TNA Wrestling - Better than WWE?

by Jethraw

After the demise of WCW, a new company was born. This company was Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. On their 10th anniversary, have they finally achieved ultimate success?

18 months ago you needed only look at TNA for thirty seconds before turning off in disgust. Matches never had a genuine ending, security were breaking up at least 15 fights a night and Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan were in at least every other segment.

The company has undergone some radical changes since, whilst WWE, after a promising 2011 summer, seemed only to fall back into the dark-ages of 2009, with unoriginal storylines, uninspired feuds and screwy match finishes.

Setting aside the glitz and glam and obvious difference in the budget - would it be feasible to suggest that TNA has quietly overtaken WWE in terms of sheer entertainment and quality?

A Refreshing Main Event Scene

There's been changes to the title hunt in recent months. Long overdue? Maybe. Brilliant? Without a doubt.

There have been 19 separate TNA World Heavyweight Championship reigns as of writing (not including when the company used the NWA title). Of these, only 6 are reigns by champions who had not previously been world champions in either WCW or WWE. TNA have often been accused of only giving their world title to guys who have been "made by other companies". 


However, over the last 6 months, by use of the Bound For Glory series, TNA have slowly but surely overhauled their main event title picture. The breakup of Beer Money Inc. as well as the push of Bully Ray have completely re-invigorated a stale main event scene. Sting has been moved out of active competition, whilst Bobby Roode and James Storm have taken the helm as the top guys in the main event. 

Thrown into this mix are two former world champions, Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy. Combined with the late-player Bully Ray, you've found yourself not only stars for the future, but tested and proven performers who still have some longevity in their careers.

An example of one of the treats TNA has provided us with since their shake up.

Emphasis on the X-Division

One of the strongest aspects of the company has always been the X-Division, something the company sadly forgot.

In 2011, Eric Bischoff was show to be on a rampage. His sole focus in life was the destruction of the X-Division, the high flying, death defying division the company had been founded upon. This storyline sadly reflected the common opinion of viewers, noticing that the division has literally been flushed down the toilet in recent years.

However, when the Destination-X PPV was described as being "make or break" for the X-Division, the numbers spoke for themselves. TNA reverted to their 6 sided ring and showcased a show of nothing but X-division talent. The crowd literally went wild.

Since this much needed wake-up call, the company has provided us with some of the best X-division athletes in the world today, on a much more frequent basis, such as Austin Aries, Jesse Sorensen and Zema Ion.

Not only that, but TNA then provided us with our current, and longest-ever reigning X-Division champion, Austin Aries, arguably one of the most over and entertaining performers in the industry.

It seems that TNA's tagline is really beginning to mean something - Wrestling really is beginning to matter once more.

Storylines, Characters and Feuds!

TNA has done a superb job of providing every wrestler with a story, a character and something to do!

Whether it be D-Von fighting for the love of his sons, to AJ Styles fighting for answers about betrayal by his friends, every wrestler on the TNA roster has something to do. Whilst some wrestlers have very little air time, you'll rarely see one on screen without a purpose. There are no undercard jobbers subject to being squashed at the hands of a new pet project here.

Not only that but every wrestler has their own persona. Whereas WWE can be accused of giving wrestlers no personality (Heath Slater, Tyler Reks, Yoshi Tatusu).  Everywhere you look, there's a background. Robbie T has become the stern bodyguard, Zema Ion has become the arrogant pretty-boy and Bully Ray has adopted the ego-centric coward brilliantly.

Finally, feuds. TNA have done a wonderful job of building their feuds and providing some logic behind them. This will prove to pay off in the long run, as we're already seeing some long term planning in the storylines (something their counterparts in WWE have been shown to neglect constantly.)

Do you feel TNA is better than WWE overall?

Can TNA can become the biggest Wrestling company in the world?

Alas, you knew the criticism was coming!

Belts. Stop making them merely be props.

Of course, nobody gets everything right, all of the time. This is evidenced through TNA's use of some of their titles. I've already praised their use of the World Heavyweight Title and X-Division title. Elsewhere they have found success with the Knockout's title with the return of the inaugural women's champion in Gail Kim.

However, two places where TNA fall down is with their remaining titles - the TV title and Knockout tag-team titles. It was not so long ago we saw two phenomenal wrestlers, in AJ Styles and Douglas Williams feuding over the title. Since then it has passed to Eric Young and Robbie E. The title has literally lost all meaning, and there have been no legitimate feuds for it, leading to it being picked up by D-Von, an underwhelming and un-used wrestler at best.

Elsewhere the TNA Knockout's tag titles, after having been paraded about as a way to further push Gail Kim, have found their way onto the arms of the residing power couple. ODB and Eric Young. This means that one of the TNA women's tag-titles is held by a man.

If you can't use the titles properly, scrap them. The fewer titles you have, the more prestigious and coveted they look. If you don't have any use for them, don't expect us to have any reason to care about them either.

Here's where you come in...

Other points of success are the star power yet limited use of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, the new authority role for Sting, perfect for keeping him relevant yet out of the ring and the more and more frequent touring TNA is beginning to do. However, the major points of note have been included above.

Ultimately the decision is yours alone. It's obviously hard to judge the two companies on equal footing when you consider the difference in their audiences and production costs. 

However, what I've provided you with are a list of things that TNA are unquestionably doing better than WWE. The only flaw I've found in the company is something their rivals are equally as guilty of.

For my part, I feel that TNA have slowly and quietly become a more consistently high quality show, and feel that a business boom that hasn't been seen since the Monday Night Wars is lurking on the horizon!

My Related Articles

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Updated: 03/24/2012, Jethraw
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Jethraw on 03/25/2012

I completely agree with you. Speak to me 12 months ago and I would've laughed in your face. TNA just seemed to do such a 180, so fast. I'm also nuts about some of their personalities too - Sting and Bischoff inspire a wave of 90's WCW nostaligia in me, Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle do likewise for the WWE Attitude Era, whilst Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, James Storm and even some of the lower-card such as Kazarian are just all-round fantastic workers, be that in ring, backstage or on the microphone.

Definitely point him in this direction, I'd be absolutely fascinated to read some independant articles, as I personally find the Bleacher Reports get far too easily brushed with the "smark bait" label.

EverydayMiracles on 03/25/2012

I prefer WWE to TNA personally, but it has a lot to do with the personality of the wrestlers who work with each company.

I'm going to point my husband in this direction. I've been trying to get him to write about wrestling for a while now and his articles are so seasonal that it's difficult to keep him moving forward with them. I'm not sure he understands the "evergreen" concept. But that being said, he's still an awesome writer, and what he writes about is not only timely, but very interesting! Too bad he only has one article (on Squidoo).

He's thought about writing for Bleacher Report though.

Jethraw on 03/24/2012

Thankyou hun :D
This is potentially a bit more controversial (a lot), but credit where credit's due!

JoHarrington on 03/24/2012

I just Tweeted this for you and someone called @WorldSuperior0 favourited it on Twitter. Go you!

And WorldSuperior0, if you're reading, hi! *waves*

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