Thursday, August 21, 2014

TNA, Dixie Carter and Alberto Del Rio

I know that it's apparently fun to knock TNA for taking WWE's castoffs and pushing them to the top of the card.  When report initially hit that Dixie Carter was interested in signing Del Rio and "making him champ immediately" the howls only grew louder.  I think this is the wrong way to look at this for several reasons. 

The main issue is the premise that TNA shouldn't  bring in WWE talent under any circumstances.  That's kind of been a meme that has sprouted up over the years.  The idea that anyone that WWE cuts loose will be pushed to the moon in TNA based solely on the fact they were previously with WWE.  For one thing, I think that's an overrated point from jump street.  Secondly, if a guy is talented and has something to offer then TNA should go after them regardless where came from initially.  Look at a guy like Tyson Tomko for example.  Now it didn't work out in the long run, but he was a guy that was underutilized in WWE.  He had a lot to offer TNA and probably deserved better than he got in WWE.  I recall going to Bound for Glory just outside ATL in 2007 and there were a ton of Tomko shirts if I recall correctly.  Dude was a valuable asset for that promotion for a period of time.  How ridiculous would it be to run a promotion and say, "Nah, we can't take him since he was a WWE guy?" 

That brings us back to the recently departed Alberto Del Rio.  By all accounts he's not heading to TNA as he's already working with AAA and even appeared at Triplemania the other day.  That's kind of beside the point here though.  The inspiration for this post was the outrage some had related to the rumor that Dixie Carter wanted to a) bring Del Rio in ASAP and b) give him the TNA World Title.  Considering Del Rio's obvious talent I see zero issue with either of these things.  Coupling that with the controversy surrounding his WWE release it's even more of a no-brainer.  I mean, remember how badly WCW botched Bret Hart's debut?  This would be that level of dumb.  If you bring in a hot property like Del Rio you'd be silly to treat him like just another guy.

The second prong of this is the mentality of, "Like he's the answer to their problems anyway."  That's a good point, but a short-sighted one.  No one person is going to solve TNA's problem, but if I'm running a wrestling promotion I want all the talented, motivated people I can get my hands on and Del Rio fits that bill.  TNA's path to being a better promotion is not going to be one step so judging every move with the mentality that this one move won't save them is beyond silly. 

Related to the last point, I've heard the tired idea that a guy like him should be brought in to put over the existing talent.  Again, I know it's a time-honored tradition on the Internet to believe that you run your promotion by bringing in John Cena and jobbing him to midcard guy to make the next superstar.  There's a couple of problems with that.  One is that you're not really getting your money's worth out of a Del Rio if you're bringing him in solely to give others the rub.  Two, why would a guy come in just to do that?  It's easy to take to Twitter, WCMB, A1 or wherever and pretend that you can just tell your top talent to do whatever, but I'd imagine it's far more difficult than that in reality.  Besides all that, if your premise is that Del Rio can't save your promotion then why are you so confident that the guys who have been there throughout are suddenly the answer? 

We know ultimately that the issue with TNA isn't a talent-based one.  It's a creative one.  So you may be right that bringing in Del Rio isn't the sole solution, but you're right for the wrong reason.  If TNA is going to continue to exist then they should never be criticized for bringing in talented individuals whether they came from WWE or not.