By Michael Brown
An oft asked question amongst wrestling fans is whether Vince McMahon will buy Dixie Carter’s Tennessee based TNA, Total Nonstop Action, promotion. Established in 2002 by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, the promotion is the biggest and only real major alternative to the WWE. Sections of the wrestling fanbase have been clamouring for Vince to buy the promotion and incorporate it into the WWE behemoth. For the life of me I can’t understand why people would want that. Over the next thousand words or so, I’m going to attempt to explain to anyone in favour why it would be a horrendously bad idea.
TNA’s existence is essential for the wrestling landscape. As I’ve said before, TNA is the only real competition to the WWE. With all due respect to Ring of Honor and CHIKARA, they are not competition to TNA, never mind to the WWE. The fact that one of ROH’s tag champions walked out just for an opportunity with TNA speaks louder than words. The bigger TNA get and the more they grow, it’s best for everyone involved. It’s better for the talent because there are two companies they can negotiate between. If there are two companies they would ideally push each other to bigger and better things.
There is precedent for this. It is absolutely no coincidence that wrestling was at its zenith in the late 90s there were two promotions of roughly equal size trying to do outdo one and other. This is the holy land for wrestling fans, and should TNA grow to the size to put serious pressure on the WWE for the first time in 13 years then I think that’s the only chance we have to return to those days. My only hope is that TNA does not go the same way as its spiritual predecessor.
Combine that with the fact that that the benefits of buying TNA at the minute would be minimal. There are two scenarios the WWE could look at when buying TNA. The first would be to run a major invasion angle. The problem with that is that to the majority of the WWE audience, would anyone buy an invasion type angle from the likes of Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Austin Aries being able to compete with CM Punk, Kane et al? The point being that an invasion angle can only be successful if the threat is seen as a threat. As much as I love the likes of Joe and Styles, I don’t see how they could be seen to be invaders of the WWE to casual fans.
The other scenario is to incorporate the TNA roster into the WWE’s. The only guy who could come in and enter at the top of the card instantly is Kurt Angle. Hogan could come in and have an impact on TV undoubtedly, although whether Vince takes his contract up is another subject for debate. Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam and Mr Anderson/Kennedy could maybe be re-debuted near the top of the card as well.
As much as I love Sting, I have my doubts over whether anyone will remember him in the direction that the WWE has gone. Bret Hart’s return was underwhelming to say the least when he returned to the WWE. Even Jericho’s recent return – before then leaving again – was met by casual indifference it seemed from the live crowd, and he’d only left in 2010. If you want to bring in Sting to main event I think it’s a real fear that his debut is met by massive indifference to the general WWE crowd, even if we’re all marking out at home. Especially if, as John Cena claims, the average age of the WWE’s viewers is nine years old.
The likes of Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and James Storm would have likely entered into the midcard which seems a huge waste of talent to be wasted by the WWE creative system. I suppose you could put Beer Money back together in an attempt to add a serious tag team into the tag team division in the hopes of rebuilding it, but with no competition they’re going to get pretty boring pretty quickly. Having these guys lost in the WWE midcard would be a travesty, although no doubt having AJ Styles feud with someone other than Christopher Daniels would be a definite plus point.
Regardless of you stance on TNA and what your philosophy is on what should be done with the promotion when it’s absorbed, the reality of situation is pretty simple. So long as the Carter family choose to invest in TNA the company is secure. I know this has similarities to the situation with WCW and Ted Turner, but the difference is that TNA’s outgoings are nowhere near what WCW’s were. The burden on the Carter family isn’t massive, as by all accounts the promotion is wiping its face. In other words, it isn’t losing money and is in fact turning a modest profit. Until it becomes financially unstable, or the Carters decided to get rid which isn’t looking likely given that the company’s finances are far more stable than they were a few years ago, the promotion will remain independent of Vince McMahon’s juggernaut. And thank god for that.
The Thoughts of Michael Brown there on Vince and the WWE Buying TNA. Let Michael know what you think on Twitter @MichaelBrown_91
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