I know there will be a lot of talk about TNA tomorrow regarding “Against ALL Logic… er, Odds”, so I’ll wait until after the PPV to decide for myself if they’ve turned the corner to something productive, or are continuing their path to bankruptcy by turning off virtually every fan by taking such a talented locker room and turning them in to clowns.
What I’d like to do is chime in on some of the subjects that my contemporaries have touched upon and and give my 2 cents worth. I recommend that you read their comments as well and then make your own mind up about ANY issue. The main one I want to talk about is the deal with Disco and his reasoning that titles should be value-less.
Raven leaned on him pretty hard about this and I think that while he’s right, Disco might still be a little too defensive regarding Raven’s personal comments to really understand what he’s getting at. Plus, I just think there are some other factors that Raven didn’t touch upon which I’ll go in to now. Now, I know what Disco’s philosophy is and while I get it, I simply don’t agree.
He seems to feel that if the titles come down in value, the whole wrestling team will seem more special and the EVERY match will be special.
A championship is a marketing tool in wrestling and should be considered so BACKSTAGE. Of course, a certain pride in one’s work shouldn’t be disregarded, but the feeling shouldn’t be “I won the belt”, but rather “I’ve shown my value to be strong enough that this promoter feels I’m a good decision to be the figurehead of his company”.
When reading wrestlers autobiographies, I notice a real trend of guys picking and choosing when and where to believe their own crap. They’ll “win” a belt, but they’ll “put someone over” when they lose. It’s just a slight stroke to their own egos, but I find it an interesting insight in to who needs more psychological comforting than others.
In front of the paying audience, a belt should be perceived as the greatest prize that one can devote their life to. Worthy of sacrifice and hardship. I would pay to see someone who has devoted their whole life to one goal, finally get their opportunity to seize it.
That’s worthy of my money as a consumer.
Not to mention the fact that without a common goal for the wrestlers to strive for, essentially we’re just a bunch of guys fighting over nothing. So everyone who claims that “wrestling just glorifies senseless violence” would be correct. Athletes striving for a championship, for the opportunity to be regarded as the best in the world at what they’ve devoted their lives to, has a certain nobility to it and it can be inspiring and exciting.
Guys sitting around backstage in spandex who can only fight each other because one spilled hot coffee on the other ten minutes ago and once one wins, nothing is really accomplished in furthering their careers, is a glorification of senseless violence. And just screams “phony” to me.
It doesn’t suspend my disbelief, it reinforces it. Plus, it really makes me think that maybe the ones promoting said event don’t really have much confidence in their performers abilities. Now, if “wrestling” all by itself were the essential drawing card, Ring Of Honor would be selling out MAJOR arenas every day of the week instead of looking to cut costs to stay afloat.
They have a great piece of the puzzle, and their “nitch audience” is thrilled with it so as long as they’re satisfying their audience, they should stick to their guns. But the “casual fan” wants a little more since they know the business is bent and thus, more storytelling is required. But I really believe the stories MUST culminate in the ring.
The final word in WWE is “Entertainment” and they do their best to deliver in that department. They might not always succeed, but their efforts are there. However, the middle part. The foundation. The “meat and potatoes” of the WWE between the first W (World- letting you know that this is international and quite simply the biggest promotion ANYWHERE so you’ll be seeing the “best of the best”) and the E(Entertainment- more than JUST athletes hitting each other, but the stories around athletes striving to be the best and the interesting ways and methods they take along the way) is still the main W(Wrestling- the one link that really ties together what the best in the world do, what they ALL have in common AND what sets them apart from one another).
Thus, the appearance of a championship and “holding a title” in this environment and under these circumstances is FAR AND AWAY more interesting and necessary than an industry trying to tell you that “no one is the best… so EVERYONE is”. That’s why you’re wrong, Disco. No offense.
Now, another subject to broach is Smackdown leaving the CW. I’ve read a bunch of stuff about people saying “WOW, this is the end of the brand extension”. But come on, do you not think that Vince wouldn’t have some sort of plan in effect BEFORE allowing this deal to sewer?
And what if it isn’t to just drum up more cash out of the CW network with threats of leaving? And what if it isn’t to go to a network who will give them more freedom to explore more “adult” themes? And what if it isn’t even because he has a better offer waiting in the wings? What if it’s history repeating itself?
I seem to remember ECW having a deal with TNN and when Vince decided he wanted to go there with RAW, he just showed how his ratings DOMINATED ECW by comparison, and TNN threw ECW out for the more visible, more profitable, more established WWE product. Do you think Vince has his eye on Spike TV?
Do you think he’s allowed another promotion to get the suits in Spike interested in wrestling once again, knowing he has a product which has rating that MORE THAN DOUBLES the current rating of the current Spike TV broadcast? EVERY week. No matter what the competition does to draw attention and ratings.
I’m not in the WWE office so I couldn’t/wouldn’t say for sure. But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Vince was trying to re-establish his monopoly the same way he got it the first time. TNA can make VERY few mistakes from here on in if this is indeed, the big plan.
So, that’s it for now. I’ll be back in a couple of days and we’ll get detailed regarding the TNA PPV and why they advertise their own failures BEFORE they broadcast them!
All the best and God Bless.
Joe E Legend
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