If you are a hardcore wrestling fan, you probably saw both WWE RAW and TNA iMPACT this past Monday night. Even added some ROH in there. I, for one, did this, and I can safely say WWE was the best show this week.
Am I a WWE mark? No. I feel if TNA produces some good things, then I will reward them by saying how good I thought they did.
For the past few weeks, though, I have been sorely disappointed.
It seemed TNA was drifting away from wrestling and wanted to do almost every promo in the book. I counted the wrestling vs. talking TNA has done for the past few weeks, and I found that well over half of both shows were all talk, no action.
You know, that kinda seems to be what TNA's whole game is, doesn't it?
They claim to be the best promotion out there today, yet they never produce the stuff to show it.
Do they have the better wrestlers? In a way, maybe. The WWE has some excellent performers, and it's hard to say that TNA's wrestlers are better. If the WWE took their style of it and just let their guys and gals go like TNA does, then I feel WWE would have the best wrestling.
Because from what I have seen the WWE do in the past, they have wrestlers that can put on some spectacular matches if they just let them. The reason the WWE doesn't let their talent do everything they would want is for safety.
Sure, the high spots are great, but they are very risky. Also, too many of them can really hurt a wrestler. And with their talent having to wrestle four or five times a week, they need them healthy. So they'll let people like Shawn Michaels and Undertaker do everything they want at Mania, because they are taking a long break after.
But they won't let people like Sheamus and Triple H do the same sort of things because they have to be on RAW the next night and also go to house shows.
TNA's talent has to tape three shows and do a small house show schedule. So naturally with more time to heal, the talent can do more risky things.
But TNA is even realizing that they can't let the talent do everything they used to nowadays.
So now that I went on a slightly random tangent on wrestling, let's get to the bulk of the story. The ratings war.
Last week TNA pulled out a terrible 1.0 rating, while the WWE got their average of a 3.5. This week TNA got a 0.8 rating, while the WWE pulled out a 3.7, so obviously the WWE is winning the war here.
Should I be jumping the gun saying TNA will NEVER beat the WWE because of their first two weeks being bad? No. But I will say this, TNA will never beat the WWE like WCW beat the WWF.
In the '90s, neither promotion was massively ahead of the other. WCW was one of those promotions that came along just a small while after the WWF did. Both were in about the same number of markets, and fans started to really like wrestling.
Hulk Hogan loves saying he helped WCW beat the WWE. Actually, he is totally wrong. All of those stars that Vince McMahon made, which included Hogan, helped WCW. People were defecting to WCW because they weren't happy in the WWF. They weren't getting treated right, blah blah blah.
WCW had the same problem, though—they couldn't use everyone. Could be why they put almost everyone in the NWO. That was one thing they just didn't know how to end.
WCW also had a problem TNA currently does. They had all these former WWF stars like TNA has WWE's. And they wanted to use them because of their star power. But they also had some great stars of their own like Booker T, Sting, and Goldberg.
They all became WCW heavyweight champion, but they were not used as much as they could have been. Once Goldberg's winning streak ended, it seemed his time was up there. Almost a year later, WCW folded.
According to Scott Hudson, they had all the talent to beat the WWF and did so 82 weeks straight. But toward the end, they lost everything, and they couldn't put a good program together to save their life.
The problem they didn't see was that they had to plan for the future and for the present at the same time. It came down to them just putting something random on TV just to have something there, and things didn't make sense.
Chris Jericho once said they it was so nuts back there that he wouldn't know what was going on for the show until five minutes before it started.
Wrestlers also had too much control, which TNA also has an issue with. It's not as bad as WCW was, but eventually it could be. Which is why TNA needs to just put everything in management only.
People like Bischoff and Hogan proved that they didn't know how to run a show correctly. They'd have some nice highlights in them, but things would make no sense.
This is why we all know TNA is not going in the right direction from the beginning. And our fears were realized when we saw two horrible shows in a row.
B/R and TWD (The Wrestling Digest) writer Adam Testa made the point that TNA may benefit from being on an hour before the WWE, having their second hour in the WWE's first. Makes sense.
But when you think about what's on TV at that time of the night, TNA still wouldn't do wonderfully. They only have ROH to go against, wrestling-wise, but look at what's on FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC, and you'll know why TNA won't do well in that time slot.
If you ask me, though, you have to agree with Testa in that TNA—if they plan on going to WAR against the WWE—would benefit from the second hour of their show being in the WWE's first.
I feel, at least to start their small war, they can do that. Then, when they move up ratings-wise (if ever), they can go one-on-one with the WWE. Until then, there is no reason to go against the WWE powerhouse.
Unlike in the WWF vs. WCW war, the WWE is far and away ahead of TNA. TNA may be where WCW was when they started going one-on-one with the WWF back in the '90s, but because the WWE has grown exponentially since then, you can't start there and expect to do too well. Just sayin'.
What do you think? Will TNA ever beat the WWE? Or do you feel TNA really only showed up for a battle while the WWE showed up for a WAR.