As a follow-up on an earlier story about the WWE getting into Japan and heading back to the ’80s, I’ve read a few posts where people are wondering if TNA will step up to the plate and fill the void (if there ends up being a void) of wrestling programming for those of us that are more than 14 years old.

From Wrestle WorldNew “Kid Friendly” Direction for WWE, could this be TNA’s opening?:

WWE has been taking a drastically more Kid Friendly direction. The storylines are cleaner, less sex less violence… They have brought back the classic heel/face story lines. Gone are the days of grey area. What about TNA you ask? Well, Mick Foley seems to think its worth a shot. And if it’s good enough for Mick, it’s good enough for me.

JustJeff09 writes about TNA:

I’ve been TIVO’ing TNA for the last year or so and I find myself fast forwarding less and less. I’m a huge mark for the X Division guys… TNA is faster paced with better storylines. The mix of old WWE’ers with the new generation works well.

I wrote a post called Circling the Bowl? back in January about some of my problems with the TNA product. The main problems I have with them is that they seem to be copying some of the WWE or WCW angles or ideas when they could be doing so much more with the talent they have.

Another post on Wrestle World- Ways to Improve TNA:

…if TNA continues running its program they way it is now, I don’t think Vince will be losing any sleep… TNA needs to stop ripping off WWE and attempting to be the same company. Remember WCW? How did that end. ECW at least used to offer an alternative… TNA also has the X Division which is amazing. It is actually exciting to watch. TNA also has a new interesting story line with the MME (main event mafia) vs young talent.

I agree with most of what they have to say, except for the MME. The whole Main Event Mafia thing has gotten a favorable reception, but it smells like the NWO to me (except in this case it would be the OWO: The Old World Order). The thing that made the NWO interesting was that it hadn’t been done before (at least in the time that I’ve been watching wrestling), and that it introduced shades of gray- an alternative to just “good guys” and “bad guys”. You could argue that the lack of respect that Sting is complaining about and the “young lions” disagreement with that could have fans cheering or booing either side. But I haven’t seen anything to make me think they aren’t going to just duplicate what’s already been done instead of taking it to another level.

From Off The MatChanging the face of wresting forever:

How many times have we heard that from TNA, WWE, WCW, et all? I’m all for the hype, but seriously. Do we need yet another earth-shattering announcement that will cause the world to spin off its axis and hurtle uncontrollably at the sun?… There is simply no way to live up to that pronouncement.

It will only end up “changing the face of wrestling” if we’re able to look back on this and say that it was the beginning of a legitimate competitor to the WWE. Otherwise it’s just another angle.

From Pinakin’s WeblogI’m Glad:

i’m glad…That TNA has started revamping themselves in a big way and stepping up the non-wrestling aspect of their shows… The wrestling was always there. (Many times it has been better in the TNA ring than anywhere else) But the one thing they lacked was the high quality production values…

While I’m usually not as interested in the non-wrestling aspects of the shows, it’s probably because they’re bad (or that they could be better). I see his point. I would agree that making the production better would help. Part of that is not copying everyone else.

Will TNA step up? Only time will tell.

I’ll continue to track the amount of time I view the program to see if anything changes.