Okay After reading the article and the flame war
that started afterwards, I have decided to make my first foray (hopefully) into
opinion writing for the EWN. So let me introduce myself and then we can go from
My name is Jeff Phillips I am 38 year old wrestling
fan from Oklahoma. As a matter of trivia I graduated from the same high school
that produced Bill Goldberg. I have watched WWE, WCW, TNA, I have kept up with
ROH and the other indies federations through friends and sites like these. I
have been a fan for over 30 years now and have taken a few bumps in the ring in
a baby promotion here in Oklahoma.
So now to get to the meat of the matter here,
looking at this article and get some decent coherent opinions together that
might make a lot more sense.
on Regional Shows: Actually to save the company the need to travel really needs
to stop. TNA was a really good and growing company while they were inside the
studios of Universal Studios Florida. Going back to Orlando and staying put
will be one of the biggest cost effective moves that they can make and start
putting people in the seats. I believe that making this a marquis attraction in
Orlando again will get the fans traveling to one spot and decide when they can
afford to come down and see the product live. If the need of travel has to be a
part of the equation then make it Bound for Glory and do what the WWE does and
move it around the country every year. Otherwise stay in one spot. As I have
stated this before this allows the fans to budget and plan to come to the
location that show and or pay per view is going to be showing. That makes a
superior situation then trying to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars
traveling from city to city.
in traditional media: Traditional Media is dead. If you do not live on the
internet and social media you will wither away and die. Being on some sort
online situation will make the company better in the long run. Taking plays out
of the WWE playbook is needed but more on that later. But Cable TV and
Magazines are not the way to get your brand out there. It is now the world of Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, etc. There is no going back to the “olden days” it is
digital information or bust.
Shows on YouTube: I am not sure that YouTube is the best platform for what you
are looking for here. Personally as with the traditional media it is time to
partner up with one of the online services. Netflix, Hulu, etc. Now with Hulu
pretty much going to be free and clear of the WWE due to the WWE Network there
could be a hole that TNA could fill for them.
Regardless of whom they get with, allow for seasons of episodes that
allow for binge watching. These ties into point number 7 where I will get into
a bit more detail.
on Young, Cheap Workers: So here we are on the roster situation. To be a
successful company in my opinion you need to have a mix of named veterans alongside
with the young up and comers. Especially if you are the clear number 2 in the
pecking order of wrestling companies today. Yes I know this is debatable but
really for the casual fan of wrestling it is TNA or WWE that you have basic
access to. Anyone else in the conversation falls behind due to the lack of a
MAJOR television network contract. Currently the mix of Veterans and new talent
that TNA has is “acceptable” as a longtime fan of Wrestling as a whole I stay
interested in the company because of the talent that is there. If there was a
bunch of no names that I never heard of or had any of my friends tell me that
you should watch this XYZ wrestler I would not give TNA a second thought. The
hook is what you need to bring people in and get them to watch what is going on
the screen and in the ring. Now there are some hires and fires that I would
have on the roster but that is hopefully a second article. But while the
overall talent of the WWE is superior to what TNA has at the moment, TNA really
needs to focus on what they have better than the WWE. For example, you want young
high flying death defying superstars that are making their mark on the business
you watch TNA, Headlined by the veteran(Remember I said a mix of things) Jeff
Hardy you have a group of high flyers
that are exciting to watch. TNA has the superior women’s division, with all of
the pure wrestling talent that also happens to be some of the most beautiful
women in the business. The WWE has a few pedigreed women wrestlers and a few
that because of who they are dating and or married to, are getting better in
the ring by in large the women’s division are women who cannot wrestle
themselves out of a wet paper bag.
Squash matches: Squash matches kill pushes, kills any kind of momentum that a
wrestler has. Now if you are trying to tell the story of the monster such as
Abyss or the super dominate superstar such as what Samoa Joe was in the beginning.
Then you have the trainees job out to him in the squash but other than that,
fans want to see the abilities of each wrestler and put on a quality match.
People remember quality not squishes.
the Name: I am not sure about this as TNA is now a brand staple and just trying
to rebrand suddenly again at this point could cause more harm than good. If it
was me that was working on the rebranding then I would have a yearlong
storyline that would allow the process to feel more natural and acceptable for
the fans to deal with. That way all of the logos can be worked on and be
professional in the transition and make it palatable for everyone in the
industry to consume.
on news and history: This goes back to the getting with an online television
service, such as Netflix and Hulu. When you set the contract with the companies
you get them to agree to allow a couple years worth of episodes and pay per
views to be seen on the service to allow the new trend of watching TV: The Binge.
This will allow the viewer who wants to see what the company is all about to
get as much information from the shows and pay per views, allowing for them to
find a wrestler to root for be that a heel or a favored face. It goes back to
the hook that I was talking about in point 4. You have to bring them in and get
them to watch. If you don’t then things are not going to go anywhere.
Regardless of how good the product may be.
often and to whom the main title changes to: This is a double-edged sword. Fans
are going to complain about a person who has the title too long or have the
title for a severe short amount of time. Who you give it to well that goes into
point number 9 with the storytelling and characters. In the current events of
Eric Young getting the title after being the class clown of the company for a
few years, this is a reward for being that one person who would do that one
thing that needed to be done comically to be entertaining. If you do not thing
he has the chops to be a champion then you obviously have not seen him during
the World Elite Storyline. He was fantastic.
Yes I will agree as the leader of the Aces and Eights that Bully Ray was
a great heel champion. But this situation is again at least to me a lifetime
achievement title reign for all of the blood sweat and tears he has put in over
his entire career. You do need a person to carry the company to be the title champion;
Bully Ray is a really good support beam for the company but not enough to be
the top dog over all. Eric Young is. I know the comparisons to Daniel Bryan
right now are going to be out there, but that is going to happen as long as
someone has the beard.
storytelling and Characters: This has always been a problem with either WWE or
TNA writers. Fans like us who live on the dirt sheets and see the flaws in
every story or create the perfect story in our video games will always complain
about the storytelling and the characters that are produced. I always joke
about driving to Stamford or Nashville with a notebook full of story ideas guaranteed
to make ratings soar. Maybe I will do that someday. Who knows? This is by far
the hardest job in the business. The creation of the gimmicks, who is going to
feud with whom and how is that feud is going to go. Who is going to be a Face
and who is going to be the Heel? How are people going to work together? Is it
magical or is it stiff? These are all factors that have to be dealt with pretty
much on the fly as they go from one show to the next. With the focus here on
TNA this can be mitigated a lot by if they stay put as discussed in point
number 1, this allows the story team to not have to worry about travel and
whatnot and focus on the story. Once TNA got to Orlando and stayed there for a
while they had good stories and good chemistry in creating the stories. When
they started to travel and let outside forces control what they had it all
started to fall apart.
trying to be the WWE: This is a yes stop trying to be the WWE and a No you need
to be the WWE opinion. The talent is going to make TNA different from the WWE
that part is going to be obvious. However with a steady crew of writers that
cares about the story that they are telling will make even more separation from
the WWE. Now that Hogan is gone from TNA it is time to bring back the 6 sided
ring again. The ring made TNA standout it made things very interesting and gave
them an edge in the early part of the life of the company. This will make
people want to watch what is going on in the company. Remember the hook I was
talking about? Here is instant hook. Now to take pages out of the WWE playbook.
While the website is nice, it needs to have more stuff accessible to the fans
take the time to have the videos embedded in the site rather than trying to
hoist it off on YouTube. The Facebook page is pretty well maintained and while
I personally follow a lot of the wrestlers on Twitter to have the Official TNA
twitter handles much like how the WWE does for its talent is something that can
work for TNA. In the broadcasts make TNA a number 1 trending topic on Twitter,
every match every week on the WWE you hear Michael Cole jabber about how to
make the current match trend on Twitter. Depending on the match and the
characters involved that usually happens. This needs to work for TNA as well. Bashing on people like Dixie Carter and Vince
Russo while easy and sometimes fun for fans like us, accomplishes nothing but
taking the product away from the people it is putting on for. Also that you
have to realize some of the most beloved angles of Wrestling history are
actually the brain child of Vince Russo. De-Generation X, Austin vs McMahon
among the most notable stories that were created by Russo. Having a talent like
that to help shape the new team and not walk all over the ideas that are
presented is something that could benefit TNA in the long run.
All in all there are
lots of things that are wrong with TNA however there are lots of things that
are right with TNA, for TNA to survive it might want to take a look at these
opinions and see if it is right for them to implement them in the current
scheme of things. They could have a positive effect on the health of the
company and the future growth of the business.