“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
Opinions are like…you know. Everyone has one. This simple approximation was brought to my attention recently. The ongoing recreation of WWE fans versus TNA fans is nothing more than mere notions and inclinations. To those caught between these assemblies lies the disengaged wrestling fan. Opinions from all corners of our slight yet crowded wrestling community spoken through the striking of keys and the endless thoughts of self-importance. I myself have already sunk deep into the “TNA fan” category and now there is no looking back. Could I ever crawl back into the unbiased world of an even-handed, non-belligerent wrestling fan? No; but what an undertaking that would be right?
You see my argument holds ground on one effortless fact; World Wrestling Entertainment is mediocre. I don’t accept mediocrity.
The elite in wrestling editorialists today share the same vision even. Through their aspirations of distinguishing as many positives out of a WWE show or PPV as they possibly can we still have the same end result; mediocrity. Why is it so mediocre you ask? Well, the Titan Towers are the largest wrestling promotion in the world, these towers are worth billions of dollars which has bought them years of merchandise, advertising, press, stocks and of course some of the top wrestlers in the world with high salaries. When you gather the best actors with the best writers in production rarely does a bad movie commence from this. When you gather the best bands (of your choice of musical genre) with the best promoters, rarely does a bad concert commence from this. So why should I expect anything less from a gathering of the best wrestlers and the best financing in the wrestling business?
Yet in a rant heard a million times before, I can put it simply, I did not take time to watch RAW for Chris Masters or Carlito Cool. I did not bargain to have my supposed world champions embrace little or no wrestling ability at all. My tag team division is non-existent and down right an embarrassment, the female gender of which I love and respect so much I get to see degraded every week in place of women’s wrestling. I watch every match, and it all looks the same under McMahon’s “WWE style” where even the 450 is not allowed. My favorite wrestlers are somehow missing in action; Jericho has finally decided to take a break after years of staring at the ceiling, Christian who was actually getting face pops when he had a small program with John Cena is now nothing more than low-card on Smackdown!, Paul London was stripped of his cruiserweight title for arguing with King Vince, Kane has been ruined by Matt Hardy and Lita and the brilliant WWE writers, and finally I don’t know if Rob Van Dam will ever come back again.
I am left with John Cena who looks like he is already passing his prime, Batista who still needs to be carried by an experience veteran, and Chris Benoit who somehow has slipped into the meaningless task of carrying the U.S. title, and a list of workers with little or no wrestling ability whatsoever. What really does it though is that Triple H will be coming back soon. RAW is saved now! No, what I really only see in the WWE is the one worker that will usually entertain me and has for many years. Kurt Angle. That’s it. He is now the only person that I watch RAW for. The only reason I see for watching 2 boring hours of dribble. Kurt freakin’ Angle! His in-ring work although slower is still entertaining, his work on the mic is still excels, and since Jericho has now left the building is the #1 worker in the WWE.
So I carry on now and I keep in mind that the only reason I will watch Monday Night Raw is for Kurt freakin’ Angle. Since this column is about difference of opinion I will dissect the other side of the spectrum. TNA. I’ve heard the complaints, I’ve heard the arguments, but even I, a rabid TNA fan will tell all…
I’ll start small with their six sided ring. I love it. Some people hate it. I move deeper into the other side and find that most fans do not like their production values. Sometimes TNA comes off as looking very cheap, they do sometimes lack storylines, they hire “washed up” WWE rejects such as Kip James and B.G. James, Ron Killings, and even Rhino. On most Impacts you won’t get the opening 15 minute promo that WWE fans are used to, you get a wrestling match. These matches are accused of having way too many “spotfests” in them with no psychology at all to their matches. TNA is just not on the WWE’s level yet and probably never will be. They don’t have the 2 hour shows, the primetime, the celebrities, and even more important the NAME. TNA is not the WWE.
I’ll repeat that. TNA is NOT the WWE.
Before I get into that though, like I did with the WWE, I’ll state the positives for TNA. First I’ll say that my world champion in TNA actually DESERVES it. The wrestlers I watch TNA for are definitely more than one. Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Raven, Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, and more. Why these wresters over the ONE Kurt freakin’ Angle in the WWE? Ah, the third positive to watch TNA. Potential; besides Raven in the list above are pure wrestlers with pure athletic ability and talent. It’s just something you don’t see in the WWE. Besides the occasional Shelton Benjamin match (sometimes) and a Rey Mysterio match, you just do not see it. I see this as the future of wrestling. The “spotfests” are almost non-existent now in TNA, and the company is growing. 3 years and a major TV deal to even now be shown after RAW on Monday nights. TNA equals excitement. That’s what you will be getting when you watch a TNA show.
TNA is not the WWE. I think this is the dilemma here. WWE fans have grown accustomed to the opening 15 minute promo; they have come acquainted with bumbling announcers. They watch RAW every week because it is all that they know, and when anything threatens that, it’s quickly on the defensive. If you want proof head to the WWE chat room. Spend about 30 minutes in there, now head to the TNA chat room. World of difference isn’t it? To a lot of wrestling fans, the WWE, the way it is in all it’s shape and form is what wrestling IS. It’s what they’re used to. I was even told once by a WWE fan that they do not like TNA because they do not have a “Titantron”. I really hate to say this, I’ve said this before but I think it holds true. The majority of WWE fans, and I said majority not ALL. The majority of WWE fans are either dumb, kids, or dumb kids. I can’t put it any other way. Or, you are extremely stubborn in your ways and quickly disregard TNA due to your comfort in the WWE product. Then there is the peaceful fan, disengaged, quiet, he/she doesn’t want to take sides. They just want to see some good wrestling. I wish I was more like them.
BE MY FRIEND!!!