I have no intention of making storyline revelations in this post, so rest assured that there are no spoilers of that kind here. That said, there are some things I'd like to consider involving TNA and WWE respectively. This meaning, the biggest stories of the past week come to the forefront and I HAVE to ask who comes out on top for this?
First up? WWE. With the news of CM Punk walking out on Monday Night RAW before the show went on the air, WWE has rewritten EVERYTHING. Originally, the plans were to have a program with Kane, which he would win and eventually go on to face Triple H at Wrestlemania this year. As it turns out, Punk wanted a bigger place on the card....like the main event, which he was never truly able to have, even when he held the WWE Title for over a year.
Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Jake Roberts will all be in attendance at this year's Wrestlemania, but whereas Warrior and Roberts will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Hogan is likely going to host Wrestlemania, just as The Rock did a couple of years back since he was unable to pass a pre-performance screening by WWE doctors. As an added bonus, he'll get the chance to have those millions of hypocritical fans who complained about his place in TNA to cheer their lungs out at the biggest spectacle in WWE to date. Double standards can be so cruel.....
WWE officials were blown away by the boos and jeers for the return of Batista at the Royal Rumble, but are still plowing forward towards Batista vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. His return and winning the Rumble match torpedoed any chances of the aforementioned CM Punk entering into the main event, leading to the walk out. Combine that with the backlash WWE is STILL experiencing concerning the glaring absence of Daniel Bryan from the Rumble match and you have a recipe for a difficult situation on WWE's hands. It should be noted that current plans (as they could change) call for Bryan to take Punk's place in the storylines.
On to TNA.....
TNA is still actively in talks with AJ Styles and, though nothing is put onto paper, it is still believed by many within the organization that Styles WILL return and sooner rather than later. Since he wasn't able to be signed by the deadline, a last minute decision was made and MVP was slated to secure what was initially Styles' place in TNA storylines as the investor.
This leads to a newer development I find interesting. TNA has posted their own "Era of Punk" videos during which time CM Punk was under contract with TNA in the early years. Some believe this to be a way of both capitalizing on his tenure AND reaching out to secure a deal with him moving forward as well. It's believed that a formal release by WWE officials could lead to a debut later this year. IF Punk is released before his contract ends, we could be looking at as late as August or September, but if WWE sticks to their guns and rides out the contract, there is no reason not to assume TNA would wait any later than the minute after the contract is up to announce the signing to bolster viewers to the product ahead of his arrival.
While Sting seems to be gone from TNA, Jeff Hardy is NOT. While details I will not reveal here, suffice to say that Hardy will be making his return in a few short weeks to join in the current power struggle.
Since the number of X factors between the two companies are many and varied, I only have one answer to the question of who wins.....it's all up to the fans. If WWE fans are as outraged as they claim over the current situation with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, they NEED to put their money and time where their mouths are....back in their wallets. Invest in other products or brands, don't buy the PPVs or merch, and by no means watch their shows! If TNA fans are as loyal as THEY claim, buy the PPVs and stand by the product. It's no secret that I favor the TNA product here, but fans make or break promotions and TNA needs fans to rally behind them in order to carry through. I've been a pro-TNA blogger for nearly 6 years now and my loyalty to the brand has never been in question. I was sick of the Vince-driven machine and never looked back. I make no apologies for that. All I'm saying is to disapprove in a way that Vince and company won't soon forget.....in their pocketbooks.....because viewers are money every bit as much as buyers of PPVs and merchandise at the stands.