Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Survival Tactix: 5 Point Battleground...Part 2. My Turn....

There are few things I will concede to WWE these days, but it's a hard thing to truly dispute their longevity. The fact is, longevity will go a long way in the wrestling business, to be sure. However, that isn't where it begins and ends. The challenge laid down in the first 5 Points of the Battleground are THEIR opinions of why WWE is better than TNA. NOW, that said, "My Turn" isn't going to be a "5 Reasons TNA is Better" type of column, but rather it will illustrate where TNA is taking advantage of  WWE shortcomings. SO....let's jump right in....

1. Scouting.......

Most of this point is concerning the recruiting of women. WWE has a running history of doing atrocious scouting for Divas. Most of the problem is WHERE they scout. Allow me to illustrate....this week, WWE held a Diva Search event in Los Angeles. This was a CLOSED event to the public. Why? Because they had their scouting sources already invited. Were they representatives from the various independent wrestling federations across the map? Nope. How about from WWE's developmental program? Nope. So who's invited? Representatives from MODELING AGENCIES and their selections of the most beautiful athletic girls on their respective rosters.

Note: NEVER AGAIN will you find the caliber of Trish Stratus, Lita, Ivory, or Molly Holly if you scout for talent like THIS.

TNA scours the national independent WRESTLING scene, looking for their Knockouts. Taeler Hendrix, Madison Rayne, ODB, and Velvet Sky were all members of the indies and this week's upcoming Gut Check contestant is no different. Gut Check is TNA's greatest wellspring for new talent and, so far, TNA's talent judges have yet to be wrong in their picks.

2. Top Tier Positioning.....

TNA is building the single best main event tier in the business today. The sheer number of former champions is astounding and every one has deserved the honors of being there at least once. While James Storm SHOULD have been there longer, even HIS name on the list lends credence to the assessment. WWE would do well to take some notes from TNA's ability to find creative ways to build new champions in a quick way that doesn't feel rushed. With TNA giving fans the average of TWO brand new champions each year, WWE simply can't compete with that.

3. Constrictions.......

Another place TNA pulls rank is in the department of move bans. WWE has a list of moves, some of which were mainstays in the Cruiserweight Division that are banned for one reason or another. Much of the reasoning has to do with the amount of risk involved....fair enough. Guys like Paul London, Evan Bourne, and Billy Kidman have used the Shooting Star Press with fantastic results. I doubt, however, that it would surprise most to learn that the move is on a moderate ban because of a failed attempt at WWE's biggest show of the year about 10 years back. "Moderate ban"? To be more precise, the move MUST be demonstrated with ABSOLUTE precision in order for a superstar to be allowed to use it. TNA has absolutely NO bans on ANY maneuver, great or small....none.

4. PPV/ Storyline Building.....

TNA understands a very special something. They need to streamline for their OWN sake, but also for the sake of wrestling fans. This is an opportunity for TNA to get ahead. How? By freeing themselves from the shackles of having to sacrifice storyline depth for the sake of having to book a card each month. WWE would do well to pick THIS lesson up as well. Rather than WWE charging fans 35-40 dollars PER MONTH for a PPV that ISN'T one of the big four, if they were to charge their customary 45-55 dollars for one of the big four and half price for a PPV the rest of the months would give fans a break from the strain of a 35 dollar hit each month.

I've heard it all before about how "boring the Aces and Eights storyline has gotten", but how about giving SOME credit for TNA sticking to their guns and riding out the wave to the end? WWE has had THEIR share of ongoing storylines that truly needed some sprucing up, unless someone wants to tell me that Katie Vick was completely called for....or how about Zack Gowan's involvement with Sable? My point is, WWE is NOT immune to bad storylines OR to awful booking. So let's check THAT notion at the door.

5. Spring Cleaning......

Quite bluntly, TNA doesn't have a spring cleaning each year, contrasting WWE's revolving door of talents who continually move in and out of the company, making it EXTREMELY difficult for wrestling fans to truly invest in a character they may never see again. Remember Mordecai? How about Trevor Murdoch? Deuce and Domino? The list of disposable heroes is longer than Khali's wingspan in WWE.

I realize that TNA isn't perfect. In fact, some very critical players on TNA's roster have left, but of their own accord. While I wish it weren't the case, TNA's ability to showcase EVERYONE is still lacking, but I assure you, that won't always be the case. Just as I predicted a traveling roadshow, a more complete outlet IS coming, but as all things worth waiting for are...it will take time. SOME feel compelled to talk about where TNA is NOW, but I PREFER to look at what TNA will BECOME. I know there are SOME who will say NEVER, but as a great many in this business have said....NEVER say NEVER.

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