Example of a guy who is better unleashed. Courtesy of TNA.
TNA is more than going live. It is giving its wrestlers more freedom in what they say in promos.
This will be the move that keeps me watching TNA or causes me to stop watching altogether.
I love the idea of wrestling being more real. NWA and WCW always seemed to go that route more than WWF and WWE, which is so heavily polished.
The thing I don’t like is a company saying it’s real.
In the Impact preview, it states,
“We took a step back to look at our product with fresh eyes,” says TNA IMPACT WRESTLING President Dixie Carter. “People watch TV differently today than before, and the wrestling format itself has become stale. What happens backstage, in the office and on the road is so entertaining that we decided it was time to pull the curtain way back and give viewers a peek at that world as well. Over the next few weeks and months, viewers will continue to see our show evolve as we expose more real aspects of our business that have always been sacred,” she continued.
This announcement is a key component in the continued growth of the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING brand that is bringing game-changing programming to the world of professional wrestling. Cameras will be everywhere. Meetings will be shot in real time and unscripted as we capture moments; not produced segments. Access to conversations and vantage points that have never been seen before, such as production meetings, talent evaluations and post match critiques, will be revealed. Combined with an emphasis on story structure, long term character and story development, these changes will help IMPACT WRESTLING pioneer the next generation of wrestling entertainment programming.”
Here is the part where I beg TNA: Show don’t tell.
I am all for a wrestling company that trusts its talent to be who they are and say what they feel (I find it long overdue). The best wrestling has always come when creative is pushed back and the ironclad will of the suits and ties is broken by wrestlers who refuse to be tamed and molded and made.
But the worst of wrestling is when they use words like unscripted on TV.
I’d rather see a mild WWE than an out of control TNA.
But if they can find that place where wrestlers become their characters and characters become the wrestler and it becomes real—not because they say it is—but because we feel it is, only then will TNA have succeeded in what they are trying to do and will actually be offering something rarely seen in WWE these days.
It’s a fine line, but it’s also pretty obvious.
And if it gets confusing, they should just follow a simple quote: If it happened in the dying days of WCW, it need not happen here.
One thing is for sure: We are again seeing change in TNA.
Whether it’s for the better will be determined very soon.
It will also be determined live and (perhaps?) unscripted.