Downward Spiral: How TNA Can Become King of the Mountain
TNA is stuck between a rock and a hard place— the rock being the WWE and the hard place being Hulk Hogan.
It is obvious that this "Hulk Hogan Hostile Takeover" is not working, and something must be done to stop it.
While guys like Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, and Mick Foley probably all knew deep down that this would turn out disastrously, it is a shame that Dixie Carter drank the "Hulk Hogan Kool-Aid" and believed that he would affect the product positively.
I was optimistic in the beginning because I grew up as a Hulkamaniac. I wanted so badly to believe that Hulk knew what he was doing.
But I was wrong. I was dead wrong.
It baffles my mind that Dixie Carter could believe that the people responsible for the ultimate demise of WCW could bring TNA to the promised land.
Before I completely dig into what is wrong with TNA and how they can climb this huge mountain in front of them, let me tell you what I think Hulk Hogan and company have done positively since arrival.
1. They brought in some key talent. There was no excuse for a guy like Rob Van Dam to not be in TNA years before he came in. With Hulk Hogan as the facilitator in the negotiating, he was able to bring Rob Van Dam in rather quickly. Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair are two other prime time free agents that Hogan has been able to bring to the table.
2. The No. 1 contender ranking system brings a different dimension to the show. Although people will say it is a little too much like the Pick 6 Series that Ring of Honor currently runs, I disagree. TNA can have a lot of fun with this idea if they choose to.
3. Lastly, moving the show to live Monday nights turned out to be a bad idea from a ratings standpoint, but if they were able to get anyone to change the channel to iMPACT!, they succeeded. It was TNA's fault that it didn't work out well.
The negative side of signing all these big name free agents is that Hogan has thrown them into an environment where Vince Russo is the booker.
Vince Russo continues to book ridiculous hotshot angles that have no long-term plan. Why did Samoa Joe get kidnapped? Why is someone always found lying motionless backstage? Why on earth would you debut Rob Van Dam in a six-second match with a 10-minute beatdown by Sting?
All questions that have not been answered with no plan to ever answer them.
This is what he does. If I was Hogan, I would encourage Dixie to reposition Vince Russo in the company. He has been around long enough to not get the Gabe Sapolsky treatment.
Speaking of Gabe Sapolsky, there are plenty of smart wrestling minds out there that can help get the creative process in TNA on the right track.
For TNA to start climbing that mountain, they need to look at Ring of Honor and other indies where they initially were able to showcase young, fresh talent.
AJ Styles, Homicide, Samoa Joe, Desmond Wolfe, and many other Ring of Honor wrestlers have been able to achieve a fair amount of success in TNA.
The future of TNA and even WWE relies on these extraordinary talents that Ring of Honor has on their roster.
The rumors have been circulating for weeks that they're making roster cuts.
This would be a brilliant idea for the company. Get rid of these wrestlers that you are not using. I hate to see great talent lose their jobs, but there needs to be a point where you throw the old away and bring in the new.
When they signed Ken Anderson and Rob Van Dam, they should've released three or four guys on the roster to make room for these Main Event-caliber stars.
Also, TNA needs to separate themselves from this brutal, bloody product. Blood and thumbtacks only work on special occasions. When doing it every week and match, it hurts the psychology of the tactic.
I hate to say it, but they should start catering to the PG audience that the WWE has been. I would make the first hour of the show family-friendly in a lot of ways to entice the same children who watch WWE to flip to TNA on Thursdays.
If they go PG for the first hour and TV-14 for the second, they can create a whole new audience for iMPACT!. This is the only way they can get the type of ratings they need to grow. Save the Orlando Jordan gimmick for hour two when the parents put the kids to bed.
The kids are familiar with Jeff Hardy, and I am positive that they are wondering where he went. If he can somehow clear up the drug addictions and legal problems, he could be a great candidate to lead the charge.
Lastly, TNA needs to make their Pay-Per-Views matter.
When you're continually giving away Pay-Per-View quality showdowns on iMPACT!, there is no reason for even the most diehard TNA fan to order the show.
I am positive that Hulk Hogan understands how to create and build issues between wrestlers. Why is he not saving the first ever meeting between AJ Styles and Rob Van Dam for a Pay-Per-View?
Obviously, I am only scratching the surface on the problems that lie within TNA Wrestling. We all know they need to get the hell out of the Impact! Zone and attract some new fans to come see their TV show, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Bottom line is, if Dixie Carter showed up at my door in sexy lingerie and offered me the opportunity to dig her company out of this mess, I'd slam the door in her face.
There is no quick fix here, and this new "Hulk Hogan Crusade" is not the way to go. Dixie needs to listen to someone who knows what they're talking about...the fans.
The fans don't know everything about the inner workings of the business. Hell, most of them don't know ANYTHING about the inner workings of the business. But the fans do know what they want.
They want something fresh. They want something new. They want something with innovation.
Everything that Hulk Hogan said he could provide.
The final question has to be the following: How long before Dixie Carter decides to stop the bleeding and end her relationship with Hulk Hogan?
Only time will tell.
Let me know what you think—leave comments.
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