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TNA vs WWE 2010 - Monday Night Wars 2


IANdrewDiceClay

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Them were the days, eh? What with TNA on their arse and crawling their way to get out of it, I've been thinking a lot about that early 2010 period recently. Unlike almost everyone else in the world, I have good memories of that period. Fair enough, I get that none of the shows were ever going to appeal to the mass audience because everything was just a mish mash of madness, but I remember that was a pretty interesting change of pace from what TNA was doing at the time. For the last few years, TNA have never been in the news unless its bad news. Unless its a wrestler walking out or someone suing them or the promotion scratching their last pennies together to pay Mike Knox, if it isn't bad news its no news. But in 2010 there was this barrage of news coming from TNA. "They've got Hulk Hogan!", "Spike are going to fund an influx of new talent!", "RVD's coming in!", "Jeff Hardy's on his way in!", "They're moving to Mondays!" Just all this stuff bombarding the wrestling fans. TNA for the first time since it got on Spike was causing a shit load of buzz.

 

That January 4th Impact was sensational, I thought. Just a load of shit being thrown at you. It drew a record 1.5 overall but I think it got up to something like a 1.8 (something they have never seen before or since) during that segment where Hogan debuted while Bret Hart was on his way down the aisle. People were actually stopping to watch Impact in greater numbers than they'd ever done while Bret Hart was returning after 14 years on the other side, which was mental. So obviously they thought the market was there for a regular thing. It wasn't. I think it could have been, but going 9pm vs 9pm against Raw when the option was there for an unopposed hour was a decision that stunned everyone. Why did they think that was a good idea? At 8pm to 10pm you could have at least kept the rating they were getting on Thursdays. They did go to 8pm eventually, but the damage was long done.

 

For me, TNA as an ambitious organisation sort of died the day they got taken off Mondays. They showed their arse in a way. You should always protect yourself. You can say "Pele is better than Maradona" forever because they didn't play in the same era. Same with TNA. For years they always said "if we get Hogan, if we get Monday nights, if we do this, if we do that, we'll be in the game". They'd always go "if we got on Mondays the audience will know we are around, and we'll increase our audience" and all that gummings. Instead, they got on Monday nights got half pregnant, exposed their audience as people who would rather watch WWE and then limped back defeated. It goes back to that golden carrot thing I said in another thread.

 

Still it was all worth it for this picture.

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But there was some good moments. Jan 4th was great, Eric Bischoff playing a guitar. Sean Waltman vs Eric Young. Scott Hall keep saying "fat money contracts". RVD winning the belt was pretty great. Give us your memories of a fine bit of wrestling clusterfuckery.

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Loved those days. There was so much going on in TNA that it couldnt be missed. Wasnt all great, such as Val Venis' s rubbish run, including beating Jeff Jarrett in the bogs, the nation of violence, and RVDs surprise debut being followed by a 3 hour beatdown/Sell job.....

but there was some genuine gold there. The band getting back together was a lot of fun, and the nasties not being let in the building immediately spring to mind.

Probably a bit later, but one of my favourite wrestling visuals ever is flair in the wheelchair, escaping up the aisle.

 

Its just a shame that it'll never happen again. The 'war' was a massacre, and nobody else will ever attempt it..

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This got me back into wrestling, simple as that. I went on a massive haitus of watching wrestling after Wrestlemania 20. Brock had fucked off, it seemed Angle was never going to wrestle again at the time and I didn't think there would be another moment in wrestling that would come close to the emotion of Eddie and Benoit closing the show as top dogs. I was a super mark for these technical wrestlers and thought that was the peak of my fan-dom. I was getting a bit bored watching wrestling at that point anyway, so jacked it in.

 

That said, I still followed I'd check the WWE and TNA ppv results reach month and sometimes check the Raw and Smackdown spoilers, so I always knew what was going on. I guess in hope that something would catch my interest. The wrestlemania with Mayweather VS Big Show came closest. But then I heard Hogan and Bisch had joined TNA and were bringing a load of guys with them. Then WWE countered with Bret. Well I had to watch both of these. At the time, TNA for me was much more interesting. It was like WCW back in the mid to late 90s, you didn't know who was going to show up. A bit like...errr...the earlier days of TNA I guess. I had Impact on series link but not Raw. Didn't think much of the Bret Hart return, that coming from a big Bret mark. But I watched occasionally and then was hooked for good when the Nexus arrived.

 

So yeah, cheers Hogoff.

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My favourite bit was when people pretended to be excited that the fat, shit, old Dudley Boys were going to be wrestling the fatter, shitter, older Nasty Boys in a match almost guaranteed to suck, which it did. Thank God Buh Buh/Bully worked so hard on not being fat, and as a consequence stopped being shit.

 

Val Venis' skit with the Knockouts titillated me, I'll say that.

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Venis' s rubbish run, including beating Jeff Jarrett in the bogs

 

That was hilarious, one of my favourite moments of the new Monday night wars. For those that didn't see it: Jeff Jarrett was in Eric Bischoff's bad books for some reason, got put on janitor duty and was sent to clean the toilets. Bischoff then told Val Venis at some point that if he beat Jarrett in a falls count anywhere match that he could have a contract. So, Venis heads off to the bogs, ref in tow, who he gets to ring an imaginary bell before they go in. He comes in, lays a beatdown on Jeff and pins him, that part doesn't really sound funny on paper, but Jarrett's bemused facial expressions make it, exactly like anyone would act if they were cleaning some toilets and some guy burst in and started trying to pin them unexpectedly!

 

Wish I could find it on youtube, I'd love to see it again.

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That's three years ago already? Fooking nora! Abiding memories include the clusterfuck of a cage match(steel asylum) with Hardy on a cage at the end as couldnt yet wrestle. and chat going into meltdown as well as Awesome Kong and Hamada vs Taylor Wilde and Sarita for some reason, sticking more than anything else.

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Don't forget the beginning of Generation Me's run..... although, I still stand by this :

 

anyone who hasn't forgotten Generation Me by now really should.
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January 4th was brilliant, it's the only time I've had mates over to watch wrestling aside from a Wrestlemania. We actually watched Impact in the night and waited until the morning to watch Raw. You could tell WWE had nothing to worry about, because even though they had Bret return that night, the rest of the run vs. Impact was pretty unremarkable outside the HBK/Taker feud. They didn't really seem to do anything different to what they usually did.

 

I really liked Monday Night Impact mind. The throwing-shit-at-wall stuff was great TV as you had no idea who was turning up next. Remember that angle where Hogan screwed Kurt Angle and then it wasn't brought up again? Absolutely mental. You had Kurt shouting that he was going back to WWE, then a week later they were mates again with no explanation.

 

RVD's debut too, bloody hell. What were they thinking with that one?

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You could tell WWE had nothing to worry about, because even though they had Bret return that night, the rest of the run vs. Impact was pretty unremarkable outside the HBK/Taker feud. They didn't really seem to do anything different to what they usually did.

 

As number 1, they were right not to. Makes sense. If you're established as dominant, you don't change things until the other team makes it's play. See if you can just beat them doing what you're doing, and they did, comfortably. Hardly surprising, TNA was trying to run before it had proven it could walk, what with their numbers unopposed never looking like there were enough people out there that would choose them over Raw.

 

I understand a lot of what Bischoff tried to do with their initial vision for TNA in theory as it ties in with the "be different if you can't be better" philosophy that he had when they first started Nitro, and doing anything they could to be different than the competition. Unfortunately the things that may have "different" from what the WWE was doing at the time were not things the mainstream TV audience had never seen by 2010, as they were when he employed that philosophy in 1995.

 

Having said that, I do remember the January 4th 2010 episode very fondly. We were sent home from work the day after because of the snow and I got on the laptop to watch it instantly - even before watching my hero come back on Raw on the Sky+ box. It was a dizzy thrill of "what the hell is going to happen" and in that respect, it didn't let me down.

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It was a great time, and in some respects TNA's been in a slow decline since then. I actually think they had to roll the dice though, I don't think TNA should ever stop trying to aspire to genuine competition with WWE; we just shouldn't expect them to succeed. Weird what stuck and what didn't though - who would have thought Anderson would still be there 3 years later, where RVD (who seemed on paper a much better fit with TNA) really had a pointless run.

 

Really though, it was all about Hall, Waltman, Nash and Bischoff. It was all about a last hurrah for the Wolfpac. Seeing a relatively in shape Hall in a ring for the last time (and you kind of knew it must be the last time), that was a great moment for nostalgic casual fans like me. That was probably TNA's best roster, that year - you still had the guys that brought them to the dance but all these interesting new faces too. It took me a long time to get over seeing Hogan and Bischoff on tv again.

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On the first one I loved the seemingly revolving door of guys just arriving:

Scott Hall, Waltman, Nastys, Jimmy Hart, Jeff Hardy, Val Venis etc

I remember RVD winning the belt during their Monday run and at the time he just seemed to excite the crowd quite massively they were all doing his thumb pointing and whenever his music said Rob Van Dam they all seemed to scream it (could have been on his theme or played into the speakers though) at the time he seemed like right place right time to get himself over.

I was gutted that more was not done with Hall, Waltman and Nash, but it was nice seeing them all together.

 

Also it was nice seeing Bret return.

 

It was a nice little enjoyable period for both companies/shows at the time, im gutted it didnt last longer to be honest.

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I don't think TNA are about die but it does feel like a lifetime ago that this happened. It's almost as if the enthusiasm was just beaten out of TNA over time, the idea they could take on Raw was crazy but exciting. TNA came in for a pasting from fans for even trying this but at least something was happening.

 

Fuck it if I am utterly wrong and they are going under why don't they just go for broke and have another massive show like this, rather out with a bang than a whimper.

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I don't think TNA are about die but it does feel like a lifetime ago that this happened. It's almost as if the enthusiasm was just beaten out of TNA over time, the idea they could take on Raw was crazy but exciting. TNA came in for a pasting from fans for even trying this but at least something was happening.

 

Fuck it if I am utterly wrong and they are going under why don't they just go for broke and have another massive show like this, rather out with a bang than a whimper.

 

Who could they possibly even hint at bringing in today that would generate any kind of hype like before? Goldberg and Batista maybe???

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