TNA: WWE Training Camp Or WWE Retirement Home?

Stephan JohnsonContributor ISeptember 9, 2008

There was a time when WWE Raw wasn't the dominant television show on TV. That was when Ted Turner owned WCW. After Turner decided to sale WCW to WWE, many superstars went missing from the WCW roster; most of whom decided not to wrestle with Vince McMahon's company due to prior experiences.

Until that time, there was a place for people who were fed up with WWE to go. A place where they could talk trash about their previous employer until they would decide to go back. After WCW went defunct, there was no choice. That is until TNA was founded by Jerry Jarrett, the father of Jeff Jarrett.

Jeff Jarrett's career in WWE was a long and strenuous one. He won multiple titles, including the World Heavyweight Championship designed by J-Mar and Reggie Parks. His career abruptly came to an end with WWE. Jarrett had no place to go except for WCW.

Although he signed with the company, his dreams were soon shattered on that holy night when Shane McMahon appeared on the screen of WCW's Titan-Tron saying that the McMahon Family had taken over WCW. He quickly turned to his father for help. Shortly after, Jerry agreed, he drew up the paperwork and began.

For the next year, Jeff Jarrett appeared in Australia, wrestling with the promotion World Wrestling All-Stars.

Very shortly afterward, TNA was started. Jarrett quickly jumped to his father's brand, capturing the covenant NWA World Title on the way. The two companies merged forming NWA:TNA.  TNA quickly made a huge impact, signing stars such as Jarrett, AJ Styles, Abyss, Raven, Sting, and even The Sandman.

Odds were defied as the X-division gained recognition, defining everything that TNA stood for. Soon ex-WWE stars began to appear in TNA.  Scott Steiner quickly jumped back and forth between the two companies before deciding to settle down in TNA.

The two promotions have constantly passed superstars like hot potatoes.  Here lately, I have seen many superstars on the TNA roster picked up from small indy promotions, such as Ring of Honor. The biggest of those names: Samoa Joe. 

If you think back, one of the greatest tag teams of all time is now in TNA. That tag team is Team 3-D, also known as the Dudley boys. The Dudleys got their start back in ECW wrestling at bingo halls, to the big times in WWE, to now being a WWE has-been in TNA. The Dudleys are not the only ones that have earned the has-been status in TNA and they probably won't be the last.

Is TNA really a training ground for WWE, or are they just a work camp for the WWE retirees?