Red flags have been popping up for a long time, going back to when they got rid of their hexagon ring and began shamelessly ripping off the WWE’s storylines. Bringing in Hulk Hogan and Sting seemed as if they were staging a comeback, but eventually the ripoffs continued and soon the defections began. Now that Hogan, Sting, and possibly AJ Styles have hit the bricks, it seems as if TNA is in its death throes. It’s gonna suck not to have wrestling on Thursday nghts, but most of us were channel-surfing in the middle of their mid-card matches anyway, so what the hell.
What really gets you sick is the fact that, like ECW, they had the talent to make this happen. AJ was truly the franchise player, and Kurt Angle was the guy who lent them their prestige. Not to mention Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Magnus and Bobby Roode, who can walk in and start at mid-card to semi-final positions at WWE immediately upon signing. Of course, it’s the creativity department that always flushes your Company down the toilet, and the chopping block should have been brought in as soon as the war room started reeking of WWE. Someone over there (Jeff Jarrett?) obviously felt that the sincerest form of flattery was sending the Mc Mahons a flowery token of reconciliation, but the fans (and workers) should have been howling for blood.
I could sit here and write out a list of blatant WWE ripoffs, from Dixie Carter’s ‘Authority’ knockoff to the bile-gagging Money in the Bank briefcase. Anyone who watches on a semi-regular basis doesn’t need to be bored with the details. What TNA execs need to do is start ripping off alternative sources, like ECW. Heyman and Company nearly vaulted into NWA/AWA/WCW status by coming up with their own gimmicks, betting heavily on the hardcore market. If Heyman hadn’t taken the money and ran, they might easily be competing for the MMA target audience today. Think about it. The angles they still have available courtesy of Bully Ray and Abyss are still keeping that door open. It’s cheap heat, always has been and will be, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
As I said, I’m gonna hate having to watch St. Louis Blues post-game shows on Thursday nights, but these guys don’t look like they’re going to be around much longer. And it’s going to be a rotten shame. It really looked like we’d always have TNA around when we got tired of the Mc Mahons rubbing their schtick in our faces.