For what it's worth, the WWE originally went down the route of promos/shock value because of WCW; remember that they were getting absolutely thrashed by them due in part to the nWo and Bischoff's practices of ruining the results of Raw when it was taped. They went for the route that WCW wouldn't (or couldn't) take, and they ended up drawing in the eyes and money. I mean, dun get me wrong, I used to watch Raw and Nitro as much as I could back then - thanks to the wonders of TSN, Nitro was usually aired on Tuesday nights/Wednesday afternoons - and I always liked Raw a bit more, if only because the whole Austin/McMahon thing was awesome. But, with WCW dead and TNA not really posing a threat (if I'm not mistaken, the first live episode of Impact got a 1.0, and has been floating around 0.9 - 1.2 for a while, which is insane), the WWE has started to slide backwards into the pre-Monday Night Wars era. Besides, we all should have known it was declining around the time that they had Triple H have sex with a mannequinn.
And we have to remember that Kurt Angle has contracted a severe case of the galloping crazies, especially in interviews where he says that TNA is a genuine threat to the WWE. Personally, I don't think this is the case; the fact that TNA pushes former WWE talent like mad as soon as they sign on, while shunning a majority of their own, homegrown talent (obviously, this excludes Samoa Joe, but I haven't watched TNA in a while) seems kinda ridiculous, as if they think that guys like AJ Styles can't draw the ratings that Angle (who, last time I saw him, looked worse than he ever did in the WWE) can. This is not to say that TNA fails everywhere, of course. The women's division actually has competent women wrestlers, and not just 4-5 that are good with the rest being eye candy that have basic
training, and I guess the Knockout matches see the best ratings for Impact. That's good, I kinda wish that the WWE could get their act together with the women's division, but whatever. But then you see something like...Shark Boy or Curryman, and I end up smacking my head in frustration. Seriously, they thought a Stone Cold parody was a good idea?
But yeah, the actual quality of matches in TNA is much higher than in the WWE, especially when you have guys like Cena in the ring. Cena, to me, is boring as hell, and you generally know how his matches are gonna end. HBK is getting up there in age, but he can still have great matches, even against guys like Khali (who appears to be a hero in India) and Umaga. Orton, while somewhat amusing and a true heel, is about as exciting as Cena is, especially considering that he uses rest holds like mad, but his pose is kinda cool. \_O__/ Jericho has been misused since he came back, which disappoints me in ways you can't imagine. He was great on the mic back in WCW, and even though he holds the IC title (and has held it since before Wrestlemania), he has defended it a total of three times in 80-some days; he lost one match by DQ, won one by DQ, and cleanly beat Umaga, who is a jobber to the stars. They just seem to not know what to do with him anymore, which is annoying, because they did something similar with Raven...and Raven was writing his own stuff! As far as Edge goes...well, the guy has been in the business for a while - I think he came in sometime after WM14, and was fairly popular. I do think that it says a lot about Smackdown when the main event scene consists entirely of Edge, Undertaker, and Batista; the B-Show is bloody terrible when compared to the flagship, Raw, although I guess the matches on SD! are more wrestling-focused than on Raw (again, it's been a while since I've watched Smackdown for a while). And ECW in general has been butchered, which disappoints me a lot. I never got to see the old ECW, and I had hoped that the WWE brand of ECW would be similar, especially after watching clips of ONS '05; instead, it's basically where the jobbers go to die.
I do hope that TNA does become a true threat to WWE, but it has to happen soon. Maybe then we'll see a rise in quality in the WWE rings, and a rise in quality for storylines in TNA. And for the love of all things unholy, BURN THE STONE COLD PARODY!
Edited to add: By the way, from what I've been hearing about Ted DiBiase Jr, he's actually a proficient wrestler. The dark matches he's had have supposedly been quite good, and I'm looking forward to seeing him in the ring on Raw...as long as they don't botch it up. Besides, he looks like Orton when he first came to the WWE, and Orton was good back then...