In a brilliantly written and strategically timed blog, sports entertainment genius Paul Heyman presented the case that the fight between Vince McMahon's WWE and the Hulk Hogan-lead TNA Wrestling brand isn't about the wrestling promotions themselves, but more about SpikeTV executives Doug Herzog, Kevin Kay, Sharon Levy, and Brian Diamond lining up their "In Your Face" network to combat the momentum displayed by NBC-Universal's USA Network and USA Prexy Bonnie Hammer.
Heyman, the creative mastermind force behind the original Extreme Championship Wrestling, and also the head writer for Smackdown's enormously successful run in 2002-2003, when the show became far more well received than the flagship Monday Night Raw, posted a blog on his CraveOnline Heyman Hustle website that should open a lot of eyes as to the real story behind the Monday Night Wars 2010.
After making sure to clarify that he is not, despite the rumors, in Orlando Florida for the TNA Impact! taping, Heyman said Raw is ten years past its heyday, but the lower 3 ratings the show scores is still “way better than anything SpikeTV is pushing, and keep in mind Spike is the television home of the Ultimate Fight juggernaut.”
Heyman wrote, “The real story of tonight’s head-to-head battle is not Vince McMahon vs Hulk Hogan, or the re-emergence of Eric Bischoff, or Stephanie McMahon’s vision for the future vs Dixie Carter’s vision for her company,” Heyman said. “It’s about SpikeTV executives’ decision to curb the enthusiasm (oy vey) of Bonnie Hammer and NBC-U’s 4th consecutive Cable Grand Slam.”
Heyman, of course, couldn't resist the opportunity to offer some advice to TNA. The man Mick Foley labeled "The Mad Scientist of Professional Wrestling" wrote that TNA has a chance to finally BRAND their company. Pick a direction and stick with it. I need a reason to care about AJ Styles. Seriously, how anyone in TNA can look at themselves in the mirror and accept the fact AJ, the promotion’s World Champion and one of the most consistent performers in the industry for over half a decade, is not nearly as well known as Sheamus is simply a crime. I like Sheamus’ push, and think WWE made a fantastic decision to elevate a new character into the main event, and present him not as a fluke, but as a real deal. But for Sheamus to be so much better known to the general public at this point in his career than AJ Styles is not only a sign of WWE's marketing success, but TNA's most glaring failure. I know why as a fan, Sheamus is to be hated. I don't know why, as a fan, I am supposed to care about AJ Styles. I need a reason to believe in the Motor City Machine Guns. Besides being every school boy's masturbatory fantasy, why should I spend my time thinking about Lacey Von Erich? Is Awesome Kong the Cris Cyborg of pro wrestling? If so, demonstrate that to me. TNA has a chance to capitalize on its home network's desire to derail USA Network's momentum. Character development and TNA-brand-building are key. Tonight, TNA has the opportunity to declare to the public something far more substantive than "check out a bunch of former WWE big name stars in a six sided ring with some of our own guys who aren't quite so recognizable. Tonight, TNA has a chance to deliver. Deliver to their own audience. Deliver to the 8pm Eastern Time curiosity viewers Hulk Hogan's involvement may bring in. And most importantly, deliver a market study for SpikeTV execs to learn a little more about the true Ultimate Champion of the Monday Night Cable Wars: Bonnie Hammer.
The blog, which is available in its entirety here: http://heymanhustle.craveonline.com/articles/news/37888-paul-heyman-the-real-story-behindqthe-monday-night-war-2010q has to be considered one of the most amazing pieces Heyman has written since his December 2006 departure from WWE, which he touches on in the blog as well.
This Hustle gets our highest recommendation.