Why TNA Is Painful To Watch

Stewy Smoot The Masqued DebateurContributor IApril 7, 2010

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24:  Hulk Hogan gestures to the audience during his Hulkamania Tour at the Burswood Dome on November 24, 2009 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Paul Kane/Getty Images

First:  My background

I have been watching the sport for over 50 years, starting with the WWWF under Vince McMahon, Sr.  When cable came in vogue in the 80s, I tuned into Jim Crockett Promotions and the offerings on ESPN.

I was a weekly analyst on Inside the Squared Circle, Washington DC's longest running Professional Men's Wrestling talk show (over 25 years and still going) during the 90s, and was instrumental in launching the internet boom in professional men's wrestling discussion forums, setting the bar with my award-winning Stew's Beef.

Bottom line: an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards isn't spelling out the Works of Shakespeare, but them monkeys know what they are talking about.


Enough of me.

TNA was always the red-headed step-child of the Sport of Kings, providing an entertaining alternative to WWE, what with their 6-sided ring, the X-division and emphasis on that King of Sports, Professional Men's Wrestling.  Thanks to Scotty D'Amore, a facebook friend I might add, the Knockouts division set a NEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!! standard in Women's Professional Wrestling, a far cry from Mildred Burke, Donna Christanello, and Princess Little Cloud.

People began to take notice.  More important, I took notice.

Unwittingly, they added the Beautiful People and Awesome Kong (the equivalent of Andre the Giant, as far as this veteran reporter is concerned) and Lo! and Behold!  the peeps noticed that women can wrestle and put arses in seats!

Then, what happened?

Vince Russo.

TNA president Dix Carter signed Russo as a writer on the TNA creative team in 2006 and Jim Cornette was brought in as "Management Director",  a mindless stooge and waste of his talent, then Mick Foley as "Executive Shareholder" in 2008.  Yeah, Cactus Jack.. Executive Shareholder...

Meanwhile Scotty D'Amore, the latter-day Jim Cornette who created the Knockouts, brought in talent such as Chris Sabin, was relegated to a minor role (sound familiar?), left the company, came back in another minor capacity, and left again.

See a downhill trend here?

You wouldn't know home-grown talent if it bit you in the arse, would you Dix?

Storylines got crummier, but the Xdivision and the Knockouts stood TNA apart from WWE.

Obviously, they needed someone to take them to the next level.

Unfortunately, Dix selected Hogan, Bischoff and the syncophants which accompany them.  Dix, had I known you would be throwing darts at the wall blindfolded, I and 5-6 drunks on the street might have tossed our hat Inside the Squared Circle and I can assure you, we would have generated equal ratings.

So what has TNA fans enjoyed since the first of the year?  "Fresh" talent (Hall, RVD, Walton, Hardy, Hogan, Nasty Boyz, Hart, Kennedy, Flair... any other over-the-hill or WWE throwaway I missed?),  A new look for one of the best wrestlers I have ever seen, AJ Styles (as a Flair Wannabe), a monster in the mold of Cactus Jack (wearing a ring the gives him super-powers), A show called Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (featuring vignettes between Terry Blowea and his daughter debating on whether he should wrestle), and a Knockouts division that has been decimated of talent, with meaningless title changes.

TNA makes the last days of WCW seem like the championship round at the Olympics.

How bad is it?

I had my DVR set to record TNA weekly.  It was my choice to either watch or delete the event. 

I have deleted TNA from my regular recordings.  It is simply too much of a bother to delete it on a weekly basis.  THAT is how BAD their show is. I don't want to see it on my DVR.  It's not wrestling, it's garbage.  This from a 50-year veteran fan who appreciated all of the changes needed to keep the sport alive, who never had a problem with the suspension of belief.  or disbelief.

If I want to watch TNA, they are going to have to bring me back.  They are not coming in my home otherwise.

Want to bring me back, TNA?  Watch the shows from a few years ago and ask yourselves WTF did we go wrong?  Job Hogan out. Get rid of his leeches.  Dump Russo and the rest of your "team" and bring in someone who doesn't live on 1990s dreams.  Drop the out of control Flair gimmick.  Completely undignified for the legend he created (Go on youtube.com and see the mastery he created as a confident world champion), let AJ be AJ; he was damned good at what he created (until he turned into a bumpkin stooge in a turkey outfit during the Russo years).

Stop chasing ratings.  Let you talent shine, Dix.