There’s a reason why over a decade after the promotion folded, wrestling fans still chant “ECW” to this very day.
ECW was different.
There’s a reason why wrestling fans popularized the chant, “same ole’ sh*t! same ole’ sh*t!” when they see something that is commonplace in the wrestling business.
They want something different.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, Eric Young defeated Magnus on the Spike TV program, “Impact Wrestling,” which is the weekly television product put forth by pro wrestling promotion “Total Nonstop Action” (TNA).
That was not different.
Long story short, TNA copied WWE. Let’s be honest. TNA saw the popularity of WWE’s Daniel Bryan. They saw the underdog mentality and decided to do their version of it.
Wrestling fans want something different.
Sure, TNA fans popped when the unexpected challenger Eric Young, who for years has been for the most part a comedic mid-card figure in the company, won their World Heavyweight Championship. The bottom line, however, is that those same fans were going to watch their product regardless.
Unlike the aforementioned Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), TNA is reducing themselves into being “WWE Lite.” They are what basically amounts to being “Diet WWE.” Let’s be honest!
To this day, ECW has a rabid fan base, despite being a promotion that has been out-of-business for more than a decade.
They were different.
You can argue until you’re blue in the face that Eric Young deserved his moment in the sun. The bottom line is, his TNA World Championship victory over Magnus on Thursday night only happened because WWE ultimately decided to pull the trigger on Daniel Bryan’s growing popularity on Sunday night in New Orleans.
WWE decided to do something different.
TNA did their version of the same thing. Period.
Was the decision to put their World Championship on Eric Young the wrong move? Of course not. The fans have become emotionally invested in the character, one that has embodied the spirit of the “lovable underdog” for so many years.
For all of the criticism, WWE spent years making sure that fans demanded the “lovable underdog” Daniel Bryan have his “moment.” They held it off very close to too long, but ultimately gave him his moment. You can argue that they waited too long. You could argue that they waited just long enough. The bottom line? They waited.
TNA started — and completed — a story line involving “their version of Daniel Bryan” all within a single episode of their weekly “Impact Wrestling” television program.
And thus, TNA proves that — at best — they are a “B+ player.”