There are many things I am looking forward to in 2010. From a non-wrestling point of view, one of the things I am most looking forward to is an end to 2009. From politics, the economy and the general malaise within the television industry, I am optimistic that the new year will be a brighter one than the one we have been struggling through for the 363 days.
From a professional wrestling perspective, I am excited to see a heightened level of energy and interest in the business. TNA has ratcheted up their game, and Spike TV has put some nitrous into the tank with a live Monday Night head to head broadcast and some serious advertising and marketing.
As expected, WWE is reacting to the competition by bringing in Bret Hart.
I am happy for Bret. Hopefully, by going back to work for Vince and the WWE, Bret will be able to put a painful and personally traumatic part of his life behind him. I have always liked Bret as a person and respected him as a professional. It was disappointing to me when I would read or hear comments that Bret would make, that reflected the bitterness he has been carrying around with him for so long. Bret has an opportunity now to write the last chapter of his book in a way that will allow fans to remember him in a more positive way.
I wish the best for Bret and wish good luck to TNA as well.
Clearly TNA is up against a Wall Street mega-corp bully with a billion dollar bank account and a Chairman that thinks only he should have any meaningful market share of the professional wrestling business (even though he's embarrassed to admit he's in the professional wrestling business). It will be an up-hill battle for TNA indeed.
The real winner though, will be the wrestling fans.
Based on the mind-numbingly stupid Raw I had the misfortune of dropping in on last week, perhaps the fact that TNA stepped up and is at least taking a swing at the bully was enough to make McMahon realize that he could not afford to take his audience for granted and continue to shove tripe down the throats of his Goliath "universe" while David was reaching for a stone.
This Monday Night...win, lose, or draw I have to give credit to the folks at TNA and Spike. They could have taken the easy path and put their best foot forward un-opposed. That would make the most sense to many people. But by at least getting into the fight, TNA is most likely going to gain the awareness and respect of a completely different audience.
And wrestling fans are not only going to have a choice this Monday night, they will most likely see a higher quality product all the way around. And for that they should thank TNA.