ECW founder Paul Heyman’s recent revealing interviews conducted by Power Slam magazine editor Fin Martin have provided some incredibly hard-hitting, undeniable points about TNA wrestling and messrs Hogan, Bischoff, and Russo.
Heyman suggests that the way for the older wrestlers to promote younger talent is not by hogging airtime to declare “we’re pushing the stars of tomorrow” while dumping classic Motor City Machineguns-Beer Money matches in the mid-card with no hype, but by getting the heck off screen and positioning these young lions as headline acts where they can pick up the ball and run with it.
The on-screen presence of Hulk Hogan and the embarrassing Ric Flair cannot even be justified by suggesting they pull ratings thus allow viewers to transition from these stars of yesteryear to the Desmond Wolfes, D’Angelo Dineros and Jay Lethals – because they are not even increasing audience numbers for TNA. In fact, for the last several years, the only certain, sure-fire ratings-grabbers have been those recently demoted by the incoming Hogan/Bischoff regime: the “Knockout” women wrestlers, in particular the Beautiful People, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love (the latter Torontonian talent, incidentally, being a “beautiful person” who Stephanie McMahon fired from WWE for supposedly failing to be good looking enough).
While Bischoff and Russo can at least be commended for apparently coexisting in TNA, their unity has done nothing to increase sense, coherence or consistency in the writing of the company’s storylines, nor has it – as they had been suggesting – effectively promoted young talent to build towards the company’s future. Instead, in addition to continuously contracting big money ex-WWE rejects like Kurt Angle, Ken Anderson, Matt Morgan, and Orlando Jordan (with Carlos “Carlito” Colon Jr likely to follow), they have instead filled airtime – given to them from Spike TV like gold in these wrestling-unfriendly television times – with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett – while ratings have actually fallen.
With this in mind, if the current regime recognizes that they do not win ratings for TNA, yet still put their politicking pals on screen, we are left with only one conclusion: they’re there in TNA to merely collect pay cheques and to preserve whatever sports entertainment stock they still possess so that if or when TNA collapses they themselves will still be employable elsewhere.
TNA president Dixie Carter-Salinas can only get TNA out of the red and into the black by, of course, increasing income while decreasing expenditure. Getting rid of Hogan, Flair, Nash, Bischoff, Russo, and all the other cancers consuming TNA from within – while simply bringing in Heyman or someone similar with a singular fresh, innovative, long-term sustainable vision – would immediately give her a leap towards that simple business foundation that can then be built upon.