Watching TNA Gives an All-Too-Familar Feeling
Allow me to say that I hate, absolutely hate, when TNA is compared to WCW. It annoys me greatly. I was an avid fan of WCW, and I am now an avid fan of TNA, so when people do so it bothers me.
Yet I am about to be guilty of that same crime, and I ask those of you that are fans of WCW, TNA, and wrestling as a whole, to please read this before you judge me.
I do so because unlike most that were tuning in to the WWE, I was watching WCW until the last episode (I'd been watching both RAW and Nitro since a young age, my uncle would tape Nitro, and I would watch RAW, and watch Nitro later).
And I am getting that all-too-familiar feeling. The same feeling I got when I watched the last episodes of Nitro, a feeling that I may be watching the end of a company.
There are many things that give me this feeling. Allow me to explain them.
1) The Champions
There are five championship belts in TNA right now. Of these championships, the ones that are pushed the most (The World Title, The Tag titles, and the Legend's title) are being held by men that are over forty.
In another odd factor, one half of the tag team champions, was the final World Champion and the Final United States Champion under the WCW name that of course being Booker T.
Furthermore, both members of the tag team champions (Scott and Booker T) and the Legends Champion (Kevin Nash) were all contracted to WCW until the company's death. If I'm not mistaken Kurt Angle was the World Champion in WWE (or in the running for it) at the time WCW died.
2) The Factions
Near the end of WCW I recall two factions in the company, the New Blood and the Millionaires Club, who were constantly battling it out for both television time and the titles.
The Millionaire's Club was built up mainly of older, more established, and "rich" talent.
Now, do I even have to ask who this sounds like? A stable built up of names that many wrestling fans know and have held world championships?
For those of you that said the Main Event Mafia, ding ding ding, you win. In an odd coincidence, Kevin Nash was a member of the Millionaire's Club and is currently a member of the Main Event Mafia.
The New Blood was considerably larger and consisted of "younger, unappreciated" WCW talent led by Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. Once more do I even need to ask? This stable bears a great deal of similarities to the TNA originals. The easiest one to notice is that both groups were formed from fairly new or unrecognized talent that is trying to earn its spot.
Here's one of the oddest similarities between the New Blood and the TNA Originals: The TNA originals were mostly led by Jeff Jarrett several months ago. Jarrett, apart from being a co-founder of TNA, is one of TNA's bookers.
The New Blood was led mostly by Russo and Bischoff. At the time, both were in the WCW creative department and Russo was a WCW booker. Now isn't that one hell of a weird coincidence?
Three members of the New Blood are in TNA right now. One of them is the co-founder of the company, Jarrett. The other two are in the Main Event Mafia and are the current TNA tag team champions, Booker T. and Scott Steiner.
3) The Bookers
I'm not going to criticize Russo here, I have that done far too much already, in previous work related to WCW, but I will say the man seems to have a "faction fetish" and is largely responsible for the faction storylines in WCW.
I am not going to blame him for the TNA Originals and the Main Event Mafia as I have been told that they were Jarrett's idea, I think it’s just a weird coincidence that he happens to be with both companies at this time.
He was also rumored to have gone to the WWF to get out of his contract with Time Warner and allegedly proposed a complete re-doing of the Invasion storyline, prompting McMahon to fire him.
I would also like to address the current situation with Jarrett and Karen. I have been told that it may or may not be true; I have also been told that if it is indeed true, Kurt will only stay with the company if he is given booking in place of Jarrett.
I don't know if it’s true and I'm not claiming to do so, but what I do know is that selfish booking by some people who didn't want to lose their spot is partially responsible for the death of WCW. I already feel like I am watching history repeat itself, if Kurt is given booking...History may in fact actually be repeating itself.
4) The Owners
This will be brief, both WCW and TNA have one final thing in common.
Near its death WCW was owned by Time Warner, who was owned by people that did not understand wrestling in any form. These were the people that sped the death of WCW in every form, through a series of foolish decisions including changes in bookers and attempting to compete with the WWF with "family friendly" programming.
Currently a majority of TNA stock is owned by Dixie Carter. That being said she is also the president of the company. She has no wrestling background, and she is simply all about business.
She saved TNA at one point...but if this whole scandal with Jarrett and Karen is true, and not a storyline, she may soon become guilty of the same mistakes that Time Warner was guilty of less than a decade ago. If Kurt re-signs, we will know.
If you have reached this point, I thank you.
I will say that TNA does have a few things working in its favor. One of these things is the strong women's division, which some have praised, calling it the best in America.
There's something else TNA fans, much like me, are waiting for even as I pen this.
TNA has a chance for redemption, in the form of the 200th episode of Impact. It has been advertised that there will be two World Title Matches.
Hopefully, this event may serve to dispel these feelings of dread. I will be tuning in tonight and I hope the rest of you will as well.
Thank you for reading.
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