If you didn’t notice (and if not, I’m hurt), I didn’t post a CCB article last week. Rumors were flying around the Internet, but I can proudly say that no, I didn’t run out of columns on my Camel Clutch Contract for the year of 2010. I was just super-busy and didn’t really have time to even pay as much attention to my own blog as I would have liked. I’d like to pretend that I was just goofing on myself and making up strange stipulations that were totally original and not mimicking anything happening in a real wrestling company. Sadly, I’m not.
Apparently, the TNA Wrestling contracts that guys such as Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair and Team 3D signed with the company contained only a limited amount of dates for the year. Rather than signing them to a yearly contract with unlimited appearances, the contracts signed offered a limited number of dates for the length of the contract, with any extra dates costing large sums of money. This would not be a problem if the TNA braintrust had actually budgeted those appearances to make sure that everyone on those kinds of deals had maximum impact. Yeah, about that…
Then again, if I’m a genius, what are the people in charge of TNA? Well, Dixie Carter is an attention whore of a money mark who’s more concerned about getting the attention of Vince McMahon than running a good wrestling company. Hulk Hogan is just collecting a paycheck at this point. Vince Russo… don’t get me started on him. And Eric Bischoff? Well, apparently, he’s too busy writing rants directed at the Internet, taking us to task for even thinking about liking or defending the WWE.
This is why you have stuff happening that doesn’t make sense. No one seems to care about the product in the ring as much as they care about image. That’s why you get things like these contract lapses, or bringing back ECW wrestlers who steal crap from the locker room and no-show Impact tapings for which they’re integral parts of. No one gives a crap about providing a disciplined atmosphere, which is why Desmond Wolfe doesn’t know why he has heat on him for bitching about guys not being awesome enough workers for him to have matches with or why Samoa Joe feels like he’s justified in bitching out Vince Russo publically and throwing a temper tantrum in the truck. That’s why you get asinine booking decisions like the lockbox challenge for the Knockouts Title or having RVD forfeit the title because he has no dates left instead of making him drop the title in one of his final dates before they ran out.
However, there is hope, not for TNA, but for other prospective wrestling promoters, like Sean Davis and the Wilpon family, who are starting a new promotion in TNA’s backyard. Dixie and her band of blithering idiots are providing the blueprint of how not to run a wrestling company. It is a cautionary tale the likes of which 2000-01 WCW could only dream of producing, and while it seems like a comedy of errors on the surface, it really reads as an afterschool special for would-be promoters. Really, if you want to succeed, you don’t do what TNA has done. You don’t bring in every washed-up wrestler possible and put them over your young talent 100% of the time. You use TV to advertise and not Twitter and Youtube exclusively. You keep track of storylines and don’t drop them within a couple of weeks of their inception. You don’t hire Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff or Hulk Hogan to do anything behind the scenes.
If they didn’t, then maybe RVD would still be working for them. If they didn’t, maybe they wouldn’t be forced to shell out big bucks for every extra date they’re having Ric Flair appear for. If they didn’t, maybe they’d sell more than 10,000 buys for their monthly PPVs. If they didn’t, then maybe they wouldn’t end up being the paragon for bad wrestling.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.