Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Fog of War: TNA vs. GFW

“There’s a wonderful phrase: ‘the fog of war.’ What “the fog of war” means is: war is so complex it’s beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate”
– Robert McNamara, “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the life of Robert McNamara”

While former U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara was talking about a far more legitimate subject of his life and observations through the Cold War, it’s exactly how I feel about the current storyline between TNA Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling. There are so many variables and complexities to what should be a simple, easy-to-understand storyline that I cannot follow it.

I do not mean complex in that it’s intricately layered and there’s multiple details to what everything is. Or maybe there is and I just don’t see it why. Upon following updates by GFW owner Jeff Jarrett and the storylines presented on TNA Wrestling, I just don’t really get what’s going on. More importantly, I can’t figure out how TNA benefits.

War: What is it good for?

Is this a war at all? A rivalry? A feud? An invasion? Jeff Jarrett seemed to be allowed to walk in and announce himself for the King of the Mountain match at TNA Slammiversary. He won too. Afterwards, several TNA talents seem to have quit and joined Global Force Wrestling but are actually still TNA talent. Not much storyline to it at all. That’s the bizarre part. On surface level, it’s actually a decent idea to confuse the dirt sheets. A talent gets “released” but really they are just involved in the TNA vs. GFW storyline. I recently read Nick “Magnus” Aldis’ comments on his contract and despite being one of the most eloquent speakers in the business today, I don’t believe a lick of it. If a wrestler is actually released like Austin Aries (who instead went to ROH), it could all feel like the person could be back at any time. TNA still feels like it’s losing bodies at an alarming rate but once this story (if there is a story) kicks into gear, we could later find out they are just working for Global Force Wrestling for the means of beefing up the guys in GFW (who when announcing their official roster, I talked about how it was empty at the top). What I don’t get is why these departures are on social media and not on television.

Right now, nobody in GFW aside from Jeff Jarrett has come into TNA. No Shelton Benjamin, no Bullet Club, no Kongo Kong. It’s possible that the TNA vs. GFW aspect is all TNA and they are loaning James Storm, Bobby Roode, Magnus and Eric Young so when they have their big blow-off match, it doesn’t involve anyone from Global Force. But why do it anyway? Why use Global Force Wrestling?

TNA vs. GFW: Quickly Dying vs. Barely Alive

The greatest failed invasion in pro wrestling history isn’t WWF vs. The Alliance, though it is probably the one that effectively murdered the golden age of North American pro wrestling. No, even more of a failure happened a few years prior in the World Wrestling Federation. Hot off a relationship with Extreme Championship Wrestling, WWF decided to combat the New World Order in World Championship Wrestling (an angle which just turned 18) by having the National Wrestling Alliance invade the WWF. Don’t remember that invasion? Maybe you remember the person who led it.


That’s right. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett, hot off a failed one year contract in WCW was back in the WWF to lead the NWA in an invasion against the WWF. Jarrett even wore the NWA North American heavyweight championship which he won on a 1998 episode of Raw is War against Barry Windham. The next week came Jim Cornette with The Rock n’ Roll Express, who were immediately proclaimed the NWA World Tag Team champions. Both belts would get defended (the Headbangers even won the NWA tag titles. The Headbangers!) Soon joining the ranks were Barry Windham (effectively ending his stint as a Blackjack with Bradshaw), The New Midnight Express (“Bodacious Bart” Gunn and “Bombastic Bob” Holly) and “The Beast” Dan Severn, who was the legitimate NWA World heavyweight champion at the time in the National Wrestling Alliance.

This happened from January of 1998 and August of 1998, and you likely have zero memory of it if you were watching WWF at the time. The reason? The WWF at the time wasn’t the superpower it is today. At the beginning of 1998 they were still well behind WCW and by August of 1998, it was an even battle with WCW/nWo. It was a company finishing a downswing working its way back up. NWA, meanwhile, was a name that had been trashed several times by WCW and ECW, only to hobble back into national attention by the weakest connections. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson were beyond their expiration dates. Bodacious Bart and Bombastic Bob were an embarrassing attempt at the Midnight Express and WWF signed talents. Nobody knew who Dan Severn was, Barry Windham’s stock had plummeted since the early 90s and Jeff Jarrett was a career midcard wrestler in WWF and WCW at that point. There was zero reason for it to happen other than to throw something at the wall and hope it sticks. With no stakes, everything falls apart. In the end, the only person who benefitted was Jarrett.

TNA Wrestling is in worse shape right now than WWF was in early 1998. Unlike WWF at that time, there’s no Stone Cold Steve Austin to give hope, no Undertaker to keep the locker room together, and certainly no Rocky Miavia to be the potential future of the company. There’s just a slow exodus of talent and the questions of whether TNA will even be on television come the fall. Meanwhile, Global Force Wrestling appears owned by former owner Jeff Jarrett (who still owns a percentage of TNA) wrestling in empty baseball stadiums in a six sided ring. Six sides is a signature of TNA and now there’s two companies working in six sided rings. It made sense that some of the people who once worked with Jarrett would still be loyal to him, wanting to jump and support GFW while TNA isn’t doing too well. It makes little sense for it to be done by storyline. We have one company that’s allegedly on life support in TNA having a passive aggressive fight against a company that’s having birth complications. It doesn’t sound like a situation where there’s going to be a winner. It just feels like there will be two losers.

Destination Nowhere

The talk is that at first, TNA approached Ring of Honor to do an interpromotional fight. This made sense. ROH did just get on Destination America, so having the two interact would be a battle of two shows on the same channel. It’d be like Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge but with less Miz. ROH turned them down, likely because they are currently working with New Japan Pro Wrestling and their fans already once survived an invasion from Combat Zone Wrestling. This left TNA to decide it should be done against Jeff Jarrett’s GFW, a decision nobody cleared with Destination America.

You would think TNA had learned their lesson with Vince Russo but clearly not. Now I’m forced each week to watch as Jeff Jarrett talks for way too long on a show that usually features excellent wrestling to build up a pseudo-invasion nobody asked for. Maybe if this was 2020 and both companies were still around after taking potshots at each other I’d be interested in Jeff Jarrett sending his soldiers to invade the place that exiled him. Instead it’s not about Global Force Wrestling, it’s about Jeff Jarrett. And for TNA, it’s not about TNA. It’s about Jeff Jarrett.

If this was what TNA was banking on the summer to keep viewers interested in the product, all hope for the company might be lost. It’s creating the wrong kind of talk and the angle is already so muddled and murky it’s to the point where I don’t know what’s going on.  It doesn’t seem like some of the wrestlers understand this either. It doesn’t feel like this is a bid for Destination America to keep TNA but a bid for Destination America to consider Global Force Wrestling. I doubt that was the point.

The Fog must clear

I don’t have to discuss good invasions and bad ones. You know them. What I do have to discuss is how disheartening this all is to someone who has been enjoying Impact Wrestling in 2015 despite all of the departures, reports of cancellation and general mystery to the well-being of the company. TNA just created a new main event star in Ethan Carter III, making him an undefeated TNA World heavyweight champion without the crowd turning for him. They just had a best of five series between the Dirty Heels and the Wolves for the TNA World Tag Team championship and it was fantastic in every match. The Rising disbanded, which looks to be leading to Drew Galloway feuding with Eli Drake, who has every bit of potential to be the next main event star TNA creates. The Knockouts Division is still going strong with far better wrestlers working week in and week out than what WWE and NXT can provide combined. And yet, I can’t focus on any of it with the fog created by the relationship with Global Force Wrestling. If this heats up and TNA “beats” them, it meant nothing. If it heats up and TNA loses, it feels like a senior citizen just got beat up by an infant. If it doesn’t heat up then it was absolutely pointless.

TNA needs to focus on what it does right, which is giving in-ring wrestling time to real pro wrestlers. It needs to continue building up good talent people want to see. If they want to make headlines, giving a national stage for Jeff Jarrett to promote his new company is the worst way to do it.

In May I said no empty coffin has more nails than TNA’s. I said nobody has shut them in the coffin despite declaring their impending death over and over. This “invasion” of Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling feels like TNA is now giving people hammers and saying, “Go ahead! We don’t mind!” while jumping in and out of said coffin. When the fog clears, it won’t be the war we talk about. It’ll be why there was a war in the first place, and why it led to so many casualties.


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