TNA Locker Room Divided: Could It Be the Death of the Business?

Joe Burgett Senior Writer IIIAugust 23, 2010

AJ Styles TNA
AJ Styles TNA

TNA Wrestling, to be fair, has started to "get it" the past few months. It's been slow, but they have managed to understand how fans think. They gave us a great show in their Whole F'N Show on iMPACT a few weeks ago. And I for one wrote about it, showing my satisfaction.

I feel TNA has improved, but they are not all there as of yet. One thing I am happy about has to be the utilization of their homegrown talent. People such as AJ Styles, Beer Money, Abyss, Jay Lethal, the Guns, and others are seeing TV weekly.

People such as Kevin Nash are used where they need to be used—not wrestling.

The one thing I am not loving is the EV2.0 focus, but it seems to be alright seeing as they are feuding with Fortune, a group run by Ric Flair, but is made up of mostly homegrown talent. Not to mention, the World Title picture is now looking pretty nice where some of the top names, but ones who can still go are up there.

So, I feel TNA does deserve some praise for their work. It's not a wonderful milestone, but it's a step in the right direction if you ask me.

But just like another promotion before them, they are having a lot of turmoil in the locker room. It seems to be divided, which is not good whatsoever. It's all about ego sometimes and that is one thing TNA doesn't need right now.

It seems they are taking one step forward only to take two steps back. WCW did the same thing back in the day. WCW had great shows for awhile, then locker room politics came into play and it affected what we saw on TV.

Then, soon thereafter, WCW went out of business. After taking down the WWF for over 80 weeks in ratings, THEY were the ones who went out of business. Sad to say the least.

TNA is a relatively new company still. It's not even 10 years old yet. And it has made strides in its time. Let's keep in mind, the WWF wasn't a massive overnight success. So, TNA isn't doing too awful here. I do think they try to do too much sometimes, though.

The addition of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff seems to be the thing most people in the back are fighting over. Some believe it's a step in the right direction, while others feel Hogan is only in it for the money and Bischoff is there just as a stepping stone for something else.

Obviously the two are famous names in the business, so adding them for TV purposes ONLY isn't a terrible idea. But, the moment you give two old farts the reigns to control a young business that should be catering to its teenage to 30-something audience, that is where you made a mistake.

And let's try to cool the Vince Russo hate. Obviously, the man was a cancer for WCW, and ONE of the reasons they went down, but not the only reason. He has come up with some terrific stuff over his time. And I think most nowadays make sure to think twice about his creative direction, so the idea of another "Finger Poke of DOOM" seems unlikely.

He isn't doing a bad job right now, and last year he helped them out quite a lot.

But the fact that he is there still gets people second guessing in the locker room, which is understandable.

Many of the talent in the back aren't crazy about putting a lot of focus on EV2.0, and rightfully so, seeing as ALL of them are over the hill. But, as I mentioned before, they are rivaling Fortune, made up of homegrown talent. So if you focus on EV2.0, you then have to also focus on Fortune as well. Therefore, you are getting your homegrown guys out there, while still catering to older fans of ECW with the EV2.0 guys.

But "Egomaniacs" in the back don't see this. Therefore, they bicker.

RVD has also been outspoken on his addition to TNA. And while he does show incredible ego here, we can say that he tells some truth. See what you think:

"I'd imagine a lot of the old TNA guys are feeling like they're taking a back seat. The thing can't argue with numbers. Last week TNA broke new all-time records for ratings! TNA needed a change. The six-sided ring and the great technical wrestlers—that nobody knew—wasn't working.

TNA brought in two rock stars, and look at the company now! Dixie often points out how hiring Jeff Hardy and RVD started a whole new era, why do some of the wrestlers not see it? Too young, too green, too selfish to have the correct perspective.

Whereas some of the TNA 'stars' are lucky to get recognized walking around the studios, Jeff and myself live like actual celebrities, signing autographs and taking pictures EVERYWHERE we go. Without experiencing this, it's probably hard to imagine. In fact, very few wrestlers stick out in people's minds the way that Jeff and I do.

WE love our fans and we love their love. TNA is blowing up. Good things will come our way and I see it all happening now. This is a very exciting time. More people watching TNA means more people exposed to the other wrestlers on the card long as they're good enough to hang around with the rising standards."

Now, RVD and Jeff Hardy are good additions to TNA, this much is obvious. Both have their fans in the millions and the fact is, they are good for your business in that way. Obviously their "out of the ring" issues aren't great for business though.

The ego shown by RVD is one thing that some talent could be feeling mad about, and why not? The man shows so much ego here—imagine listening to it. He basically downs everyone BUT himself and Hardy.

Sure, Hardy and RVD are recognized, but that is due to their work in the WWE, which marketed them well. It seems RVD is saying TNA is lucky to have them, not that they are lucky to be in TNA. Which isn't good to do, really.

This could be the truth, but there are things you just don't come out and say. This would be one of those things.

It's interesting he said these right after he was taken off TV for a little while too; guess he didn't have the guts to say it then return to the iMPACT Zone the following week? Well, that takes a man people.

One word RVD, learn it well: HUMBLENESS.

You may be an excellent athlete and one of the best out there today, one who could hang with any in the world. But, there will always be someone better, the sooner you learn that, the better. And thats from "J-O-E." Just saying, dude.

The locker room in TNA needs to cool off if it is to go anywhere. Unless they want to be WCW 2.0, then they need to shut up in the back and go out there and entertain. Give the fans what they want every week, and just simply be the Total Nonstop Action.

There are things people will like and dislike, that much is certain. But, the best thing any businessman can do is realize what succeeds and what doesn't. What is good for business is good for all in said business.

Hogan and even Flair may be there for a paycheck, EV2.0 may be there for the same, Bischoff may be there for a stepping stone to something else, and Russo may be cancer.

But, talent must overcome all of these things to be great. Buyrates are down, ratings aren't wonderful yet either, but hold tight and stick in there. Things can get bigger and better if people believe in the product.

What do you think? Was RVD out of line in saying what he said? Do you blame the locker room for being divided?

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