Friday, September 4, 2009
Rant #81: TNA Pinning WWE To The Mat
Well, this reminds me of the days when the National Basketball Association was looking over its shoulder at the upstart American Basketball Association. Although the upstart never could really challenge the more established league, it could send shivers up the older league's spine.
The same thing is happening today between World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Total Nonstop Action (TNA). The WWE will never be upended, but you have to give TNA credit for trying.
TNA was started just a few years ago as a pay-per-view entity, but became so popular that it morphed into a weekly show, which expanded from one hour to two hours a little more than a year ago.
It features the same crazy story lines as WWE does--all taking place in a six-sided ring--but it is much more violent. And it has recently expanded its group of female wrestlers--and I must say, not only are they pretty good looking, but unlike many of their WWE counterparts, they can actually wrestle.
TNA has dug into the talent goldmine created by WWE and picked up such popular grapplers as Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, Bobby Lashley and Kevin Nash.
And it has also created its own talent roster, with such popular wrestlers as A.J. Styles and Traci Brooks leading the way.
WWE has to be somewhat concerned, because a lot of TNA's popularity has come through word of mouth. Their weekly show is on Spike TV, not exactly what you would call a household name in television. They continue to have pay per views, but they are not that popular viewer-wise, from what I hear.
What they have done is build their fan network through their Web site and through YouTube, where their videos get among the most hits registered by that service.
They also go out in the boondocks to do live shows. Although most shows take place at their home base in Orlando, many take place in third and fourth-tier cites, although that is also starting to change.
They also are linked to international wrestling alliances, and import talent from England, Asia, and elsewhere.
So, if you are looking for something different in pro wrestling, I would recommend TNA. I don't think you will be disappointed. The product is not up to what WWE puts out, but their attractive roster more than compensates for this.
One, two, three--the winner is TNA.
Posted by Larry at 5:08 AM