For the first time since I became a fan of professional wrestling many years ago, I find myself no longer interested in the product the WWE has to offer. While they will always have a place in my heart, I just feel like they don’t deliver what I expect from them any longer.
And so recently I turned my attention to the upstart company known as TNA. Instantly I was enticed by the possibilities, only to be disappointed time and again. Had I lost my love for wrestling or was something wrong with the direction it was going? After delving into old video and reading about older story lines I felt like my passion is still there.
But last night TNA once again reeled me in. Despite the constant promises to deliver something that will shake the foundation of the business, TNA’s big moments have been thoroughly disappointing to this point. From the overstretched “they” storyline to simply stealing the Undertaker’s return for Sting, I’ve done nothing but shake my head at the strange decision making.
From the return of Chyna and Chris Harris, to the renaming of the brand, last night’s episode actually lived up to the hype. That is not to say it the show didn’t have its poor moments, Matt Hardy’s awful promo leading to the return of Wildcat for example. But it certainly contained a lot of surprises, so long as you don’t read the spoilers in advance.
And that brings me to the first change I would like to see with the new Impact Wrestling: live broadcasts. While this would be more costly, it would also prevent people from sharing the entirety of the event prior to it airing. Nowadays it is virtually impossible to avoid spoilers, as seen by the recent Christian debacle, and have live Impacts is the only way to circumvent them.
Secondly, I hope that Mick Foley was right and the company returns to being more action oriented. I personally feel that’s what the talent on their roster is geared towards anyway. Promos should be kept short and sweet, with exceptions for those such as A.J. Styles and Mr. Anderson.
People crave action and excitement, which is exactly why an X Division match should be featured during the second or third segment of the show to get the crowd riled up. Watching the high fliers live is thoroughly exciting and often when you are watching at home you can feel it as well.
Some fans would argue that the soap opera type story lines help with ratings, which is partially true so long as they are well done. But in order to thrive on its own, Impact Wrestling needs to separate itself from the WWE. This means stop piggybacking off of WWE storylines. I think it would be safe to assume that people tuning in to Impact do not want to simply see a cheaper version of the big company.
In fact, Impact should head in the opposite direction in certain cases. I feel like the lesser titles could really be used to propel younger wrestlers into stardom if used correctly. Getting someone such as Crimson to go hard after the TV title, and subsequently have him battle against others who are slightly below the main event would re-establish the credibility of the title. Having the champions defend them more often probably could only help as well.
Next up is the overuse of older wrestlers. I have no problem with the legends still being on board, but they should not get more face time than those in the title picture and other main event feuds. Hogan can lead Immortal, but he should stick to a single segment so as not to be the main focus of the show. The same goes for Ric Flair, who at this point of his career needs to be a manager and not a full time wrestler.
That is not to say all these changes should happen, especially all at once. Many in the wrestling business acquiesce to the instant gratification some casual fans demand to the detriment of the long term goals of the business. But most situations like that lead to haphazard story lines which are cut short if they receive little reaction, or extended for far too long if the opposite is true.
There is a very real chance that I will be burned once more, but with my wrestling fandom hanging in the balance I’ve decided to dive in once more. Will Impact Wrestling pull me back in or be the final nail in the coffin?