At Victory Road, Sting and Jeff Hardy were supposed to have a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. It was supposed to be Hardy's redemption for a rouse perpetrated by the network that took his title. It wasn't supposed to last 90 seconds... or was it?
TNA has been trying to get their name out there for a long time. Trying to get a buzz and simply catch on. They want their name to be on the tongues of the Internet wrestling community. They want to be the topic of conversation and the hottest promotion in
wrestling sports entertainment. Nothing can be a hotter topic than controversy.
Personally, I cannot forget the words of from a certain TNA producer. He coined a phrase with such gusto he named his book after it, Controversy Creates Cash.
Eric Bischoff has been known to be a very clever business man. He understands the nuances of the sports entertainment machine and how to navigate a promotion to success. He knows that sometimes you have to lose to ultimately win.
So why not anger some people? Get them talking about your product, even if it's in a negative light. People will swarm the Internet to place comments in forums and chats. They will go to YouTube to see the "debacle" for themselves. Even TNA's detractors would take the time to satisfy their curiosity simply to give themselves more ammunition to lambast them.
TNA's current "concession" to those agitated by the finish to the Victory Road pay-per-view cost the company absolutely nothing as these videos were already there to begin with. Offering free TNA On Demand rewards loyalists who ordered by allowing them to enjoy the backlog of 300 hours of TNA product. To those first timers who ordered out of curiosity or for a lark, they now get to expose them to more of what TNA has to offer.
Could the Victory Road Sting/Jeff Hardy situation be a "work"?
It really is quite clever.
Just imagine how many hits they could get and the attention they might garner with Jeff Hardy's upcoming trial. How TNA would reap the rewards when it's mentioned that Hardy was visibly "impaired" in his last match. Look at the buzz currently being generated. WWE faithful pointing and laughing and TNA loyalist angered enough to argue and defend them even further. People are definitely talking.
It's a formula that works.
More people may now tune in to TNA to watch it possibly derail. The real trick is to get them watching because once you are they can win you over.
Now I'm not says it is indeed a work, but with Eric Bischoff involved the idea can't be dismissed.
Elliott Saltares is a sports pundit, fan, and contributing writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on twitter @elliottsaltares.