"Well...that was a ball of crap, wasn't it?"
If last night's TNA pay-per-view was a sign of the changes to come for the company under the leadership of Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, then pro wrestling fans should be concerned about the fate of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
If you were unable to catch the televised abortion last night, then consider yourself lucky along with several other billion people that chose to do something more productive with two hours and 47 minutes of their time.
Unfortunately, yours truly was not among those several billion people, and I honestly feel a bit guilty for watching that live snuff film only to write about it the next morning.
The changes that Bischoff and Hogan promised fans have been delivered, but these changes have effectively killed everything that made TNA better than the WWE.
I challenge you to comment in good conscience that the "action" showcased during Genesis was better or more exciting than the WWE's product.
Go ahead, I'll wait...and please note that I used the words "good conscience."
Everything TNA offered fans last night was no better than what the WWE consistently offers.
Every single match that took place during Genesis told a WWE-esque story, but it was painful to watch because TNA matches are more or less spotfests than intricate tales of deception, cruelty, and/or vindication.
That is exactly what made TNA more exciting and watchable than the WWE. Fans balked at the slow and deliberate gait of the WWE's matches, but were energized and enthusiastic about the fast and frenetic pace of TNA's bouts.
Ever since the company turned a profit, Dixie Carter has been obsessed with beating Vince McMahon and his machine.
This is where TNA has already failed miserably and also why it will take more than Hogan and Bischoff to defeat WWE.
In their quest to "Cross the Line," TNA has lost sight of what was once their original goal: pleasing their fans with quality action and professional wrestling that was the alternative to WWE's sports entertainment.
This is also where my "Killing TNA" articles make more sense. The company had several hurdles to overcome before adding more authority figures and ex-WWE wrestlers to their bloated payroll.
Their insatiable hunger to embarrass Vince McMahon has clouded their judgment, causing them to waste valuable time and money on showing their asses rather than accentuating their strengths.
With this lack of focus, TNA fails to correct their issues off camera and perfect their positives in front of their viewing audience.
The end result is one big cluster funk that forces them to work twice as hard to prove to themselves and the fans that they're actually making progress towards rivaling WWE.
The key to TNA beating the WWE lies in their ability to be the alternative and not the competitor. As the WWE's competitor, the only thing that TNA has successfully accomplished is producing more of the same crap that we're all tired of watching. The 2010 Genesis pay-per-view was and is proof enough of this statement.
I have to admit that after reading a few of the spoilers for the pay-per-view, I actually looked forward to the show. I felt that TNA had an opportunity to once again excite their fans and create a buzz that would at least cause the suits in Titan Towers to raise an eyebrow or two.
I was positive that this show would be the defining moment in TNA's quest to be the better pro wrestling company.
Right after a backstage altercation between Abyss and Bobby Lashley, I decided to go to Wal-Mart to buy some donut sticks and an iron.
I need nothing more than the opening 15 minutes of Genesis to validate this entire article. After watching a promo that seemed to last an eternity, we were welcomed to the Impact Zone and the pay-per-view with the familiar nWo theme and the entrance of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff into the arena.
They strolled down a ramp that extended from the entrance all the way to a four-sided ring and welcomed the fans to the "new" Impact Zone.
Nothing but boos from the crowd.
Hogan then goes on to tell the fans that he realizes that it's going to be difficult for them to get use to the changes he's made in TNA, only to have his Dr. Frasier Crane analytical skills drowned out by the "we want six sides!" chants from the fans.
In what had to be one of the most sympathetic gestures in the history of mankind, Hogan tells the loyal TNA fans in attendance that the time for "playpen rings" is over. He continued by saying the following, which I'm loosely quoting:
"No more eight sides, six sides, or any of that mess. This is where professional wrestling takes place, and this is what we're about. This is where we gave our blood, sex (yes, he actually said that instead of "sweat"), and tears, and this is where it's going to happen here."
More boos from the crowd. Bischoff then takes the microphone from Hogan and tries his best to push the new TNA regime as well as appease the hostility growing in the live crowd, which he manages to do so.
But both men drove home two points with their opening segment: TNA will continue to make big changes and f*** you fans who don't like it.
Hogan also took the opportunity to point out that Vince McMahon (yep, actually used his name on a live TNA show...again) would never allow "pro wrestling" to take place in his "sports entertainment," and even stated that McMahon was afraid to use those words when referring to his product.
He concluded his mini-tirade by saying,
"Whatcha gonna do, VINCE McMAHON, when TNA comes for you, brother...or sister..."
At that point, Hogan's own nWo theme music cuts him off, to which he takes the microphone away from his face and mutters a swear before scampering out of the ring with Bischoff.
There aren't enough words in the Oxford Dictionary to describe how much of an epic failure this opening segment was.
The only great thing about the segment was listening as Taz massacred the English language in an attempt to co-sign on the company's changes.
He didn't even sound convinced by what he was saying, and there was no one yelling through the headsets at him this time.
In the first 15 minutes of this pay-per-view, gone is the six-sided ring that made TNA action packed matches much more thrilling and seem larger than life.
The six-sided ring appears larger on camera than it does in real life, while the traditional four-sided ring from last night seemed as if it limited all of the wrestlers last night due to its smaller size.
In the first fifteen minutes of this pay-per-view, Hogan and Bischoff basically tell off their most loyal supporters, as well as waste more camera time by giving Vince McMahon and the WWE more free publicity.
In the first 15 minutes of this pay-per-view, the fans once again loudly vocalize their discontent with the new perceived direction of the company.
Now this isn't to say that there weren't any positives last night, as the three best things about Genesis were the main event match between Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles, the tease at his character's development with Ric Flair as his manager, and the fact that Nasty Boys/Team 3D match was apparently scrapped from the card at the last minute.
However, those three things pale in comparison to the long, turbulent, and unforgiving tides of change Hogan and Bischoff are creating for Dixie Carter and her fledgling company.
I truly believe that last night's TNA pay-per-view was strike two for the company as they look for a home run, a singular moment in history, where they can say they were better than the WWE.
The sad truth behind this statement is that TNA had the potential to be better than the WWE, but that baby was thrown out with the bath water when someone convinced Dixie Carter that giving Hulk Hogan a second chance to work with the company would bring a much needed breath of fresh air for a company struggling to carve its place in pro wrestling history.
Three strikes and the fans are out.
By the way, where were Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett, and the other half of TNA's roster last night?