If anyone had suggested back in 2002 that within 10 years, TNA would be so on the radar of WWE that many of it’s ideas and story lines would be copied by WWE, many fans and insiders would have laughed. But this outlandish thought is now reality.
Example #1 : The AJ Styles/Claire Lynch Affair- This storyline was a universal disaster in TNA with the fans never buying AJ as the sort of man to cheat nor Claire Lynch as a believable character. I saw this first hand on my visit to a live Impact back in June, where the actress playing Lynch looked like an extra in the Bold and the Beautiful with truly terrible thespian skills. However, gaze across at Raw at the moment and the John Cena/AJ Lee story line is nothing but a rip off of TNA’s worst creative idea since the electrified cage match. From the ‘secret’ photos to the vindictive double act attempting to defame a beloved wrestler, it’s all there.
Example #2: Aces and Eights- This ‘biker gang’ has terrorised the Impact Zone for months now, culminating in the thugs being granted full access to the arena at Bound for Glory. Sure the unveiling of Devon as a member was a massive anti-climax but the idea has been staged well, avoiding too many parallels with the NWO, and there has been no rush to reach a crescendo. This successful creation of a fresh, outside force has surely caught the eye of those up in Connecticut for at Survivor Series WWE fans were introduced to a lawless, ruthless ‘gang’, all dressed in black who sought to take out members of the roster. Then on Monday’s Raw this group became The Shield, seeking to avenge perceived injustices. Devon’s speech after Bound for Glory anyone?
Example #3: Voice over at the beginning of Impact- The lead into Impact allows fans to know what to roughly expect on that night’s programme whilst recapping last week’s events. It has obviously proved effective in one way or another as WWE now chooses to use a lead in voice over for Raw too, only with more dramatic music. Eric Bischoff even noticed this, with a recent twitter post alluding to it.
Vinnie Mac is definitely looking over the fence at TNA for one reason or another. Sure TNA’s ratings aren’t great at the momwnt, but its creativity and fluidity have never been better.