First of all, allow me to say that if you are a blind WWE, TNA or ROH smark, don't read this article because I will discuss a few issues I have with all the promotions.
To that same point, don't read this if you are a blind WWE, TNA or ROH hater, because I'm going to give all the companies compliments as well.
This article is to serve as a little food for thought for all fans of wrestling, sports entertainment or all things in between.
Now that that's out of the way, allow me to take you back in time a little.
In 1995, Eric Bischoff was asked by Ted Turner how WCW could survive against the wrestling superpower that was the WWF. Bischoff, not expecting Turner to grant his request, explained that they would have to go head-to-head against the WWF's flagship program, Raw, and take views away from them.
Turner thought this was a great idea and WCW Monday Nitro was born.
Six years later, both WCW and ECW were out of business and the WWF/E would become the sole mainstream wrestling company for the next six to eight years.
The cause of the two companies going out of business? Simple, they were too concerned about keeping up with the other product that they neglected to realize how much money they were spending trying to gain new viewers.
Now one could argue that the Monday Night Wars lead to some of the best things in wrestling, but I would argue that they also led to some of the worst.
For every NWO there was a "Lex Express." For every Goldberg there was a David Arquette. For every New Jack dive there was a Brawl for All. You get my point?
(On that note I would say that Butterbean deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame for two reasons. First, you let Drew Carry in and Butterbean at least had a match for you guys, and second, he finally got Bart Gunn off my TV.)
Another point one could make is that the ideas from all three companies diffused into one another, and this is true. However, I would argue that this would have happened regardless of the Monday Night Wars.
Wrestling companies borrow ideas and moves and gimmicks from each other all the time, regardless of whether they're on the same night.
They didn't need to drive themselves out of business forming a wrestling monopoly, because without competition your product gets stale (see WWE 2006-10).
Now all I hear these days is how TNA is going to take over WWE or how WWE is going to take over ROH, and here's my question: Why do we want that?
Why do we want the WWE to move SmackDown to Thursday nights to take on TNA? Why do we want ROH to fail? Why do we want someone to knock WWE off its No. 1 spot?
Why can't we just be happy with alternatives that are within their own well-defined spaces?
TNA seems to me like a company that has forgotten who it is and where it came from.
What got the company over in the first place was original match types and great, fresh young talent with some well-known names helping these young guys get over.
Now it seems like we're watching a re-run of WCW Nitro. They're so convinced that they can go toe-to-toe with WWE that they even tried to recreate the Monday Night Wars with disastrous results.
WWE seemed to ignore the competition during that same time and took no significant hit in numbers. Actually, I would argue that no one won the second chapter of the Wars because it wasn't a war, it was David going against Goliath without his sling.
Everyone seems to think that only one wrestling company can rule them all, but why is that? Why can't each company fill its own niche?
WWE is a place for people that enjoy sports entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. They do a great job of building Hogan-esque figures that are modern-day superheros (or anti-heros).
WWE also does a great job with production and have an established way of telling a story in the ring. Sure, they have become predictable and stale, but that's nothing that a simple creative shake-up couldn't fix.
TNA, on the other hand, is all about '90's crash TV. From the wrestlers to the booking, it's late '90's action at its finest (be it good or bad). They have plenty of good, young guys with a roster that supports many wrestling legends.
TNA is also known for ideas that are truly unique—some are good, others not so much. From time to time, TNA does make some bad booking decisions and some odd choices at champion (credit that to Vince Russo), but if you were to simply focus on the results and make it less chaotic, you would have some very solid booking.
Finally we get to ROH, a place that many are calling the alternative to the sports entertainment moment, and I have to agree. It's a company built on in-ring storytelling and fast pace. It's a company that trades production and big names for raw talent.
With solid booking and a great fanbase that reminds me of ECW, ROH looks to become a major contender in this new age of wrestling. Sure, they lack great mic workers and well-known names, and sure, they are a little cruiserweight heavy, but they really look like they could become the next ECW in a few years and maybe go beyond it.
Each of these companies brings something new and fresh to the table, so why would you want to get rid of that?
Honestly why can't all the companies succeed on their own day with their own fans?
Personally, I watch all three companies, and in an era where the Internet allows us to watch any match and we can record them at the touch of a button, a Monday/Thursday Night War would be pointless.
Competition drives success. You don't see Wal-Mart buying out Target of K-Mart, because they know that they can and will fail if they get stale, and competition keeps things fresh.
One thing I dislike about the IWC is that it's always "my wrestling promotion is better than yours," but at the end of the day they're all the same and all have something for each and every one of us.
I would argue that we are about to step into an age that will produce some of the best wrestling of all time, because of the choices.
If you want something you can watch with your kid, then WWE is for you.
If you were a big WCW fan back in the day, TNA's your place to be.
Like a fast-paced style with plenty of on-your-seat false finishes and pure wrestling? ROH fills your needs.
We don't need one company to rule them all, we need alternatives for everyone, be it WWE, TNA, ROH, or some other Indy promotion. Lets not compare the companies to each other when they are clearly different and have different creative teams and agendas.
Right now we have one of the best storylines in years coming out of WWE, a superb opening card for ROH's opening show, and a great faction war going on in TNA.
It's a great time to be a wrestling fan, because there's something for everyone, not because one company is winning any "wars."
Thanks for reading and please comment bellow, also go ahead and show that props button some love if you liked this article because I may start doing more pieces like this.
So until next time, thanks for reading.
See you Space Cowboy...
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