Why I Rant

February 5, 2007

After my recent ďRussoRifficĒ TNA rant I was again bombarded with the question: Why do I pick on TNA, why donít I rant on WWE? There are several reasons behind this so this week I figured I could look at them in depth.

When I look at WWE and TNA I donít just do so as a fan that wants to watch wrestling. I watch them with a vested interest in their success as it pertains to the wrestling industry. I want both companies to thrive and succeed for the good of the business and the boys who work in it.

WWE is thriving; they make money, lots of money (grossing $380 million per year). There is little to no chance they are going to go out of business any time soon. There is more chance of WWE shutting down because Vince losses interest than due to financial concerns. TNA on the other hand is losing money, LOTS of money ($10 million per year). Without itís financial backers TNA cannot exist. At some point in time people investing money in a business expect a return on that investment. If that point in time comes before TNA is able to turn business around and actually make money or at least break even, so it can survive without money backers, itís game over, no more TNA. TNA supporters constant defense that WWE does Stupid Stuff too, is nothing more than a cop out!!

WWE and TNA are in two completely different boats. WWE has a stable loyal audience that tunes in every week, buys enough merchandise, and orders enough PPVs for WWE to make money. As long as they donít do enough stupid things to drive their audience away in droves they will stay in business. TNA on the other hand does not have a large enough fan base, and they do not order enough PPVs, for TNA to stay in business without financial help. So TNA needs to attract a ton of new fans in order to become a success. When your goal is to attract new fans rather than just not repel current ones you need to be far more careful and can get away with far fewer mistakes.

The other reason I donít rant on WWE like I do TNA is that their show in my opinion is far less frustrating. WWE does some stupid shit, donít get me wrong, but at the end of the day they usually deliver the goods in some form or another. As wrestling fans weíve been conditioned to tolerate a certain degree of crap as long as IT ISNíT ALL CRAP and once in a while you deliver what we want to see.

Letís look at SmackDown this past week, which I thought was a weak show by SD standards. SD had 4 matches, two of which had outside interference and were in my opinion crappy finishes, especially the ďLittle BastardĒ Boogey Man finish. As disappointing as those 2 finishes were, there was at least 2 clean finishes on the show and the solid 12 minutes of action delivered by Benoit and Finlay before the finish more than balanced that out. On top of that the show ended with an extremely strong segment involving 4 top guys. We got to see a very serious and dramatic standoff between the two World Champions and the top 2 contenders. It was meaningful and set up the next PPV Main Event, and increased interested in the following PPV (WrestleMania) as well. No other people were involved it was clear cut and focused.

TNA on the other hand had 3 matches ALL of which had outside interference and post match brawling. None of the matches went more than 4 minutes and totaled less than 10 minutes combined. There was tons of goofy stupid crap but not one solid meaningful focused segment to anchor the show. They offered us a ďPPV caliber Main EventĒ which had my hopes up, yet turned out to be another short, pointless match that didnít even have a finish. Had they let AJ and Joe deliver a great main event, like they both can, all the other stuff would have been forgiven. Those who like the goofy stuff would have gotten their fill and those of use who foolishly expect some wrestling on a wrestling show would have been happy as well. If TNA would give me one great solid match once in a while (and they sure as hell have the roster to do it) Iíd watch the show and put up with all the stupid shit. Just because others do stupid shit doesnít excuse it on your show, especially when the other guys on occasion deliver matches like Edge and Shawn Michaels did 2 weeks ago.

In closing to those of you who emailed me stating that ECW is worse than TNA, which again is not a valid defense. I wonít dispute that. I donít find it as mind numbingly frustrating, but I donít enjoy it and gave up on it months before I gave up on TNA. If TNA revamps itís creative team, or ECW starts featuring more Tommy Dreamer and less Matt Stryker, Iíll likely give both of them a try again.

Thatís my two cents,
Lance Storm