Sorry TNA – This is Where We Part Ways
Posted by Jack McGee on 06.06.2014
411’s Jack McGee discusses how discovering TNA helped him stay a wrestling fan, and how walking away now will do the very same thing…
If you have followed my past writings, this will sound very repetitive, but I want to set a frame of reference. When I was a kid I was a WWF fan, I grew up in the northeast and it is what I was exposed to the most. Hulkamania ran wild, and I had no problem with him, but I wasn't his biggest fan. I was a Randy Savage guy. But like most wrestling fans, I eventually discovered other wrestling and as a fan, went on a worldwide journey through the glory of cable, PPV and tape trading. I found WCW, ECW, AWA, Global, USWA and eventually Japan and Mexico. A whole new world was opened for me, WWF wasn't the only game in town, but it was my home team. But when ECW and WCW ended, and the WWF was left standing as the sole surviving giant of wrestling in the United states; things changed big time for me. I am in the camp that was not a fan of the invasion booking, and after a while I became disenfranchised with wrestling. I needed something else or I was going to check out as a fan. And then I found it. I needed TNA, and wrestling needed TNA.
TNA wrestling was born, and as a wrestling fan I was interested. I made the decision to support this company, so I cut the cord on buying WWF PPV and transitioned that money to the TNA product and the weekly PPVs they ran. Now, there are no rose colored glasses here; early TNA had its rough spots. Ok, some of it was downright embarrassing. Giant Penises as a tag team, midgets jerking off, the Dupps, Erik Watts, ECW revivals; there was some horrible shit to get through. But for every masturbating midget there was an AJ Styles. For every Erik Watts there was a Samoa Joe. And for every Dupp there were a Daniels and a Kazarian. There was a lot to love. AMW, The Machine Guns, Team Canada, Beer Money and the early X-Division were all things I loved. Raven's initial run in TNA was really good and a great use of the guy. Christian's TNA stint was one of my favorite times in TNA because the company used him well and he desired that run. But the guys that made me watch no matter what were AJ, Joe, Daniels and Kazarian. I watched the NWA and WCW for the Four Horsemen, and these guys were my four horsemen, riding into TNA to save wrestling with great matches and being the top stars that I wanted; fresh faces with talent that could be a around a long time. They had everything going for them, time, talent and a clean slate in a company that was just born. But for some reason, it just didn't work out as it should have. Many of my favorites have departed, and along with that, my enthusiasm for the product has gone with it.
It is my firm belief that the worst enemy of any wrestling company is themselves, constantly trying to outsmart their own fans or even worse their own employees. TNA could never let AJ Styles be AJ Styles, they wanted him to be a prince or mini-Flair and then after time he became devalued instead of a huge star he should have been for them. Samoa Joe should have been a huge star, but they constantly booked him like hell once he finally won the title, losing to Sting, Booker, Nash and anyone with a name in the 90s. Because lets face it, if they were a star in the 90s, they got top spots in TNA along with top money. Joe painted a penis on his face, hung out with Okada and through the years became unmotivated. Daniels and Kaz were the most entertaining act in the company; but the thing is that they didn't get used right, TNA had other plans and decided to get cheap. Why have Daniels and Kazarian when you can have Knux, Crazy Steve, Rebel, Stilt Walking Guys, Bram and Bobby Lashley!
But on top of the fact that the guys that I like were constantly used poorly and are now mostly gone, TNA keeps being TNA; and that is a bad thing. It feels like the life of TNA has been the evil heel champion, the evil heel stable controlling things or some form of a battle for control of the company. Sports Entertainment Xtreme, Planet Jarrett, The Band, Immortal, The World Elite, Team Canada, Christian's Coalition, the Main Event Mafia, Fortune, Aces and Eights, Dixieland and now Team MVP; it feels like it never ends. It runs on an endless loop, it all feels the same and at the end of the day it is. Nothing ever changes, no one ever really gets over and then they start the process again.
Despite what some will say, the cupboard is not bare and the shelves are not empty. There is talent in TNA; Bobby Roode, James Storm, Austin Aries are all awesome and can deliver when given the chance. Eric Young is doing well as the fighting champion, and when motivated Samoa Joe can still be Samoa Joe. But right now, right now it's not the TNA I enjoyed, nor is it the TNA I invested my time and money into. I am often more frustrated than satisfied, and that's not the way that it should be. I keep waiting for TNA to put on that series of great matches that they used to put on, and they never come. There is some good wrestling, but not nearly at the level that it could or should be.
You always hear "it's not me, it's you" during break ups. In this case, it's a bit of both. I am not enjoying the company as I once did, while others clearly do. So I am going to take my own advice. It's just like the radio, if you don't like it, don't bitch; change the channel. I don't want to watch the show and be angry because I don't enjoy. I don't want to write weekly columns shitting on the product because the TNA faithful do not deserve that. On top of that, if I am angry about wrestling and bitching about wrestling I will eventually hate wrestling; and I never want that to happen. THIS IS NOT A HATE COLUMN ON TNA. This is about me as a fan, and the same thing has happened with the weekly WWE and ROH product as well. TNA outlasted them with me. But for now, it is time that I part ways with TNA Wrestling as a regular viewer. I will do what I do with WWE & ROH, DVR it, maybe watch if something sounds good, but otherwise fill my time with some thing else. I wish them the best, I hope that they overcome and I hope that they can draw me back in as a fan. Because while TNA may be the object of jokes and people wanting to hate on them, I firmly believe that the wrestling business needs TNA. The fans need alternatives; the wrestlers need places to work. Keep fighting and keep working hard…
"Good luck, we're all counting on you…"
Jack McGee is an aspiring investigative journalist with interests covering TV, Movies, Wrestling, MMA and Sports. When not hunting the Incredible Hulk, Jack works on his surfing, his Johnny Utah like throwing motion and origami.