After the Bound for Glory PPV on 10/10/10- where Jeff Hardy stunned the wrestling world by turning heel- and the subsequent episode of Impact! where Immortal took shape and formed an alliance with Fortune, TNA seemed to have found a new direction and gained a lot of buzz from fans/critics alike. However, nearly 2 months on TNA has become a little lost once more as to where they need to head to gain a bigger fan base and larger ratings.
Despite Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair constantly praising their younger charges like Hardy, AJ Styles and Abyss, the veterans- whose prime was perhaps 10 or 15 years ago- have so far over-shadowed the more youthful talent. Whether this is unintentional or a case of egos unwilling to relinquish the spotlight, TNA needs to realise that the wrestling world has always flourished when fresh ideas/stars are allowed to grow and develop.
Looking over the fence from TNA’s small holding the big wigs within the company can surely see the greener pastures of WWE’s super-farm where the older guys have given way to exciting younger wrestlers such as Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and the new WWE heavyweight champion The Miz. Sure there is a space for experience but that should be to help push the careers of the superstars of the future. The wrestlers whom the next generation of fans will idolise and connect with as an audience. Despite Ric Flair’s undoubtable genius on the mic, no fan- let alone child fan- wishes to see a 60+ year old bleeding like a stuck pig and facing a guy almost a third of his age.
TNA is obviously still a young and inexperienced company but they do have experience within. Experience that should look at the demise of WCW; a company that once beat WWF/WWE for 83 straight weeks thanks to revolutionary ideas and shock factor before crashing and burning spectacularly. Unfortunately WCW let older guys like Hogan, Flair and Nash dictate booking, pay and storylines that ultimately only served them and their selfish goals. Surely Dixie Carter can see a similar pattern emerging within her company.
To build for the future TNA perhaps needs only look back to their recent past. In 2005 TNA was perhaps the most exciting wrestling company in the world thanks to excellent in-ring action centred around the X-Division. Many fans had never really heard much about Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, but after their truly brilliant three-way series that spanned months of Impact and PPVs, the wrestling world was declaring these three men- and TNA’s X Division- the future of the business. Since 2006/2007 however, TNA seemed to turn it’s back on the features that brought the company to the dance, instead opting to push older stars and ex-WWE talent at the expense of their home-grown wrestlers. Maybe the time has come to rid the locker room of the veteran egos and give the ball to the hungry, young stars of tomorrow. Perhaps even reaching out to former fan favourites like Christopher Daniels and Petey Williams, who can reignite the neglected X-Division whilst Styles, Joe, Matt Morgan and Douglas Williams reshape the world heavyweight title picture.
Just a thought.