AS I SEE IT 3/5: TNA...the musical...

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

From this past week's Monday Night Mayhem:

"...Dixie Carter did wish to clear the air on something discussed in depth amongst the wrestling fans throughout the world: their relationship with ROH (with Samoa Joe leaving and the rumors of 'The Fallen Angel' Christopher Daniels finishing up soon): TNA has a 'working relationship with Ring Of Honor.' Many of their guys have started there, continue to work there, and she hopes to keep seeing it for a while.

There's a horse missing some Grade A manure after that comment. If this is what TNA does to companies with whom they have a "working relationship", I'd hate to see what they do to companies they DON'T like.

If Dixie Carter wants to see the so-called "working relationship" continue, as she claims; all she has to do is remove the policy that TNA Talent Relations executive Bill Behrens has made clear exists, due in the first case to the the fact Joe is being seen as a ROH wrestler and not a TNA wrestler and that's why he's being pulled from ROH shows "full time". The same for Homicide and Christopher Daniels.

If she'd like to make that announcement, I know one writer who'd be happy to post it for her...right here.

Speaking of people sending similar love notes:

From Joe Bachman:

"You have once again injected more wrestling fans with your quaint, pseudo expertise of professional wrestling. Your biased opinion of TNA only furthers your immaturity, selfishness, and lack of tact in your ability to write wrestling editorials, and in that to be taken seriously as a wrestling editorialist. The basis of your immaturity are as follows:"

Admit it. You LIKE really LIKE me.

"Describing TNA as an 'Indies' company, simply because they do not tour. Hey, 'pseudo expert', remember when WCW held just about everyone of their shows in a studio in the late 80's? So I guess WCW were also an Indies fed by your logic, right? Then again, I know all of these Indies companies like Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, and PWG have a weekly cable show + PPV's, right? But, TNA is just a simple Independent promotion though, according to you...

Comparing TNA, supported by a small to medium sized energy WCW supported by Ted Turner; is so far beyond asinine as to defy description. Not even TNA's own employees would make that suggestion.

The only tiny tie to reality of what our reader wrote above... WCW, while still a regional Georgia territory, taped their TV at the Techwood studios...and even then, ran shows at the Omni in Atlanta. After Jim Crockett took it over, Ted Turner bought them out...years later, I might add to our dear reader, after Crockett ran shows all over the United States. Years after THAT, WCW.. while a national company owned by Ted Turner ran all over the United States.

Threatening to boycott TNA simply for restricting their workers in certain facets. Or in your case, throwing a hissy fit because TNA is keeping Joe from working Ring of Honor shows. Beyond your ignorance for making such an immature statement, would YOU as a head of a national promotion (yes Bob, TNA is national) want one of your main guys who is being prepped to become a World Champion risk injury in a small Indies fed? Once again, if logic escapes you then I apologize, but keeping your workers safe while you expand your company is well, rational, logical, and smart. Three facets of which it seems you lack.

Sarcasm seems your strong suit. By the way, your so-called "national promotion" DOES have Samoa Joe risking injury in indies...specifically IWC in Pittsburgh, 2CW in Syracuse, NY, Jersey All Pro Wrestling in Rahway, NJ, and even a show co-sponsored by National Wrestling Superstars in northern New Jersey. Get your facts straight before you run your mouth.

"TNA will however continue to grow, they will continue to flourish, because luckily more fans can see the positives in TNA, then immediately reject it simply because of one of their bookers. We as fans have gall, patience, and respect for the sport and those who run it. You as a 'wrestling editorialist', know nothing but biased critiques, and tactless statements likely meant to rally the small number of troops you may have that read your ludicrous articles. You, and your small fan base, that is slowly and surely bringing then entire internet wrestling community down to your trivial, abject level."

Growing base...yup. That explains why such a "national promotion" can only draw a .6 rating 2 Thursdays ago when running against RAW's Thursday night airing; and a 1.1 even with a base audience of 4.0 that WWE made available to them 2 weeks ago.

If TNA's such a successful company, perhaps you can explain one of TNA's workers happily telling a PWBTS writer, while the two were talking at an indy booking recently, how much a certain angle made [the wrestler] "sick to his stomach". [The wrestler] proceeded to bury Vince Russo voluntarily to the writer for five minutes. [The wrestler] also said to the PWBTS writer that TNA is "full of egos" and when the writer said "with a 1.0 rating, no one should have an ego", [the wrestler] replied "no s$#t".

There are lots of other details in what my writer shared that I won't mention since they'd too easily identify the worker...and there's no way to disguise them. Suffice it to say TNA would be REALLY surprised at the name of the wrestler. My writer has the e-mail they sent to me...but for anyone from TNA that plans on writing, I'm not giving up the name (nor is my writer) don't waste your time in writing me demanding it.

I wonder if Dixie Carter thinks that wrestler buys into what she said above.

Then, we have Christopher Hennessy who goes over to another extreme altogether:

"Your article on TNA is 100% truth. You tell it like it is, and I truly appreciate that. Thank you."

I bet TNA doesn't think so.

In other news related to this subject...the TNA product has gotten so bad that even long-time critic of this column Ali Sal...gulp...agrees with me on something:

"Could it be Global Warming? Or has Hell just froze over? But I agree 100% with your 2/19 Article, 'It's Russo-rific'. TNA is in trouble. Not by ratings, not by WWE, not by internet geeks; but by themselves. TNA is their worst enemy right now, and you hit the nail on the head--I can't believe I said that!

The Vince Russo Creative Chart has always shown to be equal parts genius and idiot. It was hard to believe a guy who helped develop The Rock's character was the same guy who made himself WCW Champ to parody Uncle Vinny K.

He's created some great storylines in TNA, but at the same filled the show with some stupidity. Now there was just the story that came out that he thinks they make him fill up the show with too many people--but I don't all the way believe it because that's classic Russo. This has been one of the best and worst things about Russo--he makes something for everybody and everybody has some importance. On the bad side of that, in WWF, he always booked a lot of stories that called for shorter matches with Dusty-finishes and 17 minute promos. So this story could be true or untrue, but does it matter?

Now personally I like the BG James-Kip James storyline of disagreement of women's wrestling, but I personally do not like that Hemme is being made to look the fool. Now if there is a payoff, it will be fine; but the TNA women's division is in it's infancy and this storyline could cause more harm than good. In wrestling, women's wrestling has always struggled in the U.S., so to do this storyline is merchandise and marketing suicide unless handled perfectly. With two talented women like Gail Kim and Jackie Moore feuding, that should be the storyline that carries and defines the women's division at this stage.

I could on forever about the storylines (don't get me started with anything involving Mr. Bandylegs Kevin Nash), but I won't. I want to hit on other points that you brought up: the first is that TNA needs to stop pretending that it is a direct competitor to WWE when it comes to booking their wrestlers!

It is a screwjob that could hurt wrestlers (and even TNA itself) more than help them. With TNA make-believing they are booking 16-20 dates a month and holding wrestlers away from other independents is nonsense. It hurts the small companies who get by booking one to three "names", AND it hurts TNA by losing exposure of non-former WWE talent that gains a fanbase they are not getting otherwise (see pre-TNA Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, etc.)!

I don't even want to get into the Two-Faced Health Care Policy, I think you covered that well.

And anybody who says 'the fans do not know what they are talking about' is said by people who can't make an argument opposite (see Dick Cheney). I have only one exception to that rule, and that was Lance Storm's 'worker' vs 'performer' argument. Storm complained he hated that fans use the term 'worker' when they judge a performer.

THAT I agreed with Storm that the fans did NOT know what they were talking about! Well, because they don't!! Since the term 'worker' is a inner-wrestling term that how a wrestler performs in the ring, controls a match, works a crowd, calls moves, plans finishes, doesn't 'blow up', could make an exciting match with a broomstick, etc. This is not something a fan knows because they are not in the ring with a particular performer and do not know what it's like as a professional to 'work' with that guy. On the other hand, a performer is someone you enjoy watching in the ring because he/she is fun to watch. The words have a meaning, so his point makes sense.

TNA's does not. 'I don't know art, but I know what I like.' is the quote I think of when I hear wrestlers, promoters, etc. whining about criticism. While fans are not always right, and have bad ideas as well--does not make them any less important. Many fans are morons and don't know what they are talking about; but others are very thought out and make good points that should be taken into at least some consideration. A fan did not come up with the Katie Vick storyline or Bastian Booger, The Mummy, and Red Rooster gimmicks.

The only reason we complain is because we care. We want competition again for WWE, we want independent organizations to thrive and wrestling to stay a strong business, and we want wrestling to aim higher as it really could be the great cultural satire in the entertainment industry. So come on TNA, grow up!"

For those who think that Ring of Honor isn't being singled out, read the above mention of the aforementioned indies that talent is being farmed out to (for an increased price, of course). Rather than have its talent be exhibited to a high-profile promotion that regularly runs shows in several states (rather than just an Orlando TV studio); they're now farming them out to shows that contain 2 names, up-and-coming wrestlers, along with the ticket sellers, high spot jockeys, and indy-rific others most smaller independent promotions fill out out their shows with.

Ring of Honor's been forced by TNA's actions to turn their booking plans upside down, as they recently took the ROH Heavyweight Title off of Homicide and the Tag Title off of Christopher Daniels. Thank TNA for that, folks.

From John and Mari Heinsen:

"I live in Orlando and I am pretty sure that the percentage of non paying customers is higher than 60%.The only times people were paying were the 2 October shows that had a fan fest.I may have that wrong also as maybe only one of those times was in Orlando, I don't remember.

The people in the front row are there when the park opens,that's for the tv tapings also.That's why I stopped going, because we would get there an hour and a half before they even opened the doors and still barely get in. Each time the line was getting longer and longer. I would have preferred to have paid and gotten a reserved seat. So as I have told other writers it's not impressive seeing a packed house with no one paying. No one else has responded to me about this."

They have now...

From Matthew O'Donnell:

"Samoa Joe is one of their stars on their very popular Cable television show that does run primetime. So they have every right to drop the hammer on ROH. Get over it."

At least you acknowledge that they ARE dropping the hammer on Ring of Honor. They won't.

And finally some thoughts from "Brian of Texas" on Mike Awesome:

"Mike Awesome. When i first heard of him,without seeing him..I thought...awesome...right.

Then I saw Mike Awesome when he came to ECW, and was struck by his size,speed & agility. Mike Awesome was one of the new ECW stars that came in to ECW and was a legit champion. I remember watching those matches with Masato Tanaka, which were some of the BEST in ECW history....and that really says something about Mike. Even when he was That's 70's Guy...I was still on his side. I will miss Mike Awesome, because he was and through his matches, he will always be...AWESOME."

Since TNA hasn't responded to fans as of yet...If you feel that TNA is acting in a manner contrary to what you want them to do...just like any other company...with any other product... let TNA know that you'll no longer be spending the money you used to spend on TNA products; and will now be spending that money on Ring of Honor DVDs, live shows, and other revenue sources for that company.

It sounds like at least SOME people already gave up watching theirmuch-ballyhooed two hour Spike TV special given the 1.18 rating/1.5 million viewers. If that's not enough, The Wrestling Observer reported that last Thursday edition of TNA iMPACT! drew 0.6 cable rating. This ties TNA's lowest ratings for iMPACT! dating back to November 2005 and April 2006. Many regular TNA viewers were obviously watching RAW

To contact parties concerned:

Contact TNA to express your thoughts on this matter at Make clear to them that you will also be contacting Spike TV and Universal Studios.

Contact Spike TV at their feedback site at

* Debra Fazio/Spike TV - 212-767-8649

* Salil Gulati/Spike TV - 212-767-8705

* Steven Godfrey/TNA Wrestling - 615-244-5557

Point out to them, as has been said before, that NWA-TNA needs Ring Of Honor's fan base to survive. and that those online and smart mark fans that have kept them alive until they were supported by their current backers. Without that fan base, they might well not survive.

You can also contact NWA-TNA via snail mail at TNA Wrestling, 209 10th Avenue South - Suite 302 Nashville, TN 37203.

If you use the snail mail method, send TNA copies of your recent cable bills that show you are now ordering their PPVs. Remind them that they will be losing a customer starting with their February 11 PPV.

Finally, since the last few weeks hasn't gotten anyone to back off, here's a list of the advertisers that ran ads on last week's IMPACT and their contact information:

  • Taco Bell Taco Bell feedback

  • Campbell Soup Company (Swanson) -

  • Burger King, 5505 Blue Lagoon Drive,Miami, FL 33157 (305) 378-3000

  • Quizno's

  • Subway

  • Snapple

  • Proctor and Gamble (Old Spice), The Procter & Gamble Company, One Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202


  • SEGA of America

  • Electronic Arts Inc., 209 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065
    Phone: 650-628-1500/Fax: 650-628-1422

  • Sony/Columbia



    If you're moved to respond, tell the advertisers you're acting in support of a company you say you support. Tell the advertiser you won't be seeing their ads, since you won't be viewing the show they appear on. Tell them you're going to put your money where your mouth is, and tell a company like TNA that's made a business decision that you in turn have made a business decision of sorts; and you'll no longer support them as long as they continue with the "business decision" they've made.

    Until next time...

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