Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as "The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below.
There I was, after an awesome episode of Impact Wrestling, eager to jump online to share in the excitement with other pro wrestling fans. "Tonight's episode was just fun" I kept thinking to myself in a confident manner. I really felt it was the first episode in a very long time that couldn't possibly be debated. Good show? Bad show? Ehh, in the middle?
It just felt like one of those shows. You know, one of those shows everyone had to see. I was truly interested and curious to see the feedback from others.
Once I removed myself from the confines and circles of comfort from those I view and exchange tweets with, I was shocked, more like flabbergasted, to find the following comments around the web:
"Forty minutes until the first match? When will this company learn."
"This episode proves this company has no clue"
"I hope Vince buys TNA to save us from shows like this"
"They gave away a legit pay-per-view match for free? #boundforbankruptcy"
And the complaining and the arm chair booking went on and on and on...and yes, continues on. The comments flew like wild gun fire in a small room with little prospectus of ending in sight, with no resolution in mind, and most importantly, with absolutely zero responsibility taken by all.
Heck, I even saw one "columnist" or "correspondent" (I use those terms loosely) on one of these "reputable" sites that offers live coverage claim to be "turned off" because a match had a useless top-rope spot.
C'mon really? Is that where we are today?
Sports fans react, criticize, and shoulda-woulda-coulda everything they disagree with when it comes to their favorite teams or leagues. It's part of the fun in debating and talking sports. However, with sports, there is a clear end game - winning. All decisions and suggestions will be dignified by a win or a loss.
Unfortunately, when it comes to pro wrestling, the end game is entertainment, and that is a concept that is not tangible and is very, very subjective. Due to this lack of a measurable source in defining success, the continuous and recycling of verbiage that fills the pro wrestling atmosphere will continue to do so like a thick cloud of pollution.
The Artful Dodger
Sometimes this endless, revolving, non-stop, onslaught of criticism and insults feels like the pro wrestling business is playing a cruel and unfair game of Battleship with fans. They will clamor for something, and when the industry reacts with a hit by giving them what they want, fans pull their boat away from that spot and place it elsewhere so they can gripe and moan about it.
For instance, take TNA going on the road for it's Impact wrestling tapings. Most fans, even the haters, were in favor of the company going on the road for Impact. I was unbelievably excited and in favor of the decision as I thought this was the step the company needed to take. Many agreed, with a select few (you know who you are) voicing their intelligent opinion that the company should ease into going on the road (and in hindsight they were 100% correct). Yet, for the most part, the overwhelming majority were in favor of this decision.
Now that it has failed, it seems like many are looking at TNA for the failure. We all pulled away our ship from that point, and the shouts from fans all sound like "TNA shoud have [fill in the blank], followed by charging TNA with the miss. We should own that failure. All of us. We wanted that from and for TNA, they gave it to us, and we failed them.
Or how about other ways to charge pro wrestling with missing targets on the board. The critiquing of the show's format? The timing of matches? The clock watching on segment placing, and of course, the issue with what matches are placed on free TV?
It all feels like the chances of the pro wrestling industry pleasing a section of its audience is slim. Very slim.
Nonetheless, these complaints are always baffling. Must a wrestling program have a certain ratio of wrestling to non-wrestling content in order for you to be pleased and entertained? And why - WHY? - would a fan complain about receiving a pay-per-view match on free television? And if you do, do you also complain about new releases being shown at matinee prices as well? Oh, way to give away that movie during the afternoon. Just terrible!
The Irresponsible Aggressor
The rumored sale of TNA, which then became a definite sale, then evolved into a for-sure and imminent sale, and now seems to be settling into a stakeholder sale, just makes certain "reputable" sources seem reckless and amateur.
Furthering the unprofessional manner are the constant and repeated shots and attempted humor taken by sites who claim to be "reputable" when it came to the "sale" of TNA.
For businesses (let's call them for what they are) such as these sites, they are the biggest offenders of the battleship cheating theory, except it is the opposite. They throw, and throw, and throw accusations and allegations until one of them finally hits. And when it does - EUREKA! - they broke the news first and are now a "credible" site. After all, it's about hits, and keeping things negative and controversial keeps the hits coming, and is good for business.
But those missed shots? No need to worry or take responsibility for them. Just minor casualties.
Imagine if we kept accuracy records for these sites, maybe something similar to a baseball batting average, how would that change reporting and false claims? Think anyone is even over .500? .300?
The Moronic Marauder
I'll be blatantly up front with you in this section. No introduction, evidence, facts, or persuasive rhetoric is needed here. I'm just really curious on the thought process behind those who are hoping TNA is purchased by Vince McMahon.
For those in favor of that wish, I'll simply play along. Really, I will.
Here goes: Let's say WWE did indeed purchase TNA...then what? You go back to watching WWE? Maybe you purchase the "Rise and Fall of TNA" DVD (of course with WWE's spin on history)? Discuss for years and years of who truly "killed" TNA? And then what?
There is no alternative or any place or platform for other wrestlers to make a living. Or any different product to enjoy. So that leaves us with WWE rematches not just on Raw and Smackdown, but now on Thursday nights as well?
So...just WWE? Oh wait, let me guess, "That's what's best for business". Cute.
Obviously we've all forgotten how bad things were shortly after WCW and ECW were no longer.
Plant Your Flag
It seems there is a growing sense of entitlement and an even larger lack of responsibility taking place from pro wrestling fans and pro wrestling stakeholders in today's generation. It's easy to criticize when we constantly move our targeted area off the board. It's easier to complain when we throw a lot at the wall, and when it works out we claim it as our own.
Honestly, there seems to be a large section of fans who enjoy their personal game of Battleship with the pro wrestling industry more than, well, you know...pro wrestling.
It's time pro wrestling fans - all of us - cease the artful dodging, irresponsible aggression, and moronic marauding. It's time we all take responsibility and plant our flag. Go ahead. Plant your flag right now! Go on record and stand by your claim - what do you want out of pro wrestling? No take backs. No adjusting. No broad descriptions to avoid responsibility or taking a stand. No changing of your mind because of what is currently the trendy thing on the internet to say or believe. No more criticizing without a core belief, foundation, or reasoning for your gripe. And no more outrageous, broad, no-lose situational comments.
What. Do. You. Want. Out. Of. Pro. Wrestling?
Take a stand. Take responsibility. Be a fan. And let the pro wrestling industry sink your battleship.
You would probably be surprised of how much more enjoyable pro wrestling can be when you just let it entertain you.
Isn't the IMPACT365 a pretty cool concept?
And how long do you think it will be before we see this same concept pushed on the WWE App?
Do you know how to download the WWE App? Just checking...
Regardless of your feelings on the situation, doesn't the traveling aspect to AJ's title defenses make TNA feel like a big deal?
How classy was the "shelving" of the Main Event Mafia?
And wasn't it a nice touch to give each member a chance to exit the group.
Am I the only one really intrigued by Sting's mission to fix the "entitled"?
How awesome is Bobby Roode/Kurt Angle right now?
Isn't it funny that even as a former tag team champion, that was the first time Adam "Pac Man" Jones got physical in a TNA ring?
And to be honest, doesn't it say a lot about Dixie's character when someone like Jones who seems to have finally gotten his life together still holds her and the company in high regards?
Don't you just see ODB vs. Lei'D Tapa, if all goes as planned, eventually being a big match for the knockouts division.
How amazing is Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle?
Isn't it funny how over Dewey Barnes and Norv Fernum are?
Aren't they actually more over than any of the Gutcheck winners ever were?
Could we say this is the best Anderson has been since joining TNA?
Did the Aces and Eights swerve you too?
How awesome was Jeff Hardy's swanton bomb to end the match?
Shouldn't TNA and the creative team receive major props for making this World Title tournament feel like a huge deal?
And how unpredictable is this tournament?
Wasn't tonight's show just flat out fun?
I'm not sure I've said this enough, but damn it, how unbelievably amazing is Angle vs. Roode right now?