And honestly, by rarely I mean maybe a few minutes, once every few weeks. If that. I can admit I have gone long stretches where my only exposure to the TNA product was whatever I managed to read on TNA via the internet wrestling columns.
I watch it so little that, for as long as I write at WNZ, this may be one of my only TNA-centric pieces. Perhaps this could be reference material for the creative department at TNA, but I doubt it.
I will admit, right here and right now, that I simply don’t watch the shows much, because, well, I haven’t become invested in them. What does that mean? When I was growing up, my first wrestling exposure was the WWF Saturday morning fare. Sometimes, I even managed to stay up and watch Saturday Night’s Main Event, whenever they were on. I didn’t have cable until I was 15, and pretty much right after getting it installed, my wrestling world view changed. I got to see WCW in living color, not just read about it on the pages of PWI. I could sometimes catch the old wrestling legends shows that ESPN would run from time to time. And, on Sports Channel in Philadelphia, I would even catch this new and local offering known as ECW (which would become my first live, in person, “arena” shows a year or two later).
I always made time for RAW. It has been a Monday night staple for decades now, and I’ve been watching it on Mondays fairly religiously for 20 years now. When I was a Freshman in college, WCW Nitro debuted, and I remember all the guys in my dorm freaking out about it on it’s debut night. And i thought, wow, it wasn’t that long ago that some of my friends would have never admitted to watching wrestling. Once Nitro debuted? I killed many a remote and many batteries, flipping back and forth. Sometimes, I’d watch RAW live and then catch the Nitro replay at 11pm (this was, I think, an awesome idea that I sometimes wish WWE and USA would bring back, but I digress).
Point is, at that point in my life, I knew Mondays were wrestling nights. Thursdays were ECW nights early on. Sometimes I remembered about Thunder and Smackdown too, but Monday I always had plans.
Which brings me to TNA.
Again, I don’t watch enough of it to say “the product is awesome” or “the product is garbage”. I just don’t. Knowing some of the stars that now call TNA home–not the new guys, just the re-treads, if you will-Angle, Sting, Bubba Ray, Hardy, Taz and others, I am sometimes surprised that I don’t follow it more closely. And so i decided to really try and figure that out. And, to me, the reality is I have neither been drawn into it to the point where I can’t stop watching (WWE), nor have I been given a compelling week to week reason to tune in. But, I am not looking for one either. I am at a point in my life where, with kids and work, Monday night is RAW for me (unless my team is playing on MNF, then I have trouble). I can’t justify committing to another company, to follow a whole other roster, on a completely separate evening.
I would love for a second, strong and creative, professional wrestling organization to flourish stateside, if for no other reason than it might actually push WWE Creative to be, well…more creative. Not creative that brought us flops like Man Mountain Rock or Mantaur, or The Goon or the Shockmaster. Creative that pushed the envelope, that got things more real and believable. For me, I often think I’ve already lived through the best period of wrestling I’ll ever see in my lifetime, that being when on any given day you could watch WCW, WWE or ECW on TV, and there was a wealth of talent moving around between the organizations. More chances were taken, and ultimately we the fans benefited.
So…I know TNA has fans. And I know Wrestlenewz attracts some of them. Is there anyone out there that can give me a compelling reason to give TNA another shot? Am I really missing out? Or, if you are like me and just don’t watch it, what are your reasons for it?