TNA Once Again Shows Why They're Minor League Compared to WWE

Justin LaBar@@JustinLaBar Featured ColumnistJune 5, 2013

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph
Photo courtesy of The Telegraph

TNA Impact Wrestling has once again showed why they're the minor leagues compared to WWE.

Let me clarify right now, the company has some good talent. The entire roster isn't minor league, just the way the company operates. I want them to succeed. I want as much wrestling as possible so guys have places to work. I'm not out on a witch hunt for TNA's head, but I am out for their decision maker's head to be medically evaluated, as she's made some stupid decisions.

Dixie Carter saying they have a big announcement has become a punchline to fans. The announcements range from new talent being signed to a change in time slot.

The latest “big announcement” is MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is going to be working with TNA. Kurt Angle, Christian, Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy, Mickie James―they were all “big announcements” at one time. They created some buzz for the week they arrived in TNA, but that was it. But hey, at least they were all are trained wrestlers.

The deal would also have Jackson associated with an MMA company called Bellator. His comments to TMZ are about him getting much more money and better treatment than he did at his previous employer, UFC.  Spending big money and time on a guy who isn't trained for professional wrestling―Welcome to TNA.

WWE is no stranger to using outside celebrities. They know how to do it. The basis of the empire that is WrestleMania is built partially on strategic mainstream involvement. Key word: strategic.

Donald Trump, Snooki, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Tyson―all examples of the right ways to utilize the money you spend for these outside names to help your brand.

Donald Trump has worked with WWE many times. He was part of a match that had his hair on the line as a stipulation up against Vince McMahon's hair in 2007 at WrestleMania 23. The highest-bought WrestleMania ever.

Snooki grabbed mainstream attention taking part in a Divas match at WrestleMania 27. One match and one payday.

Taylor was in the main event against Bam Bam Bigelow in WrestleMania 11. The build got them on talk shows around the country. The press was all over the event. Taylor trained and went 15 minutes strong in the ring with the professional wrestling veteran. One match and one payday.

Tyson was a major player when WWE began to reclaim supremacy against WCW in the '90s, as he joined DX leading up to WrestleMania 14. One storyline and one big payday. Big payday, but a big return.

All of those paydays did more for WWE than Jackson is going to do for TNA.

WWE has had its share of bad celebrity involvement, but they were limited to one-night disasters. TNA has gotten too many wrong in its much shorter history. They can't avoid mockery. Adam “Pacman” Jones, Frank Trigg and King Mo all were once supposed to be big deals. Didn't sell one ticket.

WWE can also get away with having a bad gamble because they put their money where it needs to go first. WWE pays talent well. They pay them well enough to afford to take care of medical expenses. You will even get paid well if you're a local independent worker and hired as an extra. One spot to play security for an on-air segment or work a match as a jobber earns you hundreds of dollars for a few minutes of work and an essential tryout with the major leagues.

I can't go on the record with what some guys in TNA make, but it isn't glamorous. Some do well, but many don't. WWE takes care of not just their current guys, but their past performers. One could argue TNA doesn't even take care of their current wrestlers.

A point has been made by WWE over the years that they will pay for rehab for anyone who has ever worked for them if that person is dealing with any kind of addiction. It's the right thing to do.

One of TNA's best young stars, Zema Ion, recently had an emergency appendectomy, and doctors discovered a tumor in his colon. It was a life-threatening situation.

No help has came from TNA. I guess TNA had to borrow on the house to get Jackson and can't spare a dime for Ion.

How many tickets is Jackson going to sell consistently? How long is he going to be around weekly on a consistent basis? I bet he offers not nearly as much as what Ion has been giving the company and could give in the future if he gets healthy.

Die-hard TNA fans are going to rip me because I'm talking about their precious company that is anti-establishment and all about real wrestling. They are the kind who think Vince McMahon has destroyed wrestling. Hate away, but it's hard to take you seriously. Truth is, you will go against any big establishment or authority because that's how you're trained. You need to feel part of something, so you latch on to TNA now before they blow up with success. (You assume that will happen.) As hard as you try, you will never be like the Philadelphia crowd who helped build ECW.

Hopefully, the rational fans see the problem in all of this.

Perception is reality. TNA is still minor league, and WWE is still the major leagues. The only way to change perception is to change the way you act.