CM Punk calls his microphone a 'pipe bomb'; Jeff Hardy's personal demons exposed on Impact; Kurt Angle's feud with Jeff Jarrett; it's all a part of something I'm going to call the Reality Era. I could begin this era with the Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita controversy, but I think the Jarrett/ Angle feud is the best place to begin the era as it was real, it was vivid; it was life lived out on film, so to speak.
Punk may have added some fuel to the flame by tossing out his loud and loaded promo, now notorious, on Raw some weeks ago, but whatever the catalyst, this is the new era and I, for one, am all for it. Life is the best place for source material for just about every kind of storytelling. It brings vivid imagery and depth the way few things can and it provides people a frame of reference and gives focus to a compelling narrative.
The Attitude Era brought out the best part of WWF and put it on top and over, in some cases. Still, this era is generating a lot of heat and may put things right where they need to be for both companies, one growing and hungry for attention, the other in transition from one coach to another. My opinion?
Impact did a VERY good job of putting over Jeff Hardy as a man who is wanting to make a plea to the court of public opinion. This story is about as good as anything in the wrestling world in its entirety because it's real. Jeff Hardy's personal demons are well documented and it was just this story that put his Victory Road performance at the top of his "worst moments" list. Sure, Punk has his moments, but with this, there's something more behind the push, an emotion that comes behind a personality people root for inherently.....the underdog fighting back demons and overcoming to rise above. THAT'S what TNA is doing and, if I do say so myself, it's working for me.
Had WWE gone about their Punk story by being patient and letting the story develop and simmer and build, I might feel differently about it, but right now, everything has been rushed into the top feud and it feels somehow cheaper to me than what TNA is bringing to the table. Maybe I'm just a dumb TNA mark; maybe I'm a loyalist, but maybe; just maybe, I'm saying something out loud that we've all been thinking....