As we get closer to Jan. 4, it is starting to set in that we are going to re-witness the Monday night wars again in the wacky world of pro wrestling.
For those of you who are too young to remember the first time we had this battle, it was between WCW and the WWF. It was a brutal and ugly fight that left the wrestling world captivated every Monday.
For the first time ever, the WWF (now WWE) was in for a fight of its life. In 1996, WCW went on a rampage and took the wrestling world by storm when they led the WWF for over 80 weeks. It was something that didn’t sit too well with Vince McMahon. This would ultimately wake up the sleeping bear and cause a full-blown war between the two companies.
This war would turn out to be a good thing, though. Not only did we see solid and healthy competition each week, we also saw wrestling taken to a level it hasn’t seen since the ’50s. Wrestlers were becoming household names all over the world and wrestling was gaining popularity very rapidly.
It wasn’t all that uncommon to see Nitro or Raw pull in 5.0 ratings or higher. It was even starting to become more popular than Monday Night Football. My friends, it was certainly a good time to be a wrestling fan.
We saw guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and many others emerge into mega stars. We would also get to see moments that would be stapled into the fabric of wrestling history. In 1997, we got to see the infamous Montreal screw job.
Like most wars though, it always ends, and there are winners and losers. The WWE would come out the winner and the WCW became nothing more than stitch in the fabric of wrestling history. For those of us that remember these times, it was pure gold that will most likely never be relived.
Which brings us to today, most wrestling fans will tell you that the business has gotten very stale. People are looking for alternatives to WWE, and many people have just decided to stop watching it. It is a sad state that pro wrestling is in these days.
This could all change on Jan. 4 though; TNA has announced that they will go head to head with WWE. For the first time in a while you can feel the buzz in the wrestling world. While most feel this is nothing more than TNA trying to get cheap ratings, it at least gives us an alternative to the stale WWE show known as RAW.
Now the only question on the wrestling fans minds is, how do you think TNA will do after all is said and done? I am here to tell all of you that it not be good for TNA. They are trying to recapture magic that just can’t be reproduced. I don’t say this just out of blind opinions, though. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will work against TNA in this war.
In the first battle for wrestling domination, you as a fan had to choose what show you wanted to watch. You didn’t have the option like you do now to TIVO it or DVR it. Back then you had to pick one show and that was all you can see. This was important because it made the fans choose sides. This is something that just can’t be done in this day in age.
There is nothing to stop a wrestling fan from watching one while the other show is recorded. This will result in no fans really choosing one show over the other. If they are watching Raw and it stinks, they can just pull up their recordings and watch TNA. Not only does this not cause fan separation, it also hurts with the battles over the ratings.
If a wrestling fan is recording both shows, this means that both programs will receive that same rating for the night. So it will be impossible for either show to really ever gain any advantage over the other one. This is not the only problem TNA will have to deal with once this war starts.
In the late 90s, WCW had an unlimited budget to work with. They were handing out high-paying contracts like there was no tomorrow. This will not be the case for TNA. They don’t have the financial support that WCW had. Because of this they will not be able to just steal away WWE’s top talent.
They will have to depend on their own talent in order to compete with the WWE. That shouldn’t be a problem in theory. TNA does have quality talent that could easily put on a good show each and every Monday night.
The problem that TNA faces is its inability to book a solid card. They can’t even do it now on Thursdays, what makes you think this is going to change because it will be on Mondays?
Not to mention the fact that they are trying to pull this off with the same group of people from the first Monday night wars. Hulk Hogan can’t even move in the ring any more. Than you have guys like Nash and others that will be coming that are beyond washed up. I just don’t see how this can help TNA in any way shape or form.
Last but not least, is TNA’s booking problems, the biggest complaint as it stands now is there inability to properly book a show. How is this going to get any better with the likes of Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff, and Hulk Hogan running things in the back? There are just too many big egos involved in order for this to work.
This is going to be a very short-lived war, my friends. The WWE will destroy TNA in every way, shape, and form. Not because WWE will have to step up their game, but because TNA is going about this in all the wrong ways.
It is impossible to recreate a magical moment, and that is what TNA is trying to do. They will learn the hard way that Magic can’t be recreated. It has to happen on its own.