DR TNA: 4 Life…again?

As TNA approaches their HardCORE Justice PPV, as I wrote last week, the importance of the preparation for that show could not be understated.  All in all, I thought they laid a decent framework.  I am somewhat disappointed that it appears the guys who are not former ECW guys are not really becoming involved.  However, given that the following Thursday, Bischoff is debuting his “PPV quality night for free on Spike TV,” I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. 

I hope that Tommy Dreamer is able to capitalize on the opportunity he is being given.  I’ve written before that I believe TNA needs a shakeup in creative.  Maybe Dreamer could be that guy.  Maybe the Paul Heyman rumors end up materializing into the deal that many TNA fans are hoping it may become.  However, I’m asking the indulgence of all of you as I give props to the current creative team for the peek we got on Thursday into what I’m hoping can be fleshed out further.

I realize a column based on one segment of the show – a segment that frankly was insignificant in the broader effort to build for HardCORE Justice – is odd, but in my defense I’ve devoted the past two weeks to the upcoming PPV.  Given that, reiterating its importance seems a bit redundant.  Additionally, as I’ll explain momentarily, it reminded me of why I got back into Professional Wrestling after a many year hiatus.  So without further ado:

First, I have to admit it appeared that the Jarrett and Sting were both a bit slow in responding to their cues to enter.  That made for some awkward timing stalls.  However, forgiving that for the moment, I was downright psyched for the Wolf Pack face paint.  I’ve felt for some time that Sting and Nash were two guys that can still be big attractions for TNA, but were in very awkward storylines.  Nash’s situation was a bit different, given the failed experiment bringing back Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, but Sting’s “why Sting why” thing was getting very old.  By bring these two together, if that in fact happens, TNA may have just stumbled into a way to work these guys back in, and if done correctly, actually wrap a story line – something they have not done well.

I fully recognize that there are many who view the likes of Nash, Hogan, Bischoff and perhaps even Sting as part of the problem with, not the solution to, TNA’s creative issues.  Let me be clear, I am not saying that week after week, these guys should be the main event storyline.  I continue to believe that TNA’s young talent is what can allow TNA to be the success that they can be.  However, when the vets and the young talent are brought together into the same story line, it broadens the appeal of all talent and all segments.

I expect we all remember the debut of the nWo (the broader faction which included “the Wolf Pack”) at Bash of the Beach in 1996.  If so, you’ll remember Hulk Hogan coming out as Hollywood Hogan, joining with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash – the Outsiders – and forming a “New World Order” of professional wrestling.  That segment is below to refresh your memory.

WCW fans, and likely also WWF fans of that era, will remember that in the months and years to follow, the nWo became one of the most successful story lines in Professional Wrestling history and in large part was responsible for vaulting WCW ahead of the WWF in the Monday night ratings wars.  Eventually the nWo ran its course, even became overused, but one of the constant questions during its peak popularity was whether Sting would join or leave the nWo.

Given its history, and the participation of Hall, Hogan, Sting and Bischoff, if the nWo is to be recreated – presumably under the Wolf Pack name – these were the guys who had to be involved in doing it.  If this really does happen, what I hope to see is the same recruitment of additional wrestlers into factions that we saw in the WCW days.  With this angle, guys in every segment could become potential additions.  You also have an easy way to work young talent with veteran talent.

Has it been done before?  Absolutely, it has.  Does that mean it can’t be compelling again?  I think it can be incredibly compelling. 

It is a bit of a risk.  An unsuccessful attempt to recreate the nWo will not go over well with fans.  However, if done correctly, I believe it will make for some entertaining shows for some time.  I hope they pull it off.

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