OK, now I know that headline will have attracted the attention of many TNA fans but I'm going to have to be honest. I have watched WWE TV for the last decade, and even though it isn't perfect and perhaps these days is limited by its PG movement, the product is clean, the feuds are great and most of the matches are good to watch.
But another organisation has finally come in to the frame to challenge the WWE. I have watched a bit of TNA over the last 4 years every now and then, and they have never impressed me. But after hearing that Hogan had signed with TNA and a new 'monday night war' possibly starting I thought that, as a wrestling fan, I would give TNA a fair chance to impress me on Jan 4th, just as I did with WWE a decade ago.
I will point out that I was completely neutral heading into this, I wanted TNA to impress me and show me what its got. But impress me it did not. So instead of just writing about the Jan 4th show, I feel I will write some home truths about TNA after watching them Monday night:
1) Impact! Zone. Really? I could not believe just how amateurish the production of this show was. The arena was tiny, WWE get at least 8x that attendance to their live events. The pyro was awful because it wasn't syncronised in any way and was more like a half bait firework display instead of an ordered sequence of pyro. The six-sided ring is laughable, is this wrestling or not? It made the matches slow because wrestlers cannot perform proper irish whips which slows the action down and also makes wrestling seem really un-natural to watch. I should also imagine that for wrestlers (especially legends) who have used a 4-sided ring all their career, to come and have to use a 6-sided ring, with the ropes at weird angles it must affect performance, which showed in the matches. 4-sided rings are used in boxing and wrestling for one reason: they work. It's simple design makes the action easier to absorb, and I would bet that it is a lot safer to wrestle in a 4-sided ring than a 6-sided equivalent. TNA is supposed to be professional wrestling, not some UFC knockoff. It is a disgrace. Then there were the backstage segments and my word the backstage is glamorous. Or not as it turns out. The 'strip poker' segment could have been filmed in a small wooden box and it would have looked better. The place was a slum. When wrestlers make their entrance every piece of music sounds somehow the same, Hulk Hogan's track was just a poor version of his WWE one. The music is a huge let down as it is monotone and lackluster.
2) Who the hell do TNA think they are? When I watch Raw on Monday's we never hear of TNA and what they're doing, WWE keeps themselves to themselves and are professional enough not to publicly insult the competition on air. Mind you, WWE would be entitled to. They have accompished something, they are the No. 1 wrestling company in the world, they beat WCW, they have provided the best entertainment of any wrestling company in history and have earned their stripes in the entertainment world. So when I came to watch TNA words cannot express just how shocked I was to see some TNA fans, who all seemed to have an IQ of 3 combined talking about how Vince is and I quote 'going down', well not on the evidence of tonight buddy. Then we have even more fans openly insulting the WWE on a live telecast. I mean seriously, if TNA took more time working on their own product instead of insulting a company who has made a name for itself, they might manage to get half the WWE's ratings. They have no right to insult WWE, I was neutral going in to this and was just appalled by the lack of class this broadcast had, insult the competition when you have done enough to deserve to do so. It didn't stop there, frequent references from Hulk Hogan about TNA becoming the No. 1 company throughout his segment, constant shots of fans holding signs insulting Vince McMahon. Maybe some of these in-breds should realise that if it wasn't for McMahon, all of the washed-up legends they 'love' to watch wouldn't have ever made it in wrestling. Who helped make Hogan a star? Vince. Who made Kurt Angle a star in the entertainment world? Vince. McMahon has done so much for wrestling and it is disgraceful that these 'legends' should be so disrespectful to him.
3) Loyalty: Not only is TNA a poorly produced, unprofessional product but it appears also to be full of liars. Now I have no problem with stars jumping ship from WWE, thats just fine. But after the send-off WWE gave Ric Flair, after they elevated him into the modern market and gave him a fantastic career in the 2000's I think it is disgusting that he joined TNA. He even said himself that he would not join TNA out of 'respect for Vince'. I don't like liars, I used to respect Flair but now that has all been lost which brings me onto the man himself Hulk Hogan. How is this guy the biggest star ever in wrestling? I have watched many of his matches and he is nothing special in the ring what-so-ever, Cena has a bigger move-set than Hogan. He is poor in the ring. So it would seem that he is popular because of his personality. Well judging by the fact that he has been in so much controversy over the last few years with his ex-wife and has before sold out to Vince's rivals, his personality would appear to be nothing more than being a dirty traitor to the buisness and his family. Another example of just how unprofessional both he and TNA are.
4) The wrestling: Well I watched the matches on Impact! and they were way below the WWE standard. The 'steel asylum'match lasted about 4 minutes, a period that was filled with hardly any action and I think the same move executed 4 times, and a jump from unamazing red. Then guess what? Another liar turns up! Jeff Hardy! A guy who had told WWE that he would sign with them when he was ready. Yes. The very same WWE that made Jeff a main event superstar, the same WWE that gave him 2 world title reigns and could not possibly have treated him better. Also a guy who is in the middle of a conviction for dealing drugs. Apparently he joined TNA because of the lighter schedule which is fine by me, had he not had a verbal agreement with Vince. As I said, I do not like liars and had Jeff Hardy not had the verbal agreement with WWE I would not have minded, but he lied. I can't complain about the knockout matches as they were OK, and WWE hardly has the best women's division in the world. As I said I was neutral going into this. However the male matches were very poor, the action was slow, predictable, and I would say the knockouts were better than the guys. The 6-sided ring makes wrestling so un-natural, and the class of wrestling was many classes below WWE's calibre stars. The only guy who remotely impressed me was Styles in the main event, and even then I would say he is no better than The Miz. The fans were chanting 'this is wrestling', well let me give you some advice, go out buy Wrsetlemania 25 and watch Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, because that was wrestling at its unbeatable best, a match TNA could never replicate. Watch and learn TNA instead of taking cheap shots at a company who is far superior than you.
I mean I could go on about TNA's will to buy wrestlers that WWE fired. WWE fired them for a reason, because they were not up to scratch with the rest of the product, and this is why TNA is so far below WWE, it signs wrestlers who were not good enough for WWE. At the end of the day it comes down to the fact the TNA is based in a terrbile arena, and is totally unprofessional to its competition. People keep moaning about Raw at the moment, including me, but not anymore. I know now how lucky I am to watch a decent wrestling product and I now swear total allegiance to the WWE because they proved on Raw that they are so much better than the competition. So to sum up: TNA you've got 'no chance in hell!'.