Feast your eyes, peeps around the world as the latest edition of The Dog Pound has arrived. Now albeit, this issue is a bit later then I had intended, but when I heard the news of a returning Bret Hart, and a live TNA Impact going head to head on the same Monday, I decided I had to wait. Then I decided, I wanted to wait until the week AFTER to write my next issue. Why? I wanted to see just how the WWE would follow up this “big time” Monday battle the very next week. I guess we got our answer.
Let me start first by commenting on what indeed transpired this last Monday; you know TNA/WWE going head-to-head..and the return of the “Excellence of Execution,”..Bret Hart!! I know one thing, I marked out big time! I like many, thought we’d never see Bret Hart in a WWE ring again. I guess it is true what they say, when it comes to proessional wrestling..never say never.
So, Bret Hart made a triumphant return to the WWE after a 12 year absence. I don’t know about all of you, but when he called out Shawn Michaels right away, I had goosebumps. Just the history in and out of the ring between these two men was enough to make you sit on the edge of your seat in anticipation. In the end, they shook hands, embraced, and buried the hatchet. I am truly happy about this. Both men can now move on with their careers, and lives, and hopefully instead of being linked forever by just what happened in 1997 they can now be linked by the fact that each man was willing to let it all go.
Then, you had the interaction between Bret and Vince. Ah memories! In the end, Vince played his part beautifully and kicked off what appears to be an angle between the two leading into Wrestlemania. I like this, because I feel like we as fans need someone like Bret Hart back in the industry; if not just for a short period of time. It makes things different and exciting.
Which brings me to something that TNA honcho Vince Russo said shortly after the “Mondy Night War.” I’m going to paraphrase here because I’m not quite sure his exact words, but it appears that Russo fealt that Vince McMahon and the WWE produced just another typical show. You know what? I have to agree with him here. That’s right, you read correctly; I agree with something Vince Russo said.
See, if you really look at it, aside from the return of Bret Hart, what else did we get out of the ordinary? Nothing. No special gimmick matches, qualifyig matches, number one contender shake-ups, nothing. Could this be attributed to the fact that they’re now operating under the PG rating? Remember, no blood, excessive sexuality, etc.
On the TNA side of things (yes I watched, despite my dislike for Hogan) we got a lot of decent things that seemed (at least slightly) out of the ordinary for them. First and foremost I hae to commend both AJ Styles and Kurt Angle for putting on what was very close to a 5-star match! Perhaps even an early match of the year candidate? In addition to this, we wee treate to the surprise debut/return of Jeff Hardy to the six-sided ring. How many of you saw this coming? I know I honestly didn’t.
Alongside this, Shannon Moore was right there with Jeff coming back to TNA! All you faithful readers of the Pound know that Shannon Moore is one of my favorite Crusierweights, so I’m glad to see him back. Also, the return of Sting, and yes..even the Hall of Famer Ric Flair! To see Sting and Flair back with the same company could be gold for them in the long run.
Can I also just say this, the TNA Knockout Division is superior to the WWE Divas in just about every aspect of wrestling. These women give 110% of all they have, every time they’re out there. It’s a real shame because a large majority of the Divas in the WWE know how to wrestle and are extremely good what they do. Yet, they are never truly allowed to show what they have. I’m not talking about divas like Melina, Mickie James, or Beth Phoenix who do get that chance. But Gail Kim, Jillian Hall, Katie Lea, even the Bella Twins!
Imagine if all those women I just mentioned handed in their notice and came to TNA; now that would be an amazing KnockOuts division! Do you think that when/if Mickie James leaves the WWE, TNA has a chance to get her? I want to hear your thoughts on this possibility.
Which brings me to some of the negatives that TNA could face with this “new” direction. With the return of Scott Hall and X-pac alongside Hogan.. as well as the Nasty Boys, I feel that TNA could very quickly turn into another WCW. Keep in mind WCW relied heavily on the older talent to draw numbers away from the WWE, and this eventually led to their downfall. Being that TNA has prided itself on creating new, young, homegrown talent, why are they feeling like they need all this “star” power? Is it to generate more buzz having all these old time names associated with the brand? I think so. But with Russo/Hogan at the helm, they have to be very cautious.
But this is also where TNA could hit it out of the park. They have established some good, young talent for this next generation. Guys like Styles, Joe, Daniels, Suicide/Kazarian, etc. Mixing them with some of the older guys is a good thing, but when those older guys begin to overshadow on a consitent basis is when trouble starts.
Familiarity breeds contempt. That saying holds true, especially within the world of professional wrestling. The WWE has become so familiar with having no competition, no threat, that they as a whole (I feel anyway) have become complacent with their position. Which is why Russo’s statement rings some truth. Aside from the return of Bret, the WWE gave us fans..just another typical episode of Raw.
Last nights show was again, no different. I think now is as good a time as any to bring the competition back in the business of professional wrestling. This is when the fans will get the most of what the wrestlers have to offer, and doesn’t Vince always say he listens to us?
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