If you understand second place the way the rest of the world does, you might believe that it's somehow less than. You might believe that second place means first loser. You might even believe that second place has little hope of success down the road. I get that. It makes sense. I've always looked at second place as an afterthought.....something that comes when the race is over.....once the dust has settled. Over the course of this blog, though, I've come to know that second place is a bit more like an alternative than a position in a race leading to one goal....at least is regards to business, and even moreso in terms of THIS business.
The machine is big, but it wasn't always. The machine is strong and has a wealth of resources, but hasn't always. The machine holds a loyal weekly fanbase, but they didn't always. You see where this is going, right? This really isn't about first place. First place is what you build towards and what you maintain once that title has been given without regards to the position on the field. Second place is simply put The Alternative and whatever the first place doesn't cover, THAT is what the second place promotion MUST cover.
SO....you have some of the brightest experienced wrestlers in the business in the first place promotion? Fantastic, the second place promotion has to pick up the younger, hungrier performers who just want to make a name for themselves. The first place promotion has a taste for beauty without much brawn for their women's division? Great, do the best you can to pick up the best tacticians and those who are willing to go the distance to become that. If you can strive for beauty as well, even better....that just puts the division over the top.
Eric Bischoff stated in The Monday Night War that "....I put together a list of all the ways we could possibly be different from WWE....they're taped, we'll go live. They have cartoony characters, ours will be more reality based." This is brilliant, folks. I don't care one bit what you think of Bischoff in his twilight WCW years, but in their inception, there was no one...NO ONE who had a better mind for differentiating the two brands than him.
No matter where you look, TNA's most vocal critics will say that they have no business to still be above board due to their mistakes over the years, but so did WCW. Think about this: WCW was founded in 1988 and went until 2001. TNA hasn't even hit their stride yet and sunk in their heels, which speaks volumes about their potential. Where WCW's mistakes came in their latter years, TNA's seem to have come earlier and hiccups in their decision making cost them. However, in their recovery period, they seem to have captured a kind of renaissance, making positive strides toward the next tier.
I believe if TNA can avoid the faction storyline once the Beat Down Clan has run its course for a while, life for them will only get better.