|Column Posted by The Armchair Wrestler on 08:04:49 AM Mar 10, 2010
The Monday Night Wars Begin Again!!!
Hmmnn, well, it's way too early to tell if TNA is on the right path yet to win this war. For the most part they have an excellent roster with talented wrestlers that put a lot of the WWE guys to shame (with the exception of The Nasty Boys - an embarrassment really). But then again you have to think that the WWE roster need to protect themselves more as they travel and perform a lot more than the TNA guys do, so they have to be safe and tone down a lot of their regular stuff, otherwise we would be ending careers each week.
Taking TNA on the road would be my next move - improve the fan-base, get the wrestlers used to performing on the road and playing to different size crowds and to see how different regions react. Go back to some innovative and genuinely interesting concepts such as TNA global - that show in Japan was excellent to watch and extremely interesting to see the contrast in styles (not AJ) and how the fans behave. It gave us something new and formed new ties with other companies, which only makes TNA look stronger. Play to your strengths in other words.
The other thing TNA needs to be careful about is overdoing things. Yes, they gave us one hell of a varied, unpredictable and exciting show, bell to bell. It was ballsy, and covered pretty much every aspect, but they will run out of steam going at 150mph, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. New signings are awesome (and yes, I went loopy when I saw RVD, shame about the crappy booking 2 minutes after with Sting beating his ass with a bat) but maybe a series of promised new signings or teases over the coming weeks would generate more interest and hopefully get more viewers to tune in to find out who it is. Less is more Hulkster. Same goes for the matches - yes its great having impromptu title matches on TV, but remember you have a PPV to sell and build up to - who is gonna care if the hype has gone weeks before? The X-Division matches are insane, jaw-dropping feats of athleticism, but the booking of the matches is just a flurry of spots with little or no ring psychology to them.
TNA own the world in terms of the best tag team division talent, no question, but with some tutoring (hell, even by the Nasty Boys and Team 3D - they are vets with the knowledge, just not so much the physical ability anymore) the tag team division could be one of the crowning glories of TNA along with the X Division, to quote another common phrase 'quality not quantity' - make the high spots special and mean something, not just a non-stop 10 minutes of showing off ability and not-selling high impact spots.
Hulk and Eric also need to start to giving us some consistency, last week Beer Money were faces, now all of a sudden and for no reason at all they are back to being bona-fide heels. This may not mean anything to new viewers, but to the die-hard TNA fans who have stuck with the company throughout, well they are just going to get more than a little angry if this keeps going on. I would also start showing a bit more flow, week to week, some stars appear one week then disappear for a few weeks after. It makes no sense and does not help to build a solid roster of stars. One solution could be to keep the Thursday night slot for a second show, similar to Smackdown, to allow a lot more of the new younger talent to shine, so that fans become familiar with them and to keep the TV ring rust off. This may help fitting in all the story-lines in on a weekly basis.
Its clear to see that TNA has the potential, I just hope Hogan and Bischoff are not too daunted and biting off more than they can chew. Take a step back, take a deep breath and stop throwing everything at the wall at once to see what sticks. They need to realise that they have a plethora of Veterans with creative minds who can help develop and make new stars. I'm glad Al Snow is backstage - that's good. Foley is also a creative genius, he understands character building and creating story-lines (he's a multi-time bestselling author for crying out loud!). What I'm saying is pull the vets together with one common goal, to educate the TNA originals and new talent, to make the company into a powerhouse of household names and quality wrestling TV.
That's my take anyway. I only want TNA to succeed, for their benefit and ours. Oh, and watching Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan bleed to death and throw weak punches and chops was painful, not only because of the pain they went through, but because their mobility in the ring has greatly diminished since the last time I saw them and it was a sad sight to see these guys put themselves through this. I hope for their sake they realise when enough is enough as an in-ring performer.