Fair warning; this is going to be a rant. I mild rant, but a rant nonetheless. WWE, who have always praised the value of competition in external outlets, may be deciding to go two-faced. How? I'm glad you asked. According to sources within WWE and various news outlets, there has been some talk of using TNA's travel schedule as a template and running shows on one of the brands in the same town. There is even talk of going in and enforcing exclusive appearance rights in major city arenas to bar TNA from running in arenas WWE is known to operate out of when they visit said town.
If it wasn't enough to bar TNA from arenas, WWE has also considered running events in the same towns as TNA on the same nights to further divide the audience, forcing people to choose which brand to purchase tickets to see.
For those curious, TNA has yet to garner a fan attendance ABOVE 5,500 in the US. My question to WWE is simple: What are YOU so worried about? I thought you VALUED the success competition brings? Historically, WWE HAS been known to throw around their brand exclusive clout to keep out competition before.
In the 80's and 90's, WWF played that card to keep WCW out of "their" arenas. One such place is the epicenter of WWE's most often played venue.....Madison Square Garden. WCW never held a single event in the storied arena, thanks in no small part to the deals signed by Vince. NOW, since TNA isn't WCW in terms of popularity, this is little threat for the here and now, BUT IF the Chicago tapings' numbers confirm what I suspect, WWE may have cause to enforce those underhanded tactics sooner than later.
My opinion on the subject is a bit torn. On one hand, TNA really isn't big enough of a promotion to be running in the larger venues to begin with, making WWE's concerns null and void. BUT if TNA's road schedule would happen to coincide with a WWE event and WWE INTENDED the two events to bump heads, I find it shameful, at best. If a man like 'ol J.R., who worked as an upper level personality for the big E, is saying on his blog that competition is good and the company writing his paychecks is found to be using the kind of tactics their anti-bullying campaign prohibits, it makes for a black smudge on the record of the biggest company on the block.