The stabbing incident involving Alberto El Patron, formerly Alberto Del Rio of WWE, keeps getting stranger. We already reported that Del Rio was a no show to the Heroes Immortales X AAA event on Sunday, October 2nd due to this assault in San Antonio, Texas. The report states that Del Rio was stabbed several times in the head and arm by a man on Saturday, October 1st after this man hit Del Rio’s car with his own. Del Rio and the other driver both exited their vehicles, exchanged heated words, which led to the man pulling out a knife. Del Rio reportedly tried to leave, but was stabbed from behind. The two ended up on the ground where Del Rio was able to disarm them man, who then fled in his vehicle. Witnesses were able to record the assailant’s license plate and call the police.
Here is where things get a little sketchy. According to both Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio and Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, the San Antonio police department has no record of this attack. This is not to say that the attack didn’t happen, just that the police definitely were not notified as previously reported. The fact that the mystery assailant has not been named in spite of a license plate allegedly being recorded adds credibility to Meltzer’s and Satin’s claim.
Another hiccup in this stabbing story is that Del Rio reported to a Mexican media outlet that his girlfriend, WWE Superstar Paige, was present during this attack. According to the report, Paige tried to assist and was thrown to the ground by the assailant. When Del Rio went to ensure she was uninjured, the man fled in his car. By itself, this isn’t a big deal, but Del Rio claimed that the reason he was a no call/no show for AAA on Sunday was because his phone was lost during the attack. If Paige was present, surely she could have loaned her boyfriend her own phone to make the call.
There was also some speculation that Del Rio was in Texas for reasons related to WWE, seeing as how the Royal Rumble will be returning there for the first time in 20 years. This is a complete coincidence and there is no reason to assume that Del Rio has somehow mended fences with WWE and will be returning; he has ended that professional relationship for the foreseeable future. We will continue to provide updates to this story as they become available.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Let’s face it, TNA’s Impact Wrestling has never really had a heyday. When the company first debuted in 2004, it was clear from the start they weren’t trying to be their own brand, choosing instead to throw money at other promotions’ talent and wasting paychecks on outdated legends. Granted, they put legit effort into the product at the beginning, signing names like Dusty Rhodes, Vince Russo, Jeff Jarrett, Harley Race, Jim Cornette, Eric Bischoff, Terry Funk, Roddy Piper and Larry Zbyszko to help usher in some legitimacy. They signed wrestlers such as Sting, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Bully Ray, and MVP. But TNA never really felt like its own product. Fast forward twelve years later and not even these big name talents were able to sustain anything resembling a successful wrestling promotion. How in the hell did they manage that?
Should we blame Hulk Hogan? It feels like we should blame Hulk Hogan. Or maybe his daughter, Brooke? In all seriousness, though, TNA has a long rumored history with financial woes, backstage drama, and corporate failings, emphasized by a product that either blatantly ripped off WWE or introduced its own bizarre experimental concepts that just didn’t work. TNA has limped along on life support for several years now, but has somehow managed to not go bankrupt or be bought out and stripped apart by Vince McMahon for their taped footage. Is it too late to save them? Or can something be done now to renew the TNA brand? Are there are drastic steps that can be taken or is it just putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound at this point? Let’s get to the bottom of this debacle and offer up some advice to TNA before it’s too late.
The most important factor to consider when evaluating TNA’s future is current president, Dixie Carter. She must be willing to take a backseat role in any new structuring or brand reinvention. If she wants outsider money, new investors, and a viable (read: sustainable) product, she needs to relinquish control of the company. Quite frankly, she doesn’t know what she is doing. She thinks she has the business acumen of Vince McMahon, but doesn’t. She thinks she has the eye for talent of Paul Heyman, but doesn’t. For years she used her parents money to build up a brand she had no idea what to do with and has finally started running it into the ground. It’s not all entirely her fault. Many poor decisions have been made over the years. But if you want to kill the snake, you have to cut off its head, and Dixie Carter is first in line for the chopping block.
This also goes for Billy Corgan. Sure, the guy founded Resistance Pro Wrestling out of Chicago. He may be a legit wrestling fan and may know what he’s doing. But he’s a rockstar lead singer first and foremost and having him signed to the company and appearing on television just screams gimmick. No offense to the guy, but his presence isn’t exactly necessary to propel TNA forward, as can be evidenced by him being a part of TNA for almost a year now and doing nothing to make them better off from where they were last April. Some would argue they are even worse off than they were before he signed.
Perhaps the most glaring blemish for TNA is the rumors of personnel, including the wrestling roster, not receiving money owed or even so much as a paycheck on any sort of consistent basis. The problem stemmed from TNA signing their top billed talent to salary contracts and paying their lowcard talent on a per-use basis, resulting in the lower guys getting paid and the top tier talent waiting on their first of the month checks and then not getting them. Payroll is behind, and finances are backing up. And this isn’t a recently occurring issue. As far back as 2013, Larry Zbyszko was quoted as saying, “Half the guys wrestling there are on food stamps.” Maybe this is an exaggeration, but where there is smoke, there’s usually some sort of fire. Since their move to the POP TV channel, Dave Meltzer, the authority of wrestling gossip, has stated, “You wouldn’t believe how bad it is. When I say they’re out of money – they’re out of money.” According to reports, ratings are down at least 30%. TNA is broadcasting taped shows from their Orlando venue, and TNA can’t seem to generate revenue enough to get themselves out of hot water. The lesson here is, if TNA wants to be taken seriously as a company again, they need a cash infusion and most importantly need to pay their wrestlers. It’s been recently rumored that Bobby Roode and Eric Young both left because they were owed a combined six-figures in back salary. When you try and expand past your market and take on huge monetary debts, any company is bound to fold. A similar fate befell Paul Heyman and the ECW brand back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s.
The roster and the titles at TNA don’t seem to matter much, with a large majority of storylines being thrown away or being presented in a confusing way. The World Heavyweight Title has been used recently to bolster the dying careers of the out of shape Matt Hardy and the tired looking Jeff Hardy, with the belt a lynch pin in their brotherly discord. The X-Division title is rarely, if ever, defended on television. And the Knockouts Championship has been annoyingly wedged into the crook of Maria Kanellis’ poorly constructed imagination. Bobby Lashley’s most recent feud was to wrestle Pope, a TNA commentator. And top card talent keeps jumping ship because TNA can’t or won’t pay them. Their roster has always been pretty excellent, but a lack of creative direction and terrible booking has led to everything coming off as stale, outdated, or played out. In order for TNA to resurrect itself, fresh, energetic ideas need to fuel the card from the lowest guy to the world champ. A new writing staff is a must. Once they sort their finances and can actually pay a fair wage on time, the talent pool on the independent scene is vast and wide. Of all the problems TNA has, this one is one of the easiest to fix.
A complete brand re-imagining would really help introduce TNA to a new audience. Total Non-Stop Action is a terrible name for a wrestling promotion. And the abbreviation of TNA means something else to many other people. Impact Wrestling is pretty mediocre as well. Changing their name, image and brand could help retool the entire company into something more profitable. Keep it simple, don’t be flashy, and just give the people a fresh, crisp name that they can be proud to wear the logo on a t-shirt.
Switching to a live television show would really help revitalize TNA. With a taped show, things are edited, sounds are spliced in, and results leak online. It kills the entire broadcast dead in the water, a problem Smackdown’s diminishing ratings can attest to. When a program is live, there’s more spontaneity. Things become more fluid and loose. If a wrestler goes into the ring knowing it doesn’t really matter how they perform because botched moves can always be edited out, then they have no motivation to put on their best show. If a TNA fan can Google search all the match results a week or more before the tapings are shown on TV, then why would they bother tuning in to watch the show? If you want audiences tuning in and ratings to go up, you need to sell the idea that it’s live and “anything can happen” on any given night. As it stands, TNA is a tightly edited show with no surprises.
A new investor may also consider taking the entire promotion overseas. When TNA is in Europe, they seem to draw bigger crowds, sell more, and bring their A-game. Having a weekly broadcast at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL just screams, “We wish we were NXT!” If TNA is incapable of traveling around the United States to sell their product, if the ratings here never increase, and if the lure of WWE is too big to maintain a stacked roster, perhaps skipping across the pond could be exactly the sort of fresh, new take the company needs. Or perhaps partnering with a better company would be a prosperous joint venture. TNA and Ring of Honor, or TNA and NJPW could help bring in a new demographic and keep the roster from getting bored if they’re able to rotate around where they wrestle.
Dixie Carter has always tried keeping up with the Joneses (eg: the McMahons). TNA as a whole has always pretended to be something bigger than it was, going so far as to release their own wrestling video game in 2008. The mantra “stay in your lane” should apply here. Nobody can go head to head with Mr. McMahon. He’s a ruthless chairman and if you think you can take him down, give old Ted Turner a call and see how he gave away the company for practically nothing when McMahon spanked his ass in the Monday Night Wars. With Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Lucha Underground all on television now, TNA has quickly found itself on the endangered species list and may become extinct before long. WWE may stall, fall on its face, or stink up a pay-per-view, but they are now seemingly too big to fail. With the liquid hot NXT brand and the WWE Network, TNA cannot compete regardless of how many AJ Styles Greatest Matches DVD’s they push. A new investor could swoop in during the eleventh hour and save the company, but nobody is going to be willing to do so and not get majority vote on all things. Dixie Carter and TNA need a wakeup call. It would be a shame for another wrestling promotion to go under, but without proper guidance and a willingness to change, TNA’s days may be numbered.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker