In the past 24 hours, one of my sources has revealed that TNA is viewing PPV's in a different way. Since there isn't as much profit in terms of buys at the moment, the cards are being played closer to the vest until up to 2 weeks until the event. While I can neither confirm or deny this rumor, this perspective is not the perspective I understood about a year ago at this time. It had been suggested to cut down on the number of PPV's in order to make money as Vince hasn't tried it and the economy had been in such dire straits.
Jay Lethal, one of TNA's most vibrant young X Division stars has been released. It's been speculated that he was among the X Division stars complaining most vocally about not being spotlighted as it was promised that they would be. While his postings since then have been optimistic, realistically, his options are limited. Historically, former TNA stars haven't survived longer than one year with WWE and have gone with very little success. This bars those who began their careers with WWF, left and returned. Christian, R-Truth (who once competed with WWF as K-Kwik), and Jeff Hardy. In fact, unless my count is wrong, only one TNA made star ever held gold in WWE.....Kid Kash. Jay Lethal does have a point, though in his concern.....where IS the push the X Division has been promised?
TNA is in a unique position this year as their rebranding is in it's infancy, it's direction is as yet unrevealed, and it's talents are just beginning to see some attentions. There is a fine profit to be made in this stage of the game and TNA has begun on a good note by taking their show outside of the iMPACT Zone from time to time. The numbers seem to be doing decent, though not great. The storylines are getting better and more coherent with time and are longer lasting to keep builds until their proper time.
My suggestions are few, but here they are.
- While my grasp of operating from town to town is not fully developed, it seems that larger towns make more money. Iowa, Minnesota, and other midwestern states have been underutilized for their money making possibility. Cities like Des Moines, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Duluth, or Ames have yet to be explored. Just a thought.
- Pull the plug on a single PPV and build to a huge one. Take one out before Slammaversary or Bound For Glory or Lockdown. Call attention to it. Put on a press conference telling your fans that you are going to save them some money and bring them a better product they can be proud to order in bulk. If there are free agents to be had, now would be a good time to snap them up. Debut them on a special live iMPACT and let them build into a good solid feud.
- Let go of the Knockouts Tag Titles. There aren't enough women on the roster to make a feud over them worth it.
- Put Samoa Joe, who has been a fan favorite for YEARS; Matt Morgan, and Daniels at the very top of the card chasing the heavyweight belt. Joe went from holding the belt when Kurt Angle first arrived to being in feuds in the undercard. PUT HIM BACK!
Morgan went from Heavyweight Title Contender to feuding with Scott Steiner who has no business holding TNA's big trophy. It might have been a different story about 4 or 5 years ago when the Main Event Mafia was in power, but he was played like a upper-mid carder and that's where he ended. BRING MORGAN TO THE TOP!
Daniels was in the main event at Final Resolution with AJ Styles only weeks before his release. After, he was lost in the shuffle. Christopher Daniels puts on a clinic EVERY TIME he comes through the curtain, he has a character the TNA fans love AND he's an original. Let's not forget his years left of service are somewhat limited. While he's in great shape, to be sure, time is not on the side of the Fallen Angel. PUT HIM ON TOP AGAIN!
And so ends another chapter in the analysis of the little company that could. My TNA brethren, by the time all the pieces are in place and the curtains go up...it'll be SHOWTIME!!!