Friday, October 21, 2011

WWE and TNA from Wilson's view

My name is Roger Wilson. I am the author of the highly-rated novel "Phantom Four: Children of the Grave," but today I write this as an annoyed WWE fan. Here's a little backstory: Since the days of Hulk Hogan back in the 80's, I have watched WWE (then WWF) almost religiously. The many great wrestlers then with a variety of character personas were great to watch. My favorite wrestler was Bret "Hit Man" Hart, the man who was the most real character. I enjoyed all of his many classic matches and feel that he is the best there is, was, and ever will be. After Bret Hart left the WWE to join WCW, I stopped watching wrestling for a long while, then returned around the time of Chris Jericho's debut in the WWE as "Y2J." Jericho is one of my favorite wrestlers today. I watched WCW on occasion during the nWo era. My favorite wrestler there? Diamond Dallas Page. He seemed real, had great matches, and I love his "Self High Five" theme.

However recently, I have been very annoyed at WWE's handling of storylines. John Cena has been the focus of the company's title picture for seemingly an eternity. When CM Punk gave that amazing promo on June 27, it was a breath of fresh air. Things became exciting again... but alas, that revolution has sank. Nothing has really changed. Cena is already over with the fans and doesn't need the title, yet he's constantly thrown in the title picture and gives out nearly the same promos for years. His character hasn't changed or evolved at all. I understand he's their #1 money-maker, but he's shoved down fans' throats way too many times.

Sadly, that's not even to the worst of it. WWE is mishandling some of their awesome talent. John Morrison for example (who performs innovative high-flying manuevers, and has a very original slow-motion entrance) should be in the main event title picture by now. Instead, he seems to be a jobber every single week. Drew McIntyre (one of my favorite villians who uses the ring creatively in his matches and has great entrance music) is a jobber as well and is hardly seen on TV. I still remember that they did not push Shelton Benjamin, who could have easily been a multiple-time World Champion and was at one point given props by the great Shawn Michaels. Shelton, along with the late Owen Hart in my opinion are the two most underrated WWE superstars of all time. In addition, there's hardly any tag team division. I was upset that the charismatic and popular "Cryme Tyme" never won the tag titles a while back. And the divas? Sadly, their matches are reduced to barely three minutes, only one major storyline, and seemingly feature the same girls. I'd like to see more of A.J., Maryse (when she returns), Tamina, and Natalya (not as a jobber), and though Eve Torres is seen a lot, she has a lot of potential as I've seen her do great moves. I still don't know what Rosa Mendes can do. When Gail Kim came back to WWE, she wasn't pushed at all! I can't blame her for quitting. They also got rid of Melina, who was my favorite diva since the Lita/Trish Stratus days.

Angered by the WWE lately, last night I did something I haven't done in over a year: Watch TNA. I once watched TNA back when they had a six-sided ring. It was a horrible show and I didn't watch TNA again... until now. Thanks to WWE's mistakes and the reports I've heard of a much-improved Brooke Adams (whom I've always found attractive, I'll admit), I thought I should give Impact Wrestling a second chance. Seeing some familiar faces like Hogan, Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and some of the girls was great. I was impressed by the promos, although there was way too much talking. From the start of the show, 45 minutes past until I saw the first match! I'm old school and like to see more matches and less chatting. Hulk Hogan did seem like his own self again since the days of Hulkamania. Velvet Sky's promo felt genuine and heartfelt, the fight between Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett was good. And seeing Gail Kim return was good - as she's finally in a storyline! There was also unpredictability, as "Cowboy" James Storm (whose catch phrase I like" "Sorry about your damn luck!") defeated World Champion and familiar face Kurt Angle to win the title. The title changed hands! That's rare for a television broadcast.

I also saw Winter (who I remember as Katie Lea Burchill - another diva WWE didn't push), Tara (formerly Victoria), and Brooke (who was once with Kelly Kelly and Layla as ECW's Extreme Expose.) I recall she was fired from WWE for some stupid reason regarding furry boots... Anyway, it was good to see her compete. She came a long way. It's nice to see female wrestlers compete in a match that didn't feel like a waste of time. WWE sometimes puts all their divas in a tag match, only for two divas to fight and one gets pinned VERY quickly. Impact is giving me the vibe that their slogan is true. For them, "wrestling matters."

That said, I'm still a WWE fan and hope that McMahon and company change the way they write storylines and promote talent soon. TNA is on the rise and I will tune in to Impact next week. Unlike last time, they've sold me. Dixie Carter and Sting look determined to take TNA to WWE's level. They got far to go, but they are getting closer. WWE needs to stop misusing their talent and start giving their attention to people other than John Cena and Randy Orton. To WWE's credit, they are promoting Mark Henry, Sheamus, and Cody Rhodes. I can respect that, as those three have made WWE watchable (besides CM Punk). Plus, the Bella Twins (who I find both VERY attractive) have nice charisma and have grown well on the mic. Now they need to promote John Morrison, Tyson Kidd, Drew McIntyre, Natalya, and A.J. I am a fan of A.J. I'll admit. She should have won NXT season 3 in my opinion. McIntyre can be a major heel if used right. He seems to be a Scottish amalgam of Randy Orton and Triple H. The first part of his theme sound ominous, like something bad will happen to Drew's opponent... It should invoke fear. They should also stop putting announcers like Michael Cole into their main events.

In closing, part of me will always like the WWE, but I have stopped watching it before. TNA is impressing me. If the WWE keeps giving the spotlight to the same guys like Cena, Orton, and Triple H, and misusing the superstars and divas who needs and deserves it, they will lose fans, guaranteed. Even though I'm a long-time fan, they're starting to lose me. The fact that they can lose hardcore fans should be scary to any company.

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