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I'm the one man brannnnnnnnnd!

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One of the worst-kept secrets in this industry is that a large portion of the WWE "Universe" should not be categorized as fans of professional wrestling, but rather as fans of the WWE brand.

If you are spitting on Dixie Carter as she drags her six-sided cross down the streets of Spike TV, then chances are you just want to see the TNA roster disbanded and have performers like Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray return to Stamford where we all know they really belong.

And if your best argument for hating all things Impact is "LOLTNA" ... then yes, I'm talking about you.

I've been mystified by the amount of criticism hurled toward TNA in recent weeks. Not only for the dirty laundry it has been forced to air in public, but even long before then. It's as if Carter and Co. committed some unspoken crime, or was a sweat shop for migrant performers.

Terrible booking? Creative chaos? Poor spending?

TNA is guilty of all three -- plus a whole lot more. But I would be willing to bet that for every boneheaded move that earns Impact a looping laugh track, I can find a comparable blunder in the hallowed halls of WWE. Remember one little statistic the next time you laugh at Dixie.

Vince McMahon cost his company $350 million in one day.

That's due to the WWE Network, which sounded like a great idea in the beginning, but has not been the homerun it was expected to be (yet). That's probably why we have to listen to Triple H yelling at us during the organization's flagship program, as though we somehow failed him by being cheapskates.

Can't blame this on the fans.

Sure, the network can recover those losses in a few years, or it can go bust and put the company out of business. Losses that won't be recovered? How about the $100 million the McMahon family spent just to watch Linda get destroyed in her bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate?

And don't even talk to me about what happens backstage at TNA until you read this.

WWE has the best talent, the most polished production, and of course, the most visibility. Why? Because it also has the longest tenure and the deepest pockets. I remember a meeting I had (back in my corporate days) about the launch of a new product, one that I thought was a bomb.

So I flat-out asked, "What if this thing tanks?"

The answer (not surprisingly) was, "Then we write it off and move on to the next one."

That's how big companies operate when they can afford to. Throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks. The executives won't care if you sign a bunch of wrestlers and they fail to get over when John Cena is out there making the company boatloads of cash. Heck, you don't even have to be nice to them.

What Cena has brought in on merchandise alone is more than TNA's total budget over the last 10 years.

There is no John Cena in TNA. But that's not what defines a professional wrestling organization. Last night I was in New York City for the live Impact taping and it was a rip-roaring good time. It also reminded me why I prefer smaller shows over the huge arenas.

Ring of Honor fans know exactly what I'm talking about.

I understand that personal anecdotes do not equate to fact, nor do they establish the norm, but my 11-year-old daughter went into the taping with no clue as to who any of the wrestlers were, but still had the time of her life (she's now a mark for Crazy Steve). No commentary, no pyro, just a bunch of wrestlers putting on a great show in a small, intimate setting with a hot crowd.

Can't do much better than the Hammerstein Ballroom.

I think fans often lose sight of what professional wrestling is supposed to be, or more importantly what it can be. A fantastic live experience which combines breathtaking athleticism with suasive storytelling. That's not exclusive to WWE.

Last night's crowd was chanting THIS IS AWESOME during several key spots (even for the gals) and there were more TNA! TNA! TNA! chants than anything else.

That's how it's supposed to be, and probably would continue to be, if TNA set up shop in a place like Philadelphia or New York.

After the show let out and fans congregated to get John Hancocks from BroMans (seriously), there was no talk about Spike TV negotiations, or panic in the locker room, or why Dixie did (insert gaffe here). There was nothing but Holy shit did you see that bump?

Why are we in such a hurry to make that go away?

It's as if the organization's mere existence is an affront to the smark. My eyes deserve better than this. We get a lot of that in mixed martial arts (MMA) as well, when talking about promotions not named UFC. God, just go away already or who even cares about these washed-up cans?

I care.

Maybe I'm in the minority. I grew up with WWE and I will always remain loyal because let's face it, it's the big top circus and everyone else is the county fair. You won't get the dancing elephants or the guy who zips around the cage on a flaming motorcycle, but the fair has greasy funnel cakes and a chance to pet that dirty, ugly pig who won a plastic ribbon for being a dirty, ugly pig.

There are no ribbons for brand allegiance.

You don't have to like TNA. Lord knows there is plenty to be frustrated about. But at the same time, you don't have to hate it, either. Especially if you're only doing so because you love WWE. Schadenfreude notwithstanding, monopolies hurt the consumer and I believe that keeping Impact Wrestling alive is best for business.

Especially when you consider this.

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