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DISCLAIMER: I do not watch TNA’s Impact shows or any of their PPV events.  I have no interest in viewing their programming.  But there comes a time when you have to just sit down and look at the facts about a company that’s probably going to be circling the drain in a couple of months thanks to one man.  So, without further ado is my entirely biased look at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Reading the results for Genesis, two thoughts were simultaneously running through my head.  First, I found all these new additions to the roster to be completely hilarious.  Second, I found all the new additions to the roster to be a sad and pathetic attempt by TNA to try to rival the big boys of Stamford.  For those of you who haven’t seen the results, I’ll give you the crude details: Mr. Kennedy was the “major acquisition” that was being boasted about for the past couple of weeks, and Amazing Red’s opponent was Brian Kendrick.  Whoop de fucking do.

I remember a few months ago that I decided to find out exactly how many of TNA’s current roster was made up of former WWE, WCW, and ECW guys, and the results were sad to say the least.  I think it was about half old guys and half TNA originals/indy originals.  The rest were either over the hill or never got a fair shake with WWE.  The problem with a lot of the guys who never got a chance with WWE is that there was a good reason they shouldn’t have gotten a fair shake in WWE.  Guys like Shawn Daivari, who was a good manager but a terrible wrestler.  He got an X Division title reign.  That devalues the title.  Things like that bug me.

Anyway, with this new influx of former WWE talent, I have to go back and count just how many of the roster used to work for Vince McMahon.

Thirty four.  Thirty four out of sixty six total talents have formerly been working for Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, or Paul Heyman at some point.  Possibly more if you consider those who worked in OVW or FCW.  Let’s list them, shall we?

Angelina Love, Bobby Lashley, Brian Kendrick, Christy Hemme, Elijah Burke, Dr. Stevie, Eric Bischoff (yes, he counts), Hulk Hogan (duh), Jeff Jarrett, Ken Anderson, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Lacey von Erich, Matt Morgan, Mick Foley, Mike Tenay, The Nasty Boys, ODB (I believe she had a stint in OVW back when it was the developmental territory for WWE), Orlando Jordan, Raven, Rhino, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Sean “Don’t call me Val Venis” Morley, Sean “Don’t call me X-Pac” Waltman, Sting, Tara, Taylor Wilde, Taz, Team 3D, and Tomko.

Make that thirty six.  I forgot about Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore.  Over half of the current TNA roster is former WWE employees (save a couple of those listed).  It wasn’t so bad when the number was lower and contained people who legitimately deserved a run at the top in WWE (see: Christian), but now you’ve got a ton of people who alread HAD their runs at the top and are just wanting the glory one more time.  Guys like Hall and Nash, Steiner, Angle, and Hogan are well past their prime, and should have hung up their boots a few years ago.  But they keep coming back, reminding people what it was like in the “good old days,” and keeping the progression and evolution of wrestling from happening.  Guys like Waltman, Morley, Anderson, Jordan, and the Nasty Boys are clogging up the works.  They had their chance, and they didn’t get to the top.  So they gum up the mid-card of another company and don’t allow mid-card TNA Originals like Creed, Lethal, Sabin, Shelley, and the like to hone their skills on television and entertain the crowds who pay to see them.  These guys are the future of wrestling, but because of these late 30’s and early 40’s guys who can’t let go of their pasts, the future is being pushed further and further back.

Look, I think we can agree that wrestling is nothing like it was 25 years ago.  And it certainly isn’t like it was 10 years ago.  Times change, and so should TNA.  I thought they were actually going somewhere with the six-sided ring, but Hogan banished that to the ethereal plane, never to be seen agian by mortal eyes.  Hogan will be the death of TNA.  The minute he brings in Brutus Beefcake, I bet people will stop tuning in.  Once they realize that Hogan’s running the show and all he’s going to do is push his buddies and his sycophantic parasitic tapeworms (thanks, Chris Jericho!), they’ll lose interest.  When they figure out that this is basically going to be WCW all over again, they’ll stop watching.

I feel really bad for the indy guys who signed on shortly before or shortly after the Hogan takeover.  Guys like Nigel McGuinness and the Young Bucks, who I’ll admit I’ve only seen once (but they showed a lot of talent and promise), are going to get pushed to the side in favor of these geezers who don’t deserve to be on television anymore.  Just retire already and let the young guys work their craft.  The future of this business is being stalled by the past, and until that’s fixed, people are going to tune in to promotions like Dragon Gate USA, Ring of Honor, and the upcoming Evolve Wrestling to get what they’re looking for.

Now, on a completely unrelated topic, I want to briefly discuss Bryan Danielson.  I am not an expert on this man.  I have only seen a few matches in which he has participated, which include his tag match with Colt Cabana at the Seventh Anniversary Show and his match against Naruki Doi at Dragon Gate USA’s Enter the Untouchable Gate PPV.  I have several ROH shows on my computer that I have yet to watch, but I’m sure that most of them have Dragon matches on them.  What I’m getting at here is that this man can adapt to any style of wrestling.  Grappling, mat wrestling, high flying, technical, brawling, the man can do it all.  And a few days ago, I saw how he can adapt to the WWE style of wrestling.  I watched a dark match between Dragon and Chavo Guerrero on Youtube (I’ve even found the link for you) that was taped by someone up in the stands, and Danielson worked about as good a WWE face as you’ll see while still giving us some of what everyone on the indy circuit has known about for years.  Yes, he didn’t have The Final Countdown as his entrance theme (thank science), and he didn’t use Cattle Mutilation as his finisher (a true shame), but it was still Dragon, and he showed his supreme mastery of all styles of wrestling.  Of course, after this match, he decided to go back to FCW because he “felt rusty.”  That’s a good sign.  When you have a really good match with a guy who’s basically called it a career in Chavo, but you feel like you need to work off the ring rust, you know you’ve got someone truly special on your roster.  I do hope he’s brought up to the main roster very, VERY soon.  I would love to see matches against guys like Morrison, Punk, Mysterio, Christian, Jericho, Edge…hell, just about anyone.  Let’s just hope they don’t bury him like they’ve done to Evan Bourne.  Jeez…

Okay, I’m done for the day.  If, for some reason, I can’t think of anything to write about in the next week and a half (which is doubtful), then I’ll definitely be back with picks for the Royal Rumble.  Until next time, stay awesome!

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