WWE | Pro Wrestling

Does the WWE Need TNA Wrestling to survive?

Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahonIn many ways one could consider Ted Turner as the true father of modern day wrestling. He was an avid wrestling fan and ultimately the guy who put wrestling on a prime time time slot. It was also his love of wrestling that most likely clouded his judgement when it came to WCW.

The big salaries were killing the company and Bischoff was gradually phasing out the wrestling week in – week out. At one stage WCW were flying their entire roster to shows, even though only around 20% would be used for competitive action.

One thing they got right though was how to push Vince McMahon. WWF never really felt threatened until the dawn of the Monday Night Wars. Its flagship program, Raw is War was under a considerable threat from WCW Nitro.

This ushered in a new era in WWF and Pro-Wrestling alike that would forever change the landscape of professional wrestling. The WWF policy during the ‘attitude era’ was packing a program with as much, violence, wrestling, divas and comedy as possible. This was far more appealing than WCW’s crazy story lines and poisonous back stage politics that all too often seeped through into the public view.

There is no doubt that WWF/E enjoyed one of its best periods during this time but this would never have happened had it not been pushed to the limit by WCW. How do I know this? Just look at what has happened the past 5 years in Pro-Wrestling. The industry was lack luster and irrelevant up until that infamous CM Punk Promo finally got people talking again.

This had a knock on effect to TNA who totally re branded their product, (just a shame the product didn’t match the branding in the end) TNA has enjoyed some exposure over the last 2-3 years and seemed to be on the right track until the signing of Hogan et al. In the years post Monday Night Wars wrestling became stale, monotonous and boring. People knew what was going to happen at every show and championships remained with the same faces for long periods of time.

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Punk changed that, if only for a month. I had a lot of friends who grew out of wrestling as they got older but all of a sudden with one promo a spark was lit. Both their interest and quite a few others were ignited that night. These promos and story lines though, as good as they are, only serve as a short term solution to the decline of pro-wrestling.

The lack of competition from rival organizations and the McMahon monopoly have made sure that wrestling is predictable and ad-heavy. It is no secret Vince is looking at other ventures to keep his investment profitable. The truth is, TNA are quite happy to play second-fiddle to WWE because in reality they will never be bigger than WWE. But in my opinion WWE needs some form of competition.

TNA is the closest thing, although some way off and if it was to be a bit more pro-active in trying then it might cause the WWE to perk up a little. Vince has no problem with TNA because when most people look at the main guys in TNA right now they see ex-WWE castoffs. Sting being the honorable exception. There is no threat of future stars being brought to the fore or crafted in territories like Goldberg from the Power Plant.

Further to this analogy, even if there was top stars emerging from TNA, Vince could offer them a considerably better pay-check. In theory, Wrestling as a business is in decline and with nothing to make WWE take notice it will continue to do so. Surely TNA can’t get any worse so why not take a gamble, push their own guys and issue a direct challenge to WWE? Stand up and be counted for the sake of the industry or tow the party line and always be known as the ‘second’ company?

I know what I would choose!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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