05 March 2014

Reality vs. Dream

The Reality

Like a boy who constantly gets rejected by that hot girl, and in the end, ignores, or worse, mistreats the one girl who he has the most connection with. Why? Human nature, I guess. And that goes with how I view the state of the wrestling scene in America right now.

The majority of today’s wrestling fans still dismiss TNA as nothing more than a joke, while the rest of those fans, the indie fans to be precise, are just waiting for TNA to stumble so that their indie fed, whichever it may be, can “take their spot” on the totem pole. To that I say good luck, since they will need every ounce of it just to be picked up by a willing channel. Be as it may, I’m not turning a blind eye to the mistakes that TNA has made over the years. In fact, I’m still grumbling over numerous decisions that led to the rapid decline of the X Division, the Knockouts Division and the Tag Team Division. Also of note is how TNA can’t seem to properly market their product. Let’s be realistic, tweeting about an event can only get you so far before you wind up with a half-empty arena. Where are the commercials that air not just on Thursday nights but every other day of the week? Where are the print ads on billboards, newspapers and magazines? Where are the plugs on radio and TV talks shows? Who exactly is running TNA’s marketing department and can they get someone who can do a better job? And don’t even get me started on the constant power struggles that have plagued the company ever since the Sports Entertainment Xtreme faction.

But all of that pale in comparison to the loss of the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles. Budget cuts or not, you’d think the company would have given the man that worked for them since day one a little bit more respect. Still, at the end of the day, it’s business as usual and there is nothing I can do about that.

So yeah, WWE is still at the top, TNA is continually struggling, everyone else is barely on the radar. With the exception of promotions from Mexico and Japan since they have a healthy audience there that can sustain them even without the rest of the world knowing about it.

That said, my stance on TNA is still firm and from how things have been progressing lately, it appears they’re finally listening to their fans. Not only are the established names like Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode finally getting main event pushes, but there seems to be an influx of new talent about to freshen up the scene for a change. Not to be missed is their ongoing partnership with Keiji Mutoh’s WRESTLE-1 promotion, which I feel adds another worldwide appeal to TNA, in addition to their successful Maximum IMPACT tour in the UK.

So even if there are still a lot people giving TNA a hard time, ranging from the angry fanboys to the harshest of critics in wrestling journalism, I am still taking the time to order not just the LOCKDOWN pay-per-view, but the joint TNA/WRESTLE-1 One Night Only show. And just for everyone’s edification, I’m not a TNA mark; I’m simply a person who enjoys wrestling.

The Dream

Concerning the upcoming show this Sunday night, I’ve been having these thoughts lately. Let’s see, where to begin…LOCKDOWN, March 9

From top to bottom, TNA seems to have done a better job in executing a hell of a show as opposed to last year’s Bound For Glory. Surprisingly there was a good turnout in attendance, not in standards by the competition, but good enough to make this event all the more special. And as the end of the Lethal Lockdown main event finally sees Team MVP win, after a surprising swerve by Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, we see Dixie Carter in tears as she holds on to EC3 and Rockstar Spud for support. But this was far from over as MVP takes the mic…

“Dixie, I forgot to tell you. But there are some guests I invited that you were not aware of. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the board of investors!”

And from the entrance stage, out comes people Keiji Mutoh followed by ROH’s Cary Silkin, OVW’s Danny Davis, AAA’s Marisela Peña, Dave Prazak and Cathy Corino (Allison Danger) of SHIMMER, House Of Hardcore’s Tommy Dreamer, Steve O'Neill of Extreme Rising and several other owners and representatives of various wrestling promotions from around the world.
After each person has been introduced, the focus is back on MVP…

“You see, Dixie, the wrestling industry is not just a one-person operation. To ensure stability and prosperity, it needs the cooperation and effort of the most influential and trusted minds in the business. That group on stage entrusted me with the burden of making all this work. But that’s not all, Dixie!”

A familiar guitar riff followed by that maniacal laugh hits and out comes the King Of The Mountain, himself, Jeff Jarrett…

“Dixie, I really missed you! I sure hope you missed me. Isn’t that right, Steve?”

And up from the rafters, Sting appears; clad in his trademark leather coat and the familiar black and white facepaint he sported back in his WCW years. Nodding his approval as he points his baseball bat from Jarrett, to the investors on stage, to Team MVP in the ring and finally to Dixie Carter. Sting then speaks…

“You really thought you were getting rid of TNA’s first-ever Hall of Famer? Your parents were right, you are delusional!”

And from the giant screen on the entrance appear both Bob and Janice Carter…

“Honey, we’re sorry but your father and I have been talking about this for quite a while and we believe this to be the best for the company.”

As if Dixie’s world wasn’t shattered enough, Jeff takes the stick once more…

“Wait! Wait! Wait! There’s one more surprise we’ve been saving up until now!”

Out from the crowd there is no mistaking it. As Dixie Carter practically collapses, all focus is on the man emerging from the mass of people…

* BA-DUM *  * BA-DUM *  -- GET READY TO FLY!!!!

Epilogue: The Other Dream

There were rumblings going on in a certain headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. From the gathered reports, there seems to be a major announcement that will shake the very foundation of the industry. In addition to that, further reports confirmed that a summit of sorts will take place, as well.

Weeks leading up to the scheduled event, business went about as usual. No acknowledgement from the source, itself, and everyone else boiled in rampant speculation. From the most trusted and reliable of wrestling journalists to the most notorious of dirtsheet writers, no one could get a read on what this special announcement is going to be and how exactly it will affect the entire wrestling landscape. It appears that whatever is about to go down, the people in the know are completely tight-lipped, and for the first time in a long, long while, unwilling to break kayfabe.

Days before the scheduled announcement, there were reports that several people who are in the wrestling business were arranging business flights, all of which were rumored to be bound for Stamford; such industry figures that got leaked included owners and representatives of wrestling promotions in America and other organizations worldwide.

On the dawn of the scheduled event, the press was able to report that several limousines were seen headed to the Connecticut headquarters and it was believed that each one contained the rumored names that were reported days earlier.

As morning turned to noon, wrestling journalists and photographers from around the world impatiently waited for someone, anyone, to finally come out of the towering building and give them the answer they’ve all been waiting for. And before anyone knew it, out comes the WWE Chairman/CEO, himself. But that wasn’t all; following him shortly were the people that was considered the competition. Yes, indeed, owners and representatives of promotions like TNA and ROH, to PWG and SHIMMER, to CMLL and AAA, to AJPW and NJPW, even those from Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, South Korea and New Zealand; this was quite a wrestling summit the world never thought would happen.

With the introductions and pleasantries out of the way, the WWE Chairman/CEO takes the opportunity to thank his seated guests and the press that is still waiting for the historical announcement. And from the smiles on everyone’s faces on stage, it was apparent that this was going to be a good one…

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, people watching from all over the world, I’m very glad to have you all here today because this marks a historic occasion. Yes, for years, I have been known a lot of things, most of which being of the negative nature. But no one lives forever and that includes me. So here and now, I end the war and extend the olive branch. And with the benefit of this industry’s future in the balance, it’s time to share with everyone the announcement that will bring about a whole new meaning of what a wrestling network should be.”

“On behalf of the respectable figures that are with me on this stage, we present to all of you, and the people tuning in from around the globe, a true network that will showcase the greatest of wrestling action from every corner of the earth! From the continent of the Americas, to Europe and Africa, to Russia and all of Asia, even to the Oceania region; ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the best of all worlds under one united Wrestling World Network.”

A wrestling network that will actually go by its initials and provide wrestling from around the world? Call it an unrealistic fantasy, but for a reverie such as that, even the most close-minded cannot deny of envisioning such a concept.

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