Recent conversations about the TNA vs. WWE rants I've posted here have made me wonder: Am I being too hard on the WWE product and not hard enough on TNA? Am I being biased against a company I once took solace in watching just a few years ago? Could it be that my arguments are not only unfounded, but also without any merit? I think that's a very fair line of questioning. Considering the climate of WWE and TNA, I think it wise to explore that line and see what turns up.
Now, I've watched what many are calling the Match of the Year....Money in the Bank 2011's very own John Cena vs. CM Punk. As far as storytelling is concerned, it was a classic. As far as the finish is concerned, it was a testament to the fact that WWE still knows how to tell a story. As for match of the year? Maybe. There's a strong case to be made to that tune. Here's my dispute.....While the match was great, what was done with the momentum CM Punk had leaving the event? It was WASTED! He was rushed back and conveniently wasted beneath the shadow of the WWE's superman and the story surrounding HIM. PUNK WAS THE DRAW THIS YEAR!!! NOT CENA!
What most people seem to ignore is that despite the glitz and glam the WWE is famous for, they have no strong top tier. It's filled with the same guys we've all seen time and time again and, even though John Cena has stepped away from the title picture, he's still the focal point of RAW. Where does that leave the WWE Champ? Sure, you could say he was in the main event of RAW this week and you'd be right, but John Cena's RAW opening segment was the highlight of the entire show.
Does WWE have a Women's Division? Nope. That died when the Divas and Women's Title merged. I would give them credit for having a strong division if Vince would give me OR them a reason to make me care. Ask Tara, Gail Kim, or Mickie James why they jumped ship. They were asked to job to Divas who hadn't had 6 month experience in the ring, let alone 6 years. I've tried to give credit where it is due, but two or three shining talents in a division doesn't make a strong division.
Okay....I've given WWE some shots and, I think, the shots are fair. Let me give TNA a couple.....
TNA blew a big break in giving Bobby Roode the World Title on their grandest stage. Do I agree with what was done? I didn't at the time. Now? Bobby Roode's heel persona makes TNA a better product, something compelling. If you want to take shots at what was done? Fine. I've got no problem with that but don't try and say Roode is anything less than one of the finest performers in wrestling today.
I WANT KAREN JARRETT FIRED FROM MY TV!!!! I don't think it's too much to ask to rush this storyline through baggage claim so I can move on with my life. I think she is a poison to the Knockouts Division, who are SECOND TO NONE in the wrestling world.
I've been vocal about the misuse of the TV Title and I think it's just and fair to say that it makes the title look flimsy and not worth the trouble of fighting for. Repairing a broken title hunt is NOT difficult. Fact is, if TNA wants to have their own version of the FTW Title from ECW that only two people fought over, it needs to be made clear that no one else should go after it.
I have plenty of gripes as far as the TNA product goes, but explaining what TNA is now is like combining the best of ROH with some of the glint and glitz of WWE. In fact, if you look at the list of players, it kinda reminds me of what RAW USED to be. RAW used to be filled with veterans with a smattering of guys they could train. Now, RAW is filled with guys waiting to be trained by guys who aren't qualified to DO that training. Now this is only an opinion, so please take it as such, but TNA is now what I miss about WWE. I miss being edgy, I miss seeing women work a match every bit as hard as the men on the card. I miss seeing guys in situations where they can carry a match 15 minutes or more for the main event. I miss seeing a really good, compelling tag team bout where each team looked like they belonged in the hunt for the gold.
Seeing RAW now reminds me that there was a time when no one knew who TNA was because there was nothing else more important to watch than WWE. It reminds me that WWE knows better than cheating their fans out of money they paid in good faith to see a product that is cutting edge and relevant to the fans who stuck around when WCW was in their face, ready to do battle from week to week.