It’s time for my weekly Sunday morning (it was morning when I started to write it) rant, but this time it’s not about the WWE. This time I’m turning my attention to TNA and the one move that they can make that would turn this whole thing around. It’s simple- fire Vince Russo and hire Paul Heyman.
It’s probably something Dixie Carter has already thought about, and if she hasn’t, then she is not as smart as everyone makes her out to be. I have a few examples of why Heyman can make TNA a legitimate threat to the WWE in 18 months or less.
1.) Heyman knows how to make something out of nothing: He did it with ECW back in the 1990s and challenged the WWE and WCW. He can easily take what TNA has and do the same thing. TNA has many more resources that ECW didn’t have when it was starting up. I’m not saying it will be a cakewalk for Heyman, but you give him a decent foundation like TNA, it has all the makings to become something more. Everyone knows Heyman’s past history so there is no reason to delve into that any further. Plain and simple, he has a proven track record.
2.) Heyman knows how to make something out of nothing: Clam down, I didn’t just have a stroke and start repeating myself, so please read on. During Heyman’s last months in the WWE, he was sent off the main roster and to Ohio Valley Wrestling, the WWE’s long-time training facility at the time. OVW was run by Jim Cornette for many years. After his departure, there was no one to train the stars of tomorrow and produce the weekly TV show they have in Louisville, Kentucky. Enter Paul Heyman.
This was an even better reclamation project than what he did in ECW. At least the stars in ECW had been around a long time and knew the business. The stars in OVW were green and had little to no mic skills. Heyman completely turned the show around and once again struck gold. For a while in 2005, OVW had a more solid wrestling program than Raw, Smackdown, Ring of Honor, or any other promotion. Just to give you an idea how good Heyman is, he took some of the wrestlers that the WWE creative people gave up on and made them entertaining week after week in OVW. For instance, Johnny Jeter was nothing more than a laughing stock in the WWE as a member of the Spirit Squad. He took former Tough Enough 3 winner, Matt Cappotelli, and turned him into an exciting young talent that the WWE would have had no idea with to do. Cappotelli and Jeter were former tag team champions in OVW but eventually broke up and feuded. But it wasn’t your run of the mill former champs breaking up kind of deal. Their feud was intense and many wrestling publications actually paid attention to little ole’ OVW because of this feud. The feud was dirty, nasty, exciting, and it had Heyman’s finger prints all over it.
3.) Vince Russo is not the answer: People like to give credit to Russo for saving the WWE and ushering in the Attitude Era in the late 1990s. People also like to credit Russo for killing WCW, which he did. Giving David Arquette the title was easily the worst moment in the history of pro wrestling dating back to the time the Egyptians started the sport.
But how can a man be the mastermind behind the WWE’s greatest success and then be the mastermind behind the biggest fall in wrestling? It’s easy, in the WWE, Russo had McMahon to reel him in when he got a little crazy with some of the ideas. No way in hell was McMahon not going to have the final say in all WWE related angles. In WCW, it was the wild, wild west and Russo didn’t have the likes of McMahon or another person of authority to stop him. I believe Russo has good ideas on paper, but he cannot execute them properly. He needs to leave TNA before he sinks it beyond repair.
4.) It’s not the Attitude Era anymore: Real wrestling fans are the only people watching. What do they want? WRESTLING MATCHES. They don’t want celebrity hosts every week who sound like they’re reading off cue cards. They want to see wrestling matches with compelling storylines. Russo, like McMahon still operates, at times, like it’s the Attitude Era. Heyman has his fingers on the pulse of the people better than any big time promoter and that’s the way ECW operated. It’s the hardcore wrestling fans that are returning week after week to watch. There’s only about five million that tune in to watch Raw every week. Heyman would be the man in charge for my company if I had to figure out a way to get a few of them watching my program.
To the fair-weather wrestling fan, TNA stands for……. Let’s not go there, we have children reading. Heyman knows how to get people’s attention. He knows how to make a big noise in the background and get everyone to stop what they’re doing and run over and check out what he’s doing. TNA needs that noisemaker or they will die quietly and unnoticed.