AS I SEE IT 3/19: TNA...the musical...

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

From Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer: "Losing to Tomko and getting beaten up so many times on TV recently is punishment as the booking team are very unhappy with Joe's remarks in ROH about 'hurting his knee tripping over some bad booking' in TNA."

And people below wonder what's wrong in TNA? Not only do they pull Samoa Joe from what is clearly his favorite creative environment, but piss off the live crowd in Orlando (who had let out with a "Fire Russo" chant earlier in the evening); but delay or damage the value of Joe winning the NWA title (which may not be a NWA title by then, but that's a story for later).

Then there's the recent tendency, according to a well-known online source, that suggests TNA staff deal with people that are critical by dismissing them as "being on the WWE payroll". Apparently it goes so far recently that Dave Sahadi of TNA was reading aloud website reports on the last TNA PPV, which were viewed as "all ripping the show and calling it one of the worst ppvs ever". In the ensuing conversation, Don West got pissed, winding up with everyone agreeing that all these reports come from people on WWE payroll.

Apparently my mail carrier in suburban South Jersey is pocketing my checks. I've got to remember to call up US Post Office security about that.

Along with Don West getting into "seeing the black helicopters coming paranoia" mode, TNA staff also dismissed the "Fire Russo" chants coming from the crowd as "smart marks trying to take over the show".

TNA staff can delude themselves all they want. The fact that they AREN'T competitive with WWE speaks volumes about their lack of willingness to create a distinctive and competitive product...not to mention the fact that they continue to ignore rule one of business: listen to your customers.

By the way, screwing over independent promotions isn't a way to endear yourself to independent fans...i.e. customers, either; as see, in the sentence from the following release posted on yesterday by Nick Tatum of Cleveland independent Absloute Independent Wrestling, which outlined TNA pulling Abyss from an independent show in Detroit on Wrestlemania weekend:

"Earlier this week TNA Booking Agent Bill Behrens emailed Absolute Intense Wrestling and let us know that we weren't going to be able to have Abyss appear on the card...

Behrens said the following: 'Other than 3 TNA wrestlers who had been approved by management last year to appear for ROH in Detroit on 3/30-31, it was decided thereafter that no other TNA talent can wrestle in the Detroit area during Wrestlemania weekend. I regret my error in confirming this booking....'

Through various emails from the AIW office to Mr. Behrens we found out there was nothing we could do to keep the fans happy."

Speaking of black helicoper time, I wonder what TNA is so worried about having wrestlers near Detroit that weekend.

Your thoughts...

From Kool Karlito:

" Nice to see Samoa Joe lose to Christian Cage, with a cheap finish by the way, at Destination X this past Sunday. Funny, I thought it was said that Joe was being pulled from ROH since he was going to win the title. Yet, not only did he not win the belt, the Impact spoilers confirms that he won't be getting a rematch at Lockdown. Oh yeah, Joe is still booked for outside groups. So much for the claim of TNA trying to protect their investment. So what was the point of TNA pulling him from ROH again? "

Simple. There isn't any point. It's promotional jealousy. As you see above, rather than deal with the fact that their fans are pissed off, they dismss it by the old "they're on the Fed's payroll" crap. People like Jim Cornette and Mike Tenay are smarter than to really believe that crap.

By the way...might want to check your mailbox for that WWE check, since you're obviously "one of us".

From Canada's Scott Anderson:

"I find it interesting that some respondents to your columns seem to think that you have a hate on for TNA and that you would like to see its demise. Are they reading the same columns that I'm reading? It is apparent to me that you would like to see TNA thrive, though not at the expense of ROH, other independents and the wrestlers themselves.

What separates TNA from other independent wrestling companies? Pay-per Views and a national television show (international actually, as we get Spike TV here in Canada). And therein lies part of the problem. The powers that be in TNA, and many of TNA's fans, seem to be under the impression that, because they have a weekly television show, TNA can compete with the WWE. They can't, at least not yet."

Wish I'd said it that well. My point precisely. As you read above, instead of listening to the; they just insist you'll take what we give you and like it.

From Nic Wishart of Melbourne, Australia:

"In relation to the simple minded marks who are naive enough to believe you're simply ant-TNA, you have an ally in me. Your reflections on wrestling in general, and TNA more controversially are spot on for the most part...At times we differ on WWE related issues on who the top workers are (eg; i see Umaga as a phenomenal worker with a great monster gimmick) but in relation to TNA your observations towards the simply awful booking are correct, and anyone who dares dispute these facts are blatant morons.

Phenomenal worker, no. Good worker, yes. But I agree that he's got a great gimmick that started as a Samoa Joe rip-off, but has been well-booked and turned into a great monster heel.

"Today I watched the TNA 'Destination X' PPV, and not since The Great American Bash where we saw the Punjabi Prison have I seen a worse PPV...

The Destination X PPV Card of 9 matches, consisted of 6 matchups we saw at the previous PPV, with 3 of those 6 have fought at the previous 2 PPVS. There's absolutely no change in booking, nor any direction for character development. The 9 match card also consisted of 6 stipulation matches; and in the cases of LAX vs Team 3D's feud... its the THIRD PPV in a row where there's been a street fight stipulation simply with a different name. In the case of AJ vs Rhino its the THIRD PPV in a row where there's been a stipulation match which HEAVILY restricts the ability of the performers to wrestle a natural style (especially Elevation X and the Strap Match). In the case of Abyss vs Sting, a stipulation match so cheesy and pathetic that the fans actually begun to chant 'FIRE RUSSO' during the match..."

Remember, that makes you just a smart mark trying to ruin their show. :0)

"For any moron who believes that a few guys cheering 'TNA' during a Vince McMahon segment is a sign of a shift in the course of wrestling history, Take a reality a TNA PPV the fans were begging for the head booker, a man being paid a huge amount of money in Vince Russo to be fired. Here's the reality check....Vince Russo, whether solely by himself, or with the help of Dutch Mantell is bringing TNA to its knees, and slaughtering any chance of them becoming a major company in the midst of a wrestling popularity slump."

Please, dear Jesus, don't let Dutch Mantel have become that lacking in memory of what draws.

I'm 18, and I've watched wrestling for just on 11 years now...I do not claim to be a wrestling visionary, nor do I claim to be privy to how the business truly works, but I've watched every show and PPV of WCW, WWF/E, and TNA (since their monthly PPV debut) in this time and several indy/Japanese promotions via online media has given me enough insight ot know what works and what doesnt work in this business. The current TNA product doesn't, in my eyes, compete nearly with the current WWE product, no character directions, overbooked run-ins every match on iMPACT, and ridiculous stipulation matches are handicapping a potentially brilliant product..."

From Aaron McNight:

" I see you post some fan mail every week and I love it. I love seeing everyone hate you because you give your honest opinion on TNA. It's your column, and you are free to speak the way you want. While I agree, I realize that others don't. I think of you like that heel wrestler that everyone hates but a few people love that guy because he is hated. Just passing along my enjoyment of you column. Always great to read."

The funny thing is...I'm not trying to be a heel character. I'm just giving my opinion. The real heels in the ring are the Edges who get over by being a incredibly talented and skilled heel, as opposed to the Kevin Nash-style cool heel that's become the rage. And the real heels in wrestling are those who keep fans from seeing the talent they could be seeing in the matches they could be seeing them in because of promotional jealousy.

From Mark Barnes from the UK:

"I was just reading your mail (or hate mail as its turned out to be recently) at the end of your column and I had to write in. I donít usually write in to things I see on the internet as I donít really care what people Iíve never met think of my opinions. But you have these people contacting you to give you abuse; and say how upsetting it is to see someone crap all over TNA. While they might be number 2 in this business, it's only because itís a two horse race. WWE is light years ahead of them.What gets me is why do they read your column if they think you're full of crap?

I guess it means they're still reading.

From Corey Chadwick:

"I know a shock someone agree with you on TNA. While I can understand why they're doing it, I think its a joke for Dixie (according to Kurt Angle "has more money then McMahon") Carter to pull off all TNA talent from ROH and still say they have a working relationship.

I feel sorry you have to get rude emails from TNA fanboys who think TNA is so "original" and "innovating" (hey fanboys, the REAL ECW did that innovative stuff 10 years ago).

Trust me, I know, I was there.

"I'm a wrestling fan have been since I was 9. WWF, WCW, AWA, AAA, CMLL, ECW, didn't matter if it was on I was watching it. Now we got WWE, AAA, CMLL, WWEcw, and TNA and honestly...I can't watch TNA anymore. The reasons? The storylines flat out suck, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, LAX and Kurt Angle's rants. TNA keeps calling itself WWE's "competition"...But when TNA and WWE went head to head...RAW slaughtered them with a 3.8 to Impact's 0.6.

Now I wanna set the record straight, I WANT TNA to be competition to WWE. Because under the first rule of economics: Competition is good for business. But now TNA is worse then WCW's dying days, hell all they need is David Arquette to be NWA Champion, least TNA would give us all a big laugh as we shed tears to the further degradation of one of pro wrestlings most respected titles."

The difference was...David Arquette didn't WANT the belt. He sent what WCW paid him to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman and Darren Drozdov. Arquette was a class act, unlike the person whose idea that crap was...and we all know who that was.

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 their much-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 a special 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 that week.

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

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's

  • 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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