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 Chasing The Competition
Column Posted by Whole Scoop with Andrew Vincent on 5:22:26 PM Mar 2, 2010

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of whole scoop. Before I go on to my column I want to say to those who are charge of running this site that you are all doing a great job and because of all your hard work you have made this site one of the most enjoyable and sourceful wrestling news page out there for us fans and for that I want to thank you, as well give my appreciation for giving me the opportunity to write for this site. I would also like to thank all who read my columns and those especially for the great feedback and support. As I continue to write for this site, I hope that Im able to offer all the fans who read my columns something that is an enjoyable read and something that fans can relate to in one way or another. Last, but not least, I am always open to hearing perspectives or opinions from fellow columnists and any reader of the site, so please feel free to express yourself.

Onto things.....

TNA has recently spread the news to all wrestling fans that as of March 8th they'll be moving to Monday nights to go head to head with the beast they call the WWE. TNA's competitor in the WWE has been the king of the wrestling world for years and during that time only one company was ever to outdue them, steal some their spotlight and overcome them in the ratings, that company being WCW.

WCW did this by simply raiding some of Vince McMahon's top stars one by one and eventually those stars helped create a company that proved over time the WWE could indeed be beaten. The biggest name gonig to WCW from the WWE was no doubtingly Hulk Hogan, but others like the Macho Man Randy Savage, Nature Boy Ric Flair, The Steiner Brothers, Sid Vicious and later names like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx Pac. Forgive me if I left out any key names, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind.

The fact of the matter is WCW was stealing talent and by doing so they were not only taking big names away from the WWE roster, but the viewers slowly began to follow the superstars. While WCW had all these guys coming on board, it wasn't the only thing the company had going strong for them, they also had a cruiserweight division that was a different and highly entertaining part of the company's production. The addiction of all the big name superstars combined with the cruiserweights made WCW a company rising to being a heavy threat to the WWE.

In the midst of all the names mentioned three names in particular, in Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan were used to create an alliance called the nWo, which just may have been the best wrestling angle in the history of wrestling. None the less whether or not it was the greatest angle of all time, at the time it was exactly what WCW needed to take over the rating war. For with this whole angle WCW did something that had never ever been done and they turned the biggest face in the history of wrestling to that point(maybe ever) into a heel. The move was something no one would have ever expected and it created a buzz throughout the wrestling world, a buzz that got so much attention, that it revolutionised wrestling and WCW into the best wrestling company for 84 consecutive weeks.

Long story short WCW was offering and created things that at the time weren't being done or have yet to be done and it brought them straight to the top. With that being said TNA needs to indeed do the same if they want to eventually do what WCW did in competing with the WWE and possibly even winning a ratings war.

Continuing on I want to express some ideas of how I feel TNA could differ themselves from the WWE in a postive and effective way. I will also give some thoughts on things that I would like to see less of in order to make a more enjoyable wrestling show. As you read any of my ideas feel free to voice your thoughts and opinion, as I am curious what others think.

First and foremost for me is that TNA really needs to do something more with the X division. The past few years I have never truly seen the X division given strong focus in a storyline basis with created feuds and personalities given to the wrestler's involved. The results of the lack of focus the company has put into the X division is the superstars in the division are not taken seriously, the title is of very little meaning and any matches that we do see on a show or at a pay per view fail to give us fans anything to look forward to in the future. Don't get me wrong in most cases any X division we end up seeing either on Impact or at a pay per view normally contain good in ring action, but in spite of that, it's not truly meaningful unless their are story's and feuds behind them.

The X division can be that one area where they can truly differ themselves from the WWE and give wrestling fans fast paced action that so many are just begging to see. If TNA can use the division with strong focus they can exemplify something that the WWE has not been able to do with their agile high flyers and that's give them a chance that many wrestling fans would love to see. Take some names for example like present stars Evan Bourne, Chavo Guererro and Shelton Benjamin with past names like Billy Kidman, Super Crazy, Juventud Guerrero and Brian Kendrik. These are all guys who had the wrestling talent yet were never truly given a chance at a push that each of them should of got based on the great in ring abilities they have or had to offer. Even Bourne is the biggest example of a guy who has so much to offer, yet is one of WWE"s chosen jobbers and Chavo also.

Conversing with numerous fans I have come to believe that the majority would like to see guys like these get a chance and to longer be taken for granted. If TNA can give the X division some strong focus, build characters, build feuds and give guys like this a chance to shine, they will give fans exactly what the WWE is not doing with their high flyers. The X division has the capablility in TNA of being that cruiserweight division in WCW that strongly helped in its success of rising up against the WWE.

As TNA starts to give it strong focus and really creates a competitve playing ground for the high flyers of the wrestling business, not only will they offer something new for fans or something that the WWE is not effectively offering fans, it just may create an opportunity for the underused WWE stars to make a jump and TNA to start stealing talent that the WWE doesn't truly appreciate. I believe wrestling is no different than say hockey or basketball, a player doesn't get the opportunity playing for one team and get's traded or signed by another, he views that new team as a new chance or a fresh start to recreate or create his career. In a lot of cases it results in a player becoming better or even a star, guys given that chance in TNA may cease their chance and bring newly gained passion to TNA and to their character if given that chance were not given in the past, that is often how stars are made.

Right now the X division is just there and the lack of focus doesn't give it any sort of role on Impact other than a filler or small addition to the show. The X division cannot have just a small part on the show and lacking serious focus and if this continues to be the case than having the title and the whole division itself, almost seems competely meaningless, because us fans are getting not getting we want to see.

What I honestly would love to see is for TNA to land additional programming say once again on Thursday getting either an hour or two hour show in which they can base all around the X division. Another idea could be for them to have it on Monday's instead, having the hour X division show go on before Impact giving TNA three hours and something to lead into to Impact to keep fans tuned in. EIther way I feel that TNA just has way too many wrestler's for one show and an X division show would lessen the amount of stars needed to be used on Impact.

Not only will the new show create more space for other superstars on Impact, but it will give fans some sort of option of what TNA show they want to watch the most. No matter what show is more successful they now have two chances to draw viewers away from the WWE and the X division show could be like the WWE's Smackdown. Another idea I think would be awesome is to see a new TNA show on the same night as Smackdown, maybe even going head to head if possible.

Another opportunity TNA has to create is a strong focused tag team division with natural tag teams. The tag division has had pretty good focus already, but if TNA can create natural tag teams that have strong chemistry together, rather than just throwing two guys together and giving them the titles like the WWE tends to do, it would be another good difference. It's been a while since i watched wrestling and saw real tag teams like LOD, The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The Bulldogs, Demolition, The Rock N Roll Express and most recently The Hardy Boys. With TNA having teams like Beer Money, Generation Me, Motor City Machine Guns, Nasty Boys and Team 3D, they have a group of real tag teams that can establish a real competitve tag division. To any one who is wondering why I failed to mention Hernandez and Matt Morgan, it's because I have a feeling they will split in the future.

TNA has the teams to build a strong tag team division with real convincing tag teams that we've failed to see on a regular basis over the years and with that the end result would be fans getting something else they have not been getting in a while. Personally I don't care for Team 3D or the Nasty Boys, but the use of established names might be a useful part of the division as long as neither become the biggest base of the division. I would love to see LAX reunited if Morgan and Homicide do indeed split, because I think before they split they were the best group I have seen in a long time.

Both TNA and WWE seem to spoil matches reguarly with outside interference and fail to give us fans a conclusion to a lot of matches. I understand why it's done in some cases, but its really not necessary to do on a frequent basis. As I said it fails to give closure to matches regardless of what the goal is for the interuption and when it's done too often it becomes disappointing to a fan that and in my case i feel as if I am getting ripped off.

Short matches that consist of 5 minutes or less. For me this is only acceptable in some cases and that is if it's really needed to make a star who needs to look dominat, dominat. But if it's done just because it's a match they want to just cram on a show to add just a lttle more wrestling, I think it would be better to increase the length of another match on the show and avoid putting that 5 minute one even on, because the who ever loses in the 5 minutes is going to be made to look weak. For example Desmonde Wolfe who's been one of TNA's bigger focuses lately lost to Abyss in about 3 minutes on this past Impact, which only hurts being displayed as the threat in TNA he should be. A star losing in 3 minutes should never happen and its not an effective part of a wrestling show or something that fans want to see, it gives us disappointment. I understand TNA has plans to push Abyss but why does it have to a big part of your future that has to job to him, could TNA not find a name on the roster that is not a big part of the future or frequently used, a guy say like Sean Morley?. The ending of the show was fine, but a 3 minute match should never end up being your main event and it spoils expectations and hopes for a match. You should never be left wanting more because you didn't get enough, but left wanting more or looking forward to more because what you saw was fofilling and enjoyable and a 3 minute match is going to leave fans feeling as if they didn't get enough.

TNA has enough older generation superstars, if any more are brought on board it will limit the use of younger guys on the show and at this point that is the last thing TNA needs. I am not oppose to having some veterans on board as they can be used to help put over younger stars, but too much is just too much and TNA really has to focus at this point on building new stars by limiting the amount of past their time athletes on the roster.

As mentioned above with the X division needing focus, every division on a wrestling show needs to have strong focus in order to make each title truly mean something If you can't make every title mean something on the show with strong character buid up for the champion and those chasing the title, it will be hard for a fan to take the belt and the whole division itself as a serious part of the show.

I really wouldn't mind seeing a heel win more clean matches without winning as a result of outside interference or some sort of cheating. I don't feel a heel has to cheat in order to get over as a heel, if your good a heel you should be that based on the promos you do and how you interact with the audience. Sometimes I see it being necessary, but often i find that even a heel cheating to win makes him look less dominant, why can't a heel be as dominant as a face. I think less of this would make things more interesting. I know it's something that has been in wrestling since maybe the beginning of the industry, but times change and wrestler's should not need these tactics to get over anymore. In my thoughts I wouldn't actually mind seeing a face cheat to win for a change, making a heel look more dominant, as I honestly think people will cheer for the guy they like and the boo the guy they hate, regardless of his actions in the ring, because a wrestler's character is more so based on promos or interviews and how he interacts with the fans that way.

Another thing I would like to see less of, is matches that are not believable. For example the WWE had Rey Mysterio vs The Undertaker at a fairly recent pay per view and before I even watched the match I really anticipated the result before the ending. There is no doubt that the Undertaker is more valued than Rey Mysterio and even if Rey were to win in some sort of fashion, no matter how skilled he is in the ring, it would not have been believable that he would have been able to defeat the Undertaker. Taker is a mammoth compared to Rey and it just looks like he could squash him like a bug. Taker vs Rey is just one example, but why give us matches that the outcome is easily anticipated, if Rey would have won it would have made Taker look weak and would have not made sense that a guy his size could be beat him, so even have the match.

Less means more: By this I mean TNA only has one show and way too many stars on their roster for that one show. This being the case TNA should cut their losses and get rid of guys who aren't really a strong part of their show and who really aren't going to make the company. I would say guys like Rhino, Jesse Neal, The Nasty Boys, Rob Terry, Sean Morley and Orlando Jordan. Seeing how Hogan may be big on some of these guys because they are either friends with him or were part of his australian tour wrestling shows, some of the names might be around for a while or at least until he learns they are not drawing fans. None the less I don't see any of these guys of much use and honestly I could do without. Business is business and in business you have to cut your losses in getting rid of those who don't have anything strong to bring to your company.

Last but not least, TNA needs to find a core group of wrestlers that they fully intend on basing their company around. As they do this they have to find ways to have most of them on the show on a weekly regular basis, because the more a fan sees a wrestler he likes regularly the more he or she will watch. I have seen periods where we would see a guys like Samoa Joe, Desmonde Wolfe and Deangelo Dinero on the show one week and not on the next or even sometimes for a few weeks. With the Pope being the number one contender he should be on every week, but for some reason last week's Impact he wasn't even there and it was really disappoiting for me. Flair, AJ and Wolfe attacked Hogan and Abyss 3 on 2, why not have Desmonde come out to attack AJ, the ending of the match still could have been made the way it happened or better yet they could have announced a three way dance with Abyss, Dinero and Hogan vs Wolfe, Styles and Flair, but instead Dinero isn't even on the show, it's lacking sense.

Any who on the note of having to see regulars week in and week out, this is what I would like to see TNA do or what I think they could do in finding a way to get all the guys they want to focus on.

One week a guy like Samoa Joe could wrestle a match, while Desmonde Wolfe does a promo of some sort. The following week would consist of the opposite in Samoa Joe doing a promo, while Desmonde Wolfe wrestles. So as TNA picks their core of wrestlers they would have this approach with everyone of them. So say one week Samoa Joe, Sting, Abyss, Beer Money and Matt Morgan wrestle, while in the same week Hernandez, Eric Young, Team 3D, Christopher Daniels, Kevin Nash and AJ Styles do promos with the following week being the opposite

Now those are names that I mentioned that I would choose to push, with many X division wrestlers being left out with the consideration of them being on an all X division show therefore not being on Impact. If things were done this way every wrestler would get some sort of focus on a week to week basis whether they are wrestling or not. Among that fans would have the chance to see them build personalities and showcase their skills at least twice for both in each month. If TNA wanted to give additional focus to a wrestler's personality who is going to be wrestling that week they could add in short pre match interviews before they head to the ring, which may also make the matches more meaningful as well.

The fact is we should not see guys one week and than not see them for a few weeks, especially if they are guys the company intends on basing their wrestling product around, because a fan who watches one week and really catches to a guy like Desmonde Wolfe, might tune in next week to see him and he's not on the show. That may and can quite easily resulting in a fan being turned off because of it and maybe not watching the following week. At this point its very important for TNA to make sure they deliver in drawing new viewers and maintaining current viewers, but new especially. It's important to make a fan want to watch the following week especially if TNA wants to head their way towards competition in the future.

Well wrestling fans thanks for reading, those are my thoughts and one perspective on what would like to see from wrestling in the future and partically in TNA. Feel free to drop me a line with any thoughts at andrew_vincent@live.com.

Until next time
best of blessings and enjoy the remainder of your week.

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