EXCLUSIVE: My Gripe With TNA; I’d Like To See…

Mark Madden

People ask why I hate TNA. I don’t. TNA just sucks. People ask why I write about TNA so much if I think it sucks. Good question.
I am NOT a WWE fan. Grew up in the promotion’s original territory, but never liked it. Formulaic and repetitive, then as now. Hated the Hulkamania era. I’ll never forgive WWE for trying to minimize Ric Flair during his initial run. I’ve respected many WWE performers, but since WCW folded, WWE isn’t giving the people what they want. The people are getting what the McMahon family LIKES. To varying degrees, WWE is a vanity promotion. Lack of competition has made the rot set in.
At its best, WWE is OK. Sports entertainment, my ass. It’s f***ing WRESTLING.
I may have been the bullpen catcher in WCW, but I was on the team. We kicked WWE’s ass. Didn’t last forever, but it happened. Can’t be taken away. WCW’s defeat of WWE caused WWE to dig deep. WWE came up big.
No need for WWE to come up big now. They don’t, and they won’t.
If you want the pro wrestling scene in America to be as good as it can, to be interesting and creative, you must certainly recognize that there needs to be a viable No. 2 promotion pressuring WWE. An alternative.
TNA is not it. The people who run TNA are not capable. The wrestlers who perform in TNA are, by and large, not capable.
Not only does TNA suck, TNA makes wrestling in general suck.
I thought wrestling’s most recent peak came in the mid-‘90s. WWE and WCW battling and counterpunching, ECW nipping at both their heels creatively.
Compare then to now. You can’t. But nobody’s embarrassed. Nobody shows any sign of being challenged. Everybody wants to keep their job. Very few are interested in DOING their job.
That’s why I constantly bury the mangled carcass that is Total Non-Stop Action wrestling. If enough people joined me, maybe somebody would get a fire lit under their dead ass and things might get intriguing again.
I also bury TNA because I like always being right. WHAMMY!
Don’t forget, this isn’t art. At best, wrestling is theatre’s lowest form. It’s to be judged by one thing and one thing only: DRAWING MONEY. Everything should be designed to lead to one thing and one thing only: DRAWING MONEY. Anybody working in wrestling who disagrees is a fool. Anybody watching wrestling who disagrees is a mark. Debate workrate all you want. Define your personal preferences. Keep all your five-star matches. I’d rather have a crap match that DRAWS MONEY. (You can have both.)
DRAWING MONEY = fan approval. DRAWING MONEY = being over.
If you could pick any wrestler from throughout history to start a promotion, you’d have to pick Wrestlemania III-era Hulk Hogan. I HATED Wrestlemania III-era Hulk Hogan. But he drew more money than anybody, ever.
WWE sucks, too. Just not as bad. WWE has more compelling characters. Even TNA couldn’t ruin Jericho and Cena. Uh, probably not.
Like TNA, WWE has gratuitous gaps in logic. Consider Jericho’s handicap match with The Hart Dynasty on Raw. (“JUST READ THE E-MAIL, IDIOT!” Priceless!) Why would The Hart Dynasty sacrifice its 2-on-1 edge by having one member voluntarily leave the cage? Logic dictates that both members would stay in the cage to deliver a prolonged 2-on-1 beating, thus maximizing the chance of victory. When David Hart Smith left the cage, the announcers should have pointed out that he made a mistake.
Instead, Jericho won, beating Tyson Kidd 1-on-1 – as reputation dictates he should – while Smith stood outside, stupid and helpless. DUMB.

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