Wrestling is not like porn.
In pornography, there are superstars, but most filthy old men could not care less who’s getting pounded as long as it gets them off. Wrestling fans demand name recognition from their performers and not getting it is what keeps independent wrestling leagues, just that, independent and unrecognized by most fans.
Total Non-Stop Action has been making waves since they made their debut on Spike TV a few months ago. That noise is becoming white noise as most of us are either indifferent to the happenings at TNA or just plain unaware. That was all supposed to change when Christian a.k.a. Captain Charisma was able to keep his name and gimmick and appear on TNA programming shortly after quitting the behemoth that is World Wrestling Entertainment.
Even the most casual of all wrestling fans knows the funnier half of the greatest tag team of all time, Edge and Christian. Even more recently, Christian established himself as a true main event player as he dominated Raw before he was promoted to Smackdown! When Christian came to TNA it was a coup that was supposed to draw casual fans to the “other” brand.
That has not happened and it may be too late to do anything about it.
While Christian has been magnificent on the microphone, a performer is only as good as his competition. TNA has talent but that does not include Monty Brown or Jeff Jarrett, the two people Christian is currently feuding with. Putting a superior performer in an under card feud while casual fans are watching is the equivalent of winning the lottery and not cashing in the winning ticket.
TNA was probably trying to “do the right thing” for the existing talent by not shuffling the deck and putting the “new guy” right in the main event. But if that was true, why does TNA consistently give the benefit of the doubt to has beens like Jeff Hardy, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman when they decide to show up, while loyal talent like Samoa Joe get a third of their contracts?
While this may be an isolated incident, don’t think that potential free agents and huge draws like Chris Benoit weren’t watching.
And while Chris may have been watching, the pathetic excuse for a feud with Monty and Christian guarantees that no one else was.
TNA needs to do well if professional wrestling is to re-enter a boon period. Let’s hope TNA wakes up and realizes that the casual fan knows no one on their roster. If TNA expects to grow a fan base, they need to take a page from George Steinbrenner’s playbook; sign players from your rivals with name recognition.
With the Lita/Edge/Hardy angle a distant memory, it is time for the WWE to pull another swerve. While this is not a fresh topic, Eddie Guerrero’s death has left a gigantic hole in professional wrestling. The day his face appeared on WWE.com with the years of birth and death, hope was held out that it was a work. When yahoo.com picked up the story those hopes were dashed. As the shirt on my back bears the face of Eddie, his memory is becoming very distant. As the next edition of Mr. Brown’s Class will focus on sport versus entertainment, Rey Mysterio was a poor choice as a “replacement” for Eddie in the main event spot light. Out of respect for Eddie, the WWE would have been wise to abandon the story altogether. Be sure to come back later this week as this topic is broached in more detail as Mr. Brown discusses wrestling as a sport like never written about before.