You Never Disappoint Me…

Mark Madden


…because you ALWAYS disappoint me.

The TNA Challenge is going about like I expected: Lots and lots of incoherency. Lots and lots of name-calling. Facts and points well-made? Not so much.

Truth is, I’ve received several dozen e-mails regarding the TNA Challenge, and not one has articulately verbalized anything TNA does right. And the bottom line is, to define something as “being done right,” it has to be getting results. Many of those responding bleated endlessly about “potential.”

But “potential” is just another way of saying you might get your ass kicked. TNA has been around for eight years. A.J. Styles has wrestled for 12 years. At some point, you go from having potential to hitting your sell-by date. To being a flop. That’s no knock on A.J. specifically. I like him as a worker. But some guys just don’t draw. Or, sometimes, good performers are never put in a position to draw. Sometimes good performers are dragged down by a permanently damaged brand name.

Sometimes good performers need the machine. Jeff Hardy: Star in WWE. Jeff Hardy: Bum in TNA.

Some guys are good within context. His unfortunate and unnecessary use of profanity aside, Mr. Anderson has had a nice run in TNA. But it hasn’t led to anything. Ratings and buyrates stay low. Kurt Angle and Ric Flair have always been foolproof. But it hasn’t led to anything. You’ve got to draw.

TNA is a permanently damaged brand name. The Second Coming could show up at the Impact Zone with a signed affidavit from God swearing that He was the real deal, and it wouldn’t matter. Casual fans don’t take TNA seriously. WCW fans haven’t flocked. WWE fans see TNA as second-rate.

I’ve said more than once that the best thing for TNA to do would be fold. I wasn’t kidding. There is NO WAY to make TNA work. It’s been too bad for too long. WCW was dangerously close to that point before Hulk Hogan upped its visibility. Eric Bischoff having the guts to go toe-to-toe on Monday night made WCW viable. The nWo invasion put WCW over the top. It’s pretty clear you can’t go home again.

The best TNA can ever hope for is a well-booked product that piques the interest of its hardcore loyalists. And with its current ownership and administration, TNA can’t even hope for that.

I tried to write a positive TNA column. Even a parody-style column that would praise TNA. Can’t do it. There’s no angle to take.

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