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It's not the same as it ever was

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The media can waste as much time as they want speculating on when Tiger Woods will return to the PGA Tour, but they must also learn to respect the fact that the man needs to get his life completely back in order before he does.

When Tiger does return, however, he will be under the microscope more than ever. The dog & pony show disguised as a press conference a couple of weeks back exposed Tiger as a bit of a hypocrite. He admitted he made a mistake thinking that he could live by a separate set of rules just because of his superstar status, but at the same time, that press conference was a controlled environment, open to only those media types that Tiger and his flacks felt they could trust. You can't have it both ways, champ. Once you get back out on the course, you have to prove yourself to your peers all over again. They won't give you a free pass this time.

The worst case scenario for Woods is to follow the lead of John Daly, who now has a reality series on the Golf Channel. Does Woods really want to end up like Daly, who let his talent be overridden by vices (alcohol, in particular), then having to pay penance by baring his soul for all the world to see (and getting paid for it)? You want to hope the answer is "no".

In pro wrestling, there are those who are unwilling to let the past fade away, but rather relive it as often as possible. Vince McMahon has made it an art form, but he has fallen into a rut. Anyone that follows WWE knows what's going to happen on 3/8, when McMahon is scheduled to compete against a man half his age, John Cena. McMahon will make a last-second change and make the match no-DQ, enabling current WWE champ Dave Batista to interfere freely, allowing McMahon a cheap, lazy pinfall win. We've seen this scenario play out way too often in recent years, largely because McMahon is a mark for his own spotlight, like so many others.

In Orlando, Hulk Hogan will lace up the boots one more time to team with Abyss vs. ancient foe Ric Flair & AJ Styles as TNA Impact moves to Mondays, largely at the behest of Hogan & Eric Bischoff, who want to relive the mid-to-late-90's glory days of WCW, when they beat Monday Night Raw for a year and a half in the ratings. Problem is, Hogan is nearly 60. Flair is already there. They're occupying spots in a key match that should go to younger, hungrier talent. However, they can't help themselves.

TNA wants to forge its own identity, but how can it when they keep bringing in people like Hogan & Flair, who made their fame elsewhere, and creative people like Bischoff and Vince Russo would rather recreate the last years of WCW (at least Bischoff is aiming a wee bit higher)? WWE suits, particularly McMahon, can publicly say they're not worried now, but they need to remember how fickle fans can be, especially when they have a remote control in their hands.

This time, the Monday Night War will be one-sided, and it will be TNA's downfall, because they're reaching too high too soon. And they only have themselves to blame for listening to the wrong people virtually from day one.


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