On Monday March 8th 2010 TNA wrestling made a valiant attempt to return sports entertainment to it’s heyday by reigniting the Monday Night War and for the first time in nearly a decade providing head to head competition for the WWE. However, looking at the ratings (a 1.0 for Impact and a 3.4 for Raw) I suppose it’s easy to see why Vince McMahon and the other WWE bigwigs hardly view TNA as any real competition. Personally for me, it’s difficult not to feel Impact was the better show as World Wrestling Entertainment continued it’s trend of stale and stagnant programming the feels like it’s target demographic is males seven to twelve rather then focusing on the eighteen to thirty demographic who was Raw’s late start time are obviously the one actually tuning in. Don’t get me wrong, Impact was extremely flawed, focusing entirely too much on the emotional trauma of Hulk Hogan and his family as Hogan climbed through the ropes one more last time. It is obvious, at least to me that Hogan needs to kick back and focus on a sort of Vince McMahon esque authority role rather then feeding his ego and convincing himself that fans want to see a man who’s so past his prime he can’t even execute a leg drop.

    From a wrestling stand point, TNA provided the must entertaining match of the night as Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Doug Williams showcased their talents to a national audience and informed us all that TNA has not decided to shelve the X Division. Raw on the hand focused entirely too much on guest host Chris Angel and his magical hocus pocus powers as he performed illusions that don’t really carry over too well to a television audience. As storylines, the WWE continue to push towards Wrestlemania adequately garnering heat for Randy Orton as a face, Triple H and Sheamus impending showdown, and the WWE title match between John Cena and Batista. Nevertheless, I’m jaded and displeased with a product that provides slow paced seven minute matches that serve no purpose other then to rope me into paying thirty nine ninety five for a pay per view where the matches are usually only slightly more entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, with it’s long standing following and production values, I can understand why TNA demolished Raw. But as a wrestling fan for twenty five years, I think it’s time we demand that the WWE realize that it’s fans are people who are actually allowed to stay up until ten after eleven on a school night and that those fans crave the introspective storylines and dazzling in ring action that made Raw cutting edge in the firs place.
TNA gets the check mark in my opinion for the shock and awe factor providing an atmosphere of surprise and excitement that hasn’t been seen on Raw since WCW folded. A heel turn by Sting, an impromptu match with Rob Van Dam, and finally a full time in ring return for Jeff Hardy flashed me back to time where you couldn’t help wondering which wrestler was going to jump ship next. Of course back then we were all just looking for the Ultimate Warrior, Sid, and the Road Warriors, but I digress. As I mentioned before, TNA is a flawed promotion a point which they showcased by wasting valuable time with washed up wrestlers like Scott Hall and Sean Waltman rather then young talent like Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal. Not to mention using Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett as the Santino Morella like comedy aspects of TNA. Nonetheless with the additions of Hardy and Van Dam along with Sting attempting to provide on final year of in ring entertainment, I believe that TNA at least proved credible competition from an entertainment stand point. Taking a breath, I realize that TNA’s focus on wrestlers that way over the hill and that are notorious for burying younger talent, along with their decision to only be live every other week in an internet age where I can find out what Hulk Hogan ate for breakfast may prove to be crucial mistakes. Whether TNA can push the envelope and force World Wrestling Entertainment to take an honest look at it’s product is the major question we will be exploring in this blog. Admittedly it’s once again a great to be a wrestling fan,

So until next week…
This is Big Tete saying wrestling may not be real but neither is reality television.