Random Thoughts from the Office: December 22, 2010

I'm more than a little saddened that there weren't five SHOCKING SWERVES~! in the WrestleCrap 12 Days of Christmas but hey, you can't win them all.

Christmas and New Year's is a time for reflection, a time to look back at what has been achieved and what may be yet to come. A time for giving, a time for joy, a time for goodwill, a time where most of the world unites under a wave of positive energy and so it is here at wrestlecrapradio.com

Bah Humbug!

All right. I'm sorry. I'll try and be positive because actually things for the first time are looking up. I'm actually intrigued by this whole CM Punk-John Cena business and the WWE are taking time to create new stars, the Dolph Ziggler matches on Raw and Smackdown are a testament to that. Call it cautious optimism but maybe the WWE are finally listening to reason and making new stars. TNA's been putting on pretty decent shows too. The whole Machine Guns-Gen Me feud was some of the best tag team wrestling seen for a long time. They're trying to at least have their storylines make SOME sense and the whole Shore gimmick is giving them mainstream possibility. There's really hope for TNA for the first.....

I CAN'T DO IT! I'm sorry. I feel like a fraud. I just can't do positive. So let me turn to something that is far more up my alley.

Is it finally safe now to call the Hulk Hogan experiment a hopeless failure for TNA? I mean here we sit, one year removed from the move that was meant to be the gamechager for TNA. The move that was supposed to put TNA on the map. The move that was supposed to begin the wrestling wars anew and give wrestling fans a choice again. But I'm going to tell you something I truly believe. The Hulk Hogan experiment isn't just a failure for TNA. It's the thing that has signed their death warrant. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, [but soon, and for the rest of your life?] it may not even be in the next year but make no mistake. TNA is doomed to die and this is the move that's done it.

Before the TNA fans try and come for my head let me try and explain. Here we sit one year later and what has really changed? Ratings are still the same. The whole Monday Night experiment was a dismal failure. The payroll has increased dramatically and a lot of the things that made TNA TNA....just aren't there anymore.

Think about it, before Hulk Hogan entered TNA there were two key aspects that made TNA a unique and viable alternative to the WWE: The Knockouts division and the ability to put on matches that mattered that took everyone's' breath away. Matches like Desmond Wolfe and Kurt Angle and the three way between Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels at Turning Point, Wolfe-Angle again and Styles-Daniels at Final Resolution. They were matches that took your breath away and left you wanting more because they followed the golden rule of wrestling: They made the matches MEAN something. Wolfe vs Angle was all about respect. Wolfe wanted to make a name for himself by taking out TNA's marquee name and Angle felt this brash upstart wasn't respecting him and he had to prove he was still top dog. Same with Styles vs Daniels. Daniels felt that his best friend AJ didn't respect him, before Turning Point Joe stirred the pot by planting the seed and it built to an epic finale. 4 show-stealing matches. 4 matches easily in the top 10 of the year.

Bring the clock forward to one year later and what do we see? Jeff Jarrett doing fake MMA, nWo by any other name is still the nWo and Matt Morgan leading a crusade against them because Mr. Anderson has a concussion. Don't get me wrong, as we've seen in the NFL concussions are a big deal and everybody knows (or at least should go out of their way to know) about the study on Andrew "Test" Martin's brain. Do I even need to bring up Exodia the Forbidden One? The problem is there's a difference between "Sympathetic" and "Whiny" and Matt crosses that line too many times for the story to work. And now the show-stealing matches are in the midcard, matches like Doug Williams vs AJ, the aforementioned Machine Guns v Gen Me, but like another famous company, there's no hope of advancement. That's when it becomes bad.

Let's be brutally honest here. Almost every signing TNA has made has failed to make a difference to TNA. The only real two who've made what could even be considered a blip are Kurt Angle and Christian Cage and the Christian blip went so well that as soon as his contract was up he jumped back to the WWE to take possession of a title that has about as much respect as the attitude era's European Title, the ECW Championship. That leaves us with Angle, a guy who at the moment you couldn't see Vince wanting, a guy whose had legal troubles (even if the charges were eventually dropped), a known drug problem and is always one bad bump to the head away from either retirement or a wheelchair for life. I like Kurt but I believe the most flattering term I can use for him is "Damaged Goods".

TNA doesn't need this, it needs to show that it is the next generation of wrestling and the best way to do that is to showcase the great athletic talent they already have, A.J Styles, Matt Morgan, The Motor City Machineguns, Jay Lethal, Doug Williams, Gen Me. The list goes on and on. These men are the future of TNA, these men are your ticket to being a viable alternative to WWE, these men are going to be the standard bearers for your company for years to come

If the past year has shown us anything it's that TNA needs to look to the future, not the past. The company as it stands now needs to be imploded, the stars of the past need to be done away with and the future needs to start today. To do otherwise would mean TNA doesn't have a future at all.

Clarence "Showstealer" Mason


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