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WOULD RUNNING SMALLER TV VENUES HELP TNA, WHY CERTAIN WRESTLEMANIA DREAM MATCHES DIDN'T HAPPEN, LANCE RUSSELL AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2013-09-07 10:00:00
I seem to recall that when the Shield first debuted they were doing the work of CM Punk and Paul Heyman. Now they seem to be at the behest of Triple H and Mr. McMahon. Far be it from me to expect consistency in WWE storylines, but are we to believe that Heyman and McMahon have some kind of back-channel arrangement here or have the Shield decided to jump ship? Will the WWE ever acknowledge the Shield's dubious change in master?

Although it was never really explained, I believe the insinuation is that The Shield are available for the highest bidder. Heyman stopped paying them and obviously the McMahon family currently has some work for them. They are bounty hunters as much as wrestlers. That's their role.

why in the hell did they break up Cryme Tyme? They were very over with the crowd (oops, I mean the WWE Universe). Now, both are MIA/on the unemployment line.

The company obviously wanted to split them out and see what they had to offer as singles talents. I always thought Shad Gaspard had a lot of potential, but there were knocks on him for allegedly having a bad attitude. So, eventually, he left the promotion and has been working as an actor. JTG is still with the company in a low-level role and is liked.

don't understand the logic of WWE, let me explain. They had the chance to have 3 dream matches & for some odd reason, didn't capitalize on any of them. At WrestleMania VIII, they had the chance to have "Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan. Ten years later, they had the chance to have "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. "Hollywood"/"The Immortal" Hulk Hogan. The following year, they had the chance to have Bill Goldberg vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Why didn't any of these dream matches happen?

They didn't see the money in Hogan vs. Flair at Wrestlemania, partially because when they faced off on live events, the shows didn't draw well in many of the markets. Austin vs. Hogan didn't happen because The Rock was seen as the future of the company and made for a few bigger match-up at that point for Toronto, where Hogan had a lot of history and was always a massive draw. By the time Bill Goldberg made it to WWE, Austin had retired. His last official match was Wrestlemania 19 and Goldberg debuted the following month at Backlash 2004. So, there you go.

Okay, I know I've sent in alot of questions about TNA and the need to downsize so in the long run they look good. The reason why I'm writing os because each week, TNA's attendance gets worse and worse. I just saw a photo in TNA in Cleveland and the WHOLE hard camera side wascompletely empty. And I don't think most of those people are going to come back because nobody wants to be in a half empty arena. I understand that the production is important, but they could manuever around smaller venues and still manage to have a good production look without booking large arenas. I hate to be asking these questions about TNA but as a wrestling fan, I want them to thrive more than anything else, it's better for the business and for the wrestlers and their families. Hogan's talk about TNA opening up a checkbook to Bischoff and about being able to spend on production and cameras is ludicrious. They already have that. I hate to play doctor here, but weudn't it be better to book a venue such as the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York or the Westchester County Center where there's a large influx of wrestling fans, in arenas they could sell out and POSSIBLY turn people away, you'd be in a big city (establishing the TNA name)? I also think that they need to put some money into marketing and buying commercials during Monday Night Raw and Friday's Smackdown. I never see any commercials about TNA on Raw anymore. Which is a shame. They should be running at least 3 a night, once each hour, and if they could, to buy the commercial RIGHT AFTER RAW (When the audience peaks so you get more eyeballs on your commercial).. This UFC stuff they're doing is atrocious. Not only does Rampage Jackson make himself look like a fool when he talks on the mic, they are doing more damage to their fighting careers by being in a fake sport. Taking everything into consideration, like I said before, even the WWE ran the Manhattan Center before and the Westchester County Center, and the Lowell Auditorium and it LOOKED great on TV at the same time felt awesome LIVE because it was PACKED. Sorry about the rant, but I wish I could have a meeting with Dixie and tell her this herself!

I feel your pain, I really do. The reality is that TNA on the road hasn't been a strong success in the least. I don't believe that running smaller venues would be a helpful consideration because they run smaller venues all the time for house shows and don't pack those out. I do believe in what you said about the company needing to spend more on advertising - I know that in some markets they do purchase localized ads and I think they have come a long way in trying to reach out to the local communities to make the tapings an event, but they still have a long way to go. I do want to point out that in the case of the MMA talent, TNA is not paying them - they are there are part of the relationship Spike has with TNA, so their appearances are not hurting TNA's bottom line. As far as venues you mentioned, I'd love to see TNA try and run some smaller places, but they are running some mid-sized venues now. They really are learning on the fly with a lot of their restructuring and the long-term life of the company will depend on how well they learn and adhere to those lessons.

Where is Lance Russell today?

Lance is retired and living in Florida, playing golf daily and enjoying himself. He's obviously earned that, being one of the top announcers of all time.