In the development of Bobby Roode, TNA has been using the EXACT formula I've laid out for the perfect heel.....is that a coincidence? I'd like to think not. Have you ever SEEN an episode of a wrestling show, and I don't care what the promotion is, but there's a brawl brewing and the crowd erupts with a chant...."LET THEM FIGHT!" They yell from the rafters. For once, TNA gives the fans a long segment where the brawl is on and there is no one to stop it from happening. Whatever the reason, the officials, trainers, AND security was nowhere to be found and, as someone who has participated in the shout once or twice.....I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
In this column, I would like to cover a couple of things......for one, the main event scene. This has been the subject of so much debate amongst the internet wrestling community about how TNA is doing things. The second item on the docket is a the role of a General Manager as it relates to the talent on screen. I'm going to use WWE's old model as a template and do a few comparisons. SO, without further ado, here we go.....
I feel the need to ask this because it BEGS to be asked....what's the next logical step when you have had two or three contenders, each wanting their own title shot because they believe the system is cheating them? I feel compelled to ask that, because as far as some critics are concerned, "this makes no sense". I would like to believe that these critics are kidding, but some are downright serious. Were I in the decision-making places, tucked into my little office, I think I would HAVE to pull rank and divide the allegiances. When a title is on the line, there is some sense of urgency, I want to believe, that rates higher than personal loyalty....at least in a storyline. When you have one contender who is not only breaking rules without remorse aligning with the World Champ, but is demanding a title shot (as Ray is), I see no other choice but to give it to him, with a twist. I say throw in an elimination stipulation where if he's eliminated, he can't challenge for 3 months. How about THAT!?
I HAVE to know. I'm pressed to ask. What does a GREAT General Manager look like? I had one critic tell me, personally, that a GM isn't supposed to be an enforcer to maintain order for the product. Okay, Mr. Laurinitis, you don't have to get involved because things NEVER escalate to a level that makes it NECESSARY to get physically involved. Another reason why TNA is superior? Chaos is interesting....Chaos makes it possible for the roster to be used in a very unique way. It makes it critical for the GM to be tough AND have the ability to challenge for claims of superiority. Sting can use a weapon to make a statement to the roster in a similar way that Stone Cold Steve Austin did as a co-General Manager. The difference? The Austin story made a point to avoid physical contact, lest Austin is allowed to come unglued on someone. That made it interesting. In TNA's version, no one's afraid to lay a hand on Sting, which makes the power struggle that much more interesting, at least to me. It makes for challenges in storyline writing.
In any case, a General Manager is supposed to be able to maintain order, whether on a peaceful show where people behave, for the most part OR on a show where the villains are actually looking to run the asylum themselves. TNA is committed, folks. They are focused upon making their show interesting and a little bit of anarchy makes the show edgy and puts a unique perspective on the screen.