All Vince did was create a problem for himself that he truly cannot fix without scraping everything that is on the board and try again. The issues with TNA Wrestling and the WWE are a direct result of the lack of competition with only two brand extensions getting the mother load of exposure, but the two do not compete against each other.
Week after week and time after time, we tune into the television on four nights out of seven (five if there is a pay-per-view) to watch the same storylines we saw a decade ago – only the names have changed. Thia past week on Impact! Wrestling made me realize just how slow the process has become at trying to take a stagnant situation and make it a smooth transition into a new year.
Frankly, right now it cannot be done. The assessment of both promotions, whether fans, wrestlers, wrestling writers and the owners of both TNA and WWE, want to admit it or not, is bleak because the forward thinking of Vince McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Crockett and others in decades past has basically run out – dryer than a desert in the hot sun. And there aren’t young, creative writers to come in and save the day, much like Vince did when he bought the WWF from his father in the early 1980s.
Curses on everyone for first making it “Sports Entertainment” and second from breaking down the barriers of Kayfabe and making this such “literal” reality programming that even a nine year old who can use the internet can figure out plot summaries and “heel” turns more readily than he can his History assignment. The WWF at the time of The Wild Samoans and Pedro Morales had a brilliant concept of being the regional company that sold gold at every gate. The NWA was the national outfit that sent Ric Flair and Harley Race everywhere to compete in small towns, circus arenas and high school gymnasiums.
And people at it up as if it were the guilty pleasure no one talked about. I know because I was the little kid in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the Jacksonville Memorial Colosseum watching Flair and Race, and Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco tear it up month after month with 3,000 other screaming fans.
Watching AJ Styles and Magnus try to recreate the CM Punk spot and subsequent match with John Cena in a “one man, one championship” angle made me sick for a number of reasons. And none of them had to do with the actually performers. The old giving into the new is nothing new in wrestling – it happens every day. It is also the premise behind the face and heel. But Magnus and Styles cannot carry Cena’s or Punk’s boots. And the dialogue is awful – nothing we can all put our money on. Styles has been ranting of late like Punk and his infamous “shoot” interview we still praise. But Styles is not Punk. Magnus is not Cena or a modern day Randy Orton for that matter. TNA’s watered down concept of wrestling with the idea that imitation is the best form of flattery is more like imitation has become the best form of highway robbery.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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