Do you remember the last episode of WCWs Monday Night Nitro? It was a pretty surreal night in the history of professional wrestling. Vince McMahon had purchased World Championship Wrestling, there was the only simulcast between Raw and Nitro in the history of the Monday Night Wars, and Ric Flair cut a promo where he mentioned Harley Race and Buff Bagwell in the same sentence. It was truly a night of firsts.
The aftermath of the purchase left a giant void in the wrestling business as McMahons primary competitor had been vanquished. It was only a short month after the purchase that Paul Heymans ECW would finally succumb to financial struggles and have to close their doors as well. Whether intended or not, both brand names were quickly buried during the disappointing Invasion angle and both promotions are now relegated to DVD releases and WWE Network time slots.
The purchase occurred in early 2001 and it would be a long year until wrestling fans would find viable alternatives to invest in. For the pure blood wrestling fan that missed the emphasis on the matches and athleticism, Ring of Honor would open its doors in 2002 on the backs of Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe. However, ROH lacked television and pageantry, and those that lived outside of the state of Pennsylvania were forced to order DVDs or illegally tape trade in order to get their yakuza-kick fix.
A more promising opposition to WWE was the creation of NWA: TNA by Jeff Jarrett and his father, Jerry Jarrett. The promotion worked around finding an immediate TV deal by running weekly pay-per-views, had financial support from Panda Energy, and was able to employ a slew of new talent to feature on their programming. TNA was feisty and ready to challenge Vince McMahon from day one.
However, after 12 years of scratching and clawing to become a viable competitor, TNA is now facing issues with Spike TV and have been dealing with financial struggles. AJ Styles, an original performer with the promotion, has walked away from contract negotiations. Jeff Jarrett, the backbone of TNA from the beginning, has stepped down and is now rumored to be starting another promotion with Country Music Star Toby Keith. The days of TNA may be nearing an end, but why did they never get over the hump?
Here are 5 Reasons Why TNA Never Became WWEs True Competitor:
Nick Boisseau is a feature writer and poet, currently existing on the fringe of academia. He holds a B.S. in History and is a graduate of the September 2006 class of Storm Wrestling Academy.