For the past 12 years World Wrestling Entertainment has been the sole driving force in televised professional wrestling. Say what you will about TNA’s iMPACT Wrestling or the Ring of Honor wrestling promotion, but we can all agree they pale in comparison to the McMahon juggernaut that is the WWE.
So as we approach the month of March in this year of 2013, we come upon the 12th anniversary of Vince McMahon’s acquisition of both the WCW brand, and followed shortly thereafter by his additional purchase of Paul Heyman’s ECW.
We here at What Culture take a brief look back and we ask: Should both the WCW and ECW brands finally return?
The Current State of Other Televised Wrestling
There’s no question that the WWE has a stranglehold on the televised world of professional wrestling, with weekly viewers averaging just above 4 million in count. By comparison, Dixie Carter’s TNA iMPACT Wrestling comes in at a far second place as it relates to televised weekly wrestling programming, despite boasting some of the industry’s greatest legends on their roster: The Icon Sting, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, and The Dudley Boyz.
Conversely though, TNA’s creative minds have actually really done a far better job than most in recent years of developing new star talent by way of Bobby Roode, James Storm, AJ Styles, and Austin Aries, as well as cultivating the emergence of Jeff Hardy as a main event player as he is your current TNA World Champion. All this being said, however, TNA has failed to garner the public’s affection, and weekly attention, in any way remotely similar to the WWE fanbase, due in large part to their storyline execution. TNA has drawn relatively abysmal ratings numbers for several years now, averaging right around a solid 1.0 per weekly show, with its iMPACT Wrestling program that currently airs on Thursday nights.
Plagued by missed opportunity after missed opportunity, coupled with the immortal Hulk Hogan’s creative hands in all things TNA (which are in large part driven by his desire to be part of the weekly TV product), they have subsequently brought TNA to a standstill in recent months. Their current Aces and 8′s invasion-style storyline is a blundered mess, and and the overall product has become an uninteresting weekly viewing as a result of the frequent misfires. You also have the somewhat newer, separate Ring of Honor brand that airs locally in my area on Sunday nights sometime near midnight, and unfortunately it is pretty much an afterthought; Ring of Honor’s only silver lining is that it has given us today’s current superstars such as Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
For these reasons, among others, the time is ripe to try something old, by making it new again!
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This article was first posted on February 15, 2013