This column hit me in an instant. Here's the question.....if the top 6 World Title contenders from WWE and TNA were all out of commission for a year, who would be brought to the table and which company would have the edge?
This is the PERFECT time to illustrate the time and preparation each company has invested for just such an occasion. Let's take the following stars from each roster.....
Alberto Del Rio
Rob Van Dam
Before I launch into the column headlong, I think it best to give the "why" to whom I've picked from TNA. Since WWE's top tier is so rigid, it was easy to pick from the top. TNA's, after the first 4, was a bit more difficult. With so many former World Title holders, who is best suited to be exiled in this column? My goal was to pick the ones that are fan favorites AS WELL as former champions AND ones that management would tend to pick to run with the pieces.
So who does WWE pick to refill the pieces? This is my best guess....
WWE would have some MAJOR difficulty coming back from the losses of their big 6, particularly because the waiting list is so long for those they want to "test" at that level. Combine that with the fact that they have 2 major titles to fill out with hopefuls. Ryback being the most recent example, Ziggler, Truth, and a couple others have been mentioned as possible main-event players. The problem is how to move the higher ranked players to the side without allowing them to lose their status....at least in their eyes. Daniel Bryan is absent because, according to some backstage sources, management views his reign as somewhat of a flop. That being said, he was relegated to the Tag Team Division both to help bring order to the division, but also to receive side by side training from another veteran.
TNA's list was MUCH easier as the list of people teased for main-event status is far longer. Morgan was on track to winning the World Title last year, until injury stopped his progress. Bully Ray was this year's promising new title holder until TNA decided to bring back Devon, making the adjustment to allow him to feud on the highest televised level under the World Title. Daniels is on this list because his time is limited. Right now, Daniels is the most often overlooked, yet most decorated star on the roster right now. He has held every title that was available under the old guard except for the big one. Him on this list is necessary because of Unbreakable 2005 and Turning Point 2009 if for no other reason.
With all of the choices locked in.....who stands the better chance of coming out on top? If you go by how each man is being pushed these days, TNA easily wins out as every man has either been coming off a title run or has been rising towards one. Joe being the only exception as the current TV Title holder. WWE has been waiting so long to pull the trigger on Ziggler, I wonder if they ever will. Truth's path is long and it'll take a few more losses and wins for them to make a determination. Ryback is WWE's experiment and, if history has anything to say about it, Ryback's championship push (and his credibility, incidently) won't end well if he still has no losses upon winning the big one. The Miz has been pushed to the second tier and has been there for long enough to be comfortable.
My famous distain for WWE's decision making in how they orchestrate their champions, championship runs, and the spotlight as it relates to both is demonstrated by how often the matches are put at the highest point on the card. The World Title picture hasn't been a true factor in their building of their product for nearly three years now. Despite CM Punk's notorious "pipe bomb" last year, the World Titles have been second fiddle to their top star's running drama play ever since. SO....my point is that WWE would HAVE to put emphasis BACK on the World Title IF their top stars were to get injured and right now, they just don't have their players in place. Simple as that.