When my son was first starting to eat regular food, his mom gave me a book called Eat This, Not That which was basically a guide to what is healthy/unhealthy at chain restaurants. You know, because I am an idiot who thinks 2-year olds should eat McDonalds for every meal. The premise was simple. Don't eat a Big Mac, eat a grilled chicken sandwich. Don't eat ice cream, eat a salad. It was so stupid, but in a way where you could see someone reading it and actually being surprised and then being disappointed in the human race. The target market for this book is not the smartest bunch to say the least. I recently came across this book while cleaning and it made me think of TNA.
I want to like TNA, I really do. I like so many people on their roster and I like how they aren't slaves to a specific look or style like WWE is. Their in-ring product is often better, but their everything else isn't and their desire to be like WWE is their ultimate downfall. Still, it's the closest to WCW we're ever going to get. Unfortunately, they always seems to take up the worst qualities of WCW, but just like WCW no matter how terrible it gets there are always a few bright spots. How can anyone hate a company that employs AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Robert Roode, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe? I can't. It's impossible. So I'm always watching from afar. I'm always peeking in and hoping for better, but they always let me down. This must be how my parents feel about me.
TNA has actually gotten a lot better about who they use. Jeff Jarrett is gone. Robert Roode, James Storm and Austin Aries have all made giant leaps while AJ, Joe, Daniels and Kazarian are all important parts of the show. That's huge, but at the same time 3 of the 4 major titles are currently held by former WWE guys whose best days are behind them. That's not good. They're better than that.
So let's try fixing TNA with some small This/Not That changes.
PUSH THIS: Any two other people with announcing skills.
NOT THAT: Mike Tenay and Taz.
Mike Tenay is great at that "Ultimo Dragon is the Super J Cup champion, which is comprised of eight titles, plus the NWA Middleweight and WCW Cruiserweight champion which makes him the most decorated champion in the history of professional wrestling" thing that he does while guys are walking towards the ring, but terrible at the "they are in the ring doing wrestling and this is what it means" thing. Taz is the absolute worst, worst, worst. He is Jerry Lawler, but somehow less funny while taking even more away from what's going on. Whatever memory of him as a wrestler is long, long gone (can you believe we once thought he was a badass?) and he sucks at his job, so just get rid of him. I can't stand listening to these two and it is always a factor against me watching their shows.
I don't care who they replace them with either. Borash and West would be better. Or Borash and anyone. Go the old school WWF way and just have retired wrestlers in there. Call Raven up. Hire UltraMantis Black. Is Don Callis still around? Something, anything.
PUSH THIS: Anyone else
NOT THAT: Chavo Guerrero and Mr. Anderson
Chavo Guerrero is such a lazy signing by TNA that I can't believe he's not the leader of Aces & Eights. He doesn't do much for me as a wrestler and his tag team with Hernandez does even less. If Hernandez is going to be in a tag team, it should be with Homicide or not at all. It's like re-forming the Rockers with Marty Janetty with Al Snow. Chavo needs to just be done. He brings nothing to the table right now. Go be a road agent or something.
Same with Mr. Anderson. We're tired of hearing you say your name twice. Get a new thing. Both of them have that "former WWE somewhat superstar" stink all over them and need to be forgotten. Do your own thing, TNA.
PUSH THIS: Sting
NOT THAT: Sting and Hulk Hogan
I get that TNA needs a recognizable legend in a figurehead role. It's important for any wrestling show to have a recognizable face so that maybe a lapsed fan flipping the channels will recognize and tune in. (I could argue that TNA has run this well dry, but I won't do that right now.) What they don't need is more than one of these. One is plenty. Preferably one without a sex tape, talentless daughter and an ego problem.
PUSH THIS: The X-Division
NOT THAT: Rob Van Dam
Unlike Anderson and Chavo, I think RVD does have a bit of value. He can still do a lot of things that other guys can't do and he's unique. He doesn't feel like a WWE guy because even when he was there he didn't feel like one. Even if he is stoned all the time there is still something there, but not in the X-Divison. I always think of the X-Division as the place young guys go to prove themselves. AJ, Daniels, Aries and Joe all made their names in the X-Division before moving on. The X-Division is the best of independent wrestling on the main stage. It is not a place for a former WWE/TNA/ECW World Heavyweight Champion.
TNA seemed to be on a roll with the X-Division for awhile there. They had Jigsaw and Scorpio Sky come in under different names, Sonjay Dutt did some things, Kenny King popped up and Zema Ion was making strides. I thought TNA was trying to get the X-Division back to where it came from, but I guess not. Too bad.
PUSH THIS: Aces and Eights
NOT THAT: People we know under the masks
How about using this angle to introduce new guys that will immediately be taken seriously because they kicked everyone's ass for months? I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work. It doesn't need to be Jeff Jarrett or Eric Bischoff. It actually needs to be anything, but those two.
PUSH THIS: Robbie E
NOT THAT: Everyone else
Robbie E rules.
The problem with the WCW vs WWE feud was that whenever in doubt Vince McMahon went with the WWE. Why make our guys look bad to these guys? That is why it was always doomed to fail. In a lot of ways that is the same problem with TNA right now, only the opposite. When in doubt they always go with the WWE's guys instead of their own and that's a problem.
I will now go back to ignoring TNA.