Observations Of A TNA Fan Part 1: TNA's Love For Their Homegrown Stars

mike fentonContributor IJune 22, 2009

After attending my first ever professional wrestling event, which happened to be TNA Slammiversary, some thoughts of what TNA says and what TNA does popped into my mind. It really seems that TNA likes to contradict itself on a constant basis.

TNA loves to tout its “homegrown” stars’ horns, notably AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Daniels, etc.

However, what do the “homegrown” stars have to look forward to?

There have been four world-title holders since it became the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on June 17th, 2007. The four champions are Mick Foley, Sting, Samoa Joe, and the newly re-crowned champ, Kurt Angle. Out of the four champs, only Mick Foley has held the belt for a shorter amount of time than Samoa Joe.

When it was the NWA world title, the last “homegrown” star to have it was Abyss in November of 2006, holding the belt for 56 days, and AJ Styles in May of 2005 for 35 days.  Rhino (for only two days, according to Wikipedia), Raven, Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, and Kurt Angle, are the others who held the NWA belt since AJ held it.

No love for the “homegrown” stars in the heavyweight division.

What about the Legends championship? It could be the perfect mid-card title for the “homegrown” stars. However, only two men have held the title: Booker T (who conjured the title since he realized he would never be a world champion again) and the current champ, AJ Styles. 

Booker defended the title a few times and held the title 143 days; AJ has held the title nearly 100 days now and has defended it as irregularly as Booker T did.

So, after about two-thirds of a year, the Legends Championship’s lifespan, we’ve seen two champions and, what, five or six matches for it? It must be legendary, because few will ever get the chance to even see it in a match.Now let’s go to what I think is the most hard-fought title in professional wrestling, the X-Division Championship. The tagline that goes with this division is “no limits”, and that’s exactly what is in every match where this title is up for grabs.

From Elix Skipper doing a hurricanrana off the top of a steel cage to Daniels jumping from pole to the center of the X in the X-Division’s signature match, Ultimate X, the “homegrown” stars of TNA lay it all on the line every time, not just for the prestige of the belt, but for the fans that know these guys are the future of professional wrestling.

The X-Division title, for the most part, has been for the “homegrown” stars, like Chris Sabin (who has held the title for the longest amount of time), AJ Styles (has won the title the most times), and Petey Williams (has held the title 2 times for 150+ days). Kurt Angle, Jerry Lynn, Sheik Abdul Bashir, and Syxx-pac are the only non-“homegrown” that have held the title, and in my opinion, they at least stayed true to the concept of the title.

What about the “homegrown” stars that aren’t in a title picture? What kind of storylines do they get, and what happens when they don’t get their story “over” with the fans? Ask Petey Williams what happens.

After losing to Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner, a.k.a. the genetic jobber, Petey became his protégé and gained a new moniker, Little Petey Pump. The story had him going through ridiculous “initiations” and a new look, as Scott Steiner’s Mini-Me. I don’t care who you are, NO ONE can make a Scott Steiner storyline good, not even Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden.

The result of this pathetic storyline was Petey Williams’ release from TNA. Sources say after he met with the TNA officials that released him, he had already shaved the goatee.

So, TNA, I must ask for those who cannot: Where’s the love for your “homegrown” stars that you are so articulate in promoting? It’s obviously not in the money nor is it in the championships outside of the X-Division.