A TNA Report Card: What TNA Is Doing Vs. What TNA Should Do
I now know what it may feel like if I have a child, and after 5 or 6 years of watching them bring in Honor Roll report cards, they bring home a report card where the highest grade is a C.
Now before you go off on the kid for having a bad grading period, you have to weigh out some things. You have to figure out what could be causing such a negative outcome. Could it be that they were distracted by friends or a girl/boyfriend? Did they just lose all types of motivation? Did the teacher have something to do with it either in their teaching method, or a form of discrimination? Once you apply this logic, you can truly see the whole picture, and you know how to approach any problem that has occurred.
TNA Management's refusal to either read their proverbial report card, or pay note to their grade is what is causing this mess that we will see from week to week on TV and PPV.
These will be a set of thoughts about what is going on in their (small) world.
What TNA Is Doing.
Logic...Who needs Logic!?!
TNA was once known for their action in the ring with minor conflicts outside the ring. This formula was highly looked upon by most fans. They enjoyed the constant action. This went along with their name, "Total Non-stop Action". In effect, TNA was at one point a logical organization. That has all changed.
Now TNA has adopted the "Sports Entertainment" formula, but is still wanting to call it Pro Wrestling. Hogan, it takes more than making the ring 4-sides, and making a longer ramp to bring back Pro Wrestling, BROTHER!!! Pro Wresting is what is done in the ring, not outside it. Sports Entertainment is the overall product that involves Pro Wrestling. It's like WWE is what we watch everyday, but Titan Sports Inc. is the overall provider. The same goes for TNA and Panda Energy.
Also, they have the same issue that the WWE has when it comes to their Tag Team Division. Now grant it that TNA has more tag teams than the WWE, it will do them no good if they don't use them. MCMG, Beer Money Inc., and Generation Me (Young Bucks) are groups that could take tag team wrestling to a new level, but they are not being utilized. Instead, we have to watch Team 3-D, Nasty Boys, Hernandez & Matt Morgan, The Band, and apparently Kevin Nash & Eric Young make a mockery of the style.
The Fan Base?
It almost seems as if TNA doesn't even want a fan base anymore. First, Hogan and Bischoff take away one of the most unique things about the TNA company by removing the 6-sided ring, and when the fans voice their thoughts and opinions, they are left with 2 options, Nothing & Like It. "You had it and it only got you so far" No Hogan, that's not offensive at all for the first PPV under your reign. I guess the fans are supposed to just say "Thank you for raping the company of everything that made it unique, and got me to watch. You are so great in your infinite wisdom!"
Then the fans are muted... This burns me up. Fans have chanted some of everything at TNA events for over 7 years, and all of a sudden, they are told to be quiet and sit on their hands. This is the video of the TNA Direction of Production telling the fans that they are part of the cast. He employs that the fans have a role in the show. At one point, some guy screams "This is the reason I don't watch WWE!". The people that come to the iMPACT Zone every couple of weeks are some of the die hard fans of the company. WHY WOULD YOU PISS THEM OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN!?!
I'm learning to be an educator, and one of the first things they tell you in methods classes is to do your best to have your students like you. This is not different from business, and especially sports. You want your fans to love you, and everything you do. Most of all, you want them to feel both apart of the whole picture, and important.
Paul Heyman understands this. He was willing to do anything for his fans, and while there were some things that he did that weren't popular, he did enough great to overshadow the mistakes/bad decisions. Hogan, Bischoff, & Russo's collective egos are too big to allow them to first, realize there is an issue with what they are doing, and second, realize that the fans matter just as much as they do.
In my opinion, Hogan & Bischoff approach the iMPACT fans the way they do because they think it's OK since they don't pay for tickets. I'm just waiting for the insert before iMPACT where the guy comes over the TV saying "This show was recorded in front of a live studio audience" because that's what TNA is implying. They want their fans to be a controlled live studio audience.
Also, one of the backlashes that TNA didn't think about by hiring Hogan was that his presence was going to bring some real/critical wrestling fans with him. This is why we are hearing my commentary chants instead of chants for the matches.
"YOU-ARE-MAR-RIED! Clap--Clap--Clap-Clap-Clap" We have been hearing that from the fans for the past 2 weeks. Well...only one if you count the fact that the Production Staff censored the cheer on the last taping.
Styles missed some of the September tapings because his wife was having their 3rd son, and somehow we are expected to forget that only 4 months later...ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! My dog has a longer attention span.
I also thought smoking in public places was illegal in Florida...especially on Universal Studios. (Correct me if I am wrong.) So how can X...d'I mean...6-Pac come down to the ring puffing on a Newport. Just saying.
Genesis... Why don't we just skip to Revelations?
This is where I'm suppose to point out all the issues with Genesis, but thanks to a good man named "Maffew", I will give you a visual. Here!
iMPACT as a whole (mess)
Before a show, TNAWrestling.com previews the highlights of a taping. There was once a time where this preview was a list of matches. Now it is a list of things that are going on with Hogan, more backstage drama, and maybe a couple of matches. It is sad how they can want to say that WWE shoves things down their fans throats, while doing the same when making that statement.
Where was the X-Division??? It seems to me that even Eric Bischoff has forgotten the elements that helped bring him to the front when he was running the successful WCW. After EB raided ECW for talent, he brought in a more technical and high-flying twist to the presentation of Pro Wrestling. Bringing in guys like Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr., Psycosis, etc... Besides ROH, the only thing that has replicated that idea since then was TNA's X-Division, in which they glorified the high-flying and more technical style by giving it a name, a belt, and a wrestling ring that was more conducive to that style. They developed a following (including myself) that has stood by their side, that is until nowadays. The X-Division has only been showcased 3 times in the past 2 months.
TNA uses more backstage TV time than anything else. The matches are 5 minutes tops, and they have to show more commercials to support all of these new contracts that they picked up...speaking of picked up contracts...WHERE IS JEFF HARDY!?!...oh yeah that's right, he may not be wrestling for a long time because he might be doing time...Smooth Move Ex lax.
Speaking of older washed up talents, we move to the Nasty Boys...Need I Say More!!! Pump-Handle Slam? More like the Jump-Handle Slam (don't act like you didn't see it).
There were only 2 TNA originals on the card on the last airing of iMPACT...TWO!!!
Now I will give credit. The show ran a lot smoother than the past few weeks. They are becoming comfortable with their new/old WWE scheme.
Now let's talk about the Main Event...the 45th Rematch between Angle and Styles. I'm not going to talk about the match itself because the reason we keep seeing this match is because it never fails to be good. The ending of the match & show is what I want to talk about.
The Orlando Screw Job?
I almost kicked my TV in when I saw this. TNA could just save a lot of time and just sell tickets to WWE events. Bret Hart is still a buzz in the WWE Universe, and TNA recreates the ONE THING that made Bret Hart's return important. HOW STUPID CAN TNA BE? REALLY!!! They should have rolled credits after that episode so they could give full credit to the WWE. The idea of a storyline imitating reality is not far fetched, but a storyline imitating reality that happened 12 years ago, and has been re-hashed for the benefit of the WWE only to be poorly replicated by TNA in thoughts that it would help their product while the WWE is building for a bigger return is delusional.
What TNA Should Do.
Here are some keys to the possible success of TNA in the future.
Get out of the iMPACT Zone for a change.
When a caterpillar makes a cocoon, they intend to go through the metamorphosis into a butterfly and fly away...TNA should do the same.
The believe that staying in the iMPACT Zone is the way to continue to grow as a crowd. I personally believe that it continues to stunt their growth as an organization. House shows are nice, but you will attract more people if you can attach things like 'Live' or 'TV' to your events.
Just try to imagine that butterfly trying to fly away without breaking the cocoon... imminent failure.
Leave Spike TV!!!
Spike TV itself has a limited demographic, and given that wrestling is a limited demographic, and TNA wrestling puts another limit on that demographic, iMPACT's success is limited to 1/3 of the already limited demographic on Spike.
Let's put some numbers behind this. If you scale the number of Americans with TNA's weekly rating down to a 'out of 100 people, how many watch iMPACT on a weekly bases' scenario, iMPACT averages .49%. That's right, almost a half a person per every 100 Americans watch TNA iMPACT. WWE averages 3 out of every 100 people.
If TNA could leave Spike they would see a steady climb in ratings. Not to mention, other stations would do a better job of marketing their product better than Spike.
Get Some More Wrestling Minds in TNA's Writing Staff
Gabe Sapolsky, Paul Heyman, and Jim Cornette are all great minds that have had success in their past en devours, where as Vince Russo has had some flashy moments, but overall, he has been associated with failure. In my eye 'The Band' refers to more than just Hall, Nash, and Waltman. It refers to the entire upper level of TNA Management. They are officially raping the identity of what was once a growing company and product.
People used to say that TNA was on the way to beating the WWE one day, and now people are afraid to even compare it to SmackDown.
Keep "WWE" Out of Their Mouths!!!
The WWE doesn't need commercials with TNA around to use their old storylines, ancient/rejected talents, and just by talking about them over and over and over again. As I stated before, replaying the Montreal Screw Job to rename it the Orlando Screw Job is just silly and childish.
TNA has plenty of talent that is not associated with the WWE's past, yet they refuse to showcase it because they aren't old enough, or weren't good enough buddies with Hogan to be put on tv.
Only 2 TNA originals were on the last episode of iMPACT. One is the champion, and the other was the Angelina Love/Beautiful People. That is just a slap in the face of the guys that busted their butts to bring the company to the point that it was at. Hogan could have just come in and used what they had to make a better product, but that is not his focus. His focus is money, so he brings in 'names' to try to bring in the bigger buck. That will work for one night, as we have seen. TNA is back to their average .8 - 1.2 ratings again. Proof that the pop is over, and pissing off the fans isn't the best way to get things across.
Set A Definite Goal
They need to set a goal of not being like the WWE. WCW and ECW both gave Vince, and each other fits by offering different products and drawing different crowds. WCW started beating WWE by having a multifaceted product. They offered both Technically sound matches as well as high-flying Lucha Libre style matches. Then they also had the Heavyweights. They had divisions, and a well defined mid-card to keep things flowing. They had a much better formula back than what is being utilized today on TNA Programing.
TNA should at least listen to their fans. It's their numbers that determine which company yields the better OVERALL product.
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