Controlled by Competition: Will TNA Always Be Defined by What WWE Is?

troy smithContributor IIIMay 3, 2011

I have asked this question before. However, I wanted to revisit it.

Is it possible for TNA to ever be operated on its own terms, or will the wrestling community always base what TNA should be on what WWE is?

I’ll give you some examples: I always hear people say that TNA should put push the X-Division. I’ve heard fans and people in the business say this.  However, I’ve never heard anyone say to focus on the X-Division because it’s entertaining or because it will draw ratings, ticket sales or PPV buys. 

The ONLY reason that I have ever heard anyone give is that WWE doesn’t have it. It makes you look different. I wonder if any of these people actually like the X-Division themselves. 

About a year ago, I started hearing people say that TNA should be more mature and become Total Nonstop Attitude. Not because it’s good or because a mature product will draw ratings, PPV buys or ticket sales.

The answer I heard was: WWE has gone PG. In fact, before WWE went PG, I never once heard anyone say that TNA should be adult-oriented.

Recently, the WWE re-branded itself and removed the word “wrestling.” What did I immediately start hearing from the IWC?

TNA should start pushing the word “wrestling.”

Suddenly, because WWE removes the word “wrestling,” TNA is supposed to have it said more than Anderson says “Asshole.”

It really leaves me wondering. If WWE still had a vibrant cruiserweight division, would so many people be saying that TNA should focus on the X-Division?

If the WWE always picked female wrestlers based on wrestling ability above all else, would the IWC be saying that TNA should focus on eye candy?

If WWE returned to “attitude,” would the IWC then tell TNA to go PG?

If both companies have lightweight wrestlers and women with wrestling ability and a focus on tag teams, then isn’t TNA just being WWE light again?

If WWE hadn’t removed the word wrestling, would people be telling TNA to emphasize it?

Is there an identity for TNA that isn’t determined by what WWE is? If so, what is it?

This TNA fan just doesn’t know.