It's come time once again as this column is waltzing right up towards the number 200 column, which promises to be another something special. If you recall, the 100th column covered the big 'what if', dealing with if WWE bought out TNA and vice versa. This hundred is going to fall on a couple of very large things coming down the pike. Trust me, it'll be worth a few more column's wait.
Now, down to business....I've already touted TNA's decision to sign on the dotted line with OVW as their exclusive training spot. I stand by that choice made as it's been common knowledge that WWE doesn't often scout from the indies to put performers right on their big stage. Common practice is for them to 're-train' as Triple H has said before, in the developmental league before being called up to the main roster for a place on their programming. TNA has needed this for some time now as too many of their talents seem thrust into situations they are either unprepared for or not prepared enough for.
My best example is Crimson. Had he been put through more extensive training before being brought up to the roster, my hunch is that he'd be further along in his push and, perhaps, a champion by this time already. His mic skills aren't awful, but they could use some real fine tuning in order to get his personality and subtle mannerisms down to an art. Real crowd manipulation takes time to learn and, truth be told, there are only a handful of people who can read it almost perfectly. Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin stand out in my mind as being some of the best, but Bully Ray has rapidly come into his own on that note.
If you'll notice, I refrained from adding John Cena from the list. I did so because there is a vast difference between manipulating a crowd and playing to a crowd. Where Jericho and the others excelled is being able to get a crowd to cheer or boo based ENTIRELY on factors outside of their words. They could turn heel or face with a look. John Cena has yet to be truly allowed to break free in his tenure with WWE and, particularly in that respect. It's this shackling that holds his character where it is and threatens to be for the foreseeable future. WWE has him grandstanding, but not playing games. He's kissing babies, as it were, rather than turning a crowd against him on his own whims.
My point is that this piece of news is significant because the stars coming into TNA will already have an idea what to expect from the big leagues. With the knowledge and training they gain, they'll be better able to walk out of the minors and into the main event.