Rhodes. Beer Money (new and improved) vs. anyone since the current tag team division is suffering to say the least. A potential Wrestlemania showdown with the winning streak of the Undertaker on the line against Sting. The possibilities would be simply amazing.
An invasion angle, even though it’s been done, would be entertaining with the talent on both sides. However, what about operating TNA as an alternate brand? With the backing of WWE, the right talent, in the write storyline, it could be outstanding, as well as make a ton of money. Everyone knows that Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) is a great talent. Instead of wasting his talent on NXT, put the former ROH champion into TNA. The same would be good for Zack Ryder, or Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro. Both great talents, in terrible, or simply no angle other than squash matches at this time. I mean Antonio Cesaro, a “Real American”? To quote the Miz, “Really…Really…Really?”
How about Colt Cabana and Joey Styles on commentary, with Matt Striker (Bring him back!)? What a great team that would be. As for an on screen commissioner, or GM, or whatever, how about Fit Finley, or John Laurinaitis? Johnny was awesome when on screen with WWE. He could be great for a TNA brand.
All in all, although competition for WWE would a healthy way to ensure the entertainment would be full filled to maximum potential, TNA just isn’t providing that. The storylines are terrible, some of the gimmicks are even worse. I thought Aces and Eights were a really good concept, however, when you reveal D-Lo Brown as VP, and Tazz as the villain commentator….Are they serious? All the buildup, and that’s it? What a disappointment. How can you possibly keep an interest in a storyline when the VP of the top villain faction was a mid-carder at best during his prime (if he had one) in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s. It makes no sense. I’m not saying that WWE writers are geniuses, but Ray Charles could have seen the problem with that one. Aces and Eights had great promise, but terrible results. Re-creating a slight variation of the NWO may not have been the best move in the first place.
Regardless if Vince McMahon has an interest or not (which I doubt he does), TNA is in serious trouble. Whether the floundering company is sold, or simply permitted to keep spiraling towards the ground, one thing is for sure, if there is ever to be a chance for recovery, major changes are in order.
— Steve Cheeseman