Like I Said: Does Anyone Miss The Monday Night Wars?
I realized today that it's been some time since I've written an article. I've been busy, like most people during the holidays. I spent the time with my family, not paying a tremendous mind to my writing.
And then it hit me.
January 4th is what many people are calling the rebirth of the Monday Night Wars, at least for one night.
Now, being that the Monday Night War was the subject of my very first piece here on Bleacher Report, it raised a few questions within me. So I've decided to revisit the subject.
Who will benefit from a reprisal of the ratings war?
Certainly, WWE has a lot of advantages over TNA. Money and experience are definitely the most prominent. WWE also has the distinction of being the veteran, and sole survivor of the original war, that not even small time stuff of legends ECW made it through.
I've discussed this ad-nauseum, over and over again. I'm not a casual fan, I'm an in-depth fan. Over the ten years I've been watching, I've slowly evolved from a mark, to a smark, to what I call an "educated fan".
It means I know what I'm talking about to some degree, but not to the point that I'll start swapping indy tapes and demanding recognition; like half the Internet wrestling community.
Who will benefit from a reprisal of the ratings war?
WWE and TNA both, if both sides play their cards right. WWE has been pondering over slipping ratings for awhile now, but the creative team, in all their brilliance, can't figure out what the problem is.
The problem is that Undertaker, John Cena, and DX are the only entities that carry any sort of significant name value at the moment. And while Creative has done a decent job of building up a least two or three mid card stars, they've failed miserably to balance out the main event slots.
Jericho shouldn't be tagging with Big Show. The WWE's tag team division is already on life support due to neglect, so don't bother with it at the moment. Jericho should be wrestling for the Heavyweight Championship as a top tier heel; not carrying Big Show, who should be a top heel in his own right, but don't get me started.
Randy Orton should either be the WWE Champion or at least in the hunt for it. You don't go into a potential ratings battle with your best heel playing second fiddle to mid-carders.
Kofi is over, extremely over, and he's a believable main event player. Mission accomplished. Put the Viper back where he's most effective and that's at the top of the card.
Batista is a beast and he's finally gotten the heel turn that many people feel he's needed for awhile now. I don't care much for the jacked up nimrod, but I'll give him a piece of rare acknowledgment. He's 6'6" and 318 pounds (anyone who believes he's lighter than Undertaker is legally blind) and he's a walking muscle.
So why is he having street fights with frequently injured, soon to be retired, children's novelty act Rey Mysterio, who's a buck fifty soaking wet with a brick in each pocket?
Hey, remember CM Punk? He amazes me simply because his gimmick works just as well in reverse. He's changed nothing about his original persona besides adding some mic work and people can't stand him. He's got a huge bodyguard to compliment his lack of size.
Why is he beating up Matt Hardy? What happened to us ushering in the StraightEdge era with Punk as our savior?
Why has WWE dropped the ball with so many of these stars, some of which (Orton, Batista, Jericho) are established Main Eventers? If I was going into a war, I'd make sure all my guns were locked and loaded.
And where are the babyfaces? Even if they're not all being used correctly, the WWE has a stacked deck of bad guys; Batista, Punk, Jericho, Big Show, Orton, Legacy, and Sheamus just to name a few.
What do we have on the babyface side of the equation? John Cena and The Undertaker. Oh, and Christian, for whatever ECW is worth. If you add fresh blooded Kofi Kingston to the mix, it adds up to a whopping four 'faces.
If I add DX, pandering to midgets, that's six babyfaces. There's too much talent in the WWE roster pool to have such a small amount of top level stars.
And I'm not going to neglect TNA. There's something here that needs to be addressed.
I've always said that TNA has the talent to be great. I mean, epic great. Great enough to be giving WWE a run for all its money already. The problem with TNA is its booking.
TNA's booking sucks.
For lack of a better word, of course. Now, before the TNA fans roast me on a spit, let me elaborate.
The story lines go upside down and backwards more often than a roller coaster, and anytime TNA gives momentum to its top guys, it gets watered down with poor decisions and non-sensible storyline direction.
Gee, maybe the TNA execs are watching more WWE programming than they care to admit.
The bottom line is that TNA has a cagey and self-absorbed egomaniac in charge of the booking.
Given that Hogan can't put the spotlight on himself anymore because of his aging body, and that Hogan obviously didn't get the reoccurring paycheck he wanted from Vince McMahon, it's only logical that Hogan will get the spotlight the only other way he can; by being the guy who led TNA to strike WWE where no other company is capable of striking them, the ratings.
As I was corrected quite appropriately in a previous article, I'll rephrase this next part.
Eric Bischoff is not an idiot. He's in Hogan's ear and Hogan is in TNA's ear. Do your math and that means that Bischoff is more than likely calling a good deal of the shots as it relates to January 4th.
He doesn't have Ted Turner's money to throw at WWE this time, so he'll need to be more calculating, and he didn't beat RAW for 83 weeks straight by being stupid. And he more than likely won't make the same mistakes twice.
For those that haven't heard the news, TNA has signed Sean "X-Pac" Waltman and Scott Hall to short term, "Pay-as-you-play" contracts. It's a probationary shot in the dark at best, but if an nWo reunion is seriously what they're playing at, it's not as unwise as it sounds.
Because there are plenty of fans out there that would rather see the ten thousandth incarnation of the nWo than John Cena telling little boys and girls to never back down.
So, I ask you the question again, dear friends, and this time, take all these new developments to heart before you answer:
Do you miss the Monday Night Wars?
Questions and comments may be left at KidMikaze2007@aim.com or in the comments section of this article. Feedback is always welcome, both positive and negative.
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