Is There Trouble in TNA Paradise?

Kevin WilliamsCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2008

When TNA first broke onto the scene, many saw it as the alternative to WWE. The morale backstage was better than in WWE, the travel schedule was not nearly as rigorous (TNA does most of its tapings in Orlando, Florida), and many felt that they were taking part in the next big thing to hit the wrestling scene.

Things have changed drastically in TNA since then.

Younger stars are being pushed to the side, the pay is not nearly what it is in WWE, WWE rejects are pushed ahead of home-grown talent, and TNA is barely able to compete with WWE's "C" show, ECW.

There are several unhappy wrestlers in TNA. Kevin Nash has had many conflicts with the TNA creative team over the past few weeks, at one point walking out of an Impact taping. His contract ends in October, and many backstage feel it's time for Nash to go.

Nash has teased going back to WWE and working as the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels. WWE would probably not be reluctant to sign Nash, especially in the current bidding war between WWE and TNA.

Christian Cage was always held back as a mid-carder in WWE. Upon his arrival to TNA, Christian was made NWA Champion in a short period of time. Now Christian finds himself back in the mid-card position, and he is upset with the way he is being booked.

Another constant distraction backstage seems to be Brother Ray of Team 3D. Brother Ray would rather get a huge reaction from the crowd while doing less work in the ring. This is why he would rather be in table matches on every edition of Impact, than in a normal tag team or singles match.

Another problem in TNA is money. Gail Kim's contract in WWE is said to be over three time what TNA was offering her. It's no wonder Gail would rather be miserable in WWE than happy in TNA.

With that said, WWE may be keeping on eye on the likes of Taylor Wilde and Angelina Love. The Knockouts are said to make well under $100,000 a year, and I'm sure many of them would jump ship if WWE came knocking.

TNA has done their best to bring in former WWE talent and automatically push them over the likes of Lance Hoyt, Alex Shelley, and many others. Why give Booker T. a title shot when Christopher Daniels has been standing in line since day one with TNA?

The ability to draw fans is obviously a factor in deciding whether your promotion will succeed or not. At a show in Kansas, TNA drew 500 people in an 8,000 seat arena. At their last pay-per-view, they only drew 3,000, and moved them all to one side of the arena to make the arena look packed.

TNA definitely has the names to draw fans. Even if some of these competitors are nearing their 50s, if I hear Nash, Steiner, Sting, Booker T., and Jarrett all in the same company, then I will tune in to Impact to see what it's all about. The problem is that TNA doesn't manage their wrestlers as well as they should, which is also apparent with the X-Division.

The X-Division is supposedly the hook that draws you into TNA. However, said "hook", is non-existent. The X-Division belt ranks fourth (out of four) on TNA's belt priority list. A move for A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels (not Curryman) back to the X-Division might make it interesting again.

The X-Division is given little TV time, and most of its wrestlers are stuck in horrible gimmick (Black Machismo, Consequences Creed, The Guru, Maple Leaf Muscle).

Wrestling doesn't always have to be about insane gimmicks. The "men" in TNA really look silly at times. The Rock 'n Rave Infection? Prince Justice Brotherhood? It seems as if creative just pulls these ideas out of a hat.

The Knockout Division seems to be the positive thing in TNA. They have a decent storyline surrounding them, and none of their gimmicks are annoying to watch. Even Awesome Kong's character is decent when you compare it to Super Eric.

Another secondary belt should be added to TNA. Although they say the X-Division Title is not only for the cruiserweights, the sad truth is that it really is. Something similar to an Intercontinental Belt would be good for TNA. It gives other mid-carders to hold a belt over their shoulder.

Although I am against pushing 50-year-old men over younger talent, I like the idea of Kevin Nash holding the belt. Jeff Jarrett is the only man in TNA that has the ability to make the fans forget that he's acting and make us truly hate him.

In Jarrett's absence, I feel Kevin Nash as a heel champion, holding back other talent makes a worthy storyline in TNA. Seeing as there are never title matches on Impact, Nash wouldn't have to wrestle that much. Then again, it has been proven that Nash is not the greatest draw in the wrestling business. Perhaps Scott Steiner would be more worthy then, once he returns?

TNA used to be the alternative to WWE. Now I see it as WWE's non-affiliated "D" show. I would hate to see TNA, a company with so much promise in the beginning, fail. If TNA cannot serve as a competitor to WWE, then I am afraid to say that we may not see one for years to come.