I first off want to start off by saying that I am a huge fan of everybody's work on this site. I really feel that Bleacher is where to find the true heart beat of the internet wrestling community (IWC). One basic theme that I have been noticing is that there is a division between the IWC and TNA creative. This article will try to understand why the division has occured and what could resolve it.
There are many type of wrestling fans. You can take your pick between the casual fans, Hardcore fans, Fans of old school. Of all the following fans I think most of us will agree that the IWC is usally only comprised of the most dedicated of wrestling fans. If you take time to write about pro wrestling then chances are that it is something you care about.
Having a education in the media I know that advertisment drives pro wrestling. It is very important to cater to the target demographic which usually is between the ages of 15 to 30 if you are working on television. You want to put out the wrestlers that will sell the most merchandise and keep the audiance coming back. This is where I believe part of the problem has happened. First off, the IWC loves TNA wrestlers such as Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe but in reality just how marketable are those characters. Would kids line up to buy their merchandise? well the answer is maybe if marketed correctly but one would assume that kids would more than likely get behind a character like Abyss.
The truth is wrestling fans that most merchandise sales come from kids so that is naturally respresentative of the type of characters that are shown on television. The problem that TNA has is that it does have a identity. Through Abyss we get the impression that they are trying to get kids to watch their product but then they confuse us with having so much blood on the program. I think that a large problem between the IWC and TNA is that the internet wrestling fans simply do not understand what TNA is trying to do. The IWC longs for storylines that make sense and not decisions made just for the sake of shock value.
Another marketing ploy that the IWC cannot stand is that TNA showcases the older talent while neglecting the young up and comers. Hogan gave us his position on the issue when he got rid of the six sided ring. That was a statement by TNA saying that they believe to advance as a company that they need to provide familiarity to the audiance. That is the reason why we so many stars from the 90's TNA management assumes that they can get value by showing that their promotion has recognizable wrestling names.
This method of marketing has great advantages but could be the downfall of TNA. The key is that TNA must walk a fine line between having former WWE stars and making sure that they dont appear as a retirement home for cast off WWE wrestlers. The IWC knows that TNA has failed to do this correctly. When I think of Kurt Angle,Scott Hall, Sting, Dudley Boys I associate them with WWE, WCW, ECW. When I think of AJ Styles and Samoa Joe for instance I am more inclined to think TNA. The truth is that TNA needs to showcase its own homegrown talent otherwise it will never work.
I believe that Dixie Carter is smart but I wish that she would perhaps hear out the IWC. TNA would benefit by realizing that WWE can market more widely because they have brand recognition. They have both casual and hardcore fans but TNA does not have that luxory. Paul Heyman and ECW did it the right way they built their audiance by catering to the hardcore demographic that would stick with them no matter what. If TNA did that for a considerable amount of time then perhaps they could expand to potentially be competition for WWE in a larger scale.
The key to success for TNA can be found with the IWC. If TNA listens I think they would have a easier time in understanding what wrestling fans want out of them.