For any wrestling fan, there are two glory periods: the 80’s, which brought us the Four Horsemen, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and a bunch of other wrestlers that dominated our childhoods. The second golden age came in the late 90s, when WCW and WWF (as they were called at the time) faced off head-to-head every Monday night in a ratings battle that brought out the best in both organizations. This era gave us Stone Cold, The Rock, DX, NWO and Goldberg.
Of course, WWE won the war and bought WCW. Wrestling hasn’t been the same since. It’s mostly sucked. But tonight is a possible return to the glory days with TNA (which stands for Total Nonstop Action…pervs) putting on a three-hour show to go head-to-head with WWE Raw. If you’re confused about which one to watch, have no fear, TSS will be your TV guide.
Tale of the Tape
TNA: For those of you that don’t know (which I’m sure is a good number of you), Impact! comes on Thursday nights on Spike TV. For the most part, the company has produced some pretty bad television with poor writing and low-budget production. But they have some of the best wrestlers in the world with A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle and Desmond Wolfe. However, they focus too much on washed up old WWE stars and head-writer, Vince Russo, who may be the worst writer of anything ever produced on television. (He once made David Arquette WCW champion).
WWE: This is the gold standard. They’re Hov. The Yankees. The Lakers. Vince McMahon and co. have dominated professional wrestling for a decade. They have the big named stars of HHH, John Cena, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. The problem, though, is the fact that WWE has had the same stars in their main events almost every month. The product is getting stale and the fans are getting restless.
The Monday Night Line-up
TNA iMPACT!: TNA has scored a major coup by hiring Hulk Hogan to come in and revamp the program. There are also rumblings of other stars possibly showing up. Nobody knows what to expect from the show and it is sure to be newsworthy. Here’s the problem: Hulk Hogan is self-centered and not the greatest mind in wrestling. There is a chance that this could be a big disaster. If it is, it’ll still be compelling to watch.
WWE RAW: I was curious to see how Vince would respond to the direct challenge from TNA and Hulk Hogan. Would he just ignore the competition from a company that may or may not be a legit threat? Well, Vince answered by bringing back Bret Hart, who hadn’t been on WWE TV in 12 years. This is a huge deal, especially now that he and off-camera rival Shawn Michaels may meet face-to-face and you never know what’s going to happen.
Final Verdict: Undoubtedly I’ll be flipping channels between shows, but if I had to pick one, I’d stick with old faithful especially with the return of Bret Hart. Hopefully TNA puts a good enough show to merit a return to the Monday Night Wars and the high quality we saw during that time.