Bound For Glory, TNA’s flagship pay-per-view, took place Sunday. I don’t give a good god damn what happened on the show, but the show was an opportunity for the monthly jokes about how terrible TNA’s PPV names are to crop up.
But in comparison to WWE’s PPV names (and certainly Ring of Honor’s DVD titles, which is a blog for another time and dimension and cosmos where I care about them anymore), are TNA’s really that bad? Sure, they sound like terrible Steven Seagal movies, but guess what? So do most of WWE’s. And the kicker, the part a lot of people forget, is Vince Russo, likely one of the people responsible for naming these shows (I believe he was the reason WCW was going to name seven of their PPVs after the deadly sings), used to work at a video store. These awful, cheesy, sometimes straight-to-video names surrounded him all day, every day. I’m sure when he was fantasy booking his league in his trusty notebook (what a nerd, who would do that?), he just looked down the “Action” aisle and gleaned the first 12 blood-spattered, bullet-spelled titles he saw.
WWE’s PPV schedule went monthly beginning May 1995, and it started adding more elaborate subtitles to the In Your House shows during Russo’s rise to power. Now that the dust has settled, and WWE and TNA have an established monthly (or in WWE’s case, a little more often) schedule, which company really has the better collection of names, and which one is worthy of the most ridicule? Let’s compare them, month by month.
January: Royal Rumble (WWE) vs. Final Resolution (TNA)
WWE’s January PPV is named after one of the greatest gimmick matches in history. TNA’s is named after someone’s yearly goal not to bite their fingernails anymore.
WWE: 1, TNA: 0
February: No Way Out (WWE) vs. Against All Odds (TNA)
This is one of WWE’s PPV titles that sounds like a Chuck Norris movie or something that aired after WCW Thunder on, as my friend Scotto would say, “Movies For Guys Who Like Guys.” Unfortunately, TNA’s show sounds too much like a Genesis single. A commercial with Disco Inferno beats a song by Phil Collins every time.
WWE: 2, TNA: 0
March: WrestleMania (WWE) vs. Destination X (TNA)
No contest. And that’s only because WrestleMania is wrestling on pay-per-view. I’ve heard plenty of nonfans refer to professional wrestling as “WrestleMania.” That’s hard to beat. Too bad for TNA, because Destination X really isn’t a bad name. It might be making reference to a dead roster “division,” though. Oops!
WWE: 3, TNA: 0
April: Backlash (WWE) vs. Lockdown (TNA)
Backlash sounds too much like “backwash.” And the main event is always just a rehash of WrestleMania’s headline match. Lockdown is a good, simple title, even if the card is one cage match after another after another.
WWE: 3, TNA: 1
May: Judgment Day (WWE) vs. Sacrifice (TNA)
A close one, but Sacrifice sounds too Jesusy. That might sound ridiculous when Judgment Day sounds equally Jesusy, but Judgment Day is more foreboding, more unsettling, more… judgmental. Like I’m being here. To paraphrase Paul E. Dangerously from Clash of the Champions XXI, Sacrifice “is what a girl does in the backseat of her boyfriend’s Camaro.”
WWE: 4, TNA: 1
June: One Night Stand/Night of Champions (WWE) vs. Slammiversary (TNA)
Both of WWE’s titles in June are so horrendous, this would have been a homerun for TNA, had they not chosen to celebrate their anniversary in such slammy fashion. One Night Stand was OK when we thought ECW was only getting one more PPV, and then WWE brought back the brand, watered it down, and gave us two and three Night Stands. Night of Champions pales in comparison to the aforementioned WCW Clash of the Champions and hardly gets anyone whipped into a frenzy for buying the show on name alone. It just sounds like a high school sports hall of fame banquet. But, Slammiversary suuuucks.
WWE: 5, TNA: 1
July: The Great American Bash (WWE) vs. Victory Road (TNA)
I gotta give this one to TNA. Even though Victory Road reminds me of “Holiday Road,” the theme song from “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” maybe that’s a good thing. The Great American Bash is a hackneyed concept that doesn’t even apply anymore. If I wanted an excuse to wave the flag at a wrestling show, I’d watch an episode of “Superstars” from 1990, when Hacksaw Duggan was wrestling four matches an episode for months on end.
WWE: 5, TNA: 2
August: Summerslam (WWE) vs. Hard Justice (TNA)
Summerslam is a good example of how to insert the word “slam” into the particular time of year. Hard Justice is a good example of how to insert your penis into an unwilling cellmate.
WWE: 6, TNA: 2
September: Unforgiven (WWE) vs. No Surrender (TNA)
I really like Unforgiven, but I really like No Surrender, too. If TNA had the rights to the War Games gimmick, this would be the perfect PPV for that match. Can I have a tie? Yes, I can.
WWE: 6, TNA: 2, Tie: 1
October: No Mercy/Cyber Sunday (WWE) vs. Bound For Glory (TNA)
No Mercy is direct and to the point. And it sounded funny when British Bulldog said it over and over again in his 1999 promo for the show. But Cyber Sunday sounds less like a wrestling show and more like a twink pay-website’s designated meeting time. Not to mention, votes are now made by cell phone and not the Internet, which resides in cyberspace, you see. And while Bound For Glory has hints of the hole in the jackoff booth at your seedy local porno hut, at least it sounds like a mission statement for an upstart company. Wow, “mission” and “upstarts” don’t go well with “glory,” “jackoff” or “porno” either. Eh, whatever. Cyber Sunday = epic fail.
WWE: 6, TNA: 3, Tie: 1
November: Survivor Series (WWE) vs. Turning Point (TNA)
(Note: Turning Point used to be TNA’s December title, but it’s moving to November this year.) Turning Point is too wussy. And remember what I said about the “mission statement” thing for Bound For Glory? Between that, Turning Point and Against All Odds, at some point you have to go from plucky young wrestling kids to battle-tested adults. Almost as though you had to “survive” a “series” of difficult events. Plus, four-on-four elimination tag team matches are awesome.
WWE: 7, TNA: 3, Tie: 1
December: Armageddon (WWE) vs. To Be Announced (TNA)
Seriously, if TNA’s December PPV was called “To Be Announced,” I would take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about them. Actually, I’d probably just accuse them of ripping off Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (send me free stuff now). Armageddon is a great name, even if it’s not very family friendly.
WWE: 8, TNA: 3, Tie: 1
What did we accomplish here? Nothing, really. It’s not like either company is going to change their PPV names at this point in the game. But if you put all of these titles up against each other, it’s easy to see that WWE’s are just as Charles-Bronsonish as TNA’s. That’s it, I’m starting a company and calling my first show Death Wish. “I wish I was dead.” -Eric