Greetings everyone. I'm new here at Bleacher Report and this is my debut article. I have been a wrestling fan since 1984 and never once strayed. After sitting on the sidelines of the IWC since its inception, I just can't hold back any longer. I believe there is a certain perspective and rational discourse missing from a majority of wrestling talk and hope I can add a little balance and a fresh style.
I am not a TNA fan. It is not that I want to dislike it or only find myself loyal to the big-time brand of WWE, but I just find TNA to be a very off-putting and lack-luster product for various reasons.
I actually planned on exploring some aspects of TNA that keep me at bay in an upcoming article, but after the latest iMPACT and the news coming out of the TV tapings in Fayetteville, I feel compelled to explore one of the biggest reasons I dislike TNA so much. More importantly, I feel this is a reason so many wrestling fans—casual and life long alike—are so turned off by the minor league brand (that is if they know the brand even exists).
There is only one way I know how to phrase it—TNA is a grossly insular promotion. After checking out an occasional edition of iMPACT, I would ask myself "to whom is this intended to appeal?" This week's episode, with the insipid 3-3-11 video, answered this question with resounding certainty—themselves.
Since the Spike TV era began, TNA has been obsessed with its own imaginary degree of self-importance. Nothing done by the company in terms of talent, story-lines and even general production value indicates that it is interested in anything other than appealing to a hipster WWE-hating fan base that already exists and basing the entire direction of the company on the whims of that jaded insider audience.
Making insider references and taking jabs at WWE must make Dixie and company feel pretty good about themselves. Maybe it takes the STING out of the stagnant ratings and embarrassingly low PPV numbers (sorry, bad pun).
The days of insider lingo and wondering what happens on "the other show" died the night that Vince McMahon took advantage of Turner's fire sale. That era and that exciting feeling of uncertainty cannot be artificially recreated.
The 3-3-11 video from this week's iMPACT is probably the saddest display yet from a self-congratulatory company that defines itself by a fabricated corporate rivalry.
TNA is no where near WWE's level and pretending that WWE as a company even cares or that WWE fans as a consumer base find such parodies amusing doesn't do TNA's image any favors.
Only hardcore wrestling fans who frequent dirt-sheets and message boards were privy to any Sting-WWE rumors. That's a very small portion of the audience, and it was this small portion that allowed imagination and wishful thinking to perpetuate rumors for the better part of only two or three weeks.
This sliver of a consumer base, already TNA aware, was the only target demographic of this petty little video.
Considering that WWE never once promised or even hinted at Sting actually being a possibility from the original vignettes makes TNA look all the more foolish. Does anyone within TNA really believe that this was some kind of victory? Do they think that WWE suffers somehow?
Had WWE publicly courted Sting, then maybe the video would have some legitimacy, but we all know this is not the case. And no...this is not just an excuse for TNA capitalizing on Sting buzz. The only buzz Sting had was a limited spike in interest among fans who already knew all about TNA and wanted to see Sting in a new context because the old one is just so...OLD.
In three weeks or so all of this Sting talk will go away. TNA will continue in front of 1000 non-paying attendees and score 15,000 PPV buys. WWE will not even blink as it marches towards a 75,000 seat (estimate) stadium, hundreds of thousands if not a million PPV buys, and more mainstream attention than TNA could dream of. Arrogant and insecure little videos and verbal jabs won't change that.