7 History Lessons AEW Could Learn From TNA

[Applause] between the big Jacksonville rally the signing of stars like Park joy janella and of course Chris Jericho double or nothing on May 25th rumors of TV deals and the major major major financial backing afforded by the billionaire can family everything looks rosy in all elite wrestling's garden here in early 2019 the nascent brand has made remarkable headway for a company that hasn't even run a show yet and the fact that they've already brought competition back to the wrestling business is their greatest triumph so far now they're not exactly starting a new Monday Night war but they are changing the way WWE do business in the labor market and as far as competition goes well that is the very definition of the word of all they're still barely getting started in their big bad mission to become a worthwhile alternative to the long-established WWE status quo your pal and mine Cody Rhodes did reveal some of a a EWS battle strategy in a recent interview with ESPN according to the American Nightmare aww we'll learn from Cody's father Dusty's work as a Booker in Jim Crockett Promotions and as an executive producer in WCW as well as analyzing what dream did well they'll look at his mistakes in attempt to learn from them a smart move and yet aw need not dip too far into the history books for valuable lessons instead they should be looking at the catastrophes made by Impact Wrestling since the gyrus launched the promotion back in 2002 TNA history is of course a veritable smorgasbord of cock-ups a hurricane of if you will and aew must avoid falling into the same traps although we're pretty sure that Cody and the young bugs are a damn sight smarter than Dixie Carter I'm Andy for Walt Culture wrestling and here are seven history lessons that aew could learn from TNA number seven the importance of standing out the need for a true alternative has always been a major talking point when considering what it takes to compete in the modern pro wrestling market and it's one that keeps coming up whenever the aew initials are mentioned going up against WWE with a very WWE style product will only result in failure doesn't matter how much money the can family have they need to provide something different something better if they're going to prospect in this market fortunately sounds like the elite are smart enough to realize this and they're already talking about implementing very non WWE ideas like not hiring writers and even win-loss records and proper rankings one of TNA's greatest feelings was the promotions inability to differentiate itself from WWE it was for long periods of very sports entertainment product who screw he finishes goofy gimmicks evil heel authority figures and all kinds of other McMahon tropes now those things often work well for Vince but if you copy them you're basically just gonna come off like WWE Lite leave the stale Raw and Smackdown format to the big boys instead focus on tapping into underserviced areas of the market satisfying the needs and desires just can't be met by Vince McMahon number 6 don't sign every ex WWE talent Under the Sun one of the biggest complaints thrown at the old TNA before Scott de Moreland dawn Callas saved it from Boo King hell was the promotion's habit of pushing any old WWE reject to the top as soon as they could get their Mitte hands on them this resulted in a number of booking catastrophes diminishing TNA's credibility and again making the place feel like die at WWE they pushed that with two O's by the way x-pac and Raven way past their sell-by date tried to promote the late Brian Christopher as a main event talent reinvented damien sandow as aaron rex a supercilious fourth-wall breaking babyface with no redeeming features and then there was test whose reinvention as andrew punisher martin flopped orlando jordan matt morgan and loads more you get the point ayyy w will inevitably go shopping for ex WWE wrestlers and as with TNA there are plenty who actually benefit the company if the revival get released for example they'd be great additions but aw can't just go hoovering up any old goober and promoting them over the likes of MGF and tn a regularly batted their eyelids at any former WWE star who just so happened to become available bus they filled the roster full of damaged goods who in turn hurts their own homegrown talent number five potshots at WWE don't work when TNA signs Road Dogg and Billy Gunn renamed them PG James and the outlaw and had them run as the Voodoo kin mafia they were probably thought they were being really cool and edgy but as with most people who think they're cool and edgy they just came off looking like silly heads the group's clumsy name was a stupid play on Vince McMahon's fool moniker Vincent Kennedy McMahon and both spent their time taking potshots at WWE rather than helping TNA even dressing as Shawn Michaels and Triple H at some points but voodoo King Mafia were far from the only offenders even Aaron Rex in his debut segment decided to take shots at his former employers and his old intellectual Savior gimmick despite you know that being the whole reason he got over in the first place this is extremely harmful to a promotions credibility it just makes them seem small fry unfortunately aew are probably clever enough to realize this but unfortunately TNA used to add ear to the same policy as WCW did years before them and it made them look like dopes all Elite will do well to focus on themselves rather than trying to snipe at the competition and beat them on the strength of their product rather than through empty shoots number four do not go head to head whoever decided that TNA Impact should go head to head with WWE Raw on Monday nights in 2010 ahem Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan deserves a bloody good paddling because holy balls was that business suicide or what the harebrained ridiculous notion that a company's struggling to pop a big rating on a post could even rival wrestling's biggest TV show was well it was a different level of stupid a trial run on the 4th of january saw impact deliver a 1.5 rating compared to Ross 3.6 they then went full-time in the new slot in March with impact getting a point nine eight on the 8th while raw hit three point four those numbers would remain largely the same for a two-month head-to-head run and it didn't take off TNA were trying to be WCW nitro at a time when the wrestling business was much more of a closed shop and they suffered for it it would take Kody in the young bucks losing their damn minds before trying something as daft as this unfortunately it looks like they have Tuesday night's earmarked as their future TV show with Tuesday night Dynamite's already registered as a trademark Smackdown is moving to Friday's on Fox this coming October so theoretically aew should take control of Tuesday's wrestling market now of course they'll need to get themselves a bloody TV deal before attempting anything like this at all but it would take a minor miracle before aew is in a position where they can run at the exact same time as WWE and thrive in the first place number three don't destroy your own niche TNA is very much a whipping boy is trendy to pick all over the promotion and their history but they actually had a lot going for them back in the day they had bags of exciting young talent promoted women's wrestling at a meaningful level years before WWE ever fought of doing the same and then of course was the X Division now the X Division still exists today but years of misuse make it a shadow of its former self it used to be the most exciting scene in American wrestling back in the day highlighting awesome cutting edge action from the likes of Samoa Joe AJ Styles Christopher Daniels Alex Shelley Chris Sabin Loki and dozens more their high work great spectacle still stand among the best matches in TNA and Impact history yet TNA continually undermined it in favor of dinosaurs like good old Kevin Nash by all accounts it looks like a e WR gonna push tag-team wrestling to the forefront something that WWE have continually failed at over the past few years if the promotion takes off great tag action could well become their X Division equivalent ie a valuable building block and a unique selling point number two vanity consumes every thing TNA died for many many reasons from throwing exorbitant amounts of money at destructive influences like Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan to undermining homegrown talent like AJ Styles their mistakes are legion but Dixie Carter's vanity stands tall above everything else TNA was very much Dixie's plaything and after taking control of the company without a clue of how to operate a wrestling promotion Carter made it to television a few years later meddling in all kinds of on-air storylines right up to her end it speaks volumes that few people who actually work there have kind words to say about Dixie's tenure and while we trust the elite to not let vanity consume their own promotion it is a very real danger Kody and the young bucks are stars but they cannot have a monopoly on the spotlight they'll absolutely have a role to play and they deserve to as performers but wrestlers promoting themselves heavily in their own promotion has never never gone well at a national or international level we do trust them to utilize restraint in this regard but let's just hope they leave enough of the spotlight for everyone else and number one do not under any circumstances hire Vince Russo the mere mention of Vince Russo's name has likely provoked an angry reaction in at least half of you already and yeah he's kind of an easy target but let's be real the man was a complete disaster for TNA here is just a brief sample of some of Vince's genius ideas when he was with impact the reverse battle royal clear Lynch the last rites match between sting and abyss that was so bad it prompted fire rusul chance in the building s e^x the walk Boggs challenge I could go on but I think this proves the point and it's also worth mentioning the Russo secret behind the scenes return to the TNA writing team a pretty much led up to the company's departure from Spike TV their TV network in 2004 which I might add the promotion has never truly recovered from now the elite obviously won't be dumb enough to give this gum flapper a contract given that they absolutely hate each other and you know these guys aren't Daffy days but this point bears repeating regardless don't hire Vince Russo