WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Proves It Still Believes in Wrestling

Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

How does a company that appears to be sinking and falling apart continue to get it right week after week in the ring, if not in the business side of things?

I continue to ask myself that question when TNA Impact Wrestling gives us matches that continue to scrape at the roots of the business and give us matches like AJ Styles and Austin Aries.

While it was not five stars (a solid four), it was outstanding and maybe the ratings will reflect the fans showing their support for the efforts. I sure support them from a writing standpoint and as a fan.

Back in the day when I was younger (teens, early 20s), you never saw cruiserweights challenge the heavyweights. There were classifications. There was a pecking order. And in the words of The Rock, everyone knew their role.

And true cruiserweights like Tully Blanchard, Ricky Morton and Mike Graham were tag team performers or help regional titles and only sniffed the world title scene because they were local favorites with no real chance of being the top draw.

In TNA, everyone is a draw.

Don’t fool yourself – a Styles/Jeff Hardy match would draw all over the world now thanks to television, the WWE and how TNA packages its matches and its feuds.

I guess wrestling matters again down south.

I used to think there were five cruiserweights who were the best of all time – Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko Eddie Guerrero and Brian Pillman. Now, those names have more added to the list like Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk. And anyone who disagrees with me, I have two words for you – Making bank.

TNA has packaged the Bound for Glory Series as its WrestleMania with a three month tour of matches leading up to it. We never saw that with WrestleMania (maybe the road to WM counts, but its not the same), or SummerSlam or Starrcade or even The Great American Bash.

There is a craft to it and having top stars show off every week helps.

While I am not a fan of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter or even Jeff Jarrett, I get the message and see where things are going. I see the scene in the ring does not match the scene outside the ring behind closed doors. That was part of WCW’s problem and the AWA’s issues as well.

WCW and Jim Crockett Promotions did themselves in for a few simple reasons; they allowed themselves to get too big too soon and when they started making hand over fist night after night with stars like Magnum TA, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and Arn Anderson, the rules changed. Styles has been a mainstay here in TNA for 12 years and while the people and places and policies have become different, the fact that wrestling is still the name on the marquee helps put things into perspective.

If you want to see entertainment and drama and two hours of a three-hour program all about rehashing the past, then Monday, Wednesday and Friday will fill your dance card. If you want to see holds and counter wrestling and moves that would make Harley Race and Dory Funk Jr. proud, then Thursday night should have you glued to the television set.

And as long as Styles and Aries are doing it and doing it well on Thursday nights, I might take my chances with the smaller game in town.
At least I know I am getting wrestling like it should be.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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