It was certainly a year of change for TNA Wrestling.
The Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff era was entering its third year with the company and after two previous years of a questionable product presented to viewers, TNA began to do something that would position themselves better in the future. That brought about change nearly across the board for TNA and its flagship show, Impact! Wrestling.
Below is a complete analysis of the transitions TNA experienced in 2012 and how the company is better positioned for a stronger 2013 year.
TNA presented a stronger television product
This could certainly be qualified as a very important factor heading into the future. In 2010 and 2011, the first two years of the Hogan and Bischoff regime saw a TNA product that would spark at certain times, but also leave viewers disappointed. There were simply too many twists and turns from TNA.
Although that makes for unpredictable television, the company's creative side lacked a solid storyline to build on, with the potential exception of the Immortal and Fortune heel group fraction.
One thing that should be noticed in 2012 was the company's stronger product and better detailed storylines. Impact! Wrestling suddenly emerged as a program that would not disappoint for the most part in 2012. Viewers got to see the full potential of Bobby Roode, who became not just a monstrous heel figure, but also the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in the company's history.
Austin Aries was another rising star who shined after TNA made the move to switch the World Heavyweight title over to a once X-Division wrestler.
Throughout 2012, TNA made decisions that helped its Impact! Wrestling show. Despite viewership remaining on the lower end, the show's quality saw a dramatic improvement over previous years.
Making the choice towards going live with Impact! Wrestling
When will TNA finally go live with Impact! Wrestling? That was a major question heading into the year. In 2011, TNA took its flagship show on the road, finally performing outside the Impact! Zone on a larger basis. Although a very large portion of 2012 was held inside the Impact! Zone, TNA made the switch at the start of the summer season to a live format rather than taped.
Along with an improving product, the live factor helped Impact! Wrestling in many ways. TNA also made a change with its time slot, due to stiff competition on cable television.
Although viewership may not have been where the company wanted it to be, there is no question that the live aspect brought in a different feel to the show. No matter what the viewership was, TNA can certainly be proud of themselves with delivering new excitement by going live on a consistent basis.
Going live also brought out the best in its wrestling roster. It seemed everything improved to a whole new level, simply because Impact! Wrestling was live. The live programming brought a new challenge to TNA's roster.
What will 2013 bring for TNA Wrestling?
There may be no clear answer to this one, but TNA can use what it learned in 2012 to build on a stronger year in 2013.
TNA was certainly not perfect in 2012, whether it was from a dull storyline to mistakes made with its television product. But the company seemed to have created a stronger push with its younger stars.
TNA also enhanced its flagship show by introducing programs such as "Gut Check," "Championship Thursday" and "Open Fight Night." With those three programs now a part of Impact! Wrestling, TNA can truly see in 2013 whether they gain popularity.
For TNA, 2013 may finally be the year where the company reaches its full potential across the board. TNA is a company still waiting to show what it can contribute to the wrestling world.
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