Less than a year after declaring war against World Wrestling Entertainment, the professional wrestling industry's second-string quarterback Total Nonstop Action Wrestling now finds itself immersed in another battle.
This time, however, TNA is riding in the front seat, representing the bigger soldier in the war.
At least it seems that way.
Apparently TNA President Dixie Carter and her compatriots, possibly including nominees for "2010 Company Killers of the Year" Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, have finally started listening to the complaints and criticisms of fans, critics and even homegrown stars that the company needs to develop new stars rather than relying on WWE midcard castaways.
While this may seem like good news for TNA fansâ€”and those who so desperately want an alternative to WWE programmingâ€”this decision has begun to wreak havoc on the American independent scene.
One company, Ohio-based Absolute Intense Wrestling, isn't taking TNA's new approach laying down.
Apparently several of that promotion's top stars have been offered TNA contracts in recent weeks. The promoter, or at least the person who manages the company's Facebook page, has been launching a string of written attacks against the company for this raid, and even called the performers who have accepted the deals "sell outs."
Some people have called out the promotion on the fact it has heavily promoted four of its alumni, and those four have gone on to appear in WWE to varying degrees of success.
These men include NXT Season One contestant Michael Tarver, Daniel Bryan (who appeared at AIW shows during his "release" period from WWE), Kaval and NXT Season Four rookie Derrick Bateman.
But AIW officials had their response ready to share on Facebook. In a status comment, they posted the following (with grammar corrected):
"TNA is not advancing a career. Have you watched their product? MULTIPLE guys on our roster and staff have been offered deals in the last week, so you can understand our frustrations."
"If it was WWE, we would be in full support. That is a life-changing opportunity. TNA is just a move in a lateral direction, going from being part of a rapidly growing company to whatever TNA isâ€”a wasteland of fedjects."
Some details remain to be seen, including who the now-TNA contracted wrestlers are, and just how much of the AIW rantings and ravings are at work. But one thing is for certain, this small Ohio promotion has brought some additional attention to itself, just in time for its final show of the year, Nightmare Before X-Mas 4.