With SummerSlam weekend almost upon us the majority of wrestling fans are more than likely anticipating the Undisputed WWE Championship match between CM Punk and John Cena, and rightfully so. The WWE has taken a new creative direction as of late and CM Punk is well and truly the poster-boy of that new direction, arguably responsible for some of the best television that the WWE has put out in years. With that being said, with the WWE and CM Punk making creative strides it would be easy to ignore the 'competition'. Yes, I'm talking about Impact Wrestling.
Where does one even begin to talk about Impact Wrestling...or TNA, I'm still not sure what they call themselves, and by the looks of it neither do they (the TNA logo is still proudly featured at the top of the 'impact wrestling' website homepage). It is mind boggling to me, as a wrestling fan, as to how Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Dixie Carter could have taken this once beloved and promising company and reduced it to the mess that is shown on Spike TV every Thursday night.
I by no means consider myself an 'expert'. Yes, I've watched professional wrestling for the majority of my life, but I have never (unfortunately) been given the chance to run a wrestling company. However, if it's one thing wrestling thrives off of it is new stars and new ideas. Several years ago, it could be said that TNA had an ample amount of both. With great wrestlers like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Matt Morgan (ok, maybe he's not great yet), Beer Money, MCMG and innovative match types and creative offerrings, TNA was a viable alternative to the WWE's product.
Fast forward to 2011 where the Hogan/Bischoff regime is in full swing. Guy's who were supposed to be the faces of tomorrow, are still just that. The main event picture consists of Kurt Angle, Sting, Rob Van Dam, Bully Ray, Mr Anderson, and, when they're not addicted to one thing or another, the Hardy's. While all of those names are undoubtedly big time names, they have been big time names for years. The AJ Styles', the Samoa Joe's of TNA are buried in the midcard. In the Bound for Glory series, Samoa Joe has yet to earn ANY points. In a business which thrives off of new stars, TNA is flooded with the stars of yesteryear. The face of the company is in dire need of a facelift, through the acquisition and promotion of compelling talent that people will want to care about.
It is almost as if Hogan and Bischoff are merely trolling the IWC. Unlike in WCW, where none of the younger talent were pushed, Impact Wrestling is pushing younger talent. It just so happens that theyre pushing guys that nobody cares about and who don't (in my humble opinion) deserve to be pushed. I am, of course, referring to Crimson. I think Goldberg said it best on twitter when he said "Who are you again???". Crimson is being pushed seemingly towards a World Title shot and AJ Styles is mid card, Samoa Joe has jobbed every week for the last few months, Amazing Red and the Bucks were just let go. Like I said, it is mind boggling.
You only have to follow Hulk Hogan on twitter to understand why the company is in the shape it is. He recently asked fans to tweet him what matches they would love to see. Apparently, all the fans who tweeted are really dying to see Hogan vs Sting, or Hogan vs Warrior, or Hogan vs Austin. What a surprise. That is precisely the problem. Nobody cares about Hulk Hogan, nobody cares about Ric Flair, and nobody cares about Sting, in 2011. The sooner that TNA management realises this, if they ever do, the better.
I could talk forever about TNA, as there certainly is a lot to talk about, but I think I'll leave it there...for now. It may be too little too late for TNA though. It is no doubt the proverbial laughing stock of the IWC, appealing only to horny 12 year olds who are dying for gore and boobs, or middle aged marks who (like Hogan and Flair) can't understand where the last 20 years went, and desperately want their WCW back. A miracle might be the only thing that is able to save this once promising company from the likes of Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Dixie Carter; the Three Stooges of Wrestling.