by Ryan Andrews
As of May 12th, TNA will become Impact Wrestling. Apparently, the higher-ups think that a rebranding will breathe new life into their product and attract wrestling fans that feel WWE is moving away from its core product by shortening their name (and in doing so, dropping the word “Wrestling”). Unfortunately for TNA, I feel that their product will remain the same thanks to their writers (specifically Vince Russo), their ignorant-to-the-business-owner (Dixie Carter), and of course their over-the-hill your-prime-ENDED-over-a-decade-ago talents (starting with Hulk Hogan, and of course the list could go on forever).
Now, before I go on bashing TNA and delving deeper into my reasoning for why they will continue to fail despite a name change, let me mention the ONE reason their name change may SLIGHTLY increase viewership. TNA. T-N-A. T N A. T and A. Yup, that’s what their current name sounds like to not just me, but many others. T and A of course is not only the name of former tag team Test and Albert, it’s also a reference to “Tits and Ass”. If I were a man with deep religious beliefs or very strong morals, I would never ever EVER watch a show with such a dirty name. I mean, if the name’s dirty, the show itself must be a disgusting, filth-ridden, testament to pimps and their brothel of whores. In changing the name, maybe Sting cough I mean, people with strong religious and moral beliefs will finally allow their family to watch the program.
Now, on to my favorite part of this article, tearing down TNA.
TNA or Impact Wrestling as it will soon be known, will continue to fail despite the rebranding because of: The Writers. If anything will kill a wrestling company quicker than obscenity charges and an ensuing trial, that thing must go by the name Vince Russo. For some reason, Dixie Carter has unwavering faith in the man who cost WCW $60,000,000.00 in its last full year. Over the years, Vince Russo treated us to some of the dumbest storylines in WCW (including Stacy Keibler’s pregnancy angle, 3 Count – the boy band that never once produced a legitimate album but somehow went platinum, and the worst angle ever, the one that led to David Arquette winning, and therefore devaluing the legitimacy of, the WCW World Title). He’s certainly doing the business a disservice by continuing to work in the industry. In just the last few years in TNA, he dragged a legend and WWE Hall of Famer’s word through the mud when he wrote the Nature Boy’s path back in to the ring after Ric had told Shawn Michaels that he was really retiring. I am sure that he is the man that has kept Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, and Karen Angle/Jarrett (whatever last name she goes by now) in this ridiculous love triangle for nearly the last two years. And really, can someone tell me who (in the storyline) is in charge of TNA nowadays. Is it Dixie? Is it Jeff? Is it Flair? Is it Hogan?…. Fuck, is it Mick Foley??!? (And before he actually comments, I’m certain columnist Todd Graham could answer all of those questions for me. I know he watches that God-awful show)
Impact Wrestling will continue to fail despite the rebranding because of: The Owner. I’ll keep this short. Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE, knows how to produce wrestling. Even if he doesn’t want to acknowledge that that’s what it is, or even if he wants to call it “Entertainment”, what Vince is producing is wrestling. Dixie Carter, owner of TNA/Impact Wrestling, doesn’t. What Dixie and her band of misfit writers are producing is called a three-ring circus where the ring leader changes on a weekly basis, the sword-swallower can barely handle pocket-knives, and the multitude of clowns can’t figure out how to stuff all of them selves into the clown car.
Impact Wrestling will continue to fail despite the rebranding because of: The Talent. Or should I say, lack thereof? TNA continues to hire stars of yesteryear at the expense of their younger, more mobile talent. Despite what he’s brainwashed Dixie into believing, TNA does not NEED Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s prime was over a decade ago. Heck, he was considered somewhat of a nostalgia act in 2002 when he fought The Rock at Wrestlemania X8. Then there’s Scott Steiner. The most mobile I’ve seen that man since WCW was when he rode a pogo stick during a match with (I believe) Jeff Jarrett. On May 12th, the same day that TNA becomes Impact Wrestling, Chyna is going to be revealed as Kurt Angle’s mistress. The last I heard of her she was doing lines of coke off a midget’s ass somewhere outside of Las Vegas. Honestly, I haven’t been able to take her serious since she got knocked out by Joey Buttafuocco. Going back to Kurt Angle…. isn’t he supposed to be dead by now? I could keep going about how all TNA does is hire WWE rejects, but how about I focus on some of the bright young stars that TNA is producing… and going to fuck over in favor of a dinosaur, drug addict, or aforementioned WWE rejects.
AJ Styles – No name says TNA more than the man who’s been there since the beginning. Styles is repeatedly built up to be a star. Then repeatedly knocked down. Styles has gone from TNA Champion (at the time NWA Champion) to Kurt Angle’s bitch in the past and now that he’s riding high as the top man in Fortune, I get the feeling that he’s about to get knocked down a few pegs. I wonder how he’d feel about being Bully Ray’s bitch?
Christopher Daniels – Before TNA began regularly signing WWE discarded talent, Daniels was one of the 3 top guys in the company along with Styles and that waste of a Samoan heritage, Samoa Joe. As soon as bigger names were brought in Daniels became an afterthought to the higher-ups. And then, they let him go!! One of their few talents actually worth watching and they let him go. Recently he returned to TNA and along with Styles is feuding with Immortal, but I doubt it will be long before he is once again relegated to the mid-card.
Jay Lethal – Jay Lethal was on a role in the final years of the last decade. He was working the “Black Machismo” gimmick and was surprisingly over. He cleanly pinned Kurt Angle for his second X-Division Championship and just last year had a match with Ric Flair in which the Nature Boy put the rising star over. Which brings me to what Lethal is doing for TNA now… nothing. They recently released him. Yeah, I guess he was TOO over.
To sum it all up – TNA or Impact Wrestling, the name doesn’t matter. The product will continue to fail as long as Dixie and the writers continue to push the same ol’, same ol’ and try to pass it off as new and exciting.