13 November 2016

TNA Fans Deserve Better


Look, it wasn't easy for me to write this column.  In fact, as you've seen in recent months, our columns at TNAMecca have become somewhat of a rarity.  Almost as rare as a KnockOuts match featuring Jade or Rosemary (which thankfully looks to be changing) or a legit X-Division match (which we see maybe 3 or 4 times per year at best).  The point is that our motivation level here on TNAMecca's staff has been waxing and waning for some time and currently that crescent moon is just a tiny sliver.  It's understandable that the apathy surrounding this company has reared its head given the legal and managerial issues surrounding TNA and the often "less than stellar" on-screen product. To try and make sense out of all of the recent situations that TNA has been involved in would perhaps require the renowned services of Park, Park and Park.  Seriously though, it would not be a bad idea to have Joseph Park provide an explanation of the current state of ownership and management in TNA.  He could do it in way that would deliver some comic relief and at the same time provide clarity on the current state of the company.  Instead we have seen conflicting and somewhat confusing oppositional tweets and official statements in the last few weeks.  The online reports of lawsuits and financial instability have been deflating and have overshadowed everything.  Finally it appears that Billy Corgan has agreed to a financial settlement and has ended his tenure with Impact Wrestling.  An unfortunate side effect of taping episodes months ahead, however, is that Billy Corgan is still being presented as the on-screen President of Impact Wrestling.  So every time he appears on the show through the end of the year it will serve as an ugly reminder of all of their backstage problems. I could go on and on about how taxing these lawsuits, rumors and various reports have been for everyone but, at this point, we've all read the details and they are ever evolving.  Are you as worn out by all of this as I am? 

Here's a good question: How much can fans be expected to overlook?  As loyal TNA supporters, we have put up with a lot for a long time now.  One could argue that we have been one of the most patient and border-line overly optimistic group of fans in any sports and/or entertainment genre in existence.  Keep in mind that Dixie Carter and John Gaburick were the ones that were so enthusiastic about bringing Billy Corgan into the company to begin with.  Well, look at the damaging mess that eventually came out of that.  At its core, the Corgan situation boiled down to unstable finances that created an eventual domino effect.  Billy Corgan was not totally innocent during this debacle, but honestly, I think I would have handled things in a similar manner if I were in his shoes.  He was wronged, no doubt about it.  After reviewing the legal documents which were posted by Ryan Satin at www.prowrestlingsheet.com, the most shocking thing to me was that Dixie Carter and her inner circle were entertaining offers from the WWE for a potential buyout.  Meanwhile, Mike Johnson at PWInsider reported exclusive details that Dixie Carter had met with the TNA roster the day after Bound For Glory and told them that she would not let the WWE purchase the company.  Those deceiving half truths have now landed Dixie in hot water with a lot of fans.  Does she even realize the kind of sensitive nerve that this hits on with older TNA fans?  Was she just hoping that the public would never find out?  Those of you that saw the demise of WCW, like myself, were having some PTSD-type of feelings after this information came to light.  That was my last straw when it comes to Dixie Cater.  I have defended her multiple times in the past but I cannot do it anymore.  She has lost my trust as a fan and a lot of us are hoping that her power and influence in regards to the future of the company will lessen tremendously moving forward.  Remember, Dixie Carter was also the person that was gung ho about bringing Hulk Hogan in (which also brought Eric Bischoff) and that serves as one of the worst decisions in the history of the company given the continual decline of TNA in the last 6 years. 

Does TNA really care about the fans anymore?  It certainly doesn't come across that way as of late.  I know that they are saturated with multiple problems and a restructuring of their creative group and managerial positions but why haven't we gotten something more from someone in authority to help calm the nerves of the fans?  The canned statements from Dixie Carter have done very little to make us feel better.  Yes, Anthem seems to have provided some financial support and stability but a lot of the items outlined by their group are things we have all heard before.  It reads as disingenuous and more of the same old rhetoric.  In fact, Dixie Carter has been exposed so much in these legal proceedings that I cannot fathom her personally winning back over a majority of the TNA fan base moving forward.  The toothpaste is out of the tube.  Some fans have suggested a total (or close to) cleaning of house in order to provide a fresh feel that would be more easily supported.  Dave Lagana leaving TNA was also a sign to me that something is really wrong right now.  Lagana was one of their most loyal employees.  He was a real company man on social media and had a big influence on the creative side of things.  He also was known to be supportive of Corgan and it's natural to speculate that he had had enough after seeing how Billy was treated.  Most fans would like to see John Gaburick fired but now that Dixie has retained majority ownership coupled with "Big" being her right hand man, I doubt he will be going anywhere.  If TNA can make some quality decisions on who they add to the mix to replace Lagana and Corgan it could go a long way to help overcome the disgruntled feelings of the fans.   

Unfortunately TNA is getting close to losing a large portion of their loyal fan base.  I sympathize for the wrestlers because they work so hard and make legit sacrifices.  I also have the utmost respect for guys like Bob Ryder and Jeremy Borash who have been there since the beginning.  I hope the management/ownership team is very careful about how they proceed in the next three to six months because this is an absolutely critical time for them.  For starters, they need to do some major damage control ASAP.  They have not really done this so far and I'm not sure why this is not being treated as a priority.  I (along with a lot of you guys) have defended this company over and over again for many years.  I'm finally worn out with it.  I can no longer wave the TNA flag of optimism and positivity and it would be a disservice to everyone who visits TNAMecca for me to do so.  They have zapped my energy and drive to support them.  If Dixie Carter is in charge of TNA in 2017 and remains a major decision maker for the company, then I will no longer be able to endorse them moving forward.  She has pushed me over the edge and her failures are no longer defensible.  I am perfectly fine not watching professional wrestling (as TNA is the only promotion I watch).  I have plenty of other entertainment options that can easily replace the time that I carve out on a weekly basis for Impact Wrestling.  I used to feel like I was really a part of the TNA fight to survive and thrive because being a dedicated fan of theirs used to have that tangible effect.  Now I feel like an outside observer just waiting to see if they can get their shit together.  I wish them the best but my rah rah days are on the back burner for now.  I'm not trying to tell anyone how to feel or proceed but it's obvious that a lot of you feel similarly.  What is the identity of TNA?  What do they want to be?  I hope they rebound and regain momentum that they once had.  This will be my last column for a good long while as I really have nothing left to say.  I'll still be around and help run the site but I refuse to provide counterfeit positive spin.     

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