AS I SEE IT 4/2: Maybe they are listening...

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Well...maybe they are listening to least a little.

After the drama of pulling Abyss from a previously agreed upon booking with the Cleveland-based Absolute Intense Wrestling, who was holding a show in suburban Detroit this past weekend...with no notice TNA's Jim Cornette, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin hit the Ring of Honor show last Friday night in Detroit. Shelley and Sabin as a team, then challenged The Briscoes (who won the ROH tag titles Friday night in Detroit) to a match at the April 28 Chicago Ridge, IL show. Cornette also appears to be back...for an unknown length of time, as a heel manager of Brent Albright.

So perhaps TNA is listening. Now let them take the handcuffs off of Samoa Joe, and use his appearances to promote him in TNA, rather than be jealous of the attention Joe gets in ROH.

From John Johnson:

You know something, Mr. Magee. You are nothing more than a WWE Mark/ROHBot that can't find anything good to say about the product that the wrestlers in TNA work on to give their fans week in and week out.

And if that's really is true about you, then I guess that I'm in the same boat. Personally, I'm tired of the garbage that TNA produces week in and week out. I was at their first House Show in Plymouth last year. That was an example, for the most part, of a well booked show. Well, with the exception of ICP getting put over by Petey Williams, Eric Young and Scott D'Amore.

In my honest opinion, from a fan that actually shed a tear when the original ECW and WCW went under back in 2001, TNA is quickly going down a similar road. They want to get a prime time show? They need to stop the WWE bashing, as we all saw how well it worked in WCW after a while.

TNA needs to learn that you don't directly challenge the big dog to a fight. Frankly, WWE has the talent and money to put them under. TNA needs to do what ECW did to become successful. That is rely more on the talent that they can bring in (All Japan or AAA talent anyone?) and the younger, more athletic guys (or in the case of Jerry Lynn, just more athletic) than relying on guys that were cast off from WWE. It's really sad when guys like Johnny Devine, Frankie Kazarian and Matt Bentley, who have all the talent in the world, play second fiddle to Raven, who for the most part is never going to be the same Raven that we all grew to fall in love with back in the mid-90s. That Eric Young and Bobby Roode are basically portraying a new era version of Virgil and Ted DiBiase.

That the only way that a Team 3D feud can get heat is that they have to bring out their WWE, WCW and ECW Tag Team Title Belts, because for some reason, no one knows how to book them properly. The only things that I've found somewhat captivating in TNA right now is Jay Lethal's "Macho Man" impersonation and what they're doing with Christopher Daniels. Other than that, TNA is looking like WCW in the year 2000. TNA Wrestling needs to learn from the past, or they will repeat it.

Maybe Vince McMahon ought to be asking himself that question...why people are pining for the REAL ECW (not the glorified Velocity). Maybe it's the lack of respect he treats WRESTLING with versus his WWE brand of "sports entertainment". A part of me smiled Sunday morning after reading that William Shatner got booed during the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony when it was patently obvious he was reading his induction speech verbatim from a prepared text.

As for Lethal, he got over on his own...without the fake Macho Man bullcrap. Why they feel the need to imitate WWF/E AGAIN, without creating their OWN identity (or even allowing Lethal to have his own, which worked just fine) is beyond me

From Randy Dullinger:

"I first want to say that I think it is absolutely hilarious that you get so many e-mails from people who hate you. People who think that everything you say is complete garbage. IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT HE IS SAYING STOP READING! Just like if you don't like what the WWE or TNA is producing stop watching. You can complain all you want, but $$ and ratings speak louder than anything else.

The second point I wanted to make was how can anyone actually watch TNA. I was like a lot of other wrestling fans and was getting sick of WWE, so I thought I would give TNA a shot becasue I was hearing some good things about them. After three or four weeks of basically an hour of them saying how much the WWE sucked and bairly being able to hear what Kevin Nash saying in the bathroom I came running back to the WWE.

Then, we have someone who claims to be a professional wrestler...a Rich Howard...with the oldest and least legitimate argument of all: that if you aren't a wrestler, you can't criticize the product.

"So what exactly do you do in your life? Are you a wrestler? No? I am...maybe in a local circuit but I've been in the ring more than you EVER will. You are just a fan, you aren't a expert so don't act like one. ...What in gods name makes you think that just because you have a column you are better than anyone who writes into it. I'm not going to insult you with childish remarks but I do have some fire to throw your way. You are all over the WWE even though they have guys who can't sell matches to save their lives like Umaga, Batista, or Lashley.

What am I a moron now too? Your sources don't impress me, we all have sources. You aren't a expert, you've never been in a match, and you've prolly never even stepped foot in a wrestling ring have you? Gimme a year or two and I'll be in TNA."

I'll say it now, as I have a million times before, the old-time carny mentalty doesn't work anymore. Wrestling fans are customers/consumers of a product. Despite the traditional carny mindset, fans offering our opinion on wrestling and making a business decision about which wrestling we will view and pay to view is no different than if we were buying a car, attending a movie, or going out to eat.

Would you tell a Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant reviewer that they have to be a winner of the Bocuse d'Or, or a New York Times reviewer that they have to own a restaurant rated among the top in Zagat's? Would you tell a Hollywood Reporter columnist that they have to have be an Academy Award director to offer an opinion on a movie? Would you tell a Consumer Reports reviewer that they have to be a line worker at General Motors to comment about cars?

For that matter, would you try to tell any other typical consumer of any other product that they can't spread the word about a good or bad company with whom they've done business? Any business school would tell you that word-of-mouth is the best advertising for any product or service.

Would you say that they shouldn't write to those concerning a product or service with which they're dissatisfied? The answer to all the above is: of course not.... and the argument is as specious as when it's made about wrestling fans, newsletter/online writers, and their opinions. No fan with a brain considers themselves the equal of those who've been in the business (and yes, I know there are those fans that do).

But fans DO have the right from the perspective of those who ARE the "fans in the seats" to offer opinions about the product that they pay money to see. Wrestling promoters, just as much as any other business(wo)men, need to listen to their customers. When they don't, they pay the price. Just ask anyone from WCW.

As for "Gimme a year or two and I'll be in TNA"...considering that I couldn't Google your name anywhere with any subject relating to wrestling....nah, I don't think so.

From Jesse Lee:

"...I just finished your column for 3-26-2007 about TNA and all the usual material. The wrestling fans are being fed spoonful of crap every week through TNA by the likes of Russo and with only a fraction of the original audience liking the current product, it drives the rest crazy. At least, it drove me crazy. Every week I post a Randomness of Wrestling on my myspace and every week, I decide to watch Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader instead... it's actually more entertaining.

I know I'm not the only one. As ratings show, just about half the TNA audience stopped watching after Russo ideas began taking an effect and even the wrestlers are displeased with their positions. From the X-division, to Joe, to even Christian Cage.

Just recently, I feel as though TNA won't heal at all from their wounds under Russo (as well as Jeff Jarrett). With Samoa Joe being punished for a line he said in ROH (rather than captializing on having him as TNA exclusive) and with the X-division being told to 'work like a video game', I wonder how long it'll take before TNA starts dropping as much WCW did.

Also... to those who claim TNA is actually growing... they've lost more money than ECW's orignal run and their buyrates are so low, they don't want to release them. TNA's become a laughing stalk in the wrestling business (maybe not to TNA performers) and if anyone refers it as a '#2 promotion' must be out of their minds. By putting the blame of the "Russo sucks" chants on smarks is like shooting themselves in both feet, considering how smarks are the majority of TNA's audience and very few marks would stick around for the current product. TNA... fails.... miserably.

From the UK's Philip Torkington:

"...Just wanted to thank you for your column over at Wrestleview - it's an excellent read. However, what isn't nice to see is the constant bashing you endure, mainly involving allegations that you are a WWE Mark and or ROHbot. I laugh out loud every time I see those comments. Don't people read the column in full before they accuse you of being biased and unfair? Oh, wait - they probably don't. They probably just skim through the column, read a few select cuts and label you with all sorts of ridiculous and unjust tags just because they feel they can make a complex decision concerning someone else's personal preference(s) just by reading a few paragraphs and statements from your column. Hah!

It's incredibly obvious that you're not a biased fool who is trying to 'shut down' or 'unfairly bash' TNA. We all want what's best for professional wrestling in general, and what is best for professional wrestling in general is for certain companies to maintain good working relationships and fair business practices. I'm tired of seeing the bitching and bickering between companies. All it does is let down me as a fan; a fan who has bought countless DVD's and other merchandise from ROH, FWA, TNA, WWE, 1PW, ECW, WCW and more over the last decade.

Oh, and by the way, I am a WWE mark. I'm also a ROH follower. But, I'm also a huge TNA fan. I'm also a big fan of all the other companies I've listed above. We can only hope that these companies will all continue to bring us excellent programming without making pathetic and unfair decisions that affect the lives of their wrestlers and that affect the entertainment that we - as their fanbase and livelihood - enjoy week in, week out.

So, thanks for your column, and thanks for expressing the opinions of thousands of fans who are sick of all this crap. It's about time we all did something about it instead of sitting back while our favourite performers and fellow fans get screwed over time and time again.

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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