Ben BaileyContributor IApril 8, 2010

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 27:  TNA President Dixie Carter and wrestler Hulk Hogan attends the launch of his book 'My Life Outside the Ring' at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images



I am writing this letter not as a smart mark, Internet wrestling shooter or any other cliché that comes to mind, but merely as a wrestling fan of 20 years who would like to voice his opinion as a fan and customer of the TNA product. I was excited beyond belief three months ago, when TNA announced it was going head to head with WWE on Monday Nights, but now believe that the same company may go out of business within the next year. I gave TNA a shot and supported the company buying numerous DVD’S, T Shirts, Tickets to events. I even convinced my friends (who don’t watch wrestling) to go to a house show twice for my birthday. I have ordered numerous Pay Per Views, even when I sometimes didn’t like what I was seeing and spent a lot of my hard earned money to do so. However after this week’s episode of Impact, I am through supporting TNA. I am never spending another cent on any Pay Per View or Merchandise after the crap that was spoon fed to me on the show.

When TNA signed Hulk Hogan, I thought it was probably the biggest thing they have ever done. Not because he’s the best wrestler in the world, but because he brings with him recognition and viewers. He also brings his entourage and notoriety for not doing business the right way in the Wrestling World. However I think we all said to ourselves “Let’s give him a shot”. Well I gave him a shot, and unfortunately I don’t know whether or not he is to blame, or any of the overpaid cretins who work on the creative team, but this company is in dire straits. The first thing I want to say is that I have respect for Hulk Hogan, for everything he did for the business and he was my idol growing up. However now after his divorce, and family problems, he is broke and in need of money and has gone and took out a loan at the Bank of Dixie. I understand that he needs to make money but he has used TNA to get himself, his daughter, his friends and his old buddies jobs and God only knows what type of salary they are drawing out of the company. For anyone working  in TNA, just to let you know, nobody cares about Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. They werent that good in their day and all they can do is cut a promo but unfortunately no one cares. By keeping them around you are losing money, losing credibility, losing viewers and losing integrity. As far as Bubba the Cum Sponge goes, the only reason he has a job is because Hogan probably told Dixie that he would get them Satellite Radio exposure and coverage on the Howard Stern Show. What Hogan failed to mention is that Hogan goes on the Bubba the Cum Sponge show every week, breaks kayfabe, disrespects the business, gives away the company’s story-lines and surprises and makes a bunch of false promises that he never follows through on. Well if I had one request for TNA right now, it would be to make the Bound For Glory main event this year Awesome Kong versus Bubba the Cum Sponge so that we can see that piece of garbage get the holy hell beat out of him. He has no respect for the wrestling business and he doesn’t belong anywhere near a Wrestling Ring and the fact that a hard working talent like Awesome Kong got released in preference of a tool like him, has me gobsmacked. They brought in the Nasty Boys and look how that turned out. How much of a payoff are all of Hogan friends getting for this and how much have the ratings dropped?

But of course not all of the new TNA acquisitions annoys me. They have acquired RVD and Jeff Hardy, two of the best free agents money can buy, but of course TNA being TNA, decided to use both men in the worst possible way. Jeff Hardy debuts on the Jan 4th live Impact,  through the crowd with terrible camera angles,  starts a fight with a guy who he has no history with and then climbs a big red cage and sits on top of it. Why ???? Would it not make more sense, for Hardy to come out and say he’s biggest star in Wrestling and put over TNA before being interrupted by someone who could insult him about only being out on parole???  And Rob Van Dam. He is so over he could never work heel again. And TNA debuts him in an even stupider way. He comes through the crowd, ambushes Sting and beats him in ten seconds and then gets beat down for 7 minutes. What does this accomplish? Why does a babyface need to ambush a heel? Why do you squash the hottest free agent in wrestling. Oh and also, Why do you align RVD and Jeff Hardy when Jeff is trying to get out of drugs trafficking charges and RVD has a history of Possession charges. Has TNA ever thought of how people would perceive their public image especially considering all of the drug related deaths in Wrestling. And further more I now hear that Reid Flair will start work for the company in the coming weeks. I am a fan of Reid and have seen him as an amateur, but I know of his temper and his history with drugs and all I can say that someone in TNA is going to have to step up and implement a drug monitoring scheme or else half the roster will be in the back snorting coke.

The worst ending to a wrestling show ever, occurred on Mondays Impact with the Lock Box Knockout whatever the hell it was……… I’m not really sure who came up with the idea but it was one of the worst segments of TV I have ever seen in my life and it made me embarrassed to be a TNA fan, and a wrestling fan.

With regards to women in wrestling let me say this. Every person with a computer in the world can access porn. So we don’t need to have soft core crap on our TV when we want to watch wrestling. If we wanted to see tits, its not that difficult to find it so please don’t have stupid strip teases on a wrestling show where it doesn’t belong. Not that I don’t like tits, I do. But I also like Chicken and Ice Cream but just not together.  When it comes to Women’s Wrestling,  here is another area which TNA dropped the ball. Gail Kim and Awesome Kong put on a four star match and a five star feud last year, and TNA lets both of them go. Now granted they have Hamada, Tara, ODB and Daffney, but the Beautiful People are the ones who get the spotlight. What people want is a Women’s Division with good matches and no puppies or Lingerie Pillow Fights or Prostitute Pudding Matches or Dildo on a poll Matches. I think anyone who books this garbage couldn’t get laid with a fistful of Rohypnol. The only time I’ve ever seen a Monday Night Raw close with a Divas segment is when Lita Won the Womens Title from Stephanie, but that segment also had the Rock HHH and the Hardy’s. There is too many segments featuring the Knockouts on Impact and they have already killed all their potential “Money Matches” for the division by having them over exposed and introducing the Knockout Tag Titles which was one of the worst ideas the company has ever had.

But the standout moment of the show, that showed me that TNA has no idea what they are doing, is Orlando Jordan. This one takes the prize as the stupidest idea that any wrestling promoter has had since Katie Vick. Here you have a guy who the crowd doesn’t like, come out on the stage trying to pretend to be Lady Gaga. Then spits cream all over his chest simulating it to be semen as he is openly bisexual. Well excuse me if I sound a tad angry but that shitty segment offended me. It perpetuates a stereotype that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are some type of freaks and although a lot of them are I don’t want to see a wrestler act like that in a sport that is supposed to be about fighting. How would you feel if you tuned into an episode of Lost and instead you got Queer As Folk. And of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Russo and Bischoff are of the mindset “Controversy Creates Cash”. Well lets be honest , that book didn’t create too much cash and controversy doesn’t create cash either. It creates cash for the newspapers and gossip websites but not the people involved. Just ask Adam Lambert after his AMA performance. If TNA try to use a gay character to boost their ratings by having him do freaky shit on their show, they will end up loosing more fans than ever. Its hard enough being ridiculed for watching wrestling by people who don’t understand it. I have often been insulted for watching wrestling by people who say derogatory things like” its just two guys wrestling half naked.” Imagine how young people and teens will react when Orlando Jordan turns Impact into an episode of Will & Grace.

Rob Terry is a prime example of someone who could get them a lot of recognition if booked correctly, but they don’t have a clue how to do it. If anyone in TNA is reading this letter,  ill give you a big tip on Rob Terry and make you a lot of money. So listen …. Rob Terry is a body builder, not a technician. So in order to gain recognition for TNA and get Terry over, you have your head of Marketing put in a phone call to “Men’s Fitness” and “Body Building World” and every bodybuilding magazine and website in the World. You use him as a health and fitness exhibitionist to gain more widespread publicity, even if he is roided up. And if he is going to wrestle a match, Go back and look at how Bill Goldberg or the Ultimate Warrior was used. Have him use power moves that he can engage the crowd like Claudio Castignoli’s “Big Swing”. I think its safe to say Rob Terry wont be going 30 minutes with AJ Styles in a classic match so just have him go out there and squash Jobbers. 

TNA has been blathering on for years about how TNA pushes the young guys and TNA has the X Division and blah blah blah……. The TNA fans have cheered and put over the guys that they wanted to see. They tell you when they chant their names, stomp their feet and clap their hands who they want to see get pushed. For years the Motor City Machine Guns have been the most over team in the company, but Russo turns them heel or makes them look like weak idiots on a daily basis. Jay Lethal has always been over with the crowd but all he has been doing is stupid WWE like skits even though he has put on some of the best matches in the companies history. TNA allowed the likes of Sonjay Dutt and Petey Williams to be released; probably to pay fatter cheques to over the hill unprofessional has-beens like Scott Steiner. Most recently Consequences Creed was released and of course Christopher Daniels. How many times have you heard the crowd scream at the top of their voice “Fallen Angel”? A lot. I know I’ve never heard the crowd chant “ Nasty Boys” or “Lets Go Scott Hall”. And yet a great performer like Daniels gets released probably because Russo, Bischoff and Hogan think that because he didn’t work in the WWE, he won’t draw Money. Daniels is a perfect example of someone who was let go from the company even though he may not have been a main event “carry the company” guy, he very well could have been a main event/ upper mid card guy who could get over the people he works with, but now TNA have dropped the ball on one of their best wrestlers and ROH will reap the rewards.

Look at how they destroyed Samoa Joe. He was a monster, a machine, a bad ass. He looked like he could beat the hell out of anyone and he mowed down the competition in ROH and TNA, and was, by a mile the guy who should have made the company a success. But after so many stupid bookings, gimmicks, alignments, face/heel turns, does anybody care anymore?? People who tune into a wrestling program, want to see fights and confrontations, and Samoa Joe of 2005 was one of the best reasons to order a Pay Per View, but now TNA would have you believe, hes been kidnapped in the back of a van and nobody in TNA gives a shit. What the hell????

Another guy who has been turned too many times is Sting. Now he's a heel again, even though it failed miserably last year in the Main Event Mafia, they seem to think if it failed before it will work again. Why?

Imagine if you will how so many people with such a vast knowledge of the wrestling business such as Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett and the creative team Vince Russo, Ed Ferrarra and Matt Conway. Along with all of these people there is a number of TV executives, road agents, wrestlers, market researchers, merchandisers and other employees and not one person would stand up and say, “THIS IS SHIT”. I don’t know what is going on in TNA but if nobody could honestly stand up and announce that the script or the run sheet for this weeks TNA  Impact was awful, then a team of monkeys could do their jobs better.

The Marketing team in TNA need to be more hands on with creative. Last year Beer Money and AJ Styles merchandise where the hottest things outselling everyone else. So what does Russo do? Turns them heel. Heels don’t sell merchandise, baby faces do.  Why haven’t the WWE turned Cena heel? Because he sells merchandise. The job of a heel is to get the Babyfaces over. Maybe Russo should enroll at Booking School and study wrestling 101.Turning AJ heel again was the stupidest move he seems to make every two years. Why would we boo AJ? He is a phenomenal high flyer and the nicest guy in the Business, who busts his ass to put a roof over his wife and kids head.Why would we boo him??. Without Ric Flair in his corner that whole storyline would have been in the crapper. If TNA wants to make money, put the Motor City Machine Guns over Beer Money for the Titles and have the Guns hold those titles for a year straight and feud with Generation Me. Look at how long Edge & Christian and the Hardy’s feuded for and it never got old. Tag Team wrestling has a longer shelf life than singles but TNA doesn’t realize that. Instead the marketing team is too busy advertising Dixie Carters twitter page and telling Mike Tenay to tell us “Text our friends”. If I texted my friends and told them to watch the crap that was on Monday Night, my friends would come around my house and slap me. Those type of Marketing ploys make TNA come across small time, and desperate. What TNA needs to do is ignore WWE and focus on its Unique Selling Point. In 2005 the Unique Selling Point the X Division but now there is none because Russo has convinced Dixie Carter that they need to try and be WWE version 2 instead of trying to be unique.

What is so wrong with that, is that the WWE is marketing towards kids, so TNA could very easily steal viewers from them by making the product edgier without being distasteful. Bad Language, Blood and High Impact moves is enough to make the product more appealing, but let’s leave out the circus and the dog and pony show with Lingerie Models stripping and  Orlando out of the closet Jordan and Abyss Lord of the Ring.  Jesus, honestly I think Gollum is going to be involved with this storyline with the Hall of Fame ring. That’s how ridiculous it is.

TNA has the Motor City Machine Guns, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolf, Beer Money, Hernandez, Generation Me, The Pope but they are not showcasing them. They are not letting them go out to the ring and talk and come up with catchphrases and given enough time on TV or in their matches to get over. And if TNA doesn’t take a risk with the young guys who the fans like, they will end up dead and buried. And TNA ask yourself this. Is Bubba The Love Sponge going to up your PPV buyrates? Is Scott Hall going to sell T Shirts? Is Hulk Hogan going to put on an exciting match? Is Orlando Jordan going to get you mainstream publicity?

The answer is no.

TNA, You need to go back to drawing board

That’s my opinion