It started deep in the back of my mind. Really just a passing thought. Soon after, it became recurring. As the weeks and months have gone by, it now is always the first thing I think of when I turn on Impact! What is this thing boiling my brain? Its one question: Is TNA salvageable?
I ask this question because of everything TNA has been through (put itself through). After years of bad booking and poor decision making, TNA failed miserably in their attempt to take on WWE on Monday nights. Eric Bischoff was saying this week that TNA never intended to compete with WWE by moving to Monday nights. Understandably the company needs to save face right now so people will make comments like that. As much as my heart goes out to them, I always laugh when I hear the audio for TNA moving back to Thursdays and how the fans have spoken. Yes, they have, and it has nothing to do with fans wanting Impact to go back to Thursdays so they don’t feel torn between the two.
Now back on Thursdays, Impact ran an atrocious angle in which Abyss was accused of rape. At this point how much is left? I’m sure I am not the only soul pondering this issue. From the fans in the Impact Zone and watching on TV, to us here at Wrestleview, even to the decision makers at Spike TV, there has to be people wondering if there is any chance that the company will die in the near future.
Forget the fact that the company was not meant to be a largely successful company when it first broke onto the scene. That doesn’t mean that it can’t evolve. That being said, it needs the proper guidance in order to make it successful. Many ideas have been offered up from wrestling fans and some of them are very good ideas. They need to adjust on many levels, the biggest of which is creative. Just look at the pay per view scheduled for this Sunday. The main event is the big rematch between Rob Van Dam and AJ Styles for the TNA title. It seems like a good idea. After all, AJ was champion for several months. It makes perfect sense that he should get a pay per view rematch. Okay, then why did TNA run a match between Van Dam, Styles, and Hardy on Thursday night? I just saw a super short match between three of the top guys in the company, why should I pay to see a rematch between two of them? Then you have the horrible Abyss situation. How many rape angles have left you wanting to but a pay per view? This is just part of ONE SHOW.
Wrestleview’s own Doug Lackey has gone as far as to predict TNA’s folding within a few years. Personally I agree with him. Regardless of what I believe will happen, I must say that I don’t want it to. I don’t want the company to fail because I like professional wrestling. I’m a huge fan of the industry and I wish the best for all involved. For all its critics, there are people who believe in TNA. Whether it’s because they want an alternative to WWE, or because they genuinely enjoy the product, there are those who want TNA to succeed. It sounds uber-cheesy but its part of the magic of wrestling when you have fans who rally behind something, who believe in something. TNA has its fans that will not say die. It also has a great roster. Say what you will about the old guys. Look at the incredible number of talented wrestlers they have. So much talent with so much potential. They are just in need of guidance.
I can’t write a TV show. I’m not going to book a write out a booked show for you and say “Look, all better now.” Instead I am offering a few ideas. Some of these have been tossed around, some have not. These are mainly creative ideas and not suggestions on their business and marketing strategies. These possible scenarios would not necessarily guarantee higher ratings, but hopefully a better quality show, which in turn would hopefully draw more viewers. Here goes…something.
1. TNA needs teachers for its students. There are so many talented individuals on the roster but they need veterans that can teach them. That doesn’t mean Hogan, Hall and Nash. There are plenty of veterans out there who could be used to guide these athletes.
2. Nurture your strengths, don’t exploit or overexpose them. The Knockouts have been one of the bright spots in the company. A few weeks back Impact made a smart move and closed the show with them. It was a very good idea…on paper. The Knockouts had to take turns opening boxes, one of which happened to have the Knockouts title in it, another called for a strip tease. The Knockouts don’t need
3. Let storylines naturally develop. Eric Young is a perfect example of this. He was built very well as a foil an underdog to the Band. Once Sean Waltman left TNA gave us another swerve and turned Young heel, effectively killing his momentum.
4. Book you world champion strong. Styles had a long title reign but he was overshadowed instead of complemented by Ric Flair’s presence. He also lost matches he shouldn’t have. This week RVD was on TV losing. At least they had him lose to the guy who he is facing at the pay per view, but still, your champion should only lose on occasion and it should be a big deal.
5. Slow down. Big matches don’t need to be jumped on right away. They should be slowly built up. In one night TNA held RVD vs. Jeff Hardy and Van Dam vs. Styles. Those are two matches that could have drawn viewers to pay per view. They look to be doing things perfectly right now with Samoa Joe (assuming he doesn’t turn out to be one Abyss’s rape victims). A well built Bound for Glory match with Rob Van Dam for the title may not be out of the question.
6. Counter WWE’s guest-host concept by putting on a Monster’s Ball match between the team of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and the alliance Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Oh, and special ref should Jesse Ventura.
Well there you have it. Those are just a few ideas. Of course they are not bullet proof and are not the only ideas that could contribute to TNA’s renovating. Perhaps you have some ideas of your own that would help TNA. If you do, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to know what you think TNA can do at this point.
Thanks for reading!