Counterfeit Pennies: TNA vs. The Road to WrestleMania

One week from today, on March 8th, the so-called “Monday Night Wars” will resume on a more permanent basis. Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter have certainly picked an interesting time to try and grab a share of the Monday wrestling audience, as we find ourselves right smack in the middle of WWE’s Road to WrestleMania.

The question is this: Will TNA’s programming change as such a crucial time for Vince McMahon and Company create some unwelcome detours between now and the Granddaddy of them all?

The likeliest of answers is this: No Chance In Hell.

This is not a knock on TNA. In fact, I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the things that the Hogan and Bischoff have brought into the mix. They have hit at least one home run by elevating The Pope into a true star in the making, and I have a feeling that he will continue to shine as a TNA standout, something he could not do in WWE as Elijah Burke. I have also enjoyed the Styles-Flair partnership seemingly much more than most, and I actually do think guys like Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolfe and Abyss are actually doing pretty well for themselves right now as they become acclimated with the new TNA power structure.

With all that said, TNA is not without its issues, most notably being the inconsistent booking and stalled character development of a few prominent TNA stalwarts, including Samoa Joe, Daniels, Beer Money, and I don’t know, the ENTIRE X Division. These folks have especially gotten the short end of the stick thus far, and I still don’t understand how that can possibly happen in what is supposed to be a revitalized product. I understand the concept of mixing and matching some ex-WWE veterans with the old TNA guys, but if Bischoff and Hogan spent as much time on the people I just mentioned as they do with Hall/XPac vs. Nash/Young, Bischoff vs. Abyss/Foley/Jarrett, and Nasty Boys vs. Team 3D, then perhaps they would be able to hold steady in the ratings.

Speaking of which, TNA has really dropped the ball in terms of creating real buzz and buildup to certain matches and PPV events, something WWE has actually improved upon tremendously in recent weeks. And this just might be the most glaring difference between the two factions.

While WWE just came out with one of the most impressive pre-produced promotional packages of all-time to hype the Undertaker-Michaels rematch, TNA has failed miserably in hyping up the X Division leading up to, you know, Destination X. Without looking it up, if you can tell me when Destination X is, you deserve a Gold Medal made from the same stuff that was given to the Olympic champs in Vancouver.

Undertaker-Michaels Promo for WrestleMania XXVI

The answer, of course, is March 21st, less than three weeks away. Could have fooled me.

Needless to say, WWE seems to be peaking at the right time, and who knows, maybe TNA’s impending switch to Monday Nights is the reason why they’ve upped their game over the past few weeks. The WrestleMania XXVI card is now stacked with some potentially great matches/stories, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, NXT is already fresher and more TV-worthy than the last remnants of ECW.

Of course, WWE isn’t a perfect product by any means, and TNA is right to try and push as hard as they can to get to that next level where a real competition can resume.

However, instead of calling next week a rekindling of the “Monday Night Wars”, I will be a little more realistic and simply say that this is merely David’s first pebble being slung towards Goliath.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the song used in The Undertaker-Shawn Michaels promo referenced above is Running Up That Hill by Placebo? It’s a perfect song for this storyline, and definitely worth listening to or picking up on iTunes.

That’s all from me this week…CB

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,