TNA Impact Wrestling has been looking to establish their brand and expand globally.
Like every business, TNA has had its struggles as it searches for the right formula to achieve its goal of being the top wrestling program.
TNA has always had a crop of talent who can put on incredible matches and bring excitement to the fans. But they have had trouble processing the idea that they had the key to success all along: building, developing and highlighting their own talent.
Instead, TNA took the same path as the now-defunct WCW—putting the spotlight on ex-WWE Superstars rather than their own talent. This makes it look like TNA is undervaluing their own talent and basically saying, “Hey we are the second-tier company!”
Although TNA is not—and may never be—on the level of WWE financially, that does not mean they cannot put forth an exceptional alternative program.
When TNA first hit the scene, what drew interest towards them was the new, athletic crop of talent that was being displayed, as part of the new concept of the X-Division! The X-Division is no longer at the level it once was, which is a tragic shame, as TNA continues to draw more fans and create a different format of programming.
Now fans who tune in—who may have been unaware of the company when it first was presented back in the day—will not be able to see the great action that was previously on display.
TNA has been trying hard to come up with new concepts, formats and “innovative” ideas to keep the fanbase interested, but they continue to fail to capture the necessary spark.
Now TNA is going back to their backbone—the guys who have been with the company from the very start—while adding some new faces, in hopes of attracting more fans.
Why was this not done sooner?
As you can see, guys like AJ Styles, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, James Storm and now TNA World Champion Bobby Roode have had the ability to headline all along, but TNA simply does not know how to fully highlight them. When watching TNA programming, you sometimes almost forget that AJ Styles is a former TNA World Champion!
It seems that TNA does not know what to do with the talent they have or how to book matches that make sense and excite the fans!
For example, for their upcoming annual PPV event Sacrifice, they have AJ Styles going against Kurt Angle. Yet you continue to see AJ feud with Daniels and Kaz, who are booked to face tag-team title holders Samoa Joe and Magnus.
When bookings for PPV events are made this way, it can confuse the viewer. Someone who watches the program weekly may get lost in all the mix up of whose facing who and why.
Yes, Angle vs. Styles is always a good match, but what is it for? Is it for a shot at the world title, or did TNA just throw it on the card to fill space, knowing these two always deliver?
Whatever the case, TNA did not put enough storytelling behind this matchup.
Which makes some viewers wonder if it is just too late for TNA. Are they too late on developing the true exciting talent that they had all along?
If you are a hardcore fan of wrestling, you would hope not, as more programming is better, as long as the programming is good.
TNA needs to create a concrete system for their programming so fans will not be confused and so their events can come out looking better.
There is hope. Bobby Roode has proven to be a great champion and shown that he has the exceptional skills to be a top heel—not just in TNA, but in the overall world of sports entertainment.
Not all of TNA is bad. They have great moments, but the rest needs to be cleaned up.
As TNA continue to find ways to change, maybe things will start to take shape. With Spike fully backing the program of Impact Wrestling and giving more assistance, maybe TNA can become what it is supposed to be: a great alternative to WWE.
We will just have to wait and see.
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