Since 2001, WWE has luxuriated in a market with virtually no competition. TNA, their closest-ever competitor, once had on the payroll - at the same time - Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Rob Van Dam, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, and Mick Foley. All marketable, genuine stars with something to offer, in the correct context.
Unfortunately, they also had Vince Russo. Between 2009-10, would-be incredible wrestling matches were suffocated by his evident hatred of wrestling matches. At Slammiversary 2009, Mick Foley defended his TNA World Heavyweight Title in a King of the Mountain match. This was a bit too much for the ageing Hardcore Legend, so, in the midst of the match, he retreated to the commentary booth to take a little "restaroonie". Who cares, right? It was only a wrestling match, the likes of which the TNA hardcore audience actually paid to watch. This week, that dwindling audience is being paid to watch.
TNA implemented a storyline in which the WWE Hall of Fame ring was the richest prize in the company - that's the company of TNA - and dressed AJ Styles up as Ric Flair, as if he was the f*cking Renegade.
The lesson learned?
Vince Russo is a godd*mn moron who laid waste to more star power than a sleazeball Hollywood exec. Or anybody remotely associated with the film industry, as it turns out.
It seems the formula is simple: Internationally Famous Wrestling Stars - Russo = Competition!