I was tempted to give this a 20 Questions spin, but since this is more of an exploration into what has played out over the past year and change, I determined to just let the chips fall where they may. Before I launch in, I'd like to put a couple of little myths that have appeared on the forums to rest because they are, quite simply put, some of the most inaccurate of all the rest of the garbage out there.
1. Eric Bischoff didn't kill WCW. I'm not sure why I even bother correcting people anymore over a 20 year old long defunct promotion that tanked largely due to a merger that had no place for the allies of a wrestling promotion, even when it was generating huge numbers across the board. If there were four factors I could put in the drivers seat of the wreckage, they would go, in order......the AOL/Time Warner merger, Vince Russo, Kevin Nash, and the nWo.
2. Hulk Hogan did NOT kill TNA. This one is also in the category of the ridiculous as TNA hasn't closed their doors as of this post. Here's my take on the Hulk Hogan situation.....in the time he's been with the company, only after failing miserably in his revisions the first year did he realize how little he knew the fans of the brand. Granted, 2010 was among the worst of the worst in terms of sports entertainment, but Immortal proved to me, at least, that trying to force TNA into a WWE shaped box just wasn't going to work. Since 2010, TNA has done a good job of bouncing back and thinking forward, but the damage has been done and, though it's tough to convince the hardcore TNA purist fans that things have changed for the better, we all know it's true.
3. Streamlining is NOT the same as bleeding out. I have no clue where it came from that TNA was bleeding out and that being the primary reason for them cutting talent from their roster. True, traveling the road was expensive and continues to be expensive, but there are other factors to aid in the process that haven't been considered. When TNA first began running in new markets, WWE started snapping up contracts with small venues that TNA might have been able to run capacity crowds in, forcing them to either go bigger, which meant spending more OR rescheduling events and reworking the lines of travel. Since TNA has had to renegotiate some events in light of those tactics, it has forced TNA to start cutting members of the roster that haven't been being utilized and had no creative direction. While I understand the need to make a roster lean enough to be able to use every member, it remains to be seen how the endgame is to run.
Now that those nagging little details that really do relate to the subject at hand are out in the open, I'd like to do a little bit of, what I would call damage control and give a balanced perspective as to how this could be a whole lot worse.
Had WWE been more thorough in their edging or if Spike TV hadn't been willing to aid TNA with capital to work the traveling schedule and if Panda Energy had completely closed their financial tether, we may be seeing a farewell tour, but since none of those factors found a way to fruition, we're enjoying a bastion away from the nation of Vince to this very day. I won't try to sugar coat this. TNA needs money to function and it can't continue to remain on the traveling schedule on the long term, which is why they have been in talks with Universal to make their return to the Impact Zone. I don't view this as another failure. It was, just like Monday nights, an experiment. What have we learned? TNA can't stand on its own weight just yet. This isn't to say they never will, but right now, they need the help of Spike and the good people of Universal Studios to put their legs back under them.
What does this give them? How about a chance to push the clock back to 2009? How about a return to what got the talk going to begin with? Does bringing back some of the early days magic and fusing it with some of the long term planning learned from the current regime sound like a good idea? Because it certainly does to me. Imagine how different things might have gone if Christian, Monty Brown, Petey Williams, Senshi, and the host of others no longer with TNA had seen the benefits that Austin Aries has or Bobby Roode? We'd be looking at a different company right now, that much I can promise you.